Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 88 - The Devil Wears Steampunk

“Wearin’ her perfume, Chanel No. 5
Got to be the finest girl alive
She walks real cool, catches everybody’s eye
She’s got such good lovin’ that they can’t say goodbye
Not too skinny, she’s not too fat
She’s a real humdinger and I like it like that”

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Episode 87d - "...Or, Home is where the War is..."

“Once you start thinking about it in a mercenary frame of mind, then you’re finished. You’re a joke, because there are too many mercenaries out there already.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

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Episode 87c - "...Or, Home is where the War is..."

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

February 1st, 3023 : Abandoned research station at Lake Aurin, Northern San Isabel : During the attack on the research facility, * “The Iron Dingoes” had cleared away scattered forces trying to defend the facility and its grounded mercenary DropShips. While a reinforced company of mercenary SRM infantry protected the barracks, only a wounded Grasshopper and a battered Panther remained of the defending forces, meanwhile the Dingoes still had sixteen Mechs on the field in various stages of capability.

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In the seconds before the reinforcing lance approached the battlefield, a pair of EGL-R6 Eagles appeared flying low and fast along NAP. They strafed the central cluster of three Mechs; Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” in their WHM-6R Warhammers taking the brunt of the damage. Oddball took a shot to the Head and another blowing through his CT armor to critically strike him and damage his gyro. Both he and Blaster fell over, taking more damage.

In response, they managed to get in a couple hits, but the AeroFighters quickly moved out of the area, having expended a great deal of fuel to support this defense.

The arrival of the new company of Mechs brought a change to the battlefield order. Now effectively defending the battlefield, * “The Iron Dingoes” quickly tried to maneuver for a better position to defend against the intruders.

The new unit entered the field, consisting of a good mix of styles; a Vindicator, a Scorpion_, a Griffin and an Ostscout; a Cyclops, a Victor, an Awesome and an Atlas; a Zeus_, a Phoenix Hawk and a pair of Thunderbolts. All bore mercenary markings, and appeared to be from the same mercenary unit, The Alpha Dogs.

Oddball struggled to rise, falling over and knocking himself unconscious. Mechwarrior Parish “Priest” and Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” opened up on the wounded Grasshopper, with Pitbull critically blowing its gyro apart, knocking it over and out of the fight. MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince” and Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” opened on the Panther, while Fixer took it apart with all seven of his Medium Lasers striking.

As the Alphas advanced across the field at full speed, Pitbull declared the Victor to be primary, and it took the brunt of multiple PPC strikes from Pitbull, Paladin, Slayer and Blaster, but remained moving. All approaching units identified Paladin’s Mech as the commander and tried to concentrate fire on him. In the midst of this crossfire, a strong ECM
field went up from the command Daimyo HQ 67-K, blanketing the area behind the DropShips in silence.

Oddball suddenly awoke, and groggily attempted to stand, but once more stumbled and fell over, knocking himself unconscious once more.

The advancing heavy units pushed out of their tree cover, and moved into very close proximity to the Dingoes heavy and support lances, exchanging close ranged fire. The Victor continued to take withering fire from the Dingoes, but remained in the fight. Pitbull fired on the Cyclops, critically destroying its AC/20. Paladin and Wraith fired on the Vindicator, and it took criticals to its engine and gyro, and a single ML to its Head.

Pitbull also called in the supporting scouts to remove the ECM field. Both Trooper Teresa Agnes and Trooper Thomas O’Brien interpreted this to mean they should fire on the unit, and slipped away from it to snipe with their Large Lasers, striking the turret.

The attacking units struck back with multiple hits, though the AC/20 strike on Wratih , which knocked him over, and the long-range AC/20 strike on Templar were the most notable.

On the western side of the fight, the Phoenix Hawk, and one of the Thunderbolts exchanged fire with the LAM.

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The Alphas continued to approach, and combat intensified. Shots were scattered, but with several assaults on both sides, the damage was brutal on both sides. Fixer’s strike on the Victor damaged its gyro, and Prince followed up with numerous criticals to the Victor’s SRMs and engine. Templar’s final strike on the Victor blew its LA off, and pierced the Victor’s SRM ammo bins, blowing the Mech apart.

Faith got in another lucky shot, piercing the Scorpion’s _Right Torso in a lucky shot, blowing its ammo bins apart, and knocking the Mech to the ground in pieces.

Before blowing apart, the Victor got a lucky hit on the Crokett’s Head, doing serious damage to Templer, though again he managed to stay awake.

Getting too close to the Thunderbolt, the LAM missed its kick, and took a Large Laser from the nearby Phoenix Hawk.

The next reinforcing unit arrived along the western edge of the field, with four (4) Scorpion Light Tanks, a pair of Manticore Heavy Tanks and a pair of Pike Support Tanks. Behind them were a dozen Wheeled APCs and several Light Utility Transports, all carrying infantry squads. Along the north-western edge of the field, a lance of lights also appeared; three (3) Locust and an Ostscout Mech.

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While the light lance approached through the forests, flanking the battle, the tanks moved swiftly and directly along the runway, firing at whichever target presented itself to their PPCs and Autocannons. The APCs seemed to be moving into position to deploy their infantry units. Along that edge, the LAM took several shots on one of the Locusts, but very little otherwise happened, beyond the fight getting closer to the main fight.

The battle in the forest’s edge got intense, despite the lack of the Victor and Scorpion. Among the fire, Faith got in another Head shot, this time on the Atlas, and it was followed-up by Fixer firing a Volley Fire shot of all his Medium Lasers into the cockpit on the same Mech blowing its Head clean off. Also, the Awesome took a Gauss Rifle shot from Pitbull, also taking its Head clean off in a single blow.

Fixer, Templar and Paladin all took some heavy response fire, but remained standing and in the fight.

The fight for the DropShips was still going strongly on both sides…

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Episode 87b - "...or, Home is where the War is..."

“Laddie whack fall the laddie, laddie whack fall the day.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

February 1st, 3023 : Outside the abandoned research station at Lake Aurin, Northern San Isabel : Having blown through the pickets at Rubineia, the units advanced on Lake Aurin, while its faster scout units moved to flank and hit the site on the eastern edge. The attackers knew there were reinforcements slowly following along behind them, but that they were a couple minutes behind. If the Iron Dingoes were quick, they could eliminate the units as they came to reinforce the fields defenses.

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The scout units quickly moved to seize the wooded areas in the northern portion of the map, while the slower units lumbered along behind.

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The lead units quickly identified the three DropShips on the tarmac of the airfield; the “Inferno”, the “Star Warrior”, and the much larger “Spearhead”. Defending them were three Archers and a single Longbow. A reinforced company of infantry held a series of barracks along the eastern corner of the tarmac.

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As the first units began to move further into the field, they noticed the infantry were unresponsive, while the defending Mechs remained stationary, taking a couple shots on the attacking Phoenix Hawk LAM buzzing around to flank them, with one medium laser registering a hit.

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Trying to place the DropShips behind them to make clear shots on the attacking Mechs, two Archers split from the group heading north-west, while the Longbow and other Archer moved east around the fueling buildings. Long-range shots intensified, with LRMs and PPCs beginning to be exchanged.

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The scouting forces moved to quickly intercept the advancing defenders, forcing them to disadvantage their LRMs. On the western front, there was very little fire, as the attackers cooled themselves down and moved into position through their jump jets.

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The heavy units of the Iron Dingoes began to close on the combat, and immediately made their presence known through long range strikes with their PPCs. Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” blew off the left arm of one Archer with a lucky ERPulseLL shot, while MechWarrior Faith Whinyatess PPC got it reeling with a lucky shot to the Head.

The unit concentrated fire on the one eastern Archer (identified by the moniker “Jade” ), but it responded by hitting Mechwarrior Parish “Priest” in the Head with a Medium Laser. The other Archer got off another lucky shot on Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour”‘s LAM, with another Medium Laser. The SRM-armed infantry nearest the LAM opened up as well, one platoon sprinkling rocket fire all across the _LAM’s_ armor.

