Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 95 - Where the Wild Things Are

“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”

Episode 94 - Homecoming

“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”

Interlude - Destiny
"For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay."

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

“I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

The Agent glanced up from its ancient book, and closed it upon seeing the arrival of several of the Command Council from * “The Iron Dingoes”. It glanced at them, surreptitiously from its place in the corner. They sat together at a quickly cleared table, and began talking about personnel transfers and Mech load-outs. Typical. One of them, the Major, was adamant about swapping the laser loads from one of their latest acquisitions for more heat sinks. He animatedly gestured and kept referring to a data-pad. The two lieutenants with him passed it back and forth, making slight adjustments and then their meals arrived, and the conversation slowed, but did not stop.

From a purely professional viewpoint, it was fascinating. Though the agent didn’t agree with some of their choices, there was no arguing their results. Here the unit sat in garrison, a growing army of troops and machines and techs at their command, oblivious to the changes they were bringing to the greater universe around them. They now sat poised on the brink of altering the entire Constellation if they moved one way or another.

They were the heirs of the Star League, if there ever was one. The Agent was certain of it. Their recovery of the cache at Redfield, and the rumored data recovered from the southern mountains proved it. The only alarming item was the Dingoes lack of attention to diplomacy. The universe needed unity, and if they could accomplish it on a worldly scale, and proceed beyond to the Constellation at large, it would prove their destiny to everyone…

As the command officers finished their meal and conversation, they picked themselves up and headed to the repair bay, still politely arguing amongst themselves. The Agent knew it should take more time over the next few weeks of down-time and use its contacts to see about pushing its private agenda among the techs. Perhaps it was time to settle a few things…

…but The Agent had to finish this chapter first…

Episode 93 - Dead Money Again

“Go miser go, for money sell your soul. Trade wares for wares and trudge from pole to pole, so others may say when you are dead and gone. See what a vast estate he left his son.”

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

Episode 92 - Dead Money

“Begin Again”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

June 22nd, 3023 : The somewhat bedraggled party-goers returned to * Landhold : Garrison, early in the morning. They quickly settled in to discover the couple’s breakfast was in full preparation. The group gathered to wish the couple well, and soon dignitaries and important members of The Industrialist’s League were in attendance as well, leaving gifts of cash and ornate household goods for the couple to begin their lives. Several hours later, the unit members retired, and by lunch, the young couple were on their way for a honeymoon to The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina for their trip. The rest of the group spent the day recovering from the previous night’s festivities.

June 23rd, 3023 : Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” took a quick trip out to Tuadann, intending to spend several days following the Nexu with a couple local guides, and his bio-specialist Senior Tech Sarah “Sharkey” Richmond in tow. He intended to learn as much about them and their life-cycle as he could.

The unit also activated * “The Werewolves”, intending to get them to scout-out the rumors around Sierra Madre Casino & Villa, and its “Great Game”. That spec-ops unit assembled and began their long trip down from the jump-point.

June 24th, 3023 : Not wanting to waste too much time, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” took one of the airfield’s ST-46 Class Shuttles in a quick jump to The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, to investigate the place himself. He landed with the second squad of the 9th Marines, rented a couple local jeeps from the airfield, and spent the rest of the night wandering through the local bars of La Centro trying to find something out about the place, but no one really seemed to have much to say beyond the locals there kept to themselves.

June 25th, 3023 : Advocate and his marines returned, dejected.

June 27th, 3023 : Advocate returns to the islands, taking the 1st squad of the 9th Marines this time, reporting in to LtSG Trooper Shiv “The Knife”, and getting a lay of how things were progressing locally. He toured their quarters, the renovated “Seabreeze Spa” and the many fortifications they were assembling. Shiv reported there were few local militia recruits, though they had the full support of the local government, and continued to train roughly 2-1/2 platoons of interested troopers. Most were older, retired soldiers and policia who saw it as a means to fill their weekends and practice their former careers.

Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” slipped away from the “official” tour, and spent the evening looking for information about “The Great Game” and the Cosmic Knife. He didn’t have much success either, though he learned that sometimes workers at the Sierra Madre Casino would visit kin in the island, but they always returned back to the compound. When he met with Advocate, Templar suggested that maybe the facility was controlled by REAPER or something similar. Okay, he honestly did everything in his power to paranoidically convince him, that the facility was under its control. No one believed him.

June 28th, 3023 : Advocate spent the bulk of the next day searching the island’s district records regarding the facility, primarily regarding the Cosmic Knife production line. They found nothing of particular value.

Back in Garrison, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” enlisted a recently returned Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” to begin refining his personal project “Kiss Me Cortana”, which would hopefully convert “Cortana” into something useful to the unit. They examined the data they had on the topic, and Moxie concluded that ECM fields were the key to “silencing” the problems surrounding her sentience. In particular, the recently recovered Beagle Active Probe – Prototype might represent a means of stabilizing her matrix. They ran some preliminary tests using the ECM field of an active Pegasus Scout Hover Tank with Cortana active in the unit’s CHM-3 Chameleon “Training Scout” out at Fort Boomerang. They ran some tests, with Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” in the trainer’s chair following the results. Seeing some success, they stopped the test and then swapped out the black boxes, taking the data stored in them back for further study on the matter. Data was then sent to Tech Brandis Turgan, via the unit’s internal package service.

MechWarrior Eric Lars “Caboose” initiated his own personal project : “Project : A New Hope”. He was seeking a means of bridging the gap between the unit and some of the local national warlords, and after much negotiation with the Command Council, settled on having the unit use the talents of Ambassador Inara Serra to enlist the government in hiring a unit’s “training company” for a long-term contract to serve in The District of Guaviare. It was hoped that a small training force (roughly company-sized) might be able to ensure that district the growing united government of “New Sangria” was interested in ensuring its allies’ territory remained inviolate. Assisting in this discussion was, of course, the unit’s permanent assigned liaison officer, Captain Carla Estrella.

June 29th, 3023 : Pitbull took a quick trip into Ciudad Garcia, intending to meet with Mech Stable – “The Wraiths”, in particular, their two lead pilots. He spent the day being ingratiating and using his almost forgotten Japanese and knowledge of House Kurita culture to schmooze his way through their outer servants, until he was able to speak directly with Yui Ishikawa, their stablemaster. He further managed to convince the man of a short, private meeting with MechWarrior Yuki Kaiji. Relatively pleasant, the end result of the meeting was a pledge that perhaps an “engagement” between himself and Kaiji Yuki would be acceptable in the future.

Having returned once more to the southern Corazón Jungle, Moxie had spent several more days working with the locals and his bio-specialist to uncover the secrets of the Nexu. During his time, he spent considerable efforts to learn their language and local dialect, and pick-up some of their basic protocols, unique to their culture.

