Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 81 - Redfield or Bust!

“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.”

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Episode 80 - Hot in the City

“Please, oh please, oh, do not let me fall,
You’re all mine and I love you best of all,
And you must be my man, or I’ll have no man at all,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

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Episode 79b : The Boys From Sangria

“He was nothing but a sadist, really. A sadist with an MD and a PHD. Well, some people would say the perfect definition of a scientist.”

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

January 21st, 3022 : Caverns under Brightwater Base.

About twenty (20) seconds into the fight, with several of the defender units destroyed, and the assaulting Mechs of * “The Dead Man’s Hand” had been pummeled by the defending Crusader and Victor before they were destroyed.

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Several units exchanged fire shredding armor. Major “Veruca” Louise Salt managed to get in a couple good shots on the back Enforcer, knocking it over. During the fall against the cavern wall, the Mech critically snapped off its right arm. MechWarrior Dominic Haugustus “Pockets” was able to get a critical shot on the Griffon, breaching its leg, flooding it, and forcing it to flounder submerged into the pool.

The Sentinel that moved forward into the rubble where the Crusader once stood, managed to pierce the shredded armor of MechWarrior Ela Rose‘s LT, critically damaging her engine shielding. She also took a swift kick to the leg, knocking her over, but she remained undaunted. The Wolverine took a solid kick to the LLeg, suffering Foot and Lower Actuator damages, but fell over on the Mech’s Head, knocking the pilot unconscious.

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Trooper Cooper Hawkes stumbled trying to get out of the pool, as did Pockets, and the Griffin powered-down, unable to stand.

Trooper Farah Dulac – “Blade” tore all the armor off the _Wolverine_’s CT, and Ela scattered her fire, critically destroying its AC/10 and destroying its entire LLeg. The Wolverine collapsed, out of the fight. Ela took a round of counter-fire, critically puncturing its CT armor, damaging her Gyro and Engine Shielding, and destroying a Heat Sink. She then fell over, taking a critical shot to her PPC and had her Left Arm completely snapped off. She did, however, remain awake and angry. She also got her third kill of the fight.

Trooper Paul Wang hit the Enforcer CT, critically damaging its Gyro and tearing most of its Fusion Engine shielding off, and the blast knocked the Mech over onto its left side.

Veruca and MechWarrior Katie Starling both opened up on the Enforcer down the tunnel, striking it multiple times, including once in the Head, knocking the previously untouched Enforcer over. The Enforcer managed to get off a couple shots first, hitting Veruca and bowling her over.

The closest Sentinel took a shot from Master Trooper Dale Taylor “Solitaire”, destroying its AC/5 Ultra, and MechWarrior Patrick Clooney “Shredder” followed up with several shots that breached the Mech’s armor in multiple locations. The Sentinel hit Katie with a few ineffective shots, and she responded with a swift kick to its RLeg.

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The lead Mechs in ruins, Major “Veruca” Louise Salt demanded the surrender of the defending units, and with most of their lead Mechs down and removed from combat, they quickly agreed, surrendering the field to the Dead Man’s Hand. They had captured a Victor fairly intact, and the remnants of the ammo-explosion-slain Crusader. The unit demanded the Mechs power-down, and helped drag the Griffin out of the pool, before turning to their own units and getting them to safety.

With Veruca and __Ela_ critically damaged, they left them behind to watch the battle site, while the rest of the unit under the aegis of MechWarrior Katie Starling proceeded down the tunnels to secure the entrance to Brightwater Base. The unit called-in their infantry to begin their trip to make the drop on the base interior, and approached the armroed gate at the entrance.

Consisting of a small 60m wide area before the armored gate and two guard towers with a pair of MGs on their ball turrets, the gate was heavily defended against infantry, but not terribly dangerous to BattleMechs. Katie approached the main gate, and as the turrets turned towards her, opened with her loudspeakers, demanding the surrender of the base’s garrison. The roar of the nearby waterfall was the only sound in response.

Unable to see beyond the massive wall built from scrap hull plating, concrete and native stone, they waited patiently for another minute. Again they demanded the surrender of the base garrison. Just the waterfall again.

Trooper Paul Wang moved forward, banging on the gate and calling for someone to respond. Nothing but the rain. Even the turrets seemed quiet and unresponsive. Katie moved forward, and proceeded to tear and kick the gate down, taking it apart in 10 seconds flat. Beyond, they saw Brightwater Base for the first time.

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Perched along a river ravine with two bridges crossing its depths, the Mech bay to their right next to the large waterfall coursing down from the mountain, and the drop-pad away to the left. Infantry barracks were placed along and into the cliff wall to the left, while the central bridge led to the underground fastness of the base storage, HQ and motor pool. Away down the ravine, led dangerous footpaths carved into the cliffs, and along these routes could be seen the remnants of infantry working their way back into the jungle beyond the ravine.

The Mechs waited patiently, watching the last of the garrison slip away, and eventually were joined by the Command and 3rd infantry platoons brought in to secure the facility. Facing no immediate threats, Captain Jerri Holden quickly spread the infantry through the base and began scouting the base facilities. The two VTOLs were released to return to Corazón Airfield to gather the unit’s techs and salvage squads to effect repairs and get the unit to safety. Several hours later, the unit was joined by their techs and the salvage operation began in earnest.

January 22nd, 3022 : With the base seemingly secure, Veruca dispatched the “WIld Bunch” lance of the unit’s Mechs (led by Master Trooper Dale Taylor “Solitaire” ) to Tuadann with Varsha Arkadjian, to secure her position as local war-chief, and fulfill their promise. With the techs busy salvaging guarded by their infantry, the Mechs took turns keeping watch, while the unit took some down-time. Salvage operations were expected to last about two days, after which, the surrendered mercenaries would be released to head back south out of the jungle towards San Isabel, their “employers”.

Salvage operations went well, considering the lack of heavy equipment, but eventually they had managed to get their Mechs armor covered sufficient to move them out of the jungles down-river, dragging the parts from the Crusader and the Victor out of the caves for pick-up. The remaining technicians managed to get the mercs mobile and moving.

January 24th, 3022 : Initial reports about the base were concluded, and salvage operations of the base itself commenced, snatching various supplies, an advanced military comms system, and two noted anomalies. The first, was the armored wall and gate. They were built from rusted and scavenged armor and hull plating from a DropShip or JumpShip of some sort. Its exact origins were unknown. Second, the fuel tank at the drop-pad was false. Apparently, the tank was actually wood-covered steel of recent manufacture, and hid both a monitoring post and an anti-aircraft gun (a twin-barreled AC/2) that could be deployed from the post. Actual fueling facilities were in a hard tank burrowed into the cliff face below the station.

Suspecting something like a “secret door” might be found inside the air station, techs soon found a hidden shaft and winch elevator leading deep under the base ravine…Command platoon took the lead of the investigation, and entered the tunnels leading deep under the base. The elevator was capable of hauling a single Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container and an operator.

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Quickly dropping into the tunnels below the complex, they discovered a “mustering area” once formerly some sort of mining area. Numerous tools and empty cargo containers were here, along with a ventilation shaft connection in the ceiling. Two tunnels led from this area, one to several raw mining tunnels, while the other led straight for about 100m to a pit. Troopers stared in horror and awe as they looked down to see about a dozen near corpses moaning and clawing at the pit’s sides, trying to climb out and attack the intruders. Covered in some sort of blue-glowing gel, the techs present quickly identified it as radioactive waste. Furthermore, the lead tech remembered something similar having once been encountered by the Iron Dingoes, during the unit’s encounter of The “Shadow Station”, in 3017 during their Contract – “Operation : Overlord”. Identifying the cobalt blue gel as “Deathpaste”, and the “zombie” effect on the people in the pit as likely Neo-Ghoul, the group arranged to hack up some of the cargo containers and form a makeshift bridge to cross the pit safely.

After an hour of work, they managed to cross over, finding a mobile ramp along one side of the passage beyond, hinting that the group that worked here had not left by the “front door”. To the left was a short tunnel leading to an iron-bar sealed prison (empty), and to the right a couple more mining tunnels with ventilation shafts. Directly ahead, was a shaft with a lift leading further down into the complex.

Travelling deeper into the complex, the infantry posted a pair of squads at the shaft’s base, and discovered a corridor leading both right and left. Taking the right corridor, they found a metal “accordion” door along the right wall, and beyond this a well-reinforced chamber with access to heavy power conduits and a large quantity of unknown communications equipment, that was later identified as a powerful ECM suite meant for installation in a permanent location.

