Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
El Gas is a small private corporation that harvests natural oils from the areas south and east of the Corazón Jungle, and refines it into fuel and sells it. Their fuels are sold through ANCAP in The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, with natural gas occupying a significant portion of their income. Formerly, they owned a large illegal oil interest in the Corazón Jungle (which formed the bulk of their income), but lost it to the new regional government that supports The New Republic of Sangria.
El Gas has developed and maintains a series of small gas stations under the “El Gas” brand, as well as ten (10) small offshore rigs east of San Isabel, from which it pumps natural gas for use as a thermal heating source, primarily to power their two (2) power stations, as well as for consumption by the local markets. El Gas also maintains two (2) small bio-diesel plants that produce traditional fuels for their gas stations, one of which is their own major shipping port, which operates as the formal headquarters of the company, Porto Tridente, located in Panua, San Isabel. The company refines their products into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, asphalt, and plastic base. They are moderately well-known across northern San Isabel, but otherwise keep a low profile on the national stage, with very little political clout outside their local area.
Porto Tridente : Located in northern San Isabel, Porto Tridente is the headquarters of El Gas, and the focus of their remaining operations. A valuable shipping port, it provides crude oil refining, as well as trans-shipment facilities for many kinds of cargo and passengers, and is today the second-largest civilian port in the country, the largest being at the capital of Montevideo. The facilities of Porto Tridente also include basic repair operations for deep-water vessels, and a small airport located inland next to Panua proper.
Porto Tridente is El Gas’ remaining window into the rest of the world, but perhaps more importantly, is a growing trade hub between the isolated northern provinces of Rivera and Highlands with the eastern villages of the Corazón Jungle and north to the ports along the eastern coast of Sangria, such as Velino, Tqak and even Ciudad Garcia. Porto Tridente is today, considered the premier shipping and repair port of the Atlantis Ocean.
Shaped like a trident, it almost engulfs the nearby Straits of Insula, passing between the mainland central district of Maestrale and Insula Island, a barely populated island of fishing villages. The company keeps the bulk of its security forces in protection of this asset, along with at least two (2) Silverfin Patrol Cutters, and several light utility VTOLs and at least four (4) Angel Light Strike Fighters. Local security forces are well-armed, and possess numerous Wheeled Scout Cars sufficient to make them considered mechanized.
El Gas was founded in 2908 when casual exploration of the areas just north of the San Isabel border resulted in a positive hit for oil reserves. Typical reserves in System – Dumassas quickly play-out, or are carefully protected in the heartlands of most nations, at first engendering little interest. About 2906, the report passed the desk of the (then) Minister of Resources in The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, who made the evidence of the location disappear. He “retired”, and then spent the next couple years acquiring parts and using his contacts in the military to cover what he intended to do.
By 2915, the refinery first began operations, using retired military technicians and military contacts from the San Isabel army to “purchase” the fuel, transport it to the northern military base at New Patagonia and then re-sell it on the open markets as “surplus”. Business was very, very good for a long time.
By 2978, the oil fields began to decrease their production, and despite efforts to improve production, began to fail entirely. Pump jacks in the fields were scavenged and only a few handfuls were kept producing, but these managed to still support the basis for the entire operation over the next couple decades.
In the opening years of the 3000s, Taurian Concordat interests in The District of Garcia began to accelerate, and with it came investments and an expansion of the local industrial base. The northern industrialists began to pay closer attention to activity in the Corazón Jungle, particularly following the construction of the Garcia Electrical Authority hydroelectric plant at Lake Orlando. Fearing the worst, El Gas began funding the “First Fire”, a noted pro-Sangrian militant organization, as a means to cover their activities, and allowing them to raid and pillage rival military factions in San Isabel.
By 3018, despite successful efforts to weaken the Sangrian military and economy (including the defection of the entire original Sangrian 4th Battalion), The Industrialist’s League in the District of Garcia funded the hire of a mercenary force, * “The Iron Dingoes” to train a new battalion for the defense of the district. The Dingoes quickly turned their attentions towards the district, and within a few years began unraveling the careful efforts of El Gas and its controlling family, the Escobar’s of San Isabel. First they managed to successfully raise a skilled mixed-arms battalion of infantry, armor and Mechs, and then stopped First Fire in their tracks during their invasion and eradicated most of their infantry and mercenary Mech force. They also destroyed nearly a regiment of rebel ELN forces training in the southern Huartzek Forest.
With much of their cover blown, and threatened by the growing strength and influence of the Iron Dingoes, they began trying to influence the biggest local warlord of the jungles to unite against the “northern devils”, but that too ended with the debacle at Brightwater Base, and the eradication of all their remaining resources in the area, in early-3022. This also included an increasingly valuable drug trade that collected the opiates from Tuadann and its affiliated villages.
Concerned with the Dingoes growing influence in the Corazón Jungle, El Gas made one last effort to put an end to their rivals in the region. For some time, ComStar had been hiring individual and small groups of mercenaries, and providing them with second-hand salvaged Mechs to build a large force for some reason; it was believed they feared an invasion of their holdings in The Republic of Carbina, though some believed it might point to something more sinister. For whatever reasons, El Gas managed to convert some of the incoming mercenaries and groups to their own cause, namely the elimination of the Iron Dingoes, and official control over the isolated territory of the Corazón Jungle.
The final effort to wrest control of the region, ended when in 3023, the military faction supporting El Gas in San Isabel began gathering their forces in holding camps across the northern border near New Patagonia and its primary military base. The faction were preparing to move their mercenaries north into the jungles, when they were assaulted and eradicated by a sneak counter-attack of the Iron Dingoes best troops, with the blessings of the national San Isabel government. The defending mercenaries also lost most of their DropShips and supplies in the attack.
Bloodied and unable to do more, the company remained quiet over the next few years, hoping they could just stay under the radar, keep profits good enough to support their other investments and give up any hope of formally controlling the oil refinery and fields. In late-3024, Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” was engaged in a scientific study of the local Nexu populations, when the local forces of Tuadann escorting him led him to the mystical “Iron Hammers” of the jungles; the Iron Dingoes had just discovered the secret behind the long-standing conflict in the southern jungles…. “Oro Negro”, the “Black Gold”. When he reported in to Iron Dingoes command some weeks later, Dingoes eyes were drawn south to the valuable resources in what was technically Sangrian territory, and the company controlling them.
On October 1st, 3024, the company’s illegal holdings in the Corazón Jungle and its support village were lost to the armed forces of Tuadann with the Line Infantry forces from * “The Iron Dingoes” operating as advisers. There does not appear to be any drive to try and reclaim them at this time.
Over the next few years, the company concentrated on its other holdings, and reinvested their profits in refurbishing their signature site, Porto Tridente, and making it into the premier shipping port on the Atlantis Ocean. This facility is the remaining jewel of their operations. The company also bid for, but lost out to Tsakos Industrias Navales, in an effort to procure the national military contract as the primary naval repair and construction site in mid-3030. There is talk they are improving their shipping fleet and seeking other lucrative opportunities in off-world trade.