“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.”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
-————————— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…