“Someplace where there isn’t any trouble… do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or train. It’s far, far away… behind the moon… beyond the rain.”
[singing] “Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
-————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
April 8th, 3022 : Following an intense “thought-busting” session involving the entire Command Group, the Iron Dingoes decided on a plan to slip onto System – Redfield quietly and search for lost caches on the storehouse world.
LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” arranged for some Inferno rounds to be bought through the local military suppliers, and as the unit was still under contract, found the task easy to get a shipment of 30 tons of the missiles.
The group then broke into small teams, intent on doing some research at the local Saso University regarding possible storehouse sites on Redfield. The group chose to take a week and do the best job they could, putting the most experienced researchers, namely Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” with his own team of Tech Caitlin Haverlein and Research Assistant Teresa Ruvin to do most of the ground work, while Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” used their personal interests in Star League History to assist.
April 15th, 3022 : The group got back together to discuss their findings. Redfield was located mid-way through the usual passage to both the Taurian Concordat and Magistracy of Canopus, making it a great reason to establish the planet as a Star League storehouse. While there were numerous “tank graveyards” and similar sites located throughout the desert regions of the planet, they had managed to identify three notable military sites of interest on Redfield.
- Naval Ammunition Depot Hawkwood : A staging area for the entire Reunification War effort, Hawkwood covered a massive series of bunkers and three separate ammunition production facilities. Noted as the “…largest depot…” formerly in the Confederation. Today the site was used in desert training for troops, ammunition renovation, intermodal container repair and range scrap metal processing. It was still an active site.
- Tenpenny Arsenal : Tenpenny was an R&D site for the Confederation regarding munitions and demolitions, until the Reunification War, when the site was converted into a bomb and artillery shell production facility, as well as the Capellan Army Munition Command center. At its height, it employed over 20,000 personnel. By the end of the Star League, in 2760, the facility specialized in sensor development. nuclear munitions, and missiles. Today, the facility was still an active site that developed small arms munitions for the Federated Suns, and was not nearly as important as it used to be.
- Thurinigia Factory : Established about 300 kms south-west of Reaver’s Crossing, the facility built diesel engines, mining and harvesting equipment, and wind electrical production machinery. The famous (now obsolete) Korvin KRV-2 “Fast Tank” was developed at the site, and was used during the Reunification War with great success. A variant of the model built by New Hessen Armorworks, the facility also built the ubiquitous LRM/SRM/AC Carriers* in great numbers.
When the facility fell to the Federated Suns in 2762, its was re-tooled to produce parts for the Goblin Infantry Support Tank which was shipped to System – New Syrtis. Given the large quantity of “tank graveyards” located on the world, the site was eventually phased out and its equipment shipped to that world for security reasons. The remaining facilities remained a repair depot for front-line forces, but as the war intensified and local stores of viable tanks and APCs dwindled, the site was further stripped and abandoned in time for the 3rd Succession Wars. Today, the site is a scrapyard of abandoned tanks and ruined engines remaining from its days as a repair yard. It is not considered active.
Pitbull, however, examined the data and noticed one other factor, a site known only as the “Memorial Plains” Graveyard. According to the data, the site was officially once a Star League diplomatic property, where its war dead without families or next of kin were sent for disposal. Noted as an isolated region in the far southern hemisphere, it is an eerie series of tens of thousands of graves. He assumed this last location was the perfect site for something similar to the Promise City Cache found on System – Claybrooke.
As an aside, they also found the site of the Battle of Kigamboni, where a Capellan naval squadron had backed a failed coup on the capital at System – New Syrtis. The group decided they would confer with Space Master Eric Severin, and see if he had any advice in finding the location or any debris trails that might hint at a lost DropShip or something, especially since they were passing through the site. Considering themselves prepared, the unit gathered aboard their DropShips and began the slow burn back to the jump-point, following a quick check-in with Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and her troops on maneuvers.
April 18th, 3022 : Arlana Jericho reported in her contract hauling 600 tons of small arms and munitions to System – Redfield, which would be the just cause they needed to head to that system, and land at the starport. The remainder of the unit docked with “The Iron Vagabond”, ensured their cargoes were secure and jumped-out.