In a furious Dingo Pack Tactics moment, “Jade” Archer suffered several melee strikes across its torso (four separate hits), and Glamour, floating at just the right height, kicked the head off the Longbow, taking the local lance’s leader out of the picture.

It was also noted, that the two “Scout cars” parked outside the research center were both Skulker Wheeled Scout Tanks and the command vehicle was a rare Daimyo HQ 67-K; all noted as being of Kurita-origin.

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The western front was quickly destabilizing, as the Archers were over-run by the scout Mechs, leaping over the DropShips, and as they retreated, they took various fire.

The LAM, now damaged, began to swoop out of the conflict zone, while the attackers heavy units closed to increase their fire even more. One Archer exploded in a furious fireball when Faith blew apart its ammo bins. Its companion (identified as “Wolf” ) took serious damage from multiple strikes, ravaging and destroying its LT.

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The first of the reinforcements arrived, a Dragon, a Panther, a Grasshopper and a Goliath, all Kurita-standard units.

The unit began opening scattered fire on the Goliath, until Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” touched off the ammo in its LT, blowing the Mech apart in a spectacular fashion. The solo Archer by the western barracks took ranged fire, taking a lucky CT critical, damaging most of its engine shielding and gyro.

The Dragon and Panther fired on the stationary Crockett of Templar, hitting him once in the Head and LT.

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The two isolated Archers were finally taken apart by concentrated fire; the western one shot in the Head by LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, and Wolf by multiple fire, though eventually with Faith getting the killing shot. The Dragon also took lethal fire, when Pitbull removed its Head in a perfect Guass Rfile_ shot. Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” removed the Right Torso from the exposed Panther on the building. Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” did severe damage to the Grasshopper, critically destroying 2/3 of its heat shielding.

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In the end of the first couple minutes of combat, the attackers had removed nearly two complete lances of heavy Mechs, and were able to identify that another lance of Mechs were following along close behind them, while a reinforced company of tanks and Mechs moved in from the east, likely to arrive in about another minute. For now, they were holding their own…

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Episode 87a - ...or, home is where the War is...

“Why does anyone lie? Cuz we’re scared? Or crazy? Or just mean?… There’s a million reasons why a person lies… But sometimes, you tell a lie so big… that it changes your whole life… Lie’s so big… it makes you think…”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

January 29th, 3023 : As the day drew to a close, the Council broached two final issues; contact with their potential allies in the Corazón Jungle, and how to wage a quick and effective campaign against the San Isabel military faction planning on invading The District of Garcia.

Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” thought on the latter subject, and after careful study of the situation and the maps available to him, suggested that the primary foe were essentially mercenaries like themselves, and such troops were carefully tied to their base of operations. For off-world mercenaries, that meant the bulk of their technical support and supplies were likely near or in their off-world transport. The simple means of neutralizing the invaders, was likely to find and seize their DropShips.

To assist in this and future efforts, it would be vital to ally with the Corazón troopers, and “…yoke their strength…”. Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” volunteered for the job, since he also had a personal scientific interest in the region, and seemed to have some essential diplomatic skills for the job. Plus, he was not a MechWarrior, and the unit needed to begin preparations to move south towards the border with their Mechs to counter the threat as soon as possible. Moxie left that night via the Marten VTOL kept there, along with one of his trusted aides and some personal equipment, planning to visit Tuadann and the war chief Varsha Arkadjian, to enlist her aid. He also came with a promise from the Council to provide 50,000Cs of consumable supplies (mainly salt, kerosene, and munitions) each month to the troopers for their use as scouts and irregulars within the Corazón Jungle, or along its borders.

The unit’s two unassigned scouts, hired while on System – New Syrtis, were deployed via Cobra Transport VTOL to the southern border of the Corazón Jungle, with the mandate to find the mercenary DropShips, and report back ASAP. Each was equipped with a Air Skimmer “Vulture” and a LT-68 Man-Pack Transceiver (Satellite Comms) from * “The Scrapyard”, and given a timetable of three days, before the Iron Dingoes Line Mechs would be in a position to counter-assault into northern border district of The Oriental Republic of San Isabel.

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Moxie’s trip into the jungle was uneventful, following the Rio Tashent along its slow steady pace south, until he reached Tuadann, and landed in the clearing assigned for VTOL contact with the locals. He quickly learned one basic item; they didn’t generally speak English… He eventually, however, managed to get across his intent to speak with their chief Varsha, and spoke with her, convincing her of the value the Iron Dingoes supplies could bring, and ensure he wasn’t asking more of them than to operate as “…Federal Militia…”, essentially doing what they normally did, but keeping an eye on foreign troop movements, and reporting them back to the Iron Dingoes. With the diplomatic mission a success, a large feast was called, and Moxie managed to avoid the worst of the food and drink, eventually being given a hut for his own use during the stay. He was also introduced to a young maiden to keep him company for the night… which he grudgingly accepted….

January 30th, 3023 : Moxie awoke in the morning, and after a quick exploration of the village, he found the main orbital transmitter left behind by the San Isabel military, and gained permission to contact the DIngoes in * Landhold : Garrison that the plan was in motion, and Varsha had dispatched several squads to watch the southern borders. They had been given the main military communications frequencies employed by the Dingoes, though their use was limited to access to either satellite comms or proximity to one of the few microwave transmitters high in the western mountains. He then began exploring the local area further and looking for Nexu spoor.

The Iron Dingoes began readying their Mechs. As their Line Infantry and Armor were at least a month behind them, and bringing unseasoned infantry along on the trip was impractical, they organized some skeleton crews from their existing DropShips, supplemented with some younger “DIngo Cub Scouts” techs to follow along after the location was secure. These forces would be travelling to the site via the “Crimson Sands” and the unit’s two Orkan-Class Space Planes. Each skeleton crew would be accompanied by a single marine squad from both the 1st and the 10th Marines Platoons, to ensure they remained safe during boarding operations. As such, four teams were formed to seize any potential DropShips, one on each Orkan and two on the Crimson Sands.

By mid-afternoon, the entire Line Mechforce (all four lances) deployed from their DropShips and immediately set south into the Corazón Jungle to slog along the Rio Tashent. A long, hot journey awaited them.

February 1st, 3023 : Two days into the trip south (just after midnight), MechWarrior Faith Whinyates received word via her satellite comms that “The Factory” had been successfully moved into orbit via “The Iron Vagabond”. Within hours, Ambassador Inara Serra had been able to meet with the government’s leadership of San Isabel, and was apparently in closed talks with them…

Later that day, word also came to the Dingoes making their way south, that one of their scouts searching for the DropShips had found something, reporting “…three beached whales…” were located at the old research station on Lake Aurin. Positioned in the center of the northern district, reports from both scouts revealed large concentrations of infantry/armor and air fighters flanking the border (east and west of their planned approach), along with a pair of Mech lances stationed in villages between them. Along the far west was a hospital and a mixed force of mercenary Mechs, motorized infantry and air fighters. Lake Aurin itself had at least a lance of Mechs, and another was positioned at a town to the south. Rumor placed at least one lance of AeroFighters somewhere in the area. In addition, a small force of infantry were positioned to protect the landed DropShips; a single Condor and two Leopards.

Examining the maps, Paladin decided to cross the border at the village of Rubineia, and made their way across the southern section of the border, intending to cross the Rio Parana, and push through any resistance directly towards Lake Aurin. The MEchs spread out to flank the village, with the heavier Mechs avoiding the deeper water, making their way through the swampy western portion of the river, while the jump-capable Mechs moved to flank across the wider portion of the river to the east, to make their way through the scattered forests.

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As the heavier Mechs made their way through the swamps and the lighter Mechs jumped the river, four Mechs made their way from a hardened bunker in the village’s center; a Rifleman, a Griffin, a Wolverine and a Valkyrie; a good-sized medium lance. Using the buildings as cover, they approached the main unit, obviously intent on trying to slow the advancing forces.