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Further down the corridor, they encountered the first evidence they were in a lab; a large Rejuvination Suite with a large computer core, surgical equipment and a central tank of green-glowing fluid. Inside the tank was a red-headed woman… probably a clone. She remained unresponsive, but the unit paramedics thought she seemed stable and alive. They were unable to identify what the computer core connected to the machinery did, beyond storing a large amount of data files. The walls around the chamber contained a large number of plants and other bio-samples. A thick power cable ran south through the wall along the same path as the ventilation shafts in the room. The computer ran a statement when first accessed :

“You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned souls to rise and speak horrible curses at the enemy.”

Taking the tunnel leading deeper in, they found another metal door and a massive chamber holding more bio-samples and four separate Rejuvination Suites, all empty, but recently used. This was a fully-stocked lab for biology work and study. Beyond another metal door, they found a straight-cut chamber jammed with computer banks of local manufacture and another ceiling vent. The computer files in this room seemed to be filled with extremely sophisticated profiles of plant, animal and human DNA. Most of this was from local sources.

The tunnel to the north (or left) led to a series of store rooms and residences for a complete scientific team. One room in particular, was extremely plush and spoke of whomever had led the local science team. There were no obvious exits, and signs that the residents had left suddenly and with little warning.

The facility explored, the infantry called-down the unit techs, and it was determined that the group had the ability to salvage the entire operation, though it would take time. The active cloning tank, in particular, would be very difficult to move, but the salvage techs could likely hook-up a mobile generator and make a special trip in getting the unit out and safely stored at Castle Corazón.

January 25th, 3022 : Finishing the salvage operation in the base above, the unit began stripping the hidden science lab, and lastly moved “Scarlet Jade”’s tank, before salvaging the power generators and communication systems in the caves HQ. They also put the neo-ghouls out of their misery, shooting each one and burning the bodies. No one wanted to touch the radioactive corpses… Towards the end of the day, the unit placed several tons of explosives all around the cave entrances and ravine walls, and once units were safely out of the range, detonated the lot, blowing the facility into history. Although the lower caves remained mostly intact, Brightwater Base was gone.

January 26th, 3022 : The unit gathered at Tuadann, and bid farewell to Varsha Arkadjian, ensuring she was securely in charge over the local tribe and council. The unit then slogged the two-day journey back down the Rio Tashent, eventually reaching Castle Corazon for the night, and ensuring things were well-organized.

January 28th, 3022 : The rest of the unit passed through the northern portion of the jungle, reaching * Landhold : Garrison around mid-day, and settled in for proper maintenance of their Mechs. Veruca and Lord (LtSG) Henry “Fitzy” Fitzroy began discussing their options, and arranged to finalize a contract with Baron Kenton Sarne‘s representative the following day. They chose to pass on the local government contract, since they really didn’t have the trained infantry to fulfill it without re-arranging everything.

January 29th, 3022 : Early that morning MechWarrior Patrick Clooney “Shredder” was wracking his brain over the statement he’d seen on the reports… and as the resident SLDF hobby specialist, was best-qualified to know something. Later, he was searching his books collected on the subjects, when he found it… he informed Veruca of his findings first thing.

There it was, in the historical treatise on the fall of the Star League. The last formal words of history’s greatest monster to his troops when Terra fell.

“You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned souls to rise and speak horrible curses at the enemy.”Stephan Amaris, First Lord of the Inner Sphere.

History’s greatest monster, might be a clone…

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Episode 79a : The Boys From Sangria

“I’m dead in the water
Still looking for ya
I’m dead in the water
Can’t you see, can’t you see?”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

January 2nd, 3022 : * Landhold : Garrison, Garcia District, Republic of Sangria : As the scouting mission in Castle Corazón drew to a close, Lord (LtSG) Henry “Fitzy” Fitzroy began going over potential contracts for * “The Dead Man’s Hand” during their “Hiring Season”. In addition to a small contract for another company of infantry, similar in most purposes to Contract – Operation : “Show-and-Tell”, there was a continuing effort by House Davion to recruit a sizable Mech force to hold the peace in System – Csomad. They also caught a lead on an offer by someone claiming to represent Baron Kenton Sarne, though he would only offer the contract in person, on-planet. When Fitzy seemed interested, he took a shuttle and planned to arrive in Ciudad Garcia as soon as possible.

January 5th, 3022 : Major “Veruca” Louise Salt was contacted later in the day from * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” Field Ops in San Marcos, Senior Tech Catherine “Piper” Walker. She reported in that her unit had uncovered the whereabouts of the Frontier-Class Air Transport, “Nairobi” they had been tasked to find. It had been sitting in a hangar for the past year, unused and practically abandoned. However, reports in the capital of another similar craft operating led her to dicover another “Frontier” Heavy Lift VTOL operating under the name of “Tiber”. This vessel was found to be shipping large quantities of fuel (through dismountable fuel tanks in her cargo), roughly 12 tons of water and foodstuffs (enough food to feed roughly a company or more of infantry for a month), and five tons of unclassified “Agricultural Equipment”. This vessel often travelled with infantry from San Isabel, taking them back from R&R and training in San Marcos.

The odd thing about the flight, was that it was conducted every month, and upon arrival at San Isabel, several days later, would again load the same supplies and personnel, and return to San Marcos about another week later. Again and again, this vessel repeated the mission back and forth. Always bringing supplies somewhere, but never dropping anything off beyond a handful of troopers wearing San Isabel uniforms. She requested a new mandate, since that seemed to fulfill her original request, but had no one else to ask for orders. Major Salt told them to finish their contract in San Marcos, and quietly relocate to San Isabel, get access to the national government in the same way, and await further orders. Just gather intel on flight patterns and other similar matters.

January 7th, 3022 : Word came over a news broadcast from RCN Television, reporting that the industrial fires in San Succi had continued to devastate the city, and had burned-out what was left in the area. This meant that the Indumil industrial complex they had raided was now a smoking ruin, along with much of the industrial strength of the nation’s heartland. Only the power plants and Indumil factory in the northern provinces, as well as other smaller complexes remained. The automotive industry in the nation was obliterated, along with many agricultural supporting industries. The water treatment plant and some other factories, such as the Bavaria Beer and Nutresa Group plants on the outskirts of the city remained intact, however. General Pierre Garza was still in control of the city and trying to put it back together, though the military government faced continuing pressure from marauder bands and gangs trying to take control of key industries and supplies.

January 8th, 3022 : Reports came from the 11th Infantry Militia Platoon “Tunnel Rats”, * “The Cerberus Command”. They had captured a young infiltrator trying to get into Corazón Airfield. MechWarrior Dominic Haugustus “Pockets” was sent along with Fitzy to interrogate the young man, since Pockets spoke fluent Spanish. They also brought a supply of Dingo Spit.

The flight via Karnov UR Transport was uneventful, and landing at Corazón Airfield, they discovered a young man, barely twelve, who had been trying to infiltrate the base. A local native of the Corazón Jungle, they managed to coax him into revealing he was from Tuadann, and had been seeking some token of proof he could be accepted as a warrior in his tribe. Apparently, stealing from the “metal men” was considered a mark of high skill. Seeing this as an opportunity to possibly recruit the skilled jungle fighters of the southern jungles, they managed to get the boy, one Cassius, agree to lead them to his village, several days away in the depths of the jungles.

Bringing several hundred kilos of supplies (most as gifts) with them, a pair of squads from the 2nd Platoon, “Star’s Reach Militia” were dispatched and led by LtJG Paula “Kaliente” Perez along with Fitzy and Pockets. They presented a Deadwood Special “Longhorn” Hunting Rifle to the boy, as his trophy, and planned to present another to this mystical war-chief, Honzo Arkadjian. They then proceeded into the jungles, and quickly became dependent on his skills.

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Several days passed, and the unit travelled along the Rio Tashent, while Cassius related the horrors of the jungles, namely the “Fangclaws” or Nexu, but also the “SwarmTeeth” (packs of native water rats that swarm their prey), and the “JumpLegs” (an oddly-shaped monkey-like creature, with impressively long limbs to swing and leap through the trees). The unit grew fond of the child, nick-naming him “Little Brother”, a name he took to well.

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January 14th, 3022 : Out of communication with headquarters due to the jungle, the unit reached Tuadann, and despite some suspicion, were welcomed into the central chief’s hut with open arms. Cassius explained how he had claimed his coup on the “Metal Men”, and that he had brought them here for trade. The group presented their gifts (soaps, jerky, metal utensils and the “Longhorn”), and the chief offered salt and a feast was quickly held. Amidst the revelry and music and feasting odd dishes, the group asked a few questions about the village and its people, but the chief seemed good at avoiding questions and giving misleading answers. They also noticed the quiet and unassuming Varsha Arkadjian sitting just behind the chief, watching their every move, but in the festivities.

