Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 49 - On the Edge of Forever

"The pirates had taken apart an entire colony for something they couldn't find..."

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

April 23rd, 3020 : Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” and Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” led the existing members of * “The Werewolves” present, into the outskirts of the Garden Island Dockyards, the remnants of the local starport. The former DropShuttles of the local government were irradiated shells lying on its fringes, and the marks of a relatively recent landing were present. The local structures such as tenements and shops were in total ruin. The large Zoological Gardens were in shambles, but scarcely protected growth of off-world plants were visible among the ruined domes.

Located in the ruins of the DropShip Dockyards, around the railhead and its station, were about two-hundred civilian refugees, now skilled scavengers and subsistence-level farmers trying to survive. They had given the salvage market a basic rubble wall, but the salvage market beyond was open to anyone for barter. It sold a collection of locally scavenged equipment and supplies, all over-looked by collection of indifferently armed locals. While it was obvious a handful of people were providing patrols, they seemed to be working from the central station, which was heavily-guarded.

Arriving tired and foot-sore, having left their Air Skimmer “Vulture”s some distance away, they realized they could have taken their Type 74 “Buffalo” Hover Truck, “The Football”, as it was battered enough to appear local, unlike their shiny new Air Skimmers, and they might have driven it straight into the compound. When the group made their way among the small shops in front of the station, they were approached by a handful of guards, whose leader confronted them, asking if they were here for their share of salvage. Pitbull said, “Yes”, but when asked about their vehicles to haul it away, the group said they’d be back, and promptly left the compound.

As they left the walled area, a figure detached itself from the shadows, dressed in a scavenger’s garb; Scout Kohana “Ranger” Roberts had found them. Ranger led them with a silent wave of her hand back into the shadows, leading eventually to the basement of a nearby ruined shop, that she had converted into a safehouse for them, having gathered sufficient supplies and equipment to make the place warm and livable without using their oxygen compressors. The group rested, taking advantage of their position, and began asking her questions. She had, apparently scavenged her equipment from the remnants of an escape pod in a corner of the dockyards.

RAnger laid-down the situation, giving them as much information as she could about the status of the local civilians. Apparently they had been left alone following the initial appearance of the pirates and their intial bombardment of the starport with a nuclear Long Tom shell. About three weeks later, a force of pirate infantry had moved into the ruins around the starport, and ordered the survivors to start gathering salvage, for which they would be paid in food and basic medical supplies; namely anti-radiation drugs. While the local leader, one Izaak, a burly former dock worker who now led the local militia had wanted to fight, the leader of the civilians, Ludwig Steer suggested capitulation to save lives. They believed that given time, they might be able to piece together one or more of the DropShuttles and use them to live in safely, maybe even get off-planet. The population began sifting through the ruins for salvage, but were also told to keep a look-out for “Reset”. No one seemed to know what “Reset” was exactly… She also said, that in addition to the southern “Old City Commune”, there was another third, unaffiliated salvage group somewhere in the ruins, known to locals as “The Technos”.

Tech Ginney McRiven had brought with her a small sample of explosives, but the group decided they needed a handful of remotes to set the explosives off remotely, so sent Fixer and Ginney into the salvage market to find something they might convert or use. The pair, guarded by Wraith, managed to find a collection of vid-phones they felt might work, trading Wraith’s handful of stim- and synth-flesh patches and his night vision goggles for six of them and a handful of components they felt they could use to convert them into remotes. The three returned to the safehouse, and went to work, taking several hours, though they proved successful. The rest of the group got ready for their mission, and Pitbull ordered Ranger to see about looking for this other salvage group, The Technos, and to inform Senior Scout “Scammer” Firdaaz, who was observing the military compound around the “Victory’s Blood” from the ruins of the Central Market, that they were about to attempt entry into the DropShip. Ranger warned them that getting into the DropShip and its compound would be easy, but leaving again would be hard…

The group then travelled back to their Air Skimmers, outside of town, and quickly moved into the heart of the ruins. Parking their rides in a light copse of trees, the group walked a short distance to the DropShip compound, taking it all in. The group made their way to the backside of the compound away from the main entrance, planning to slip over the wall and enter the DropShip through a side Infantry Bay door. Fixer changed out of this cold-weather gear and into the Stealth Suit he’d borrowed from Wraith for the mission. The group then carefully waited for dusk, knowing the compound would be dark enough for them to slip in during the change-over and bad lighting.

