Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 47 - Signing Authority

“Money doesn't disappear, it just changes hands...”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk
JP (Pitbull) ——————————-Ostsol
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Ostroc
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Jay (Advocate)—————————Thug
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer

February 28th, 3020; Late Evening : Late into the evening after receiving the survey report, a round-table discussion began aboard the “Crimson Sands”. Various options for earning the fast 85,000,000 Cs required were discussed, namely; Pirate-Hunting, Raiding Excalibur Corp, and other options. It was decided to seek-out System-State – “The Unity of Promise”, and offer the unit’s services as pirate hunters.

March 1st, 3020 : Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” was contacted by Tech Brandis Turgan with news about Chip 10987. Pitbull quickly shut him down, telling him to stay off the open channels, and promising he would be back to the fleet soon enough.

Pitbull asked around about the one pirate noted as raiding The Unity of Promise, Starlord Cyr Milligan, and using his knowledge of Streetwise and the fact he was originally from the Draconis Combine, learned quite a bit about the man and his command. The command group then organized what resources they should take, and began planning strategy, while they waited for the paperwork to go through.

March 3rd, 3020 : Having spent severla days in the hangars of Grail Habitat_, they were neighbors to a pair of shuttles from Excalibur Corporation, and eventually joined by a second K-1 DropShuttle, noted as owned by a Free Company, Hezeera Prospecting. Over a day or two, tons of supplies (namely water, travel rations and mining equipment) were loaded aboard her cargo bay, overseen by a young man in a pilot’s jumpsuit. It was obvious the crew were carefully checking each crate and its contents, which Pitbull noted as smart, since Excalibur wasn’t known for honesty…

Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” eventually went over and introduced himself, asking questions about Hezeera Prospecting and the large amount of supplies they were gathering, and the pilot, one Holst also began asking questions. Eventually, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” wandered over and joined the conversation. Holst eventually introduced them to his boss, Captain Vesna Clamp. After some discussion, Captain Holst seemed to understand the unit as being an infantry battalion, and he suggested talking with Excalibur Corp, since they were “…always hiring soldiers for garrison work or operations among their holdings in the Rim…”. They then parted company, and the crew continued loading operations.

March 4th, 3020 : As the day drew closed, loading ops ended aboard the Dropshuttle, and the good Captain Clamp wandered over to the Crimson Sands with a couple bottles of decent Vineyard Habitat wine, and asked to speak with the Colonel. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” met him at the cargo hatch, and invited him inside.

The good captain explained he was leaving in a few hours, and was seeking contact with someone other than his crew, since they would likely be all he remained in contact with for many months. He was impressed by the crew Paladin had present, noting they were well-armed, and obviously mercenaries. Paladin, Advocate and Pitbull engaged him in a friendly card game, refusing to not gamble for real cash, and though he lost around 2000Cs, he took it well in stride. He talked about his crew, and eventually he proved sociable, swapping stories and cracking jokes. As he prepared to leave, Pitbull gave him a bottle of his stash of rare Star LEague bonded whisky, and the captain wished them all happy a flight.

A couple hours later, Captain Clamp’s DropShuttle, the “Glass Throne”, left dock with its crew, bound for parts unknown.

March 6th, 3020 : The group was notified that their contract with Maas Companies Inc. was ready for signing, to transfer the computer lock-down codes for a lean against their DropShip, the “Star Talon”. Arriving, they found Paul Baumer, their local Maas Corp rep, and a third-party witness from Excalibur Corp, Jedran Khael, External Partner Liaison. After looking over the contract, which seemed incredibly simple for such a document (a very “Belter” attitude), Paladin and Advocate signed. The ubiquitous steel case proved to contain a dozen standard data sticks, which apparently had only to be placed in a powered computer’s drive to activate, whereupon, it would wipe the firewall clean, and become inert. All parties took their leave of each other and the group returned to their DropShuttle, for a return trip to “The Factory”. They were joined by Station Master Haro Lothrain and his crew aboard their three Type-S “Seeker” Mining Shuttles (the “Rockhound”, the “Spindrift”, and the “Comet Chaser”) and their K-1 DropShuttle, the “Master of Enterprise”. They were also bringing a collection of techs, engineers and general labor they’d contracted to begin work on clearing and repairing the Factory, as a test for their long-term viability in the management company meant to run the facility.