Eventually the group mentioned the skill of the clan’s warriors, and the chief boasted “…even the best of you could not defeat my least warrior…” pointing at his daughter. In fairness, the group challenged the chief’s daughter to a sniper duel, offering an equally capable female warrior, Scout Abigail Breslin “Winter”, the Shadow Recruit of Kaliente. The party moved outside, and a pack of nearby JumpLegs were chosen as targets. The shooting went fairly evenly at first, but eventually, Varsha managed to take the lead during the “moving targets” portion of the duel, and the unit accepted their loss with grace. Fitzy asked after Varsha, sna speaking quickly with her, learned that she was promised in marriage to a trader, and that “…my dowry bring peace to the Tribe of the Corazón…”.

While the drinking entered full swing, Kaliente and Senior Trooper Yineth Trujillo slipped away from the feast, and tried to see if they could scout-out the village. They wandered the community, and eventually noticed something odd about the way the main hall was laid-out. Entering inside, they found one door (a metal-reinforced door!) guarded by one warrior. Kaliente slipped over to the soldier and distracted him for a little while, allowing Trooper Trujillo to slip through the door quickly and enter the darkened room behind. Turning-on her flashlight, she found a small room filled with a very advanced communications suite, of a type she couldn’t recognize. Noting the channel it was set to, she quickly looked around for anything else, but then left the room and quietly slipped back out. “Bored now…” stated Kaliente, and walked away from the soldier mid-necking. The pair then re-joined the crowd and settled in.

Eventually, Kaliente decided to visit with Cassius, finding him deep in his cups. Openly confronting him with about Varsha, and exactly what the marriage was about. He drunkenly responded “…you know, with Kassler, Proust’s man.” Proust, it turned out, was indeed a “Metal Man”, and he and his “…lived in those caves over there along the river… =HIC= …soon, with Proust, the Warchief will control all the Villages in the jungle… For the Tribe!”. He closed his comments with an odd motion of his hands, like a Catholic Cross, and the odd statement of “…the Tribe…”.Further questioning about this resulted in nothing new, but Kaliente acknowledged that many in the tribe used the statement and motion.

January 15th, 3022 : As the party wound-down, the group were given an old empty warehouse to bed down in, and settled in for the night, posting guards. Once sufficient time had passed, Kaliente woke Winter, and the pair slipped out to the river (barely avoiding patrols), and wandered a couple miles until they spotted a massive cave in the side of the wall along the river; obviously the base they were looking for. They managed to sneak back into camp (again barely), and went over to report their findings to Fitzy. Meanwhile, the comms officer noticed a snap-burst communique headed orbital on the channel noted by Kaliente’s foray into the Chief’s Hall.

Just after the pair returned, Varsha Arkadjian woke Fitzy from his sleep, and surprised him by having slipped through his pickets. She verified the truth about her being promised in marriage to one of the “Metal Men” that lived in the base behind the caves, and that it was an effort of her father to both remove her daughter as a “weak” leader of her people, and to get their support in taking over the entire Corazón Jungle. She asked the unit to smuggle her out tonight, and she promised to guide the group on a fast route back to their airfield, as well as promise her people’s support once the conflict was over. She claimed she had control of most of the young male warriors. The elder council, however, would not accept her as a chief as long as her father had control of the “Metal Men”.

The group grabbed their supplies and equipment and bugged-out, quietly and without incident, heading along deep jungle trails no one else would know about. Moving quickly, the group made good time, and within three days were back in range of the Corazón Airfield, calling for an immediate evac by VTOL, and to get the unit’s Mechs ready for combat. They learned that Major Salt was holding-off negotiations with the agent sent by Baron Sarne, and that they had until the end of the month to make a decision or the offer of a contract would lapse.

January 19th, 3022 : Following a quick flight back to * Landhold : Garrison, the unit promptly boarded their Mechs and received a quick update on the situation. Aerial recon of the area targetted revealed that the site was buried deep in the valley behind the caves, and that a powerful ECM field and anti-aircraft guns covering all approaches. Further research revealed the site to likely be Brightwater Base, a rumored military fort but never actually visited by anyone. The unit slowly made their way down the Rio Tashent, with Varsha riding in the rumble-seat with Major Salt.

Waiting for the call, would be two platoons of infantry; the Command “The Last Bastion” and 3rd “Black Tower Militia” Platoons to be flown in once the unit got close enough. Aboard the DMHs Cobra Transport VTOL and Karnov UR Transport they were prepared for a drop into the base once the Mechs had made their way inside through the caves. They would be escorted by all four of the unit’s Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters.

January 21st, 3022 : After a couple of quick days travel with only a few hours spent in their cockpits to rest here and there, the group approached Tuadann. Sensors picked-up the comms burst from the village as they passed it, but the unit didn’t stop, rather moving along towards the cave seen earlier. Finding the cave and entering inside, they detected a large pool of water within, and several caves leading deeper inside. Sensor echoes were hideous and distorted everything, but the unit’s OTT-7J Ostscout and similarly equipped OTL-4D Ostsol picked-up motion activity deep within the caves and moving quickly their way.

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The unit had some difficulty at first, unused to submerging completely in water and moving through as fast as they could. Several units stumbled and had difficulty getting across the pool to the other shore, and nearly a minute was lost getting across from the cave entrance.

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As Major “Veruca” Louise Salt and MechWarrior Katie Starling led the way across the entrance pool, they just managed to get to the shore with their STK-3F Stalkers when a Crusader and an Enforcer poked out of the exit cave and began exchanging fire with the intruders.

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As the crowded beach began to fill, with a Griffin and a second Enforcer joingin in the fray, shots began to disrupt the defenders, with Veruca and MechWarrior Ela Rose in her BNC-3E Banshee laying down severe damage on the Crusader. The Crusader charged Ela’s Banshee, knocking it over on its back, but Ela’s counter-strike punched through the Crusader’s RT, critically damaging its ammo reserves and blowing the Mech apart. Veruca and the Griffin exchanged kicks. Behind the crowds in the tunnel, came a looming Victor in a familiar paint scheme; Dominique “Domino” Harvey was back.

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Ela tripped passing through the rubble of the fallen Crusader, falling over once more. MechWarrior Jena Malone “Rocket” stumbled passing by the slower Stalker driven by Starling, knocking both over and damaging the Stalker’s LT in a crippling critical that flooded half its weapons, forcing it to limit it’s attacks. Trooper Hendricks MacKracken – “The Iron Duke” and Ela both shot at the Victor, now clearly in the main cave, and both struck with their weapons, including a pair of critical hits to the Mech’s Head! (Ela’s PPC got the kill).

Both Enforcers fired on Ela’s Banshee, and other fire rocked her Mech, forcing her to stumble over. Veruca got a lucky shot into the newly appeared Wolverine damaging its Head. She followed-up with a swift kick into the other leg of the Griffin. Other fire was exchanged, but it looked like a tough fight indeed, with anyone the winner at this point.

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Things were getting hot.

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Episode 78 - Operation : "Blue Harvest"

“You can’t expect to reap a harvest that you’re not willing to plant.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

April, 1st, 3022 : System – Corodiz : April Fool’s Day : The unit jumped into the L-1 trojan point of the main planet, between the binary stars central gravity and the planet itself. A risky effort indeed, but worth the challenge presented, because it gave them a four-hour 2-G burn to the planet’s surface, rather than a four-day leisurely stroll from the Zenith.

“The Freedom of the Stars” jumped in and quickly shuffled away from the “landing”, its small size allowing little to no signature, and it promptly found the pirate point seemed secure. “The Iron Vagabond” jumped in with no difficulty, and moved away from her “landing”. Several minutes later, the other merc’s jumpship, The Redwood Empire jumped in, and quickly reported a failure of their navigation computers. Repairs were expected to take at least 3 days, and they requested assistance, which was quickly offered to ensure recovery of their systems. The six DropShips then launched, and moved out at a hardy 2-G burn for the planet of Corodiz.

Quickly gaining orbit, the units were not met by any orbital AeroSpace defenses, and entered the next phase of the mission. The “Green Tiger’s” landed their Union-Class DropShip “Rat Trap” a couple hours out of the capital, deployed and moved towards their targets at the starport. The “Latinikon’s” Leopard-Class DropShip “Baloo” would hold their assault Mechs as a reserve to drop directly on the starport itself.