That evening, Advocate decided the fate of their last prisoner, Commander Elissa Dresden, convincing her through filthy lucre, to join the unit as a ship’s commander. She was assigned the “Spearhead”, located in the jungles at Content Not Found: cor-zon-airfield, and immediately travelled there. As recompense for her lengthy incaceration, she was given a year’s full pay as a signing bonus (18,000 Cs!), and a week’s worth of time to assign her crew from the personnel available on-site.

June 31st, 3023 : * “The Werewolves” finally dropped on the airport in the San Andrés Archipelago, and after some hours to recover from their trip at the unit’s temporary base at Seabreeze Spa, deployed under cover of night to Sierra Madre Casino. They scouted the perimeter, leaving Loup Garou as perimeter guards, and then infiltrated the settlement itself. The central village was about what they expected, and the northern area around the production facility was walled, but un-guarded. Indeed, they found the community outskirts were collapsing ruins that had long since given themselves over to the encroaching jungles, and only the central Villa portion remained intact.

A thick purplish mist seemed to cloak the central valley, and the ruins themselves. Guards surrounded the perimeter, about a platoon of mercenary forces armed largely as SRM-infantry. Wearing unique blue armored jumpsuits, they seemed very capable and were strangely more concerned with keeping people in than keeping people out. Security at the gate was thickest, and they had control of a diverse sensor grid all around the perimeter. They were also in constant communication. They seemed based from the casino itself.

The unit returned to their transports, and were back in the barracks in La Centra by morning, to report back.

A discussion began about who might be willing to enter The Great Game, and how much the unit was willing to risk on the chance to get both the faclity and its production lines….

Episode 91 - The Marriage of Ruxbundy

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”

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

May 15th, 3023 : As the wedding of Lady (Captain) Heather Jemmas to Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” drew near, the Dingoes began spending their funds on various scientific projects; ordering four (4) Needle Laser : “The Hatpin”s, a Beagle Active Probe – Prototype and a couple fibre-optic weapons systems for assembly through their weapons lab in The Factory – Main Medical. Assembly was expected to take some months to complete. Following this, they intended to start assembling Double Heat Sink (Prototype)s for a while.

They also paid-out five months wages, to bring everyone up-to-date in their arrears.

Everyone in the Command Council got a visit from Lady Heather’s various servants, taking measurements for a new formal suit for the wedding, with Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” getting a personal visit from Lady Morrigan “Mechanika” Fields for her “measurements”, during her convalescence aboard “The Factory”.

Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” paid a visit of a few weeks to Fort Boomerang out at Corazón Airfield, contacting Master Trooper Grant Burke “Sabre” regarding learning Strategy. Eventually, Pitbull returned to * Landhold : Garrison, and began making plans to get the local defensive troopers some “sensitivity training”, making them officially MPs. Speaking with Lt SG Candy Dulfer about the matter, arrangements for the Policia Federales to be able to police the landhold, working closely with the local MPs to deal with any military forces, a definite problem in the landhold because of its large armed soldiers and military support troops.

At the conclusion of this meeting, Dulfer inquired whom Pitbull was planning to take to the wedding… and she asked him out. “Interesting twist…” he said, as she walked away with her saxophone over her shoulder…

Almost immediately, everyone started pairing-off. Paladin returned to his office one morning to find a mysterious round cloth about the size of a silver dollar on his desk…

Inquiries led to examination of the security vids, and it appeared the item just magically appeared there in the middle of the night. Glamour inquired after Lady Morrigan about the matter, and learned it was a traditional handmade gift from a bride to her husband-to-be, as a constant reminder of their union, placed within the pocket watch of the groom. When asked how it got there, Lady Morrigan replied “… I might know someone who has the talents… yes…”.

The unit began to get “wedding fever”, doing careful research regarding traditional elements, gifts and other matters on the topic, finding Lady Morrigan a very good source of information, though she was increasingly busy with plans for the wedding day, scheduled for June 21st (on a Wednesday, of course…).

June 16th, 3023 : Paladin received an unexpected visit from Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate. Sitting down in his office in Garrison, she promptly asked “Are you mad?” Into the stunned silence, she proceeded to describe his failings as Lady Heather’s fiance, exclaiming “…Your bride, and she is your bride in the old and unfortunate sense of the word, has only heard a few warm words from you. You have never courted her, and yet every chance you have, you display your position and power and influence in everything around her. She feels worse than a slave, worse than an ox slated for slaughter…”. She explained he had only three things to do before the wedding; find a ring, arrange for a brides-gift, and organize the honeymoon. He had a week.

After stuttering that he hadn’t realized he could have initially refused the marriage contract, he admitted it was too late, and that he would take these things seriously… An immediate Command Council was called and the problems laid-out before the group. Assignments were given, and within hours, the unit’s wedding fever was full bore running around as everyone sought gifts, dates and to fulfill their assigned duties. Lady “Mechanika” proved busy, but was a fountain of answers for everyone, when she had time. The rest did their own research and came up with what they felt were appropriate solutions.

June 18th, 3023 : Pitbull began hunting rings, Templar looked for solutions to the groom’s-gift, centering on Lady Heather’s own Titan Combat Helicopter, working with her tech crew to upgrade the machine’s software and other technical matters. Glamour also arranged to make Lady Heather officially a Captain in the Iron Dingoes armed forces, with Advocate pushing the promotion through and granting her command of the six (6) Guardian Fighters based from Iron Dog Airfield in Garrison. Moxie wrote a poem (…aaawwwwwwww….) and various other gifts were planned and organized for the couple.

June 20th, 3023 : The ring was made by the finest jeweller in Ciudad Garcia, of pure silver (a “Victorian Days” wedding band), with a Horn symbol on the left and the Dingoes snarling logo on the right, around a large turquoise stone (representing love, luck and protection), and delivered to the Colonel’s “best trooper”, Tech Rima Fakih.

Cards were hand-delivered to every guest for the wedding (the 21st) and invitations were also presented for the reception the following day. Numbers for the wedding were restricted to the Command Council and their dates, along with a few important techs and troopers from the unit’s personal history. Every guest from the Command Council also received their formal suit, following traditional Dingoes style, but form-fitted and made of fine imported silks (easily worth a month’s wage).

Last minute, MechWarrior Eric Lars “Caboose” tried to invite Master Tech Melinda Clarke “Echo”, but failed to present his case, and instead, wound-up inviting Tech Jordan Talbot “Trouble” who accepted (… “It’s a PAAAARTYYYYYY!” ). Fixer tried to invite Research Technician Stania Borodin, but failed, eventually inviting Senior Tech Katherine Bolivar. Templar wound up convincing a stunned Tech Jaqueline Nought “Jack” to accompany him. The others already had their dates arranged; Pitbull with Dulfer, Advocate with an uncomfortable-but-stunning Dominique “Domino” Harvey, and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” with Lolita Vergara.

