Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 51 - From the Ashes

"The ruins of the capital still held secrets, despite the nukes efforts to wash it away..."

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Bruce (Glamour)————————Stinger LAM
JP (Pitbull) ——————————-Ostsol
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Ostroc
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Jay (Advocate)—————————Thug
Chris (Caboose) -————————Phoenix Hawk
Ken (-) -————————————- (-)

April 24th, 3020 : Staring at the carnage and shattered units across the battlefield, the Iron Dingoes quickly seized control of the area. The unit called in their DropShips to perform a sub-orbital drop, lifting from their position a few days away in a storm, to re-land back near the “Victory’s Blood”. They also ordered their artillery, reserve infantry, and technical salvage units to move forward and rendezvous with the unit and its battered forces. Several hours later, the unit was together and organizing a perimeter, while plans were made to take the Victory’s Blood in a boarding action.

First, the unit sent in Trooper Evan Lars “Caboose” (as the youngest member) in his Phoenix Hawk to scout the battered Mech bay of the Victory’s Blood, while the infantry unit’s Force Recon gathered to prepare for their assault. Caboose jumped into the shattered and open bay door, and made his way up the spiral ramp into the DropShip’s heart. His infra sensors picked numerous small heat sources, hinting he was being spied on, and after demanding the guards surrender their DropShip, the images faded back into the ship’s interior. It was going to be a hard fight to take her.

With the main ramp blown by artillery strikes, the unit gathered various support structure material from the nearby ruins, and set Tech Ginney McRiven to building a temporary ramp to get the infantry units aboard her. Several hours later, salvage was in full swing, and the worst-damaged Mechs were being hauled aboard “Brush Wolf” for reapirs, which meant the entire Command Lance was down for repairs.

With everything set, Force Recon moved enmasse into the DropShip and began boarding operations. It turned ugly very quickly, and the unit took severe casualties, and withdrew. The defenders seemed to understand no quarter was going to be given. The entire force of Cerberus Command present were hastily recruited; The Danger Girls (2nd Platoon) and Black Fire Brigade (3rd Platoon), and formed up back at the ship’s main bay entrance for another assault attempt. Joining them were several key members of the unit, including Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith”, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull” and the various members of * “The Werewolves” available.

A long series of engagements occurred throughout the ship’s interior, and despite the pirate’s tenacious hold and knowledge of the ship’s systems, they were ultimately defeated and slaughtered to the last man. A handful, found trying desperately to rig the central reactor to blow, had slain themselves before being taken alive. The DropShip was captured, though at cost; five (5) squads of Force Recon and three (3) squads of Cerberus Command were accounted as casualties in the fight. Thankfully the medical facilities and personnel aboard the “Star Talon” were able to take most under their care, and casualties were hoped to be minimal. Time would tell.

Commander Aoife McIntyre and her green crew were dispatched to assess the ship, while the command council of the unit began interrogating the survivors from the DropShip. Commander Aoife reported that the DropShip was in bad condition.From the severe artillery barrage it had undergone, its left side sensors and thrusters were destroyed, its main bay door and ramp destroyed, and one infantry bay door destroyed. The engines had taken several strikes, and thrust was reduced to dangerous levels; it could take-off, but deep space transit would be slow. Finally, the ship was now missing a PPC and Medium Laser from its left side weapons bays. For armor, the Nose was missing 20 Points, the Left Side was missing 70 Points, and the Aft was missing 10 Points. Not catastrophic, but generally repairable if given time and parts.

The unit infantry re-established a perimeter, and its active armor provided supplementary cover for the armor and Mechs undergoing repairs. Downtime from the fight was believed to take upwards of three days, with the tech crews operating under twelve-hour work shifts. The salvage crews were working overtime, reaping the bounty of some of the captured advanced weapons, while Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” discussed potential rebuilding options with the various pilots.

In the DropShip’s cargo bays, the unit salvaged large quantities of ammunition (34 tons AC/5, 9 tons AC/10, 5 tons SRM, and 3 tons LRM ammo), around 33 tons of salvaged electronics, small arms, military grade and other valuable civilian equipment (worth 50,000 Cs per ton). Stored as cargo and mothballed were nine (9) standard Tracked APCs. From the ruins and among the salvage were also a Tracked APC (Salvage Quality), a Demolisher Assault Tank (Salvage Quality), and two (2) standard Light Utility Trucks. From the shattered and prisoner infantry units they were able to salvage ten (10) “Militia” Rifle Pods and three (3) Support SRM Pods of equipment. Apparently, the Demolisher Tank had been part of a mercenary unit that was positioned in the city ruins, and destroyed in the artillery assault.

