Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 107 - Old World Blues

“There is an expression in the Periphery : “Old World Blues.” It refers to those so obsessed with the past they can’t see the present, much less the future, for what it is."

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Episode 106 - Operation Valkyrie

“The Valkyrie; handmaidens of the gods, choosing who will live and who will die, sparing the most heroic from an agonizing death. One cannot understand Dumassas if one does not understand Wagner.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Awesome
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Greg (Fixer)——————————Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Liam (-) -————————————Firestarter

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Episode 105b - Stainless Steel

“I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good mercenaries. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Awesome
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Greg (Fixer)——————————Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Liam (-) -————————————Firestarter

November 1st, 3024; 7:31 am : Northern Outskirts of Port Stainless :

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Interlude - Cinder Soot

“A new pair of shoes can change your life”

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Episode 105 - Stainless Steel

“Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don’t get up for a third.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Awesome
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Greg (Fixer)——————————Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Liam (-) -————————————Firestarter

The Military Airfield

November 1st, 2:00 AM, 10 kms south of the Mount Pleasant Airport : While the unit’s infantry and armor secured the airfield, * “The Iron Dingoes” Line Mechs slowly made their way back north to the airfield, having stopped a relief column of heavy tanks making their way to the airfield. Initially planning to leave the Fire Support Lance “Hell’s 1st Light” behind to secure the site, they decided to stay together, and allow the salvage squads to hit the battlefield later, since the tanks weren’t going anywhere.

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8 kms south of the Airfield

The unmistakable Boom of a pair of Sniper Cannons was heard, and a series of rounds began to barrage onto the field near the Dingoes as they returned north. The unit quickly moved through the barrage, taking fire, but suffered no damage from the strikes, despite several close calls. As they left the area, they realized they had been spied upon by spotters in that area, and hurried off to return to the safety of the airfield.

2:30 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : The airfield was still intact, protected by the unit’s Line armor and infantry. The units DropShips quickly landed, including “Relentless”, “Pandora’s Box”, “Star Talon” and “Crimson Sands”, and quickly deployed to create their traditional perimeter of infantry posts and active remote sensors.

3:00 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : Site secured, the unit’s salvage squads began to spread-out, targeting the shattered remnants of the fallen UM-R60 UrbanMech. Operations were expected to take roughly a full hour for all six of the shattered UrbanMechs.

The unit began cycling through the Relentless, having their tech crews do as much repair work as time would allow. Initially choosing to match the salvage efforts, with an hour of repairs, they extended it to one-and-a-half hours, to ensure the most damaged locations on the unit’s Mechs were repaired. In some instances, this meant leaving severe damage (like Fixer’s engine critical) untouched, but for the most part, the unit was mostly intact.

4:30 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : The arrival of both “Revolver” and “Spearhead” were heralded with a hard landing by the Leopard CV, that struck some piece of debris on the field. It landed intact, but hard.

Repairs were about as complete as they could be expected, and salvage had been secured in the Relentless’ cargo holds. The unit’s liaison officer under their contract, Captain Juan Aristizabal landed soon thereafter in a K-1 Class Dropshuttle, and announced he awaited the unit’s briefing.

Captain Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, having suffered multiple strikes to his Mech’s head from infantry-toting grenade launchers, and Captain Michael Anderson “Fixer” with his hot-running Mech were assigned by Major Erika Hartmann “Glamour” to remain behind and oversee the airfield. The rest of their lance were temporarily folded into “Hell’s 1st Light”, and along with “Pitbull’s Pariahs”, would conduct a raid in force on the capital of Port Stainless. The unit’s Line infantry and armor companies would raid the civilian airfield near the capital, as this seemed to be the site where they had based most of their military air assets, including their dangerous half-dozen Corsairs.

5:00 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : As preparations began for the raids, word came from the unit’s “Loup Garou” paw of * “The Werewolves”, claiming they were incoming in a convoy of three Light Utility Transports, and that they had succeeded in their “shopping trip”. They also had brought someone the command council might want a word with. Approaching with the convoy was a FS9-H Firestarter piloted by Recruit Marcus Matsumoto. He was quickly briefed by the unit (the entire command lance surrounding him in their menacing assault Mechs), while the convoy moved off into the airfield.

During the following interrogation, the unit chose to accept him, with his intelligence report about the capital, that he had recently abandoned when they wouldn’t hire him. He stated that about a company of tanks and eight BattleMechs (though he only knew one lance was medium strength), and a battalion of regular infantry were watching the capital at the moment. The supply cache located just north of town was quite substantial, with arms, munitions and supplies for the coming invasion of Operation Mercury. Despite there still being roughly nine hours of darkness today, the area was well-lit and under constant surveillance, especially since a special forces unit had apparently hit the Momart Facility

_Given a Leash Contract, he was assigned as a temporary thirteenth member of the unit, and given reign to act as their roving lead scout, especially since he now had the most mobile Mech in the unit.

Glamour then moved on to deal with the massed prisoners in the eastern part of the camp. She gathered them all together, and climbed out of her Mech to talk to them. She proceeded into a,long speech, and got about ten minutes in, when she realized that they mostly only spoke Portuguese… and called for a translator to begin again. Eventually she managed to make them understand that she was not ’El Diablo", but that she and her troops were mercenaries. She handed out the unit’s recruitment pamphlets (a suggestion by Advocate ), and tried to talk them through a recruitment speech. Eventually, most of them seemed to understand, and she left them to think about what they had been offered.

