Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
Iron Dingoes Colony on Hawktor
A small colonial effort by * “The Iron Dingoes”, Hawkport is an isolted community that occupies the traditional starport site on System – Hawktor. it consists of a number of volunteer colonists from * Iron Dingoes Autonomous District (IDAD), and represents the pinnacle of manufacturing and technology on the planet, in which all citizens are technically employees of Dingo Brand Corporation.
The colony is under the control of Governor Carrie “Cara” Sifuentes.
Established in late-3032 by a band of volunteer colonists from the * Iron Dingoes Autonomous District (IDAD), the colony of Hawkport was built as an extension of the Dingo Brand Corporation, acquiring trade goods and raw resources in exchange for a variety of simple utility goods to trade with the local indigenous nomadic folk. The community accumulates Yurfal meat and hides, decorative leather work, and well-made steel blades, which they trade for salt, refined metals, palm oils, and more traditional trade goods like high-quality textiles, modern munitions and sugar.
In support of these efforts, “The Iris” and its DropShip, the “Auriga” make regular trips into the system, roughly every month, bringing with them a constant stream of new colonists and supplies for its garrison, and engaging in trade with the colonies neighboring nomadic tribes.
Hawktor Downport : The starport itself is a fairly bare-bones Class-D establishment, with a small hardened headquarters and a dedicated Computer Station, including a fairly advanced laser transceiver capable of orbital communications, and a 500 km range on the planet surface. All electricity, for both colony and starport, is provided through a large number of imported Viento Wind Turbine provided at cost to colonists, taking advantage of the nearby ridge and the ever-present winds of Hawktor. Even the most remote farm or ranch has at least one such generator to provide ample access to electrical power for equipment, well pumps and lighting. J-27 “Landram” Ordnance Transports are a common conveyance across the colony, with about a dozen initially assigned when the colony was first settled, and have grown substantially in number since.
The docking facilities are also fairly rudimentary, with a central industrial landing pad (with space for up to 5000-tons), three (3) smaller shuttle landing pads, and a concrete landing strip for shuttle and mid-sized aerodyne DropShips to land, including a homing beacon for lock-on capability. There is no flight hangar, nor the formal concourse found in many other downports.
Refueling is provided through a station near the pad, along with ten (10) small underground storage tanks that hold roughly 1000 tons of fuel. A simple fuel collector is attached to this array, using locally pumped groundwater as a basis for the starport’s unrefined hydrogen fuel. A common repair shed is built here as well, providing maintenance services to visiting DropShips. The community maintains their single Type-S “Seeker” Mining Shuttle stored here for orbital operations.
Adjacent to the starport is a small warehouse facility for gathering local trade goods, along with a basic loading rig of several new GloryHound Exoskeletons. Attached to the warehouse is a small customs office with a small armory, security office and a rudimentary medical facility that contains a simple operating theater, intensive care unit and recovery room. In mid-3045, the facility was equipped with four (4) Eligus Medical Diagnoser from central office, though the facility rarely needs their use. The customs office has its own Computer Station tied into the local network, where visiting traders can conduct business with the community. Most trade directly with native clans happens among their own cantonments, well outside the local community boundaries when one or more is present.
Visiting ships are charged fairly standard fees, though barter is often accepted for useful goods to the colony. Landing fees are 50 Cs initially, plus 10 Cs per day beyond the first. Sanitary flushing services and water replenishment are included with the berthing fees. Unrefined hydrogen fuel is available under The Fuel Rats brand for ships in small quantities at a nominal fee of 100 Cs per ton, and standard ship’s stores from Rim AeroSpace are commonly available.
Simple repair work is offered at a cost of 50 Cs per hour of labor, though such repairs often require some hours to gather technicians from the nearby area. A parts scrap pile is maintained next to the warehouse, and hull plating and structure pieces are easily found, but other rare parts are not typically available, though they can be brought in if required with a wait-time of two-three months from Dumassas.
Hawkport Village : The community was designed to be self-sufficient to support it during the long months without contact from its homeworld. As such, it grows most of its own food, and has smiths, engineers and technicians that can repair and maintain the colony’s wind generators and other vital equipment. Most colonists can maintain their own equipment, but the starport itself requires a degree of technical expertise that cannot be found elsewhere on the planet, making the techs attached to the colony the best engineers on the planet.
Education is maintained through a small * “The Dingo Cub Scouts” Children’s Crèche, and continued through judicial application of the Shadow Recruit programme. Truly talented students can further their education by attendance at * The “War Dogs” College of Military Sciences, but such is rare and most such students are likely to simply return to the colony after their education is complete, to maintain its capabilities.
For most off-world visitors, the highlight of their stay is the small hotel and tavern operated in the core of the village. While typically attended by a handful of local farmers and rangers, the place fawns over off-world visitors, providing economy service for up to a dozen guests, good quality meals of local cuisine, and small attached space for drinking and gambling, operating under the The Lucky Lady-brand. The liquor tends to be locally-brewed ales, though off-world products are imported regularly, typically the ’Dingo Spit", Poker Cerveza Taverna, and Storm Crow Tavern labels.
Located through a small concourse with the hotel/tavern to avoid inclement weather, is a fairly extensive Dingo Brand Corporation store that sells many of the luxury goods sought by the local colonists, as well as a wide variety of locally manufactured products provided by both the colonists and native nomad clans, such as leather, grain and dried meats. The site is also used by the company as its central office, and all local colony government matters are handled from this location.