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Units began to snipe at long ranges, while the Valkyrie jumped closer to identify the advancing units. The Griffin took a couple long-range PPC shots, while the defenders scattered fire across all forward Mechs in response. Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer”, having activated his Volley Fire module earlier, fired all his Medium Lasers on the Valkyrie, hitting with all seven that proceeded to core the medium Mech, blowing it apart. The Griffin took several shots from Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” (a PPC and a Gauss cannon), including a couple criticals in its CT, damaging its Gyro, Engine and a Jump Jet. Lastly, Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” flanked the Rifleman, hitting with both her Large Lasers into its CT®.

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The defenders began to pull back into the dubious protection of the village, while the flanking lighter units from both the Striker Lance, Grounder and Glamour (in her PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM ) and her companion were ordered to pull back and continue past the village, scouting the way ahead of the rest of the unit. It was hoped this might give them a tactical edge in the eventual fight at Lake Aurin.

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Concentrated fire on the Griffin from all the forward units took its toll, and devastated the machine, though it got off a gasping PPC shot and scattered missiles from its LRM-10 before its shattered CT was destroyed, collapsing the Mech. Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” got the kill.

The defending Rifleman immediately offered to stand-down, having been reduced to 50% of its unit strength, granting the Dingoes unrestricted passage through the village area. The Dingoes accepted, and proceeded to move forward along the roads, south towards Lake Aurin

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Episode 86 - There's no place like home...

“Well, I – I think that it – it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em – and it’s that – if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett

29th October, 3022 : The fleet rendezvoused at the jump-point, and began docking procedures to “The Iron Vagabond”, while Pitbull and Advocate returned to Joshua’s Station, along with Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and “Pandora’s Box”.

30th October, 3022 : Pitbull and _Advocate tried to go through customs, but were stopped by an officer who noted the unit had left dock without a customs officer aboard… After discussions about following proper protocol, and appropriate grafts, the pair were allowed access to the station, provided they followed protocol in the future, and filed an appropriate flight plan before leaving the station again.

Returning to Crazy Achmed (or his cousin, Achmed ), they discussed the availability of the CBR-34 Cobra-Class Courier (Gunship) since it wasn’t very widely publicized where this delightful vessel was manufactured. He made some inquiries and informed them in a couple days that in System – Drellesarr, there was a private manufacturing shipyard that built the vessels, usually for pirates, but sometimes for other governments and buyers. While he could get some in time, it was in the Dingoes interests_ to look into the matter closer to home. He was able to get them one (on the cheap), which they purchased, and could pick-up en-route back to their home system.

The pair also spent some time over the next couple days recruiting “a couple” DropShip pilots and engineers to fill-out the crews they would likely need for “Azrael’s Dagger”.

4th November, 3022 : Plans complete, and Fionna’s commercial JumpShip secured, the group burned back to the jump-point, and made ready to leave the system. They had a customs official aboard this time…

11th November, 3022 : Returning to the jump-point, the group docked and made final prep to jump out-system. They planned to follow the same route they took severla years ago when first travelling to Dumassas, and were familiar with the systems ahead of them.

12th November, 3022 : New Ganymede System : Arriving at the Zenith charging station, the unit remembered the system being mostly under the control of Taurus Majoris Mining (builders of “The Factory” ). They deployed sails and jumped out-system 7 days later.

19th November, 3022 : Atreus Prime System : An agricultural world.

26th November, 3022 : Centavido System : An abandoned and dead world, the Nadir station is a ruin, but secretly active and used to monitor traffic through the system.

3rd December, 3022 : Amber System : An abandoned colony world. Long (9 day charge from an M6 sun).

12th December, 3022 : Grossbach System : Light industrial system around an F1 star.

19th December, 3022 : Norman’s World System : Typical colony world.

25th December, 3022 : Christmas Day! : Organo System : An important colony world with good agriculture and light industry, word quickly spread that the local government had uncovered a production facility locally that built advanced (Star League quality) hovercraft, particularly the popular “Maultier” Hover APC. Rumours persisted that the facility was in prime condition and the government was already producing the APCs for its line forces.

January 1st, 3023 : New Year’s Day! : Althea’s Choice System : Typical colony world.

January 8th, 3023 : System – Ganulph : The system where the unit fought the Star Talon pirates, was quiet, though the well-picked debris field from the loss of the merchant JumpShip was viewed from a distance.

January 15th, 3023 : Home! : System – Dumassas : Returning to their home system, and seeing the familiar sight of “The Factory”, the unit breathed a sigh of relief. They immediately contacted the station management, and speaking directly with Station Master Haro Lothrain, caught up on a brief over-view of the local situation. The unit transferred “Azrael’s Dagger” to the construction yard for repairs, though had to delay until the present construction cycle was complete in 7 days ( January 22nd ). Plans were also made to rebuild the interior of “The Freedom of the Stars” and repair her hull from asteroid damage. Following that, the station might be undergoing some drastic change in purposes…

The “Beltstrikers” were officially transferred to Azrael’s Dagger as boarding marines, and equipped with M56 “Smartgun”s, and several other transfers and equipment upgrades were engaged across the board.

January 16th, 3023 : Aboard The Factory, the unit convened a council amid their old digs and took some time to familiarize themselves again with their most valuable asset. They convinced Lothrain that the change of venue would be worthwhile and, frankly, safer in the long-term for the station, explaining the transfer of Azrael’s Dagger and several other assets to his nominal control. He agreed to the jump, and the date of January 31st was selected as the planned “Jump Date”. Transfers of personnel and equipment was slated to last 3 days.

January 19th, 3023 : The unit loaded their DropShips enmasse, and began the 10-day burn back to Terramatrix.

January 29th, 3023 : Reaching planetary orbit, the unit deployed Intelsat “Predator’s Eye” and landed in their rough starport at Iron Dog Airfield in * Landhold : Garrison. The group quickly headed to their duty stations and began more transfers of equipment from the DropShip cargo bays to the armories of the Mech base, and began equipping their troopers on-planet with the new Iron Dingoes Infantry Field Kit (3023) standard. The substantial colonists were immediately evacuated from their transports and shelters placed under construction, while everyone regained their “land-legs”. MercTown grew very quickly overnight, and they were settled-in over the next couple days as plans for something more substantial were made.

Meanwhile, the unit met with “Jolly” Roger, leader of * The Fold Fiends, who was technically the senior officer on-planet. He filled the command council of everything that had occurred while they’d been away, from the new contract for * “The Dead Man’s Hand”, to the whole Brightwater Base Incident, and their new potential allies in the Corazón Jungle. They also learned of the great successes the unit had in recruiting infantry, and of Fort Boomerang located near Corazón Airfield.

The Council discussed The Oriental Republic of San Isabel, realizing that there was not a government conspiracy to attack the Iron Dingoes, but rather there was likely a faction of the military trying to take over The District of Garcia for their own purposes. They figured it had led back to the suborning of The First Fire, when they had initially changed tactics and invaded the district some years ago, and that Brightwater Base was another attempt to begin plans to invade the district. An intelligence report from Senior Tech Catherine “Piper” Walker supported that yet another (THIRD!) attempt was underway, with mercenary Mech pilots gathering along the southern border, under the pretense of “defensive maneuvers”. Studying the reports led Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” to conclude it was a definite attack, with supporting elements of regular infantry, armor and even air force. That the unit needed to do something soon was evident, mostly because the unit was traditionally better at attack and could mitigate any damage from their own lands in such an effort.

The Council spoke with Colonel Adam Ocelot “Black Panther” about activating the nation’s two mothballed submarines, and he promised to try and get what little crews remained together again, or at least find skilled crews, though it would take time.

It was also suggested to employ the “Elektra” as a fuel-hauler from the future interdiction port of “The Factory”, and based on simple math, the The Factory – BioDiesel Refinery would easily fulfill the requirements of Solaro Oil Company, possibly to the point that they might actually have some degree of local power in The Industrialist’s League. Plans were made to figure out the logistics of the whole situation. It was also suggested by Senior Tech Boden Thrace that the facility could expand into the unused portion of the manufacturing facility on “The Factory”, if they could acquire some hydrogen fuel refining equipment, as there was no regular refinery for DropShip and JumpShip fuels anywhere in the system. He was given the go-ahead to gather information, and pricing.

