“Every treasure is guarded by dragons. That’s how you can tell it’s valuable.”
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
-————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
May 2nd, 3022 : Kigamboni System, Federated Suns : The crew aboard “The Freedom of the Stars” deployed their sails, charging their jump coils, while they traded communiques with their companions on “The Iron Vagabond”. After the 8.5 days of charging, the rest of the unit jumped out to continue on their way to System – Redfield.
May 10th, 3022 : Alone, Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” and Space Master Eric Severin began to confer on their next steps. It was decided to deploy one-half of their marines (led by LtJG Jayson “Jace” Stratton ), on an ST-46 Class Shuttle along with a couple of techs to assist as salvagers, if need be. The ship jumped directly outside the Kigamboni L5 Debris Field, the site of the famous Battle of Kigamboni, without further incident. They deployed their solar sail and recharged the jump coils, before taking any other actions beyond ranged sensor runs.
L5 Debris Field of Kigamboni Prime
Spending a day studying the Debris Field, they were able to identify certain “Debris Clumps”, consisting of various sorts of materials that would require closer study to search and identify. Such study was, however, not without risk, as it entailed moving into each Debris Point, and spending some time with active sensors to catalogue the key factors of the area, usually several kilometers across. Heat sensors were somewhat useful, but radar was useless, and only very fast-moving objects (1-G or faster) could be detected on motion sensors. It also risked collisions with random debris. Such searches would also take hours at a time, spreading the search of this field over weeks or possibly months of time.
Moving into the field, the Freedom sidled close to the nearest one, and deployed its marine-laden shuttle, which moved directly into the point and began sweeps. The first Point was revealed to be a Particle Field (Yellow Tags), with randomly charged metallic debris that could prove to be a deadly risk to explorers. The one next to it proved to be a Radiation Point (Red Tags), which might have some salvage, but had its own risks. The next two investigated proved to be Ice Points (Blue Tags), or fields of frozen ice, some of which was liberally infused with carbon, to make large chinks of “soda ice”.
May 20th, 3022 : Starting early, the group moved the shuttle into the next Debris Point, and immediately found radio noise coming from within. The shuttle encountered shrapnel moving fast and hard, doing some damage to its left wing (taking out a heat sink), and doing some damage to its controls. Nonetheless, they managed to search the field enough to identify the ruins of the tail section of a Black Lion 1 Battlecruiser. The Freedom, however, noticed a pair of markers move rapidly into the fringe of the Debris Field, and rapidly accelerate behind the nearby explored Points, where they disappeared from sensors. It was decided to recall the shuttle, effect repairs, and prepare to abandon the field, if needed.
May 21st, 3022 : Repairs were effected by salvaging parts from the other shuttle, and the crew began a series of active pings to try and identify the source of the radio signals. It was determined they needed to “triangulate” the signal by hitting other Debris Points in the field.
May 22nd, 3022 : Continuing to explore the last Point, they found the front-half of the battlecruiser in the next one over, and found its name still intact on the nose, the “Changsha”. The shuttle found little else of value, though it took another slow strike to its Left Wing from random debris.
May 23rd, 3022 : Moving on to the next collection of Debris Points, the group found a series of common nickel-iron fields that might have some value to miners, but was beyond their ability to exploit, and moved on. They also detected another Radiation Point, and two Particle Points. Among the one field, they recovered a damaged ST-46 Class Shuttle that had been struck by a catastrophic attack at some point many years ago. It took a day, but they scrounged it from the field and loaded it aboard the Freedom.
The Gunship Salvagers
June 1st, 3022 : Moving to the distant debris points, closest to the planet, they found an anomaly. They uncovered another Particle Point, and a fused lump that might have once been a chunk of a WarShip or JumpShip, but was now useless as salvage short of dragging it into a refit yard.
June 2nd, 3022 : In the last Debris Point, they salvaged a lost Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container that turned out to be stuffed with Atmospheric FIlters for Jump- and DropShips (worth 50,000 Cs per ton). They soon encountered the relatively intact Sensor Array from a DropShip (worth roughly 35,000 Cs). While salvaging this unit, they ran directly into a KR-61 Class Long-Range Shuttle, backed by an armed CBR-34 Cobra-Class Courier (Gunship). The group demanded the immediate surrender of the mercenary shuttle to the salvagers, owing to the fact that they claimed this field as their own salvage right.
LtJG Jayson “Jace” Stratton quickly sized the situation, and determined they couldn’t have a large team of marines aboard the shuttle, and “surrendered”, offering the shuttle to dock and take control of the mercenary vessel. The shuttle maneuvered for docking, and once securely attached to the passenger compartment door, began boarding operations; only to be counter-boarded and subdued in under ten seconds by Jace’s team, the lead Midnight Squad. The unit’s heavy weapons and superior armor quickly overcame the pirates, with only a minor injury from one trooper, and led to the shuttle pilot’s immediate surrender.