April 19th, 3022 : Hobson : The jump in-system to Hobson was problematic. The Drive Coil on “The Freedom of the Stars” was damaged on the jump, and required several hours until the JumpShip was sufficiently repaired to allow it to accept a charge. This would delay them for a day or so, but they had sufficient parts aboard to effect repairs. Later that day, they were able to deploy the sail and begin charging the coils.
Hobson proved to be a typical G2 star (Yellow Main) with a standard Terran world. It was a light industrial world with 10 million population, exporting foodstuffs, machine tools and ores, it imported heavy manufactured goods like machinery and arms.
April 26th, 3022 : Cumberland : The unit jumped into Cumberland, without event. Cumberland, known during its time as a Capellan world as Xeikya XUan VII, or “Bright-Shining Star Warrior”, was a light Blue A0 binary star with fifteen planetary bodies and a high population Terran planet with no notable seasons. Indeed, the planet had nearly a billion inhabitants that joined the Federated Suns without conquest under the promise they could administer internal affairs without higher involvement in their political decisions. Under the steady rule of the planetary corporation Cumberland Corporation, the system has managed to maintain its population for the last 100 years following an almost communist philosophy in its state-run factories and farms.
The standard of living on Cumberland, however, is extremely high, with profits going back to the state workers, where everyone is a voting party member and have the opportunity to remove their leadership without resorting to revolution. Extremely progressive, the state government pays its taxes and provides troops to the March Militias, but generally goes on about their own business, and its citizens lead fairly comfortable lives. Due to the harsh nature of their colony, (a highly terra-formed rock-ball) the main planet of Cumberland imports substantial amounts of luxury foodstuffs (mostly from nearby Hobson ), along with textiles, petroleum, chemicals and industrial metals and aircraft. The planet exports small arms, factory and farming equipment, and general goods and tools.
May 2nd, 3022 : Kigamboni : Jumping into Kigamboni without incident, the unit encountered a beacon at the jump-point, warning about debris in-system from undocumented pirate attacks. Unlike nearby Robsart, where nearly two-hundred warships had engaged in a two-week-long battle for the system, Kigamboni was famous for the failed coup attempt of the Varney family against the AFFS for control of New Syrtis.
In late 2565, the Battle of Kigamboni included a squadron of several Capellan WarShips that followed the Varney family into Kigamboni and were slaughtered by a superior force of Federated Suns naval ships. The battle had been fought at various points across the system as the local forces hunted the last surviving Battlecruiser from the squadron, the Black Lion Class-1 “Kunming” across the system, allowing its JumpShip fleet (and their precious troop carriers) to be captured by Federated Suns commandos.
Rumor had it, that while the fleet’s two battlecruisers, four corvettes and numerous support vessels had been annihilated, Federated Suns forces had been engaged in a hunt across the system for months following the fleet’s defeat, for elements from the fight that had eluded them. There were areas in the L5 (LaGrange Point) of the main planet of the system that one simply did not go into, because of warning markers and uncharted debris. And , of course, pirates.
An M0 star, Kigamboni was a small and temperate world with 75% surface water and very industrialized. Its 100 million population were technically employees of the General Nucleonics Corporation, a planetary mega-corporation that exported cybernetic components and perfumes (primarily “Shuneapple Oil” ), and imported rare metals (such as Iridium), but were fairly self-sufficient in most other respects. The planetary government, although controlled by the corporation, is also the company’s Board of Directors, and that every citizen of the world is issued a non-transferable Voting Stock Certificate on their 18th natal day. Thus everyone is a voter and determines the next leadership of both the company and their planet. Voting Shares are not Stock Shares, but leadership of the board is determined by Voting Shares, ensuring no single individual can overtly control their positions in planetary leadership. It also makes for interesting elections…
Both JumpShips deployed their sails, and began making inquiries about local conditions. It was quickly discovered that there was a piracy problem in-system (of course), but the group planned to detach “The Freedom of the Stars” under both Space Master Eric Severin and Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” in an effort to search for any possible salvage from the Battle of Kigamboni. The days passed quickly, and “The Iron Vagabond” jumped out-system, leaving the scientists behind to begin their search.