During this downtime, the unit was approached by roughly three squads of planetary militia (artillery survivors), who begged to take service with the unit to get off-world. They were taken under arms and split apart and under-went interviews to determine their viability, cutting the number down to two squads of troops as potential replacements for the unit. All were placed aboard the “Star Talon” until their disposition could be determined. Also, the surviving crew of the Victory’s Blood were interviewed, and revealed to be a measly four (4) individuals; two pilots and two engineers, since the unit had slain two others in the engineering bay earlier. This skeleton crew was “led” by the near pacifist, Senior Engineer Martyn, who Commander Aoife had suborned and turned into her lead engineer, since his knowledge of the ship’s systems was very capable. Nothing of value was uncovered in the ship’s computers, and it was revealed, the unit’s commander, The Black Baron, was both the senior pilot and navigator. He’d taken whatever knowledge he had with him when his Black Knight went to pieces.

April 28th, 3020 : With the unit in working condition, and its salvage tagged and stored aboard its ships, they received a call from Scout Kohana “Ranger” Roberts; Ranger had made contact with the Technos. The group was apparently a collection of about five dozen civilians from the planetary college, who were acting as independent salvagers, trying to stay out of the grasp of the “Bloody Corsairs” that had ravaged their home. Ranger said they were seeking transport off-world, but that they had something the unit might want… they didn’t know what Reset was, but they suspected they might know where it was…

Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour”, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, and Fixer all boarded Advocate’s personal chopper (that had taken some days to adapt to the cold), and flew out to meet the group, holed-up in a warehouse on the edge of the capital city. The trio was quickly shuffled in to meet with the unit’s leader, Senior Tech Cutter, whom they found to be friendly and very much a talented, if young, civilian engineer. The unit offered transport off-world for his people and dependents, any of whom wanted long-term employment might discuss that option once they had reached System – Promise, as well, they were asked for an escort to procure needed supplies to get their DropShip active and able to leave the system. In trade, they were promised food and access to the unit’s recently captured APCs to transport the Technos to the DropShip landing site.

Cutter, introduced a local technician he had recruited that the group might want to talk to, Trooper Pol Baca, since he was independent. Then, convinced that the unit was sincere in their offer of off-world tranport, Cutter related what he knew of Reset. He said that some years back, a group of off-worlders spent the better part of a year recruiting individuals for some project out-system, that used the term Project Reset. He hadn’t paid too much attention to this, as he had no interest in leaving the planet prior to the pirate’s nuking it into extinction. He knew the building they had taken was still there near the city center, though he knows they left with most of their staff some time ago. He agreed to meet with them on the morrow, get their salvage crews access to the supplies they wanted, and begin transporting his dependents to the landing site.

The crew returned to their DropShips , and then made a trip out to the Garden Island Dockyard, looking for more supplies to commit repairs to the Victory’s Blood. They were treated with suspicion by the salvage camp, and it seemed the locals were convinced the group were pirates seeking more bribes and salvage. Eventually they were able to explain the death of the “Bloody Corsairs”, and the unit managed to trade half of their captured supplies (18 tons : 900,000 Cs worth) for sufficient equipment to get the ship mobile. Trooper Pol proved valuable in these negotiations, due to his association with Cutter’s Crew, the “Technos”.

A discussion began among the command council, regarding what they should do, especially since they now had four (4) DropShips, but only room for three (3) aboard “The Den Mother”. It was agreed that the world was doomed. Maybe a generation of two for most of its population hunkered in the city ruins remained. While the small farms built into the crst of the world might survive for some time, the generally healthy colony had been ravaged by the nukes and pirate’s devastating salvage efforts. It was agreed they could not help many more, and that ties to any other groups would not be initiated, since they couldn’t get them off-world or help them in any other way… System – Sligo was doomed to fail as a colony.

The group agreed to investigate what Reset was, and following that assessment, would likely send Glamour out-system with the Victory’s Blood and the Den Mother back to System – Promise, where they would present evidence of their completion of the contract, and try to effect long-term repairs to the DropShip. The Den Mother would then return its two jumps and pick-up the remaining DropShips, which would try to find a safe spot in a polar orbit that would mask their presence for the month or so they would need to hide, before travelling back to rendezvous with the JumpShip when it returns, and all head back to Promise to make longer-term plans.

April 29th, 3020 : On the morning, select members of the unit council met with Cutter, a group consisting of most of them, while Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin” and Advocate remained behind to organize the unit’s new crews, troops and technicians for transit off-world. The salvage crews met with Cutter’s guides and began stripping the shells of the damaged DropShuttles at the starport of their machinery and bay doors.

