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Battletech: The Ghost Who Walks (Battletech Isekai)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Imperator Pax, Jun 5, 2021.

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  1. Threadmarks: Part 1
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Battletech: The Ghost Who Walks
    Inspired by Cimbri's 'Isekai' Battletech CYOA
    or
    Life as a technopathic giant robot piloting mercenary gunslinger and treasure hunter in another world. The Machine Spirits say hi.

    Rimward Periphery
    That the periphery was not a nice place went without saying. Aquagea certainly could have been worse, certainly in good times it was passably civilized... unfortunately it had a bunch of assholes for neighbors and in the era of the succession wars that really meant one thing. A lot of assholes have a tendency to show up and throw their weight around. Assholes like the Free Worlds League, and the Magistracy of Canopus... well they were big names on the block and had better things to do than fuck with a shit hole like Aquagea...

    Your average band of scum sucking pirates... yeah Aquagea had them drop in from time to time, and also the local region of space's more 'legitimate' collection of force wielding assholes. Zathras liked to claim to be an empire, but they were really just another group of thugs with giant robots.

    This was problem for people on Aquagea because well they were 'independent' which in periphery terms meant that wasn't anyone to even tentatively go complain to. Aquagea was on its own. It was always on its own. It certainly didn't look like there was anyone coming today, which was he admitted fine. Maybe it was better this way.

    He thumped backwards against the headrest of the battlemech's cockpit, "Fuck." It was bad enough he'd been deaged as well as dropped into bad eighties future, but it hadn't even dropped him somewhere nice. The mech was nice though. The Marauder was not quite Royal nice, but it was Star League era factory built. Green illumination lights began to fill the display as the fusion engine returned to operational status.

    The Marauder was ... what we would have thought of as an off brand Flat Dark Earth with streaks of lighter tan. It wasn't, thankfully, digital camo, and it was sort of the inverse of Gulf 1's desert warfare camo in patterning. The seventy five ton mech was currently hull down crouched into a brush ridden hillside near the river waiting.


    ... waiting ... because about thirty clicks 'down' there was giant plume of flame that his HiRez was swearing was a Union dropship with Eagles supporting it. If the computer was to be believed it was going to land in the bombed out ruins of the skyscrapers that Marik's had left behind during the second succession war. The Mariks had strafed the city, bombed the hydro electric dam, even though the latter hadn't actually failed until much later, and generally exploited air and artillery. Thankfully no nukes, but that was a small mercy given all the other infrastructure damage caused by the Free World's league invasion during the second succession war... it was no wonder the couple of million people still eking out an existence held a grudge given they were constantly reminded of what had been lost. The bigger problem was the city was a pretty good place to land a drop ship. It was far enough away from any big cities that still had people in them.

    He glanced up, but kept the Marauder hull down as the two Eagles banked and then accelerated rushing overhead flat out. It seemed like a waste of fuel there was no sign of any kind of planetary militia response... "Fuck." He repeated again.
    --
    Gene Shepherd ran a hand through his hair as he surveyed the unloading 'pirates'. Privateer was probably stretching it, but these were either hired thugs from Zarthas, or less likely Zarthas house troops of some stripe given the weight and conditions of their Battlemechs now that he could see them. A Zeus, and a Longbow being present made them look a little odd as a rag tag pirate group. The Ostroc and Orion were not something to sneeze at either.

    The Dalban resolved the identity of another mech as a 'Whitworth'. The other mediums he'd been able to largely identify without the computer's help as a Pheonix Hawk, a Centurion, and a Blackjack. Lights as Wasp, Jenner, Locust, and Firestarter.

    Then there was the dropship itself and its air support.

    He wasn't really concerned about the trucks, or the PBI. They were milling about as the mechs started to move around the husk of skeleton like skyscrapers, and even the ferrocrete roads of the old city were cracked from the Mariks beating, and hundred years of weather beating on them.

    Gene reached a hand up to the targeting computer and flipped the switch. It wasn't the most comfortable arrangement to work with, especially given his reduced height in a thirteen year old body, but the system display linked his PPCs. It would have been less of an issue if he'd just been taller, but it would have felt more natural to have the switch for linkage, and master arm all in either the left or right hand instrument panel, or directly front. The Marauder, reflecting the fact that both of its arms carried two weapons and in separately tracking limbs had left and right joysticks, coupled with the neurohelmet to make the mech dance as well as shoot.

    The binding of the weapons meant he could settle in, and use one stick to maneuver the gunsite reticle onto the target. In this case that meant settling the reticle onto the block left side of the eighty ton Zeus. He squeezed one set of triggers sending converging dual streaks of ball lighting from the riverside. The SLDF issue weapons system confirmed the hit even as he pulled the seventy five ton mech back down the embankment and moved down across a depressed and sunken road way, before turning and moving forward.

    Even without the dropship, and the air lance he wasn't about to stand there and volley into an entire mech company. He probably had their attention. PPCs were flashy but they did a lot of damage which was the point... even if given the lack of secondary explosions he probably hadn't hit anything important.

    Despite being basically a direct fire energy weapon there had been no immediate return fire, and certainly no hill destroying wave of munitions. Either the pirates were completely blind to where the shot had come from, or they were looking ... probably for a tank.

    He guided the heavy battlemech to a secondary position he had chosen earlier doing as best he could to keep obstructions in between him and the other side of the river bank. Climate wise the region was relatively arid somewhere between the south west and middle east with lots of shrub vegetation but not a lot of big standing trees.

    After about five minutes he trundled slowly through the remains of some ruined buildings and into the position he'd marked on his nav system. He didn't have a clear view of the entire company, and there was no sign of the two eagles. Idly he moved the reticle down over the torso of the Zeus again under four power magnification. He thought about what a Marauder would look like refit to carry two LRM 20s... that would have meant getting rid of the PPCs and cutting a lot of armor.

    Probably not worth it.

    He squeezed his right stick's trigger. Blue lighting lanced across the space, and he left the computer to register as he pushed the machine into reverse and took it behind one of the decrepit buildings. A few seconds later there was a smattering of angry, if ineffectual and ill disciplined return fire from lasers and auto cannons that fell well short of his position. Plumes of water heated into steam, or just splashed into muddy divets as the strikes impacted the wadi forward of his position.

    The lights were moving now, and the medium mechs would probably follow suit. Gene glanced down to the forward radar display. He'd been hoping to knock the Zeus out on the assumption it was the most probable lead for the unit, maybe cause an ammo cook off or a lucky headshot even if that was unlikely at this distance, but that was alright. It would be much easier to ambush the lights in this mess. He reached up with slim fingers and adjusted the weapon bindings. The only downside for the Marauder's gauntlet -ed forearms, besides obviously not having hand actuators, was that the armored housing dual mounted the Medium Lasers with their respective PPC. He could point one arm at a target, even spin it around entirely behind him but it couldn't target something independently of the PPC, even though it could fire on its own. That was good since these Magna Hellstars weren't the extended range versions.

    There was a plume of heat on his sensors as the computer identified the Wasp activating its jumpjets, to presumably keep up with the Locust. For whatever reason the Firestarter, and Jenner seemed to have been moving parallel to the other two lights.



