Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 80 - (Not so) Hot in the City

“Please, oh please, oh, do not let me fall,
You’re all mine and I love you best of all,
And you must be my man, or I’ll have no man at all,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

April 7th, 3022 : Jumping into the Horsham system, the group contacted the local recharging station, and began trading between the unit and the local trade stations. They immediately sold off their looted reactor-grade uranium, and spent the next week organizing their now assimilated scientists and techs from the raid. Once secure, the unit began plans to return to System – New Syrtis.

April 14th, 3022 : Unit jumped into Robsart. The unit noted that the “…largest naval battle of the Reunification War…” occurred in Robsart,

April 21st, 3022 : Unit jumps into Deifenbaker.

April 28th, 3022 : Unit jumps into Merope.

May 5th, 3022 : Unit jumps into System – New Syrtis, and immediately reports in success in their mission. The Command Council is ordered to report directly to the Capellan March Militia command group in the system capital, Saso. The group decided to take the “Star Talon” and the “Pandora’s Box”, and made their way planet-bound.

May 9th, 3022 : Local news nets announced the meeting of three major Houses; Draconis Combine, Capellan Confederation and Free World’s League, were meeting together in some secret location (believed to be Terra), to sign some sort of peace proposal as a counter-balance to the 3020 FedCom Accords alliance between the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth.

As the DropShips underwent customs inspections, they were met at the main ramps by a military convoy seeking to take the unit’s leadership and their “package” for debriefing. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin”, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, and Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” went with the transports, ordering all troops to remain on-station at the DropShips until further notice. The four were escorted, with their various assistants, into an APC and taken through the city proper, and then the windows blackened. It seemed like they made it across the nearby glacier and into a tunnel, and down a long, subterranean road. EVentually, the unit seemed to come to a stop, and they found themselves in a large underground complex of some sort; likely the deep complex of the Regional Military Headquarters under Heaven’s Top, the largest mountain near the city.

The group was ushered into a meeting room, and after being given refreshments, met with their contact, Colonel Simon Sortek. He was soon joined by several techs and a couple senior officers who examined “The Package” for its content and value. They gave the okay and verified its authenticity. Immediately, another handful of senior officers arrived, including one VIP; Duke Michael Hasek-Davion. He thanked the group for their actions, and mentioned how proud he was of their sacrifices. After shaking their hands and more flowery words, the officers left the room, leaving the group with Colonel Simon Sortek.

Negotiations began immediately, with the group wanting to have the unit let go from their contract early, but they were refused. Instead, the Colonel wanted them to supply a raiding force of infantry and armor and proceed against the local militia in three separate raids on important facilities, as though they were bandits. False ammo would be supplied and the specific targets wouldn’t know they were being specifically targeted until after the raids had been conducted. It was hoped, that the next few months of training would “season” the defenders to “out-of-the-box” thinking that raiders and pirates were known for.

Paladin chose Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and her infantry and armor to do the task, bolstered by several marine squads from * “The Cerberus Command”, to bring the total up to a full fifty (50) squads required by their contract. Since Fionna and her crews had specialized in this terrain and raiding Lt. Colonel Carla “Razor” Chestines forces many years ago. It seemed a good match. To assist them, they were assigned the unit’s Mobile Command Post, as well as Captain Jessa Dajus-Marik “Dragonfly” to help run intel for them. In the end, Glamour also chose to stay with the unit, running aerial recon with her and her wingman in their LAMs.

The unit was released to prepare for their activities, and Paladin gave everyone a three-day shore leave, and the unit broke into various small groups to fulfill their own agendas. They called-in the remaining DropShips from the jumppoint, to retrieve salvage and get their units organized.

Glamour spent a little time in the the local spas and shopping, taking Advocate with her. She spent the rest of the time going over intel reports and maps and making plans. Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” visited the local university in Saso, and made plans to do a formal reading of his paper (submitted earlier during the unit;s first stop on New Syrtis ) on the third day. Pitbull and Advocate had words with the recruiter, getting an update on his efforts. Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith”, Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” and MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” paid a visit to the Johnstone Industries showroom, looking at their support weapons. Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” visited the local university, the former looking for information on Star League studies, and the latter researching explosives and demolitions (something he was particularly interested in).