Cutter explained where the ruined building lay, escorted them near it, and suggested they not try to excavate the site, since who knew what might happen to the lower levels. He thought access could be achieved through the underground electrical and air tunnels, that interconnected most of the central city from its early days as a colony. Gaining entrance through a culvert, the group wandered down the maze of tunnels, travelling in the general direction of the lower levels of the building.

Along the way, they encountered a hole in one wall, that Wraith had his Sixth Sense warn him about. He dropped off his parka, activated his full stealth suit, and slipped inside. Behind him, the lamps and spotlights of the crew filled the tunnel, and their communicators echoed down the shaft, hiding his approach. He entered the chamber beyond, and quickly slipped around the corner, taking stock of what he had entered. A large room filled with trash and the debris of long habitation, he noticed a pair of youths in one corner. A young girl and older man, they were filthy, wearing rough ballistic armor and crude respirators, they were close together talking in a Polish dialect. Slowly, the girl slipped next to the entrance, opposite Wraith with amazing skill, and pulled a long combat knife from a sheath, taking an attack position next to the entrance. She didn’t seem to see Wraith yet, and began to cry in poor English; “Help me…. Help…. So hungry… Help meeeee…” all the while the grim smile, and dried blood on her face and hands marking her as a sociopath. Pitbull called Wraith asking for what was going on, and the girl noticed the sound, seeming to get a bead on Wraith.

Wraith turned and moving next to the young man, attacking him before he could react. The girl gave a savage scream, and missed on her first swing. Wraith then concentrated his attack on the man, and cut him down. The girl took a couple strikes, hitting him deftly, and doing serious damage, but his response was to sharply strike her twice and take her down , as well. He fumbled for his medical patches, and after stopping his bleeding and recovering some of his stun damage, he turned to help stop the bleeding of first the girl, then the young man, and once they were stable, bound them with cords and left them on the floor. All the while, Pitbull was calling in an update, and Trooper Pol had slipped in to watch the final stages of these actions. Trooper Pol related the contents of the room as being home to roughly a dozen individuals. One corner had a collapsed stairwell, while the other had a locked door. Initially failing to pick the locks, Wraith pulled-out his bolt cutter, and broke it off the door. Inside they found a young boy chained to the wall… possibly lunch or worse…

Trooper Pol spent some time gaining his trust and Wraith opened his locks, after which the child became inseparable from Trooper Pol. As they left, pitbull oirdered Wraith to kill both youth. He initially asked to keep them alive, so they could recruit them, but Pitbull ordered him to do it, or promised he would go in there and do it himself. Reluctantly, Wraith agreed and slit their throats… <<"…but>>.

Continuing onwards, they followed a series of corridors, at one point getting their bearings by climbing up a manhole and reassessing their direction, eventually finding a locked iron door in one wall near their target. Snapping the locks off with their bolt cutters, they followed it down a short corridor, until it led straight up to a barred manhole and a chamber beyond. Pitbull clambered up, opened the barred portal, and found a large generator and numerous large tanks along one wall. He called up Fixer, who clambered up next to him into the room. They identified the generator as a large emergency unit, and the tanks as ICE Fuel containers…

Down below, the young boy, wearing a poor-quality compressor, motioned to Trooper Pol that it was dangerous, making exploding motions. He pointed to Trooper Pol’s mask, and then to his. Trooper Pol pulled his off, and discovered the smell of gas heavy in the air; the draw-back to having superior hermetically-sealed masks, is the inability to smell the dangerous air. Trooper Pol slipped up into the chamber, warning them they needed to get out soon, but too a look where the generator’s cabling travelled towards, noting it headed towards where they were generally going, and slipped back down the ladder well. Identifying the room’s contents as volatile, they took a quick survey, careful to not set any sparks.

One side chamber proved to contain more fuel, while the other had a collection of heavy plastic sheets, several bundled tarps, and large carry-all labelled “Plastics Repair Kit”. Fixer took the kit, and examined the plastic, identifying them as something like Duraplast, the material used in BattelMech canopies…, then stuffed himself down the hole. Pitbull followed quickly after. The group made their way back to the solid iron door, realizing it’s purpose was to keep gas fumes from escaping into the tunnels, and sealed it back securely. Continuing down the corridor, they came to an intersection, and noted a large hole had been drilled through one wall into a large space beyond. It appeared they had found the lower chambers where the mystery of Project Reset lay hidden…

Comments

twas Glamour who convinced me that the two fine young cannibals had to be put down permanently..

Episode 51 - From the Ashes
 

Sir, if I remember from the communication it was an order!

Episode 51 - From the Ashes
Robling

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