Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 70b - The Line in the Jungle

“If you have a business run by military officers, when there’s a transition, you’re not going to get rid of all these people. This is a way to maintain a space for established powers in a future Sangrian society.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Steve (Oddball)—————————Warhammer

May 22nd, 3021 : The Presidio, Ciudad Garcia, Garcia District, Republic of Sangria : The attack continues.

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On the east flank, the two newest Dingoes Mech pilots, Trooper Teresa Agnes and Trooper Thomas O’Brien continued to maneuver counter-clockwise around the wall, taking apart infantry platoons with their flamers. MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” lay unconscious nearby, his Mech fallen. One enemy Hunter Light Support Tank continued to lay-down suppressive fire squared against Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” in their Battlemasters.

To the west, the entrance continued to be a congested trap with fallen Mechs and destroyed tanks everywhere. The attackers have managed to push into the complex, but resistance remained hard, with dug-in and fortified infantry bunkers and a few tanks still fighting to hold their base.

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MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine” opened the next round of combat, by firing everything she had, heating some, but managing to blow through the remaining Flea’s CT armor, and score a critical into its MG ammo bins, blowing the Mech to pieces. Pitbull let loose with everything he had, damaging the last Hunter, as well as the closest infantry cluster. Thomas eliminated another group of infantry along the wall.

Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” stormed into the cluster of battle tanks near the fuel depot, and was swarmed with shells and infantry grenade fire. Several hits proved decisive, tearing through his CT and critically striking his Engine and Gyro. But he remained standing.

Word came from the Government House, that the Dingoes troops had forced the mercenaries defending it into retreat, and were mopping-up the remaining infantry… their battle was almost over.

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Oddball advanced further into the swarm of tanks, destroying a Pegasus Scout Hover Tank, but found himself along, and surrounded by enemy tanks and infantry, who flooded him with multiple hits. He couldn’t remain standing when his damaged gyro failed him, knocking him over and taking more damage to his belabored Mech’s armor.

The remaining plots started shooting infantry in the center of the complex in their bunker, doing some damage to the building and infantry. Paladin took out another Scorpion tank, and Pitbull concentrated on the nearby jump infantry moving off towards the east wall.

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Paladin opened his actions by pasting the last remaining Hunter, while Valentine burned apart a group of infantry, though she took severe damage into one torso, critically damaging one of her Medium Lasers and a Heat Sink. Pitbull continued to hunt the last few Jump Infantry, destroying one with his infernos.

Pitbull barely managed to avoid an ammo explosion with his Infernos cooking (8+!), and then kicked a last Scorpion into submission, while Oddball just powered-down, while lying on the ground, taking him out of the fight. The central bunker took a few long-range shots, but remained intact.

A force of unidentified APCs appeared to the west, moving quickly towards the entrance to the compound. The Dingoes infantry, finally managing to reach the edge of the compound, moved quickly to intercept them.

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At this point, Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” stood astride the Command Van, demanding its techs surrender (which they quickly did). The single remaining Scorpion was quickly dispatched,
and the command went out to spare none of the militia. they were the unit’s local nemesis, the Guardia Civilia – Garcia, known rapists and murderers. Thus, the unit began to chew away at the central bunkers and their infantry, while the rest moved their way around the walls, destroying the remaining militia.

The Dingoes infantry demanded the unknown approaching infantry to hold their position, and as they evacuated their APCs, they were identified as Sangrian Royal Rifle Infantry, from the 8th Battalion that ws stationed in the airport nearby. They remained clustered behind their transports, but held their position, probably staring in horror at the destruction being wrought in the compound.

http://youtu.be/jaRBHQlEu-o

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About a minute later, both armored bunkers were in ruins, and the Civilia Guardia were destroyed. The compound had fallen to the Iron Dingoes.

Word came from the other battle site, that Governor Ferdinand Dominica had been captured, and was being placed under restraints, along with nearly a company of infantry that had surrendered to the other Dingoes forces.

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With the compound in their hands, the unit infantry swarmed inside to secure their salvage in the form of the Command Van (and its technical crew), a Swift Wind Scout Car, several Sniper Field Artillery, and scattered military equipment. The Royal Infantry demanded the return of their techs, but were informed to return to their base and leave before things turned ugly…. well, uglier. They retreated, with the knowledge that Mayor Albertina Diego would contact them and sort matters out in the coming days.

The battle was over for today.

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Episode 70a - The Line in the Jungle

“Our strategy to go after the Army is very, very simple. First we are going to cut it off, and then we’re going to kill it.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Steve (Oddball)————————-Warhammer

18th of May, 3021 : Waiting for the moment to begin “Operation Chaos”, or the coup of the government of The Republic of Sangria, the unit were contacted by an old friend, Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster”, who was back in-system with his old Warhammer. He was offered another “Leash” contract with the unit, and also brought some information: the local Governor had hired a lance of mercenary Mechs as bodyguards for his palace.

As the day progressed, the unit decided that they should just get the whole movement going, and dispatched Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” and all ten of * “The Werewolves” in a Planetlifter Air Transport to San Succi to find and assassinate the president of The Republic of Sangria.

19th of May, 3021 : Well into the 28 hour night on Terramatrix, the Werewolves chose to land south of the sprawling city, intending to activate their Battle Armor – Tornado PAs and move through the lightly populated industrial sections on their way towards the central palace and government buildings.

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The combined “Paws” activated their suits, with Wraith in his own stealth suit leading the way, while Trooper Marguerite Phillano waited with her flight crew for the eventual pick-up call. They quickly and quietly moved through the industrial sectors and commercial areas without incident, staying to the dark back alleys and made their way into the central portions of the large city. Eventually, they were confronted with the palace and government buildings complex itself, a walled compound with the mass of the 90-room, 5 story palace on the other side of the Rio Verdi. Wraith took note of the airfield that seemed fairly open, immediately next to the river, and the dark mass of the park lands north and east of the compound, but the thing that caught his eye was the large luxury zeppelin moored north of the palace at a private landing area.

The group carefully crossed the river, and moved into the airfield, avoiding exposure by using the handful of military helicopters parked as cover, and after silencing the outer sentries, entered the mass of the palace itself. The difficulty of sorting through a 90-room palace without alerting too many guards was something they expected, but proved daunting. Moving quickly, they decided (using their own skills as soldiers as the test bed) that finding the most heavily guarded section of the building was the easiest method, and moved fast and hard into the building. Within 10 mins, they found the general area they felt was the correct, and burst into the largest suite guns blazing.

In the bedroom, they found a single old man that roughly fit the description of President Miguel Tazeal, and confronted him as he hid cowering under the sheets. Wraith forced him up and listened as he stammered and asked what he wanted… Wraith immediately identified that while it looked like the President, he did not seem particularly presidential. Pointing his laser rifle at the man, Wraith demanded to know where the real president was. The man stammered to look next door.

Leaving one Paw to guard the man, the lead element of the Werewolves smashed into the next suite of rooms, less glamorously appointed, but filled with wealth, a pair of “bed-warmers”, drugs and another man better fitting the description of the president. Wraith confronted the man, and he confidently demanded to know who Wraith was, and promised “…I will make your greatest wishes come true, if you should spare me…” That sounded like the president. Killing him quickly, the order went out to kill his double and all witnesses, while the unit made their way out of an awakening and increasingly alarmed palace.

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Wraith decided that rather than try and fight their way out of the city, they should use the president’s own zeppelin, and moved north into the mooring field taking out the handful of guards. Using the zeppelin’s integral cranes, they boarded the vessel, and Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” took the helm, using her pilot’s skills the fullest. The unit quickly found the zeppelin to be a first rate ride; well-appointed and with a dozen suites for guests, and all the liquid amenities. The group began gathering items for the return trip as they cut their moorings and slowly left the palace grounds, headed east. Wraith ordered the explosives blown as they left the compound to cover their departure.

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All hell broke loose.

Turns out, Tech Ginney McRiven “Trigger” had planted every piece of explosive she carried at key locations throughout the palace as a back-up to assassinating the president. The resulting explosion rattled windows across the city, and lit the night sky in a glorious fireball. There was no one in the city who didn’t know the palace was no more.

As the news media lit up the airwaves with the destruction, the Iron Dingoes heard most of what they wanted… except the reports claimed that the President had apparently escaped the destruction of the palace in his zeppelin. The Werewolves reported in their success, and were informed they also had to destroy the Corvair, to ensure there was no question of the president’s death.

Reluctantly, the Werewolves rendezvoused with their Planetlifter east of the city in a field, planted the last of their explosives, stole as much of the booze and snacks as they could, and then set the zeppelin loose. As the airship rose slowly into the dawning light, the group gathered at the loading ramp, and saluted the destruction of the airship over the fields of eastern San Succi. They quickly battened down the hatches and returned quietly to The District of Garcia.

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Word continued to filter out of the capital regarding the investigation into the bombing of the palace, but no one seemed to know what was going on. About an hour later, reports flooded in that the president was believed dead, his zeppelin having been blown out of the sky by unknown saboteurs.

The Iron Dingoes took their Mechs and line units and made their way into the forests south of Ciudad Garcia, in preparation for the invasion.

May 20th, 3021 : Waiting on official word regarding the situation, the Dingoes stayed in the forest, chewing survival rations, playing cards and soccer.

May 21st, 3021 : Word filtered down that various military units were moving around the capital, in anticipation of a change in government. Further to this, evidence found in the ruins of the palace revealed that the assassination might have been at the behest of the Governor of Garcia, Governor Ferdinand Dominica. In fact, the Royal military units at the capital were being hinted at having come to help arrest the Governor…

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As the day progressed, there was a media report live over the national television news from the government buildings. It reported that several battalions of Guardia Civilia had seized the government, but were engaged in conflict with the 1st Royal Guards Battalion and * “The Dead Man’s Hand”. The unit managed to catch a glimpse of several Mechs that were familiar from the DMH Command Lance, particularly Senior-Captain “Veruca” Louise Salt’s STK-3F Stalker. Eventually the report cut-off following a series of explosions.

May 22nd, 3021 : Early in the afternoon, as the darkness of the long night was fading, word reached the nation that the 1st Royal Guards Battalion, assisted by several smaller units and the DMH had taken the government buildings.

Based on the reports from the capital, Mayor Albertina Diego made a general call for all Sangrian Loyalists to rally to the defense of the nation. She also called for the Governor to step-down and allow the national government sort the matter out. This was the moment that had been planned for. The Dingoes released all their AeroFighters and LAMs to seize air-superiority over Ciudad Garcia, and take down the air defenses. They activated their local cell of * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” to assist their Informant – Airman Jordan Bellinger in keeping the air fighters at the airport grounded, by salting their fuel.

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The air war began with the combat helicopters lifting-off, and the Dingoes LAMs and AeroFighters meeting them in the air over the city. The combat jets did not join them. Very quickly, the dozen Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopter and simple air defenses proved unable to compete with modern AeroTech, especially without the Defender D-35 Strike Fighters to bolster their dog-fighting abilities. In the opening salvos, three copters were destroyed and three more damaged and forced to ground, at the cost of the unit’s STG-A1 Stinger LAM taking critical damage, and was followed quickly by three more Warriors being destroyed, and the remaining three being grounded, with one of the unit’s GTHA-500 Gotha being forced to retreat and leave the field. In the end, the four remaining AeroFighters held the sky, and the unit’s Line forces could approach the city without molestation.

The Line forces of the Iron Dingoes would split into two forces as they approached into Ciudad Garcia, intending to strike two targets; the Presidio next to the airfield (where the local Guardia Civilia were barracked), and where the Governor had much of his actual government based. The second force would attack the Government House itself, residence of the Governor, to kill him or otherwise ensure he never escaped.