5:30 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : Glamour dispatched any spare Techs, Med-Techs and two platoons of the unit’s Janissaries (the 25th & 36th Platoons) to investigate the San Marcos Air Force Mobile Field Hospital, and assess the situation. The facility had roughly 21 Med-Tech Squads, along with an inordinate number of unarmed litter-bearers, but were given leave to treat the wounded. They were informed that the facility, once they had treated the wounded, was to become a Dingoes possession, were handed recruitment pamphlets and left to their work. The facility was under the command of one Colonel Xavier Marks, a veteran soldier and medical officer, who grudgingly accepted the situation, and moved forward with his work.

The unit then turned their attention to the “Barracuda”, visiting the site in person, and thanking Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” and her troops for their efforts, as they were lounging around the DropShuttle, apparently sizing it up for their future operations. Piloting the ship was a young Darrian officer, Recruit Pleione Bayern, who was quickly recruited and assigned a young Shadow Recruit to help her and keep an eye on her activities.

While all these activities were on-going, Captain Pol Baca “Templar” spent some time searching through the ravaged remnants of the airfield’s central command post for any tactical information, but the flamers did their job too well, and he could find nothing.

6:00 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : Another call went out to the Dingoes command staff, asking for an update by their liaison officer, Captain Juan Aristizabal. Glamour reported in, and gave a run-down of the activities and present standing of the facility and their combat readiness. Captain Arisizabal reminded the unit that their primary responsibility was to ensure the security of the airfield, until such time as The Oriental Republic of San Isabel could fly in their supporting infantry and armor forces to properly secure the airfield.

Glamour convinced him that while the unit could remain and secure the airfield, they felt it was better to move forward and quickly recon the capital and remove the threat of the airfield, before they became too entrenched and activated the bulk of their local resources. He acknowledged they might know best in this situation, and would support their efforts, but reminded them that holding the airfield was still the main objective at this time.

Port Stainless

6:30 AM, Mount Pleasant Airport : The unit’s remaining mobile ten (10) Mechs moved-out, heading north-east in sight of the coast, towards the capital 50-60 kms away. The unit’s Line armor and infantry, with their hover vehicles, would circle on ahead, and skipping across the bay, strike the Port Stainless Airport, located east of Port Stainless itself.

7:30 AM, Port Stainless : Scouting reports of the town claimed it was relatively quiet, with the large maintenance facility located near the middle of town dominating the location. Everything was well-lit and open.

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As they approached, units began to go active, namely the three local security companies of infantry, as well as the primary active lance of Mechs; a Hunchback, a Hermes II, a Centurian and an Enforcer. A pair of Striker Light Tanks and a pair of Demolisher Heavy Tanks began moving down the other side of the facility, in support of defending the stockpiles.

Recruit Marcus Matsumoto quickly moved forward to scout the site, and the Fire Support Lance moved out to scout along the edge of the town. They opened fire on the two Demolishers, one taking heavy damage and stunning the crew, while LtJG Jessica Burlingame “Slayer” laid both her PPCs into the side of the closest and blew it apart.

Along the north, the Firestarter took a MG hit to the RT, and laid its Flamers into the armored pillbox, doing some damage.

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The remaining Demolisher moved west to support the Mechs, while the Strikers moved due north to support the protection of the supply dump, while a pair of Predator Tank Destroyers came out of a concealed position in the eastern woodland, moving to protect the western edge of the supply dump.

The Command group moved into and through the small woodland near the town, with Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” firing on the MG Pillbox and destroying it. Templar struck the Hermes in the RL, while both Pitbull and Glamour opened on the Hunchback doing multiple strikes, including Pitbull’s devastating strike that shattered through the Hunchback’s cockpit and destroyed its sensor array, though the Mech kept standing and moving.

Slayer struck the Centurian with both of her PPCs, to little effect.

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As the Fire Support Lance moved into the edge of town, the three main Mechs of the defending lance moved to intercept, when they sprung one of their traps; another pair of Predators moved out of a concealed position directly in front of Slayer, and opened fire, one hitting her in the LA. Another lance of the vehicles moved out of concealed positions south of the central park in town, and closed to fire long-range shots at the Mechs, one hitting Caboose in the RT.

The unit opened fire on the Predators, doing passing damage, but their strong front armor kept them from destruction. Slayer kicked the one that shot her, and smashed right through its front armor, destroying it.

In the north, the unit moved into position, readying for the new threat, and preparing for whatever else might come, by taking positions in the woodland edges.

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The trap sprung completely, when four hidden QUA-51T “Quasit” MilitiaMechs moved out of the relatively deep pond in the central park, opening fire on any targets of opportunity, mostly Caboose and Slayer. The Predators also began moving forward and targeted Caboose, as he came under increasingly withering fire from the defending MEch lance as well. The Enforcer and Centurian began the barrage with multiple autocannon and long-range missile strikes, and the Quasists with multiple LRM and SRM strikes, that eventually began to shred his armor and strike internal criticals, numbering two estroyed Medium Lasers and one Heat Sink in his RT.

The Fire Support lance began to withdraw from the edge of the town, responding with their own devastating attacks. Slayer opened with a round of shots on the Predators, but did little damage. Wraith and Oddball both managed as series of strikes, blowing apart a pair of the Predators. Caboose also slipped in a shot that blew apart his own Predator, as did Templar. Most of the Predator threat had been eliminated.

Pitbull, managing to just target the Hunchback between two buildings in the woods, blew off its LL with a Gauss Rifle strike, blowing it over onto its face, and apparently knocking the pilot unconscious, as the Mech powered down.

Around the supply dump, the Firestarter managed to get off a shot on the Hermes, shooting it in the LL with its ML, while the Hermes responded with an autocannon into the Firestarter’s RL. The Strikers managed a couple SRM strikes against Blaster, in a peppered strike across his arms and torsos.

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The fight against Stainless Steel had begun in earnest.