The recruitment reports showed Lt. Daniel Bernard, their merc recruiter, had managed to round-up a half-dozen (6) Line Engineers and thirty-three (33) Machinists willing to relocate to the unit’s landholds. He had also managed to find 4 regular techs, 2 armor crews, a scout, a pair of dispossessed Mech pilots and a dispossessed Aero pilot. These people would be bringing whatever families they might have as dependents and had basic tools for their hired tasks.

Wraith and his crew examined the M56 “Smartgun”s on display and first looked at buying seven, but were able to get enough scrip from Advocate to buy a total of twenty-one (21). While Fixer and Caboose worked on finalizing the purchase, Wraith was distracted by a dusty display on one wall showing the numerous industries that Johnstone Industries were once involved in. He noted they once worked on various infantry support industries, from basic uniforms to infantry guns and support weapons. It included numerous industrial sites scattered across the planet, but the one that caught his eye, was under the Propper title that sold basic BDUs, support equipment and infantry armor to the Star League. He noted where these locations were, though they were listed as having been heavily destroyed in orbital bombardment.

Advocate and Pitbull spent a couple days looking through * “The Scrapyard”, and tried to trade some of their salvaged and unwanted Mechs for some units that fit their raiding profiles. Eventually they managed to get a hold of a pair of QKD-4G Quickdraws for their salvage, though they also found a line on an Ostscout and three Phoenix Hawks.

Learning about the possible salvage site for the Propper factory, Paladin organized a “raid party”, deciding to spend another week on-planet before heading out to System – Redfield.

May 14th, 3022 : The raiding group left the starport and made their way into the northern wastes, where they would rendezvous with their own DropShips and use them as a base for their raids.

The other DropShips were finally present, and the group sent Wraith, Fixer and Templar out to the ruined site with a Cobra Transport VTOL, two sqauds of marines and a pair of salvage squads. The group found the site easily, and a quick examination revealed the only thing of value was a heavily damaged clothing processing facility, though it was once highly automated and produced three lines of military uniforms; a line of standard infantry/armor/aircrew BDUs with an arctic overshell (7% intact); an (MCPS) “Multi-Climate Protection System” in Woodland camo, Water- and flame-resistant jacket and trousers (4% intact); and an (ECWS) “Extreme Cold Weather System” : in Arctic camo Cold Weather “Cobra” Jacket and Trousers, and Extreme Cold Weather Parka. (8% intact). The lines did have a certain C-Bill value attached, but were abandoned because they didn’t really seem worth trying to put back in production given it was cheaper to produce them through the civilian markets.

The group then decided to salvage the lot of them, but amounting to 300-tons each, it would need some time to accomplish, so a steady stream of techs ran the equipment every night from the ruin site down to the DropShips with their numerous VTOls, taking three days of steady work to accomplish. The goods were bound for long-term storage on “The Iron Vagabond” until the unit managed to make it back to their landholds and decide what to do with them.

During this time, the group also began plans to formally organize the * Pirates of the Blood Asteroids. Paladin was informed about the idea, and rubber-stamped it though with some reservations.

Recognizing the unit had the equipment, but needed the Propper blueprints to properly use the manufacturing equipment. Templar and Advocate visited the showroom again, and while Advocate distracted the salesman, Templar tried to access the shop’s computers. He quickly determined the information was not at the showroom, but likely in the deep storage archives in Johnstone Industries HQ building in the heart of Saso.

May 17th, 3022 : Plans were being made to make the trip to Redfield, searching for a possibly lost storage facility or something else that Pitbull was certain might be found. They spent a day “thought-busting” on ideas of how to get there, and called it a night.