    --
    Commentary: This is getting its own thread, and will be a regular update through June. See below for a copy of the source CYOA which inspired it, and the notes.

    General Points here: not doing the lance thing. I feel the above CYOA needs companions. CYOA needs more points to start with, more negative point options, and the pirate section in particular needs to be overhauled so that all options start by awarding points and increase based on the threat.

    This is one of my custom marauders in this case. Its all IS Tech c. Star League mostly ripping out the autocannon and replacing it with more heat sinks jump jets. (Also a small pulse laser for anti-infantry work the only really 'restricted' piece of tech on the mech and only went extinct long after the Star League was defunct).


    'Pirate'/Zathras Mech Company
    Light Mechs: Jenner, Firestarter, Wasp, Locust
    Medium Mechs Centurion, Blackjack, Whitworth, Pheonix Hawk
    Heavy: Orion, Ostroc
    Assault: Stalker, Zeus

    BATTLETECH ISEKAI CYOA
    [​IMG]

    You and three of your friends are stuck in the ass-end of nowhere in the Periphery in 3015. Normally this would be a short trip to ignoble poverty and death but you're lucky. So lucky that you are all Isekai protagonists! This means that fate is on your side and gently tips the odds in your favour. By using some metaphorical Fate points to adjust things in your favour! Well its not all in just your favour the more Fate is changed the more opposition to this change appears in the form of luck and abilities of others native to that Universe. So your little intrepid group of friends start with Two Fate Points and may earn more in the progress of choosing your starting position and opposition.
    You wake up in what appear to be Star League Cryo pods in an abandoned base. It was in the past a:
    [​IMG]
    [ ] A ruined bunker. There's nothing there aside from the pods and your rides and some food. Enough for a week. Make sure you're able to pilot the mechs by then. Have fun! +0.5 points.

    [ ] Listening outpost. 0 Points. It has the bare bones needed to stay hidden and resupplied with a hangar that can fit a shuttle and four mech bays. There is living space for up to a dozen people with enough MREs to last a good while. It also comes with sensors capable of passively watching almost everything that occurs in the system.

    [ ] Star League Intelligence Supply depot. 1 point. The main difference is in the size of it with the hangar now being capable of welcoming a Leopard and a small craft or two. It also has twelve mech bays ready for use. The barracks can hold up to a hundred people in relative comfort with four apartments for officers or VIPs also present. The depots warehouse is sadly empty but can hold roughly ten thousand tons of cargo. Aside from that it retains every capability the Listening outpost possessed.

    [ ] Outpost Castle. 2 points. It is a facility capable of holding a mech battalion with the facilities to match. Its hidden hangars holds room enough for at least three Aerodyne Dropships and six small craft bays stand ready for use. The well appointed living spaces are enough for not just the hypothetical battalion and its support personnel but also a fair amount of possible VIPs and perhaps dependants. The mech bays also comes with a well appointed workshop capable of machining almost anything under two metres in length (If someone competent is there to do the work at least). Its sensor coverage are comparable to some of the best in the Inner Sphere.

    [ ] Castle Brian.No sorry not sorry.

    Fate would have liked to give you powers for free but sadly Fate is a bitch (Wait what?). So pick four powers for your little group. Those unpicked will go to someone else who might or might not end up as your enemy.
    [​IMG]
    [ ] The "Phantom Mech Ability" You may use this in any vehicle you pilot to disappear from any and all sensors. It doesn't work on the mark one eyeball sadly. It can be used at will and will remain as long as the user is conscious and wills it so.

    [ ] "Luck of Heroes" This ability simply makes its owner very lucky. It could manifest as finding great finds in antique shops and markets or your enemy stumbling just as they're about to finish you off. To explain it in nerd terms you get a plus ten on loot rolls and a reroll if you're about to bite it. Or want to stay hidden etc. Probablitity is on your side and you always win at games of chance. Of course there are times when all the luck in the world can't help you...

    [ ] "Precognition" A truly terrifying ability where its wielder can see the future and all his possible actions. Luckily its restrained to one minute into the future and no further. Use it to become a discount Jedi.

    [ ] "Empath" You can feel the emotions of those around you in a radius of five kilometres. An excellent way to determine friend from foe. It can even be used to predict the actions of others in a general way if its user trains it enough.

    [ ] "Telekinesis" The wielder of this power can move anything below five hundred kilograms in a two hundred metres radius around themselves. Its only weakness is the ability to concentrate and lasers. Mostly lasers.

    [ ] "Telepathy" You can send and receive thoughts from those around you within fifty kilometres. You cannot read minds. You need only to concentrate on who you wish to send your thoughts to and a connection is established. This power can either be used to coordinate a group of fighters or if you're evil... Drive someone mad with intrusive thoughts as they remain unaware of your power.

    [ ] "Shapeshifting" You're Mystique essentially. You can turn into anyone at anytime for as long as you want. Gender is no barrier as you naturally don't suffer from dysphoria. Its a great ability for a spy since even DNA tests fail to reveal your duplicity.

    [ ] "Technopathy" Well now this allows you to control any electronic system or device. As long as you are within five metres of it. Use it to make purchases or vent the atmosphere of a ship I don't care. Just be careful you aren't left on an uninhabited planet because you switched the shower to cold one too many times on your buddies.

    Now for the bad part. Please roll a D20 four times to determine who gets the leftover powers. If you roll the same number several times? Then congratulations on creating a menace with up to four powers. Hope it wasn't Liao...

    1. Romano Liao
    2. Kyoe Akashi
    3. Red Jack Ryan
    4. Paula Trevaline
    5. Kamea Arano
    6. Natasha Kerensky
    7. Joshua Wolf
    8. Justin Allard
    9. Ed Corbu
    10. Subhash Indrahar
    11. Yorinaga Kurita
    12. Aldo Lestrade
    13. Gray Noton
    14. Therese Marik
    15. Kristen Marik
    16. Thomas Calderon
    17. James Sandoval
    18. Nondi Steiner
    19. Frederick Steiner
    20. Jessica Chernovskaya

    You have at the very least one mech each. Are they Royals though? Or were they perhaps used as deniable assets by Star League Intelligence. Lets pick how much tonnage you have to play around with and what technology level.
    [​IMG]

    [ ] You have one hundred tons of mechs to tool around with. Its enough for four twenty five tonners if you're keen on being absolutely fair. 0 Points.

    [ ] A hundred and fifty tons is enough to almost reach medium mechs for all of you but sadly at least one of your crew will be forced to toddle around in an Urbie or something. 0.5 point.

    [ ] At two hundred tons you can all comfortably cruise around in fifty tonners. Perhaps a quartet of Enforcers? 1 point.

    [ ] At two hundred and fifty tons all of you squeak into the Heavy category. Please watch where you walk okay?. 1.5 points.

    [ ] Three hundred tons of heavy metal gives your crew a lot of tonnage to play around with. Seventy five tons each. At the top of the category. 2 points.

    [ ] Three hundred and fifty tons. Would Sir and Madam care for a Battlemaster? Or perhaps a Stalker? 2.5 points.

