“Wearin’ her perfume, Chanel No. 5
Got to be the finest girl alive
She walks real cool, catches everybody’s eye
She’s got such good lovin’ that they can’t say goodbye
Not too skinny, she’s not too fat
She’s a real humdinger and I like it like that”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
-————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Feb 8th, 3023 : Following several days of rest and recuperation back at * Landhold : Garrison, the unit began to take stock of their position and recently salvaged assets. As Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” reported to his office in the barracks that morning, he discovered a box of cigars and a card congradulating him on his impending nuptuals… He turned around, and shared them with all his command and administration staff during the day.
The unit met and began discussing their plans, and quickly relegated the captured “Spearhead” to * “The Cerberus Command”, intending to use it to haul the large force of unit infantry wherever they might need at a moment’s notice. The vessel was “hopped” quickly over to Corazón Airfield successfully, and placed on reserve duty until a full crew could be arranged to fly the vessel. A squad of marines were assigned to the ship to protect it from casual intrusion.
The two Leopard’s were detached from service and flown into a close orbit beside “The Factory”. The plan was to either trade or sell both “Inferno” and “Star Warrior” for cash to meet payroll, and trade for a Leopard CV-Class DropShip, since the unit felt they were still sorely lacking in that area of expertise, and needed the dedicated AeroSpace force to cover future Line operations.
The “Relentless” was planned to become the Iron Dingoes primary transport, combining both the technical aspects housed in the “Dingoes’ Den” and Mech forces of the “Brush Wolf” into one unit. The unit recognized this would be both expensive and take time, but since they were planning on taking a few months of down-time for themselves, this was considered okay. The plan was to convert the “Dingoes’ Den” back into its original form, and slip it into the unit’s secret force known as the * Pirates of the Blood Asteroids. The ship would simply disappear from its unit TO&E, and be placed in Castle Corazón once that unit was activated. Exactly what would happen with the Brush Wolf remained open for discussion, but handing the vessel over to * The Fold Fiends was a distinct possibility.
Finally, there was a discussion regarding the salvaged NAC-10 and it ammo. One possibility was to build a massive planetary defense turret on the artillery hill near Corazón Airfield, though such a structure would be both expensive and immensely difficult (though challenging as an engineering project).
Feb 10th, 3023 : The unit began to set aside various trade goods and supplies for distribution and sale, most through Arlana Jericho and her trade company offering a healthy 20% commission. In addition, the unit distributed a ton of H-3 Horizon “Blue Lotus” Compads (making them a standard tool in all basic Iron Dingoes technical and infantry kits) to all members of the unit, and gave AEP-7 Laser Pistols to all its officers (primarily its infantry).
The unit also officially transferred their flag over to the newly captured Daimyo HQ 67-K, intending to have the Sultan Mobile Command Post employed by whichever military unit placed under contract (eventually the Fold Fiends ). The present Command Van used by the Dead Man’s Hand would be transferred elsewhere, upon their return. The command vehicle needed to be carefully wiped and reset with Dingoes own codes and programs, and Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” was given leave to crack the system for a couple days prior to the unit’s techs setting up their own systems.
The unit was also contacted by Ambassador Inara Serra, who informed the unit that, for now, matters with The Oriental Republic of San Isabel were touchy, but that the entire “Battle of Auron Lake” was being considered a dispute between mercenaries, primarily because damage to civilians and property were minimal, and the unit had left as quickly as they’d arrived. Should they ever again be found in San Isabel territory, however…
Feb 11th, 3023 : Various personal activities began by numerous members of the unit.
Most notably, however, was the promise to begin construction of a new school for the colonists, and 1,000,000Cs were set aside as a promissory note to Grupo Odinsa for construction. That sum ensured the construction company would survey for a site, and present plans, though the facility would still cost another 2,500,000Cs to be completed, and take around 18 months once the contract is settled.
Also of note, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” took the Marten Scout VTOL out of Iron Dog Airfield to the Blue Mountain Mining Company HQ in Ojos de Deos to the west in the edges of the Blue Mountains. Given their importance locally, they quickly met with Elton Suarez, the company president, and after some small talk (and discovering that neither Dingoes officer spoke either Spanish or French), began seeking information regarding the company’s mining surveys. While he did have several, he suggested that Taurus Majoris Mining might have their own rather extensive surveys available for sale in their small departmental office in Ciudad Garcia.