With the arrival of dusk, the group slipped quickly over the wall, a collection of rubble and concertina wire, with a small trail along the top for patrols. All were successful, avoiding a squad of local “Blood Guard” who were walking along the wall, and managed to enter one of the infantry bay airlocks closest to them. They slipped into the DropShip corridors, careful to keep an eye on things and soon learned that way from the main transit corridors, all was quiet. Eerily so. Moving quickly into the DropShip corridors away from the main armor/infantry/Meh bays, they headed to Engineering, finding it silent and almost abandoned.

Wraith slipped ahead into Engineering, and following a conversation he heard, managed to get close to a pair of engineers talking about their distaste for their employer, “The Baron”. Wraith slipped back and silently communicated with Pitbull, giving him some intel. Asking if he should eliminate them or not, Pitbull gave the go-ahead, so Wraith, and Trooper Marguerite Phillano moved forward, Wraith handing Ginney his silenced laser psitol as a back-up. Wraith pulled-out his sword, Margueritte her paired combat knives, and they swiftly slipped quietly forward, cutting both down.

The group then examined ship’s logs in engineering, and realized their thoughts were correct; there were only a half-dozen engineers and pilots running this DropShip, with the thing acting barely above skeleton crew status. They identified the two engineers as Valderon and Dillon, and stuffed them into a pair of unclaimed tool lockers. Fixer and Ginney decided the best spot to attach one of their IEDs to the control module overseeing the power distribution nodes to the rest of the ship. It seemed far enough away from the core to avoid an overload of the core, but important enough to disrupt ship-wide power.

Moving back into the inhabited pats of the DropShip, they quickly passed through the Mech Bay, identifying the “dumpy-looking Warhammer” positively as a Flashman Mech, but the unknown Valkyrie-sized Mech remained unidentifiable. It was nothing anyone in the group had ever seen or heard about. Warith and Ginney moved out into the main ramp leading down and towards the front of the ship, and while Wraith distracted the guards by appearing to be a smoke-craving soldier (which, in truth he was, thus making the Bluff more than a Bluff =D ), while Ginney attached another IED to the Mech Bay door, to ensure it remained blown open. The group retreated once more, heading to the Infantry Bay door, and atttaching another, final IED to ensure it blew open as well.

A discussion then ensued as to whether they should try and take out the command crew of the DropShip, or leave sooner, before the bodies were found. They agreed to slip away as soon as possible, rather than wait for dawn and filed towards the rubble wall. Everyone slipped across, despite the floodlights covering the walls, though Ginney and Tech Aaron Birkoff both tripped over each other in their haste, got tangled on the wires and were seen dropping back over the wall into the rubble below. Several patrolling squads came running, but the group was able to slip into some nearby ice formations, and eluded their pursuers. They quickly moved back to their vehicles, contacted Ranger, telling her to have the group move forward and gather about 9 kms from the city center, where they’d rendezvous. They asked for their personal techs to pilot the Mechs to the rendezvous.

2 hours later, the group managed to meet-up with their techs, the salvage squads, and all the other forces they’d brought to the planet. Establishing a holding point for their salvage forces, they set-up the artillery with Scammer acting as their spotter from the ruins of the Central Market. They left the command lance of their Line Armor as defensive forces, along with all their Line Force Recon to keep an eye on the artillery. Activating their command units, they readied their Mobile Command Post to clear coms channels and give them an advantage. The group then approached the city center swiftly, approaching from the west.

The Battle for Victory’s Blood

Dawn came as the unit approached the last kilometer to the rubble around the pirate’s landing zone, they began a bombardment of three shots from each of their artillery pieces. Targeting the warehouse bunkers south of the “Victory’s Blood” with the Long Toms, Kate & Leopold, while the unit’s four (4) Sniper Field Artillery Pieces hit the area directly in front of the Mech Bay ram, hoping to clear the MG nests of the Blood Guard, and destroy the ramp itself.