    [ ] Look Four hundred tons is enough to give each of you an Atlas or King Crab each. You can't ask for more than that. Super Heavies are off limits. 3 points.

    Now are they Royals or not? It will cost you to have the shiniest mechs but perhaps you think its worth it.

    [ ] Regular mechs are fine ma'am. 0 points.

    [ ] Royals! Royals! Royaaaaaaaalsssss! 1 point.

    You are in the Periphery and far from any exciting action as you wake up. That is not to say that the neighbourhood is very safe though...
    [​IMG]
    [ ] Astrokaszy. You better be prepared for the fight of your life. Seriously its a pirate infested shithole while still being close enough to the Inner Sphere that any hint of Lostech will result in an invasion. +0.5 points.

    [ ] Aquagea is home to a small population in the low millions. It holds a grudge against the Free Worlds League and is currently under threat from not only pirates but also its neighbours in Zathras. 0 points.

    [ ] Gillfillan's Gold. A small population in the low millions the planet is a temperate one inhabited by stubborn descendants of the Rim Republic. They are regularly attacked by bandits. This prevents any prosperity from blooming. 0.5 points.

    [ ] Detroit. Rock City! It is an excellent starting point for adventure as its both independent yet with a robust industry and large population it desperately needs defenders that might be willing to pay in things other than hard currency to get them... 1 point.

    Some weeks after your arrival your small group either notices a pirate force approaching the planet. You ride out to defend the locals. Or if you had the bad luck to land on Astrokaszy the pirates sees you and attack. How many are there and how well equipped are they?

    [ ] They are terrifying with a full company of mechs. Four light mechs, four mediums, two heavies and two assaults. They are backed up by a pair of Eagle Aerospace fighters that was brought along on their Union. +1 point.

    [ ] You are lucky enough that the pirates at least lack Air support but four lights, four mediums, two heavies and two assaults are terrifying enough. +0.5 points.

    [ ] They are coming out of a Union with six lights, four mediums and two heavies. Can you take them? 0 points.

    [ ] Well Eight light mechs and four mediums sounds doable surely? 0.5 points.

    [ ] Look twelve light mechs trundling towards you isn't that threatening. 1 point.

    Well there might be some local support. Or perhaps they've been crushed in a preceding raid.

    [ ] Nope not a dang single militia man is available. +0.5 points.

    [ ] There's a company of infantry armed with rifles. They travel on a pair of flatbed trucks and might be handy in case you're taking any prisoners. 0 points.

    [ ] You're backed up by a infantry company and a pair of Scorpions so buckle up! 0.5 points.

    [ ] A single infantry company backed up by a lance of Scorpions will make things nearly equal. 1 point.

    Well did you find any loot looking around at your starting location? Even if the bunker is destroyed it might hold something of value...
    [​IMG]

    [ ] You found negative value as one of your mech got their arm blown of by some rusting mine it managed to trigger somehow... +0.5 points.

    [ ] Eh nothing really. A vintage porn magazine was all you found in the end. 0 points.


    [ ] A noteputer with some standard armour schematics. Also some bars of germanium worth roughly fifty thousand C-bills. 0.5 points.

    [ ] The noteputer you found held not only the information needed to make standard armour but also myomer bundles! Oh and you found Literal gold bars worth a hundred thousand C-bills. Now you just have to get them to a buyer... 1 point.

    [ ] A personal computer you found held the knowledge on how to make not only armour and myomer but also the Core Tek 275 fusion engine! The Literal treasure chest filled with jewels kinda pales in comparison despite being worth two hundred thousand C-bills. 1.5 points.

    [ ] You found one ST-45 shuttle. It looks fully functioning and it carried a computer with the secrets of armour, myomers, the VOX 280 and the Magna Hellstar PPC! 2 points.

    A/N Well I shat this out in a couple of hours as I'm stuck on other things. Don't know how balanced it is but well any feedback is welcome.
    The link for it can be found here: https://forum.questionablequesting....-discussions-thread.4740/page-64#post-4403742

    I'm not doing the Lance thing. Cimbri says its 3015. That will probably be the date I will be starting in, I have considered going as far back as 3000/01 as well 3013, most likely I'll be sticking with 3015 this has not changed that much from the original version I wrote out last week.
     
  2. PurgeTheXeno

    PurgeTheXeno Medusa is Love

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    No classic gun above your head? For shame.
     
  3. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    What do you call 75 ton Crab? A Marauder.
    Certainly there is something to be said for the Classic Marauder. I use it frequently enough in tabletop.

    And yes, I seriously considered instead of using this version going with one with a Large Laser up top, but given the context of start, I knew I wasn't going to pick the basic Marauder. I'm just not a big autocannon person even with the ability to have one that comes with CASE starting. The ability to have the maneuverability of jumpjets that's one of the driving features of this build.
     
  4. PurgeTheXeno

    PurgeTheXeno Medusa is Love

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    One of the big reasons for the roof gun was for hull down shooting. That said it's your mech.
     
  5. Dakkaface

    Dakkaface Magical Defender of Justice

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    I have played a lot of MechWarrior Online and the importance of high mounted weapons in a non-tabletop context cannot be overstated. I suppose we see more knuckle dragging and low to mid torso mounts for big guns because that's easier to engineer so that the gun's weight and recoil don't unbalance the mech, but a high mount is really useful for hill humping because the best way to soak fire is with the terrain instead of your mech.
     
  6. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Hope this would be abandon with the first couple of chapters like most BT stories.
     
  7. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Hmm?

    At the minimum we're getting off of Aquagea and getting to Detroit that'll probably be twenty two thousand words right there. I can say that because thats what I've written in the span of a week.
     
    RoyalTwinFangs likes this.
  8. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Sorry, have some problem with missing words sometimes. I mean I hope you don't abandons this story.
     
    Cazertanu and Imperator Pax like this.
  9. Threadmarks: Dervish
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Dervish
    Part 2
    Gene adjusted the overlay on his HiRez through the neurohelmet rather than reaching up to adjust the instrument panel. He had been practicing in the sim pods, in the Star League facility he'd woken up in, trying to avoiding being too dependent on the Star League era technology of the neurohelmet just as a precaution.

    The Locust was unsurprisingly the lead light, and had been tearing across the ruined highway like a bat out of hell. By the time it had even thought to start slowing down it was way out in front of the trailing Wasp who was still on the other side of the bridge. The wasp pilot had slowed to actually walk across the bridge rather than trying to jump to the other side, and risk jumping on a bridge of questionable sturdiness. Rather than waiting the Locust just slowed down. A reduction of speed that made lining the shot up even easier.

    There was no real leading with a PPC, not at this distance and under normal habitable planetary conditions. Blue lances sliced across four shattered city blocks and ripped through the light mech's long spindly legs sending the front end catapulting a good two hundred yards further from the momentum until it spun into a decayed storefront from when Aquagea had been a much nicer place.

    Gene maneuver his seventy five ton mech forward leapfrogging up the city blocks to the intersection, which turned leading back the way the Locust had come. The HiRez had already confirmed that as expected the entire light lance of mechs were armed with standard load outs, which meant that they all had medium lasers as their primary weapons.