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Episode 79b : The Boys From Sangria

“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.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

New_Eden.jpg

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.

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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.

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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…

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Episode 79a : The Boys From Sangria

“I’m dead in the water
Still looking for ya
I’m dead in the water
Can’t you see, can’t you see?”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank
Steve (Oddball) -———————— Warhammer

January 2nd, 3022 : * Landhold : Garrison, Garcia District, Republic of Sangria : As the scouting mission in Castle Corazón drew to a close, Lord (LtSG) Henry “Fitzy” Fitzroy began going over potential contracts for * “The Dead Man’s Hand” during their “Hiring Season”. In addition to a small contract for another company of infantry, similar in most purposes to Contract – Operation : “Show-and-Tell”, there was a continuing effort by House Davion to recruit a sizable Mech force to hold the peace in System – Csomad. They also caught a lead on an offer by someone claiming to represent Baron Kenton Sarne, though he would only offer the contract in person, on-planet. When Fitzy seemed interested, he took a shuttle and planned to arrive in Ciudad Garcia as soon as possible.

January 5th, 3022 : Major “Veruca” Louise Salt was contacted later in the day from * “The Dingoes’ Fangs” Field Ops in San Marcos, Senior Tech Catherine “Piper” Walker. She reported in that her unit had uncovered the whereabouts of the Frontier-Class Air Transport, “Nairobi” they had been tasked to find. It had been sitting in a hangar for the past year, unused and practically abandoned. However, reports in the capital of another similar craft operating led her to dicover another “Frontier” Heavy Lift VTOL operating under the name of “Tiber”. This vessel was found to be shipping large quantities of fuel (through dismountable fuel tanks in her cargo), roughly 12 tons of water and foodstuffs (enough food to feed roughly a company or more of infantry for a month), and five tons of unclassified “Agricultural Equipment”. This vessel often travelled with infantry from San Isabel, taking them back from R&R and training in San Marcos.

The odd thing about the flight, was that it was conducted every month, and upon arrival at San Isabel, several days later, would again load the same supplies and personnel, and return to San Marcos about another week later. Again and again, this vessel repeated the mission back and forth. Always bringing supplies somewhere, but never dropping anything off beyond a handful of troopers wearing San Isabel uniforms. She requested a new mandate, since that seemed to fulfill her original request, but had no one else to ask for orders. Major Salt told them to finish their contract in San Marcos, and quietly relocate to San Isabel, get access to the national government in the same way, and await further orders. Just gather intel on flight patterns and other similar matters.

January 7th, 3022 : Word came over a news broadcast from RCN Television, reporting that the industrial fires in San Succi had continued to devastate the city, and had burned-out what was left in the area. This meant that the Indumil industrial complex they had raided was now a smoking ruin, along with much of the industrial strength of the nation’s heartland. Only the power plants and Indumil factory in the northern provinces, as well as other smaller complexes remained. The automotive industry in the nation was obliterated, along with many agricultural supporting industries. The water treatment plant and some other factories, such as the Bavaria Beer and Nutresa Group plants on the outskirts of the city remained intact, however. General Pierre Garza was still in control of the city and trying to put it back together, though the military government faced continuing pressure from marauder bands and gangs trying to take control of key industries and supplies.

January 8th, 3022 : Reports came from the 11th Infantry Militia Platoon “Tunnel Rats”, * “The Cerberus Command”. They had captured a young infiltrator trying to get into Corazón Airfield. MechWarrior Dominic Haugustus “Pockets” was sent along with Fitzy to interrogate the young man, since Pockets spoke fluent Spanish. They also brought a supply of Dingo Spit.

The flight via Karnov UR Transport was uneventful, and landing at Corazón Airfield, they discovered a young man, barely twelve, who had been trying to infiltrate the base. A local native of the Corazón Jungle, they managed to coax him into revealing he was from Tuadann, and had been seeking some token of proof he could be accepted as a warrior in his tribe. Apparently, stealing from the “metal men” was considered a mark of high skill. Seeing this as an opportunity to possibly recruit the skilled jungle fighters of the southern jungles, they managed to get the boy, one Cassius, agree to lead them to his village, several days away in the depths of the jungles.