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Episode 104b - Mercury Burning

“God created war so that (people) would learn geography.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Awesome
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

The Military Airfield

November 1st, 1:00 AM; Mount Pleasant Airport : As the battle for the airfield began to seemingly wind down, the Dingoes found themselves turning their attentions from the surrendered mercenary UrbanMech company, towards the infantry forces gathered primarily in the camps, though one or two regulars platoons were hiding among the fortifications near the DropShip and DropShuttle.

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The Approach of Doom

The seven, powered-down Mechs remained standing obstacles, while the rest were either ruined fields of debris or sprawled across the ground. The infantry, urged on by their officer platoons were mobs of troops, firing wildly at the approaching Command and Assault lances of the Dingoes.

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Firestorm

Colonel Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Captain Massimo De Luca “Advocate” both deployed their Flamers into the closest officer units, shattering them completely.

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Pepperboxes

The Command Lane moved in close to bring all their weapons to bear on the infantry, and started raining fire on them, but to less effect than hoped. The survivors responded, with multiple strikes across various Mechs, allowing the massed fire from several hundred soldiers to be felt at close range.

Pitbull and MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” took multiple strikes across their Mechs. Advocate, however, took the brunt of the attacks, including two separate strikes to the head from grenade launchers.

The Intruder-Class finally blasted-off, clawing its way into the sky over the airfield, and not looking or firing back as it left.

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Mass Extinction

As the rest of the unit closed with the remaining infantry, and Pitbull called out to target the officer platoons, the unit brought their Flamers to bear, eradicating one after another of the units, burning more than two companies of regular troops in the effort, all of them officers. There were spatters of return fire from the conscripts, but their desire to keep fighting seemed to be waning.

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Resignation

Pitbull demanded the immediate surrender of all surviving troops, and lacking any officers to drive them, the entire remaining force, roughly a thousand men, surrendered. They were corralled in the part of the camp furthest from the artillery strikes that was still intact, and near the water reservoir. The San Marcos 12th Air Assault Brigade had ceased to exist.

The surviving Mechs asked permission to move their forces to their DropShips, where they would hold until they had permission to leave into orbit. They got permission, and moved themselves from the field.

Slayer and Pitbull made contact with the San Marcos Air Force Mobile Field Hospital, the largest air-mobile MASH in the world, contacting the entire compound and reporting that they could retrieve the wounded once Iron Dingoes infantry and armor was available to escort them across the field. The facility, consisting of fourteen (14) 30-ton modules, two (2)Pegasus Utility Helicopters (Med-Evac Variant), and six (6) Light Utility Transports (single-patient MASH Variant).

Major Erika Hartmann “Glamour” made contact with * “The Werewolves” and encountered them in the middle of their assault on the “Barracuda”. They quickly managed to subdue the handful of troops on-board the DropShuttle, securing it for the Dingoes. The defending anti-air and artillery units were also noted for salvage and removal. Everything else was up in the air at the moment.

The field secured, the unit called in their salvage units as well as the infantry and armor held just a few kilometers away. Pitbull managed to detect about a company of tanks making their way north towards the airfield, and dispatched the less-damaged Mechs from the unit (8 Mechs) to intercept the tanks before they reached the field, while the rest would hold the field until the arrival of the infantry and armor, and then follow-up.

The Relief Column

November 1st, 1:45 AM; 10 kms south of Mount Pleasant Airport : In the wide-open plains south of the airfield, the intercepting Mechs moved to stop the approaching tanks.

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The unit identified the eastern lance as a group of Manticore Heavy Tanks, with a pair of Von Luckner Heavy Tanks holding the center, and a pair of Demolisher Heavy Tanks slightly behind and beside them. The last pair were unidentified for the present, but also heavy tanks.

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Sniping quickly began as the tanks got within PPC range, with Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” getting in a long-range shot with his PPCs that tore the turret off the leading Demolisher, rendering it dead, though capable of being salvaged.

One of the unknown tanks, now identified as a pair of Burkes, got off a long-range shot on Oddball with an LRM.

The Von Luckners and Manticores tried to use the small woodland on the east of the field as a means to snipe back, but the Dingoes Mechs had the range, so they quickly abandoned it.

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As they got closer to range, fire became withering, with multiple PPC strikes across the field doing scattered moderate damage against the tanks, and only light return fire. Glamour somehow managed a magic shot with her Blazers, reflecting a shot through the track well and blowing through the rear armor to destroy the other remaining Demolisher.

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Still having range with their PPCs, though slowly heating up, the Dingoes Mechs did increasingly devastating damage to the tanks. Blaster took out a Burke, Pitbull took apart a Von Luckner, and Glamour took apart one of the Manticores.

In response, a Burke did passing damage with its PPC and LRMs to Pitbull.

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Having closed to effective range, the remaining heavy tanks did what they could, with the remaining Burke getting in multiple strikes on Blaster, but the rest were ineffective.

The rest of the Dingoes did multiple strikes across the field with moderate damaging results. Pitbull blew the turret off another Manticore, Oddball destroyed the other Burke, Fixer critically blew the fusion engine on the Von Luckner, and another Manticore fell to Templar’s attacks.

Faith strode up to the remaining Manticore, and kicked it right through its side armor, destroying it.

The unit allocated the Blind Justice lance to remain on-site, holding the area for salvage once the unit’s DropShips had relocated to the airfield, and the rest of the unit began moving back to join them and establish operational control over the landing field for their employers from The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, and for their own reinforcements from the “Revolver” and the “Spearhead”. Things seemed to be progressing well.