The Council also spoke with Mayor Albertina Diego about the San Isabel intelligence reports, laying all the facts as they understood them before her. She and her officials agreed with the findings, and deferred to whatever actions the Iron Dingoes felt were needed. She plainly told them she was a civilian and didn’t know much about such things, and promised that she would do whatever was needed on the political front while they dealt with the military matters. She did state that they would need to deal with the matter using their own substantial forces, as local military forces were spread thin just keeping the borders secure.

Mayor Albertina Diego also mentioned that there was a political opportunity presenting itself. She detailed the small island nation of The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, and how it represented an important airfield, close enough to Sangria that it could be tempting to invasion by The Federative Republic of San Marcos. Traditionally, the island nation had been Sangiran territory, but had slipped into independence because of its relative uselessness. It had, over the years become something of a tourist trap, and the airport was expanded to land even the largest civilian liners. With the relative weakness of Sangria, the small island nation was now attractive to anyone who wanted to use it as a jumping-off point to invade.

The present leader of the nation Antonio John Diaz, who was a close, personal friend of the Mayor, had expressed an interest in having “foreign troops” allied to Sangria defending the airfield, believing that if there were enough of them, the force would dissuade all but a major invasion force, particularly if they could hold the airfield long enough to bring reinforcements. In exchange, he would bring his island nation behind the future of Garcia’s development as a nation, and Mayor Diego felt he might be a good potential recruit for district governor, or possibly “president” in the coming years…

The Council suggested sending about a company of infantry, choosing LtSG Trooper Shiv “The Knife” to lead a collection of regular (newly recruited) infantry troopers along with his own 6th Marines Platoon as garrison forces. It was agreed their contract would be an open-ended garrison contract, and that Shiv and his troops would be regularly transferred out with replacements from time to time. These troops would also be equipped with twelve (12) of the unit’s newly acquired Ignis Infantry Support Tanks.

The Council also suggested that Indumil be given an opportunity to be granted government funding for a new factory on * Landhold : Garrison lands. In exchange for a quarter of the future profits, the Iron Dingoes would provide the trained personnel for the lines, the Lines themselves, along with the blueprints for the future goods. The government would build the facility for another quarter of the profits. Indumil jumped at the chance, and the government secured the loans against their reserves, hiring Grupo Odinsa to begin immediate construction on a site picked-out by the Dingoes own engineers and suggested by Master Tech Alejandro Pardo. Construction would take months, but was considered a positive move for the local economy and seemed to reassure the many colonists.

Things were definitely in motion, and the coming weeks would determine much…

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Episode 85 - The Daughters of Atlas

“An abyss cannot be crossed in two steps."

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

August 31st, 3022 : System – New Syrtis, Zenith Jump-Point : The fleet gathered and prepared, they jumped out-system to Merope successfully.

Merope : Originally passed through back in February 28th, 3022, on their way to fulfill their Contract – Operation “Blue Harvest”, the Iron Dingoes were somewhat familiar with this system. The group detached both “Brush Wolf” and “Dingoes’ Den” for the four-day burn to the planet, where they planned to do some research on the planetoid “Jackson’s Folly”.

September 5th, 3022 : Managing to wriggle their way through the local bureaucratic red tape, the group scattered to various personal tasks.

Caboose did a little Streetwise hunting, and discovered in a local starport bar about Jackson’s Folly disappearing some weeks back. Apparently there was a large hyperpulse generated in the same general area as the asteroid, but then it was never seen again. The casual rumor was that it was eaten by some sort of hyper-space-dwelling dragon. The asteroid was once a very profitable power metal (uranium, plutonium, etc.) mining site, but had fallen into decline with the ease of such metals being shipped in from Merope’s trojans.

Templar found a series of references to the Typhon as being possibly one of the mysterious Cartel-Class IceShips, from the Ryan Cartel. The math worked out as this being the potential asteroid smuggler, though exactly why remained a little bit of a mystery.

Several days later, the group gathered to compare their notes, and discussed exactly where this Iceship might have gone. Careful combing of their data hinted that Karl Lotjonen had long had interests in the operation of the military and government in his homeworld, System – Taurus, and the so-called Serphim had activity in that system as well. The group studied the specs on the Iceship, and quickly realized that such a vessle was likely the source of his operations right now, and that there was no way in which they could track the thing if they chose to take backwater systems. Taurus was declared the likely target, and plans were made to travel in that direction.

13th September, 3022 : Returning to the jump-point and docking with their jumpship, the group prepared for a couple quick jumps back to Flannegan’s Nebula.

14th September, 3022 : Diefenbaker System : Jump successful.

21st September, 3022 : Midal System : Jump successful.

28th September, 3022 : Flannegan’s Nebula, System – Taurus : Contacting the local jump-station, the fleet was able to parley their previous work with the national government into passage back to Joshua’s Station. Getting a Taurian customs officer on their dropship “Dingoes’ Den” they began the long passage through the asteroids and debris-choked system to Joshua’s Station.

6th October, 3022 : Arrival at the Station, they managed to gain a docking point and quickly pushed through customs. They quickly visited Pitbull’s local contact, Crazy Achmed (or his cousin… it’s hard to tell), and tried to find out if there were clandestine attempts by the Serphim to gather supplies. They also discovered their lawsuits against Pirates of the Blood Asteroid were a loss. They also looked-up the Taurian Armor Works, discovering they had been hit by Lotjonen and the nuclear weapon used against them had likely been the reason he was wanted for crimes against humanity. TAW claimed nothing was lost in the attack… but a nuke can cover a lot of missing items…

The group spent a couple days in personal R&R.

8th October, 3022 : Achmed (or his cousin Achmed ) returned the message, with a “Theoretcial Discussion” regarding a pair of Danais-Class DropShips that were “formerly” owned by Five Rings Shipping. Apparently the pair were still in operation (under differnt names), sometimes gathering general military supplies and personnel for transit somewhere within the system. Achmed was offered the groups collection of illegal narcotics for knowledge of when one of the ships might rendezvous with the station, and were informed the ship was due on the 18th…

The command council gathered to plan their next steps, and activated * “The Werewolves”, both the line squad and their companions the Loup-Garou, along with a pair of the Trojan Horses regular marine squads. These troops were gathered and began running practice missions for the capture of the “Elektra”.

During the next ten days, the Dingoes hired a skeleton crew for the Elektra, a rather shady pilot and some engineers, but Advocate was assured they could do the job with little concern. Moxie hired a vet, intending to use the woman in breeding “Guard” Nexu. Pitbull also tracked down a pair of second-hand Neuro-Helmet Crackers for their techs.

18th October, 3022 : The Elektra was noted as docking at a cargo bay on Joshua’s Station, and the Werewolves and select marines were activated, and waited to deploy from the Dingoes’ Den.

19th October, 3022 : With a flight plan declared to local customs, the Werewolves and their marine escorts deployed along the station’s exterior, quietly slipping on-board the DropShip before it un-docked and moved off into the system, away from the main shipping lanes. A couple hours later, the squads swarmed through the DropShip and quickly subdued the mostly civilian crew (along with a squad of ex-military Seraphim marines). There were no losses among the boarders. The ship was quickly rendezvoused with by Dingoes Den, and the ship surrendered utterly to Iron Dingoes control. A quick series of interrogations revealed the civilian crew to be willing to work for the Dingoes, and they quickly gave up their navigational co-ordinates, as well as docking procedures for the asteroid of Jackson’s Folly.

Umbra_Station.jpg

23rd October, 3022 : Using the Elektra as a trojan horse, the Werewolves and their assistants in the 1st and 6th marines platoons prepared to board the asteroid. Approaching with the Dingoes Den in shadow, the DropShip hailed the asteroid, and then moved in for docking.