    The HiRez zeroed in on the heavier, at thirty five tons, Firestarter. It was the odd duck with flamers in addition to its machine guns and medium lasers. The Jenner and Wasp both carried SRM racks. He tracked back to the latter and the Dalban targeting and tracking system was now highlighting the mech's left torso ammunition storage for the weapon.

    Three shots from a PPC is enough to burn through nearly two tons of standard armor. A Wasp only has three tons total, and that was spread across the entire chassis. The much more humanoid mech exploded as both PPC beams converged into a single glorious stream which was swiftly followed by an ammunition cook off.

    That left the Firestarter, and its Jenner friend. Gene tugged back on the yoke and directed the stick forward the way he'd been oriented before. The Pheonix Hawk would probably be the first be the first medium to catch up, and the computer had said the Whitworth was equipped with jump jets too. So did the Black Jack, but the Centurion didn't, and all three of them had the same speed over all. If he could down the Pheonix Hawk and the Jenner he could then basically dictate the engagement since he doubted the pirates were going to be suddenly all that keen on getting much further from their dropship now.

    Jenner first. Firestarter if possible, or Pheonix Hawk if it showed up. The abundance of jump jets made sense for pirates as much as it did for an advanced military force. The problem was the mobility it gave them.

    He pitched back down towards the river and turned again to reorient towards where the dropship had landed. A quick check of radar showed no signs of the eagles launching. Whether they were getting ready to was unknown. He moved the marauder through the picked over husks of ancient sand bitten ground cars, carts, tables, and whatever other urban detritus remained after the Marik occupation had forced the abandonment of this part of the urban sprawl, and rechecked his scopes.

    The Jenner had jumped the river while the firestarter had slowly forded it and was still making its way up the bank. If the Jenner could clear that distance though the Pheonix Hawk would definitely be able to make it, but it was no where to be seen... maybe staying with the other mediums as they made their way through the ruins of a long dead city. He slowed the heavy mech to a full stop and waited a couple of seconds to see if the Jenner was going to do anything.

    The Dalban HiRez immediately flagged the Jenner's ammo storage as the reticle settled over the right side of the light mech's torso. The resulting lightning bolts had much the same effect as against the wasp. The Jenner had after only a slightly improved four tons of armor to cover its frame. The mech toppled back down the embankment and slid down towards the Firestarter who immediately began broadcasting what were presumably distress signals.

    Rather than pull back, Gene followed through, pushing the machine forward cutting around the building he'd been behind and then loped over the ferrocrete. The reticle centered, and he fired.

    Electric blue lanced out and tagged the mech.

    The pilot of the firestarter started to manually reverse, thought better of it and then fired his jump jets choosing to pull back to the other side of the river as the smarter thing than fight a suddenly appearing heavy battlemech. Gene watched him climb to the apex of his arc and rather than try the fancy thing of blowing him out of the sky, settled for where the computer said he would land on the bank. Six seconds of flight later he sent two more PPC bolts through the mechs center, and was reversing and wheeling away even as his sensors confirmed the jumpjets of the pheonix hawk firing from the edge of the urban space on the Firestarter's side of river. He had probably only mission killed the Firestarter given the lack of a major explosion but it was out of the fight.

    Flashes of additional heat suggested that the Whitworth and Black Jack must have been following suit bounding to get to their side of the river bank. No it was time to disengage and keep moving. He spared barely no time considering whether or not to jink them and then try and cross back over to try and catch the Centurion. Mostly, because that would have been asking to get into it with the heavy or even assault mechs.

    It was definitely time to leave, for now. If the mediums chased he'd have to focus on the Pheonix Hawk because that was the only who'd be able to run him down. The eleven meter mech was already running hot on its sensors as it landed on his side of the river bank, and then immediately jumped again surging on top of a burned out skeleton that collapsed under the forty five tonner's mass. The big plume of smoke, and dust that rose up probably made them think something else had happened because auto cannon fire and LRMs started slashing to either side of the banks from the other two pirate mechs probably thinking they were suppressing him. They were wasting ammo, especially since he had no shot as the Pheonix Hawk dug itself out of the bent steel of the fallen building around it.

    Two minutes later a loud voice started coming across all channels, presumably given the rank, was the Mech Company's CO. There was no point in answering the blow hard demanding he stop shooting at them. It might even have been a trap to see if they could find him via radio response, but apparently they were 'Zathras' and Zathras was the 'legitimate government' ... of this 'mudball'. If Gene had to guess this was probably the Zeus pilot. He ignored him, and continued to make his way out the smaller urban island and back into the shrub country.

    The broadcast across all frequencies continued for a good five minutes more before they shut off. He doubted the Assault Mechs were across the river, but the three jump jet mediums were probably scouring where he had been. With no air overhead he navigated four clicks further away from the nearest homestead, with actual people, and the river itself before reaching up to the comm system. The action told the Dalban Micronics to activate the 'door opener', triggering a laser tight beam signal into a rock face... or what looked like a rock face.
    --
    Home sweet SLDF Castle Outpost. It wasn't as good as a castle brian of course, but then what was?

    It had been built deep enough underground that it was a cool seventy degrees compared to the surface heat without needing to run the AC. It had been built, so far as he could tell, to house a Mech Battalion to help bring the periphery barbarians in line with the light of Terra's wishes. Unfortunately Kerensky had stripped the place of most of its readily usable goodies when he fucked off for parts unknown.

    He had spent more than a week after waking up here just cleaning the hydroponics system out so as to not be so overgrown as the automated system desperately tried to furnish food to a painfully empty facility... he supposed he was lucky that there weren't rats everywhere.

    He swept his hand. "Shepherd, Gene." The computer hummed bringing up the confirmation of the system and the general mess on the surface. Zathras was as far as he knew a one world periphery pissant among pissants with delusions of grandeur. The problem was the fact that a mech company was nothing to sneeze at in the boonies. The idea had probably been to come in with what looked like overwhelming mech force to wave the flag in the sector of the planet to establish a foothold to bring in more regular troops down the road.

    The JumpShip at the jump point that the union had detached from being a contracted merchant vessel supported that thinking. Idly Gene entertained the fanciful notion of setting himself up as a periphery warlord ruling the planet... but he was stuck in a thirteen year old's body and there was still most of a company of mechs still up there. The sensors in the base were enough to watch everything in the system, never mind watching a bunch of rubes yell at each other for not being able to find 'one bloody battlemech'. They'd only be distracted by that for so long.

    Via Caballero was tiny, a few thousand people who lived largely south of the river. It had been an important farming region before the Marik's had invaded, but once the industry and infrastructure had been combed to shit it had largely been reduced to subsistence levels after the second succession war... but it was also the nearest thing to a regional center and the most likely point of resistance in the area ahead of any of the larger surviving settlements further south closer to the planet's coasts.

    He grabbed a brief meal, a few hours of sleep, and when he got up hit the shower before pulling on a clean set of clothes. The synthetic material was designed to breath, and be comfortable allowing a full range of motion, but he left the steel gray frock coat since it was a bit much for Aquagea's current weather. The gloves got stuffed in a pocket, while he pulled on the boots. If it wasn't for the age issue and the fact the Terran Hegemony, and Star League had been defunct for almost two and a half centuries he would have been the perfect picture of a Sub altern mechwarrior.

