Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 53 - Beyond the Veil

"The Truth is Out There..."

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

May 4th, 3020 : After several days of salvage work around the complex, and a quick council meet, the group sent up the “Brush Wolf” and their two EGL-R6 Eagles under the command of Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” in her STG-A1 Stinger LAM, to investigate the spot they had realized the V’s Blood had sent a snap-burst communique during the opening of the attack. Burning for orbit, the small group made a rendezvous at the spot in orbit, and quickly found a strange satellite at that point, Unkonwn “Lost Echo” HPG Coms Satellite.

Luckily, the Brush Wolf was equipped to retrieve satellites, though never something this big. The crew began salvage operations immediately, deploying a handful of engineers in vacc-suits with Null-G mods. These engineers managed to grapple the satellite, and stuff it through the main bay doors, securing it in the satellite holding bay, though almost completely filling it. The technology was unknown, and the satellite a useless relic unless they could find someone with the proper skill set. The unit council immediately identified that their former ComStar rep, Adept Caitlan Clarke might be such a woman… especially since she was presently still attached to their contracted infantry, * The Sangrian Training Company on System – Dumassas. Time would tell if it would be a possibility.

The group also dispatched Senior Tech Cutter to make contact with the rumored group King’s Cross Militia, a group of salvagers and mercenaries that were rumored to be escorting small merchant caravans from the salvage camps to the outer villages and back again. If they were true mercenaries, it was thought, they might be willing to help fill some of their losses in the infantry ranks.

May 5th, 3020 : Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, Trooper Pol Baca and LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” heard back from Cutter, and took Advocate’s helicopter out to a corporate office located on the outskirts of the city. The upper third was missing, and the middle third was shattered and broken. Landing in close, they strode across to teh front, finding a heavily fortified entrance guarded by a squad of infantry in Capellan armor with Capellan longrifles. They seemed very professional.

Identifying themselves, they were quickly met by Cutter and the unit’s leader Captain Richard Moore. He allowed them into the lobby, where they saw a large collection of supplies, and were escorted down through a working elevator into the lower parking levels. Chewie asked about the working elevator, and was told Moore’s people included a number of technicians and salvagers, and had rigged something up on the third floor, operating off an ICE generator.

The parking level was air-sealed, heated and packed with about a hundred military motorcycles, several light utility trucks and the camp of the Militia, consisting of tents and cargo containers. Led into a large tent off a command center of linked cargo containers, the group was offered seats, vodka and sat down for a discussion. Pitbull offered a bottle of “the good stuff”, their cache of irish-bonded whiskey from System – Dunkelheim, and Pol shard some of his powerfully strong home-brewed vodka. After the intros, the group got down to the specifics.

Capt Moore reported he had six (6) squads of Veteran Mobile Rifle Infantry, and ten (10) squads of salvagers and mechanics, along with about sixty dependents and administrative personnel. He was offered a full “Leash” contract for his troops, and they further offered to buy all his excess supplies for a cool 120,000 Cs cash. The sheer immensity of off-planet transport, full medical care and work with an established merc company was enough for him to agree to talk to his officers, but he saw nothing to stop them from joining the unit. He needed to get his scattered salvage companies gathered in, and a squad he had on transport duty, so needed a couple days to prepare for transport to the DropShips. The three asked him to hurry, and they left on good terms.

Glamour loaded the “Victory’s Blood” and got ready for lift-off. Commander Aoife McIntyre was assisted by her command experience, and clawed for the stars. When the DropShip began its out-burn, it had a problem, however; its landing gear were still dug into the crater, and caught the makeshift ramp that had been built next to the bay door, tearing a pair of the landing struts off. The shattered thrusters and damaged engine made the lift-off difficult, but it made its way into orbit, and after patching the gear bays, the ship made its 3.7-day burn to “The Den Mother” at the Zenith Jump-Point.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” assisted by Trooper Pol Baca, hooked-up the giant plastic desk looted from the Gaitlin Center to a potable generator, and tried to get the thing active. After several hours, they managed to bring it on-line, and found it to be a holographic interface system, that was voice-activated. The pair re-wrote the recognition software, and made the computer think it was the Director T.H. Wood.

“Greetings Director Woods. How might I be of assistance?” came the voice and holographic appearance of a woman. The pair then started trying to ask various questions of the computer, and immediately recognized the options available were fairly limited. It seemed to give several recruitment sermons, detailing that Project Reset was some sort of colonization effort, “…away from the struggles of the Inner Sphere, to found a new Utopia where we can start again…”. It seemed they were recruiting people,… young, healthy, nubile people, to work in manufacturing, mining and agriculture. The agriculture seemed all hydroponics-based, and the manufacturing was fairly light, though WorkMechs and munitions were being processed.

It also referenced the term Marshal, a term they’d heard before, being used as the military force that would “…protect and lead…” the colony. Used by the so-called Star Lords, they also used the terms “Kindred”, who were craftsmen and “SUpport” to describe the rest of their society. Eventaully they managed to access a file detailing the Director of the local recruitment center, identifying him as Taylor Harry Woods, recruited on something called DOgpatch Station, believed to be a Shadowport, one of the illegal black market stations found in the Periphery, or the edge of the Inner Sphere.

Lastly, the pair found a central file, meant to be activated on September 10th, 3020. Readying their camcorder, they hacked it and activated it, bringing a new holograph to life…. Colonel “White Death”s visage appeared in blazing glory above them…

“Greetings Director TH Woods. If you’re seeing this message, then the Project has neared its completion, and the time to move forward has arrived. You are advised to wait for a communique and then make your way quickly, along with whatever staff you deem valuable, to the DropShuttle that has been assigned for you. Two days from now, on September 12th, this planet will be glassed, and all remnants of our activities will be destroyed.”