A very sharp and brutal fight ensued, with the assaulting Dingoes forces encountering stiff resistance. They did, however, have 2-1 odds and vastly superior firepower, sustaining serious casualties (initially 55% casualties, reduced to 25% due to armor strength and immediate medical care), but taking the asteroid base in record time. Searching the facility took the better part of two days, as Dingoes tech teams were escorted through the cavernous mining station in search of salvage and enemy forces. Eventually a final group of engineers surrendered, having tried to hide in a forgotten corner of the station. BY late 25th October, the station was in Iron Dingoes hands.

Among the salvage recovered, were three TIG-15 “Tigress” Close Patrol Craft (Gunship)s, and numerous munitions and a handful of techs and engineers that passed basic interrogation. Locked in a chamber off the main hangars, was the real prize, and the reason Lotjonen had probably attacked the Taurian Armor Works, a first-run HCT-3F Hatchetman.

26th October, 3022 : Salvage in tow, the Elektra was placed under Dingoes control, and taken back to the jump-point. Meanwhile, since they had an extra DropShip, Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” was ordered to detach and return to Joshua’s Station where she would take a commercial JumpShip to return to System – Dumassas. Meanwhile, Pitbull and Advocate returned to the station via KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle to arrange various supplies and hire the commercial JumpShip.

The Iron Dingoes were returning home…

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Episode 84 - The Typhon Affair

“Sometimes we expect more from others, because we would be willing to do that much for them.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

August 18th to 24th, 3022 : The unit checked in with their contracted recruiter, who reported having secured a total of 63 combat personnel, 20 techs, 7 administrators, 7 more line engineers (13 total), and 54 more machinists (87 total) willing to transport to System – Dumassas for work. He had also recruited a “Road Construction Crew” of 2 squads of civil engineers, having personal tools, but no heavy machinery, and an “Insertion Specialist”, Trooper Victoria “Tori” Wu. Lt. Daniel Bernard then took his bonus and pay, and claimed he had a line on another contract he was looking forward to filling, wishing them well.

Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” had apparently paid-out a bonus to all her troops for their contract on New Syrtis, with each of them receiving a gold brick, two bottles of some sort of purple brandy, and a box of cigars. Rumors had she also took several military police motorcycles and four hover APCs from the same customs depot at the starport; since none of the items “officially” existed, they were easy to make disappear. It was also rumored the items in question were slated for the personal use of Duke Michael Hasek-Davion, and that he was “concerned” about their disappearance.

It became obvious they needed to hire some sort of DropShip transport, settling on locating a Condor-Class vessel for their large number of personnel moving to Dumassas. Sending out feelers, they spent a couple days looking for one, eventually hiring a battered civilian Condor owned by RCW Express, a private transport company. Plans were made to transfer all their hired personnel and their families and belongings to the DropShip, about two days prior to their evacuation from System – New Syrtis. They paid up-front for the trip, offering 600,000 Cs in cash.

LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” traded the unit’s recently recovered mineral wealth for parts and armor to repair the damage caused during their conflict in the debris fields, setting aside these materials until they could effect repairs at “The Factory” in Dumassas. He also had Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” hunt down some “Chill Cans” or stealth modules for the units Marine Combat Armor, but they proved both expensive and rare, only able to acquire 90 of the units for their premier marine platoons (1st and 6th), and some for their own personal use and * “The Werewolves”. He also purchased more Marine Combat Suit – “Voidsuit”s, but found them both expensive and restrictive to acquire. Lastly, he acquired over a hundred M56 “Smartgun”s for use of their infantry and marines as a support weapon, especially since they had proven so valuable during their recent boarding actions.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” spent several days at the University of Saso; the former working on doing a follow-up dissertation on “AIs and Robotic Control Systems”, while the latter worked on studying more information on nuclear demolition charges, something he wanted to improve on from his previous experiences in the Debris Field. Although not as well received as his first dissertation, Moxie was successful in his attempt, while Blaster found a whole section of the university library dedicated to various demo charges, complete with diagrams and basic blueprints. He spent his time copying these relics for himself.

August 25th, 3022 : As the unit drew its R&R to a close, Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” took Templar with him to sign-off their transport papers off-world and out-system. Leaving the central governmental complex, the pair took their transport headed to the starport, when it hit a pedestrian. Leaving the bus to investigate, Templar looked over the victim, providing first aid while Paladin tried to give him some room and control the watchers. Templar very quickly learned that the victim was not just injured from the bus, but that someone had scooped his insides out and stuffed a “hot” nuclear demolitions charge in his bowels!

Not sure how to proceed, he contacted Blaster via communique. Explaining he needed help, Blaster reminded him he was busy learning how to disarm nuclear demolitions charges. “Good News! So am I!” replied Templar. Assisted by Blaster_, he was able to begin disarming the device, while +Paladin urged the driver to contact local emergency services and inform them there was a nuclear bomb. He dispersed the gathered on-lookers with a few shots in the air, and cleared the local streets. As time ticked down, Templar succeeded in disarming the device as it jostled out of the victim, rolling into the street.

Soon thereafter, emergency services arrived, and took over the scene, offering to take the pair to the local hospital, but they declined, saying they had their own medical techs at the starport. They immediately returned to their DropShips, and sought medical assistance, burning their clothes and getting hosed down. Notifying their security troops to keep a closer eye on matters, they doubled sweeps, and summoned all available members of the Council for an emergency meeting.

At first, the thought was that this was not a casual encounter, and that maybe someone had targeted Paladin and the Iron Dingoes. They ordered an emergency search of all DropShips in the fleet, spending several hours doing so, searching basic quarters with detectors for any other such devices. They also realized that maybe someone from the recently recruited techs and troopers might be involved, so they spoke with Captain Roger Wiggins from their hired DropShip, asking if they could do a security sweep of his ship. At first reluctant and demanding to know why, they explained they had security concerns, and convinced him to allow their troopers to sweep the ship, but not his personal crew’s quarters. Several more hours later, they had found nothing.

Unable to access the victim, though new reports on the incident reported that he was critical though stable, and under heavy guard, the group did a little digging to discover he was an independent news reporter on-planet trying to sell several stories to local media outlets. Nothing else could be garnered, since the police likely already had his apartment under observation, and it would prove difficult to get any information about what his investigations had exactly been about.

As darkness settled on the city, another explosion rocked Saso. Targeting the main governmental complex (the one Paladin had recently returned from) with excessive damage across the surrounding blocks would have destroyed any trace of the bomb’s origins in the explosion, making further investigation of both local security cams and radiation traces impossible. The Dingoes had taken too long to stop the next explosion.

Local security had locked-down the starport and the city in general, allowing no one to either leave or enter the city until the emergency had been sorted-out. Local communications were restricted, but the Dingoes were able to access their own network, and slipped into various remote archives for research on their problem.

Moxie, however, recognized something. Medically, the victim could not have walked very far without coersion, and he suspected the victim had been forced to walk via a cybernetic implant or something similar. Knowing he couldn’t have gone far, he did a sweep in city archives via the local news net of hospitals, eventually expanding the search to include any medical facilities in the area. He found one, a medical sanitorium converted to a medical museum, that had been closed for several days. Its owner and a security guard had been missing for the same period, and further investigation revealed that so had a pair of beverage delivery techs whose route lay nearby.

The group decided to activate the Loup Garou squad of * “The Werewolves”, since they could slip out of the starport undetected in their Battle Armor – Tornado PAs, and use them to scout and secure the perimeter of the facility, while the Council used a couple select specialists to infiltrate the facility and see if they could acquire a couple demolitions nukes and whatever else they might find. Keeping the matter internally, would restrict the knowledge of both the op and whatever they might find. If they sent in other personnel, knowledge would leak into the general Dingoes unit. The group was agreed to include Advocate as leader, Moxie (convinced because there might be unique cybernetics to salvage) as medical, Blaster for his technical expertise on demo-nukes, and both Templar and Caboose as guns. Glamour argued vehemently against the op, saying the gain was not greater than the potential loss, and Paladin let the group go with a promise to get out quickly and limit exposure. Blaster and Templar acquired a couple radiation-proof crates to hold the (theoretically) pair of warheads remaining (two more missing persons = two warheads). Taking “Nerf”, their personal Type 74 “Buffalo” Hover Truck, the council loaded themselves and their equipment, and dispatched the Loup Garou ahead to secure the site.

