“We’re leaving together,
But still it’s farewell
And maybe we’ll come back
To Dumassas, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
We’re leaving ground (leaving ground)
Will things ever be the same again?
It’s the final countdown
The final countdown.”
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Highlander
December 24th, 3028 : System – Northwind : Battered and worn, * “The Iron Dingoes” stared after those forces that were retreating from the remnants of the city headquarters, and Pitbull identified they were gathering in the ruins of a nearby industrial district. Taking stock of their damage, the mercenaries acknowledged they had succeeded in the basic tenets of their contract, and that while attacking the survivors might earn them more salvage, it might also destroy the unit and kill some of their pilots, due largely to their severe damage situations.
The group then decided to move forward and join the rest of the 5th Deneb Light Cavalry RCT, Team Banzai, and their own technicians at “DropShip Row” at the starport. The battered remnants of the 5th RCT and Team Banzai were gathered, and Pitbull was called to attend a meeting of the surviving senior officers. During this meeting his opinion was requested by Major Scott Bradley, and they decided to stay a week, repair what they could, before deciding whether or not to flee the planet. The Christmas Week was a somber one, remembering lost companions and scrounging for armor, parts and supplies to bring as many forces into full operating status as they could.
At the one week mark, the unit had largely been rebuilt and it was obvious their enemies among the 5th Sword of Light, the 36th Dieron Regulars, and the Genyosha were prepping for one final push into the starport to seize their DropShips and finish the defenders off for good. As all sides braced for the impact, a call went over the intercoms… all four regiments of the Northwind Highlanders had arrived on-planet!
The four regiments landed all around Tara, and quickly chased the invaders away from the city, pushing fast and hard to force them from the planet. By the end of the day, House Kurita had retreated and the planet was saved. The Northwind Highlanders were here to stay.
The tale quickly spread of the entire mercenary group abandoning their contracts in Liao space in exchange for the offer of their traditional homeworld as a personal landhold by House Davion, something they had wanted for centuries. As a result it appeared the Liao border worlds had crumbled all across the Terran Corridor, and the third wave of Operation Rat looked to be in full swing.
The unit was given a full week to take some personal time, and as their contract was soon to be completed, there was a discussion regarding whether they should extend it. House Davion was interested, and soon negotiations began, extending the contract another six months. Meanwhile, the unit rebuilt several of their more damaged units using the Grey Iron Forge mounted in the “Relentless” third bay, bringing themselves back into full strength once more.
Word came from their other two contracts, Contract – Operation : “Thor’s Hammer” and Contract – Operation : “Bronco”, both of which were nearing completion, and both of which were being offered extensions. The Thor’s Hammer one had been a brutally short invasion of Buckminster, in which that unit had taken some infantry losses and lost their Warhammer, but recovered extensive infantry salvage in their attack on the capital. The unit chose to recall this unit, as it was located so far from their personal holdings on the Periphery, and by the time they returned to System – Dumassas, their other contracts would likely be complete. Bronco was extended, largely due to its favorable terms, and the seasoning it would give that infantry force.
In addition to repairs, the unit on System – Northwind were able to recover some salvage over the next few weeks, as the prize court released several pieces into their control, including the captured VND-1R Vindicator. Salvaging parts off several of these units, and selling the intact Vindy to the 36th Dieron Regulars. The unit were able to make contact with their own holdings out in the Periphery, and as February drew to a close, sent orders regarding expenditures on their holdings, and plans to expand both * The “War Dogs” College of Military Sciences and complete their plans for the starport in * Landhold : Garrison, along with other lesser expenditures. The unit were paid-out the first part of their contract, (and their other contracts) and were ordered to make preparations for the time extension and shipment off-world.
The unit also decided to take the opportunity with access to Team Banzai, to sell off several of their BPCs for technologies recovered from Blue Rock Candy Mountain. After a brief negotiation, they were able to secure an offer of a battered old Star Lord-Class JumpShip found in orbit, “The Storis” in exchange for them, plus a guarantee of 150-million Cs against the assets of Dingo Brand Corporation and all its various auxiliary companies. Jumping at the chance, they accepted, and dispatched “The Iron Vagabond” to return back to System – Dumassas and take charge of its trade efforts in the constellation under the Whippet Transport Lines brand.
Last, the unit gave orders to begin production of several TLS-1B Talos from * Deep Ice One. To ship them, it was decided to procure a stripped-down Seahorse Cargo Submarine, and that the units would be stock-piled at the restricted portions of * Sierra Madre Casino & Villa, until further notice. The Seahorse would likely cost around 5-6 million to procure, but would be valuable for their long-range goals, so one was ordered and arrangements were made to ship the 250-ton vessel to Terramatrix.
And then the orders came to ship-out to the Liao front…