Bruce (Glamour)————————Stinger LAM
JP (Pitbull) ——————————-Ostsol
-———————————- Condor Heavy Hover Tank
“I do know one thing. I’ve seen strange things happen in Dead Space. But I know something else. Space gives you an opportunity you take it.”
Prior to leaving the system, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” paid-out four months salary to the unit before everyone headed off to some R&R and scattered on their journey. Also, they began modifying the unit’s spare Condor Heavy Hover Tank from the Scrapyard for their newest crew. They stripped out the AC/5s and gave it LRMs and Flamers with heat sinks.
Eventually, the unit prepped their JumpShips and left the system.
November 18th, 3020 : Content Not Found: armington-system : In armington they encountered the first recharge station they’d seen in almost three years. A quiet system, they were immediately hailed by the station control, asking for identification and purpose.
The unit ID as * “The Iron Dingoes” was swiftly acknowledged, though their status was woefully out of date (last registered back on Joshua’s Station above System – Taurus ). The unit requested a recharge using their sails, and acknowledged they were looking for contracts, promising to send an updated TO&E in a day or so. Requests were granted, as well as leave for a “resupply trip” to System – Malagrotta.
Contracts were relayed back to the unit in a couple days, offering two regional Cadre contracts with planetary militia, and one “Territorial Campaign” (Riot Duty) in nearby System – Csomad. A quick discussion let them to deny all three options, and they quietly passed time before jumping back out to their next stop.
November 26th, 3020 : System – Csomad : Csomad proved a little more lively, with warnings coming from the Nadir station about a local “Amber” alert on the inhabited planet. A couple transports jumped in-system, but a little over a week later, they jumped out-system.
December 3rd, 3020 : System – Malagrotta : The fleet declared their status and writ of passage, deployed their sails and spent a day readying for travel, and looking through the heavy local jumpship traffic. Trooper Pol Baca identified the Monolith-Class JumpShip off to one side as the one formerly stationed in System – Outpost, looking like it was loading suppl;es for some military-related purpose.
A quick council meeting resulted in a discussion regarding contacting their old ally Karl Lotjonen. regarding possibly acquiring Seeker-Class DropShip BPOs. Funds were set aside for a priority message through to Joshua’s Station, and plans made to contact him.
The unit then undocked the “Star Talon” along with their pair of EGL-R6 Eagles as a slow escort, and burned the couple of days (2.67 days) to the moonlet Fontana, ostensibly on a supply mission.
December 6th, 3020 : The trip to Fontana was uneventful, though their AeroFighters were in desperate need of fuel, and docking was acquired for both Fighters and the DropShip at the starport. Fontana proved to be a combination starport/capital city/mining support city and proved to be very modern in its offerings for entertainment and services. Access was only via monorail service through the various city locations, but swift and efficient. They also learned that in order to make contact with local businesses, a special (rather simple pre-paid burners) radio com-link system was required, so several units were purchased and distributed to the group. Chewie took an especial interest in the devices, planning on spending a day or two tearing one apart to see how it was made, and bought a couple for himself.
The group split-up on various private missions. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” took his personal assistant and went looking for upgrades to the office suite aboard their private DropShip, the “Brush Wolf”, spending 10,000 Cs on a new council meeting room and its furnishings, followed by a nice, expensive dinner with Tech Rima Fakih.
Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith”, Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” and Trooper Evan Lars “Caboose” went to the local HPG station to send the priority message to Lotjonen, and then spent the rest of the time looking for a discount gun shop, finding one offering slightly used merchandise (80% off!) of a large variety of guns. Wraith picked-up an advanced laser rifle for his protege’ AsTech Abigail Breslin “Winter”, followed by a night at a dive bar and greasy, oh-so-greasy food.
LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” and Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” went shopping for new AeroFighters and Tanks for the unit’s inventories, and quickly managed to locate a pair of EGL-R6 Eagles @ 3,200,000 Cs each, a pair of SL-17 Shilones @ 2,720,000 Cs each, and a lone TR-7 Thrush @ 1,090,000 Cs. All in relatively good shape (though located elsewhere in the system), they got permission to purchase all five vessels, and organized shipping to arrive at Fontana in five days. They also found three Saracen Tanks, but declined their purchase, but jumped on three Partisan Heavy Tanks they found for sale (one was in poor condition, but overall they were cheap at 4,500,000 Cs for the lot). They also arranged for these vehicle’s purchase and delivery at Fontana. The rest of the night was a wine and dine event.
Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Trooper Pol Baca went “streetwising”, looking for rumors about lost treasure and other Star League LosTech. Using contacts from the unit’s recently hired “retired” Davion sergeants. Eventually, they met with an old technician in a dive bar, who regaled them with the legend of The New Karachi; a reputed “Ghost Ship”…
“It turns out that during the Malagrotta Affair, everyone always talks about the captured vessels, but few talk about the _*”TCS New Karachi"*_, a Pinto-Class Warship that was reportedly captured. A Corvette, a small escort vessel, the ship had a single DropShip, a “Jumbo-Class” DropShip, known as “The Tentative”. It was reputedly destroyed, but the New Karachi and its cargo had been making fast for an escape vector when encountered, for Fontana’s LGrange-4 pirate jumppoint. Why? Good question.
“Seems people never really talk about the “Why?” of the Taurian Battle Fleet’s presence in Malagrotta. They claimed a mis-jump and repair time spent in orbit, but entire fleets don’t mis-jump. No, I suggest they were planning on the coming conflict and were in-system to stockpile weapons and munitions for the inevitable war that was just around the corner. When Davion called their bluff, and dropped a war fleet in their lap, they made a fight of it, but were surprised during loading operations, and overwhelmed by a force three or four times their size. The outcome was never in question."
“But the ‘Tentative’, now, that was another story. Whatever she had in her holds was dangerous enough they risked the debris fields of _The Drift_, to attempt an escape. If they’d made it inside that debris field, a mass of ice, battle damaged ships and other waste that collects in the trailing LaGrange point of a mining moon, well, they’d have gotten away. Unfortunately for them, the TCS New Karachi never made it. But then again, I’ve studied the reports, and though there has never been a confirmed kill on the DropShip, they wrote the DropShip and its contents off as destroyed. I tell ya’, she’s still in that field, and whatever she had is still on board…”
That was all the convincing they needed. Pitbull and Chewie both returned and informed the group of their findings… Looked like it was time to find this Ghost Ship…
December 8th, 3020 : After a day’s R&R, the group made plans for their trip to the L-4, “The Drift”. Chewie accessed the local network, and found The Drfit was a common site for salvagers, bandits and worse, all looking through the debris for something someone else might have missed. Recent news articles hinted at the recent loss of a military patrol, and a science shuttle near The Drift…
The unit then cautiously travelled out the handful of hours to the L-4, with both Eagles in tow as escorts. Several hours later, the group approached the debris field, and it proved both hazardous and unpredictable. Pieces of old shuttles, DropShips and mining debris, ranging in size from small loose screws to hull slabs, mangled and trailing their own debris, along with the fog of ice particles and small chunks of frozen water were everywhere. Moving intentionally into the field proved anything they might find, would not be via radar, motion detectors, with even optics being obscured. It took guts and skill to gamble entering the debris, but both AeroFighter pilots and Commander Andre Wallingsford did so, taking very little damage.
After several hours of searching, the unit realized why such a find must have remained undiscovered for so long… it was nearly impossible to just search for something like that. They decided to release the AeroFighters back to Fontana, and called in “Dingoes’ Den” as a support vessel for the hopefully eventual salvage work, and to provide refueling for the AeroFighters. That meant that there was still nearly three days, however, before they would arrive… The group drifted deeper into the field, and started passive scans, discussing options.
December 9th, 3020 : The unit decided on following a basic grid pattern, breaking teh field into sectors, but examined the sectors, looking for difficulty factors. They realized that there were some sectors that were far more dangerous and likely avoided by casual salvagers, and decided to concentrate on “…the weird-ass most difficult locations…” Almost immediately, they get a massive hit. Success on the first try!
The “Tentative” was in the thickest part of the Drift, and proved massive; a “Jumbo-Class” DropShip. It showed some damage, mostly confined to its undercarriage, and it had its engines shot fairly to pieces. It would not be salvagable without something to haul it away. There were no lights or EM readings, though thermals identified low readings from the engineering sections. They also recognized that the engines had been covered with “racking” of some sort; possibly exterior docking bays for small craft, numbering four in total, each with a rudimentary docking collar and pressure sealed airlock.
Boarding procedures were discussed, and the two “training” marine platoons (8th and 9th), and the two Militia platoons (7th and 10th) from * “The Cerberus Command”, the latter equipped with C80 Combat Environment Suits were readied for boarding, led by several members of the command staff (notably Wraith and Pitbull). Once the troops were aboard, the DropShip would depart to a safe distance away. Paladin verified his plans, and the ship moved to dock.