Advocate managed to convince the starport security detail he had to run a couple “…important documents…” prior to their filed evacuation from the starport in the morning, and were able to leave the drop-zone with the provision they return in three hours, or he would have to report them. The group made their way through the nearly deserted streets in the dead of night quickly, finding the wooded medical complex, surrounded by a park and protected by a high ornamental iron fence. Loup Garou reported they had silenced a small band of thugs working their way around the complex woodlands, and that otherwise the facility seemed quiet and unprotected.

Disabling the electronic and mechanical locks on the main gate, the group slipped into the complex, taking “Nerf” around back towards where a staff parking area was located. Finding several parking stalls, alongside a garage, and being the lot was below the regular ground in a low dip behind the facility, making it out of sight from the rest of the complex. Parking in one of the stalls near a back door into the central complex, the group investigated the garage, finding a pair of military jeeps. Taking the central steering wheels, they disabled the vehicles for anyone to try and make a quick exit. Entering th lowest level of the main complex, the group entered a kitchen.

Obviously used regularly, the group quietly entered what seemed to be a workshop for repairs beyond, and found a pair of techs in radiation suits operating on someone, in an effort to stuff another nuke charge in his abdomen. One tech was quickly dispatched before he could raise his weapon, and the other, recognizing his imminent doom, attempted to activate the nuke, but fell under the concentrated fire of the group, before he could do anything. Blaster quickly searched the device, securing it against immediate detonation, and quickly searched the remaining rooms, finding another device in a disposal room with a medical waste burner. The group secured both devices, while Templar dressed in one of the tech’s suits and slipped from the facility to retrieve the crates. Moxie quietly removed a complex-seeming cybernetic implant on the base victim’s skull, that seemed to control motor functions, and noted a remote camera system was located on the victim’s left shoulder, taking that as well.

Templar ensured he was secure, raised his hood to identify himself to the Loup Garou around the complex, then started dragging in transfer crates, while Blaster directed the others in loading and securing the devices. Leaving them in the workshop, the group headed up into the main complex, ignoring both wings of the building, and moving up higher into the third level, where the main offices should be located. They found a living area that looked well-used by about a dozen people for nearly a week, strewn with food containers and other debris. Moving further into the level, they found a central board-room, with four thugs playing cards around a large table.

The resulting combat was brief and brutal. Templar and Caboose took serious damage from both standard auto-rifles and the sonic rifle used by the leader. The terrorists finally went down under sustained burst fire, and the Dingoes scoured the room taking weapons and tens of thousands in hard cash from the corpses.

Among the paperwork on the table, they found various documents relating to something called “Project Eagle-Strike”, as well as holo pics of both the New Syrtis Shipyards, and one vessel in particular on that site. An odd vessel no one could identify (it was either really old or really new), labelled The Typhon?. This vessel seemed massive, and was surrounded by debris and engineers in space suits, as though it were engaged in salvage work, or something similar. One of the important factors, was reference to something called “Umbra Station”, that “…it was ready…”, and that the group should finish their operation, and remove all evidence of their activities with select strikes on the central archive complex and the University of Saso.

The_Typhon__2_.jpg

The “Typhon”?

Other paperwork identified the group as belonging to a terrorist group called the “Provolutionists”, a group that believed superiority in status was enforced through militant and violent action. There were well-known links connecting the Provolutionists as a splinter organization of “The Principii” out of the Concordat; an organization not supported by the latter, but still with contacts between both, as they were attempting the same goal. Provolutionists felt that sudden change was a good thing, if it forced modern “failing” methods to retreat. Whatever Eagle-Strike was, it hinted at violent attempts to free Davion control of ancient Concordat worlds and systems, such as the Pleiades Cluster.

Gathering the holo-disks, holo-pics and other documents, the group slipped back downstairs, and quickly loaded the crates with the demolition cores onto their transport, along with the unconscious Templar and other wounded personnel. They informed Loup-Garou of mission complete, and slipped out of the complex, re-locking the gates before making their way quickly back through deserted streets to the starport. At the check-point, the group feigned drunkeness, passing over the “proper paperwork” (one of their dwindling bottles of rare ancient irish-bonded whiskey) to the gate guards, saying “…we finished with our papers in good time… hic ". The guards let them through, and the group returned to the DropShips. About an hour or two later, the Loup Garou returned successfully and the DropShips locked themselves down and began prepping for launch.

August 26th, 3022 : With the new day, the Dingoes were able to secure their passage off-world, based solely on their contract completion, and paperwork filed weeks prior that gave them passage off-world on this day. All DropShips lifted-off successfully, while their hired civilian Condor managed its own lift-off and agreed to rendezvous with them at the jump-point.

Over the next few days, while in transit, the group learned that police had traced the bombing to the Provolutionists, and that they had been eliminated in what appeared to be a " …drug-deal gone wrong…". The city was returning to normal operations, and the lock-downs were ending.

August 30th, 3022 : The fleet arrived and rendezvoused at their JumpShips, and prepped for jump out-system. They were required to wait an extra day for the arrival of their hired DropShip, as the vessel was slow in reaching the Zenith. The fleet took advantage of the time to re-stow cargo and secure all their increasingly large loads.

SUgust 31st, 3022 : The RCW Express Condor arrived, docked with “The Iron Vagabond”, and the fleet jumped out-system, bound for Merope.

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Episode 83 - Dagger Fall

“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

July 25th, 3022 : L5 Debris Field – Clump 23, Kigamboni System, Federated Suns : Returning to “The Freedom of the Stars” and the “Dingoes’ Den”, the unit docked their gunship and pair of aerofighters for repairs. Taking an hour to revise their plans, they slowly moved back to the debris point with the comet husk, and boarded a pair of squads along with Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” on the gunship, escorted by Lieutenant SG Eric Balmer “Tinman” in his EGL-R6 Eagle.

The pair of aeroships moved into the debris point, identifying a cloud of debris around the comet husk, as well as the gutted remnants of a Buccaneer-Class DropShip. A slow fly-by of the husk revealed an obvious hangar bay (sealed), which the gunship approached. Finding a small personnel airlock along one side of the hangar bay doors, the marines slipped over to it, while Pitbull and Templar spent some time examining it for booby-traps. Close study revealed it was trapped where its explosive bolts would activate, blowing the entire airlock into vacuum. Assisted by the marine squad’s technician, they deactivated it, and began moving the squads through the airlock into the comet base.

Beyond the airlock was a corridor that slipped around a large open hangar bay, visible through numerous large portholes. Eventually the corridor entered a control room with massive bay windows over-looking the hangar bay and main airlocks, and containing monitoring equipment, access to the bay itself, and a simple data control center, with access to the central core. Simple data access was allowed, giving a general status update of key locations also with computer access; Control Room, Habitat, Medical and Storage.

Examination of the computer core began, with Templar requesting (but denied) guards, and the two squads spread through the base looking for information or inhabitants. It was discovered that at least two hours previously, the base had been abandoned, from access to the hangar bay doors, and Templar found a buried code deep in the computer’s programming, that was counting-down. The third and forth marine squads were requested, and the gunship moved out to the Den to gather them, while the search continued.

Careful searching revealed several dormitories, capable of housing up to 300 personnel, though only about 20 of the 0-G bunks were being used regularly. Life support was salvaged from the nearby Buccaneer, as was the equipment for Medical and the Kitchens. A large Exo-Ball court was found in the Habitat area, and the Control Room was revealed to have hidden surveillance at all key locations (airlocks, bulkheads, important rooms). Deep beyond the core, near the kitchens, they found a large Stores area, with a direct cargo access along a separate corridor and airlock to the outside. In one back room, easily locked from the outside, they found a collection of civilian corpses, somewhat well-to-do, based on their clothing, each executed. It was agreed they were likely hostages, eliminated when the pirates abandoned their base.