Bringing several hundred kilos of supplies (most as gifts) with them, a pair of squads from the 2nd Platoon, “Star’s Reach Militia” were dispatched and led by LtJG Paula “Kaliente” Perez along with Fitzy and Pockets. They presented a Deadwood Special “Longhorn” Hunting Rifle to the boy, as his trophy, and planned to present another to this mystical war-chief, Honzo Arkadjian. They then proceeded into the jungles, and quickly became dependent on his skills.

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Several days passed, and the unit travelled along the Rio Tashent, while Cassius related the horrors of the jungles, namely the “Fangclaws” or Nexu, but also the “SwarmTeeth” (packs of native water rats that swarm their prey), and the “JumpLegs” (an oddly-shaped monkey-like creature, with impressively long limbs to swing and leap through the trees). The unit grew fond of the child, nick-naming him “Little Brother”, a name he took to well.

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January 14th, 3022 : Out of communication with headquarters due to the jungle, the unit reached Tuadann, and despite some suspicion, were welcomed into the central chief’s hut with open arms. Cassius explained how he had claimed his coup on the “Metal Men”, and that he had brought them here for trade. The group presented their gifts (soaps, jerky, metal utensils and the “Longhorn”), and the chief offered salt and a feast was quickly held. Amidst the revelry and music and feasting odd dishes, the group asked a few questions about the village and its people, but the chief seemed good at avoiding questions and giving misleading answers. They also noticed the quiet and unassuming Varsha Arkadjian sitting just behind the chief, watching their every move, but in the festivities.

Eventually the group mentioned the skill of the clan’s warriors, and the chief boasted “…even the best of you could not defeat my least warrior…” pointing at his daughter. In fairness, the group challenged the chief’s daughter to a sniper duel, offering an equally capable female warrior, Scout Abigail Breslin “Winter”, the Shadow Recruit of Kaliente. The party moved outside, and a pack of nearby JumpLegs were chosen as targets. The shooting went fairly evenly at first, but eventually, Varsha managed to take the lead during the “moving targets” portion of the duel, and the unit accepted their loss with grace. Fitzy asked after Varsha, sna speaking quickly with her, learned that she was promised in marriage to a trader, and that “…my dowry bring peace to the Tribe of the Corazón…”.

While the drinking entered full swing, Kaliente and Senior Trooper Yineth Trujillo slipped away from the feast, and tried to see if they could scout-out the village. They wandered the community, and eventually noticed something odd about the way the main hall was laid-out. Entering inside, they found one door (a metal-reinforced door!) guarded by one warrior. Kaliente slipped over to the soldier and distracted him for a little while, allowing Trooper Trujillo to slip through the door quickly and enter the darkened room behind. Turning-on her flashlight, she found a small room filled with a very advanced communications suite, of a type she couldn’t recognize. Noting the channel it was set to, she quickly looked around for anything else, but then left the room and quietly slipped back out. “Bored now…” stated Kaliente, and walked away from the soldier mid-necking. The pair then re-joined the crowd and settled in.

Eventually, Kaliente decided to visit with Cassius, finding him deep in his cups. Openly confronting him with about Varsha, and exactly what the marriage was about. He drunkenly responded “…you know, with Kassler, Proust’s man.” Proust, it turned out, was indeed a “Metal Man”, and he and his “…lived in those caves over there along the river… =HIC= …soon, with Proust, the Warchief will control all the Villages in the jungle… For the Tribe!”. He closed his comments with an odd motion of his hands, like a Catholic Cross, and the odd statement of “…the Tribe…”.Further questioning about this resulted in nothing new, but Kaliente acknowledged that many in the tribe used the statement and motion.