The Star Talon rapidly docked and using its integral boarding locks, cut through the hull into engineering, and troops quickly swarmed into the ship, taking engineering and fanning-out across the cargo decks and into the crew decks. Initially more difficult than expected, the group quickly filed more and more troops in, eventually outnumbering the defending pirates hiding aboard by nearly 4-to-1. After nearly an hour of tough boarding action, the ship fell to Iron Dingoes marines.
Roughly a squad of pirates were captured alive, but injured, and another squad surrendered. Forces swept through the decks, taking a quick examination of valuables and equipment, discovering the ship had indeed been converted into a base for pirate raiding, with booty and tons of ancient Taurian combat armor and weapons discovered in the cargo areas. The main hangar busy were active, but empty. The bridge revealed that there was an active raid in progress, but all ship’s logs were written in code. In the crew quarters, they recovered a pair of scientists, and a Davion patrol pilot, who knew very little of value.
The unit tossed all the prisoners into the Star Talon’s brig and medical centers, along with their own wounded. Pitbull, Advocate and Chewie started interrogating the prisoners, and though difficult, after an hour they were able to piece together that the pirates were off on a raid. Several hours passed while the codes were cracked,, with Paladin deciphering them as tracking heat blooms near the debris field, coupled with low-frequency comm signals to choose targets to raid. When asked, the pirates revealed they had sent four more squads on-board a pair of typical KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttles converted over to boarding actions. They also had a pair of older GTHA-500 Gothas to act as escorts.
It was quickly decided to leave the bulk of the uninjured marines behind to ambush the pirates when they land back at the ship, placing a pair of regular marine squads in each hangar bay, along with a pair of reserve militia, and placing a single marine squad with a militia squad and some leadership to capture any pilots who come through the engineering airlocks. The main hull breach was hastily repaired, and the Star Talon undocked, and moved a short distance away, dropped into an “idle” mode, and prepared to reconnect when the time came.
December 10th, 3020 : Early in the morning, the raiders returned, dragging two heavily damaged LR Shuttles along with them; a fighter and shuttle docked in each bay, and the two captured shuttles docked near engineering in the cradles. The ambush in one docking bay was difficult, but swift, while the other was an over-whelming success, capturing an entire squad with no problems.. In engineering, both pilots surrendered without a fight. The Star Talon re-connected, and the prisoners were transferred into the, now bursting prison. The ship/station secured, they swept through the base with careful progression, awaiting the arrival of the Dingoes Den and the salvagers.
December 12th, 3020 : The Dingoes Den arrived, and the ship’s stores, supplies and cargo were stripped. All shuttles were loaded aboard the Den as cargo, and the two Gothas were given temporary pilots for the trip back to the fleet.
Supplies captured included :
Crew Quarters – 500 Auto-Pistols, 500 Assault Rifles, 2000 Clips Ammo for each (4000 total), 2000 Sets of Taurian Concordat Combat Armor. 15 tons of nutrient powder (3000Cs each).
Upper Cargo Bay – 30 tons SRM ammo, 10 tons SRM “Inferno” ammo, 10 tons of SRM “Nerve Gas” ammo. Twenty tons of AER-9 Laser Rifles (80 per : 100,000 Cs each). 5 tons of AEP-7 Laser Pistols (130 per : 100,000 Cs each). Collection of textiles (20 tons : 9000 Cs per). 20-75 liter plastic barrels of nutrient powder (1.5 tons : 3000 Cs each). Large cache of industrial chemicals and solvents (10 tons : 50,000 Cs per). 160-500 liter plastic tanks of Water : (250 Cs each : 500 Cs per).
Lower Cargo Bay – Remnants of countless AeroFighters and shuttles, resembling an elephant’s graveyard. Industrial Metal Compactor (2 tons : 50,000 Cs). 18 tons of various armor fragments.
Engineering Bays – Collection of various ship’s tools. Handful of Engineering Exo-Suits.
Captured Shuttles : 16 tons of S4DPs by Rim AeroSpace : (5000Cs per).
December 13th, 3020 : Booty packed, the unit left the hulk of the “Tentative” behind in the debris field, burning quickly for Fontana. The unit then set about packing their recently delivered AeroFighters and tanks aboard “Betty”, and waited for word from Captain Frank Elgyn regarding his contact…