Meanwhile, examination of the computer files revealed that it was tied to the main system’s power; and in all their searches, they had never found a central fusion core. Close attention to the hangar bays, however, revealed that in addition to literally a good gigaton of refined hydrogen fuel stored in numerous tanks along the walls, was an ice refining station and a large heat source – likely the fusion core. The new marine squads arrived, and began helping in the search, and one of the new marine techs was sent down to examine the modules. In addition to the large (630-ton) fusion engine mounted along the bottom of the bay, was an unidentifiable module. He identified it as nuclear demolition charge, powered by the main reactor…

Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” volunteered to look at the device, and accompanied the pair of tech squads that were travelling to the facility. Meanwhile, Templar noted that the facility count-down gave the unit approximately 8 hours, and his attempts at programming might be able to allow him to stop the clock, but there was a concern that if that should happen, it might activate the demolitions charge. They decided to wait for Blaster, since he had the skills to conduct a proper examination of the device.

The marine crews quickly searched through the large collection of containers in the Stores, noting several 0-G cargo handling devices were present, though energy charges on the devices limited their efforts to hauling twelve crates. Search of the Stores began, and led to them finding numerous sorts of things, from copper and gold ore, to basic electronics to combat cybernetics and a small agribot. Key cargoes were identified, and slowly moved down the tunnel access corridor, while the Dingoes Den was moved into position near the cargo airlock.

Blaster agreed with the tech’s assessment, and quickly determined the device would go off if it lost power, or the clock ever stopped for whatever reasons. Recognizing the device was going to blow, regardless of their efforts, Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” gave the unit 6 hours to clear and salvage the base, and then move out of the nearby debris point to a safe location and let the device destroy all evidence of the pirate’s efforts.

The techs and marines quickly began salvaging operations, and once they had exhausted the fuel cells on their handling equipment, locked everything down and promptly abandoned the base themselves. All vessels moved carefully from their debris points and slowly moved to a safe distance. The detonation was spectacular, with the comet husk crumbling in on itself in a massive explosion and EMP pulse.

d049c-seismicchargegeonosis001.jpg

July 26th, 3022 : The group slowly made their way back to the remnants of the Vigilant Corvette and began a quick survey of the site, thinking it might have been kept as a fall-back site for the pirates, but cursory examinations revealed that wasn’t the case. The pirates and their shuttle were well-hidden in the field… somewhere. The decision was then made to evacuate the Dingoes’ Den and her crews back towards the planet of Kigamboni, hoping to encounter the trail of the shuttle, but leaving the Freedom hidden in the field, along with the Gunship, and see if they were still hidden in the field.

The Den quickly accelerated towards the planet, and after some hours, began to pick-up a fast-moving object making its way towards the debris clump, on an intercept course. The Den began to decelerate, and turn around, but the fast-moving object turned-out to be “Azrael’s Dagger” moving at maximum thrust. With no way to intercept or meet the ship at the debris clump, it was all in the hands of the Freedom and her crew.

A couple hours into the wait in the clump, the Freedom picked-up a sharp communications burst from a nearby debris point. Though coded and garbled, the crew knew what it meant, and carefully loaded their gunship with a reinforced marine squad and moved towards the site. Although it took a sharp strike to its left wing upon entering the debris point, they found a lone S-7A Class Bus at the site, promptly boarded and swarmed the bus in the debris point, capturing it with only one casualty ( Hans-Too-Tall… again… ). Taking possession of the bus, the marines prepared for the arrival of the Achilles, and it too soon arrived, almost screeching to a halt outside the debris clump. It sent a hurried command to dock in its port small craft bay, and the bus left the field at maximum thrust, it’s trojans aboard her.

The docking was wobbly, but successful, and the reinforced marine squad stormed aboard the Achilles. A desperate assault began, with the reinforced and tougher marine squad from the Dingoes against the crew and typical marines squad of the defenders. Initially even, it quickly turned against the pirates, when the Dingoes marines managed to get their M56 “Smartgun”s into play, and the entire pirate crew of the “Azrael’s Dagger” died to the last man. The vessel was under Dingoes control.

Several hours later, the Den arrived and sent additional techs and medics to look after the casualties. Among the cargo aboard the Star Bus was a small portable data comp, with the in-system pirate contacts and activities, along with a reference to several other “major assets” of the pirates. It hinted that the pirates were one branch of an organization known as “The Principii”, a pro-Taurian militant group of terrorists. Most importantly, it was rumored that the Principii were led by Karl Lotjonen, who was wanted by the Taurian government for terrorism.

A skeleton crew was supplied over to the Azrael’s Dagger from the Den, to get the vessel to the jump-point, where it would be locked into a docking collar until it could be turned over to a new captain… likely Commander Warrick “Mister” Christie and his crew he was gathering in System – Tequila Beach. The pair of DropShips then moved towards the jump-point at a casual speed, taking several days, while the Freedom moved to a safe distance from the debris clump, and prepared to jump back to a rendezvous in Cumberland with Content Not Found: iron-vagabond.

July 29th, 3022 : The Dingoes Den and Azrael’s Dagger both docked with the Iron Vagabond, and spent the better part of the day transferring cargo and personnel.

July 30th, 3022 : Both the Freedom and Vagabond jumped into Cumberland System, deployed their sails and began charging operations.

August 6th, 3022 : Hobson System : Both ships jumped in-system without incident. They both deployed sails and began charging operations. Seven days later, they jumped out-system.

August 13th, 3022 : System – New Syrtis : Jumping in-system, the group couldn’t contact their people deployed on New Syrtis, left behind to fulfill their obligations under Contract – Operation “Blue Harvest”. Having two days left in the contract, the group gathered aboard their DropShips, the “Brush Wolf” and the “Dingoes’ Den”, and made the casual 4-day burn towards the planet.

August 17th, 3022 : Landing at Saso starport, the landed DropShips made contact with their counter-parts the “Pandora’s Box” and the “Star Talon”, their local commander Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and their Federated Suns liaison officers.

It became apparent that Captain Lord had strongly employed “Dingo Pack Tactics” during their mission, and might have over-stepped their bounds. She had apparently chosen to strike several basic suppliers (with the fake guns supplied for their activities) and using their vehicles slipped into all her targets under the contract without incident, taking control of all the facilities with ease. She then advanced up the supply chain, raiding several other facilities along the supply chain until she and her people had actually taken control of the starport and its warehouses at the final point, allowing their DropShips to land and begin “loading” operations, uncontested by local defenses. That several tons of whiskey, cigars and other goods had gone missing from the customs building was being overlooked in exchange for the Dingoes keeping the security breaches quiet. The contract was paid-out and the Dingoes dismissed from service. It was further decided to take some time-off for all the troops, to enjoy some R&R for several days.

Plans were then discussed in approaching the Pleiades Cluster, in search of Lotjonen at his facility, marked in their data as something known as “Jackson’s Folly”. It was further decided to keep the matter silent, and not inform the government, especially since they would likely lose salvage rights to Azrael’s Dagger and any other ships or items they might salvage from teh facility in question. Things would develop into a Black Op, but this time, they would have access to the entire Line Troops for the operations…

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Episode 82b - Inside the Debris Ring

“Salvage of a lifetime. You meant the ship. I meant Clara.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

July 14th, 3022 : Kigamboni System, Federated Suns : Having avoided the AeroFighters scouting the debris field, the Iron Dingoes chose to work towards the signal they’d detected fairly close to their present location. Using “The Freedom of the Stars” and “Dingoes’ Den” as their base, they proceeded into the nearest debris point with their captured CBR-34 Cobra-Class Courier (Gunship), now manned by personnel from their foremost marine group, Shiv’s Star Talons (6th).