As the day began to fail, and final plans were being made for the morrow’s events, someone approached Paladin with news… Meeting the man in the front entrance of the fortress, he found a distinguished young man who began by identifying the Colonel, and then identified himself as one Count Almaviva, of System – Gollere. He challenged Paladin with a traditional thrown gauntlet, citing an arrangement with the planetary council of Gollere to marry Lady Heather. As the challenged party, Paladin chose BattleMechs. The Count agreed, and the unit decided to quickly assign a spot along the western slope of the fortress as the battlefield. The fight would begin in three hours.

The unit preformed final checks on Paladin’s BattleMaster, and then moved out to the field. From over the forests came a drone of heavy Planetlifter Air Transports, and between four of them hung suspended a King Crab BattleMech. The Mech settled and within minutes, the lit combat field was home to a dance between Mechs for the honor of Lady Heather. Senior Tech April O’Neil had her crew present to film the entire thing, though lighting was poor. Pitbull declared himself as judge.


Initial long-range attacks of missiles and PPCs were exchanged, as the King Crab tried to close the distance.


Paladin managed to outflank the King Crab in close quarters, getting in several shots, while the initial AC/20 shots missed the mark. Paladin managed to get in a savage kick to his opponent’s right leg.


After a close dance, the King Crab pilot got in a couple of solid shots with the AC/20s and the Large Laser, while Paladin managed to flicker between hitting with his PPCs and MLs.


The (relatively) superior speed of the BattelMaster proved useful, as Paladin took another savage hit from one AC/20, and doled-out several shots with his MLs.


Moving around to employ his PPCs, Paladin got in an ER PPC shot on the King Crab’s Head, but took a severe AC/20 shot to his arm, shattering the RIght Arm completely, and destroying the PPCs located there.


The shock also knocked Paladin over, allowing the King Crab to settle back in the trees, using them for cover, while Paladin stood and examined his slowly disintegrating Mech. One ML managed to blow through the King Crab’s damaged Right Arm, destroying the AC/20s mechainsms.


The two spent the next half-a-minute exchanging long-distance fire through the woods, until eventually they both managed to do severe damage across both Mechs. Paladin finally slipped closer to his opponent, and after a savage exchange of everything they both had left, the King Crab pilot took a Gyro critical, stumbling to the ground, while Paladin also took a stumble from his multiple criticals, and both fell.


The King Crab pilot acknowledged defeat, and surrendered the field (but not his Mech). It turned-out, as the two pilots climbed from their Mechs, that the pilot was not Count Almaviva, but rather a mercenary hired to the duel. Paladin offered assistance in returnign to Ciudad Garcia, which he accepted. Pitbull declared the victory in favor of the Colonel, and the Dingoes swept onto the field in victory. The wedding would go forward.

June 21st, 3023 : Waking early, everyone readied themselves, and gathered in the * Landhold : Miguel chapel, awaiting the main guest’s arrival. Taking the “Crimson Sands” loaded with the Hover Limo “Elite” as their transport, Paladin and Lady Heather flew directly from the fort to the chapel.

Wearing a flowing gray dress, Lady Heather was stunning, having dyed her hair white, and affecting the calm demeanour the unit had come to associate with her. Lady Mechanika acted as her maid of honor. The entire ceremony was presided over by Mother Olalla Oliveros, and was quick and simple, with the shared signing of documents of trade being signed, Paladin presenting his ring, and then his moving in for a quick kiss (the cheeky rogue!). As the couple left the chapel, they were met with the gathered townsfolk (and many off-duty Dingoes ) cheering and waving, and quickly made their way to Lady Heather’s Titan. She threw the bouquet into the crowd, and Tech Rima and Lady Mechanika slipped in and secured the doors behind the couple, giving the order to lift-off.

As the helicopter lifted-off for return to Garrison, Lady Heather looked over at her now-husband, and immediately pounced on him and began to ravish him. It was all he could do to keep up, trying desperately to strategically figure-out what she might do next… Tech Rima looked on open-mouthed in horror. Lady Mechanika raised an eyebrow and made a “Come-hither” nod to Rima. She looked even more shocked. The flight took about an hour….

The rest of the group gathered to a feast set for the married couple in the nearby fields, and there was a great deal of happiness, wine and dancing all around. The night went long, and there was much to look forward to in the coming days.

Episode 90 - Waiting on Mish

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

March 18th, 3023 : The unit spent the next two weeks looking over their rosters, and making small personnel transfers. They also discussed their science program, and began actively funding both the Battle Armor – Tornado PA study program (with a 10,000,000 Cs injection), as well as various other smaller programs, such as the Nexu study.

Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” took a few weeks off to travel to Islas Brasilera on a working holiday, to study the Deepwater Crabs harvested there, and their viability as a means of biological conversion of the arsenic-laden water to pure water. In the end, he determined it might be possible, but would be extremely expensive and not as efficient as normal production. Following this effort, he spent some time in Tuadann, and began trying to rally the locals to assist in his Nexu-Training program.

Word also came from Doctor Sid Sutherland aboard “The Factory”; he had some conclusions regarding their “patient”, “Scarlet Jade”. His report concluded that she was being reprogrammed at the deep cellular level to be an efficient “super-soldier”, perfectly adapted to the local planet. She could live unaided on the planet, absorbing the local waters arsenic without harm, and likely had an awareness beyond normal, equivalent to a “sixth sense”. The equipment being used was extremely similar to the units recovered from System – Gollere, during their exploration of the hidden SAMURAI facility. He was not sure what emotional state she might be in if she were released from the artificial coma she had been placed in. He was convinced, however, that she could be awakened relatively easily, if the unit chose to do so…

The unit also set about converting the weapons lab on “The Factory” to start building a limited series of Needle Laser : “The Hatpin”s for the unit’s Mechs. Also on The Factory, the unit formally installed their memorial from its berth on “Dingoes’ Den”, to the Zen Garden found in The Factory – The Zócalo.

Another topic for discussion, was regarding the “Warlords of Sangria”, and what their possible relations might be. Consisting of Colonel Robinson Gonzalez del Rio, General Allister Uirdo and General Pierre Garza, the influence of Warlord Vaas Montenegro was undeniable among all three, and potentially the most dangerous. Further to this, the threat of a growing criminal underground in their own community was discussed, but no real solution was determined.