Several other services are available to visitors, including traditional pottery, smith, clothier and wood-working services. The leather-workers are exceptional, having adapted local style and skills to the Yurfal hides that they have ready access to, making fine quality goods. Though in much smaller amounts compared to those produced by the indigenous clans, they produce various bags, belts, boots, hats and “Duster” jackets that prove popular among visitors and as trade goods bound for the off-world markets in System – Dumassas.
Typical Hawktor Ranch
Hawktor Colony : Beyond the town and downport, the colony itself is a series of isolated ranches and farmlands, mostly within sight of the starport. These communities generally consist of young, small families who practice subsistence agriculture, which is both low-impact and sustainable. Each covers roughly four (4) hectares of land, with another four hectares dedicated to ranch animals such as imported sheep , some cattle at least one horse and numerous hogs and chickens.
The colonists typically keep one of their planted hectares fallow and another sewn with beans or peas to renew the soil, a third with various garden vegetables and the forth is corn. Some also keep a few hectares dedicated to cotton for use in local fabrics and textiles. A handful of communal tractors and other important industrial vehicles are used to till the land each year, and are kept at the starport when not in use, where they are maintained by their technicians when not busy dealing with visiting vessels.
Land is only cleared when it is to be used; most farms are wide swaths of native grasses and shrubs in areas, generally close to a small copse of native trees and at least one deep-dug well for watering animals, crops and giving fresh water to the family for sanitation and cooking. Generally speaking, there seem to be few enough native pests and bacteria, and even local plant life seems fairly benign in regards to Terran-origin plants popular among most colonists.
In addition to the standard colonial structures imported by the initial colonists, native-soil constructed housing and storage facilities were a quick secondary development, and have quickly proven popular for their insulation and resilience to local weather patterns. There is often a single greenhouse for development of seedlings and garden crops year-round, and typically at least one Jeep for the family, and to haul small quantities of crops, fertilizer and other bulk goods.
The total population of the colonial settlers remains small, and together, they have quickly become a united, observant people who are hard-working and trying to build new lives for themselves. Because of the size of the colony, it is easy to travel between settlements, and approach the central town on foot. Any ship landing at the starport is easily visible to the colonists, and will quickly draw a crowd of interested visitors.
Various local plants have been domesticated and cultivated by the colony at Hawkport, including Kibla Greens (a type of spinach), Scale Leaf (a local spice), and Yot Beans (a simple, though tasty legume), all of which are noted as having nutritional value. There is a growing trade among the local tribes for these plants, mostly as they recognize them for local fare, but very little demand off-world at this time. Small quantities do find their way into the larders of citizens in * Iron Dingoes Autonomous District (IDAD), however, and there is a growing demand for these agricultural products in those lands.
The discovery of the Vincha plant by a Rockhopper Exploration team in mid-3048 was a sole exception to this, as the plant seems to have unusual anesthetic properties that could be exploited off-world for the pharmaceutical industry. Its development is presently under study by a visiting team from * “The Skunkwerks”.
In late-3035, the 1st Battalion “The Hard Shells” of the * Iron Dingoes Reserves, was assigned to the colony as a garrison force to look after the isolated colonists. The force, largely made up of Dumassas recruits, became a dominant aspect of the local economy, with fair salaries that help bring hard coin into the colonies’ businesses.
The force initially was met with mixed response from both colonists and the native nomads. While the colonists have accepted their presence as a necessary evil, the natives have been less receptive. Nonetheless, the unit ensures that bandit raids against the growing colony will be reduced in the years to come.
In addition, the local garrison willingly trains interested colonists in various combat techniques, including the weak points of their own machines to better allow them to defend against raider BattleMechs in the future.
First posited in late-3030, with the return of the Iron Dingoes to Dumassas from their contracts against the enemies of the Federated Suns, the unit began examining how and where they could expand their influence among the nearby stars.
By late-3031, the unit seriously began examining the prospect, and before leaving for their conquest of the starport and leading colony at System – Goria, they decided that when such a colony be established, the best candidate for leadership was likely Carrie “Cara” Sifuentes, and decided that upon their return in early-3032, they would approach her on the subject and begin gathering the resources and personnel to establish a colony and drop-port on Hawktor.
Funds were allocated in early-3032, with Cara accepting the position of Governor, and she set about recruiting from among civilian and non-citizens of * Iron Dingoes Autonomous District (IDAD), including a healthy population of interested parties from * The Independent Territory of Borealis. The colony site was immediately chosen following a quick survey mission by Rockhopper Exploration, and by the middle of 3032, the initial settlement was established.
In late-3032, the colony received its first official families, and the site came under extensive cultivation and the first glimmers of the colony it could be was established, including the initial expansion to the starport with its fuel processor, the warehouse and the Dingo Brand store with its attached recreation facilities.
In late-3035, the first * Iron Dingoes Reserves unit was assigned to the colony along with a newly built barracks site adjacent to the starport. While colonial settlement was continuing and accepted by the indigenous tribes, the appearance of a large force of armed infantry and eight BattleMechs was somewhat alarming. nonetheless, the colony continued to develop and trade with the locals was continued, though somewhat subdued, forcing visiting traders to seek them out more often than waiting for their appearance.
In late-3038, the colony received a large influx of former refugees from System – Carthage, and the population nearly doubled. Given basic support from * Iron Dingoes Autonomous District (IDAD), the settlers quickly adapted to the open steppes of Hawktor, and welcomed the fresh-air and relative freedoms associated with their new home. New water purification equipment also arrived with them, and brought an abundance of fresh water options to the local community.