After the units at the starport became engaged with a mix of infantry and armor from the Capellan base, the Dingoes landed their DropShips “Brush Wolf” and “Pandora’s Box”, who would deploy their forces to move on the mining site at Sandblast; the Mechs to seize the facility, and the armor and infantry to hold it. Their other DropShips, “Dingoes’ Den” and “Star Talon” would drop on the mining site’s own landing pads, conduct salvage operations while the marines secured the underground administration and barracks of the mine site.

Landing operations went undisputed, while the unit’s Eagle and Seydlitz of the Interceptor Lance conducted a recon of the mining site. Reports placed a large force of Mechs moving to the mining site from the nearby south-west mountains. As the unit moved on Sandblast, they began to identify the units as a mixed company (likely the local planetary milita), and a lance of regular military Mechs along with a single unknown unit. Hard ECM was covering the separate lance’s approach.

A lone military Union-Class DropShip lay on the landing field, marked with both the regular Liao symbols for its navy, but also with an unknown CMS symbol below it. The independent lance proved to be a Thunderbolt and three Vindicator’s, along with what the group felt was an example of the RVN-1X Raven, all marked with badges that were believed to be the Death Commandos; the elite special forces of the Capellan Confederation. The rest of the defenders were seemingly indeed a large company of planetary militia, consisting of a lance of UrbanMechs, a lance of a single Vindicator and three Valkyries, another of three Javelins, and a fourth of a Spider and two Jenners.

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The units began moving towards each other. Command lance chose to take the Death Commandos on directly, while the Fire Support Lance headed off the vastly quicker Valkyries, Jenners and Spider. The Assault Lance split their targets, half holding the flank against the slower UrbanMechs, while the rest supported the Fire Support avacne with their long-range laser and PPC fire._

The command lance took a couple opening shots, with some damage to the Thunderbolt and lead Vindicator. Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” got off a lucky shot and tore the head off the Raven with his AC/10. Some long-range PPC and LRM fire from the defenders, but nothing spectacular.

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Templar opened the next round of fire with a magical shot on the Thunderbolt that tore into its LA and blew its MG ammo reserves, critically blowing the Mech apart. Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” also concentrated on the lead Vindicator, and tore apart its LT, blowing its LRM ammo reserves and destroying the Mech.

Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” activated his experimental “Volley Fire” module, and concentrating all his LRMs on a Valkyrie, disintegrating it where it stood. Trooper Mycroft Holmes “Oddball” got close and personal with the Jenners, tearing one apart with another ammo critical.

The defenders got off a few shots, but nothing compared to the withering fire the they had sustained from the Iron Dingoes initial barrages. The Jenners and Spider had been cut-off from their flanking maneuver to support the UrbanMechs, and began a full retreat to support the surviving Valkyries.

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The UrbanMechs immediately went into full retreat, slowly jumping and plodding away with the older, overgrown spoor piles as cover.

Fixer got off a lucky Head shot to one Valkyrie rattling the pilot, while MechWarrior Jessica Burlingame “Slayer” blew another Valkyrie’s LA completely off with a lucky critical. MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” critically wounded one Javelin by destroying several of its jump jets, while MechWarrior Faith Whinyates snapped the arm off the Valkyrie lance’s Vindicator.

The Command Lance continued to pepper the remaining Death Commando Vindicators with heavy fire, and eventually Templar got through the armor of one to shatter its engine shielding, and the whole Mech went up in a mini-supernova, slagging the area around it.

Return fire was sporadic, and although the armor on some of the attacker Mechs was shredding and exposed, the planetary militia was definitely losing and in full retreat.

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The Command Lance continued to concentrate fire on the sole remaining Death Commando Vindicator, with Templar tearing off its RL, forcing it to fall on its RT. Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” opened-up on the prone Mech with everything he could, and tore it to pieces on the ground.

Oddball and Wraith both opened on the remaining Vindicator, but it stayed intact, though on the ground.

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The surviving planetary Militia offered the field to the Iron Dingoes, and retreated from the field, with Paladin’s demand to let them go. Unable to flee the field, the militia VIndicator surrendered. The mining complex of Sandblast was open to the unit.

The Dingoes’ Den and Star Talon were called in, and landed at the site, though Dingoes Den had difficulty in landing, with some damage to its undercarriage. The Line Infantry hit the field, supported by their armor, ensuring the ground level of the complex was secure. The unit’s marines immediately spread through the facility, secured the elevators into the complex, and began a methodical search of the facility for the data core they needed. Local defenses were insignificant, with only a handful of corporate security troopers who quickly surrendered. The facility proved to be engaged in repair work, and sections were under-going improvements.

Meanwhile, the remaining Mechs approached the grounded DropShip, which identified itself as the Liao Navy DropShip “Xīng Hu”. It refused to surrender itself for the Dingoes, even though Pitbull promised to tear it open, knowing that in truth, such an action would likely mean the ship remained grounded and its cargo damaged.

Soon enough, Templar and Fixer were notified of its location and they left their Mechs to drop into the facility and work on the computer system and its database. The computer system was an advanced system for such a rudimentary outpost, and very new. It called itself CARL. The two began hacking it to dismantle its protections and ensure it was the core they were looking for.

Unable to get the DropShip to open, and fearing the damage of a direct assault, the group took some time to interrogate some of the local administrative staff. Advocate slipped out of his Mech and quickly learned that CMS was a civilian “Think Tank” called the “Capellan Mechworks Section”, that were assigned studying the data the local planetary militia was gaining from its study of the performance of the experimental RVN-1X Raven. The DropShip was a military cargo-conversion model of a Union, with space for passengers (the scientific crew) and cargo, along with four Mech cubicles in the lower bay for the Mechs they might study.

Word came from their companions at the starport, that the assault had gone better than expected (likely because the planetary militia had been at the mine site, and not the capital), and they were engaged in salvage operations, and loading their assault Mechs on the Leopard. They would retreat to their Union for loading when they had the “all-clear” from the Iron Dingoes.

Since they couldn’t get in with direct force, the unit decided to activate * “The Werewolves”, using their unique Battle Armor – Tornado PA stealth armor to stay behind and sneak aboard the DropShip once the Dingoes had left. The group mustered, while Fixer and Templar cracked CARL, disabled its defenses and detached the core from the computer system,, something that took several hours. The unit loaded salvage from the field, including the pair of Type-S “Seeker” Mining Shuttles on-site, one loaded with two (2) tons of reactor-grade uranium ore (worth 1,000,000 Cs per ton on the open market), and three (3) Mining Robots found in one of the nearby storage sheds. Meanwhile, the two groups of the Werewolves deployed under cover of the falling darkness to the nearby spoor piles and quietly waited.

With the core intact, the unit loaded their Mechs and marines, and once the DropShips lifted-off, retreated their Line Mechs, Infantry and Armor back to the drop-point some two hours away. Still the Werewolves waited.

Two hours later, the unit made it back to the drop-point, loaded quickly and secured for lift-off, notifying their allies in the capital they were going active, and the remaining mercenaries lifted-off the planet, rendezvoused with their other DropShips, and began a slow 1-G burn back to the Jump-Point.

With activity proceeding back towards normal, about an hour after the mercenary DropShips abandoned the planet’s atmosphere, the Werewolves went into action. They quietly made their way towards the main ramp that had been opened, silenced the pair of Death Commando guards at the hatch, and split-up into the DropShip, with the primary group headed to the bridge, and the others headed to engineering. They overwhelmed the remaining handful of guards and their suits allowed them to shrug off anything the remaining Death Commando guards had to offer as resistance. Taking control of the ship, they sealed it off and “convinced” the bridge crew to claw for orbit and rendezvous with the fleet at a hardy 2-G burn.

The whole group gathered together at the L-1 pirate point, and began readying themselves for the remaining days they would need to charge their jump engines. They deployed their AeroFighters on stand-by, but nothing raised its head to find them. They also interrogated their prisoners, the CMS team led by Executive Scientist Edmund Fowler, , informing them that they would be coming with the DIngoes. AS hostages, prisoners or employees remained unknown at this time… The unit did, however, have a large working knowledge of the Raven’s systems, and their relatively un-encrypted data included sufficient blueprints and information that they had a good second copy of the data they were sent to retrieve.

April 7th, 3022 : Mission data secured, the group abandoned the “Xīng Hu”, but not before disabling the ship’s gunnery computers and navigation systems. The group then docked their marines and jumped out-system to Horsham

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Episode 77 - Nevermore

“On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting
I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.
Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,
Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.
’Raven’s very tasty,’ thought I, as I tiptoed o’er the floor.
’There is nothing I like more.”

“Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered
In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents’ worth ‘Nevermore.’
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,
Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore.
Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore
Only this and not much more.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

October 21st, 3021 : System – Dumassas : The gentleman identified as Lt. Daniel Bernard, was a head-hunter serving the Davion Military, the AFFS as a contractor. He had stopped in the system having heard about * “The Iron Dingoes” from their recent trips through the border provinces and their registry in System – Armington. He flew immediately to Garrison, and met with Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” and LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” to discuss the offer of a contract.

Negotiations went very well, with the unit almost getting all its desired terms, though they lost-out on top dollar for their fees. In the end, they agreed to the contract, setting the signing for later in the month as they looked over the fine details.

October 29th, 3021 : The unit signed onto Contract – Operation “Blue Harvest”, and began transfer of assets between * “The Dead Man’s Hand” and The Dingoes, while they secured supplies and transport.

November 3rd, 3021 : The work being done on the fusion plant at Castle Corazón came to fruition, with main power coming on-line. The now-released DMH were given reign to explore the Castle with their infantry forces, and see if they couldn’t securely map and identify the lower levels beyond the existing cursory. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour”]] began making plans to use the existing outer defenses, and received the okay from the Colonel to see about setting them back into use.

December 1st, 3021 : Everything having been re-organized, the unit deployed to its DropShips and clawed into the atmosphere for the long 10-day burn out to the jump-point. They were accompanied by the “Betty”, who were ordered to take “The Den Mother” on a 6-month jaunt along the Periphery on a trade mission.

December 10th, 3021 : Gathering “The Freedom of the Stars” along with “The Iron Vagabond”, the Line’s four DropShips docked, and the unit packed their favorite DropShuttle the “Crimson Sands” into cargo and jumped-out.

System – Armington : The unit jumped in-system, and gave over their contract number through their Liaison officer, Lt. Daniel Bernard. They were quickly given access to the jump-point’s waiting zones, and began learning the details of the Inner Sphere’s happenings.

December 18th, 3021 : Estuan : AN M5IV sub-giant star, with an 8.5 day wait on charging their drives. Apparently there was something of a failed raid by bandits on-planet, being easily taken care of by the local garrison. Its inhabited primary, is a moon located around the 6th planet in the system, a Jovian giant, but the moon remains slowly orbiting its parent world.

Estuan is a typical “Terran” world with minimal axial tilt. Its weather and precipitation are both conducive to agriculture, producing excellent wines, grains and vegetable products. It has a rapidly developing industrial base, as well, developed over the last couple decades. The planet has extensive local militia forces.

December 25th, 3021 : Cohagen : Christmas in Cohagen. A K7V star, with an eight-day charging time. Caught in the throws of a fierce ice-age, that affects most of the planet. Rich deposits of industrial heavy metals (though not to the extent of New Syrtis), dot its surface and even most of its seas (65%) are frozen over. The planet is controlled by almost a single corporate entity, Dupre-Ingersol AGS, who maintain several other operations throughout the constellation.

A troop transfer was on-going in-system, with an Invader-Class JumpShip hauling several Union’s towards the capital at New Syrtis. Christmas was typical, though the entire fleet was invited to a festive series of games in the cargo holds of the Iron Vagabond. Much merriment was had.

January 1st, 3022 : Tentativa : New Years in Tentativa! The homeworld of Anna Simpson “The Lady”, whom the unit had met years past, and also recently troubled by dedicated pirate raids. Tentativa system is a G6V star with eight planets. The primary was the third planet in the system, technically named Tentativa III, a jungle world with extensive, shallow seas. Considerable vulcanism still taints the skies with carbon, and the economy is dominated by plantations using modern technology and agricultural methods. With the planet’s relatively stable seasons, three to four crops can be harvested each standard year. Though its coasts are extensively explored, the thick jungles have prevented all but a handful of extensive exploration missions to the interior of the planet’s five continents.

January 8th, 3022 : Songgang : The M5III/K3V Binary stars of Songgang were first settled as a penal colony. Sand storms frequently scour the planet’s surface along with heat like a blast furnace, giving the main colony of the system the name “Hellgard”. A ringed world, Hellgard has frequent and lengthy sand storms that have high winds, electrical displays and abrasive dust effects. Life support gear is mandatory in the desert regions that cover nearly 92% of the planet’s surface. Free water is found only in isolated oasis and the cooler (+19Cs) regions close to the poles.

Today, the orbital station that once served as a prison transfer point is actually the most important part of the system, even though about 15,000,000 people live on the planet’s surface. The locals are noted as being very unfriendly to visitors.

January 16th, 3022 : Wieppe : The F8V star of this world was conquered during the Reunification Wars after a savage and long siege against the Taurian Concordat. The planet, fifth in the system, remains scarred by the furious bombardment leveled against it during the final assault. Most of the three largest continents, however, were untouched by the war, and remain pristine habitats.

Formally administered by the Federated Suns Department of March Resources, the world produces copious amounts of “star turkey”, which go to supply the military after careful canning. Several large plantation cities and a handful of mines are also found in the economy, but not to the extent of its turkey farms.

January 23rd, 3022 : Anaheim : A G1IV Sub-Giant, the star of this system holds twelve planets in its orbit, the most important of which is the fourth, the planet once called “Beowulf”, but is now known in tourism circles as Sunspot. Anaheim has no seasons, with very congenial weather in all but the highest latitudes. There are three major continents, four minor ones and numerous islands. Several huge mountain ranges cross the continents, with peaks reaching 12kms above sea-level.

Once heavily forested, its timber was quickly harvested, and its vast plains are dotted with urban complexes supporting the planet’s agricultural and mineral exploitation. The warren-like slums under the industrial complexes hide the bitter truth about the world, especially when its poor population rises into riots when conditions become too unbearable. The city’s architecture is massive, heavy-handed and architecturally tasteless.

Its five small moons, ranging from 50kms to 400kms in diameter, are fortified structures holding the remnants of the SLDF attempt to build a series of armories. Four other planets are inhabited in Anaheim, the second and third planets are airless mining complexes with their inhabitants numbering around 1 million each and living in underground refinery complexes. The fifth and sixth planets in Anaheim are thin atmosphere, cold desert worlds with roughly 2-3 milllion on each living in typical dome colonies. These moons and four worlds produce important resources to support the main world’s limited industrial work.

January 30th, 3022 : Keuterville : An M7IV star system, its primary world is an “old” world, rejuvenated through terra-forming projects early in its colonization. Only the temperate and equatorial belts are really habitable in this no-season’s world. The upper latitudes are simply too cold for extensive settlement. Free-standing water consists of lakes and land-locked small seas, and its arid surface is being reclaimed by irrigation projects on a massive scale. Anciently, the planet is famous as the site of the first successful effort by Taurian guerrillas in defeating the forces of the SLDF during the Reunification Wars in 2578.

February 6th, 3022 : Firgrove : A K3V star settled by Terrans early in their colonization efforts of the constellation. While the first planet in the system (Andari I) was developed as a mining colony for its rich deposits of power and industrial metals, the standard climate of Andari II, led to its use as an industrial world. While the planet is fairly weather calm, its northern and southern poles are subject to severe winters.

As a result of indiscriminate and low-tech industrial efforts, the atmosphere is smoggy, there are constant rains, its forests are being destroyed, and the coastal waters and rivers are somewhat poisoned with industrial wastes. It is clear the world is dying, and though some efforts have been made to clear the mess of centuries of indiscriminate pollution, it seems inevitable that the environment is on a slow, steady degradation.

While revolution against the corporate overseers is uncommon, in the hinterlands there is a constant low-grade hatred simmering against the rich industrialists and their killing of the planet and the farmers way of life. Control is only maintained by corporate police forces and in the industrial cities, it is common to be picked up for interrogation for even the slightest infraction.

February 15th, 3022 : System – New Syrtis : Jumping in-system to New Syrtis, they found the Zenith jump-point in turmoil. Dozens of JumpShips were present, with cargo, passengers and military forces gathered in large numbers. It took some time for the unit’s two JumpShips to get clearance for a mooring point, and even longer (amounting to about a day) before they were granted permission to make the four-day burn in-system. Arrangements were made for the unit to engage in rotating shifts of downtime (every trooper and tech getting two days on-planet), and all the DropShips made their way in-system.

February 20th, 3021 : Pitbull and one of the sergeants recruited on System – Outpost, used whatever contacts they could to acquire more PPCs, and were eventually able to purchase five (5) units directly from a Johnstone Industries outlet in the capital.

Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin”, Captain Jessa Dajus-Marik “Dragonfly”, and Commander Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” accompanied their liaison officer, Lt. Daniel Bernard to the military liaison offices of the AFFS, to get the fine points of their contract sorted out. They were informed that the contract was considered active the moment they entered the system,, meaning they had six months from February 15th (August 15th, 3022) to achieve its objectives.

The mission was described as an “Objective Raid” on the border planet Corodiz, in the Capellan Confederation. Supporting the unit would be a pair of mercenary forces, the Latinikons and the Green Tigers; the former a lance of heavy assault Mechs, and the latter a full company of mixed Mechs, each with their own integral transport. The Latinikon’s Leopard-Class DropShip “Baloo”, and the Green Tiger’s Union-Class DropShip “Rat Trap” would be hauled via an independent Merchant-Class JumpShip, the “Redwood Empire”, and would meet the unit in the jumping-off system of Horsham.

The two mercenary forces would provide a distraction for the local garrison forces by attacking the starport and warehouses near the capital city, while the unit would engage in a landing operation near the Ceres Metals mining complex near the equator’s mountain range. They would then proceed to secure the facility and extract the data core holding the technical information the AFFS wanted regarding a new type of high-tech Mech being developed by the Capellan Confederation, known as the RVN-1X Raven. It was stressed that acquisition of this data core and its data, and their return to New Syrtis was the key to their success in the mission.

The unit was then released for their four-day leave on New Syrtis, and spent the next couple days engaged in various private concerns. Of note, Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” published various findings on his study of AIs, and did research on the subject among the libraries’ files. Also, Pitbull and Advocate convinced their (now released) liaison officer, Lt. Bernard to spend the next couple months recruiting new troopers and techs for the Iron Dingoes while on planet, for a promise of 50,000Cs if successful, and 10,000Cs if he was unable to meet their quota. He was specifically to recruit tank crews, scouts, Mech and Aero pilots. They also wanted trained Machinists and Line Engineers, and a new “Insertion Specialist”_ for * “The Werewolves”.

February 24th, 3022 : Rested and relaxed, the unit burned out-system for a rendezvous at the Zenith with their JumpShips. Four days later (February 28th), they docked, transferred cargoes and jumped out-system, bound for System – Corodiz and the Capellan border.

February 28th, 3022 : Merope : One of the stars of the Pleiades Cluster, formerly a _Taurian_stronghold, Merope is a formerly heavily industrialized system with K2V/K2V Binary stars. During the Reunification War, a large force of Star League warships was lost in a three-day battle with Taurian forces, and the following ground battle was very expensive for the SLDF; the 4th SLDF Corp lost 60% of its strength in the invasion. Taurian forces had built extensive bunkers and strongholds among the high deserts of the world, and these proved difficult to discover and destroy. The mysterious appearance and disappearance of the “Ghost Ship of Merope”, and the “New vandenburg White Wings” are believed tied closely to the planet’s SLDF past.

The second planet in the system, Merope is a hostile desert world where stringent survival conditions are required when travelling away from the settlements. The world possesses significant deposits of power metals (thorium and uranium), and over the last fifty years rich finds of irridium, gold, platinum, and silver. There are also extensive deposits industrial metals, however, they have never been extensively exploited. Gems are also an important export, the most valuable being the Merope Opal, a magnificent milky, translucent stone that shimmers with a deep reddish fire in dim light. These stones are worth 2500Cs to 5000Cs per carat, with stones rarely larger than 15-20 carats being found. The world imports manufactured goods.

There are around 1,000,000 inhabitants living in 23 separate settlements, the largest of which is Meros Port. About 100,000 more “colonists” live in the deep deserts, living very independent lives and given to banditry and raiding when they have troubles making ends meet. The citizens tend to use their own planetary currency, gold and silver coins, rather than C-Bills, and their coinage is actually an important export.

Tech levels today tend to be rather low, and imported technology is a valuable trade good for the planet’s precious metals and gems. Once important industries were bombarded into destruction, resulting in large swaths of industrial ruins on the outskirts of the various settlements. To this day, some locals make a solid living scavenging among them for LosTech.

March 8th, 3022 : Deifenbaker : The jump into Deifenbaker proved difficult. “The Iron Vagabond” jumped in-system and reported irregularities with its Drive Controller. At first, this was a major panic issue, because the module constituted a massive expense to replace (50,000,000 Cs!!!), but it might prove difficult to even find one. Techs converged on the JumpShip, and they began examining all her control circuits, eventually finding a series of control circuits had burnt-out. Taking parts from stores, a few hours later the entire JumpShip was able to re-activate her fusion core and deploy her sail for charging with a minimum of delay.

Deifenbaker is a G3V star, with superb climactic conditions and extensive deposits of natural resources. There is a distinct division among citizens of this world, with half supportive of the Federated Suns, and the other half seeking greater independence and ties with their “homeworld” of System – Taurus. Despite these difficulties, the planet continues to export various bulk industrial goods and import luxury foodstuffs, industrial metals, petroleum and chemicals.

In late 2581, when the SLDF resumed the Taurian campaign, their target was the world of Deifenbaker. By December, the final fight occurred at the Battle of Corrigan, where after suffering the destruction of nearly 7 regiments of infantry in assaulting the rough fortress complex built in the hills, the survivors found the remaining defenders had committed suicide; all 400 of them. In 2585, Taurian forces once more converged on the planet with all three of Mitchell Calderon’s elite household Mech units; the Taurian Guard, the Concordat Velites, and the Calderon Red Hand, destroying the entire SLDF 3rd Corp, and bringing their advance into the Taurian interior to a close. Called the Second Battle of Diefenbaker, it also marked the largest Mech to Mech engagement of the entire Reunification War.

March 15th, 3022 : Robsart : Robsart is an F4V star system, with its primary planet of Robsart III still in the primitive stages of development, making it a jungle rain forest world. The planet is a poor agricultural world, and exports grains, meat, furs, textiles, silver and gold and imports any manufactured goods. Nevertheless, nearly 260,000,000 people call this tropical planet home, with only the higher elevations, sub-arctic and polar regions resembling anything close to a cold climate. Nearly 85% of the planet is extensive, shallow seas, with some arms reaching deep into the interior of the five major continents. Lakes, truely impressive river systems and large swampy and jungle regions make up most of the land areas.

When the SLDF’s 3rd Corps advanced against the Taurian provincial capital of Robsart in 2581, they entered the largest naval battle of the entire Reunification War. In a series of engagements lasting over two weeks, 120 Terran warships battled against 100 Taurian vessels. Under the able command of Admiral Janissa Franklin, the SLDF Navy eventually won the day. Despite the loss of over 30 SLDF craft, she and her men destroyed the cream of the Taurian navy. Despite Franklin`s victory, the hundreds of casualties prompted the Admiral to commit a rash act of retribution. Her orbital bombardment of Robsart`s capital killed over 30 thousand civilians and destroyed any Star League hopes of an early peace. The loss of so many non-combatants re-inflamed the Taurian forces and “Vengeance for Robsart!”became their rallying cry.

March 22nd, 3022 : Horsham : Jumping in-system to Horsham, the Dingoes found a typical border world, with heavy defensive forces at the jump-point recharge station. They found waiting for them, a Merchant-Class Jumpship, the “Redwood Empire”, and its two mercenary companies in their DropShips. The Dingoes made contact with both units, and offered their own facilities aboard the Iron Vagabond for the meeting. They accepted, and arrived within hours.

The appearance and professionalism of the Iron Dingoes forces took these two “hard luck” units by surprise. They were given a quick tour, and met in the administrative offices on the “Dingoes’ Den”. Plans were laid-out, with the units using a traditional raiding pirate point near the main world of Corodiz, and then burning in together. Once the mercs had dropped on the starport and ensured the commitment of local defensive forces, the Dingoes could land near the mining facilities located along the equator and seize the mining complex and acquire the data core. Intelligence reflected that the mines had their own “security” element, but such was expected to be light.