The first group consisted of three Line lances of Mechs ( Command, Scrum and the Fire Support lances), the Command Lance from the Line Armor, and the three Line Force Recon Infantry platoons. The second target would be hit by the “Ground Pounders” of Line Mechs, the two remaining lances of armor from the Line Armor force, and the four Marine Platoons from the StarGuards to storm the residence and root out the Governor. The forces assaulting the bases would avoid trying to antagonize the regular armed forces in the airport, hoping they might just sit out the conflict.

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The first group moved rapidly and unopposed through the suburban city streets, though some pilots noted they were being tagged by laser sighters from various rooftops. Almost immediately, they noted two Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters floating above the Presidio. MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” and MechWarrior Jessica Burlingame “Slayer” responded by opening into both with their longer-ranged weapons, turning both into flaming wrecks.

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In response, the forces in the compound began to swarm, with the pair of FLE-4 Fleas and their supporting Jump Infantry platoons began to move out the “back” (north) entrance to the compound. The Dingoes Line Armor moved along the edge of the compound to intercept them.

Several platoons of militia infantry (the local Guardia Civilia companies) were dug-in behind heavy fortifications along the walls, and in fortified bunkers inside the compound itself. The laser sightings allowed numerous strikes from the Hunter Light Support Tanks located within the compound to make numerous indirect strikes. Several advancing Mechs made heavy strikes into the hardened walls around the infantry bunkers, while Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” made a daring PPC strike into an advancing Scorpion Light Tank, blowing it apart in the compound entrance.

Reports were coming-in that the other unit were heavily engaged with a lance of heavy mercenary Mechs, and several companies of militia armed with MP-75mm Anti-Tank Guns, all defending the Government House.

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Various advancing Mechs leaped over the defensive walls, and started opening into the exposed infantry units, taking scattered fire as well. The Hunters continued to lay-down heavy missile fire. The flanking armor backed a bit, noticing the approach of the Jump Infantry, and one of the Fleas. Slayer got in another shot at an advancing Hunter, destroying it with two quick PPC shots. Prince opened fire on the Command Van parked in front of the metal huts, taking a volley of LRM fire in return.

Word came from the other unit : “Olympus has Fallen! Repeat. Olympus has Fallen!”, implying that the unit had destroyed Government House. Apparently things were getting brutal just down the hill.

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Orders came down to eliminate the devastating fire from the Hunters, marking all remaining tanks as prime targets. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” and Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” quickly immobilized a quick-moving Pegasus each, while the two new pilots, Trooper Teresa Agnes and Trooper Thomas O’Brien flanked the main force, using their flamers on the exposed infantry behind the walls.

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On the other side of the compound, Prince immobilized a Hunter, while Commander Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and her tank lance fired into the Flea.

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The roiling confusion at the entrance grew, with various pilots targetting buildings, and the close-range forces of the militia began to make hits, knocking over MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine” as she crossed through the ruins of the destroyed Scorpion tank in the entrance. The advancing Flea along the east flank struck a lucky hit with its lasers, immobilizing the lead Pegasus piloted by Angel Frost herself. The pilot also followed-up with a swift kick that tore off the skirts of its guarding Zephyr Hover Tank, immobilizing it.

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Caboose tripped over the same ruined Scorpion, and fell in a heap in the entrance. Slayer opened-up on a Scorpion tank destroying it. Oddball also laid into a Scorpion, destroying it. Paladin and the remaining Hunter engaged in a long-range duel, with the two unable to destroy the other, but inflicting high levels of damage. Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” stood on the wall, making a general broadcast to everyone to “Stop Shooting!”. Caboose remained grounded, unable to rise.

While the two Maxim Hover Transports laid-down suppressive fire and pulled back, they managed to stirke into the ammo bins of the Flea in a critical hit, blowing the Mech apart. The other Flea engaged in a “knife fight” with Prince, managing to hit him in the head with both a ML and a Flamer, knocking Prince unconscious, and his Mech fell over in a heap, over-heating and shut down.

The two new pilots were slowly began moving their way counter-clockwise around the complex perimeter, and using flamers, cleared the militia infantry from their bunkers along the walls.

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Episode 69 - Junta

Junta (Definition) : “A council or committee for political or governmental purposes; especially : A group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Battlemaster
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett

14th of May, 3021 : In preparation of the possible coming conflict, the unit spent a day re-organizing itself, and bringing several of the captured Mechs on-line from * “The Scrapyard”. Chief among these changes, was the promotion of two of the recent * “The Dingo Cub Scouts” graduates who had qualified to pilot a Mech, but there had been no permanent place for them. In addition, the unit made plans to add a fourth lance of Mechs (the “Fire Support Lance” ) to their “Line”, basing them from the open bays on-board the “Dingoes’ Den”.

15th of May, 3021 : The unit asked Major Petros Vagarez to contact the local Mech Stable – “The Hombres”, and find their loyalty in the coming coup. The offer to grant them “House Guards” status following the coup was discussed, especially since they were traditionally loyalists.

The unit also had the “Betty” prepared for a quick sub-orbital drop to Corazón Airfield to retrieve the four Mechs and munitions pulled from the cargo of the “Buenaventura”, and get them into unit stores. During these preperations, it was discovered that an official “no-fly-zone” was declared over the capital at Ciudad Garcia.

Late that night there was a message sent from Glamour’s military contact, Informant – Airman Jordan Bellinger. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” began getting into contact with him, and eventually discovered two complete reserve battalions of Guardia Civilia had landed at the airport aboard a dozen (12) 90-ton transport planes. Each militia battalion was lightly equipped, with a single jeep as a command vehicle, but had been supplied with AT SPM-18A3 “Backblast” Recoilless Rifles as support weapons. Rumors, he insisted, were that a full battalion of the Royal Guards was also being dispatched by road to provide further support for the governor. Present orders had the transport fleet leaving for another run back to the capital for some of the Royal Guard’s heavier equipment. He was ordered to stay low and keep in contact.

Just after midnight, Tech Jeyne Tull called Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” over secure comms (which required a ten minute wait between responses to reach the Zenith jump-point). She reported that she’d been monitoring local signals (mostly a jump in or out by transports), when she had picked-up a definite HPG signal coming from somewhere near the planet. Within minutes of the signal, she reported a response signal came into the system, lasting only a handful of seconds. This implied, she verified, that there was both a working HPG in-system, and that another was within a single jump’s distance from the system. While System – Armington was discussed as one option, the group concluded that there must be an active A-Class generator present in System – Pirate’s Haven Star Cluster. She was ordered to continue monitoring these signals, and Templar reported-in to the Command Council with his findings.

A late night Command Council discussion ensued, with the unit reviewing what they understood about the situation. They concluded that there were three basic forces at work locally;

AExcalibur Corporation : Interested in “The Iron Vagabond” for her navigational charts, the only reason they would want that sort of information, was to gain access to Pirate’s Haven, through a jump-point or jump-points within the database. They might want access to the resources within, or possibly something else they were aware about, but unable to access at this time. Given the company’s rapacious attitude and resources, there was no knowing what they might not do.

BColonel “White Death” : Not just a simple pirate leader, he was very highly organized, he had access to LosTech in large quantities, and was not afraid to use it to further his own agenda. He also had possibly been involved in cloning efforts, and was obviously trying to establish a colony somewhere, in an unknown location. Beyond this, little was known about him, beyond the possibility he was likely a member of The Starlords – “The Brotherhood”, but probably following his own personal plan.

C : The Starlords – “The Brotherhood” : That the StarLords were affiliated with the unknown Haven Consortium was unquestioned, and that they were both highly organized with access to a capable military industrial base was also unquestioned. The fact they were in Haven Cluster was probable, but until the unit investigated this further, little would be known about it.

D : ComStar : The whole idea of Comstar recruiting mercenary MechWarriors was not new. That they were hiring them in large quantities lately, and supplying them with Mechs, however, was news. They were likely the ones using HPGs, especially since they were in the ComStar Enclave, but more importantly, they seemed to be using the site as a forward deployment location for an army to either defend (improbable) or invade… somewhere close… like the Haven Cluster.

In the end, the Haven Cluster seemed to be at the heart of the matter. And the unit had three Jumpkeys to unknown points in or near the Cluster….

16th of May, 3021 : The unit’s informant in Ciudad Garcia reported in again saying that the planes had returned with various arms and supplies, and that they were being placed on stand-by at the edge of the airport for now. He also reported they had been accompanied by twelve (12) combat helicopters and six (2) medium Jet Fighters, who were basing from the airport. All forces were from the national Air Force, and capable. He also reported that the military had set-up several anti-aircraft positions around the airport, and that the militia was digging -in around the airport.

The unit also dispatched a squad of the 2nd Force Recon via Karnov UR Transport to visit Manuel Serrate and inform him of the recent military arrivals to the capital. They were likewise informed that his wife, Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate was invited to an afternoon tea party with Mayor Albertina Diego later in the week. They would get their answer as to her loyalties then.

Late in the day, Templar and Pitbull drove out to Mercado to visit Content Not Found: hernando-juarez, their industrialist friend and former employer, to see if they could convince him to take the reins of a New Order in the region, as “President-for-Life” of the nation. Arriving with a squad from their 1st Platoon, Force Recon and aboard their beloved Type 74 “Buffalo” Hover Truck, Football. They met with him at his estate on Cabana Alpina, HQ of the impressive Mercado Industrial Group that he controlled.

After sweeping the room for bugs, the group sat down and openly discussed the imminent fall of President Miguel Tazeal and his Junta, and that the local people needed someone honourable and capable enough to pick-up the pieces… “So,… what do you say… Mr. Presidente…?”. He was hesitant, but past experience had told him that the Iron Dingoes do not do things lightly, and that they did, ultimately, care about the locals enough to spare them most of the hardships. Plus, the removal of the worst impediments to improvement in the district would greatly help matters. So, in the end, he reluctantly agreed.

The group then sat down to work through their plans for the coming coup. It was decided that when the unit makes their move, they would take the following steps.

1 : Assassinate the President of Sangria : President Miguel Tazeal was both corrupt and evil, and would do nothing to help the people of Garcia, unless it lined his own pockets. Therefore, the unit decided that they would dispatch Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” leading both “Paws” of * “The Werewolves” into San Succi aboard one of their Planetlifter Air Transports, pretending to be on a supply run with the capital.

2 : Blame the Governor of Garcia : Further to this, they contacted Cornet Carla Estrella, and arranged to ship her 500,000Cs (she originally requested 150,000Cs) to bribe witnesses and forge evidence placing the assassination at the feet of the local political flunky Governor Ferdinand Dominica. Her loyalty was without question at this point, and she seemed the most capable person to deal with the matter, especially given her knowledge of local military and political machinations.

3 : Bring order to the Capital : Should the president die, his government would likely fall. The Royal Guards, presently on maneuvers with * “The Dead Man’s Hand”, would be recalled, and since the DMHs were under a garrison contract, they could be recalled as well to deal with the rioting and protect the government buildings, since they were the toughest military force under contract to the government at present. They could bring some stability to the capital, and ensure no one tried anything else until the matter was resolved.

4 : Use the Governor’s actions as a pretext to eliminate him : With word being spread across the nation of the Governor’s actions, reinforced by the presence of the recent shipment of troops to the District of Garcia “…to arrest him, obviously…”, * “The Iron Dingoes” would storm the capital and “put him and his loyalists down like the dogs they were…”. They would ensure air superiority through getting their informant to help their agents in * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” Field Operations to assist in spoiling the fuel reserves used by the fighter jets, and hopefully ground them, meaning only the combat helicopters and local air defenses needed defeat by the unit’s AeroSpace forces.