The pair then wandered down into Ojos de Deos, specifically looking for a rougher miner’s bar. They found “The Rocky Bar”, which seemed to fit the bill, and after slipping inside (both in their “low-key” diplomatic armored trench-coats and small arms) quickly tracked down the scummiest-looking individual who was not a miner. Sitting at his table, he seemed to know very little about “Blue Rock Mountain”, ignoring Pitbull’s gun until money hit the table. Suddenly “Me might know a leetle…”. Identifying himself as “Chico”, he promised to have someone meet with them tomorrow. While Pitbull sat back and enjoyed the evening of carousing, Master discovered that one of the local serving girls, a young girl wearing a crucifix and named “Lolita” needed some help with her “…schoolwork…”, and after recognizing he was going to Hell anyways, followed after her to her quarters… Their helicopter pilot was informed to return the following evening to get them.
Feb 12th, 3023 : Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” began looking for fusion engines to mod the unit’s PXH-1 Phoenix Hawks.
The pair in Ojos de Deos met with “Chaz”, someone who seemed to be in command, and to know both who the pair were, and have a better understanding of the southern border region of the Blue Mountains. He described that no one ever really went into the region, because of the height an rugged nature of the mountains, particularly because of the snowy winds. He did say that myth held there was a place known as “Blue Rock Candy Mountain” in that region, close to the border between no-man’s-land and the southern Sangrian territory.
Passing him some C_Bills, they left on good terms, and then took the helicopter to Ciudad Garcia, where they went to the TMM offices, where they quickly met with the local representative from the company. He listened to what they wanted, and demanded a price of 50,000Cs for a copy of their data on the region, though their readings of the southern territory were cursory, due to its ruggedness and general inaccessibility. Arranging a courier to come to the city with the cash, the pair returned to Garrison, and began getting ready for the survey work to come. Before night fell, the unit had the data disk in hand, and began sorting through it, dispatching Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” in her LAM to do some cursory work in the edge of the Zamora Mountains.
Feb 13th, 3023 : The two Leopard-Class DropShips were dispatched from Iron Dog Airfield for their holding positions near “The Factory”. They were formally offered for sale on this date.
Feb 15th, 3023 : Templar finally hacked the Daimyo, learning basic information regarding the mercenaries planned assault through the Corazón Jungle and into The District of Garcia. It seemed the unit alone was being targeted by the assault, unlike previous invasion efforts. All forces they had encountered were mercenaries, though there had been other regular armed forces from San Isabel in nearby communities, and providing support services to the units. The vehicle was then turned over to the regular techs for a computer wipe and reprogramming.
Also, the unit began to examine all the combined data between the unit’s TMM survey reports and Glamour’s recent exploration data in her PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM. They realized the best individual the unit had that could identify what they might be looking for was Captain Vesna Clamp. Contacting “The Factory”, they were informed he was presently on a cargo run to The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport, and would be available in about two days.
Feb 17th, 3023 : Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate arrived at Garrison via helicopter, and went over the unit’s plans for the arrival of Lady Heather Jemmas. She spent a great deal of time working things out with Tech Rima Fakih. Paladin spent most of the day brooding, though he did come up with a list of his own ideas regarding the wedding ceremony. He was surprisingly accepting of the event.
Captain Klamp arrived via his K-1 Class Dropshuttle, the “Glass Throne”. He visited the fortress while his crew spent some time at the local pubs, and quickly sorted the data. He identified one major “anomaly”, a strange mountain in a lonesome valley that gave off some odd magnetic readings. Glamour was quickly dispatched to the site, and came back with interesting information. She identified the approaches to the mountain were filled with em data, that she could best identify as wreckage from hundreds of vehicles and possibly Mechs… they seemed to have found Blue Rock Candy Mountain. At some point in the coming weeks, a survey team would be dispatched and the site examined closer for salvage or access to a hidden facility, if possible.
That night, as the “Betty” began its final approach to Terramatrix, the unit’s command staff “Prepared the Wedding Sack”, by sneaking into Paladin’s quarters, and kidnapping him for a bachelor party at The Lucky Lady. All had a good time, though the command staff ensured Paladin wouldn’t really remember much…
Feb 18th, 3023 : Tech Rima Fakih slipped into Paladin’s quarters to wake him for the important day, and found him hung-over, covered in some sort of gel and lipstick, and reeking of alcohol, smoke and something best not examined too closely. She spent the next half-hour getting him dressed and somewhat awake, and dragged him down to the Hover Limo “Elite” for the quick jaunt over to Iron Dog Airfield, to meet his potential bride. And the returning crew, of course.
