“Sometimes we expect more from others, because we would be willing to do that much for them.”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
-————————— 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.
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.