Furterh discussion regarding the two merc company’s stauts were deflected by saying they were “…sufficiently equipped and supplied…”, though Pitbull suggested privately that they were likely damaged and in need of taking this contract to get repairs and supplies. Both units refused offers of technical assistance, though they remained friendly, and the matter was dropped. Secretly, most members of the Dingoes command council began seeing an opportunity to acquire Mech pilots and possibly a DropShip or two…

Several days passed while plans were made and the JumpShips charged their drives, meanwhile the group studied intelligence reports on the planet and made final plans…

Having a G2V/K6V binary star, there are 11 planets in the star system. Horsham IV is a gravity-strong world (1.85 Gs), and has atmospheric and climactic conditions ranging from moderate marine to severe desert. Winters are mild, except at the higher latitudes, and summers tend to be very hot. Its seas are land-locked and amount to around only 40% of its surface. The planet government practices careful protection of the planet’s ecology, and has managed to maintain its extensive weather satellite network, and all industry is based in deep underground complexes beneath its widely scattered cities. Recycling technologies are exceedingly widespread.

Industrialized, the world exports manufactured goods of a simple, but robust nature, typical of the Capellan Confederation. Imports include metals, petroleum, chemicals, luxury foodstuffs, and religious works of art. Power metals (especially uranium and thorium) are exceedingly popular as an import. Local culture, however, is something of an enigma, having always remained aloof from Capellan traditions, and were easily assimilated into the Federated Suns when it was conquered in 2953. The locals espouse a non-violent nature, tend towards Buddhism, and despite their philosophical natures are highly technical in nature. In particular, they specialize in the medical sciences, and engineering.

Though hard to force into a warlike stance, the locals have developed an understanding that they must fight to preserve their way of life, and prove to be both ruthless and fierce in combat, seeking the fastest route to peace, whatever the cost. As a result, they have become very anti-Capellan in nature, and have proven very difficult for the Capellan intelligence to find a place amongst them once more.

In 2582, SLDF General Amalthia Kinciad`s first target of the Reunification War was the Horsham system, the site of the last major Taurian naval production center outside of the Hyades Cluster. Forgoing the use of heavy BattleMech contingents to blast her way through, Kincaid collected her five newly formed striker regiments and dropped them by night near the Taurian defense installations. In the heat of the planet`s summer, the strikers proved their worth, capturing not only a score of Taurian industry complexes intact, but also the first live Taurian prisoners for interrogation.

The unit spent the next few days waiting for recharge of their jump engines, and jumped out-system without incident on April 1st

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Episode 76 - The Unlooked for Door

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

June 24th, 3021 : Work began immediately to off-load the various vehicles and salvaged goods from the last haul into Garrison’s makeshift drop-port. A large section of the open fields north of the fort was designated the “Motor Pool”, and inside a rough perimeter the salvaged buses, ,police cruisers and dozens of jeeps w ere parked for future operations. All other important salvage was moved into the fort’s storage bays.

The salvaged aircraft from San Succi’s starport were transported to the government’s airfield in Ciudad Garcia, except for the six captured Guardian Fighters. The additional six (6) Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters and twelve (12) Angel Light Strike Fighters made the local air force impressive, but beyond their technical capability to maintain. Most of the fleet were being mothballed for future considerations, and they offered the Dingoes their unused aircraft cheap..The unit purchased two (2) DC-3D “Condor” STOL Air Transports for their base at * Landhold : Garrison, trading their excess of general supplies, something the new government was short on.

It also came to light, what * “The Dead Man’s Hand” had been doing over the last couple weeks when escorting the former government to safety in The Republic of Sangria. In addition to the surviving government officials and their families from San Succi, they had escorted the remnants of the national treasury to Ciudad Garcia, along with the bulk of the senior officials from Banco Nacional de Sangria.

The disposition of the salvaged Indumil factory lines was determined. Lacking a proper storage facility, and not willing to risk them to exposure, the unit shipped the main four of them straight to “The Factory” for storage until the unit could figure out something more. The remaining one, the Grey Iron Processing Facility, was determined to be valuable for converting the “Dingoes’ Den” into a working Tool & Die Shop. For this to occur, the vessel was planned to travel up to “The Factory”, and use the facility’s own The Factory – Pressurized Repair Facility for the conversion of four of its Mech Bays. Additionally, the unit decided to improve the infantry hauling capacity of the “Star Talon”, by taking space from its main cargo bays. The two would take turns at the facility, though it would take some months to accomplish.

The unit also determined that getting the ancient fusion plant running at Castle Corazón was important enough, to dispatch Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” along with several assistants, in the form of veteran fusion techs, Senior Tech Katherine Bolivar and her assistant, as well as Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer”. They settled into the ruined power plant deep in the fortresses’ bowels, and began running tests to see if the facility could be revived. They expected to be there for some time.

July 24th, 3021 : After a month’s hard work, the techs working at Castle Corazón had completed their tests of teh fort’s fusion plant and vbatteries, and determined that it could be restored with roughly 750,000 Cs in parts and supplies, and 15 weeks of work. The group went to work immediately, and had hope that they could finish without any mishaps.

Also, the refugees pulled and interviewed from the capital were finally processed by LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, and various valuable personnel assets were uncovered. Sufficient to build a new platoon of Militia Infantry, along with a couple of talented mercenary officers to lead them were hired, as well as various engineers, tradesmen and scientists. The population of Garrison Town grew overnight with refugees.

July 28th, 3021 : The “Betty” announced its return aboard “The Den Mother”, reporting it had secured cash and rare supplies through the sale of various surplus Mechs and pieces at System – Tequila Beach. They took a couple days to rest and transfer some goods to and from “The Factory”, and then began a burn back to Terramatrix.

August 6th, 3021 : The unit made inquiries with the local representative of Solaro Oil Company recognizing the corporation was officially a government-owned company, and that without its refinery, the costs and availability of ICE fuel was going to become problematic. They managed to work their way through the red-tape, and eventually met with the district manager, Velda Openheymer. Miss Openheymer proved willing to discuss the matter, but wasn’t willing to sign a long-term contract with the Dingoes for fuel manufacturing, unless they could guarantee the quantity she required, as well as means to transport it back from their facility at The Factory – BioDiesel Refinery. After a quick discussion, they determined that they couldn’t meet her needs, and settled for continuing to sell their biodiesel second-hand through the station’s market.

August 7th, 3021 : The Betty returned and landed safely at Garrison, and began transferring various supplies and equipment at the makeshift starport built there.

September 12th, 3012 : The unit reorganized its various militia infantry into positions across the unit; some to the Starguards ( The Belters ), and the bulk of them to * The Fold Fiends., along with a platoon of infantry recruited from the locals of San Succi by Captain Jerri Holden during their stay in the capital.

October 1st, 3021 : Word came from the government, that Colonel Adam Ocelot “Black Panther” had been promoted to Colonel, and moved his operational HQ to the town of Melang, east of Garrison. He was trying to establish the community as an important communications hub and supply facility for both his air and naval fleet.

ComStar had also officially completed repair work on the District of Garcia’s microwave network, allowing communication freely across the district once more. Work was progressing with the neighboring district of Guaviare.

As the month progressed, transfers began to occur of captured assets between both * “The Iron Dingoes” and * “The Dead Man’s Hand”. Plans were announced to take turns between the DMH and * The Fold Fiends, with each spending roughly a year of down-time as garrison forces on the unit’s * Landhold : Garrison.i With the Fold Fiends still trying to work out their TO&E, the DMH were slated first for off-world contracts, and they began sending notification through ComStar’s network.

October 12th, 3021 : Word reached the Dingoes that the Sangrian Provisional Government were letting most of their hired mercenary forces go, and were building a small force for protection of the dam site and village at The Orlando Dam. The large number of forces concentrated in the district were deemed sufficient for their future defenses.

October 21st, 3021 : A gentleman named Daniel Bernard arrived at Ciudad Garcia, and contacted the unit, requesting a word with Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin”. Identifying himself as a negotiator and head-hunter for the Davion military, he offered the chance at an Objective Raid contract against House Liao. The group tentatively began negotiations…

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Episode 75 - Operation : "Clean Sweep"

“Those who fight corruption should be clean themselves.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

June 4th, 3021 : Following * “The Iron Dingoes” capture of the Armory/Auction House, a discussion began regarding the potential salvage found amidst the cargo stacked at the San Succi Auction Yard. Full salvage was impossible, but the large number of vehicles and support elements present were very valuable for the unit’s landholds, and their future plans for their new home in The District of Garcia. Using the “Buenaventura”, the unit could salavge large quantities of goods and supplies, though it would take weeks. They settled in a full-time guard of a lance of Mechs at each of the two sites, rotating them to give one lance off at any given 8-hour shift.

Commander Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” reported that she had taken command of the airfield’s assets and was in the process of loading aboard the “Dingoes’ Den” for transport. The salvage included a dozen Angel Light Strike Fighters six Guardian Fighters and six Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters, though whether they would be turned over to the Sangrian Provisional Government government or not, remained undetermined. She had dispatched her Line Infantry and Armor into squads to secure the families of various pilots who were willing to evacuate with their planes to Garcia, along with their “rides”. She determined it could take a couple days. The unit also salvaged all the petrol they could take in portable fuel bladders stored in the starport’s warehouses.

