Dale (Paladin)————————Commanding Infantry Squads (Spider)
Lee (Pockets) ————————-Ostscout
Bruce (Glamour)———————Phoenix Hawk
JP (Pitbull) —————————-Black Knight
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Commanding Infantry Squads (Wolverine)
Jay (Advocate)———————————Wolverine (Firestarter)
An emergency meeting was called at the site of the “Crimson Sands”, with most of the senior officers present, to discuss matters. It was proposed by Wraith, that the Dingoes use the “Crimson Sands” as a means to smuggle an assault force into the Orion Prison Complex. Further, Pockets elaborated on the idea, by suggesting the Dingoes use Lt. Gideon’s familiarity with the base, to claim having seen BattleMechs nearby moving towards the facility, and thus lure off the four Hunchbacks garrisoned at the prison. Wraith and Pitbull had a “war of words”, that resulted in a filing of grievances, but formal resolution was held off until after the matter at hand was resolved…
With the Dingoes technical crews busy sacking the facility and engaged in repair work on their damaged Mechs, Captain Lord dispatched her tech crews to modify the “Crimson Sands”, using acceleration couches and lockers from the base barracks to equip the DropShuttle with dedicated space for two platoons of infantry, taking only a few hours to do so. With the extra time allowed, some last minute repair work was conducted on the remaining Mechs (namely Fixer’s lack of head armor), and last minute salvage operations from the main hangar bay.
Under cover of the continuing storm, the DropShips lifted-off from the base and re-located into the Mining Expansion area south-east of the facility. The “Dingoes Den” suffered a failure in landing, literally bouncing off an unseen hardened fuel bunker, taking some hull damage and heat, but managed to secure its position. The “Pandora’s Box” managed to land without incident. The Crimson Sands hopped over the central mountains, and landed at the drop-pads next to the prison complex without incident, its holds hiding five infantry, three technical squads, and both Paladin and Wraith, armed as infantry and heading in on foot. Wraith was intent on finding his sister, and Paladin felt it was necessary to be present on the ground if Lord’s troops were being put in danger, as well as have someone from the Dingoes be present to find their people.
While the Aero assets performed their sub-orbital jumps, the Dingoes broke into two units. One, the “Diversionary Group” made their way along the hills west of the complex, consisting of the Reserve “Dead Man’s Hand”, Pockets and Glamour. The other group, the “Assault Group” consisting of Advocate (using Wraith’s Wolverine), Fixer, Pitbull and Voice, headed directly across the mountains for a couple hours to slip into the tailings piles just east of the complex, intent on destroying the guard towers around the facility.
Upon landing, Lt. Gideon reported her arrival as a “How are you doing during the big blow” visit, and mentioned she passed over a small formation of medium Mechs moving towards the base from the west. The base immediately scrambled its Hunchback lance, who trudged off into the storm to investigate. Phase One was a success.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gideon requested refueling, and the complex dispatched a tech crew on a tractor to drag out a hose and perform a refueling op while the shuttle waited. Wraith gathered his squads to the main hatch near the refueling crews, and after popping the door, requested their surrender. When they didn’t immediately do so, the squads swarmed and subdued them. Dressing in their technical coveralls, Wraith organized a squad and using the tractor as their transport, slipped back across the open area to reach the foot of the closest laser tower where the fuel dump was located. They discovered that there was a locking mechanism… a standard low-tech lock, that Wraith and his high-tech training was unable to access. Phase Two had just hit a snag…
Wraith requested help, and Paladin dispatched a squad of the Duster’s Techs with tools to assist in getting the door open. They slunk across the open field, and it was quickly determined that every squad would forth-with carry a set of basic tools and include a set of Tech-One bolt-cutters; that man was to be designated “Security One” and his life to be protected above that of the paramedic. =) When the techs managed to open the door, Wraith’s troops stormed into the tower, up the stairs and engaged in a short fight with the gunner squad in the tower’s turret. The tower was captured with light casualties, and Paladin gathered his troops to storm across the field to the complex, the “Assault Unit” moved into position on the map, and began to get ready to assault the gun tower. Phase Two had just hit another snag…
Wraith called across to the Crimson Sands, informing her that the tower was captured, and that the Assault Unit needed to call off their attack and move to the second tower. Lt. Gideon called across “Assault Group, Primary is Clear! Repeat : Primary is Clear!”, hoping the obscure call wouldn’t alert the prison facility. Wraith managed to access the turret controls, and noticed that there were cameras mounted at each entrance and the “Warden’s Compound” on the surface, visible through CCTV in the turret, but controls and other access was unavailable above ground. Communications were by hard-line phones. The Assault Group talked amongst themselves, and designated “Tower D” as their new Primary, and maneuvered over and around the tailings piles to start sniping. With the appearance of the Assault Lance, alarms began to sound, and Paladin moved his platoon of recon infantry out into the landing field. Off to the west, the “Diversionary Unit” engaged the approaching Hunchbacks, kept pace with them and lured them into the hills, tying them up and succeeding at keeping them away from the complex.