5 : Storm the Capital The unit would storm the capital, using the troops of the Gaucho Ranchers’ Organization as “police” to keep the peace on the countryside, while 4th Infantry (Motorized) Battalion, Sangrian Armed Forces – “Garrison’s Own” would wait on patrol at the city’s edge to step -in and protect the mayor as needed from any loose Guardia Civil troops. They would avoid conflict except around the main targets of the operation; the Airfield, the Presidio and the Government House.

The Line forces of the Iron Dingoes would split into two forces and strike two targets in the city; the Presidio next to the airfield (where the local Guardia Civilia were barracked), and the Governor had much of his actual government based. The second force would attack the Governornment House itself, residence of the Governor, to kill him or otherwise ensure he never escaped. The first group would consist of three Line lances of Mechs ( Command, Scrum and the Fire Support lances), the Command Lance from the Line Armor, and the three Line Force Recon Infantry platoons. The second target would be hit by the “Ground Pounders” of Line Mechs, the two remaining lances of armor from the Line Armor force, and the four Marine Platoons from the StarGuards to storm the residence and root out the Governor. The forces assaulting the bases would avoid trying to antagonize the forces in the airport, hoping they might just sit the conflict out.

6 : Make the Peace : With the Governor and the Guardia Civilia – Garcia removed from power, the unit would turn the governorship over to Mayor Albertina Diego, whom they felt would likely agree to take over local governorship in the absence of any other organization. Once she had control of the situation, the Iron Dingoes would retreat back to Garrison, but offer to support the “new government” whatever help they might need.

7 : Establish a New Order : Two weeks after the fall of the existing government, once peace was assured across the District of Garcia, they would place a new “President-for-Life” as the head of a New Order; they planned to put Hernando Huarez, their friend forward as the best option to lead the “legitimate government” of Sangria.

8 : Improve the defenses and prosperity of their new home : Long-term, they would establish a local Mech force, likely * The Fold Fiends, and see about bringing long-term prosperity to the nation, by folding any profits earned by the province back into its development. Ultimately, the unit only wanted a place they might truely call home (and recruit from…).

17th of May, 3021 : Things finally fell into place. They received word from Elena Sarrate that the mayor was most concerned with the welfare of her people, and if she must, she would step into the void created by the death of the Governor. Lastly, they also received word from the Hombres, that they wouldn’t support armed conflict in the province, but they also wouldn’t fight it, either.

I love it when a plan comes together…

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Episode 68 - Heart of Darkness

“The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealth, the germs of empires… And this also… has been one of the dark places of the earth.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

April 26th, 3021 : Captain Jessa Dajus-Marik “Dragonfly” approached Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” with an idea. She knew the unit was interested in using Castle Corazón for their long-range goals, and suggested they activate their contingent of construction and civil engineer techs, give them a bodyguard of a platoon of militia, and repair the Corazón Airfield to act as both a forward observation post, as well as a cover for exploring the Castle itself. He ordered her to take personal control of the operation, and so she requested the 11th Militia Platoon as guards, and began flying the units south to the Airfield. They alos took a satellite communications pack from the Scrapyard, and code-named the project Operation Eagle-Eye.

On “The Factory”, the unit ordered Ambassador Inara Serra to take her shuttle, along with Space Master Terrance Chantilas intent on reaching an agreement with the captain of the “Buenaventura”, Commander Maxwell Carter. They began the long ten-day trip to Terramatrix within the day.

Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” gave orders to Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” to deal with the Data Core – Decimator 397 once and for all. He did research on if he could wipe it entirely for use as a storage device to hold a copy of “The Iron Vagabond”’s navigational star charts. He felt it was possible, and after running a simulation, he wiped the data core fairly well, convinced he had eliminated the “Decimator Personality” from the device utterly… well, pretty sure, anyways… The device was moved to the JumpShip, and work was begun to make a copy, something that might take a couple days.

April 27th, 3021 : Moxie turned his attention to the unit’s Large Agricultural Robot, and he spent the day poring over his notes and captured data files (from System – Gollere ), and then tried to reprogram the unit’s robotic core. He failed, finding it heavily corrupted. Further work would be needed.

* “The Werewolves” were formally activated once more, intent on getting a solid recon of the Buenaventura. They were given a guide from The 4th Motorized Infantry Battalion, Sangrian Army – “Garrison’s Own”, appointed by the Major, who knew the right contacts to make if seeking access to the district’s black market, along with a trusted soldier from the Line. The unit then slipped north into the city as quietly as possible.

A discussion ensued among the lead pilots regarding the wealth of Mechs in * “The Scrapyard”, and who should receive promotions and upgrades from their recent salvage claims. Glamour also openly discussed her interest in the younger son of Manuel Serrate. The unit decided that setting-up a weapons lab on the station was a priority, and a discussion regarding making a raid against House Liao was a real possibility in the future.

April 28th, 3021 : The Werewolves reported in early, and mentioned the Buenaventura was under-going refueling and being loaded for a shipment to somewhere in-system. They were unable to infiltrate, due to heavy security around the drop-zone.

The unit settled in, waiting for the arrival of the unit’s battle armor and ambassador. Severla days of repair and salvage work, and a cycle of R&R followed. Word came from Operation Eagle-Eye regarding the parameters of the base, and its general contents.

May 6th, 3021 : Ambassador Inarra finally arrived with her packages, first landing at Garrison to unload the battle armor, and then travelling to Ciudad Garcia to make contact with Commander Maxwell Carter.

May 7th, 3021 : Reports came in from Captain Dajus-Marik, regarding their findings. She reported that while the central fusion reactor seemed inactive, they had discovered some back-up “wind-turbine ram-scoops” in the upper level of the crater, that, if activated, could be used to provide basic power to lighting, air circulation and other important features of the base. Each was designed to provide back-up power to a quadrant of the base, though it would not allow the main drop-port doors to open. She needed a large collection of various mechanical supplies from the unit’s reserves (400,000 Cs in Maintenance supplies), and a salvage group and their equipment to get them active. She was authorized to pull them from unit reserves and began he transfer to the Airfield.

The unit’s Informant – Airman Jordan Bellinger contacted the unit, informing them that the Buenaventura was prepping for final launch on the morrow. Inarra reported that their negotiations with Commander Carter went well enough. He was not exactly fond of the current regime, but wasn’t willing to endanger either his own life or that of his family for some mystical future that may or may not occur. Without serious assurances that things would be better, they would not have his support. When it became apparent the unit was going to seize the ship with or without his help, he relented, with the provision that he get his family evacuated prior to the ship’s take-off. They offered him a full extended Leash Contract, and promised he would speak with his wife prior to take-off. He was also promised that if the unit didn’t keep the Buenaventura, he would get to pilot the next DropShip they acquired.

9th of May, 3021 : Negotiations complete, Ship’s Master Chantilas was dispatched back to the Jump-Point to get back aboard his ship with the next available shuttle, but Inarra was to return to the DropShip fleet grounded at Garrison for any needed future negotiations.

In the early morning, prior to her departure, a pair of light transports headed into Ciudad Garcia after a long night of travel from Garrison. Aboard her, were the Werewolves, accompanied by “The Loup Garou” in their suits in teh second truck as a back-up force. The convoy travelled directly to Commander Carter’s home in the capital, and quickly took his family and their handful of important possessions into their custody, and quickly travelled to the airfield, where the family and Werewolves were boarded on Ambassador Serra’s shuttle. The trucks then moved out of the city and quickly made their way back to Garrison, while the rest of the Werewolves travelled via shuttle ahead of them. Commander Carter was contacted, and assured his family were secure among the Dingoes DropShip fleet.

Boarding one of the unit’s Orkan-Class Space Planes, a pair of squads from the 6th Marines Platoon accompanied by The Werewolves, along with Pitbull and Templar. The group launched for a rendezvous with the Buenaventura as soon as it launched for orbit. During its maneuvers in clawing for orbit, the assault shuttle managed to close and quietly docked with the ship when it ceased its sudden maneuvers. The boarding operations went quickly and without any concerns. Reaching the bridge, Commander Carter had his entire crew stand-down “.. and do whatever these pirates want. We all want to stay alive here…”. The Buenaventura was theirs.

The crew were ordered to land the ship in the old northern airfield the unit had cleared back during their elimination of the Davion-backed rebels (Episode 34 – The Magnificent Seven), which went without a hitch. Grounded, the unit searched the ship completely, and identified the cargo as being some twenty heavy machineguns (20) from the factory complex in Ciudad Garcia, as well as four refurbished Mechs: a Commando, a Shadow Hawk, a Griffin and a Wolverine, all packed and stored as cargo. Examination of teh ship’s manifest revealed the target to be the Comstar EnclaveCommander Carter also verified that they did runs to the Enclave on an irregular basis.

A discussion ensued. That Comstar was hiring unemployed and Mechless mercenaries from “The Factory”, was a known fact to the unit. They were also apparently refurbishing Mechs at the facility in Ciudad Garcia, and shipping them to the Enclave. They concluded that Comstar, for whatever reason, were raising an army, independent of all other forces and loyal to them alone. Something was going on.

Pitbull ordered the Corazón Airfield to clear a spot for the re-positioning of the Buenaventura, as a place for its long-term storage. Construction equipment was air-lifted to the site, and Glamour accompanied them in her LAM to oversee the operation. She immediately requested an escort into the Castle, and spent the night in the temporary base camp the engineers had built in the main drop-port.

10th of May, 3021 : Construction begins on clearing the temporary drop-pad. Meanwhile, Glamour made her way into the core of the castle, having to rappel down the elevator shafts to the lowest leve where the core was located. She did a quick survey of its systems, and determined that while it might be possible with lots of money, equipment and parts to reactivate the central core, its radiation shielding was stripped, and there was a danger of high levels of radiation if it could be activated once more. So, activation was possible, just not probable. She went over the engineers survey and examined the work on the wind generators.

11th of May, 3021 : Glamour returned to the drop-pad construction site, and reported that work was progressing well. A discussion ensued how they might get more power to the Castle, and access through the nearby dam site was discussed. They realized, however, that the grid extended to the closer village of Rio Pequena, and that if they ever dug a line along the old road to the Castle site, that it might be possible.

12th of May, 3021 : A national alert was reported for Sangria, ordering all air assets active, and its border regions made all radar scans active for any threats. Word reached them through their contacts, that the disappearance of the Buenaventura was being considered a national threat; the Governor had friends in high places, including the President of Sangria in the capital San Succi.

13th of May, 3021 : The Drop-Pad was reported as complete, and the Buenaventura lifted-off, though it had some difficulty clearing the crater it had settled in, burning some fuel and causing some damage to its aft armor. The ship did a quick sub-orbital drop, and landed in a hurry at the assigned place in the depths of the jungle. It was now time to plan for the next moves in the unit’s plan to start a coup…

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Episode 67b - Jungle Drums

“Here is better than home, eh, Sir? I mean, at home if you kill someone they arrest you, here they’ll give you a gun and show you what to do, Sir. I mean, I killed fifteen of those buggers. Now, at home they’d hang me, here they’ll give me a fucking medal, Sir.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Chris (Caboose)————————-Phoenix Hawk
Ken (Templar) -————————- Ostroc
Steve (-) -———————————- Warhammer

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April 21st, 3021; Early Evening : Deep in the Corazon Jungle : While the “Scrum” Lance had been fighting a lance of two Hunchbacks and two Firestarters in the north-west hills, the Command and Grounders Lance had been engaging the lead reinforced lance of a Highlander, a Crockett, a Grasshopper, and a pair of Dervish. A second lance of Firestarters and Hunchbacks struggled to engage the attackers, but the thick jungles and river slowed them.