They watched the Betty settle into her assigned blasted ferrocrete pad, and eventually open its main rear ramp. After several local airfield techs hurried aboard to get a report on the DropShip’s status and needs, the group gathered at the to await the passengers. First off the ship was Commander Warrick “Mister” Christie, along with his recently hired crew. After thanking Paladin for the opportunity, he introduced his crew (though no one really remembers their names, and Paladin seemed to think they looked very professional…). As he left, he leaned in close to the Colonel, and whispered “…and, Good Luck, Sir…”.
An hour passed. Paladin’s crew tried to get him more sober. Next to leave the ship, was a large helicopter of a style unfamiliar to the unit. Obviously a heavy combat vehicle, the thing was carefully led down the ramp to the ground, and a woman in a formal military suit slowly moved around the vehicle, checking its condition and general status.
The next to leave was Captain Frank Elgyn and his crew, who approached Paladin, informing him of their official return, and handing over a series of trade paperwork to Fakih listing cargo and passengers from his mission to System – Tequila Beach. He informed Paladin that his “bride” was probably going to take her time, and hinted that she was “…quite an adventure…”_. He also stated that the Lady had a large amount of “baggage” that required off-loading. Pitbull called in one of the Line’s salvage crews to report to the airfield for a “mission”. Elgyn moved off, and conferred with techs from the ship and airfield, while his crew scattered on leave.
Eventually, the woman examining the helicopter turned the vessel over to an obvious tech crew, and slowly made her way over to the gathered unit, followed closely by a similarly clad woman. She approached the group, singling out Paladin, and ignoring everyone else, turning towards Elgyn and whispering something that brought a smile to her lips, but seemed to make him embarrassed. She then turned back to the group, stopping a few arms-lengths away from Paladin.
She looked him over. He smiled wanly, and then said “Good Morning!”, and proceeded to smack a small newt fly out of the air in front of her, muttering “Stupid insects…”, realizing her growing quizzical look from a raised eyebrow, and suddenly seemed unsure of what to do. She looked him over once more, and after a Sniff, asked “Colonel Ruxbundy? You seem to be what I remember…”. She introduced her maid, Lady Morrigan “Mechanika” Fields, and had a case of paperwork handed over to Paladin, which Fakih accepted. Lady Heather suddenly seemed bored with the group, and looked back over at the helicopter as the techs unfolded its rotors and seemed to run it through a checklist.
Advocate introduced himself, and Lady Heather questioned who he was, and what position he had, but seemed unimpressed with his description, eventually ignoring him.
Eventually, the salvage crew arrived and began to unload her “baggage”, which included the expected collection of clothing, but had several tons of ammunition (SRMs, MGs) and what must be spare parts. Once everything was loaded, she turned to the group, and queried “Shall we?”, promptly entering the limo and slipped into the far seat. The couple made one-sided small talk, and she asked after her quarters, stating that she wanted to discuss the contracts once she had some time to “freshen-up”. She was met in the fortress by Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate and many of the rest of the unit, though Glamour obviously remained absent. She slipped away chatting with Eléna, suddenly packed with charm, and trailed by her shadow, Lady Fields.
Paladin and his aide, Fakih slipped into the main meeting room, and began to look over the papers Lady Heather had given them. Advocate was consulted, and together (especially with Fakih’s examination) picked them apart. They appeared to be a fairly straight-forward contract, offering the resources of The Barony of Horn for primary trade with Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” as a Sword of the Realm, in exchange for the hand of his daughter in marriage. This allowed for technology and personnel exchanges, and was to be in effect for as long as the marriage was maintained. Advocate seemed unable to believe the honest straight-forward nature of the contract, and spent the rest of the night poring over it looking for loop-holes or anything else that seemed out of the ordinary (he rolled a critical failure on his Negotiation roll)…
After several hours of anxious waiting and debate over the contract, Lady Heather finally arrived, and commanded everyone to leave to discuss matters with her betrothed. She excluded Tech Fakih, but not her own maid. She asked if the contracts met with his approval, and he agreed, in principle.
“Good. I have a couple of provisions, however. One – When we are married, I will be responsible for the household, and you can do whatever it is mercenaries do, practicing your soldiery and earning whatever you can for your troops. And when we have children, and there will be children, I will raise them, teach them and train them, while you will ensure they can defend themselves and all they will one day hold…”
“Agreed. And two?”, asked Paladin.
“Two…” continued Lady Heather, “…two…” Suddenly she moved forward and embraced Paladin, and proceeded to make out with him.