As combat began to spool up, two lances of tracked APCs began to move out from the maintenance bays of the complex. One lance moved past the barracks and towards Tower D, while the other headed straight north and towards the DropShuttle… and its recently dispatched platoon of infantry. As Pitbull and Fixer engaged Tower D, Advocate closed and began to assault it, while Voice moved off towards the northern lance of APCs. Tower D blew apart quickly, and as Voice sniped apart one APC, the other APC lance moved out from the complex and closed with Advocate, spraying lead everywhere. Wraith’s crew opened fire on the northern lance, doing some damage and aiding to the confusion, before turning their attention to the western tower.
The northern APCs tried to maneuver around Voice, but one was quickly eliminated by him with a swift kick, and another took the full frontal attack of a frightened infantry platoon armed with Butterfly SRMs, and blew apart as well. The remaining APC began to move off, past the DropShuttle and made for the open plains. The other APCs took a damaging volley from both Fixer and Advocate, but managed to slip around the ruined tower and head off towards the southern hills. Within minutes, the APCs had slipped away to the south, and Fixer, Pitbull and Advocate began to attack Tower C on the south-eastern corner.
Voice chased-off the remaining lone APC along the north and circled around to snipe at Tower A, while the rest of the Assault Group finished off Tower C. With Tower B surrounded, and taking shots from its own allied tower (Tower A, manned by Wraith’s crew), the tower powered-down and its crew evacuated the turret, to hide in the lower area. As the upper defenses secured, Paladin and his infantry made it across the landing fields and hunkered behind the safety of the blast shield at the base of Tower A. The outer defenses of the prison complex were secure. The “Diversionary Group” was informed of the situation, and they prepared to move off from their activities as soon as the prisoners had been secured.
Wraith abandoned the tower, met up with Paladin’s forces and split their squads between them. Wraith took the laundry/mess facilites, while Paladin took the decontamination facilities. As they moved into the compound, Voice took position walking the perimeter, while Fixer moved to cover the damaged Tower B, and its powered-down status. Advocate went into over-watch, keeping an eye on the possible appearance of the Hunchbacks or the return of the APCs, while Pitbull walked through the complex identifying how many units remained unaccounted for with his Beagle Active Probe, before he smashed into the Warden’s complex, and demanded the surrender of the warden; he got no response.
Paladin uncovered an elevator (Elavator 2) and typical decon facilities, but nothing else of note. Wraith found a handful of prisoners and a single guard in the laundry, the latter of which tried to take a prisoner hostage, before he took a blazer shot to the head. He was interrogated, during which he seemed to think the Dingoes were here to free someone named “Colonel Hoenig”, which Paladin identified as a fellow rebel who had fought against Janos during the Civil War, though not exactly on the same side as Anton and the 3rd Marik Militia. The prisoners began to share their knowledge of the facility, and directed Wraith’s crew to another elevator (Elevator 3), and the guards kitchens, mostly empty save for some prisoners on mess duty. In both cases, they discovered the elavators were securely operated from below. Moving on, they passed through the maintenance bay, finding another cluster of prisoners (conscripted techs), various tools and parts, and Voices’ 50-ton “dependent”, his HBK-4G Hunchback. Moving on, the infantry swarmed the warden’s compound, and assaulted the warden’s residence, finding it empty, though somewhat decayed and appearing unused for some time. The other building, an armory, was accessed with another group of techs, to reveal a collection of equipment, various small arms and guards uniforms, and a hardened bunker with Mech amunition and weapons components.