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The southern Firestarters jumped forward and laid down flames throughout the jungles around them, trying to restrict the actions of Scrum Lance. The northern pair also sniped a bit, but generally did little damage. In response, MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine” tore open the LArm of one Firestarter, blowing its Shoulder Actuator. Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” also tore apart its RTorso with several hits, and demolished its RLeg, which tore up into its RTorso and shattered the Mech, knocking it over into the brush.

The Highlander staggered up, and let loose its salvos into the closest Battlemaster, piloted by Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, who took those and its companion Mech, the Crockett in stride. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” fired supporting fire into the Highlander scattering across the Mech. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” sniped into its CTorso® with her LLaser, dong a critical to its Engine. Pitbull hit with multiple shots, but one of his MLasers managed a lucky shot, and the multiple internal criticals blew the Head off the Highlander in a clean sweep. It fell over in a heap, its pilot clearly dead.

Several units, finding themselves in close quarters, began to punch and kick each other, but MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” took the worst of it, taking internals and losing several of his JJets in the RTorso.

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Seeing the battle for what it was, and threatened by the remaining Hunchback mobile near it, MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” powered down his Mech, and the downed Hunchback followed suit, taking both Mechs out of the rest of the fight. Scrum Lance responded by pulling into the fight around the lead units, while the Firestarters continued to lay down flame across the path of their retreat. Glamour and Valentine followed along sniping at them, with the former taking one Firestarter in the Head, but it was otherwise ineffective.

The real shining moment of the round, was Pitbull’s miracle shot into the Crockett, taking it’s Head armor apart, with the blast from his Pulse Laser tearing apart the Cockpit with a(n Edged) critical that killed its pilot. The Crockett fell over in a heap, and the defenders morale went with it.

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Immediately, the Grasshopper pilot identified herself as Trooper Gaines, surviving member of the unit’s Command Lance. She requested the honers of war, stating the field (and all fallen Mechs) were the Iron Dingoes, provided they could retrieve their pilots and leave the battlefield. Paladin agreed. The fight was over.

The northern Hunchback pilot stopped to pick-up his companion, then moved off to the west out of the area, while one Firestarter collected its companion, and the rest of the unit moved off to the south. The unit did a quick survey of the area, looking for camps or anything else of note, while MechWarrior Faith Whinyates called in the salvage teams to arrive ASAP in their VTOL transports. They were able to load their gantries and lighter equipment, but wouldn’t have the use of their usual transports or machine shops. Arrival was slated for three hours hence. They were told to “…just look for the smoke…”.

Pitbull pinged away with his Beagle Active Probe to little effect, while Glamour went up in her LAM to take a topographical map of the volcanoe and surrounding slopes. Templar poked around the pool, and openly commented that he wished there were some sort of “…place where the falling of water were possible…”. “Ummm… you mean like that one?”, replied Fixer. Templar hurried through the brush to investigate the waterfall and its pool on the slopes above the battlefield.

After some time, Templar managed to enter the pool, and found a Mech-sized-cave leading into the volcanoes’ interior. He activated all his sensors, and entered the cave, with his communications quickly fading-out. Pitbull followed along, though his RArm flooded and breached entering the pool, losing its use. Wraith and Fixer also followed along, leaving the rest of the unit to stay on over-watch of the site.

Glmaour’s initial mapping revealed little of note, though she noted some anomalies that would require closer examination of the reports. The Explorer Lance quickly found large, Mech-sized tunnels made of rough-hewn stone mixed with reinforced ferrocrete, that formed a massive Mech-sized maze. In places, ground bunkers for infantry and vehicles, were stripped and abandoned. Indeed, the unit concluded (though somewhat lost), that were it functional, its mines, dead-ends and defensive works would make the tunnels a death-trap for invaders. As it was, it took them hours and hours to wind their way along its echoing corridors.

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Eventually, they were able to exit the tunnels to find themselves in a massive docking bay in the center of the caldera itself. The roof was sealed by some sort of massive barricade, and the group noticed several access bays for numerous AeroFIghters, high up the walls of the interior. Based on their understanding of the site, Pitbull was certain they had discovered the looted remnants of a Castle Brian, named Castle Corazón.

The unit took notice of the facility, vowing they would return to “flip-this-castle”, and slowly made their way back outside. Salvage work in the jungles proved difficult, but the crews worked through the night, and by morning they were able to evac the unit back north.

April 22nd, 3021 : Slowly dragging the heavier Mechs, while the unit’s Planetlifter Air Transports flew out the Firestarter and Hunchback, the unit made their way north towards civilization. The hard travel slowed the unit, though they kept at it through the day. Around noon, MechWarrior Faith Whinyates detected an intermittent signal coming from the eastern edge of her detection range. She had found the Frontier-Class Air Transport, Nairobi.

Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” immediately separated from the unit, and went after the signal, while the unit’s “Interceptor” lance lifted-off from their position near Garrison, and closed in an attempt to intercept the airship. When Glmaour got close enough, she was able to notice the Nairobi was accompanied by two Guardian VSTOLs. Attempts to hail them failed, and she awaited orders.

It was decided that it was best to engage, and Glmaour began maneuvering to slow their retreat. It quickly degenerated into a dog-fight, and in a spectacular flip of events, Glamour fouled up a maneuver, and in trying to regain control, allowed both fighters and the transport Nairobi to escape. Other than some superficial damage to her armor and her ego, she was operational.

Passing through Rio Pequena, the unit headed north through the forest, reaching Garrison late in the evening.

April 23rd, 3021 : Repairs began, and full salvaging of the captured equipment began in full. Everyone spent some time in recovery from their long journey.

April 24th, 3021 : During final repairs and salvage work, Glamour got a contact in from her local informant in Ciudad Garcia, Informant – Airman Jordan Bellinger. He reported-in that he had just been refueling the GUardia Civil’s pair of VSTOLs, and they had their bomb- loads replaced with fuel tanks. Based on fule use, they had likely just come from somewhere east;, either Delancourt or San Marcos, or the Comstar Enclave. A discussion about planetary politics ensued among the Command Group, , and it was decided to activate their small group of field agents, and have them infiltrate San Marcos; a long-term proposition, but it was hoped the team might be able to locate the Nairobi and possibly what it was doing there. They were sent via their Supply Cobra VTOL, “Coatl”.

April 25th, 3021 : Pitbull contacted the unit’s forces at the jump-point, and requested the unit’s Battle Armor – Tornado PA be pulled from storage on-board “The Factory”, and sent to the fleet at Garrison. Furthermore, the unit began to pull various tech crews and five chosen marines t act as the pilots of the suits, moving them formally as a second “Paw” of * “The Werewolves”. The other five suits were assigned to the main force of Werewolves, though it was expected they would not always deploy with them.

It was decided that they needed to enlist the help of some of the locals in planning for any eventual coup, and so the unit activated two squads of the 2nd Platoon of Line Infantry, and then Templar, Pitbull, and Glamour took The Football and the 2nd Platoons two Buffalos and travelled to Gaucho, intending to meet with Manuel Serrate. They made good time, travelling along the old dirt roads through cattle country, finding Gaucho to be a travel back in time to a small south-western american town at the turn of the 19th century. Horses and armed “gaucho” cowboys were everywhere, with few vehicles, lots of bars and relatively primitive workshops. Asking for directions, the unit was instructed to go further south-west, to the Serrate ranch.

They found the ranch to be a well-armed, well-appointed place used to raise thousands of head of cattle. They quickly gained access and were led into the ranch house, a sprawling, fairly impressive affair, where they shortly met with Manuel Serrate himself, easily the most interesting man on the planet. Charming, intelligent, and with a past of having done almost everything, he quickly warmed-up to the unit members. Eventually, after quasi-flirting with Glamour, he hinted she should meet his younger, unmarried son…

The unit was then introduced to his wife, the lovely Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate, and the political discussion began in earnest. Manuel insisted that while the Guardia Civlia was dangerous, they weren’t the problem; he could take them out himself, especially since he commands nearly eight (8) companies of infantry himself, in the form of the armed members of the Gaucho Ranchers’ Organization. No, he insisted they needed to find a way to peacefully remove Governor Ferdinand Dominica from power, without alienating the district’s industrialists. Mayor Albertina Diego seemed the best alternative, and likely she would support the change, if she was convinced it was best for the local people. Manuel offered to have his wife “inquire” after her political leanings at the first opportunity.

The group continued to discuss the viability of taking out the Governor’s support base, and decided the best way would be to seize his own DropShip, the “Buenaventura”, and eliminate his financial support, possibly even blackmail him into resigning to get it back. The importance of possibly enlisting (or corrupting) Doctor Derek Varn to their cause was also discussed. Manuel Serrate hinted heavily that what might come after the coup was just as important to think about, but the group left with his best wishes, and returned back to Garrison, having lots to contemplate and decide.

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Episode 67a - Jungle Drums

“Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Phoenix Hawk
Ken (Templar) -————————- Ostroc
Steve (-) -———————————- Warhammer

April 19th, 3021 : Having assembled ground sensors and assigned defensive positions, the Iron Dingoes set to work finding the source of the mysterious signals in the southern jungles. Late in the day, Senior Scout “Scammer” Firdaaz manages to detect the signal, and spends most of the evening triangulating it. He eventually identifies it in a “crook” of the Rio Tashent, south of the village of Rio Pequena. Unable to enter the jungles south of the river, due to their sheer thickness, it is the best he can do.

The unit activated both of their salvage crews, and accompanied by the 3rd Line Force Recon Infantry (with their motorcycles), prepared to move out in the morning.

April 20th, 3021 : With Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” running as lead Recon in her PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM, the Mechs of the Iron Dingoes, their salvage techs and infantry moved directly south through the forests to Rio Pequena. As the unit approached several hours later, Glamour spotted a lone Warhammer parked in the town’s market, it’s systems set to idle. She landed and confronted him, and eventually it became obvious he was a lone mercenary hired by the local village to sit and keep raiders at bay, for room and board and pocket money. He also claimed it was cause of the local weed…. After offering him a Leash contract for a year, he accepted and accompanied them south across the river and into the jungles.

April 21st, 3021 : After nearly a day in the thick jungles of the heart of the Corazon Jungle, MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine”s Phoenix Hawk suffered a cooling failure, with several of her heat sinks failing (+3 Heat per turn active). The group circled through the jungle’s depths, and eventually noted an EM signature near the pool where they had encountered Dominique “Domino” Harvey over a year previous, when she had defeated one of their recon lances. Heat was spiking throughout the jungle, so the unit carefully approached, knowing that any fight around here would be a “Knife-Fight”, or close-range exchange with few heavy weapons discharges.

Moving around a sharp cliff where a volcano remnant lay, they approached the pool. Glamour dipped ahead, spotting three clusters of EM signatures. As the Scrum Lance moved around the edge, the scrub jungle on the cliff side thinned enough to identify the furthest group up the cliffs… a pair of Dervish, a JagerMech , a Grasshopper, a Crockett and a Highlander!

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With the Command Lance slowly dragging their assaults through the jungles. They decided to keep the unit tight. The sensor blips began to move in from the south, while the ones to the northwest remained with the ridgeline behind them. Scrum pulled back, with the Grounders able to catch-up and link with them along the ancient remnants of an over-grown jungle road leading towards the pool and river flowing from the rocks. The Highlander took a long-range snipe with its LosTech Gauss Rifle, slamming into Valentine before she could seek refuge among a pocket of thick forest trees.