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Episode 104 - Mercury Burning

“You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Awesome
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

October 7th, 3024 : With word of the previous agreement between the Iron Dingoes and Excalibur Corporation finally starting to filter through the unit, Major Erika Hartmann “Glamour” made her way to Colonel Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”’s chambers and confronted him over the contract. She neither liked nor trusted Excalibur, and explained her grievances to the CO. The “discussion” went on for more than an hour, and eventually wound down with her warning him that there would be a sudden and inevitable betrayal, and that Excalibur was playing a much longer game. She spent the next couple days in her quarters on the “Relentless”, drinking away her sorrows.

October 10th, 3024 : Security was reported increased on “The Factory”, with the new Excalibur trade office under watch. This included the activation of a counter-intelligence squad, under the command of Lieutenant JG Isabella Farron “Swan”.

An Excalibur courier arrived with the unit’s initial payment of 20,000,000 Cs in hard currency and trade certificates.

October 15th, 3024 : The counter-intelligence force was in place aboard the Factory, and began regular reporting to Glamour regarding their movements and activities.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” began planning his return to the Corazón Jungle, specifically to investigate the origins of the mysterious “Great Egg” rumor. The unit felt it might be a lost DropShip, but that seemed difficult to imagine. Nonetheless, Moxie began making plans to head back at the end of the month.

October 18th, 3024 : Moxie was paid a visit by a young Sangrian woman by the name of Renya Juárez. She had been sent by The Sangrian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences to offer a 1,000,000 C-Bill grant (an annual award to Sangrian citizens for efforts in improving local technology levels or understanding) to Moxie as a means of providing a research paper to the global meeting of the scientists in San Succi on May 1st, 3025. He accepted, after taking the day to confer with his unit, and have Captain Massimo De Luca “Advocate” look over the contract. She wished him well, but warned his to take care. Close questions brought out that several notable scientists from around the globe had gone missing over the last couple years… usually when they attracted enough world-wide attention… and then Renya excused herself to head back to San Succi.

An update from the target airfield in Islas Brasilera reported that in addition to the arrival of a K-1 Class Dropshuttle, a now familiar bone-white painted 1860-ton Confederate-Class DropShip had landed, and after a couple of days of meetings with the crew of the Intruder-Class DropShip, blasted back into orbit.

With this knowledge, the group decided to confer with Trooper Dominique “Domino” Harvey, who had a personal history with whomever had owned/operated the vessel. She was notably reluctant to talk about matters, but related that she had been hired by two shadowy individuals, an Agent Jones and an Agent Smith, who hired her and her crew to attack the group. As a bounty hunter, it wasn’t all that unusual. She said their ship was equipped for five Mechs, with a single small craft bay that held a fairly standard-looking KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle. She honestly didn’t seem to know more than that. Following this, they made small talk about Mechs, while Domino avoided eye-contact with Advocate.

October 29th, 3024 : The Federative Republic of San Marcos had finally reinforced Isla Brassilera with its main carrier fleet; two destroyers, a supply ship, and their flagship, the venerable carrier _ “Minas Gerais”_. It brought with it a host of conventional aircraft and VTOLs, but no apparent extra AeroFighters. It also appeared that the cadets were finishing their paratrooper training.

October 30th, 3024 : Hangar activity was noted. Techs and some pilots would come and go, but the hangars themselves remained sealed and under secure lock.

The unit was introduced to their army liaison officer, Captain Juan Aristizabal. An amputee from a mine some years ago, Captain Aristizabal was assigned mostly administrative duties, and had been assigned as their liaison officer for the coming two-month-long Contract – Operation “Mercury Rising”. While he would not be with them in the initial attacks, he would arrive and co-ordinate once the airport was secure, along with the first San Isabel troops. He was briefed on the planned invasion , and gave the go-ahead, trusting in the experience and power of the unit to make the initial efforts as flawless as possible.

October 31st, 3024 : The “Star Talon”, the “Pandora’s Box” and the “Relentless” were loaded and prepared for final lift-off on the short hour-long hop to Isla Brasillera_. The _Content Not Found: crimson-sands would bear both special forces units from * “The Werewolves”, and include their Freefall Drop APC to scout ahead of the unit by a few hours. They were to be escorted by the “Revolver” and its flight of six (6) AeroSpace Fighters, who would keep any rival forces from landing operations, and then return to “The Factory” for refueling and repairs before helping clear airspace above the airfield.

The Crimson Sands deployed ahead of the unit, and dropped their APC cargo quietly some hours ahead of the fleet, to scout the airfield. They inserted their cargo, and awaited the rendezvous for final insertion themselves with the rest of the assault fleet on midnight.

The Werewolves landed un-noticed, and cloaked in their Battle Armor – Tornado PAs, quickly approached the airfield and bypassed their rudimentary outer defenses. The group had identified the DropShuttle as their primary target, since the Intruder would be too tough a nut to crack for the five of them, especially if the number of troops on-board seemed typical. They swiftly investigated the hangars, and discovered they were filled with eight (8) Mark VII Landing Craft; the entire assault flotilla from The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport. Noting this, they then proceeded on towards the DropShuttle, and prepared for the Dingoes landing.

The unit’s launch and orbital insertion were prompt and on the mark. They began landing operations one minute after receiving authorization from their liaison officer to begin the contract, and seemed to catch the defenders flat-footed. Initial contact was light, and no AeroFighters came against them initially. All four vessels landed 30kms north of the airfield, forming a tight ring, deployed their security forces from * “The Cerberus Command”, and deployed their line forces, including their artillery Kate & Leopold.

As the Line Mechs began making their way to the airfield, the defenders sent up a flight of six (6) Corsairs with Von Doom markings, deployed from the civilian airfield closer to Port Stainless. The six craft made strafing runs on the advancing Mechs, getting in some hits, but took similar damage (one in particular, taking very dangerous damage to its nose), before withdrawing back to their airbase.