    After that it was a quick check of the system, and then back into the mech.

    The VLAR 300 rumbled to life and the mech started with a purr and he navigated to a tram way, and mag tube the pushed him away from the heart of the outpost castle and back towards a concealed entrance. It opened among another rocky swell. It was dusky, and the temperature was starting to drop quickly.

    The SLDF cockpit had switched to interior red lighting to better preserve a pilot's night vision, and the tint of the cockpit also reduced any further light signature that might escape, unlikely as that was given the situation. Gene adjusted the throttle and eased up to cruise speed coming up to the south end of the ruined urban sprawl... and was a little offended. The Zarthas idiots hadn't posted sentries according to his thermals. The battlemechs were spread out, but were powered down down.

    He considered attacking them but it seemed that that they'd split their forces for salvage and recovery operations. That still didn't excuse such a piss poor security profile. Gene flipped the master arm switch, and paired his PPCs. "Hello Stalker." He muttered putting the reticle over the eighty five ton assault mech. He moved over to the Centurion, and then to the Firestarter. It's frozen form was occupying a flatbed mover, but no one was working on it.

    There was no sign of the locust. They probably hadn't had time to get it out of the build yet.

    The problem was the Orion at the far end of the square. It had more armor than the Stalker, and the Stalker wasn't shy on armor to begin with. Gene eased back without engaging, and disappeared back into the hill country. If he was right about the signatures on his side of the river they were doing recovery. If the Zeus was there, he wondered whether they had been able to fit it with new armor... but he doubted it. That might give him an advantage. Or at least let him potentially compromise it before fading back into the night.

    He pulled slightly back guiding the mech slowly around so as to not over tax the stabilizers in the Marauder's arms. He wasn't entirely sure how much jinking and moving around fucked with the stabilizers in the guns and what effect moving while shooting effected the shots.
    --
    Commentary: This features some minor revisions to the original draft. Slight corrections and clean up.
     
  10. MichaelSuave

    MichaelSuave Know what you're doing yet?

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    So I am enjoying the combat, but I am wondering what the point is of his actions? What is his purpose in fighting? Spoils... he has no salvage crew. Take over as leader... he is 13. Heck, how did he get his mech reloaded without a crew?
     
  11. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    I believe his mech is engery weapons only. Also those people are basically the only real military force on the planet.
     
  12. MichaelSuave

    MichaelSuave Know what you're doing yet?

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    Might be on the energy weapons, but we still don't know anything about the rigging and he has no rigger to dock his mech and maintain it. Second, wasn't the fort stripped by ker and his future clan rats?

    Finally, we don't know that. If anything the population is described dismissively, numbers, and not really a focus. Still have no clue why he is taking anybody on, especially the "official" owners of the planet.
     
  13. Rodon

    Rodon Not too sore, are you?

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    Do note, that his ventures haven't been too demanding, he only goes out for a few hours. Remember how overbuilt most things in BT are. They can leave their mech standing upright as they exit it. So he can walk it into the hanger and dock it himself (a pain, but he can). Then do what ever minor work needs to be done.

    The fort was stripped of most of its weapons, but given he found a mech in there, it wasn't stripped to the bones. They likely left a lot of the equipment there, given that they left a mech (likely didn't have any more room in the dropships).
     
  14. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    This is an Energy Weapon only Marauder.. Its PPCs, Medium Lasers, and the head small pulse laser (which I'm really hoping doesn't get broke because they're extinct currently.)

    The Outpost Castle is a Terran Hegemony Central Intelligence Directory Black Site when I say it was stripped I mean the warehouse is basically empty and the Mech battalion that was there in 2784 isn't. It still has limited defenses, it has power water, food, and the automated repair and refit facilities of its standard. The automated systems are what's doing that work. There are systems that still need people in order to work, but there aren't any people available to do that, and won't be for several years.

    And your right Salvage isn't feasible, he can't realistically take command of anything given his age, which is why he's going to end up going to Detroit for Job hunting.

    Zathras (which who the Mech company is) basically dropped in from orbit and he just assumed oh their burning in with air support (the two eagles) and not broadcasting anything they're pirates its fine to shoot them since the goal is 'I don't want pirates near where I have this hidden base'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  15. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Think he can fine more lostech stuff for his Marauder?
     
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  16. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Yes.

    Yes. In point of fact part I had considered having the Black Site be fully stocked, I mean we know canonically that there were a number of Star League sites that were stocked waiting to be unearthed and put into service, but I scrapped that idea however I'm also currently writing the first fight in Detroit, and part of the reason I had the Outpost Castle as in tact as it was was to serve as kind of a tutorial.

    At the end of Aquagea there are some upgrades to the mech and those will be installed by the Outpost Castle before leaving for Detroit.
     
  17. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Just thinking that he is in the Marauder and those are using the Gunslinger program, that though lead me thing of this. Can be his theme here.

     
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  18. Threadmarks: Aquagea Shuffle
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Aquagea Shuffle
    It was well after midnight now. Six hours had elapsed, and he was considering disengaging for what felt like the umpteenth time. The Eagles weren't ideal for responding to night harassment but that didn't mean they couldn't relay where his PPC blasts were coming from... even if it wasn't an ideal usage of the jets. Shooting lightning at battlemechs was far from discreet.

    He double checked to make sure that the Whitworth wasn't getting back up, and turned towards where the Black Jack was. It had expended all of its Autocannon ammo so there was no chance of knocking it out by blowing its ammunition. The Zeus was similarly out of ammo, leaving both mechs with only their energy weapons.

    He'd taken the Pheonix Hawk out first, several hours earlier. Mostly because he had gotten a clear shot on the back of the mech while the Zeus had been obscured by buildings being in the way. He had done it to insure that he could disengage without being pursued by something that might actually be able to get in close with him.

    The Marauder shifted backwards and reversed around a street corner. It was slower but it insured he couldn't be shot in his backside if the Zeus showed up. Gene doubted that they would pull the rest of the company over the river. Even assuming they could make in time without being spotted it would leave their dropship far too vulnerable. It wasn't worth the risk to hunt down one Mech. At least that would be the sensible position he figured.

    Well he'd know for sure if LRM 10s and 15s started coming in.

    There was a flare of heat on the scopes as the Black Jack jumped and cleared one of the buildings managing to avoid tumbling through the steel frame as it crushed the façade and landed. Its four medium lasers were firing at what were considered long range for them, but comfortable within that of PPC. In hindsight it made sense what was about to happen. He fired into the enemy medium mech's torso before his scopes registered the Zeus moving. As soon as his PPCs had started to cycle the scopes confirmed that the Zeus was in a flat-out charge.

    "Got you now Asshole!" The voice from earlier yelled over the speakers of his mech, and open radio, as if sacrificing a medium mech was nothing at all. Despite being five tons heavier, the Zeus carried the same amount of armor as a stock Marauder. The same amount of armor as most Marauders, including Gene's own. The difference was in the armor between them.