The unit, now combined in force, moved to the remaining tower (Tower B), and opening its secured door, stormed it, demanding the surrender of the gunnery squad as they did so. Paladin took time to secure the gunnery crew of the tower, posting guards and keeping watch. Returning to the maintenance sheds, Wraith continued to flash his picture of his sister, Mitsuko, and one of the prison conscripts identified her as “…that girl they keep over in the Privileged Quarters…”. Wraith ran towards the barracks, his squad in close tow. They stormed the barracks identified as the Privileged Quarters, finding a handful of prison guards, and a couple of “special prisoners”, including Mitsuko and her friend Brandy, wearing “maids” outfits. She hugged him in glee and he promptly demanded she put some clothes on…
Securing the guards with his squads, Wraith began trying to get information from Mitsuko. She informed the group that there were three elevators, two already found, and another located to the south for ore transfers. She said that the mining complex below was huge, consisting of many levels, including an Admin level directly below the buildings. She said that all controls for cameras, phones and elevator access were held there. The units not guarding prisoners gathered back at Elevator 3 by the laundry, and attempted communications with the Admin level. While the techs tried to access the elevators, they managed to reach "Assistant Warden Carrigan, who demanded to know who the invaders were.
At first, Wraith tried to play it dumb, but when the As. Warden reminded he can see Mechs swarming the surface, and infantry stormed the warden’s compound over the CCTVs, Paladin admitted they were here “…for their people”. The As. Warden wanted to know if they were here to rescue “Colonel Hoenig”, but they assured him they were not, rather they wanted their people from the 13th Provisional Company of the 3rd Marik Milita. They offered a prisoner exchange, of the Wardens troops for the two dozen techs and troopers on their list. After a short negotiation through Advocate, he agreed to the trade, saying he could get some of them immediately, but others on the list might take a couple hours. The PCs took the initial half-hour to call in their DropShips, and get them to move to the landing field.
Soon, the first of the prisoners were sent up, and the first group of guards captrued from the towers were sent down, in exchange. A few hours later, as the DropShips began their approach, the second group were traded through the elevator, though this group suffered from various injuries, illnesses and (in a few cases) radiation-poisoning from working in the “Danger Zone” of the prison. The remaining guards and techs were sent down, and once the DropShips had safely landed, the unit’s techs fanned across the complex, salvaging anything they could. Guards were kept on the elevators to ensure peaceful looting, and the injured were transferred to the medical bay aboard the “Dingoes Den”.
With two hours to activate Voice’s mothballed Hunchback, the unit took their time. They stripped the armory of its SMGs, pistols, several piles of guards uniforms and the AC/20 (4 tons) & MG (2 tons) ammo and the weaponry components kept in the bunker. Next, they salvaged all the tools, spare parts and pair of portable repair gantries in the maintenance shed, along with three more MT-1B Light Troop Carriers, and a couple tons of desert survival gear and survey equipment. Finally, the units searched the large storage building, finding a collection of packaged consumables (30 tons) and a collection of ore containers. The tons of lead ore were ignored, but four tons of weapon’s grade radioactives were found (Uranium-238), noted as having a “street” value of 500,000 Cs per ton; the reason for this mining complexes existence suddenly became obvious. The goods were loaded aboard the Crimson Sands, the vehicles onto the “Dingoes Den”, and the “Diversionary Group” was contacted to retreat and to travel to the DropShips for exit from the system. All the DropShips were “topped-off” with fuel from the facility bunker, and about 30 minutes later, with the “Diversionary Group” having waved goodbye to the Hunchbacks, the last Mechs boarded the “Dingoes Den”, were packed aboard and the ships began their burn for the Nadir Jump-Point.
Having encountered no forces against them, they reached the “Vagabond” without incident, and promptly jumped over into Liao Space… story-arc complete. \o/