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The Field

The field ahead consisted of a traditional airfield along the west, bordered by more than a dozen DC-3D “Condor” STOL Air Transports intended to haul the conscripts in a massive air-borne invasion.The hangars and fuel dump occupied the central portion, and below that lay the Drop-Pads, with the Intruder and DropShuttle. Along the south lay the various barracks, the two Leopard-Class DropShips holding the defending UrbanMech company.

On the north-east lay the large “Tactical Mobile Field Hospital”, that had been flown-in to provide closer service to the potential battlefield, and included several medical evac Pegasus Utility Helicopters and several paramedic vehicles. South of this lay the sprawling encampment of more than a thousand conscripted soldiers. Around the camp were a couple dozen MT-1B Light Troop Carriers, that several companies of conscripts had been practicing on.

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After the Thunder

With the way to the airfield open, the attacking artillery let loose a two-minute barrage primarily targeting the infantry encamped to the south-east, and the deployed “guard” Mechs around their DropShips. A couple hits managed to directly damage a couple of the UM-R60 UrbanMechs, including one poor bastard who lost his right torso and dropped his entire undamaged arm on the tarmac. The infantry camp was shredded in several places, as well. Several shots did go wild, most landing off the field and having no effect, though some took out the clusters of transports along the edges of the camp. A few batteries of Fledermaus Air Defense System were also scattered around the camp. A long line of Sniper Field Artillery Pieces were also arrayed along the south-east edge, as part of a practice range.

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Opening Moves

As the smoke cleared, and the Dingoes charged onto the airfield, the Urbanmech defenders began pouring from their berths in the Leopard-Class DropShips. Infantry platoons began waking and moving about their camp and on the edges of the airfield. As they hove into range, the Dingoes began taking long-range sniping shots, with LtJG Jessica Burlingame “Slayer” hitting with her PPC drilling through one UrbanMech’s RT and blowing its ammo stores, smashing it apart.

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Lightning Strikes

One lance of UrbanMechs moved off towards the north-east, in support of the infantry scrambling to get out of the smoldering camp, while the remainder struggled to get out of the shadow of the landed DropShuttle and DropShip.

The Dingoes began sniping even more accurately, with Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” and Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” tag-teaming another UrbanMech, and Slayer took out another one with her PPC. The command lance did some serious damage to their targets, causing critical damage to one UrbanMech’s Gyro, and Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” hit one twice in the legs, knocking it over.

The defenders had a few shots back, though none striking, save one that critically hit Captain Michael Anderson “Fixer” in his Catapult’s Engine.

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Ricochets

The Dingoes and eastern lance closed to knife-fighting range, and began tearing into each other. It became obvious that the infantry was mostly a mob of ill-trained rabble, and that the key to their control were the small officer platoons of regulars keeping them moving.

The Dingoes began striking with their SRMs and Medium Lasers, doing some serious damage across the board, though only Oddball managed to take out another UrbanMech, while Caboose blew the ammo bin on another.

The Command Lance started in on their targets, with Templar critically striking one in the Engine, and both Wraith and Pitbull getting in multiple hits, knocking both over. As the damage began to mount, it was increasingly obvious to the defending Mechs that they had lost, and they appealed over the general channel for a truce, ceding the field. Pitbull agreed, and the remaining Mechs powered down , while the Dingoes concentrated on the infantry.

The battle for the airfield was seemingly winding down.

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Episode 103 : Operation Mercury

“You don’t win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other bastard die for his.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

October 3rd, 3024 : The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, Montevideo : Late that afternoon, Colonel Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and his group gathered at the Palacio to meet with Baron Alexander Valdez in an attempt to sway him to support the Iron Dingoes invasion of Islas Brasilera. After an hour-long discussion, and reassurances the Dingoes only wanted peace and what was best for the planet, the Baron agreed in principle to hiring the Dingoes for the invasion. As a consequence of the contract being ratified, San Isabel would join with Sangria in defending against further “…San Marcosian aggression…”. An official announcement would follow, once they had opened discussions with the Sangrian Council of Governors.

The group met some national negotiators, while the Baron excused himself to return back to national business, and the unit began negotiations for a short-term invasion contract, hammering out the details of Contract – Operation “Mercury Rising”. These lasted the rest of the day.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” and Captain Pol Baca “Templar” spent the day doing research in the national university regarding the history and origins of the natives from the Corazón Jungle. Tanking several days, they uncovered references to “The Great Egg”, from which all warlords of the jungle are born. It looked like Moxie was headed back into the jungles in the near future.

October 4th, 3024 : In recognition of the fact they didn’t get much downtime, the group took the chance to wander the San Isabel metroplex, shopping and drinking and carousing like only wealthy military officers could.

October 5th, 3024 : The unit returned to * Landhold : Garrison, and began making plans for the invasion. Since they had time to plan, and needed to await San Isabel’s organizing their occupation forces and get themselves geared-up for war, they could take their time.

Initial intelligence hinted at around 6 battalions of conscript infantry being camped near the airport, and conducting military training and advanced paratroop training. It was expected, the force would be done their training in a little over a month. Apparently, the combined military of the League of Free Nations was calling this “Operation Mercury”.

They planned to land some 30kms north of the main airport with their DropShips, and deploy their artillery to begin a series of shots into the clustered infantry, while the MEchs and armor approached. The infantry would be held back to cover the artillery, but could respond quickly in need to reinforce the airport. The unit’s reserve “Jannissary” infantry forces held at The District of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina would follow-up once the airport was taken, to support further activities on the island and eliminate any supporting or reserve forces the San Marcosian military had on the islands. According to contract, they had to hold the islands for two months, while San Isabel transferred some reserve troops to the islands to take over possession of the district for national interests.