    The Zeus should have been equipped with the same Lamellar superior energy weapon abating armor. Like the armor protecting his Marauder. It wasn't. The old workhorse had long since swapped to a mix of different manufacturer's patchy 'standard armor' construction. It was obvious though he was trying to get close enough to where the PPC's couldn't be brought to bear due to limitations in standard particle projector cannon's beam coherency. These were standards not ER models unfortunately.

    Gene scowled and rather than jerking back and throwing the machine into reverse and thumbed a switch on his right instrument panel.

    The Zeus should have shot first instead of blathering on the radio. He would have had a better chance.

    The Zeus's Large Laser, and two Mediums streaked low into a decayed storefront as the Marauder's four jump jets had brought it up into the air and on path to where it would be directly left side of the Zeus point blank for the gauntleted Mediums, and more importantly that that...

    The medium lasers cycled but so to did the reticle on the smallest weapon on the seventy five ton war machine. A single chin mounted Terran Hegemony built Small Pulse laser fired directly into the Zeus's cockpit... taking it out of the fight.

    He glanced at the heat indicator, and slowly reversed the mech. He was leaving. The two eagles were banking in on the sign of the fighting. With any luck they had seen the jump plumes they would assume it had been the black jack or whitworth, but he doubted it. If he thought he could have knocked one of the birds out he might have tried to disengage far enough to catch one as it passed, but that was out of the question.

    He faded back into the stygian black of the night time air and left the fallen mechs where they had dropped. He kept an eye on the HiRez's feeds to check to make sure that the Eagles weren't following. They weren't, it looked like they were doing increasingly wide sweeps trying to figure out where he had went but they weren't having any luck.

    --
    He returned to the Outpost and slept the rest of the night. Actually he slept a bit longer than that it was well after eleven in the morning when he got up. The pirates... rather the 'Legitimate' Zathras Military Units had apparently decided to try and change tactics. It wasn't entirely outlandish that they simply assumed that he must have been based out of Via Caballero but strafing the town with both eagles and demanding the city's surrender at lunch was a bit much... or entirely normal for periphery scum.

    The only light mech that he expected they be able to readily return to service was probably the fire starter. The black jack and the Whitworth he wasn't entirely sure about, but it would probably be one or the other and the latter was definitely sans an arm. Whoever had taken command, assuming that the Mechwarrior in the Zeus had been in overall command, was going to be a problem.

    The Militia, the 'militia', was by all indications just a collection of local loud mouths with tough attitudes but basically nothing more than pick up trucks and hunting rifles. He doubted they had anything that would be able to reliably threaten one never mind both ASF, and even if they did that would probably just confirm to the Zathras that they were barking up the right tree.

    If he was going to down them they would have to be on the far side of town, much closer to the dropship than anything of note. There were still the Centurion, Ostroc, Orion and Stalker out there as well. Forcing the Orion, and Centurion to expend their ammunition load outs would significantly reduce their threat in a drawn out engagement, but it also meant they wouldn't cook off either. The Ostroc and Stalker both had large lasers to fall back on in addition to mediums, and that would give them range comparable if still inferior to his Hellstar PPCs.

    Trying to cook off the ammo in the Stalker's LRMs sounded like the best idea for it, if possible. If he could get a shot. The Centurion was similarly vulnerable to ammo cooking off. He wasn't sure if he could get through the Orion's armor to make that possible, not with three other mechs in the field. The Centurion would probably need to be taken down first, it was time to go back hunting.

    The lift dropped the Marauder outside in another sturdy rocky outcropping as the wind was beginning to pick up. The wind was picking sand up, and quickly. It might even cause white outs in cheaper less precise electronic systems, but he doubted it. Even if it did? Well did it matter, he was Phantom Mech Warrior he didn't show up on their scopes anyway. But the white out from the magnetism would be what they'd probably blame it on, because it would be 'logical'.

    The Stalker was in the rear of the formation. It was the heaviest mech, and the slowest. Of course they were guarding recovery vehicles and their crews. They had switched to trying to recover the more valuable heavier mechs than the downed light mechs that they had originally come out for. The problem was the Ostroc was out in front, which shouldn't have been a surprise it was the fastest of the mechs, and on a second review of his Combat Information Center readout from the HiRez could apparently get up to eighty six KpH at flank speed. Not as fast the Pheonix Hawk, and the sixty tonner lacked jump jets but that was a problem.

    There was no sign of the Eagles on his radar.

    "Ostroc it is then." He muttered moving to settle the reticle center mass at four power magnification. Blue Lightning flared from the PPCs and lanced across the intervening half kilometer from behind the half collapsed in theater being swallowed by the sands. Gene immediately pulled back into reverse and moved. It was true he probably could have cycled and fired again, or even twice more but it was asking for them to starting lobbing LRMs in his direction. Given the distances there was even a chance that they might call in LRMs from the Dropship, even if he doubted that would be effective unless they were already on that plan. Saturating an area with artillery or blind LRM fire seemed to Gene the best way to counter the fact he was invisible to their sensors in any event, and he wasn't going to make it easy for them.

    He'd been giving it thought about how he'd beat himself, even if he wasn't using the Phantom Mech ability while using the simulators in the Castle.

    The Centurion, and Orion both fired their AC10s at the general direction of where he'd taken the shot even as he navigated berms and buildings coming around from the right side this time and seeing if he could catch a good sight picture.

    Their fire shredded brush, and kicked up sand clods, dirt, and even unburied some old ground cars... and made their mechs stand out more on his thermals.


    The Ostroc in the mean time had punched out forward ahead of the other mechs as they moved forward at a comparatively slower pace. They were spreading out, probably hoping that they'd get the glory of the kill, or maybe expecting he might want them bunched up as a better target

    Gene swept over the formation and fired into the side of the Ostroc blowing through one arm, but doing negligible damage to the better protected torso. The hostile lance realized he had moved and turned wide to try and catch him as he fell back as all four of them exploded the pile of sand he had emerged out from behind. Large lasers and auto cannons.

    He kept reversing, and jinked back from the way he come moving back towards the river. Radar, and other systems detected the fusion engines of the Eagles heating up as they prepared to launch, which wasn't a good sign. The Ostroc needed to go before it could get close. Gene slid the throttle forward watching as the nose of the Marauder pushed up over the creaking steel frame of the building or what had at one point been a small one storey garage or shop or something and moved the mech's arms dragging the reticle over the mech. He could probably take the other arm, but with the Ostroc's loadout that wouldn't do much.

    'Don't overcomplicate things' He corrected mentally, and squeezed the right stick's primary trigger before pulling back and descending the collapsed in steel roof of the building. The scopes showed the engines on the ASFs still heating up, but they weren't in the air yet. Breaking contact now would probably be better. He kept reversing and moving away from the debris of the urban landscape in favor of the uneven scrubland it had been carved out of. The Eagles had three large lasers apiece and it was debatable how useful those would be as far as hitting them. The pilot's mk 1 eyeballs on the other hand and view from the sky was a problem since it could tell the mechs what direction he was moving in.

    Not desirable in the hottest part of the day with the sun bright and shiny out. Maybe if the wind picked up some more and an actual sand storm kicked in or there was serious visibility problems, but he didn't have that going for the moment.

