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Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 56 - Shadow Business

“Mining is the art of exploiting mineral deposits at a profit. An unprofitable mine is fit only for the sepulcher of a dead mule.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

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

July 13th, 3020 : After several long, filthy days of cleaning “The Freedom of the Stars” using fire and the best decontamination procedures possible, the crew left the JumpShip and returned to “The Factory”. It was quickly decided to employ the veteran crew from “The Bloody Paw” and transfer them t command The Freedom, and make a quick trip “next door” to System – Outpost to recruit another crew. Along the way, they would try to sell Stone Dog in a bid to acquire enough currency to cover their loans in System – Cassandra. It was felt that the system’s location as the site of many retiring Davion JumpShip crews, combined with it’s military needs would lend itself to the unit’s plans.

Furthermore, plans were laid to store The Rock’s salvaged munitions (namely numerous White Shark and Barracuda Missiles, as well as 400 rounds of AC/20 NAC ammo) in The Factory – The Foundry cargo bays. Also, plans were made to transfer the crew of The Stone Dog once it sold to bolster the young crew of {“Victory’s Blood”, until a new DropShip became available. Lastly, the unit began planning and calculating an in-system jump, which would allow the unit’s JumpShips, presently hidden some days away at a pirate point, to jump to the Factory, and allow the unit to more quickly evacuate the system once the Factory was deemed mobile.

The last order, was for all available salvage squads and other personnel, to begin salvaging The Rock of anything and everything they could. Dingo Pack Tactics began later that night, using Content Not Found: crimson-sands to haul goods from the hidden outpost into the Factory, through its numerous docking collars. Anything and everything easily salvaged was done so… Finally, the paymaster issued pay to all unit members for the last few months. It was decided, in passing, that there should be an annual event, known as “Dingo Pack Tactics Day”, when pay was issued and parties ensued. July 13th seemed as good as any.

July 14th, 3020 : Salvage operations began.

July 16th, 3020 : Word arrived from Captain Frank Elgyn, that there were many questions being asked about The Factory, by various individuals, but one in particular, Tech Sal Baledo was being particularly adamant on finding information about who was repairing the ancient mining station. Seems he was willing to talk, if the price was right.

The group, still planning on a trip to Outpost, elected to send Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith” and Dame Modesty Scrope “Viper” along with a couple Line Force Recon (ostensibly to also give them some R&R) aboard The Crimson Sands to Vineyard Habitat, an eight (8) day journey. They were issued 60,000 Cs as petty cash, to cover any “expenses”, and told to get their hands on some good quality wine while they were at it.

Meanwhile, the rest of the command council took the Stone Dog, The Bloody Paw, a passenger mod from the-scrapyard, and the rest of the war-weary Line Force Recon in a jump to Outpost. The trip to the pirate point was a five (5) day journey on the Stone Dog.

July 21st, 3020 : The out-system group arrived at the JumpShips, docked and began preparation for their jump to Outpost. The jump went uneventfully, and the group were hailed by the system’s security beacon. Identifying themselves as seeking to sell a Union-Class DropShip, they were given clearance, and began the five day journey to the system’s inhabited moon and its military base.

July 24th, 3020 : Viper and Wraith arrived at the popular Vineyard Habitat, and after docking, let their troops go for some R&R, while the leaders made contact with Captain Elgyn, who quickly arrived and after a brief discussion, led them to a popular Belter bar, called “Nightside Moves”, located in one of the rougher quarters. Elgyn introduced them to an older man in his 50s, Tech Sal Baledo.

After identifying he was the man they were seeking, and that he knew a great deal about the "final days " of The Factory, the man asked for 50,000 Cs cash, fr everything he knew. He admitted he didn’t think once he’d told everything he knew, he’d stay alive for long, so the money would go to get him out-system as quickly as possible to start over. Without the payment, there was no deal. Recognizing the unit had a better option, safety in the Iron Dingoes as a technician, they offered him 10,000 Cs and a promise of leaving the system around August 8th. Viper proved very persuasive, and so he took the cash, and related his tale.