March 11th, 3020 : Following a quiet five-day burn back to The Rock, the fleet arrived; all ships docking in the Large Hangar. Almost immediately, Pitbull boarded a shuttle and headed for “Pandora’s Box”, looking to see what Tech Brandis Turgan had uncovered about Chip 10987. Tech Brandis displayed he’d found the chip was able to communicate! Placing a radio next to the sample cse, the interference the chip was generating proved to be in binary

Pitbull authorized hooking the chip into a self-contained, unused noteputer, and it immediately “hopped” over to the main CPU, and fused with it in a bright shower of green sparks, forming a network connection to the computer’s motherboard. Tech Brandis was allowed to talk to it, and using the keyboard, a limited form of communication began. Seems the Chip was highly capable of doing basic mathematics and physics, with the potential for even more; advanced math, theoretical physics and chemistry, provided it had access to more raw data. It also seemed dominated by one simple thought; reproduce. It requested more silicon and water (which Pitbull refused, much to Brandis’ desire), and kept asking for more data. Within a few hours, the Chip was downright talkative, and seemed to be growing… “smarter”… Research would continue.

The rest of the command staff met in The Factory – Main Medical. They called-in their planetologist Doctor Carolyn Lamb along with her good friend and scientist, Lieutenant JG Aki Ross, and with a salvage squad using a mobile fusion generator, they got the research computers operational. Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” assisted by Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” inserted the requisite data stick. The program worked quickly on the computer, and in minutes, the research computer was available for access.

Several hours later, the two scientists reported their findings. The scientists working the research labs just prior to abandonment of the facility, were developing drugs designed to enhance human endurance, through a combination of enzymes and steroids. The drug tests negated the need for sleep, enhanced physical strength and stamina, and suppressed appetite for up to 72 hours. Up to twenty individual test subjects were used, each a volunteer offered enhanced corporate packages through Excalibur Corp.

The drugs worked, but also led to horrifying side-effets.; psychosis, emotional instability, violent dreams, aggression and hallucinations, affecting all but two subjects. Those two died within hours of being administered the treatments, and were named Hamus and Kells… A single subject was not named, simply noted as “Subject V” in the notes, and having been discharged, following authorization from the station master. Fixer recognized the names as those who were “slain” and blamed for an accident in the foundry facility of The Factory, just prior to its abandonment. Excalibur proved, once again to be a dark and sinister organization, willing to do whatever it wanted to get its ways.

March 12th, 3020 : The salvage squad assisted by Fixer and Glamour, spent the next day running throughout teh station, powering systems temporarily enough to run the firewall crackers, and move onto the next system, clearing the protection from the systems around the Factory. The rest of the unit prepared for their trip to The Unity of Promise.

That night, a council meeting led to a general update of the unit’s and station’s status, and a discussion as to what their next steps might be. Since the Line Groups intended to go pirate-hunting in The Unity of Promise, they decided it was important to get the technical crews busy on readying the Factory for operations wile they were away, but the group realized they still needed around 85,000,000 Cs to acquire needed parts. It was decided to see about placing a lean against the “Stone Dog”, to get the money they needed, since if they were already in debt, it might be worth getting even deeper… All staff and personnel were granted three-months wages.

Advocate contacted the government bank in Rockport, and after a brief com chat (coms are very good in-system), in which the unit identified itself, they began a negotiation for the money they needed, with the provision that before it could be signed-over, the government have a look at the ship in person. After a brilliant series of negotiations by Advocate, the group were able to acquire 85,000,000 in funds needed. Led by Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” and Master Tech Jenna Marcuro, a team would travel to Rockport to get the survey of the ship completed, and take possession of the funds at the same time.

March 13th, 3020 : Taking “The Den Mother” with the “Brush Wolf”, the “Pandora’s Box” and the “Star Talon”, along with the 2nd and 3rd platoons of infantry, and all the artillery from * “The Cerberus Command” in the Star Talon. They also took the two “green”-rated salvage squads from * “The Dingo Pack” for experience and to recover any loot they might acquire, and boarded aboard the Star Talon. The fleet jumped out-system.

San Carlos

The jump in-system found nothing at the Zenith Jump Point, and they unfurled their sail and began the 7.5 day wait for charging.

March 18th, 3020 : The unit detected an emergence signal from the Nadir Jump Point, but nothing else of note. Charged they jumped out-system.

Coventry

March 20th, 3020 : The unit hit the abandoned Zenith of System – Coventry, and were immediately queried from the orbital outpost over the planet. The unit was warned not to leave the jump-point, and identified themselves as “… merchanters, just passing through…” and charged their jump-coils in relative peace.

Promise

March 28th, 3020 : The unit had arrived in System – Promise, and the Unity of Promise

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Robling

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