In support of their activities, * “The Werewolves” would conduct a scouting and recon patrol of the airport and whatever targets presented themselves. Their Loup-Garou force, would also conduct a raid on the MoMart facilities in Port Stainless during the initial invasion, in an effort to take whatever they could find that was in any San Marcos government official’s personal accounts. Von Doom and Tragnar government officials would also be targets of the raid, in the hopes of walking out with some hard currency assets for themselves, while hurting their opponents.

October 6th, 3024 : While the unit slowly geared-up its plans for the invasion, Pitbull was informed that a representative from Excalibur Corporation had landed at the Iron Dog Airfield, and was requesting to meet with him. Escorted under guard into the MechWrrior Hall and Pitbull’s personal offices, the Colonel was introduced to Executive Officer Frank Simmons, liaison officer of Excalibur Corporation. He opened by saying he had recently replaced the former executive of this part of the company’s interests, and was simply here to clear the air and start a new relationship with the Iron Dingoes. He expressed that with the growing conflict on Terramatrix between the Dingoes and the recently organized League of Free Nations, he knew that he could help. Since Interstellar Terramatrix Transport (ITT) Industries out of The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport represented the leading commercial and economic force to trade in the system, Excalibur Corporation was in direct competition to Von Doom, and thus; “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

As they began discussing terms, it became apparent that the liaison officer they were meeting with was a different breed than his predecessor… this one was cold and calculating and willing to make concessions if he could get a larger piece of the pie afterwards. During their discussion and agreement, they contracted to the following principles.

1) “Drop the debt on Executive Secretary Arlana Jericho’s company JeriCorp”.

“Agreed. Done within the week.”

2) “Drop all accusations that the Iron Dingoes are involved in piracy”.

“Spurious comments made by my former colleague”.

3) “You have to mess with Von Doom’s logistics”.

“Consider it done presently”.

4) “We require some sort of physical assistance”.

While this one took some negotiating, they immediately surrendered four (4) second-hand TAAF-54 Vasarahais and a sum of forty-million C-Bills. While the Dingoes demanded 20-million a year indefinitely, but it was discussed that if Excalibur wanted to hire the Dingoes, it would do so. This was only to help in their military efforts for the coming conflict. 20-million would be paid-out presently, and the rest would come over the next month, once he had “liquidated some assets”.

5) “We want a trade agreement in place, particularly with the capture of Von Doom”.

“Agreed. We demand placing a trade office on the Factory, secured by our own security officers against outside influence”.

With that, he left the offices, and Pitbull immediately contacted Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” to begin a planned raid on Von Doom’s JumpShip fleet.

Hours later, as people returned to their homes, a news bulletin went out over international holo-nets. With footage taken live from “The Factory”, Executive Frank Simmons made a statement, declaring Von Doom an enemy of all traders and free merchants, for its unjust trade policies, and its efforts to disrupt the Candle Trade Route with excessive fees. They therefore backed the efforts of The New Republic of Sangria and its allies, as they sought to resist the aggressive so-called free nations.

As a reel of holo-footage played, showing the boarding of Von Doom’s own Invader-Class JumpShip and its DropShip, by EXcalibur marines, he continued. He stated that any ship attempting trade with Terramatrix, had to dock with “The Factory” and use the services there for future trade. Landing at Von Doom’s Downport would be considered a violation, and the company responsible would lose both DropShip and cargo for the effort.

Terramatrix was now officially under a trade blockade.

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Episode 102 : Black Gold

“Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

September 26th, 3024 : With the need for a garrison force over the unit’s new potential landhold, the unit sorted through various mercenary units looking for hire in-system, and found four; an infantry company, an armor company, an air company and a Mech company. Choosing the infantry unit, they initiated negotiations and hired The Unforgiven to provide those services in the future, as they would deploy soon after the village was taken.

The fight to take the oil refinery and support village of Hellas would be borne primarily by Warlord Varsha Arkadjian and her troops, with the two primary Line platoons of * “The Iron Dingoes” providing “advisers” and heavy weapons support. They would deploy to the southern-most oil field via Karnov UR Transport, and would proceed through the pumping station to attack the refinery and thence into the village proper. Losses were expected to be minimal.

The unit then formally notified the Sangrian Provisional Government of the support being offered by Warlord Varsha and her people. Within hours, they declared The (Territorial) District of Corazón an official territorial holding of the new realm, and began plans to formally annex the territory in the charter.

Late in the day, on the advice of Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie”, they dispatched Scout Kohana “Ranger” Roberts with a com-sat communicator aboard Aquarius Research Submarine to Islas Brasilera, under the pretext of performing more research on the local deep-water crabs. Ranger could then report back to the unit regarding troop activities on the islands, and they could plan appropriately, knowing what forces The Federative Republic of San Marcos might be mustering for an attack on the Dingoes.

September 28th, 3024 : In the early morning, international news broadcasts began showing a recent attack on a Tragnar research facility, calling it “…another brazen assault on our peaceful research efforts by the pack of dogs that the Iron Dingoes have shown themselves to be…”. The grainy, second-hand images displayed a Lion-Class DropShip blasting its way out of a military research facility somewhere in the Tragnar mountains. IN a couple hours, Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” reported in her Werewolves, and claimed the “Scotian Huntress” had been successfully secured, along with most of its engineering crew, and several formerly mercenary infantry units of the DarkStar Rangers.