The last topic up for discussion was “Operation : Pull the Sword”. It was discussed that the unit had an opportunity to seize a JumpShip, ideally for the unit’s future piracy plans. They designated * “The Cerberus Command”‘s 1st Marines, the “Trojan Horses” as the strike force for the operation. These marines would be using a modified Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container rebuilt to hold an independent life support module from the unit’s Scrapyard, and taking passage as “cargo” aboard an Excalibur Corporation, would seize the ship some jumps away. A small skeleton crew of JumpShip crew were being assembled to take eventual control of the vessel. The unit planned to use Red Devil Shipping and Brokerage as their cover. If they managed to take a DropShip in the bargain, all the better….

As time bled into April, the unit learned the data core they had acquired from Blue Rock Candy Mountain had extensive blueprint information for various LosTech knowledge. These items were valuable, though beyond the present unit’s ability to produce in any measurable way at present, with the data core locked away in “The Freedom of the Stars” vaults.

In late-April, Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” returned via her long trip from System – Heroditus aboard a series of merchant haulers. Her ship, “Pandora’s Box” began its ten-day burn back to Terramatrix, giving its crew a few months of R&R before the unit’s next deployment. THere were several close-circuited communications between the returning ship and Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” personal offices.

Near the end of April, the unit was contacted by Captain Sebastian Shaw, lead officer of The Hellfire Brigade. He and his troops were an independent mercenary troop looking to settle-down in the community, lured by the high level of technical personnel available, as well as a supply of arms and munitions from the Brass Dog Munitions Factory. The unit command council discussed it, and were assigned a plot of land to build their complex on at the edge of MercTown. Consisting of five platoons of infantry, with a handful of armor and mechanized units, they claimed they were taking small contracts (squad-sized) for work in Ciudad Garcia among the local industrial powers in The Industrialist’s League.

By the middle of May, the unit was mostly together again, and final preparations for the upcoming marriage of the unit’s CO, Paladin were all anyone was talking about, scheduled for -mid-June_.

Episode 89 - The Lighthouse

“Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There’s a human story at every lighthouse; that’s the story I want to tell.”

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

February 18th, 3023 : Recognizing the unit was likely remaining in cantonments until the end of the year, the entire group was paid-out in advance to the end of December.

With the knowledge of the location of Blue Rock Candy Mountain being in their grasp, the unit began organizing a team to search the valley and seek the rumored facility somewhere within. A salvage squad, a selection of specialists (geologist, computers, engineering, etc.) were gathered, and a pair of squads from the 7th (Mechanized) Militia, the “Coldhearts” were gathered under the aegis of Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” to board the “Crimson Sands”, while Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” with her PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM and her wingman Trooper Adam Bernhardt in his STG-A1 Stinger LAM were to cover their approach.

Meanwhile, Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” and his assistant Research Assistant Teresa Ruvin took a working vacation in Islas Brasilera trying to capture some Deepwater Crabs and investigate their natural water filtration abilities. He also felt it was a good time to begin introducing himself as a potential “friend”. He also planned to try and get a licensing agreement for the San Isabel corporation, _ARTech_’s controversial software program, intending to study it and see about its ability to simulate an AI.

20th February, 3023 : During the final stage of prepping for the unit’s investigation of Blue Rock Candy Mountain, Glamour was busy doing a final check on her LAM, when Lady Morrigan “Mechanika” Fields paid her a visit. She convinced Glamour to take her on a “trip” in her LAM, and seduced her high above the clouds some hours later. It remains unknown why she has taken an interest in the head of intelligence services in the Iron Dingoes

21st February, 3023 : The exploration group gathered to the Crimson Sands, and made a rapid orbital insertion and drop into the snow-swept valley. The unit deployed, and began testing various equipment to see if they could find anything of note. A large “magnetic anomaly” seemed to dominate the valley, the very thing that attracted them in the first place, but the commo specialist also noted that there was “…some odd noises on the radio, in the ultra-high frequency bands…” Something was obviously here, just exactly where remained unknown, due to a heavy ECM field. After some hours in the cold, they began positing potential power sources; any local power sources had to geo-thermal, they concluded, making them difficult to identify. Recognizing the only feature of note was the tall, sharp mountain, they began searching its base, and half-buried under centuries of snow and battlefield debris, they found a 6m-wide entry corridor dropping steeply (10 degrees) into the base beneath the rocky spire.

One squad of troopers descended, along with the specialists, while the rest secured the DropShuttle. Passing deep under the ground through a metal alloy tunnel for around 1000m, the group eventually found an overhead door at the end, lit by softly glowing blue lights. Along the right side was a small metal panel with a card slot beneath it. The electronics spec worked hard on it, hacking the panel successfully and opening the door completely, and revealing a vehicle garage beyond. A pair of hover APCs sat along the right wall, and beyond lay a large hover tank, quickly identified by both Pitbull and Glamour as a Watchdog Secuirty Robot, something they were infinitely familiar with during their experiences at Depot 519 in System – Dunkelheim.

Approaching cautiously, the group noticed a pair of “mouse robots”, small repair devices equipped with extension claws and tools, in the process of repairing the Watchdog, as though it were trying to get it working once more. They quickly moved from the robot and through a similar overhead door along the left (north) wall, bringing in parts to work on the robot. The troopers were ordered to quickly surround the pair of robots, and subdue them, which they did with great humor. At the height of their victory, a sudden movement was noted as the Watchdog’s upper turret assembly began to move and take in the intruders.

The troopers grabbed for their weapons, and the thought of the robot using its paired small lasers to cut them all to pieces began to whelm up, but just then, Glamour noted that the laser assembly was still in pieces… something had disabled it, and the robots were busy trying to get it armed. The robot swiveled its camera around, and a spooky artificial voice demanded “Intruders! Identify yourselves!”. Assuring the troopers and techs they were safe for the moment, the computer tech and Glamour began investigating the robot, and discovered it was being remotely controlled; the artificial AI had been disabled and wiped in the past. The pair disabled it further, cutting its remote access and effectively killing the machine.

Searching the chamber and the open parts bay next to it, they found nothing else of note, save a smaller man-sized door leading off east. While the techs fiddled with opening the door, the unit found the APCs maintained and fueled, and sent one off with a trooper to quickly get the next squad. Eventually they managed to get eh door open, but it halted shortly thereafter, leaving a small gap open beneath. The techs filled it with debris from the vehicle bay, to brace it open, and looked beyond to see a long corridor heading off into the darkness, with a pair of doors on either side, about 10m down.