January 15th, 3022 : As the party wound-down, the group were given an old empty warehouse to bed down in, and settled in for the night, posting guards. Once sufficient time had passed, Kaliente woke Winter, and the pair slipped out to the river (barely avoiding patrols), and wandered a couple miles until they spotted a massive cave in the side of the wall along the river; obviously the base they were looking for. They managed to sneak back into camp (again barely), and went over to report their findings to Fitzy. Meanwhile, the comms officer noticed a snap-burst communique headed orbital on the channel noted by Kaliente’s foray into the Chief’s Hall.

Just after the pair returned, Varsha Arkadjian woke Fitzy from his sleep, and surprised him by having slipped through his pickets. She verified the truth about her being promised in marriage to one of the “Metal Men” that lived in the base behind the caves, and that it was an effort of her father to both remove her daughter as a “weak” leader of her people, and to get their support in taking over the entire Corazón Jungle. She asked the unit to smuggle her out tonight, and she promised to guide the group on a fast route back to their airfield, as well as promise her people’s support once the conflict was over. She claimed she had control of most of the young male warriors. The elder council, however, would not accept her as a chief as long as her father had control of the “Metal Men”.

The group grabbed their supplies and equipment and bugged-out, quietly and without incident, heading along deep jungle trails no one else would know about. Moving quickly, the group made good time, and within three days were back in range of the Corazón Airfield, calling for an immediate evac by VTOL, and to get the unit’s Mechs ready for combat. They learned that Major Salt was holding-off negotiations with the agent sent by Baron Sarne, and that they had until the end of the month to make a decision or the offer of a contract would lapse.

January 19th, 3022 : Following a quick flight back to * Landhold : Garrison, the unit promptly boarded their Mechs and received a quick update on the situation. Aerial recon of the area targetted revealed that the site was buried deep in the valley behind the caves, and that a powerful ECM field and anti-aircraft guns covering all approaches. Further research revealed the site to likely be Brightwater Base, a rumored military fort but never actually visited by anyone. The unit slowly made their way down the Rio Tashent, with Varsha riding in the rumble-seat with Major Salt.

Waiting for the call, would be two platoons of infantry; the Command “The Last Bastion” and 3rd “Black Tower Militia” Platoons to be flown in once the unit got close enough. Aboard the DMHs Cobra Transport VTOL and Karnov UR Transport they were prepared for a drop into the base once the Mechs had made their way inside through the caves. They would be escorted by all four of the unit’s Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters.

January 21st, 3022 : After a couple of quick days travel with only a few hours spent in their cockpits to rest here and there, the group approached Tuadann. Sensors picked-up the comms burst from the village as they passed it, but the unit didn’t stop, rather moving along towards the cave seen earlier. Finding the cave and entering inside, they detected a large pool of water within, and several caves leading deeper inside. Sensor echoes were hideous and distorted everything, but the unit’s OTT-7J Ostscout and similarly equipped OTL-4D Ostsol picked-up motion activity deep within the caves and moving quickly their way.

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The unit had some difficulty at first, unused to submerging completely in water and moving through as fast as they could. Several units stumbled and had difficulty getting across the pool to the other shore, and nearly a minute was lost getting across from the cave entrance.

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As Major “Veruca” Louise Salt and MechWarrior Katie Starling led the way across the entrance pool, they just managed to get to the shore with their STK-3F Stalkers when a Crusader and an Enforcer poked out of the exit cave and began exchanging fire with the intruders.

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As the crowded beach began to fill, with a Griffin and a second Enforcer joingin in the fray, shots began to disrupt the defenders, with Veruca and MechWarrior Ela Rose in her BNC-3E Banshee laying down severe damage on the Crusader. The Crusader charged Ela’s Banshee, knocking it over on its back, but Ela’s counter-strike punched through the Crusader’s RT, critically damaging its ammo reserves and blowing the Mech apart. Veruca and the Griffin exchanged kicks. Behind the crowds in the tunnel, came a looming Victor in a familiar paint scheme; Dominique “Domino” Harvey was back.