Glamour went low and “bounded” from a pocket of trees to get a look at the slowly advancing unit to the south, spotting a pair of Hunchbacks, though their jump-jet equipped support remained unidentified. She sniped at the exposed JagerMech, tearing into its RT Rear armor, and destroying one of its MLs. It sniped back, hitting with an AC/2.

MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” was ordered into the clump of northern Mechs to identify them, and leapt next to another pair of Hunchbacks. Ooops. Valentine followed along as support, and the Mechs engaged in an exchange of short-range fire, which severely damaged Prince’s leg armor and causing a critical to his foot, knocking him over into the trees. The fall further destroyed his Upper Leg Actuator, virtually forcing him to crawl out of combat. The Hunchbacks kicked the downed Mech, since it refused to power-down, destroying a couple heat sinks.

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Glamour sniped again, penetrating through the rear armor on the JagerMech, critically shattering its ammo reserves on the RT AC/2, causing the Mech to explode in a flash of flame.

The remaining unknown Mechs were identified as Firestarters, that were providing support with their medium lasers. A furious brawl was erupting around Prince’s downed Mech, as he crawled away from the fight, with the remaining Wolverine and Phoenix Hawks were being chewed on by the Hunchbacks and their supporting Firestarters. The assault Mechs of the Command Lance finally managed to get into shooting view of the advancing enemy assaults, and exchanged in fire with them. Glamour’s LAM scooted around the flanks to ensure there were no other surprises.

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While the Highlander got in several solid hits, Paladin’s torso attacks and one of Pitbull’s MLs hit the Highlander in the head, knocking it over. Wraith tore into the primary Hunchback, using his Needle Laser : “The Hatpin” to good effect, critically shearing its LL completely off, and knocking it over. Valentine managed some redemption by critically damaging one Firestarter’s RL Hip. Caboose also damaged its other leg. Prince, though prone, fired off his SRMs, hitting nothing. The firestarters started setting fires all around the downed Wolverine, seemingly trying to isolate him and Warith’s Wolverine from the Phoenix Hawks

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The knife-fight had just begun…

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Episode 66 - Rumble in the Jungle

“You’ve spent too much time with the stars. You don’t know anything about living, the law of the jungle, the human jungle. I do, I’ve spent my life at it. You don’t know what your civilized people will do to cling to life. I do, because I know I’d cling if I had to kill to do it. And so will you.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Chris (Caboose) -————————Phoenix Hawk
Ken (Templar) -————————- Ostroc
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

April 3rd, 3021 : Following the unit’s jump back into System – Dumassas, the Iron Dingoes began organizing rotations through “The Factory”, and while their fleet prepared to reposition itself into a holding pattern near “The Bloody Paw”, the Command Staff ordered a shuttle from the station and rendezvoused back to meet with their senior officers on the station.

Station Master Haro Lothrain informed the unit upon their arrival, that the station had proven extremely popular… so much so, that there had been an increasing traffic of mercenaries and their equipment (including Mechs and their pilots) through the station, bound for Terramatrix. Most had been somewhat down-on-their-luck types, and had been using the station’s facilities to perform repairs and maintenance. As such, they had a rough number, of about a battalion of MechWarriors and a Regiment of infantry and armor had been incoming over the past couple months.

They also received several older hails from the Liaison Officer from * “The Dead Man’s Hand”, Cornet Carla Estrella. Due to the time-lag of ten hours to send a message to Terramatrix, they initially ignored her queries.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” organized the transfer of the salvaged bio-lab equipment into The Factory – Main Medical, and set-up the new laboratory, designed to study biology matters. The salvaged Battle Armor – Tornado PAs were transferred and stored with the unit’s “Coffins” in the Factory’s deep storage vaults. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” made contacts with all her Intelligence operatives, and started going through her gathered briefs.

April 4th, 3021 : LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” pulled a Tornado Battlesuit out of storage, was assigned a squad of marines and the lead tech team who had designed and built the Iron DIngoes “Warlord Mk2” Field Kit, and finally pulled the spare Passenger Module from * “The Scrapyard”. So equipped, he began booking passage via commercial JumpShips, to try and reach Joshua’s Station as quickly as possible. He was intending to bring the design specs they’d taken of the Battle Armor – BH-18 “Waddle” Combat Walker, combined with their own research and the salvaged BattleArmor, and see if they could access the design and manufacturing resources of their old acquaintance Karl Lotjonen. How long this might take was anyone’s guess, but they speculated several months for the entire trip…

The unit also transferred their salvaged Large Agricultural Robot over to the station for reprogramming by Moxie and then for storage in the Deep Vaults. Glamour’s reports revealed that the incoming mercenaries were indeed rather worn, desperate sorts, but that they were just as deadly when pushed against the wall. Someone, or several someones, were hiring them soon after their arrival, and then they were shipping down to the planet as cargo, using local transport services (mostly DropShuttles).

So informed, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” went into his most “normal” clothing, and attempted to find a couple un-hired mercs and try to find out who was hiring them. He had trouble remembering his own name for a bit, and settled on a persona as “Advocate” a pilot from * The Fold Fiends. He found that the mercs never knew who was hiring them, just that they met privately and the contracts were being witnessed by the local Comstar tech Adept Koda Svenson, who was assigned to the station for that purpose.

Originally the unit thought they should follow the mercs using security footage across the station, but Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” came up with the idea that maybe the unit should follow the Comstar tech instead. The unit’s intel techs began working through all the tapes from the last few months, and would contact the unit once they had something.

Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” returned another call from Cornet Estrella, and over the whole day was able to communicate with her, learning a great deal about the situation on-planet. She related that The Dead Man’s Hand were engaged in a “wargame” out in the western mountain jungles with the Royal Guard, but while they rotated their lances through the games, they were also using the games as a cover for scouting the region. They had encountered numerous tracks and signs that small troops of infantry and Mechs were moving through the region, scouting-out the perimeter. In a lot of ways, it was what had been happening down south in The District of Garcia over a year ago.

Meanwhile, the unit’s allies in The 4th Motorized Infantry Battalion, Sangrian Army – “Garrison’s Own”, had been reporting the strange “Aero-Blip” had been spotted several times over the southern jungles. Also, garrison patrols had reported movement in the jungles of forces that were definitely not indigenous. Whatever their intentions, they were likely less than good.

April 5th, 3021 : All cargoes transferred and troops assigned, the unit detached from their transports and burned in-system to Terramatrix.

April 11th, 3012 : Taking hours to relay information, Glamour’s intel reported en-route, that they had narrowed the mercenary contact to one person : the Comstar Adept himself. Seemed he was making contact with the individuals privately, and soon thereafter, the mercs would take passage aboard various commercial transports for flight down to Terramatrix. All of them.

April 15th, 3021 : The fleet arrived over the northern pole, trying to remain hidden until they had scouted the situation and decided on a certain plan. They immediately deployed Intelsat “Predator’s Eye” into high orbit, and settled into silent running.

Paladin contacted Cornet Estrella via satellite, and informed her of the unit’s position in orbit. He then informed her that it was the responsibility of the Dead Man’s Hand to deal with the western “situation”, and that the Iron Dingoes would deal with the southern one. Once and for all.

The unit then transferred their Gamma (Force Recon) Group “Snow Demons” Line Infantry over to the “Crimson Sands”, since it was the only force of infantry they had that could quickly and easily navigate the southern jungles. They also dispatched Senior Scout “Scammer” Firdaaz with his Swift Wind Scout Car to accompany them.

Ciudad_Garcia.jpg

Taking most of the day, the unit landed at Ciudad Garcia Starport, and within minutes of landing, had unloaded the infantry and Scammar in his car. Local security and customs forces were initially annoyed, but after presenting the “proper papers”, they left the DropShuttle alone. Lieutenant JG Dara Gideon was ordered to remain behind at the starport, until further notice, as their back-up for off-world evacuation.

April 16th, 3021 : The Snow Demons travelled through the evening, arriving at Garrison under dark. Immediately contacted by their allies in the 4th Battalion, they were assured the troops were loyal to the memory of the men who had trained them, and as such they were willing to “remove” the leadership that had been appointed by the local government. A “Purge” quickly ensued, and all suspicious members of the unit’s command were imprisoned, placing Major Petros Vagarez in charge of the entire force. The unit’s position and safety at Garrison was assured. And, more importantly, the 4th was theirs.

April 17th, 3021 : The unit’s scout, Scammer, was dispatched to the dam on Lake Orlando. He observed and reported the site was guarded by a Marauder on the dam itself, and a pair of Rifleman, one guarding each end. A platoon of SRM-equipped Infantry on motorcycles also seemed to patrol the site. Moving on, he was able to survey the village of Ourinhos, finding four Archers, three Rifleman, two Warhammers, and an ancient Longbow. Another pair of platoons of SRM-equipped infantry were spotted employing motorcycles and jeeps. All seemed peaceful, but these were different mercenaries than had previously been encountered at the site.

The unit contacted their old industrialist friend, Mister Hernandez, informing him of their presence in-system. They discussed the military situation in the District, and where everything stood. Hernandez assured them that mercenaries in the employment of the Merchant’s League would not engage any “hostile” forces unless they attacked the holdings they were assigned to protect. He admitted the forces around Lake Orlando, however, were something of an enigma. Although they were employed, by and large by the League, they were a large force, and might be on the payroll of someone else.

During their discussions, they learned of a series of meetings that were culminating this very evening in a party at the Governor’s Palace. Apparently various munitions salesmen and military industrialists were present, talking about munitions purchases and new weapons and vehicles. After ensuring the group would keep a low profile, they made plans to crash the party.

Templar, Pitbull, and Glamour recalled the “Crimson Sands” to rendezvous with the unit’s DropShips in orbit, and loaded their Hover Limo “Elite” into the cargo bay. They brought their blueprints of Kate & Leopold on a blank portacomp, hoping to use them as cover. Taking the ship down to the starport, they quickly made their way through Ciudad Garcia to the Palace. They crashed the Munitions Conference.

Meanwhile, the fleet left orbit, and made a forced landing outside the fort at Garrison. They made contact with the new leader, Major Vagarez, and he welcomed the Dingoes formally to Garrison, offering supplies and the town. With Paladin, they began to make plans.

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At the conference, they found many different individuals moving about, mostly local industrialists, with some off-world investors and several munitions specialists. They also saw Governor Dominica (who immediately recognized them), and Commander Pablo Othello, who did not. They also saw the man, Doctor Varn, who had sold the unit several truckloads of munitions, and was also the factory administrator in the capital. Glamour approached and flirted with the Governor, hinting that more might be available…

Templar was drawn to someone who looked distinctly like the women he’d met before who might be Colonel White’s daughters… Major Koko White “Azrael”. She proved to be very articulate, a shrewd businesswoman, and very happy to show-off her “wares” to a military man. In particular, she showed some advanced blueprints of a wheeled APC, known as the Amalek. She presented her card (smelling of cinnamon), detailing she was from an unknown manufacturing firm, Starhammer Forge, and gave a contact office here in the capital. Eventually, Templar’s attempts to hide his Iron Dingoes patch failed, and when she spotted it, turned icy. She summoned her son, Jeremiah White “Lucius” who seemed her personal assistant despite his young age, and the two quickly left the party.

