“New eras don’t come about because of swords, they’re created by the people who wield them. ”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
-————————— 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.
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 :
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…