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Deeper and Deeper

Almost immediately, the vessel took shrapnel damage along its nose, damaging avionics and controls. They pushed on, triangulating the last radio signal, and discovered a typical asteroid point along with another Particle Field. They closed on the next clump, finding an Ice Field and another asteroid field. In the Ice Field, they uncovered a Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container of advanced robotics, and another cargo pod of “trade lasers”, namely AER-9 Laser Rifles, before taking a sharp piece of debris to the gunship’s nose. They recalled the crew before moving on the radio signal deeper in the clump.

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Closing on the Prize

July 15th, 3022 : Moving the gunship and Dingoes Den through the asteroid debris, to “sneak up” on whatever might be generating the radio signal, the Den took a sharp strike of an unexploded missile to the nose, but they continued, and discovered something new…. the almost intact carcass of a Vigilant Corvette.

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Ever Vigilant

Close examination of the hull proved that its nose and aft were fairly damaged, and the jump core likely too damaged for activation. The hull had numerous holes from debris scattered all along its 6-o’clock axis, the signal was coming from the lower part of the core, near what used to be engineering.

The gunship sidled up close to the remnants of the docking hangars, noting heavy damage throughout that section, including a massive hole in one side, along the 12-o’clock axis. Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” took the lead of the boarding squad of marines, jumping across from the gunship to the warship hull with tether as their only safety.

The group accessed one of the airlocks manually, and discovered that there was indeed vacuum beyond. The hangar decks were a mess, with Decks 10-14 open to space, its equipment useless, and the remnants of three S-7A Space Buses scattered across their bays. The fourth vehicle was missing. Exploration revealed bulkheads had been sealed, and that there was air pressure between Decks 6-9 and Decks 15-18, though portions of the connecting decks were obviously exposed to vacuum. The group decided to call-in the salvage groups, and moved The Freedom into the field to facilitate further operations. Though the Freedom took some debris across her Nose and Right Side, it maneuvered close to the hull of the Vigilant.

July 16th, 3022 : Initial survey work determined ready access into the lower levels through an airlock they managed to activate. The salvage group’s quick survey revealed several key items of salvage, and estimated about seven to eight days (minimum) to get everything locked-down and moved into the cargo holds on the Den. It was decided that while the techs and and salvagers did this task, the Freedom and her gunship would continue to explore the remaining debris clumps, avoiding the last noted spot where radio signals were detected as originating from.

July 17th, 3022 : Over the next few days, the group moved from clump to clump, carefully mapping and surveying the various clumps. They found the radioactive remnants of another Bonaventure, and a radioactive cargo container, left to float in space.

July 18th – July 22nd, 3022 : During their search of one of the asteroid fields, between bouts of space madness, they uncovered a cargo container of Aqua Skis, another 100-ton tank of volatile liquids, and another cargo container of Riot Shields (somewhat damaged, 25% loss). The gunship also took a hard strike to its Nose, critically damaging weapons systems, and forcing emergency repairs and a short day. By the 22nd, the asteroid clumps were completely explored, except for the final spot where the radio signal had been identified. The salvage operations still had a couple days to go, so the Freedom waited patiently in the last clump until they were done.

July 23rd – 24th, 3022 : Waiting patiently, the group looked over the salvage operations findings. They included the following :

- A heavily damaged computer core, that had basic intelligence for assisting in repairs and monitoring activities. Unfortunately, internal sensors and monitors had been down for some time, and it kept trying to reset itself. It was determined the damage was too extensive, and Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” gave authorization to disable it, and recover any components salvageable.

- An intact NAC/10, and 200 rounds (20 tons) of ammunition for same. Spare parts from another cannon were also retrieved, along with 40 more rounds of ammunition.

- An intact long-range shuttle, similar to a KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle, but older, and suffering from some hull damage. The vessel had apparently been sucked into the nearby field during the initial explosion of the hangar bay, as no pilots or passengers were recovered.

- A well-supplied medical bay, including six life support bays, fitted for hyperbaric oxygenation and/or chill support. Similar to those found on a traditional MASH, complete with an assistant computer. While two of the units were inoperable, with repairs they too could be made useful again. In addition, a pair of “Medical Assistance Robots” were recovered, though they needed extremely delicate programming to bring back online.

- A functioning workshop CADCAM (from Deck 9 – Stores ), with the means of producing simple tools and special purpose parts, with proper computer blueprints. Effectively a 3-D Printer for industrial purposes, it was a little bit of an unknown quantity, a limited supply of raw materials and modular parts were also recovered.

- Interchangeable modular parts and processor cores for up to three robot drones, which could be used to construct new drones.

- Functional fuel cells and accumulators to rig solar panels, along with numerous portable photvoltaic kits that could be assembled into a large emergency solar sail, capable of charging a Jumpdrive at 1/30th normal speed. Also, salvaged from the engineering section, were various thermal/electric generators.

- A single hostile environment suit, similar to a Defiance Industries Heavy Environment Suit.

- A variety of small arms, notably standard Capellan Longrifles and SMGs.

- 9000m of fiber-optic cabling, suitable for jacking into engineering and hostile environment suits and computer cores.

- 1000 liters of drinkable water in ice form.

- Survival food stores capable of feeding 250 crew for 24 months (750 tons of boring, disgusting 0-G survival rations).

- 60 tons of tanked oxygen and air, easily salvaged and safely stored.

- A variety of salvageable sensor nodes, magnetic nozzle assemblies and hull plating from the damaged shuttles.

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Pulling the Trigger

July 25th, 3022 : The bulk of the salvage was stored in the cargo bay aboard the Freedom, an operation which occupied a full day. By days end, the group maneuvered into the asteroid field closest to the last unknown radio signal, before sweeping into the area, identifying it as a large comet husk; essentially a massive ice asteroid several kilometers across. As the gunboat and Dngoes Den closed on the site, long-range radar triggered several objects moving fast into the debris field; the pirates were back.

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Round Two

The “Dingoes’ Den” deployed both if her AeroFighters, piloted by Lieutenant SG Eric Balmer “Tinman” in his EGL-R6 Eagle and Trooper Trixie Charmosa “Pixie” in her SYD-21 Seydlitz. Together, the trio moved slowly away from “The Freedom of the Stars”, which remained in the asteroid field, playing possum. The captured CBR-34 Cobra-Class Courier (Gunship), with its marines moved to flank the incoming ships.

The approaching vessels included a pair of Corsairs and their accompanying Achilles-Class DropShip. All three opened fire on the approaching vessels, targeting the Dingoes Den, and doing light damage on its LS.

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Round Three

Realizing the incoming vessel’s single weak-point was its flanks, the units maneuvered to try and flank her. The gunboat faced away, using its LRMs for long-range fire to stay out of danger for now. Both the Den and the Dingoes AeroFighters opened on the closest Corsair, doing multiple strikes along its Left Wing, eventually shattering its armor and destroying its entire left side. Both Corsair’s opened on the Eagle, but beyond a couple heat sinks and a critical to its laser, Tim Man came away better than his Corsair kill did.

It did seem odd, however, that the Achilles wasn’t firing its ballistic or missile weapons, only using energy weapons in the fight…

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Round Four

In a surprise move, the command group ordered the Freedom to use its trump card; they fired the AR-10, launching a White Shark at the pirate’s Achilles, striking it firmly along the Left Wing.

The Den turned to fire on the remaining Corsair, staying in the Achilles blind side. Tin Man changed tactics, working on the Achilles, doing a solid critical to one of its AC/20s.

The Achilles managed multiple strikes on Trixie, blowing through her armor and damaging her internal structure. She immediately turned and made her way out of the field as quickly as possible.

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Round Five

While Trixie fled the field, the AR-10 launched another White Shark, that firmly struck the Achilles in the Aft. The Dingoes Den also managed a broadside into the pirate DropShip, along its Aft and LS. Tin Man followed suit. The Gunboat opened on the remaining Corsair, doing superficial damage.

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Round Six

All pirate forces were in full retreat, taking glancing blows, before leaving the field entirely. The Dingoes had won the fight.

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Fall Back

The unit began to move back towards the comet husk, gathering Trixie and her venting AeroFighter back for repairs, before moving back into position to begin the assault.

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