She claimed that during their raid on the CITEDEF facility in the capital, they had uncovered information regarding the disposition of this DropShip and the fact that CITEDEF was planning on using it to reverse-engineer its drives and power plants for their own “space plane” efforts. The space plane, was really just a combat vessel, they were having engineering difficulties getting off the ground. The engineering personnel and infantry from that fallen mercenary unit, were being held for “questioning” at the remote facility they had blasted their way out of, along with the DropShip itself. She had the group stand-down, and aborted their raid and went to ground for a couple weeks, until they were in a position to raid the facility, and the go-ahead.

The previous night, * “The Werewolves” broke into the facility, freed the infantry and together freed the engineering crew and then the DropShip itself, and blasted their way out of the facility, hiding the fact that they had also stolen the basic blueprints for CITEDEF’s new Targetting & Tracking System, designed for its proposed gunship, the X-TAR3D AD System. While the infantry were questioning their continued position as a unit, the surviving crew of the “Scotian Huntress” were firmly loyal to the Iron Dingoes, and willing to crew it once they had recovered from their injuries.

Seeing a need to visit their newest acquisition, many of the Command Council officers spent the day visiting “The Factory” and toured the vessel. While in orbit, Major Erika Hartmann “Glamour” visited the Freelancer’s Lounge, hoping to find some pilots to captain their new vessel. After some interviews and discussions, she managed to hook a couple of former shuttle pilots from Red Devil Shipping and Brokerage, learning that the company was releasing its reserve pilots from their contracts, due to a down-turn in the station economy, due to the Small War, and San Marcos’ threats of interdiction of the station.

The unit’s officers then paid that firm a visit, speaking directly with Anthony Lockhart and expressing their desire to have him and his ships stay. He discussed matters with them, admitting that he was willing to stay on for a month or so, but that he needed to stay close to his shipping contacts in The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport, and that a prolonged conflict would force his relocation. The unit bandied about a few ideas, but couldn’t really come up with a solution to help him and his company, so asked him to stay as long as he could, and promised that they had his company in their thoughts and plans. At least they left as friends.

The group then visited the “Scotian Huntress”, and thanked Dame Scrope and her team for an incredibly well-done job. The crews of the DropShip were undergoing medical attention at the station’s well-appointed medical facility, and the ship would be ready for duty within a week’s time. Plans were made to transfer the ship along with various equipment and personnel transfers, to the two out-system units presently on contract; * “The Fold Fiends” at System – Serenity and * The Blood Raiders at System – Panpour.

That night, the unit dispatched their infantry “advisers” to begin preparation for the coming assault and to meet and plan with Warlord Varsha and her troops.

30th of September, 3024 : The unit contacted Ambassador Inara Serra to prepare the government of The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, regarding the coming combat in the Corazón Jungle.

1st of October, 3024 : The raid began quickly and the combined forces of Warlord Varsha and the Iron Dingoes own Line infantry hit the Ventura Pumping Station, utterly over-whelming the techs and infantry assigned there, with only a single squad loss. They promptly moved on to the refinery, and, again, swiftly over-whelmed the defending forces of that facility, with only a single squad loss of Varsha’s troops. The heavy weapons support of the Line infantry proved integral to the success, and impressed many of Varsha’s troops, who had never seen the power of the M56 “Smartgun”s in action. The nearby village of Hellas fell with almost no shots being fired; * Landhold : Hellas and its refinery, were now the property of the Iron Dingoes.

That evening, as The Unforgiven were dispatched to garrison the new holding, the unit held a meeting to discuss options. The response from the government of San Isabel had been quiet acknowledgement of their activities, and Inara reported that she seemed “relieved”. The group agreed that while the danger to the Dingoes from Tragnar was now lessened, San Marcos still presented a powerful ability to invade Sangria. The key to stopping them was to take out their fleet, or even invade Islas Brasilera itself. Careful study of their research reminded the unit that San Isabel had claimed (and fought over) the islands, and so potentially, the unit could initiate a contract to take the islands back for San Isabel.

October 2nd, 3024 : Taking the unit’s “Crimson Sands” dropshuttle, along with their Hover Limo “Elite”, several members of the unit along with the third platoon of their Line infantry took a trip to San Isabel’s capital, Montevideo. After making their way to the main government buildings of the Palacio Legislativo, they began the bureaucratic dance to initiate a formal meeting with the President. It proved difficult.

Eventually, they were able to wrangle a meeting with one of her assistants, and the group presented a plan to get the government to hire the Iron Dingoes to “Liberate” Isla Brasilera. It was not well-received at first. Eventually, however, they managed to at least convince the functionary that a short meeting with the president could be arranged for the following afternoon. The group adjourned, with various members scattering to lodging in the finer hotels of the city, and others to sample its night-life…

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Episode 101 - Drawing the Lines

“One of the specific powers and responsibilities of the federal government is to secure the borders. Property can be taken with due process of law and just compensation.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

Sept 16th, 3024 : Late evening, Garrison : With the blood and soot not even wiped off their Mechs, the Command Council gathered in the shadow of their raid on The Tragnar Confederation. They discussed their acquisitions and plans for what to do with * Landhold – Izpek when they were formally given control of that community. They decided that finances were thin enough, that pending sale of their spoils, they would allocate 5 Million Cs to the modernization and repair of the Palm Oil Plant in Izpek. The intent would be to send the products of this plant north to their new bio-diesel facility in Miguel. Salvaged assets were also allocated to various units both present and on contract, to flesh-out their abilities, with them updating once they return from contract.

A few hours later, Captain Carla Estrella formally handed-over control of * Landhold – Izpek to Colonel Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, in a quiet and simple ceremony. She also requested that while the Provisional Government didn’t want the Dingoes engaging in politics with the splinter districts of Sangria, perhaps the Iron Dingoes could speak with the territorial leadership, since they were mostly para-military forces that might respect the Dingoes firepower. It was also well-known that the Dingoes had connections with Tuadann, and could broach the idea of joining the government as allied territories.