“I worked on AM90125 (The Factory) for two years as part of a research team brought on board without Excalibur Corporation’s knowledge or sanction. This was a private operation funded by Commander Rogan and we were well-paid for our work.We were developing robust, reliable stims to boost production efforts on a mining platform. Our work was technically illegal in Cassandra, but we all saw the great commercial benefits in what we were doing. We were, unfortunately, naive in that…”

“Commander Rogan was a relentless taskmaster, always seeking the greater payout, bigger bonuses and better results from those who worked for him. He was a violent man. A disturbed man. Possibly even insane. He ran AM90125 like a fiefdom, not a mining operation. Anyone stepping out of line was disciplined severely – but he showered his favourites with gifts and rewards. He was, in short, a real basterd…”

“Initially the research went well nd results were impressive. Men were working at double or triple efficiency. But then as these things do, it went all wrong. We developed a more effective dose of the drug, but it caused an almost immediate psychosis. Two died within hours of the injection. Other became unstable and this led to even more injury. Rogan shifted the blame to incompetence and had the refining machinery rigged to look likea servicing negligence fault. At that point we, the scientists, wanted out. We were paid off and left, but Rogan stayed to cover all his tracks. Soon after, AM90125 was closed down because it was determined to have reached the end of its operating life, but that wasn’t the only reason…”

“The relatisve of all those dead subjects don’t know the real reason> Rogan covered his tracks very well indeed, and he profited by their deaths. When AM90125 closed down, he left Excalibur Corp and disappeared. My colleagues have been bought and remain silent, but me? No. I can;t sleep nights anymore unless I get so blind drunk that I blot everything else out that I saw and did. I don’t want to live like this anymore…”

“I also want to see that bastard Rogan pay for what he did. When he left Excalibur, he vanished alright – vanished into the Belt. I suspect he’s been working as an independent prospector under an assumed identity. I’ve made inquiries, and know he’s somehow affiliated with something called Silverlight. But there’s more. Working that rock where AM90125 still is, Rogan found something unusual. Something he never told his superiors. Something that could make him rich.I think that’s why he didn;t care so much about the station. he already had something to set him up for the rest of his life…”

Sal accepted the payment, and made to leave, but Viper persuaded him to stay (with a knock-out drug), and she and Wraith dragged the man back to their shuttle, placing him under suicide watch… Over the next couple days, he underwent some serious withdrawl symptoms, but Viper was able to smooth him through the worst. The rest of the Line Troopers took several days of glorious R&R, and after six (6) days, made ready to leave the station. Wraith also managed to acquire some good quality wines to bring back to the group…

July 26th, 3020 : Arriving at the populated moon, the group set about finding a buyer for the Stone Dog.The local military buyers proved happy to discuss acquiring the Stone Dog, mostly due to its good condition and relative newness. Initial negotiations rapidly went in the favour of the Dingoes, and the group agreed on a final price of 175,000,000 Cs for the Union. Much more than expected, half in C-Bills, the other half in Davion Francs.

Taking five (5) days to search for a crew for their JumpShip, they let the Line Force Recon take turns having some serious R&R. While everyone seemed unable locate a proper crew, Trooper Pol Baca was entertaining the troopers on a trip to a local bar, and encountered an “old salt” holding court and regaiiing everyone with his “…one time he had to repel boarders…” in System – Hawktor. Talk eventually wound down to the man’s name, Space Master Terrance Chantilas, and his history as a JumpShip commander in the Davion Navy. It came out that he missed the opportunity, but his age and medical issues had led to his retirement from House Davion’s AFFS Navy.

He was introduced to [[: kanthto-jokukad]] and LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate” for a formal interview. It quickly became apparent that, though older, he had a mind like a steel vice, and was capable of very complex Jump variables. His years in null -G had left him with numerous implants and other mechanical aids , but he was still capable for what the unit needed. They hired him. He also gave the names of a few crew he felt might be useful; all were former crew-mates or their children, or sometimes their grandchildren. Before the day of leaving the world came, they had their crew for the Bloody Paw.

On the last day of their searching, the unit managed to conduct a series of interviews with retired sergeants and similar veteran troopers, all with marine experience. Eight (8) such troopers were hired, to provide a core for future training and recruitment efforts in the future.

Lastly, Pitbull was able to find a supply trooper who was willing to sell the unit a collection of 200 Marine Combat Suit – “Voidsuit”s and their related equipment, spending some of the cash they were getting from the Union sale, t the tune of 5,000,000 Cs total.

July 31st, 3020 : The unit collected its equipment and troops, and left the lanet on shuttles bent for The Bloody Paw. Five (5) days later they reached their JumShip, and jumped out-system, safely… back to Cassandra and their Factory.

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