Quickly interrogating him, they discovered (Critical success!) that there was only another marine squad aboard the Gunship, and securing the survivors (three pirates and the pilot), were contacted by the Gunship, who were wondering about what was taking so long. Reporting “Uh, negative, negative. We have, uh, a reactor leak here, uh, now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Uh, large leak, very dangerous…”, the pirates gave the go ahead. Once secured, they left their pilot and techs behind to man the old shuttle, and forced the pirate pilot to maneuver them in the new shuttle, and dock with the Gunship.
The following boarding action was another quick ten second raid resulting in “Hans Too Tall” banging his head (again) during the operation, but capturing three of the pirates and the pilot of the Gunship. As well as the Gunship itself. The group spent the next couple days securing both vessels, and conducting repairs, finding the Gunship_ in good condition, just lacking one PPC.
June 4th, 3022 : The unit deployed aboard the Cobra-Class Gunship, finding it to be everything they might have hoped as an encounter and search craft; heavily armed and armored, good sensors and plenty of room to deploy and store salvage. Searching the Debris Point, they continued to find various bits of salvage, hinting as to why the “Gunship Salvagers” had been in the site. They found another container of DropShip Air Filters (worth 50,000 Cs per ton), and a container of Energy Cores (worth 90,000 Cs per ton). Suddenly, the pilot went mad, suffering a breakdown caused by Space Madness. The group declared it a day, and returned to the Freedom.
June 5th, 3022 : Not an hour into the next search, the pilot once again suffered a breakdown, claiming the ship was haunted. The group decided they needed some R&R, and returned to the Freedom for a few days of rest.
June 8th, 3022 : Continuing the search in the Point, the group was warned to be watchful. Ship’s Master Severin warned them that “…something just isn’t feeling right…”. The search found a 100-ton tank of volatile chemicals and another 100-ton tank of rocket fuel for missiles, which they didn’t dare salvage. Another DropShip Sensor Array was salvaged (worth 60,000 Cs), and nothing but random shrapnel, lost bodies from the various ships, and useless debris.
June 10th, 3022 : After a couple days of fruitless searching, it was decided to call off the search. Paranoia was starting to affect the crew, and so the group pulled out of the Debris Field, made for a safe position about 100 kms out of the field and conducting simple maintenance and repairs, while the marines familiarized themselves with their new ship. The group would await the return of the rest of their forces before returning to the field.
July 6th, 3022 : Contact was made with the returning crew aboard “The Iron Vagabond”, and they were informed of the Freedom’s position and recent activities. While the JumpShip charged, the “Dingoes’ Den” burned for the L-5 Point.
July 10th, 3022 : Upon arrival, the Dingoes Den took control of the Gunship for the present search, relieving the Midnight Squads so the better-armed Shiv’s Talons could take over guarding the Gunship. The unit would also deploy with a shuttle of salvage squads, to facilitate further salvage efforts. Along with the Command Council, the crew interrogated the civilian pirates from the Gunship Salvagers, and learned of some of the local traditions and myths (including the Debris Ghost, that apparently ate entire shuttles…).
July 12th, 3022 : The first Debris Clump searched revealed another Particle Point, an Ice Water Point, and a typical nickel-iron cluster of asteroids.
July 13th. 3022 : The next Debris Clump revealed a successful triangulation of the first radio signals, and a second set of signals as well, in the next couple of clumps. In this last clump, they found a wealth of riches; the front hull of the “Bengbu”, a twisted hulk of a Vigilant Corvette hull, which had a damaged JumpShip Sensor Array (worth 38,000 Cs) floating nearby, as well as a Transponder Core from a damaged merchant ship, the Buccaneer-Class DropShip “Aiko”. The pilot of the Gunship once more suffered a breakdown, and they called it a day.
July 14th, 3022, returning to the Debris Clump_, now rested, the shuttle took a hard strike of shrapnel moving fast, damaging its Nose, but still able to continue its efforts. The remnants of another JumpShip Sensor Array (worth 36,000 Cs) was recovered in three ragged pieces, along with the shuttle pilot suffering a breakdown once more. The final contact was made with the radio signals from the first site, pin -pointing its exact Point, and calling it a day, the group suddenly noticed something fast and quick moving into the Debris Field.
The two AeroFighters had returned, this time identified by the Dingoes’ Den as a pair of Corsairs. The pair circled through the Debris Field, staying out of weapons range, but pinging their sensors actively. The ships quickly slipped back out of the field and slipped off sensors. The local pirates had obviously been made aware of the mercenary’s intrusion…