September 17th, 3024 : In the morning grainy, shaky camera footage of the raid on Tragnar began to surface on various news media outlets. Commentators began to refer to the Iron Dingoes as a “… pack of mangy dogs…”, in need of being “… put down…”.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” gave a call in to command late in the day, informing Pitbull that he had encountered something of note in the southern jungles, and explained that maybe he needed to come down and see for himself. The unit gathered some of its leaders, and taking along another shipment of kerosene and ammunition, flew down to Tuadann on one of their Planetlifter Air Transports. Expecting to spend some time in the southern jungle, they brought with them one of their mobile life support pods to “camp” in. Moxie also requested shampoo and soap.

Landing at Tuadann, they discovered the landing field that had been maintained by the locals for just such visits. Parking the pod off to one side, they visited the village, meeting with Moxie at his small primitive hut he had taken over during his stay. Upon hearing they had a shower, he excused himself to “freshen-up” and an hour later, appropriately buffed, he returned to inform the group he had found a hidden oil refinery and two oil fields owned by El Gas in the southern depths of the Corazón Jungle.

After a quick discussion of the find, and a discussion with Ambassador Inara Serra regarding appropriate protocols, they chose to visit with Warlord Varsha Arkadjian, and after a formal gift-giving and appropriate exchanges, got down to the political situation. Several members of the unit noticed that her western allies, the Montagnardi tribes, did not have a good opinion of her or her intelligence, speaking to each other in a local dialect of French, known as the Trade Tongue.

Captain Pol Baca “Templar” made an impassioned speech about how villages sometimes join with other villages to form a village of villages, a concept that Varsha was easily able to understand. The unit cemented the need for Tuadann’s knowledge of the jungles, and arranged to have them instruct soldiers at Fort Boomerang on jungle survival. and stealth. He also implied that there were jungle goods that could prove to be of value to their northern neighbors, and might bring prosperity to the villages of the Corazón Jungle. It was also agreed that Varsha could speak for her tribes at the northern summits, and she agreed that it could be done wisely. Then a feast was called and much local food and drink was consumed.

September 18th, 3024 : Moxie gave a formal update regarding the “Iron Hammers”, and his findings among the Nexu. It was planned to engage in a quiet expedition into the southern tribal lands of the Corazón Jungle, and using the sat-com in Tuadann contacted Garrison to ship down Shiv’s Talons, their best marine unit, as guards for the expedition. They formally asked permission to visit the lands in question of Varsha and she welcomed them to travel into the _ Achuar_ tribal territory, though she called the area both unkind and poisoned. They secured a squad of her troops to act as guides.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the village and talking to the locals. Studying their language, the unit noticed terms being used such as “… of the Tribe…”, __"… the Great Fall…“_, and _”…Return to Mercy…"_. Discussions regarding these terms hinted that perhaps the colonists of the jungle were a remnant of a Taurian “hospital ship” that might have crashed somewhere in the jungles. Further study of planetary records would be needed to reveal more in the future.

That night, LtSG Trooper Shiv “The Knife” and his troops arrived, equipped for a jaunt in the jungle; without their XTC armor, but still formidable troopers in their standard combat uniforms and equipment. The locals were very hushed around them, regarding them as powerful warriors. Pitbull explained what they were doing, and everyone got a good night’s rest.

https://youtu.be/7kSh4Hp3DXc

September 19th – 23rd, 3024 : After a long flight south along the river and then east near the border to San Isabel, the unit made their way as close to the fields as they could figure (it all looked different from the air), before landing and beginning a trek along the jungle floor. Several days later, they found the first field of ten pumpjacks, and followed the trail east towards the large Ventura Pumping Plant, and avoiding it, further east until they encountered the Oro Negro Refinery Plant, that lay within sight of the ocean, but hidden behind a sharp rise in a valley. The scouts reported in the rough population of the facility, adn that some kilometers south lay Hellas village, the “capital” of the Achuar tribe, and center for El Gas civilian operations.

That night, the group discussed various means of seizing the facility, since it was clearly within the boundary of the Corazón Jungle Territory. They toyed with the idea of having Tuadann’s troops take it, but agreed that they didn’t have very good assault skills. However, perhaps a united effort to take the facility could be proposed, and net the unit a valuable asset, while at the same time removing the funding from a long-term thorn in the Iron Dingoes side.

September 24th, 3024 : Travelling some distance from the facility, the unit called-in their Planet-lifter to pick them up and returned to Tuadann. That night, they met once more with Varhsa in open council, and Templar nearly let slip how valuable the facility really was. She agreed in the end to accepting a portion of the facility’s output as “tribute”, allowing the Dingoes to maintain it, since it was obviously out of her technical expertise and ability. The Dingoes agreed, deciding that they would provide assistance to the inhabitants of the village from these proceeds, and back Varhsa’s claim as the Territorial Governor of the future Territorial District of Corazón.

September 25th, 3024 : Returning to Garrison, the news broadcasts were replaying the Iron Dingoes historical raids on every channel, calling the new Sangrian nation as a “… leashed state in fear of reprisals should it throw off their oppressors…”. A formal alliance had been born during their time in the jungles, formally calling itself “The League of Free Nations”, and consisting of The Federative Republic of San Marcos, The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport, and The Tragnar Confederation. Von Doom, inparticular, called for all nations of the world to unite, and that if any nation of organization dared to trade with the Iron Dingoes or its allies, they would be cut off from interstellar trade by any means necessary. All other nations were declaring themselves neutral and waiting to see what might happen in the weeks to come.

The League of Free Nations had just declared war on the Dingoes.

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