“You will be taken to TANSTAAFL, and there you will find we have established a self-contained, autonomously-powered, hermetically-sealed and sensor-shielded complex buried deep within the planet. We have at our disposal a huge subterranean arsenal of high technology and weapons, and plan to use these facilities to begin again. The difficulties we’ve had in the past with my daughters has been resolved, and we are going forward on our long-range consolidation plans.”

“We look forward to your joining us, and welcome your efforts in establishing a New Haven. Good luck Director… or should I say… Marshal Woods.”

Staring in horror at the dissolving hologram, Fixer and Pol looked at each other. “Who is dat?”, asked Pol. Fixer explained, and then called a Council. The grinding and small explosion of thermal gel that erupted on the hard-drive, ended any other searching of the computer’s mainframe… They searched through his handcomp but found little beyond various financial records for running the recruitment center, and the date of September 10th as being the day he termed “Moving Day”.

In council, the group discussed various options, and then decided to access the term “Tanstaafl” into the Encyclopedia Galacticana, finding only one single reference to its ancient meaning; “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. Whatever that really meant. The term “DogPatch Station” was also an unknown bust, though the general consensus was that it referred to a Shadowport of some sort. It was further discussed that maybe they should talk to Baron Kenton Sarne, since they had left on relatively good terms, and knew he had a desire to bring down Colonel White, based on their previous interactions. The opportunity to pay him a visit in the future was a possibility, since he was likely just rimward of the Taurian Concordat, on System – Serenity.

6th – 23rd of May : The group packed and when Moore’s troops and civilians arrived (May 8th), they were boarded on the Star Talon and the unit boosted for high orbit over the north pole. The group settled into a short period of downtime, trying to work towards bringing their Force Recon back into fighting trim, and generally working on repairs and a handful of personal projects. Patiently maintaining radio silence, they waited for the return of the Den Mother

Meanwhile, aboard the Victory’s Blood, the group rendezvoused with the Den Mother, and on May 9th docked with the JumpShip, and jumped out-system for System – Promise. Passing as swiftly as possible through System – Udone, they reached the Promise system without incident. Glamour contacted her government representative, Senior Executive Liberte Asante to inform her of the completion of their contract. A meeting was arranged for soon after Glamour’s arrival on-planet.

By May 14th, the Victory’s Blood entered orbit of the planet, informing the starport authority that it was damaged and requesting a private section of the starport in the repair yards for restoration work. The landings went as well as expected considering its damage and lack of left-side thrusters, when Glamour made a critical failure in assisting, resulting in a glitch and crash. The damage tore what little landing gear remained, and crushed the main engine vents, and tore the old bay door off completely… again. It was however, grounded in a repair crater, and able to begin work on its systems once they had been paid for and negotiations with the Bonding Commission were complete. Victory’s Blood was on-planet.

Glamour convinced the port authority to take the remaining salvaged supplies and parts aboard the DropShip in lieu of cash for the repairs, and then proceeded on to meeting with Executive Asante. The trip through the dusty, crowded hole that was the capital of Neo Chiba, reminded Glamour just how good her unit had it, compared to the vast majority of humanity. She arrived at the Unity Government building, and was escorted to the mercenary waiting lounge, a place filled with clean crystal, fresh water and open, quiet introspection.

Her meeting with Executive Asante went well, and the business was concluded promptly, with promises of arranging payment in a couple days. Once more, Glamour sensed tht Asante held back some of her negotiating ability, to conclude the contract in the Dingoes favor. Over lemon-water, the two began discussing various topics, including Asante’s affiliation with Consolidated Arms, the chief weapon’s manufacturer in the Unity. Eventually, it led to what Glamour intended to do while waiting for the return of her troopers, and she mentioned shopping and sight-seeing, and… other things… Promises for drinks later were acquired and an offer to show Glamour the “night life” of Promise. The following few weeks were very pleasant for Glamour… Very pleasant, indeed. With benefits.

May 23rd, 3020 : The arrival of the Den Mother to Sligo was a welcome distraction for the crews aboard the Dingoes three DropShips. They began the slow burn to the Zenith jump-point, and arrived without incident on the 27th of May. The fleet docked, and waited the remaining four (4) days to charge the jump-drive. On May 31st, 3020, the fleet jumped out-system, saying goodbye to the doomed system of Sligo. Some openly felt they should have done more, but most recognized they couldn’t save a whole world from extinction.

Jumping quickly back through System – Udone, the unit reached System – Promise on June 5th, and quickly burned for the planet and some needed R&R. Landing on June 8th, 3020, the unit took a couple days for their troops (keeping in small groups, due to the dangerous law level of the planet), they spent some pay in its bars and entertainment halls, before boarding their ships and burning once more for the Zenith. They said goodbye to a handful of civilians and militia who had sought passage aboard their ships, but most of Cutter’s crew and Moore’s troopers remained.

While on-planet, the group had managed to get passage aboard a commercial JumpShip for the Victory’s Blood on June 15th, as far as the Cassandra Belt, and began their journey through the System – Coventry and System – San Carlos, reaching System – Cassandra on June 30th, 3020. The bulk of the unit jumped into their pirate point where “The Bloody Paw” was hidden, while the Victory’s Blood jumped in with the regular fleets to the Zenith jump-point.

They all jumped into an anthill…

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Robling

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