Pitbull confronted Commander Pablo Othello, and though he didn’t recognize Pitbull at first, but eventually he did, and mentioned he thought he recognized “…the whore dancing with the Governor…”. As the conversation turned sour, the three met back together again, and promptly left the palace ahead of a complete lock-down. They travelled back to the Crimson Sands, and performed a sub-orbital drop to Garrison for a good night’s sleep…

April 18th, 3021 : Taking a day to recover from their night’s jaunts, the unit met together later in the day, and made plans to scout south into the Corazon Jungle, in force, once they had managed to get a bead on the signal. All depended on the luck and skill of their scout, Scammar in the south…

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Episode 65 - SAMURAI

“New eras don’t come about because of swords, they’re created by the people who wield them. ”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Jay (Advocate)—————————Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Ostroc
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

March 1st, 3021, Early Morning : System – Gollere, Barony of Horn, Northern Marshes; 4 hours after first contact…

After a group discussion about the fate of REAPER, the group began to discuss how to gain access to its store of data. Eventually, they offered to give REAPER its “eyes and ears” back in the adjoining rooms in exchange for the Technician’s Card it had taken. REAPER agreed, and once its surveillance cameras and audio mikes were restored, it gave up the card from the slot outside its chamber.

Seeing that REAPER could indeed be negotiated with, the group decided to take this further. In exchange for the restoration of its sensors throughout the facility, and the ability to turn its ECM and Communications back on, it would relate all it knew about SAMURAI, nearby planetary SLDF bases, and all the research data it had about the Battle Armor – BH-18 “Waddle” Combat Walker. This latter piece of data was agreed to be sent via orbital dispatch, once the unit left the planet’s surface and intended to leave. It seemed REAPER felt safe once they’d abandoned the world. The unit agreed. After departing for some quick rest and further discussions outside the complex, and to organize the recovery of assets (looting or Dingo Pack Tactics ) from the complex.

March 2nd, 3021 : The group decided that if they had access to those prototype blueprints, they could take them to their old acquaintance Karl Lotjonen, and perhaps get him to help in the development of the technology, not the least of which was because of his corporation’s original development of the Iron Dingoes “Warlord” Field Kit. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” gave the okay to do the deal with REAPER, and the techs restored the interior cameras and amps, eventually manually turning REAPER’s communications back on.

The group having completed its tasks, REAPER related what SAMURAI was. SAMURAI was another lab, one of several, that were run by AIs. Seems the remnants of nuclear blasts all around the region were from SLDF nukes trying to wipe-out the labs and their research. Some, like REAPER himself, were back-up data nodes. Others, like SAMURAI were research nodes dedicated to specific tasks. SAMURAI was apparently doing marine biology research, as well as conducting seismic studies. REAPER claimed to have not heard from SAMURAI in some time, though once, they had communicated off and on. REAPER also claimed to have not heard from any other nodes since the “Great Destruction”. SAMURAI and REAPER were unique. Asked for the location of a “government” access card to get into SAMURAI’s complex, REAPER claimed there’d likely be one in the abandoned bunkers off to the south-east (previously searched by Dingoes troopers).

March 4th, 3021 : The next few days were spent finishing the “claims process” on all the fallen Mechs and salvage taken from the bunker. LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” started interrogating the handful of survivors the group managed to capture alive in complex, that were wearing the suits. They were still clearly REAPER’s creatures, but it was hoped that distance might break them of the control.

March 7th, 3021 : Searching the abandoned shelters south-east of the complex took several days, and among the expected debris of the hundred ruins, were ragged furnishings, debris of all sorts, and sometimes working 3-d holo-players, and a few other handfuls of technical artifacts that were salvaged. In addition, they found a green card with a black stripe, labelled Stage-IV Government Administration SLFD ID card. Card (and salvage) in hand, the unit rendezvoused back at the DropShips, and planned for their trip to SAMURAI. * “The Werewolves” were activated, and the troops were organized while the command council all wanted to see what SAMURAI was about.

March 8th, 3021 : The large group, led by the Command Lance in their Mechs, made their way up the coast past Mudport, and eventually reached the hidden cave entrance and its elevator. Werewolves in the lead, they entered the area, and crowding around the elevator used the new ID Card, to activate the elevator. It quickly began to move down, then shifted out to sea, and then down once more, followed by another shift out to sea. This repeated several times over several minutes, before eventually slowing to a stop.

The elevator door opened up into a large, domed room with walls made of a transparent crystal, showing the base/lab was perched on the edge of an abyss about 300m deep. Through the dim waters, three other domes could be seen, one a large building directly towards the cliff, and a smaller pair of domes on either side of it. The smaller domes were connected by long , tube-like passages. Surrounding the facility were large patches of seaweed, growing like fields.

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The room itself was elegantly appointed, with chairs, couches and tables. An oval opening led through a tube towards the larger dome beyond, while a reception desk lay to the right. Next to the entrance, attached to the wall, was a thick bronze plaque which read :

SAMURAI
Sub-Aquan Marine United Research And Investigation
Established by the government of the Terran Hegemony, in the year A.D. Two-Four Hundred and Eighty-Four, to investigate underwater environments for the benefit of the people of our nation and the Inner Sphere.
Jon Reedman, Secretary of Technological Advancement
11 May, 2484

While the group spread through the entry chamber, investigating various items, a sudden barrage of energy fire came from Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” and Trooper “Wiley” Xavier who were guarding the entrance to the chamber, shooting down the tunnel to the larger building. It seemed there were several people shooting pulse energy weapons back at the group. Without hesitation, Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” grabbed the desk by the door and using it as a shield, began moving down the tunnel towards them, followed closely by Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” who grabbed the chair. Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and the two Werewolves laid down suppressive fire while the group closed, when a third person appeared from around the corner in a lab coat, who threw a jar of chemicals at the group… and missed spectacularly, shattering the jar against the tubeway with an acidic hiss… but the crystal tube resisted the burns.

The attackers were quickly subdued with strong counter-fire, and searched, revealing all of them in drab-colored overalls, armed with vibro-blades and Mauser 960 Assault Systems. These people, however, also had a silver skull cap attached, covering their entire upper head. Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” determined them to be a cybernetic implant, fairly invasive, and absolute. Beyond, the dome opened into two corridors along the edges of the dome, with small doors running along the inner wall, and more transparent crystal on the outer walls.

The gang broke into two separate groups, Pitbull moving south with one group, and Paladin leading the other north, while the Werewolves held the central entrance. They found the doors led to small personal quarters, though Paladin’s group found one tech asleep in one room and he was quickly subdued. Eventually the two corridors wound back around to join at a small common room set with long table and twelve chairs. A small kitchenette was present, complete with cooking equipment and a service for twelve. Food seemed to be a wide variety of seaweed with locally acquired spices.

Leading from the common room, was a narrow corridor that led to a general storage room, holding cartons of foodstuffs, spare equipment and tools, and an assortment of electronic replacement parts. In the center of the chamber was a thick pillar studded with various dials and buttons, surrounded at the one meter mark by a red line. Glamour and Fixer quickly identified it as a magnetic fusion power plant, still in perfect working order.

Splitting back into their groups, Pitbull’s group headed down the south tube, while Paladin’s group headed north. They ordered * “The Werewolves” to hold the entrance and the elevator leading to the surface. Pitbull’s group entered the southern tube, passing another tube leading east, and followed the new one to find themselves perched on a narrow walkway above another smaller transparent dome over-looking ten glass tanks evenly spaced below. stairs descended into the flooded dome, and the vague movement of something large could be seen amid the jellyfish, eels, rays and other things among the flooded tanks. They left this dome and continued south an oval door marked with the word Labs, and a small card slot reader.

Paladin’s group headed north, and passed an eastern tube that was sealed-off, leading east. Access couldn’t be gained. Continuing further north, the group came to a 3m-wide airlock chamber, with stairs going up to the right and another airlock iris leading left. Taking the iris, they found a 3m-wide corridor bending around the outside of the new dome, also ending in a manually-operated hinged airlock. Several sealed racks followed along the right side, each holding a large deep-sea diving suit, equipped with mining claws on their right arm. They discussed their options.

To the south, Pitbull’s group used their recently recovered government card on the door, and it was swallowed by the machine with a grind. The group sat down and proceeded to crack open the electronic lock with tools. Paladin’s group left the airlock chamber, and headed up the stairs, finding an iris door, that opened into a bubble chamber atop the dome. Inside was a full 360-degree view of the area, and a series of computer consoles, and two featureless boxes. Sitting in the central chair was a cybernetic soldier wearing a black uniform, who promptly pulled his sonic rifle and opened fire on the intruders. The group poured into the chamber and silenced him with extreme violence.

As the group investigated the controls, they noticed a tall, slender tower rising near the dome, that ended in a large turret mounting some sort of large laser. The controls seemed very simplistic, and consisted of two items: Shield Control and Installation Defense. The Shield Control buttons seemed to brighten and lessen the ambient lights around the complex, whereas the Installation Defense buttons controlled the directions of the turret, “Energized” it for firing, and both rose it up above the complex, or brought it back down to secure it.

Leaving the controls alone, they down into the lower chambers, put on the diving suits, and entered the excursion docks. The large chamber was very simply appointed, with a large “cargo” hatch leading below the dome, and a smaller tube entrance leading ocean-ward to a large submersible. The cargo hatch turned-out to grant access to a a massive 250-ton submersible docked below the dome. Once more, the controls proved very simplistic.

Pitbull’s group quickly managed to open the door, and it revealed a square, glass cubicle with no apparent means of opening it. The floor and ceiling were covered in grillwork and a single red button on the far wall. Beyond, was a room furnished with chairs and tables and having seven doors leading from it. Pitbull boldly walked into the room, pressed the button, and was promptly sealed-off from the others by a sliding metal door. The floor and the ceiling radiated a bright red light, and twenty seconds later shut-off and the far side glass opened. As the group, one by one made their way through the glass chamber, Pitbull noted each door leading from the room was labelled; “Lab Supplies”, “Lab 1”, “Lab 2”, “Lab 3”, “Operating Room”, “Seismic Station”, and “Computer Center”.

Working their way counter-clockwise around the room, the Computer Center consisted of ten humming, refrigerator-sized cabinets connected to three large computer terminals, watched over by a single cybernetic technician . Quickly subdued, investigation of the monitor he was working from revealed he was filing a report about the disappearance of a “scouting force” of four workers investigating Death Lake. According to the report, the explorers were attacked by troopers wearing golden armor, very much resembling the “Golden Legion” encountered by the Iron Dingoes earlier in the month. It further suggested they were making “replacements”, due for completion in two weeks. Other notes on the computer involved numerous information regarding seaweed growth studies and water samples.

Investigation of the computer functions seemed to indicate it was running at barely 10% of its original levels. Running through its root commands were four basic orders; 1-Maintain Facility, 2-Study local marine life and other facility missions, 3-Maintain Technical Levels and Personnel, and 4 – Protect Facility.

The Seismic Station was lined with rows of recording devices, hooked to a single display monitor detailing a constant series of information that Pitbull determined to be map markings across the globe, recording magnitude, duration and location of seismic events. The operating Room was a brightly lit chamber with extensive equipment, similar to the advanced medical facility found in a MASH. Strapped to the table was a person with newly implanted cybernetic devices, and two cybernetic surgeons. The two techs were quickly subdued and the “patient” examined to reveal him alive, but in dangerously critical condition.

Lab 3 turned into a stairway leading into a large bubble chamber above the dome. This chamber was filled with electronics and simple medical gear, but the central focus of the lab were the four large tanks filled with blue, crystalline waters. Within each tank were very man-like figures, each laced with an intricate series of electronic wiring. It seemed like the locals were “cloning” cybernetic people. Lab 2 was lined with aquariums filled with local dangerous water creatures being studied by a pair of cybernetic workers, quickly subdued, and Lab 1 was a biological laboratory for studying chemical reactions. The last chamber, Lab Supplies, proved to be filled with large quantities of lab equipment and supplies.