Slipping under the door, the troopers entered the corridor, hugging the walls, while Pitbull and Glamour took the lead. The door on the left was hacked open to reveal a MASH-equipped sickbay, complete with a large off-line robotic doctor’s assistant along the right wall. The door to the left was also hacked to reveal a security station, complete with a pair of prison cells. An armory rack along the left wall was empty, and a search of the central desk revealed a hidden red magnetic card with an unknown symbol of a tall mountain with rays shooting from it; everyone noted how similar it was to the Blue Mountain Mining Company badge… Perhaps that company knows more than they have ever let known…


Continuing down the central corridor, the group found another pair of doors, and using the card were able to directly access the right one. Beyond was a large room with hardened desks and computer banks, and along the far (south) wall as a large glowing hologram, of what appeared to be the local valley. Pitbull stared into the room, activating his IR, when a blinding flash of light shot out of the darkness at him, hitting him, though his “Diplomatic Armor” managed to absorb most of it. Staggered back, he bolted into the room, taking up a position near the left wall, where a large separate computer desk was located. Immediately, before the troopers could react, Glamour called out to Pitbull to provide covering fire, while she ran for the far wall, and as he took a few shots in the general direction of the shooter, she ran into the far corner with a little bit of cover while the shooter sniped at her. Most shots seemed to be ineffective against it, however.

With the two providing flanking fire, they opened up into the general location of the shooter with multiple shots, while it continued to pump laser fire on Glamour, hitting her severely several times. Finally, a solid blast from Glamour took the shooter squarely in its torso, and in a shower of blue sparks blew the shooter to pieces, before she slipped to floor badly wounded and nearly unconscious. Examination of the shooter reveled it to be some sort of light tracked robot, with a man-like upper torso and integral weapons systems. The machine had obviously been some sort of security robot, though of a design and manufacture never seen before.

The room was a central command center, with access to the station’s various systems. Each station controlled a specific function of the station; engineering, life support, computers, administration, and security. From this room, the robot seemed to have been observing the group as they made their way into the base, and it seemed had been closing doors partway to restrict their movements. In one corner of the room were several sonic rifle, probably taken from the security office. The techs quickly began accessing the station systems, and the engineer quickly identified that approximately half an hour ago, someone has turned the thermal regulations for the station into overload, and that in about two hours, the station would literally turn into a volcano… Computers reported that the facility seemed to be some sort of data node; its primary purpose had been to keep a data node with valuable data active and powered, but it was a sealed system accessible only with direct connection to the node itself. The most likely position of this valuable core was probably in engineering, across the hall.

Entering the room across the hall, they indeed found engineering. A large room holding another pair of mouse bots (immobile and powered down), various life support equipment and the monitoring equipment for the thermal generator. The main generator itself was behind a heavy door at the back, sealed by a large door and a 10-digit keypad, which was impregnable in the amount of time they had to explore. In one corner of the vault, they found a sealed computer monitoring station, and quickly surmised it held the core they were after, with the computer tech accessing its locks and eventually pulling out the large core itself.

Meanwhile, the troopers and Pitbull quickly searched the rest of the complex. Further down the corridor, they found several empty personnel quarters and a common area with little of note beyond being empty of supplies.

The salvage squad was ordered into the outer area, to take whatever spare parts seemed valuable, while the troopers were headed in-bound on the first APC. Following standard Dingo Pack Tactics, they looted the mouse robots, a store of parts they loaded into the other APC, and even stayed long enough to cut the computer core of the Watchdog off the vehicle’s turret, before abandoning the facility. Making for the DropShuttle, they loaded everything on-board, and lifted off with minutes to spare, watching as the mountain valley below them became flooded with a sudden gout of flaming hot magma. Blue Rock Candy Mountain was no more…

Returning and reporting on their finds, they arranged sending the computer core up to “The Freedom of the Stars” where their computer/cryptography lab was, in hops they might crack it and access whatever valuable data lay within. Glamour was sent immediately into orbit to “The Factory” and slated for an operation and some time in the Rejuvination Suites.

February 22nd, 3023 : The Taurian data core was dispatched to The Factory, for later secure shipment to the Freedom at the Zenith jump-point.

Also, one of the unit’s unassigned scouts was dispatched to The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina with a Skulker Wheeled Scout Tank. He was ordered to investigate the rumors of “pirate ruins” on the island of Santa Catalina.

February 23rd, 3023 : Word quickly spread in the unit that a special interest news broadcast was being displayed on RCN Television, regarding the Iron Dingoes. Many of the unit gathered around their holovids to watch that night.

The program, a re-broadcast from The Federative Republic of San Marcos’s own national holostation, LRG (Logotipo_da_Rede_Globo), proceeded to ask Who are the Iron Dingoes?. It started with an apparent fluff piece about the recent fascination the president of San Marcos, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had for a recent rising star in the San Marcos entertainment scene, one Junior Tech Selena Demarkos. Apparently, she was being linked with the president in an unofficial “consort” status, and her rising fame in the music world was getting her noticed. During the interview, the reporter commented on her past association with the Iron Dingoes, having arrived in-system with them many years ago, when they first arrived from System – Heroditus. She claimed they had helped her family leave for a new life, and that they had since found independence on Terramatrix, but that she still had friends in the Dingoes.

The report then went on to give a quick history of the Dingoes on Terramatrix, outlining their recent troubles in San Succi, as well as the mysterious Battle of Auron Lake (complete with amateur footage of both fights), the lastter of which the San Isabel government still classified as a “Mercenary dispute”, and none of their business. Miss Demarkos managed to charm her way through the interview, and it ended with a discussion regarding her recent hit single “Falling Down”, which featured DropShip footage doing a Mech drop on some foreign planet.

Advocate immediately contacted Senior Tech April O’Neil and made arrangements to run Iron Dingoes recruiting holovids (using their old “In the Dingoes!” footage from years ago) to start running on that network…

February 25th, 3023 : After a couple days of quiet, the unit was contacted by their two Jump-Ships at the Zenith, that something interesting had happened; The Lighthouse had arrived in-system!

The unit immediately saw this as an opportunity to get rid of their two Leopard-Class DropShips and acquire a Leopard CV-Class, plus a handful of new AeroFighters to round-out the unit’s roster. They equipped various salvage aboard the two DropShips (including some salvaged Mechs), as well as loading-up their DropShuttle and began the long 10-day burn out to the tradeship.

The rest of the day, other JumpShips began jumping in-system following the Lighthouse on its circuit around the Periphery.

February 26th-29th, 3023 : The unit began making contacts to find a buyer, and found someone willing to trade for a Leopard CV-Class DropShip almost right away. Named the “Revolver”, they were able to get the ship in trade from a broker for the captured “Inferno” filled with a lance of Mechs (their two Quickdraws, an Ostroc, and their Nighthawk ). Various sub-space deals were brokered across the system, and the unit knew they would be able to sell their other Leopard-Class DropShip for a tidy 112,000,000 Cs by the end of the week, paid in cash and trade certificates, which were as good as cash to key planetary brokers.