Suddenly, still pushing him against the table while she leaned on him, she broke-off the embrace, and quickly grasped his privates with her left hand. “Two, is that while we are married, as your wife, I own THIS. They are mine, and mine alone. I understand that you might have your mistresses and flings…”, glancing quickly over his shoulder at a shocked Fakih, “…and I understand this. I will likely have my own. But you will never cuckold them in public, you will keep it discreet, and I will know who they are so that social graces might be maintained at all times. And if you ever have any children outside of our marriage…” she squeezed particularly harder at this point, eliciting a squirm and sharp intake of Paladin’s breath… “… I swear I will take what is MINE!” She then kissed him hard once more, breaking off once more with a glance and a smirk at a shocked, open-mouthed and speechless Fakih, before slipping out of his grasp and moving away from him allowing him to stand away from the table.
“I think I understand now, why my father wanted this union. You have power and wealth, but you are also still just a man. Men are weak and like helicopters… you grab the “joystick” hard enough and you can make it go wherever you want… We can sign the contracts at the wedding, and I will be busy with preparations over the next few days. I must admit, introducing me to Lady Serrate was a nice touch. She certainly understands matters, and will help this go smoothly. Oh, and I want a squadron of helicopters to command. Until next… Best Betrothed…" And with a hand lightly across his right arm, swept from the room.
Paladin gathered himself together, and turned to see a still speechless Fakih staring at the door with an equally stunned look on her face. “What in the Hells was that?… I’m not… She thinks… that we’re… Gah!” sputtered Fakih.
Feb 21st, 3023 : Over the next couple days, word came from the private barracks of Lady Heather along with a stream of orders for clothing, food and other important “party favors”, along with various congratulations from the socially important members of local society, namely its CEOs from The Industrialist’s League, and other politically important people.
Unable to find any hidden agendas in the contracts, they asked for the advice of Ambassador Inara Serra for the social implications of the contract. She came to the fortress, and began to sort through the papers, detailing what she understood about the contract. She seemed to understand the social protocols regarding the contract especially well (35 on a Administration roll!).
She related that, as she understood the situation, the Barony of Horn was established as a resource colony to supply the capital of Tharn and the Baron Jemmas of Horn holds his title and position in supplying these goods to the capital and its governing body, the Mangai. What the contract does, is tie the Barony and the Iron Dingoes to a mutually beneficial agreement, but that bypasses the planet’s own governing and trade laws. This is likely only possible because the Baron’s primary heir is still unmarried, and Lady Heather’s position as well down the lines of inheritance ensures that he has other ties outside the planet’s own nobility. It also ensures his grandchildren through Lady Heather will not be in conflict with his other heirs over territorial rights, as they will be off-world. The last thing of note, is that it ties a powerful military force that he can call upon, through a “personnel exchange” to defend his holdings from a vengeful planetary or other force.
She concluded, that it was actually a good opportunity for trade and access to manpower ( The Barony of Horn‘s population of 50,000 versus * Landhold : Garrison’s population of roughly 5000. ) that they didn’t really possess at the moment. The Barony had a potential to be a very valuable ally in the long-run, plus, she stated with a smirking, smoldering look at Paladin, the Baron’s daughter was a prize herself.
Later that night, Paladin was informed of the arrival of an old contact from their early years on Terramatrix, “Big” John Stone, with whom he’d had a memorable game of poker once over New Years ( 3018-19 )… He congratulated Paladin on his coming marriage, having heard about it through the gossip venues in Ciudad Garcia, where he owned a small local transport company, Bertling Logistics, a (mostly) small package delivery company, that also conducted some heavy lift operations with Mercado Industrial Group within Ciudad Garcia and had recently begun modernizing its transport fleet of light utility transports.
He then asked if Paladin were attending “The Game”. Further inquiries made Paladin call down Advocate to his office, where the three discussed the details around the “Game”. It seemed, Stone related, that a billionaire named Douglas SInclair was offering an opportunity to “win” his ancestral home, Sierra Madre Casino & Villa, in exchange for every participant interested paying a direct fee of 2,000,000Cs in Cash, with the winner of the “Game”, getting land and all its assets with Douglas keeping the cash.
When asked why Sinclair was doing this, Stone did mention that he was “…something of an eccentric…”, plus it was a means of getting a large quantity of cash very quickly with no strings attached. Advocate and Paladin began discussing the matter, and concluded that they were interested. Stone explained that all you had to do was show-up at the casino in The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina with the cash, and entry was assured. The “…last man standing…” would win the whole thing…