June 5th, 3021 : Salvage of the Auction Yard began. The Buenaventura lifted-off from its hiding place in the southern jungles beautifully, and after a quick sub-orbital burn, landed at the Auction Site’s l landing pads, and the unit deployed its salvage crews, beginning with the books, educational materials and other “light” objects for salvage.

LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” reported in from his landing at the starport, reporting formally to the unit’s Command Council that night. He reported that his mission to [Joshua’s Station and enlisting the aid of Karl Lotjonen had been cut short, due to the reported treason of Lotjonen and his company… Apparently, evidence surfaced that he had been backing an organization known as __*The Prinncipii"*_, , a non-violent movement that opposed the government of the Taurian Concordat in the way it treated its military. Apparently composed of many ex-military nationalists, they were tied to numerous bombings at Joshua’s Station, and when he was approached for questioning regarding the disappearance of a government Mech Prototype, fled the trade port with numerous assets and allies to the Pleiades Cluster. He was wanted for further questioning, but his exact whereabouts remained unknown.

June 6th, 3021 : Salvage continued. A tech approached the starport, requesting an opportunity to be hired by the Dingoes. Claiming to be a former AeroTech from the facility, Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” took the initiative to track down the starport’s personnel offices and down-load the computer personnel files to verify the matter. Turned out the man was telling the truth, and according to his files was actually very good at his job (an Elite-rated Tech). Although the unit toyed with the idea of tracking-down several members of the former technical teams, they realized their units were spread very thin, and they couldn’t guarantee anyone was currently at their listed addresses.

June 7th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Reports came in of several DropShips landing west of the pass leading into the Cauca District.Military and civil communications across the district reported a large raiding force of Mechs, that was looting the district capital of Armenia. Exact numbers remained unconfirmed.

June 8th, 3021 : Salvage continued. As the communications from the raiding force seemed to indicate the force was headed north towards the Antiguia District, the unit attempted to contact the government in the district to warn them of the approaching force. They succeeded, and were informed that the 1st Royal Armored Battalion* guarding the mines and power stations was ready for whatever might face them.

June 9th, 3021 : Salvage continued. The unit tried to contact the Antiguia offices of Indumil, but were unable to make any contact. The unknown Mech force had moved into the Antiguia District, and were y towards the power plants and military base in the northwest portion of the district. Plans to intervene were discussed, but it was again decided that the unit were too stretched thin to try and take more responsibility.

June 10th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Solar flares began to wreak havoc with the communications grid, shutting down entire sections, nation-wide.

June 11th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Reports came in about the industrial sector of the city ( San Succi ) being in flames. Entire factories were going-up, and the fire-fighting crews were unable to stop it, and had abandoned the effort. Within days, the industrial sector of the city would be destroyed…

June 12th, 3021 : Salvage continued. A scout was captured trying to infiltrate the starport’s security. The man claimed to be an envoy from General Pierre Garza, who had taken over the former government buildings downtown, and was gathering the “…true government of Sangria…”.was released and told to inform the good general, that the Dingoes were not impressed.

June 13th, 3021 : Salvage continued. ComStar sent a communication to the Dingoes, requesting landing privileges at the starport, and a space in the complex for at least four days to assess the damages the solar flare had done to the communications network. The unit were jokingly afraid that Comstar might be engaging in a little “Dingo Watch!” action, but relented. Adept Jemma Starling arrived via Karnov UR Transport, introduced herself, and began deploying small squads of techs and Comstar infantry as guards to assess the city’s damage.

June 14th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Rumours were over-heard regarding “The Sangrian Curse”, that no government ever lasted long in the nation, and how they always tear themselves apart. Rumor also hinted that tinfoil hats keep the microwave beams of Comstar from reading your minds…

June 15th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Rumors began to circulate that there was a growing threat of a plague in the city. A zombie plague.

Late in the day, a mob of several hundred civilians from the city gathered at the salvage site of the Auction Yard. Initially speaking with MechWarrior Faith Whinyates, they were referred to Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” who was present and on guard at the site at the time. He agonized with what to do for some time. Eventually, her convinced them, via loudspeaker, that there was no food or aid for them, but that they needed to go see General Garza at the government complex, and he could see to their needs. Most left, but a group of around 150 wouldn’t leave, convinced there was food and water available at the salvage site. Eventualy, the CO called in Doctor Carolyn Lamb and some paramedic squads to assess the remaining individuals, and they promptly determined the group was suffering from acute arsenic poisoning among other ailments. The group of survivors was given an offer of evacuation from the city, and salvage work was delayed a day, while the unit’s Planetlifter Air Transports were used to ferry the civilians back to the starport. They were given supplies (50,000 Cs worth consumables), and camped in the hangars at the starport while salvage work proceeded.

June 16th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Though delayed, the unit once more began salvage work of the vehicles and supplies remaining, when one squad found a forgotten cache of Mech armor, parts and other supplies in one corner of the Auction Yard.

Late that night, the power grid went down completely, amid garbled communications on coded military frequencies. Apparently, the unknown Mech force had reached the defenders of the power plants, and quickly over-powered them with “…rampaging Mechs in the hundreds…”… Whatever the truth, the power grid went down and seemed destined to stay down.

June 17th, 3021 : Another group of several hundred civilians approached the savage site in a mob, and were quickly dispersed in exactly the same fashion as before. Just over a hundred civilians refused to go, were examined by Doctor Lamb and the paramedic squads, and the decision was made to transport them to the starport for evaluation and treatment. This delayed actions for another day, as the salvage transports were suborned for another series of flights to and from the site ferrying civilians.

June 18th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Adept Starling thanked the Dingoes for their protection and reported the network seemed inoperable for the time being. She also reported they were headed west and then north, and that she would likely meet them again in Garcia

June 19th, 3021 : Salvage continued. Another group of civilians approached the starport, but all were convinced to travel to the government complex and speak to General Garza.

June 20th, 3021 : Reports came in early morning, that unknown infantry had begun to test the defenses of the DropShips parked at the starport, but * “The Cerberus Command” easily repelled them. It was reported they seemed only concerned with testing the defenses of the Dingoes and nothing else.

June 21st, 3021 : Salvage continued. Another early morning probe by similar forces occurred, again nothing serious, but still concerning in its implications.

June 22nd, 3021 : Salvage complete. The lead salvage forces reported that they had managed to get everything on the Dingoes lists loaded and shipped back to their holdings at * Landhold : Garrison.

Individuals that had infiltrated the Indumil factory, but had been left until focus could be made on the facility, were apprehended by the unit’s Marines Force, They turned-out to be the former manager of the factory, his assistant, several mechanics and their families. The group were quickly offered transport out of the city and the offer of employment, one way or another, once the Dingoes had returned to Garcia.

The salvagers quickly began working to salvage what lines they could, and with the assistance of the former manager, quickly salvaged the five important lines; the “Gray Iron Processing Facility, the Munitions Line, the Weapons Kits Line, and the [[: hg-762-holy-grail-assault-rifle]] Line with its IMC-40 G attachment Line. The unit took the risk of damage to the Lines, but successfully salvaged the already mothballed equipment, and began loading it on-board the Beunaventura.

June 23rd, 3021 : Salvage of the factory Lines proceeded at a rapid pace, and by late in the evening, everything was loaded, and the unit’s Mechs departed for the starport to load-up as the whole fleet clawed from their landing areas into low orbit, for a re-landing at their makeshift landing area in Garrison.

The unit began looking for some needed down-time and quiet assessment of their position…

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Episode 74 - Origami

“I know a man who used to be a millionaire before San Succi fell. Now he’s poor and mopping floors. But I’m not laughing, because at least he was able to get a job. Unlike me, who only has an English degree that’s not even worth the paper it’s printed on, the paper I folded into an origami dragon and lit on fire.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

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Episode 73 - Paper, Scissors, Rock.

“I understand that Scissors can beat Paper, and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there’s no f@!#ing way Paper can beat Rock. Paper is supposed to magically wrap around Rock leaving it immobile? Why the hell cant paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can’t paper do this to people? Why aren’t sheets of college-ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I’ll tell you why, because paper can’t beat anybody, a rock would tear that s@#t up in 2 seconds. When I play rock/ paper/ scissors I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say “oh s@#t I’m sorry I thought paper would protect you, a@#hole.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett

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