The group contacted each other, compared notes, and met back in the central common room to discuss options. It was decided to test the Installation Defense mechanisms, so Pitbull took the lead and had Fixer and Templar try firing the laser, each time finding it required a period of charging, but had an impressive range, equal to a Light-NPPC, or low-level Naval Particle Cannon. Based on its mass of nearly 1400 tons, they couldn’t salvage it anytime soon.

Over the next few days, the unit called in their salvage squads, and set about stripping the facility as best they could of supplies, spare parts and valuable equipment. Pitbull, Templar, Glamour, Trooper “Wiley” Xavier and Tech Ginney McRiven put on the five deep-sea diving suits, and walked down to the station from the beach… a long perilous trip that resulted in seeing the facility and examining the larger sub docked to the submersible airlock. They explored the sealed-off section and its dome, finding the area had been severely damaged from numerous physical blows. Once consisting of a communications center, a security office and a large, central chamber with five coffin-like boxes connected to a central sphere by thick, multi-colored tubes. The outer transparent duraglass was bypassed, allowing Ginney and Glamour to examine the central sphere. It appeared the sphere casing was damaged, and resulting corrosion had further damaged its circuitry. It was obvious a third party had damaged the central processor of SAMURAI, rendering it capable of only basic functions, as a simple computer core, its AI functions long-since destroyed.

Examining the larger cargo sub, let them see they couldn’t really salvage the sub, so they ordered the sub stripped of equipment to salvage and activate the smaller Aquarius Research Submarine. Among the valuable supplies, they were able to salvage a complete biology lab (intended for installation on “The Factory” ), the four cloning/healing tanks (also intended for installation aboard their medical facilities on “The Factory” ), the medical bay for later inclusion into a new MASH, and large quantities of foodstuffs. Templar coins the cybernetics salvaged “Thinking Caps”, while those artifacts and the corpses are placed under the responsibility of Moxie for later study.

March 11th, 3021 : SAMURAI was finally salvaged, and attention was turned to the salvage from the battlefield, and storing everything aboard the required DropShips for transport. SAMURAI equipment was ticketed, and shipped for immediate transport to “The Freedom of the Stars”. Salvage and repair work took the better part of a week, during which time, the Dingoes stayed fairly busy. The Aquarius was brought to the surface, though there was no official crew for its general use, and transported back to the fleet for storage via the unit’s Planetlifter Air Transports.

March 20th, 3021 : Salvage work complete, the group was invited to a ball being held in the local Baron’s palace, in celebration of the end of the Golden Legion. It proved to be an impressive ball, filled with the local nobility and people of import. The Dingoes were formally introduced to Baron Jemmas of Horn three daughters, and he was formally presented with a detailed map of the region fro m the Dingoes scouting effort, as well as a ton of AER-9 Laser Rifle and enough Iron Dingoes “Militia” Field Kits to equip 12 infantry squads. Negotiations quickly ensued.

The Dingoes requested the option to recruit from the Baron Jemmas’ own college when in-system. They also asked to purchase supplies directly from the Baron in the future, and he agreed to all their requests. He even hinted he had a young daughter (and an older daughter) in need of marriage… A couple days later, Glamour made good on her offer to fly the Baron in her LAM, taking him into orbit and showing him a good time indeed. The last few days on-planet were quick and uneventful, eventually the group being paid-out of their contract early, with a case of gemstones, some hard off-world currency (C-Bills), and the majority paid-out in trade certificates for timber, foodstuffs, and fresh water from the barony’s reserves. These could be easily negotiated off-world for cash to traders and other interested parties.

March 30th, 3021 : The group lifted-off the planet with their troops and salvage, and once in a stable orbit, contacted REAPER. It responded, and ensured that the unit was intent on leaving, sent the prototype information for the Battle Armor – BH-18 “Waddle” Combat Walker. The unit then burned quickly for the jump-point, leaving it all behind them.

April 3rd, 3021 : Transports loaded and cargo secured, the Dingoes jumped out-system to their temporary home, Dumassas. Once comms had cleared, the unit contacted “The Factory” it received a call from station command, requesting immediate contact. Seems things were developing down on System – Dumassas

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Episode 64b - REAPER

“By the time Skynet became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms; everywhere. It was software; in cyberspace. There was no system core; it could not be shutdown. The attack began at 6:18 PM, just as he said it would. Judgment Day, the day the human race was almost destroyed by the weapons they’d built to protect themselves. I should have realized it was never our destiny to stop Judgment Day, it was merely to survive it, together. The Terminator knew; he tried to tell us, but I didn’t want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don’t know; all I know is what the Terminator taught me; never stop fighting. And I never will. The battle has just begun.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Jay (Advocate)—————————Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————— Ostroc
Keith (-) -———————————- Condor Heavy Hover Tank
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

March 1st, 3021, Early Morning : System – Gollere, Barony of Horn, Northern Marshes; 40 seconds after first contact…

A general retreat was in full order among the scattered defending elements, while the handful of northern Sentinels and Powered Armor were clustering together in a defensive perimeter against the Dinoges Scrum Lance and its various hover tanks. To the south, in front of the hidden bunker with the intense ECM field, the surviving mercenary Mechs and pair of Sentinels and assorted Powered Armor were trying to hold their line and confronting the Iron Dingoes Command and Ground-Pounders Lances, It was also obvious, that the MEchs were getting smarter, especially as the coded communications bouncing around the area grew thin and less frequent.

The hover armor quickly concentrated fire on the isolated Battle Armor in the central woods, taking virtually no fire in return. The scout Mechs on the Scrum Lance sniped various Sentinels with little effect. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” managed to tear into the CT on one Sentinel, ravaging its engine, but it remained otherwise intact. Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” used his Needle Laser : “The Hatpin” effectively, blowing through the LT of one Sentinel, and triggering an ammo explosion that tore the Mech apart.

Near the bunker, Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” managed a critical shot into the LT on the Warhammer, destroying one of its Small Lasers. Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” managed to tear the LL off another Sentinel, while another secondary shot hit the Head off the other Senitnel nearby.

The Warhammer came under a sudden barrage of strikes, suffering severe damage, falling over and collapsing under the strain, missing a leg and both torsos. LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” tore apart the Hunchback, with a series of devastating PPC shots from his Flashman. Mechwarrior Parish “Priest” also managed to blow apart the Cyclops in a brutal shot to its ammo bins.

In the north, the armor continued to flank the defenders, shooting apart its Powered Armor infantry, and assisted by Glamour in her P-Hawk LAM. The Scrum Lance quickly closed and bean taking apart the remaining Sentinels, with both MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” and MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine” managed to destroy a Sentinel each, through obliterating their CTs.

A full minute into the fight, things were obviously winding down. All Powered Armor had slipped into underground tunnels near the bunker, or been destroyed. The two remaining Sentinels, one n the north surrounded by tanks and Scrum Lance, and the other, near the bunker’s entrance surrounded by both Command and Pounders LAnces were doomed. Paladin head shot the southern Sentinel, tearing it clean off, and getting the only relatively undamaged Sentinel salvage in the entire fight. To the north, The armor devastated the remaining Sentinel with scattered SRMs, and Caboose finished it off with an ammo explosion.

As silence crossed the battlefield, broken only with the ECM fields running everywhere, it was broken only by plaintive signals from the bunker Several demands for teh surrender of the bunker across all channels were ignored. Templar and Fixer both approached one of the first Sentinels taken down, being the most “intact” Mech available, and after closing with it, dismounted from their Mechs to investigate these machines.

Accessing the Mech’s cockpit manually, the pair started examining the machine’s electronics suites, finding no pilots, but rather a rough cobbling of electronics that seemed to hint the machines were being robotically controlled. This explained the intense military comms traffic, though the technology was advanced, the components were crude and cobbled from various non-standard sources. Salvage teams began to swarm the field, guarded by all Dingoes Line Infantry and Armor. The intial reports were that there were no salageable components from the Powered Armor, due, primarily, to the large-sized weapons systems used to destroy them, leaving only bits and pieces. Several intact Laser Assault System (LAS) “Grendal”s were salvageable, however, as well as numerous [[: mauser-960-assault-system]]s. A large number of Sentinel limbs (including its vaunted AC/5 Ultras) were also being taken from the field, as well as the headless Sentinel, the Warhammer and most of the Hunchback.

Pitbull made a torch of a tree coated with flammable liquids, and entered into the bunker through its large, excavated entrance. Immediately inside, the bunker was a large series of empty bays, formerly Mech bays, stripped down with only two remaining active. Collections of tools and parts lay scattered about. Next to them was a massive duralloy vault door bearing The Cameron Star. Examination of the doors led the unit to see they were sealed by some sort of card-lock for a mag-key. Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” arrived, and carefully exited his “ride” aboard one of the Maxims, and using the Stage III Tech Pass Card he’d found in the armory library back in Horn, managed to open the door, though the access port punched a hole in the strip on the card.

Beyond, were relatively clear corridors slanting gently down under the ground. Drain slots were located at regular intervals, and air was being circulated and renewed through vents along the ceiling. Glow strips in the ceiling and upper walls lit the way. Interior doors were a superior duralloy, and virtually unbreakable to standard weapons.

Pitbull led the marine pltoon “Shiv’s Star Talons” and Gamma platoon “The Snow Demons” of Force Recon into the breech, accompanied by Wraith, Fixer, Templar and a number of techs were kept near the entrance to assist, along with the spare marine platoons.

At the first intersection, they found several holo-cameras watching them, and after the unit destroyed them, a disembodied voice spoke over an intercom, saying : “…You’re all going to die down here…”. A pair of marine squads and standard Line Infantry squads were left here as guards. A series of corridors led back and forth, with the unit finding clusters of rooms at points . Each section led to narrower and narrower corridors and cameras watching at each intersection.

The first “Cluster” was a lounge area, with a medical bay, a storage closet and a converted office laying off it. The storage area held racks of blister-pack communications in the shape of Cameron Stars. Nearly two hundred (162 units) wireless communcators were present, and they were found capable of cutting through the ECM fields, and so were distributed among all the units in the bunker, allowing communications between them through the static. Several of the channels were revealed to have coded electronic communications running back and forth along them. The second room entered proved a medical bay, complete with a medical person wearing Star LEague doctor’s gear. He asked after the health of the intruders, and requested they sit on the bed for “…analysis and processing…”. No one complied,even though the good doctor was rather insistent, though he soon sat back down in the corner and waited. The unit sent word to their resident cyberneticist ( Moxie ) to come and take a look at the “subject”, and left.

The last room in the area was a locked (opened through Wraith’s electronics lockpick) converted office stripped of its furnishings, though it had a private water closet. Inside, were three rather worn prisoners wearing smock-like pale yellow hospital gowns. All three were planetary locals, being rather brawny and tough, and bewildered by higher technology. They reported they were fed twice a day, and they were often visited by men in golden armor, along with the good “doctor”, who sometimes brought new people, and sometimes took others away, as directed by the golden armored men with “…the red scorpion mark…” on their shoulders. The three were escorted back out of the complex by a squad of troopers.

The corridors beyond led to a series of turns (all watched by cameras), and eventually ended in a collapsed section of ferrocrete and duralloy beams and rubble. Basic engineering proved useful in identifying it as a collapse, likely dating to a nuclear blast or other severe seismic disturbance sometime in the distant past.

The next section encountered, located almost across from the first section, was a large double-door locked by an electronic pass-key. Opening the door using the passkey card, it revealed a former research lab converted into some sort of lounge for troops, and four suited troopers equipped with Battle Armor – Tornado PA, a pair of rifles and a pair of Grendals.! Immediately the invading troopers swarmed them with the sheer number of forces present (basically 36 troopers to four….), and overwhelmed the troopers quickly with minimal casualties (three troopers severely injured, one dead). Prying the troopers out of their armor, they found all captured infantry to be rigged with strange cranial implants, similar to those possessed by the doctor, and their suits were form-fitted to their individual physiology. Based on the battle-damage and wear on these suits, they were four of the missing six troopers that had managed to flee into the underground tunnels.