May 10th, 3022 : Carmacks : A G2/M0 Yellow/Red Binary system, Carmacks (known as “U’Tzui” under Capellan rule), is a typical terra-formed world with hotter than normal temperatures in the middle and higher latitudes. Technology remains low on the world, and was always a violent world that can boast the majority of its higher technology to trade with Cumberland Corporation. The planet imports agricultural equipment, vehicles, small arms and tools, and exports food, industrial and power metals, low-tech factory line equipment and petroleum. The planet’s 20,000,000 inhabitants are woefully ignorant of most modern technological matters, but survive well enough through simple mineral extraction and farming. The majority are fairly sheep-like in their attitude.
The planet was also the route survivors from Kigamboni attempted to flee, but were caught at the jump-point and annihilated or captured by AFFS reinforcements.
The unit’s days passed without incident, and they jumped out-system.
May 18th, 3022 : Wappingers : An M0/M0 Binary system, Wappingers was a Terran world with no seasons and two moons. Anciently settled by indigenous folk from North America, the planet quickly came into prominence as an agricultural land-of plenty, and its vast fertile fields easily adapted to Terran crops and livestock. Today, the planet houses 55 million bucolic farmers and ranchers exporting simple foodstuffs, textiles, industrial metals and chemicals, while importing vehicles, small arms, aircraft, factory equipment and general tools. Trade is, however, restricted by high planetary tariffs, which protect locally developed industries. Corruption in the local planetary government is well-documented and crime in the packed urban centers is rife. Some 20% of the population are unemployed and are termed “The Forgotten” by most traders, as they live through petty theft and other crimes.
The unit waited out their time, and jumped out-system.
May 26th, 3022 : System – Redfield : Jumping into Redfield, the unit allowed Arlana Jericho to make her contacts and prepare for the “shipment” to Redfield of 600 tons of munitions. The plan was for the “Dingoes’ Den”, divested of its “excess” vehicles and supplies into the cargo holds of the Iron Vagabond, to make its way to the planet, fake a distress and land at the suspected cache site of “Memorial Plains”, claiming a crash and need for repairs. The “Crimson Sands” would be dispatched separately under the aegis of seeking some R&R at the old SLDF sites outside of Reaver’s Crossing. Consisting of two squads of marines from “Shiv’s Talons” and a pair of salvage squads, the unit would proceed via transport to the Thuringia Factory site, investigate it, and then report their findings in. Once the accident was reported, they would dispatch the “Brush Wolf” to effect repairs, and together haul anything they might find on the site back to the JumpShip.
May 27th, 3022 : Taking a day to transfer and stow various excess cargo, the unit prepped the Crimson Sands for flight and docked it with an open ring. Crews were transferred, and the unit began its burn in-system to Redfield.
May 30th, 3022 : The Dingoes’ Den maneuvered for orbit, deployed their communication satellite, Intelsat “Predator’s Eye” over the site, and began their drop. It went horribly wrong. During last minute landing, the shear on their DropShip burned through something in one of the landing struts, and the resulting cascade forced the vessel to make a “light” crash-landing near their target site. It crushed some of the landing gear, and destroyed one of the cargo bay entry doors, but was otherwise intact, due to the skills of their pilot, Commander Darryn Thane. The ship called in their mayday, but starport admins refused to acknowledge it. The unit then took a dozen pics of the crash site, and sent them over their coms satellite, resulting in the starport authorities acknowledging the incident. Refusing assistance, the unit asked for the Brush Wolf to get landing authorization to pick-up a new door and various landing gear parts, and then sub-orbital hop back to their landing site for repairs. They were authorized, while Arlana Jericho made arrangements for the delay in delivery of her shipment.
The Crimson Sands landed without incident, and LtJG Trooper Shiv handily managed to get through the bureaucracy of starport authority. The group immediately made their way to the Thuriniga Factory site, travelling aboard their modified Packrat LRPV.