When the unit moved into sight of the field, they found a lance of four Mechs; an Enforcer, two Vindicators and a Thunderbolt moving among the ruins of the Central Market, along with the locally conscripted pirates, a battalion of indifferently-armed pirate infantry camped there. A collection of J. Edgar Hover Tanks were moving east of the DropShip, and quickly altered their path to flank along the south, in an intercept pattern. The hidden members of The Werewolves among a nearby ice formation, activated their remote explosive triggers, and reported that lights and power fluctuated across the DropShip, knocking most of its power down.

The first shells hit close to their intended targets, eradicating most of the infantry in the bunkers south of the DropShip, and one hit directly on the ramp, blowing it to pieces, and killing the infantry hunkered under the DropShips landing gear. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” ordered the activation of their Mobile Command Post, and their trained C&C techs quickly sorted through communications channels, providing great initiative to their attack.

* “The Iron Dingoes” Mechs moved into the field. The Command Lance trudged along the south, trying to get in range, but wary of the DropShip, despite reports of the successful explosions noticed from within. between them and The Grounders (further north) were a lance of their armor. Between The Grounders and (still further north) The Scrum, were the second lance of armor, with both armor lances broken in supporting pairs.

To the north, The Scrum slowed their approach, and moved away from the frozen lake, to circle south of the low hill overlooking the Central Market. They exchanged sniping fire with the unit of Mechs moving out from the Market ruins. Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour”, piloting her STG-A1 Stinger LAM in “hover” mode, moved swiftly across the lake to flank them from behind. One Vindicator struck Wraith in the head with a lucky shot.

The Grounders slowed their advance as a new lance slowly moved from the ruins of the DropShip Bay doors, including a Black Knight, a Flashman, an Ostsol and a Hunchback. The Grounders moved to meet this unit, but took withering fire from the Black Knight, even as it was struck by shrapnel from all four Sniper rounds landing on the ramp ruins behind it. All forces chose to target one Mech, the leading Black Knight piloted by MechWarrior Jessica Burlingame “Slayer”,who was staggered by the damage they were dishing-out. The Black Knight seemed to have highly advanced weapons systems attached, and proved deadly accurate, and the pilot was good; he took two head hits, but remained upright. From behind the DropShip, a light lance of J. Edgars moved into the gateway leading from the compound, aiming directly along the path their lead Mechs had taken.

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With the arrival of the last rounds of artillery fire, the warehouses south of the DropShip were smoldering ruins, though the hardened bunkers were still somewhat intact. All elements of infantry in that area were gone. Through the dropping shells another lance of faster Mechs, including the unknown Valkyrie-like Mech, a Panther, an Assassin, and a Locust. The Grounders and Command lances moved closely together, with Slayer’s Black Knight retreating behind a formation of ice, to gain some respite. The Flashman still followed along, tearing into Slayer with great accuracy. Denied their target, the rest of the pirates opened on the closest large target as well… Paladin, tearing swaths of armor off with devastating accuracy from the lead Mechs, showing that the unknown light Mech was both fast, agile and possessed its own high-tech weapons. The Hunchback also nailed the Battlemaster with a solid AC/2- shot. The Dingoes fire proved ineffective, despite concentrating almost exclusively on the enemy Black Knight.

The J.Edgar and Saracen lances moved along the south to circle along the west flank of the Dingoes, and began firing scattered weapons fore at select targets with devastating accuracy. The newly appeared J. Edgars moved directly in support of their command lance, firing at

The Scrum lance moved into the saddle between the Market and the hills, while the pirate Mechs in that area slipped north to try and flank the unit. Both Phoenix Hawks jumped over to flank the enemy command lance, but their fire was ineffectual. All hell broke loose, when both Wolevrines jumped behind the Vindicators, the southern-most taking paired medium lasers to its head, one of which blew out its Cockpit and Life Support, killing the enemy pilot instantly. Its own pilot managed to get a shot off against MechWarrior Robert Stuart “Prince”, before the Mech dropped to the ground and powered down. From the hill over the lake, the enemy Thunderbolt and Enforcer sniped at Wraith’s Wolverine, but just then Glamour flew in behind the Thunderbolt and delivered a devastating series of swift strikes to its right torso, blowing through the armor and triggering an ammo explosion that continued to blow it apart, removing it from the field.

The call went out to begin laying artillery fire into the ruins of the Central Market, meaning Scammer needed to dig himself deeper into his safehouse before becoming a casualty, but it was hoped this would destroy the battalion of conscripts holed-up in the Market ruins.

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To be continued…

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