    The ostroc wasn't waiting for the others, either its lance mates or the birds and cleared several hundred meters right of his second shooting position, having probably taken the street clear up it rather than navigate any debris. One arm was definitely gone, but he saw the other one was still there. There was no visual on the Centurion or Orion. He centered the reticle on the sixty ton heavy mech and fired both PPCs again.

    The mech staggered as actuators or maybe the gyro suffered some kind of failure, but the mech didn't go down. He took the shot available and sent two more lightning bolts into the chest finishing the other heavy mech off, and resumed his turn and started to accelerate. Once the heat sinks had time to cycle he'd move to flank speed and complete the disengagement.

    He was definitely finished for right now. His perimeter sensors highlighted some small heat signatures, and he set the mech's course and focused on his neurohelmet. Someone had been watching the fight from the ground vehicles. They looked like a mix of jeeps and pick up trucks but not obvious armament.

    Probably locals, but he knew he'd still have to lose them. They had no sensors for him to be invisible to, just binoculars with lens and eyeballs behind those.

    A thought struck him as he made a minor course correction. He had just assumed that the Eagles had strafed the town because they assumed he had had to be local... but what if they had assumed that because there had been observers from town and they had assumed that they were somehow spotting for him? Maybe... it was possible he supposed.

    He didn't have any help, and that definitely limited his options.
    --
    Commentary: As to themes I haven't done much consideration... not since I actually started generating story content:

    Before I had switched to the deaged idea for material this was being played frequently:



    Its a good song for a periphery based mercenary, or potentially be good for any battletech mercenary story really I think, but might not fit as well for this one as it might have for one of the other ideas based on the same prompt. I generate a lot of ideas that don't go anywhere, and the deaged protagonist one is currently currently sitting at something like 26K words.

    Anyway. I will be updating Jumpchain Tomorrow, (HP), Friday (Stargate), and Sunday (MCU) with Saturday being AoE, and Thursday will be another update for this. This iteration adds some slight revisions and minor details to go with it.
     
  19. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Question: What did you pick for the CYOA anyways?
     
  20. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    From Cimbri's powers section?

    [ ] The "Phantom Mech Ability" You may use this in any vehicle you pilot to disappear from any and all sensors. It doesn't work on the mark one eyeball sadly. It can be used at will and will remain as long as the user is conscious and wills it so.

    [ ] "Luck of Heroes" This ability simply makes its owner very lucky. It could manifest as finding great finds in antique shops and markets or your enemy stumbling just as they're about to finish you off. To explain it in nerd terms you get a plus ten on loot rolls and a reroll if you're about to bite it. Or want to stay hidden etc. Probablitity is on your side and you always win at games of chance. Of course there are times when all the luck in the world can't help you...

    [ ] "Telekinesis" The wielder of this power can move anything below five hundred kilograms in a two hundred metres radius around themselves. Its only weakness is the ability to concentrate and lasers. Mostly lasers.

    [ ] "Technopathy" Well now this allows you to control any electronic system or device. As long as you are within five metres of it. Use it to make purchases or vent the atmosphere of a ship I don't care. Just be careful you aren't left on an uninhabited planet because you switched the shower to cold one too many times on your buddies.

    For narative purposes I'm probably just going to either ignore TK or generalize it, Phantom Mech, and what not into Ki Abilities
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  21. Threadmarks: Rabbits are easier than pigeons if you ask me.
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Rabbits are easier than pigeons if you ask me.
    It was approaching dusk again. His eyes weren't dry per se but the strain was becoming noticeable as he sat there and looked out over the countryside. The fact his mech was painted in natural tones coupled with being hull down likely made him nearly impossible to spot with the mark 1 eyeball.


    He figured that was especially true if an airborne observer was making a fast pass trying to cover as much ground as possible. The problem was that they knew what color his mech was by this point, and they were probably trying to make him out against the surrounding landscape.


    They were certainly trying to flush him out. Given the eagle had an all energy weapon loadout they could probably afford to strafe areas of empty desert hoping to get lucky. They were probably hoping he'd buck from his position if they got close. He sort of hoping that them doing donuts in the air like they were would keep them distracted.

    Maybe if they decided to do that for a while he'd get a shot at one or both of the birds, but for now he was watching the Orion. The GM chassis formed the basis of both mechs, his as well as the Orion, but the myomer bundles formed very different shapes. Despite being an older design the Orion however carried more armor.

    Gene was debating whether or not to try and mission kill the Autocannon by targeting the right shoulder, or focusing on the left side that housed the missiles. The Orion simply carried too much armor for him to just stand out here and slug it out in effective time frame. Not when it would have drawn attention to him.

    Of course he probably wasn't going to have a choice, with either the Orion or for that matter when it came time to deal with the Stalker but to slug it out. The Zarthas troops were now definitively stuck where they were having to guard their downed mechs. With his thermals he could the technicians where they were trying to recover them, but the weather wasn't helping the general slow pace of mech recovery any.

    Gene was a little surprised that they hadn't tried to get on the radio again. He eased the gunsite over to the fifty tonner that had been his original target this afternoon. The centurion needed to be out of the picture. Its eight an a half tons of armor coverage, and pretty much the same options as the Orion for targets. Shoot left or right. Missiles or Autocannon ammo. If it was at full load it had four tons of ammo stowed... it should explode nicely.

    No it wasn't at full load it had fired the auto cannon a couple of times and he was sure that they hadn't pulled it off the line to reload. Left Torso missiles it was. The reticle solidified under four power magnification and he squeezed.

    The report of the ball lightning the ppcs generated was much easier to track at this time of the day, and if he was going to do this he was going to need to flank into the direction of his targeted side. He pushed up out of his cover and dashed right. The first rounds of return fire punched out at his initial shooting position before they even realized he had moved up rather than clearly disengaging. The reticle cleared on the left torso, and the HiRez apprised him of positive. Another two bolts of lighting. He moved behind a berm.

    It was a pity there had been no ammo explosion, but the Dalban HiRez scored it as a hit.

    LRMs, trailing great white plumes of smoke from behind, started streaking towards his second position and cratered the area. Whether the centurion had fired them was answered as the computer counted it as an LRM 15. That meant the Orion had fired them. More LRMs came in from the Stalker to similar wasted effect on target as he circled out, mindful of his heat as he fired at the centurion again.

    This time it went down, though without exploding. A cockpit ejected, but he paid it no mind as the pilot was catapulted from the collapsing mech. The Stalker, and Orion dumped their missiles again in his general direction, and added lasers and auto cannons to it as he hauled ass backwards.

    He didn't return fire as he navigated around another berm. The computer reminded him him that the Orion also carried four tons of ammo two and two for AC and LRM, in addition to another ton for the SRM that he hadn't seen the orion use yet. He didn't intend to get that close either.

    All three standing mechs were starting to run hot, but with twenty heat sinks his Marauder would cool a lot faster for its weapons than the Stalker with its twenty. At least until the Stalker ran out of missiles to throw around. If the Stalker though it might risk cooking off its own ammunition, but he doubted he'd be able to bait the assault mech into doing that.