The Thuringia Factory Site
The site proved to be a scrapyard of abandoned tanks and engines left over from its days as a repair yard. Among the ruins, a handful of civilians were apparently making their living from the ruins, scavenging parts and engines along with scrap iron and industrial armor plate for sale to local military buyers. These dozen mechanics and their dependents quickly confronted the intruders, boasting second-hand military rifles and a mix of tools. Shiv tried to reason with them to gain access to the site for a search, but eventually wound-up offering them cash and new rifles (namely the HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifles employed by the techs) for them to go away. He upped the offer to include a permanent position among the Iron Dingoes tech teams (800 Cs per month, plus medical and dental and housing…), though the prospect of life in some forgotten corner of the Periphery was a little iffy. They agreed to take a couple days to think about it, accepting the cash and guns, and would return in three days after they had spent some time talking amongst themselves about the prospects.
With several days to search, the group settled in and made camp, scouting the surrounding complex and inventorying collection of tanks. They counted around 200 Korvin KRV-2 “Fast Tanks”, about a hundred Scorpion Light Tanks, two dozen each of LRM-Carriers/SRM-Carriers and fifty Merkava MBTs. All tanks were inoperable and mostly just rusting hulks, though some salvage was probably possible if they had more time on items such as armor plate and heavy tank parts. The complex proper would have to wait a day.
May 31st, 3022 : The Brush Wolf began its burn in-system to the starport, while the group at the Memorial Plains site began to search the vast fields of graves for any anomaly, using their helicopters to cover as much ground as possible. Eventually, the group discovered the maintenance compound, a series of semi-underground bunkers that had once held munitions, but were then converted into a maintenance facility which had further been stripped of technical equipment and was now wind-blown and abandoned. The group noted that one unusually large and robust bunker was marked off with rusted razor-wire and radiation markings warning-off intruders. Checks proved the site was radioactive, and so the group ensured they were well-equipped with their best protective equipment before proceeding.
Heading through the fence-line, it was apparent that no one had visited the site in hundreds of years. Approaching the main bunker doors revealed steadily rising radiation levels, that peaked just outside the main door. Unremarkable ferro-creete and foam steel, the vault-like opening had only a single hand-plate at shoulder-level with a simple card-slot below it. Having thought ahead, the group took their two SLDF access cards (recovered on System – Gollere ) and inserting the Class-IV Government Administration ID Card, heard the familiar whirring and activation sounds of the mechanical locks, watched as the Mech-sized door opened to reveal an airlock chamber. The group entered the airlock, and activated the next door, sealing themselves off while it purged, and noting the sudden end of radioactive contamination. As the inner door opened, they saw a long tunnel travelling off deep underground, with 50-ton alcoves along both sides the whole way down. Each alcove held various crates of supplies and weapons, as well as several large military vehicles.
All the crates were marked as being part of the SLDF-SRS-17342. It included numerous government items essential to re-establishing a government control, some strategic supplies, surplus combat armor and small arms, and obsolete vehicles bound for the local House military. It included the following :
- 500 tons of SLDF procurement records : Crates and crates of paperwork, memory sticks and other debris like datafilm and microfiche from various SLDF government agencies.
- 100 tons (80 per ton – 2500Cs each) of SLDF Field Armor Kits : Including helmet, fatigues, cargo jacket and combat boots.
- 10 tons (95 per ton – 8000Cs each) of Mauser 960 Assault Systems.
- 20 tons (320 per ton – 250Cs each) of Type-65 “Blue Lotus” Desktop Computers.
- 40 tons (5000 per ton – 150Cs each) of H-3 Horizon “Blue Lotus” Compads.
- 50 Ignis Infantry Support Tanks
- 50 (20 tons each) Heavy Military Transports.
- 100 tons of JumpShip weld records. Crates and more crates of repair records on various WarShips and JumpShips.
- 100 tons (200 people for one day per ton – 3000Cs each) of vacuum-packed survival rations.
- 100 tons (1000Cs per ton) of vacuum-packed wheat, corn, soy, oats, rice and sorghum; all traditional SL “Colonial Seeds”.
- 100 tons (50,000Cs per ton) of DropShip parts – Deckplates, atmospheric filters, and fusion conduits.
- 100 tons (4000 units per ton – 10Cs each) of older, but servicable medical kits.
- 100 tons (3000Cs per ton) industrial and strategic metals (Vanadium, Titanium, Chromium, etc) valuable for establishing factory and industrial efforts.
- 10 tons (2500 per ton – 50Cs each) of Heavy-Duty Military Rechargers.