March 6th, 3023 : Late in the evening, the unit’s DropShips and DropShuttles arrived at The Lighthouse, and found a swirling chaos of shuttles, DropShips and JumpShips all doing business. Lighthouse control seemed to have the area well in hand, and after a few hours, managed to get several docking points rented the next day for trading.

March 7th, 3023 : “The Iron Vagabond” made a successful jump near the trade-ship, and also joined in the chaos. The unit spent a day making contacts, aware that the tradeship would leave in about a week or so.

March 8th, 3023 : Among teh things the unit managed to purchase, were various electronics and salvaged Heads from Mechs, but were unable to find a Head for the Victor, nor a Gyro for the Grasshopper. They acquired a pair of near-mint TRB-D36 Thunderbirds, as well as sufficent suits and arms to assemble a hundred Iron Dingoes “Voidstar” Marine Combat Field Kits. They also found 400 “Chill Cans”, sufficient to equip all their StarGuard Marine forces with the valuable stealth technology.

FIxer was unable to find any fusion engines suitable for his change-over modifications for the P-Hawks, but he did find enough equipment to assemble a complete “Weapons Lab” from the equipment he already had set aside for the task, intending ti install it on “The Factory”, and begin manufacture of some prototype Needle Laser : “The Hatpin”s for the Line units.

They lastly found a second-hand Partisan Heavy Tank in need of repair work, but would allow them to complete their defensive artillery unit, as well as a single Maxim Hover Transport for their Blood Pirate unit.

After various personal projects and selling-off large quantities of stored and salvaged goods, the unit took their new DropShip and items, and began the slow burn back to Terramatrix. The Vagabond took-up a secure location near the unit’s other two JumpShips in-system, “The Freedom of the Stars”, and “The Den Mother”.

March 16th, 3023 As the unit arrived back to their landhold in Garrison, they received word that The Lighthouse had left the jump-point, and that the fleet following along with them had begun to disperse.

March 17th, 3023 : By early morning, the unit calculated their expenses and existing roster of cash, and began paying out various tasks they had planned, such as constructing a new grade school in Garrison, the new Fusion Plant in the town, as well as financing a new water treatment facility next to their munitions plant, Iron Dog Munitions. The unit also set aside some money for their planned “Info Salvage” Operation, taking all the salvaged paperwork they had found on System – Redfield, and beginning to pick their way through it, looking for possible clues in their LosTech hunting agenda, called “Project Info Salvage”.

Now, the unit could begin looking forward to the upcoming task of marrying-off their boss…

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”

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

Feb 8th, 3023 : Following several days of rest and recuperation back at * Landhold : Garrison, the unit began to take stock of their position and recently salvaged assets. As Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” reported to his office in the barracks that morning, he discovered a box of cigars and a card congradulating him on his impending nuptuals… He turned around, and shared them with all his command and administration staff during the day.

The unit met and began discussing their plans, and quickly relegated the captured “Spearhead” to * “The Cerberus Command”, intending to use it to haul the large force of unit infantry wherever they might need at a moment’s notice. The vessel was “hopped” quickly over to Corazón Airfield successfully, and placed on reserve duty until a full crew could be arranged to fly the vessel. A squad of marines were assigned to the ship to protect it from casual intrusion.

The two Leopard’s were detached from service and flown into a close orbit beside “The Factory”. The plan was to either trade or sell both “Inferno” and “Star Warrior” for cash to meet payroll, and trade for a Leopard CV-Class DropShip, since the unit felt they were still sorely lacking in that area of expertise, and needed the dedicated AeroSpace force to cover future Line operations.

The “Relentless” was planned to become the Iron Dingoes primary transport, combining both the technical aspects housed in the “Dingoes’ Den” and Mech forces of the “Brush Wolf” into one unit. The unit recognized this would be both expensive and take time, but since they were planning on taking a few months of down-time for themselves, this was considered okay. The plan was to convert the “Dingoes’ Den” back into its original form, and slip it into the unit’s secret force known as the * Pirates of the Blood Asteroids. The ship would simply disappear from its unit TO&E, and be placed in Castle Corazón once that unit was activated. Exactly what would happen with the Brush Wolf remained open for discussion, but handing the vessel over to * The Fold Fiends was a distinct possibility.

Finally, there was a discussion regarding the salvaged NAC-10 and it ammo. One possibility was to build a massive planetary defense turret on the artillery hill near Corazón Airfield, though such a structure would be both expensive and immensely difficult (though challenging as an engineering project).

Feb 10th, 3023 : The unit began to set aside various trade goods and supplies for distribution and sale, most through Arlana Jericho and her trade company offering a healthy 20% commission. In addition, the unit distributed a ton of H-3 Horizon “Blue Lotus” Compads (making them a standard tool in all basic Iron Dingoes technical and infantry kits) to all members of the unit, and gave AEP-7 Laser Pistols to all its officers (primarily its infantry).

The unit also officially transferred their flag over to the newly captured Daimyo HQ 67-K, intending to have the Sultan Mobile Command Post employed by whichever military unit placed under contract (eventually the Fold Fiends ). The present Command Van used by the Dead Man’s Hand would be transferred elsewhere, upon their return. The command vehicle needed to be carefully wiped and reset with Dingoes own codes and programs, and Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” was given leave to crack the system for a couple days prior to the unit’s techs setting up their own systems.

The unit was also contacted by Ambassador Inara Serra, who informed the unit that, for now, matters with The Oriental Republic of San Isabel were touchy, but that the entire “Battle of Auron Lake” was being considered a dispute between mercenaries, primarily because damage to civilians and property were minimal, and the unit had left as quickly as they’d arrived. Should they ever again be found in San Isabel territory, however…

Feb 11th, 3023 : Various personal activities began by numerous members of the unit.

Most notably, however, was the promise to begin construction of a new school for the colonists, and 1,000,000Cs were set aside as a promissory note to Grupo Odinsa for construction. That sum ensured the construction company would survey for a site, and present plans, though the facility would still cost another 2,500,000Cs to be completed, and take around 18 months once the contract is settled.

Also of note, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” took the Marten Scout VTOL out of Iron Dog Airfield to the Blue Mountain Mining Company HQ in Ojos de Deos to the west in the edges of the Blue Mountains. Given their importance locally, they quickly met with Elton Suarez, the company president, and after some small talk (and discovering that neither Dingoes officer spoke either Spanish or French), began seeking information regarding the company’s mining surveys. While he did have several, he suggested that Taurus Majoris Mining might have their own rather extensive surveys available for sale in their small departmental office in Ciudad Garcia.