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Ela tripped passing through the rubble of the fallen Crusader, falling over once more. MechWarrior Jena Malone “Rocket” stumbled passing by the slower Stalker driven by Starling, knocking both over and damaging the Stalker’s LT in a crippling critical that flooded half its weapons, forcing it to limit it’s attacks. Trooper Hendricks MacKracken – “The Iron Duke” and Ela both shot at the Victor, now clearly in the main cave, and both struck with their weapons, including a pair of critical hits to the Mech’s Head! (Ela’s PPC got the kill).

Both Enforcers fired on Ela’s Banshee, and other fire rocked her Mech, forcing her to stumble over. Veruca got a lucky shot into the newly appeared Wolverine damaging its Head. She followed-up with a swift kick into the other leg of the Griffin. Other fire was exchanged, but it looked like a tough fight indeed, with anyone the winner at this point.

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Things were getting hot.

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Episode 78 - Operation : "Blue Harvest"

“You can’t expect to reap a harvest that you’re not willing to plant.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Catapult
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

April, 1st, 3022 : System – Corodiz : April Fool’s Day : The unit jumped into the L-1 trojan point of the main planet, between the binary stars central gravity and the planet itself. A risky effort indeed, but worth the challenge presented, because it gave them a four-hour 2-G burn to the planet’s surface, rather than a four-day leisurely stroll from the Zenith.

“The Freedom of the Stars” jumped in and quickly shuffled away from the “landing”, its small size allowing little to no signature, and it promptly found the pirate point seemed secure. “The Iron Vagabond” jumped in with no difficulty, and moved away from her “landing”. Several minutes later, the other merc’s jumpship, The Redwood Empire jumped in, and quickly reported a failure of their navigation computers. Repairs were expected to take at least 3 days, and they requested assistance, which was quickly offered to ensure recovery of their systems. The six DropShips then launched, and moved out at a hardy 2-G burn for the planet of Corodiz.

Quickly gaining orbit, the units were not met by any orbital AeroSpace defenses, and entered the next phase of the mission. The “Green Tiger’s” landed their Union-Class DropShip “Rat Trap” a couple hours out of the capital, deployed and moved towards their targets at the starport. The “Latinikon’s” Leopard-Class DropShip “Baloo” would hold their assault Mechs as a reserve to drop directly on the starport itself.

After the units at the starport became engaged with a mix of infantry and armor from the Capellan base, the Dingoes landed their DropShips “Brush Wolf” and “Pandora’s Box”, who would deploy their forces to move on the mining site at Sandblast; the Mechs to seize the facility, and the armor and infantry to hold it. Their other DropShips, “Dingoes’ Den” and “Star Talon” would drop on the mining site’s own landing pads, conduct salvage operations while the marines secured the underground administration and barracks of the mine site.

Landing operations went undisputed, while the unit’s Eagle and Seydlitz of the Interceptor Lance conducted a recon of the mining site. Reports placed a large force of Mechs moving to the mining site from the nearby south-west mountains. As the unit moved on Sandblast, they began to identify the units as a mixed company (likely the local planetary milita), and a lance of regular military Mechs along with a single unknown unit. Hard ECM was covering the separate lance’s approach.

A lone military Union-Class DropShip lay on the landing field, marked with both the regular Liao symbols for its navy, but also with an unknown CMS symbol below it. The independent lance proved to be a Thunderbolt and three Vindicator’s, along with what the group felt was an example of the RVN-1X Raven, all marked with badges that were believed to be the Death Commandos; the elite special forces of the Capellan Confederation. The rest of the defenders were seemingly indeed a large company of planetary militia, consisting of a lance of UrbanMechs, a lance of a single Vindicator and three Valkyries, another of three Javelins, and a fourth of a Spider and two Jenners.

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The units began moving towards each other. Command lance chose to take the Death Commandos on directly, while the Fire Support Lance headed off the vastly quicker Valkyries, Jenners and Spider. The Assault Lance split their targ