- One (1) 90-ton Mobile Military Fusion Generator (500 kwh) mounted on a trailer and meant to establish a working field base.
The group began planning what they could take, and settled on salvaging everything (including the immense piles of crated records), except the military transports and twenty of the Ignis IFVs. That was all the space they had available on the Dingoes Den and the Brush Wolf. Salvage efforts would be fairly straightforward, however, since the items were all mothballed and secure, so they could effect their efforts in fairly short order.
Over at the Thuringia Factory, the salvagers began poking around the ruined factory complex itself, and among the heaps of rusting parts and engines, they found an anomaly; there was an elevator in one corner that led down to a sub-level, but was blocked by heavy debris. Carefully cutting a trooper-sized hole in the elevator floor, they rigged a drop-line and Shiv dropped a squad of troopers into the sub-level. It revealed a massive storage area below the main floor, with wreckage and rusted parts everywhere, but the true gem was in one corner of the basement lay a piled collection of sixty (60) mothballed 250-Rated Magna Fusion Engines, of the type used in the Korvin KRV-2 Tank. Each weihged 12 tons and was worth roughly 200,000 Cs each, or perhaps 2.4 million Cs for the lot if they dumped them all on the open market.
June 2nd, 3022 : The Brush Wolf landed without ceremony at the starport, and arranged for their parts to be delivered to the DropShip, while they made plans for the original “delivery” of munitions. Loading operation would take the majority of the day. They contacted the Crimson Sands and handed over the bonus money for hiring the new techs, as well as the cash for parts from the salvagers. Shiv took the cash and made arrangements for the final hiring of the unit.
June 3rd, 3022 : The Brush Wolf made its sub-orbital drop over to the “Memorial Plains” site, rendezvousing with their companions and preparing to load more salvaged goods and vehicles. Repairs to the Dingoes Den were completed.
Shiv made the offer to hire the civilians, telling them that their DropShip would pick them up in a week’s time at Reaver’s Crossing starport, and to pack up and meet them there. The civilians agreed, taking the cash and heading-out to the city to make their final emigration arrangements.
June 6th, 3022 : The unit finished loading the salvage from “Memorial Plains”, and both DropShips burned to the jump-point taking their time.
June 9th, 3022 : Docking with the Iron Vagabond, both DropShips began unloading operations, stuffing as much of the cargo as they could into her cavernous holds.
June 12th, 3022 : Finished with loading operations, the unit then transferred the actual munitions shipment to the Dingoes Den, and burned back a day later to Redfield.
June 16th, 3022 : Landing at the starport in Reaver’s Crossing, the DIngoes Den made final arrangements for their munitions delivery, and began unloading operations. Meanwhile, the group dispatched their two Planetlifter Air Transports with the rest of their salvage crews, and began salvaging the facility at Thuringia. On-site, they also found sufficient tools and equipment to build a Mobile Vehicle Repair Bay, along with two Loadmaster Exoskeletons. Salvage went quickly, as they were light loads and the trip was only 300 kms back and forth. After a day of work, they welcomed the new techs aboard their DropShip, and secured their loads for another burn out-system.
June 20th, 3022 : Having finally finished all their activities in-system, the group spent a day shuffling supplies and cargo how they wanted it, and after re-stowing the Crimson Sands, made their jump back towards Kigamboni and New Syrtis.
June 21st, 3022 : Jumping into Wappingers, the group deployed the “The Iron Vagabond”‘s solar sail, and settled in for an 8-day charge. The Command Group proposed to Arlana Jericho that she purchase some of their recent acquisitions, at discount, to ensure she made a good profit, and the unit received some ready cash to make payrolls and short-term purchases. Settling on 12,000,000 Cs for most (50) of the salvaged Fusion engines, as well as twenty (20) tons of the H-3 Horizon “Blue Lotus” Compads. Immediately, the unit set aside (for members not present) and paid-out a 2-Month’s bonus to all its members.
June 28th, 3022 : The unit jumped without incident into Carmacks.
July 6th, 3022 : The unit jumped back into Kigamboni, waiting the 8.5 days to charge their jump coil. They contacted “The Freedom of the Stars” and learned that the unit had been relatively busy during their stay in system…