The pair then wandered down into Ojos de Deos, specifically looking for a rougher miner’s bar. They found “The Rocky Bar”, which seemed to fit the bill, and after slipping inside (both in their “low-key” diplomatic armored trench-coats and small arms) quickly tracked down the scummiest-looking individual who was not a miner. Sitting at his table, he seemed to know very little about “Blue Rock Mountain”, ignoring Pitbull’s gun until money hit the table. Suddenly “Me might know a leetle…”. Identifying himself as “Chico”, he promised to have someone meet with them tomorrow. While Pitbull sat back and enjoyed the evening of carousing, Master discovered that one of the local serving girls, a young girl wearing a crucifix and named “Lolita” needed some help with her “…schoolwork…”, and after recognizing he was going to Hell anyways, followed after her to her quarters… Their helicopter pilot was informed to return the following evening to get them.

Feb 12th, 3023 : Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” began looking for fusion engines to mod the unit’s PXH-1 Phoenix Hawks.

The pair in Ojos de Deos met with “Chaz”, someone who seemed to be in command, and to know both who the pair were, and have a better understanding of the southern border region of the Blue Mountains. He described that no one ever really went into the region, because of the height an rugged nature of the mountains, particularly because of the snowy winds. He did say that myth held there was a place known as “Blue Rock Candy Mountain” in that region, close to the border between no-man’s-land and the southern Sangrian territory.

Passing him some C_Bills, they left on good terms, and then took the helicopter to Ciudad Garcia, where they went to the TMM offices, where they quickly met with the local representative from the company. He listened to what they wanted, and demanded a price of 50,000Cs for a copy of their data on the region, though their readings of the southern territory were cursory, due to its ruggedness and general inaccessibility. Arranging a courier to come to the city with the cash, the pair returned to Garrison, and began getting ready for the survey work to come. Before night fell, the unit had the data disk in hand, and began sorting through it, dispatching Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” in her LAM to do some cursory work in the edge of the Zamora Mountains.

Feb 13th, 3023 : The two Leopard-Class DropShips were dispatched from Iron Dog Airfield for their holding positions near “The Factory”. They were formally offered for sale on this date.

Feb 15th, 3023 : Templar finally hacked the Daimyo, learning basic information regarding the mercenaries planned assault through the Corazón Jungle and into The District of Garcia. It seemed the unit alone was being targeted by the assault, unlike previous invasion efforts. All forces they had encountered were mercenaries, though there had been other regular armed forces from San Isabel in nearby communities, and providing support services to the units. The vehicle was then turned over to the regular techs for a computer wipe and reprogramming.

Also, the unit began to examine all the combined data between the unit’s TMM survey reports and Glamour’s recent exploration data in her PHX-HK2 Phoenix Hawk LAM. They realized the best individual the unit had that could identify what they might be looking for was Captain Vesna Clamp. Contacting “The Factory”, they were informed he was presently on a cargo run to The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport, and would be available in about two days.

Feb 17th, 3023 : Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate arrived at Garrison via helicopter, and went over the unit’s plans for the arrival of Lady Heather Jemmas. She spent a great deal of time working things out with Tech Rima Fakih. Paladin spent most of the day brooding, though he did come up with a list of his own ideas regarding the wedding ceremony. He was surprisingly accepting of the event.

Captain Klamp arrived via his K-1 Class Dropshuttle, the “Glass Throne”. He visited the fortress while his crew spent some time at the local pubs, and quickly sorted the data. He identified one major “anomaly”, a strange mountain in a lonesome valley that gave off some odd magnetic readings. Glamour was quickly dispatched to the site, and came back with interesting information. She identified the approaches to the mountain were filled with em data, that she could best identify as wreckage from hundreds of vehicles and possibly Mechs… they seemed to have found Blue Rock Candy Mountain. At some point in the coming weeks, a survey team would be dispatched and the site examined closer for salvage or access to a hidden facility, if possible.

That night, as the “Betty” began its final approach to Terramatrix, the unit’s command staff “Prepared the Wedding Sack”, by sneaking into Paladin’s quarters, and kidnapping him for a bachelor party at The Lucky Lady. All had a good time, though the command staff ensured Paladin wouldn’t really remember much…

Feb 18th, 3023 : Tech Rima Fakih slipped into Paladin’s quarters to wake him for the important day, and found him hung-over, covered in some sort of gel and lipstick, and reeking of alcohol, smoke and something best not examined too closely. She spent the next half-hour getting him dressed and somewhat awake, and dragged him down to the Hover Limo “Elite” for the quick jaunt over to Iron Dog Airfield, to meet his potential bride. And the returning crew, of course.

They watched the Betty settle into her assigned blasted ferrocrete pad, and eventually open its main rear ramp. After several local airfield techs hurried aboard to get a report on the DropShip’s status and needs, the group gathered at the to await the passengers. First off the ship was Commander Warrick “Mister” Christie, along with his recently hired crew. After thanking Paladin for the opportunity, he introduced his crew (though no one really remembers their names, and Paladin seemed to think they looked very professional…). As he left, he leaned in close to the Colonel, and whispered “…and, Good Luck, Sir…”.

An hour passed. Paladin’s crew tried to get him more sober. Next to leave the ship, was a large helicopter of a style unfamiliar to the unit. Obviously a heavy combat vehicle, the thing was carefully led down the ramp to the ground, and a woman in a formal military suit slowly moved around the vehicle, checking its condition and general status.

The next to leave was Captain Frank Elgyn and his crew, who approached Paladin, informing him of their official return, and handing over a series of trade paperwork to Fakih listing cargo and passengers from his mission to System – Tequila Beach. He informed Paladin that his “bride” was probably going to take her time, and hinted that she was “…quite an adventure…”_. He also stated that the Lady had a large amount of “baggage” that required off-loading. Pitbull called in one of the Line’s salvage crews to report to the airfield for a “mission”. Elgyn moved off, and conferred with techs from the ship and airfield, while his crew scattered on leave.

Eventually, the woman examining the helicopter turned the vessel over to an obvious tech crew, and slowly made her way over to the gathered unit, followed closely by a similarly clad woman. She approached the group, singling out Paladin, and ignoring everyone else, turning towards Elgyn and whispering something that brought a smile to her lips, but seemed to make him embarrassed. She then turned back to the group, stopping a few arms-lengths away from Paladin.

She looked him over. He smiled wanly, and then said “Good Morning!”, and proceeded to smack a small newt fly out of the air in front of her, muttering “Stupid insects…”, realizing her growing quizzical look from a raised eyebrow, and suddenly seemed unsure of what to do. She looked him over once more, and after a Sniff, asked “Colonel Ruxbundy? You seem to be what I remember…”. She introduced her maid, Lady Morrigan “Mechanika” Fields, and had a case of paperwork handed over to Paladin, which Fakih accepted. Lady Heather suddenly seemed bored with the group, and looked back over at the helicopter as the techs unfolded its rotors and seemed to run it through a checklist.