Leading from this room were two other small corridors. One proved to be locked, but was accessible through Wraith’s and Fixer’s skills, and opened to reveal a large armory, stocked with six complete suits of Battle Armor – Tornado PAs, twenty-two cases of grenades (a mix of HE and CS Gas) for the Mausers, two Grendals, six Mausers, and numerous energy cells for the rifles and other uses, all military-grade. The second chamber off the lounge where the fight had occurred, proved to be the converted labs used as a barracks by the powered armor infantry, that opened with the pass-key. Racks for nearly fifty PA-Ls were present, bunks and a large pair of converted shower stalls.

Returning to the main intersection, the unit headed down the side corridor, finding two narrow corridors leading to a collapsed series of tunnels, and a pair of large rooms. The first was a locked storeroom filled with boxes of blank holodisks, circuit boards, glow sticks and other important consummables for the facility. An entire wall was dominated by shelves of vacuum-packed cartons of food rations (enough for 10,000 meals!). The second room was a refurbished lab turned into a maintenance bay for power armor. Furnished with work tables, hoists, parts bins, and several incomplete suits of Tornado armor, there was also a unique piece of equipment, an Industrial Magnetic Shape-Former, used to shape armor pieces over exoskeletons and other internal structure.

Back into the main corridor, they eventually found another intersection, with a newly collapsed access area, and an older collapsed area with a pair of doors leading away from it. The doors led to two connected rooms of a mess hall and a food preparation area highly automated , but providing nutrient packs and soups…

ANother clsuter down to the west was a combination of rooms, all interconnected from the main hall. The first was a data control bank with a large viewscreen, numerous memory banks and a battle-armored trooper, who was likewise also overwhelmed by the 30 or so troopers who stormed in after him. Equipped with a Mauser and CS Gas grenades, he caused a single death in the fight, but otherwise the invading mercenaries were able to capture her (!) and pry her out of the armor.Fixer and Templar stayed to fiddle with the computer and a squad of guards. Five of the six had been caught.

From here, the unit found another bank of electronic equipment in the next room, and quickly determined it to be the control center for the ECM pulse outside. The unit discussed the ability to communicate freely, and so they shut-down the ECM unit manually, and immediately, the local communications grids lit-up allowing full use of unit comm-links. Meanwhile, FIxer and Templar determined that the computer information in the first room was all false; it was a ruse to keep intruders occupied and believing this was the main computer. It wasn’t.

Out in the main corridor, Pitbull found a large room that proved to be the main power room, using decaying nuclear piles to produce heat and thereby power turbines through heat exchangers. This was something they had encountered before on System – Claybrooke. Along this corridor, they also found a small lab converted to repair and build weapons, including several HE grenades and their components, as well as numerous parts for assembling more Grendals (six total).

The final chamber in the area was a locked smaller lab filled with servers and cabinets holding a massive cybernetic tank that contained a human brain dipped in strange goo. They had found REAPER!

Meanwhile, Moxie and Advocate entered the complex and made their way (under heavy protective guard) to the medical lab, and began interrogating the medic the unit had found there. After he grew agitated and was grappled by the two, they tranqed him, and began examining the lab. They found that the medic had several crudely cobbled together electronic “neurological stimulators”, something that could be surgically affixed to the patients spine, just below their skull, and then the large neuro-helmet device over the bed could be placed on the patients head and it could be “reprogrammed”… The medical lab seemed to only serve this purpose.

Back at REAPER, Pitbull engaged in talking to it, finding it very sure of itself. He entered the central chamber, and was promptly shocked by a virtual lightning storm that knocked him unconcsious, and did some serious physical damage. He was “hooked” out of the chamber and following soem tranq patches recovered. Wiping the blood off his face, Pitbull began to talk to REAPER about its plans, and tried to reason with it, realizing, that REAPER (and the people who had escaped in the DropShip earlier, now had some very valuable research data in their possessions. The question was how to access that data.

REAPER wanted to gather a defensive army, and spread into the planet, but that wasn’t really an option that the Iron Dingoes were going to allow. Damn morals. LEaving a guard, they continued to explore the complex and think about the matter. Eventually, they followed the main corridor to another dead end of collapsed tunnels, but found, at the far end of the tunnel, a makeshift refugee camp for nearly 200 people along the corridor. Interrogating the leader of the group, they found that they were the kidnapped local farmers, as well as members of a tour group who had come to the system on a sight-seeing trip from Davion space. The missing tourists!

They related that they had been boarded in orbit, and then hustled aboard a large DropShip, _"…larger even than a Union…" and then landed here and stuffed away. Sometimes gold-armored troopers would arrive and take people way, especially since “…they took the good doctor…”. Sometimes they would bring food and supplies, but they were always under the direction of “…that silver-haired woman, and those golden-armored troopers with the red scorpion on their shoulders…”. Further questioning revealed “the woman” to be Captain Selvari White “Seraphim”. Another of the “daughters” of Colonel White, perhaps?

Beyond the camp were a pair of rooms, one proving to be a lecture hall turned into a trash dump, and the other was another lab converted into a makeshift maintenance bay holding several scavenged machines, including an Industrial Laser Jigsaw and an Industrial Sheet Duralloy Fabricator, both irreplaceable in producing battle armor. In addition, they found perhaps a hundred sheets of duralloy, each valuable in the armoring of a single exoskeleton.

The unit then began organizing the evacuation of the prisoners and once the battlefield was salvaged, the salvaging of the labs and repair bays in the bunker. Once that was complete, they could determine the fate of REAPER and his store of knowledge…

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Episode 64a - REAPER

“You realize, Dr. Angelo, that my intelligence has surpassed yours …my birth cry will be the sound of every phone on this planet ringing in unison.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

March 1st, 3021; Early morning : Heading into the swamps in the north-west of the Barony of Horn, the Line forces slowly approached the spot Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” had previously scouted using her LAM to map the location out. Coded communications traffic of a military nature was centered in the region, and following a sudden burst signal into the location, a sole DropShip, identified as a Lion-Class DropShip left the region and burned for orbit. As they entered south of the swampy hilly region, an especially strong ECM field appeared on a nearby hill, near a handful of ruined ferrocrete bunkers and rubble piles rising from the muck. Beyond lay a massive crater, and near that a smaller crater from the departing DropShip’s wake, rapidly filling with muddy water. Beyond everything, among a swampy forest, lay a large lake. Nothing stirred.

As the unit’s Mechs entered the field, the Grounders moved along the east, Command down the center, and Scrum swiftly headed along the western edge. The Line armor waited on the edge for deployment, staying out of harms way, and the Line infantry behind them. The Grounders activated their satellite link to the unit’s Mobile Command Post via Intelsat “Predator’s Eye”. Glamour began a fast flanking maneuver along the western edge in “hover” mode, keeping an eye on sniping from behind.

In response, a lance of Mechs moved from a bunker hidden in the hard rocky hill east of the ruins; an Atlas, a Cyclops, a Hunchback and a Warhammer. The Command and Grounders lances backed-up a little, trying to avoid the large number of AC/20s arrayed against them, but were able to snipe even their lesser weapons at longer range with their satellite link. Fire was concentrated on the Cyclops, as the lead element, and it took a devastating series of blows from PPCs that tore into the RT (50 points in one round!), savaged its AC/20, and knocked the Mech to the ground.

Glamour noticed the units were unable to return fire very efficiently, and MechWarrior Faith Whinyates reported that coded communications traffic was reaching extreme levels.

The assault lance from the bunker continued to advance, with the Grounders taking cover in a light forest, and opening with everything they had. The Command lance just hunkered down where they were, and concentrated fire on the advancing Mechs, exchanging sporadic sniping fire for their own withering attacks. Various STN-3L Sentinels began to appear, one pair powered-up near the advancing assault lance, while another pair powered-up in the woods near the Scrum lance. Another lance strode onto the field from the swampy woods of the north, still a long ways away from everything, but capable of closing and using their AC/5s soon enough.

MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” leapt into the woods next to the pair closest to him, and was immediately swarmed by a cluster of four Battle Armor – Tornado PAs, that had remained hidden in “stealth” mode in a space of heavy woods. About 50m away, another cluster of four appeared, and they opened up their weapons, a mix of Mauser 960 Assault Systems and Laser Assault System (LAS) “Grendal”s on the intruder. As units began to pull back into defensive clusters amidst the trees, more and more Tornadoes appeared, always in clusters of four, in a mix of standard and support weapons. A lonely pair appeared near the ECM node, high on the slopes of the rocky outcroppings. Communications traffic increased again to manic levels.

MechWarrior Valentina Masterson “Valentine” opened up the CT of the nearest Sentinel, tearing into its Engine, though not taking it out. Several Tornadoes were damaged and their troops eliminated. The scattered “central” Tornadoes were unable to reach any targets, but began moving into position. Nearby, Glamour slipped in behind a pair of Sentinels, and after damaging one with her LL, kicked the other in the Head, and though it seemed to have destroyed the cockpit, the Mech remained in combat…

Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” let loose with a full barrage into the Atlas, taking it in the Head, while the rest savaged it, as it covered the standing efforts of the Cyclops. Various physical strikes occurred across the field, but none did any other serious damage. The unit calle din their Line armor to support and flank the Tornadoes, and harass the scattered Sentinels, with their Zephyr Hover Tanks activating their ECM suites.

As the tanks advanced rapidly over the open swampy terrain, their ECM began to disrupt communications, hinting that the units were controlled from teh central bunker. While the individual troopers were a little inept, as a whole, they had been able to co-ordinate their attacks quickly and without hesitancy. The two cut-off in the south-west woods near the Scrum lance openly abandoned their better defensive positions and assaulted the nearby Phoenix Hawks and Wolverines. MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” blew through one Seintiel’s LT and touched-off its ammo reserves, blowing the Mech apart, though the arm was torn off and left behind. At almost the same instant, a round of SRMs from Commander Fionna Lord “Angel Frost”s own Pegasus Scout Hover Tank, cracking through to its CT, and blowing both its engine and gyro. As the Mech blew into pieces, its mate was savaged by Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith”s prototype Needle Laser : “The Hatpin”, cutting apart its Gyro, then kicked its leg off, knocking it over and watching as its Sensors blew apart, and the Mech collapsed in a heap. Two Sentinel’s were down.

Off to the east, the firepower tunred intense, as Pitbull assaulted the Atlas, striking its CT with numerous successful strikes, causing several critical failures across the Mech, including its LRMs, SRMs, and both its Gyro and Engine. With the final Engine critical, the fusion reactor expoded, slagging the Mech utterly. LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” managed to redirect his fire with an over-ride, but his strikes also scored deep damage into the Hunchback, including criticals into its Engine and Gyro., knocking it over. Fixer savaged a Sentinel, tearing apart its LA.

Glmaour continued to harass the two Sentinels further north, eventually kicking one through the CT-R, but doing no significant damage.

Twenty seconds into the brawl, and the various groups of Tornadoes took scattered damage, including one of the two troopers on the rocky hill, by Glamour, who swept towards them. Several clusters of troopers were making their way back to the ruins in the swamp, though some took savage damage in the retreat across the open. Pitbull and Trooper Pol Baca “Templar” opened up on the Warhammer, doing scattered damage, though Templar got a shot into its Head..

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The units seemed to be pulling together, and their fighting abilities were seeming to get better…

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