Advocate introduced himself, and Lady Heather questioned who he was, and what position he had, but seemed unimpressed with his description, eventually ignoring him.

Eventually, the salvage crew arrived and began to unload her “baggage”, which included the expected collection of clothing, but had several tons of ammunition (SRMs, MGs) and what must be spare parts. Once everything was loaded, she turned to the group, and queried “Shall we?”, promptly entering the limo and slipped into the far seat. The couple made one-sided small talk, and she asked after her quarters, stating that she wanted to discuss the contracts once she had some time to “freshen-up”. She was met in the fortress by Eléna (De La Vega) Serrate and many of the rest of the unit, though Glamour obviously remained absent. She slipped away chatting with Eléna, suddenly packed with charm, and trailed by her shadow, Lady Fields.

Paladin and his aide, Fakih slipped into the main meeting room, and began to look over the papers Lady Heather had given them. Advocate was consulted, and together (especially with Fakih’s examination) picked them apart. They appeared to be a fairly straight-forward contract, offering the resources of The Barony of Horn for primary trade with Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” as a Sword of the Realm, in exchange for the hand of his daughter in marriage. This allowed for technology and personnel exchanges, and was to be in effect for as long as the marriage was maintained. Advocate seemed unable to believe the honest straight-forward nature of the contract, and spent the rest of the night poring over it looking for loop-holes or anything else that seemed out of the ordinary (he rolled a critical failure on his Negotiation roll)…

After several hours of anxious waiting and debate over the contract, Lady Heather finally arrived, and commanded everyone to leave to discuss matters with her betrothed. She excluded Tech Fakih, but not her own maid. She asked if the contracts met with his approval, and he agreed, in principle.

“Good. I have a couple of provisions, however. One – When we are married, I will be responsible for the household, and you can do whatever it is mercenaries do, practicing your soldiery and earning whatever you can for your troops. And when we have children, and there will be children, I will raise them, teach them and train them, while you will ensure they can defend themselves and all they will one day hold…”

“Agreed. And two?”, asked Paladin.

“Two…” continued Lady Heather, “…two…” Suddenly she moved forward and embraced Paladin, and proceeded to make out with him.

Suddenly, still pushing him against the table while she leaned on him, she broke-off the embrace, and quickly grasped his privates with her left hand. “Two, is that while we are married, as your wife, I own THIS. They are mine, and mine alone. I understand that you might have your mistresses and flings…”, glancing quickly over his shoulder at a shocked Fakih, “…and I understand this. I will likely have my own. But you will never cuckold them in public, you will keep it discreet, and I will know who they are so that social graces might be maintained at all times. And if you ever have any children outside of our marriage…” she squeezed particularly harder at this point, eliciting a squirm and sharp intake of Paladin’s breath… “… I swear I will take what is MINE!” She then kissed him hard once more, breaking off once more with a glance and a smirk at a shocked, open-mouthed and speechless Fakih, before slipping out of his grasp and moving away from him allowing him to stand away from the table.

“I think I understand now, why my father wanted this union. You have power and wealth, but you are also still just a man. Men are weak and like helicopters… you grab the “joystick” hard enough and you can make it go wherever you want… We can sign the contracts at the wedding, and I will be busy with preparations over the next few days. I must admit, introducing me to Lady Serrate was a nice touch. She certainly understands matters, and will help this go smoothly. Oh, and I want a squadron of helicopters to command. Until next… Best Betrothed…" And with a hand lightly across his right arm, swept from the room.

Paladin gathered himself together, and turned to see a still speechless Fakih staring at the door with an equally stunned look on her face. “What in the Hells was that?… I’m not… She thinks… that we’re… Gah!” sputtered Fakih.

Feb 21st, 3023 : Over the next couple days, word came from the private barracks of Lady Heather along with a stream of orders for clothing, food and other important “party favors”, along with various congratulations from the socially important members of local society, namely its CEOs from The Industrialist’s League, and other politically important people.

Unable to find any hidden agendas in the contracts, they asked for the advice of Ambassador Inara Serra for the social implications of the contract. She came to the fortress, and began to sort through the papers, detailing what she understood about the contract. She seemed to understand the social protocols regarding the contract especially well (35 on a Administration roll!).

She related that, as she understood the situation, the Barony of Horn was established as a resource colony to supply the capital of Tharn and the Baron Jemmas of Horn holds his title and position in supplying these goods to the capital and its governing body, the Mangai. What the contract does, is tie the Barony and the Iron Dingoes to a mutually beneficial agreement, but that bypasses the planet’s own governing and trade laws. This is likely only possible because the Baron’s primary heir is still unmarried, and Lady Heather’s position as well down the lines of inheritance ensures that he has other ties outside the planet’s own nobility. It also ensures his grandchildren through Lady Heather will not be in conflict with his other heirs over territorial rights, as they will be off-world. The last thing of note, is that it ties a powerful military force that he can call upon, through a “personnel exchange” to defend his holdings from a vengeful planetary or other force.

She concluded, that it was actually a good opportunity for trade and access to manpower ( The Barony of Horn‘s population of 50,000 versus * Landhold : Garrison’s population of roughly 5000. ) that they didn’t really possess at the moment. The Barony had a potential to be a very valuable ally in the long-run, plus, she stated with a smirking, smoldering look at Paladin, the Baron’s daughter was a prize herself.

Later that night, Paladin was informed of the arrival of an old contact from their early years on Terramatrix, “Big” John Stone, with whom he’d had a memorable game of poker once over New Years ( 3018-19 )… He congratulated Paladin on his coming marriage, having heard about it through the gossip venues in Ciudad Garcia, where he owned a small local transport company, Bertling Logistics, a (mostly) small package delivery company, that also conducted some heavy lift operations with Mercado Industrial Group within Ciudad Garcia and had recently begun modernizing its transport fleet of light utility transports.

He then asked if Paladin were attending “The Game”. Further inquiries made Paladin call down Advocate to his office, where the three discussed the details around the “Game”. It seemed, Stone related, that a billionaire named Douglas SInclair was offering an opportunity to “win” his ancestral home, Sierra Madre Casino & Villa, in exchange for every participant interested paying a direct fee of 2,000,000Cs in Cash, with the winner of the “Game”, getting land and all its assets with Douglas keeping the cash.

When asked why Sinclair was doing this, Stone did mention that he was “…something of an eccentric…”, plus it was a means of getting a large quantity of cash very quickly with no strings attached. Advocate and Paladin began discussing the matter, and concluded that they were interested. Stone explained that all you had to do was show-up at the casino in The Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina with the cash, and entry was assured. The “…last man standing…” would win the whole thing…

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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