    His Dalban targeting system squawked that the orion was also opting to come fully forward. It was probably counting on its superior armor volume keeping it in the fight while the Stalker advanced at a slower pace. His MMI link to the computer through the neurohelmet set a warning to apprise him if there was any sign of air cover being readied, as well as any sign of the Union firing LRMs even though they were at the extreme range of the missiles.

    There was still a chance that the dropship might try it.

    The Orion was a lot like his Marauder in terms of performance. The factory Marauder also carried an autocannon, an AC 5 not a 10 admittedly. They were built off the same General Mechanics chassis, were powered by the same VLAR 300 model fusion engine, and were both supposed to be armored with the same pattern of lamellar. The Orion and Marauder also both carried two medium lasers. That same mass, the same engine, the same chassis... the Orion had the same top speed as his marauder, and it was flat out in open ground now.

    The HiRez churned out the stats. The Center torso had just over two tons of armor protecting it. The sides had less. The sides which held ammunition. He stood there, and fired. Six PPC bolts in a minute as it churned through the countryside headlong at him. Even with twenty heat sinks working it made the Marauder creep dangerously towards issues with dissipation, but there was no ammo to kick off.

    Six center mass lighting bolts punched through the last breath of defenses and into the center torso toppling the mech sometimes called a poor man's Atlas. That left the Stalker. The Assault Mech that was now desperately unloading with everything it had. Large Laser bolts being fired going wide to either side as they ate up the dirt working their way towards him.

    He eased the Marauder into a starboard flanking pattern letting his heat sinks cycle the heat rather than return fire. The Stalker was stationary. It was refusing to advance, but it couldn't pull back either. He had been considering that the easiest way to take the stalker would have been to get behind it, and double tap the machine from behind. The problem was that opportunity hadn't readily presented itself. There always tended to be a building in the way.

    Considerations about whether he could afford to stand here and rely on panicky unguided by electronic shots were abridged when the fusion detection for the Dalban warned of the eagles coming back online. He dropped back reversing the mech. He'd take the shot against the fast movers with cool PPCs if it was available. The Stalker would still be around in the morning assuming the Zathras thugs didn't decide to just cut their losses and leave.

    He doubted it though. There was too much valuable salvage left on the ground. They had to collect their mechs, which if he was sure they were going to leave would have been fine with him. Them strafing Via Cabaellero though had been unnecessary. Their declarations of being the legitimate government and what not were another point against that as well.

    Even with computer assistance he failed to hit either of the fast movers on either of their first passes. It was a lot easier to hit something on the ground, especially something you'd been watching for a while. The fact that he was shooting at them though certainly caused the eagles to pause, or rather caused them to jink and bank as they decided to fly away from him. Neither ASF tried to strafe on their initial run probably still trying to figure out why he didn't show up on their Dynatecs weren't showing anything dirt side. One of them must have decided to say 'fuck it' and dropped low and came in banking for an alpha strike, or as much of one as he could manage, as he flew in low over the river.

    Rather than stick around, and risk either of the birds getting lucky or the Stalker managing a shot on him he moved to disengage. The Stalker only had a top speed of 54 KpH . It was true that that was faster than his Marauder's cruise speed, but he found it very unlikely the Assault Mech was going to try for a straight rush after the Orion had failed at it.

    Gene pulled back on his sticks and continued to reverse course. He would deal with the Assault Mech later. If the opportunity to deal with the Eagles presented itself all the better, but he wasn't going to stand around shooting right now. He'd blend in better in the dark against the earth especially with the pilots only relying on their eyes. Once he was in the rougher outlying countryside they'd have a much harder time tracking him, and would probably 'RTB' pretty quickly.

    If they didn't well, he didn't fancy trying to shoot them near the rocky mesa, but the pieces of mantle would keep them from getting too low to the ground. The Mesa though would be well clear of any LRMs from the DropShip, and according to his scopes the Stalker was looking to be staying put. That was good, but he needed the Eagles out of the way before he moved back underground. Gene had no idea what the other side thought about this, but they were probably suspecting there was some kind of base... or at the very least that there had to be something out there capable of hiding his mech and what not.

    This had, if he were being honest, taken a lot longer. That they weren't actually just pirates was only part of it.
    --
    Commentary: So we are almost caught up with the Misc thread's position. We should catch, that is part five will go, up Monday. Now barring Catalyst managing to get my Wave 2 bits from the kickstarter next week the only thing which may interupt updates of this will be the Lyran Commonwealth Space Heir CYOA story (in the misc thread), or as a long shot my High School of the Dead fic. Now the latter will probably update sometime this month, but I am tentatively moving to the following regular updates MCU Jumpchain will join on Sunday for this month.

    That fills up the weekend schedule slots, with everything else remaining the same as it has been with Wednesday being HP Genfanfic jump, Friday being Stargate SG 1, and Saturday being my alternate history thread update. Tuesday and Thursday for the last half of the month are still up in the air at this time, but this may occupy those updates, barring say Out of the Dark getting updated sometime this month.
     
  22. Threadmarks: Big Iron
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Authority, or My Big Iron
    --
    For a planet with the population that it did Aquagea apparently did have a planetary militia... and a kind of sort of planetary government. It wasn't a very strong, or centralized, government though being more a confederation of mostly independent sectors on the planet who all for the most part agreed on where the borders were, based on planetary divisions from before the Mariks had attacked.


    All that mostly meant that the planetary militia was fucking useless... and even assuming the 'national' level militia did show up Gene wasn't entirely convinced that the Stalker wouldn't just walk all over them... not that he expected them to show up anytime soon. They were 'protecting' vital 'national interests' which were meant they were camping in the rail depot and starport to the south on the sea.

    Aquagea probably had a population... and probably a standard of living comparable to the old west United States at least on average... with the exception of more common electricity than in say 1915. It was really hard to say, but the planet gave off a vibe of that sort even if he was probably off the mark.


    The only useful thing that was being said over the radio was that they'd told the Zathras commander the alleged 'viceroy' aboard the Union to go take a hike. Neither side had mentioned the nearly annihilated mech company. He wondered if Aquagea's apparently existing government knew what was going on or if they were in the dark. Probably the latter if he were to guess.

    Gene had spent the morning consulting a star map. The outpost castle had a copy of 'modern' maps in addition to Star League Maps. The Computer had complained that the modern maps were of poor quality and error prone... that was mostly probably due to the collapse of the Star League. Zathras was a single jump 'north west' from Aquagea. It was just this side of the Marik border. He kind of wondered why these assholes weren't picking a fight with Hastur but maybe they were.

    On the other hand Zathras had dropped a mech company in very good condition... and this was the periphery he couldn't fathom that keep all of those mechs in full armor and equipped was cheap. It was baffling to think that they were here like this. The expense was potentially mindboggling given the cost of mechs, and fitting them out, or how it should have been in the inner sphere never mind in the rimward periphery.

    There was still the Stalker. The Air Lance, too.

    Would the Union leave after that? Gene knew he had nothing suited to taking a dropship out while it was grounded... or even in flight... and destabilizing a spheroid dropship as it was lifting just meant it would come crashing back to the ground... hopefully the dropship would just run away.

    He waved a hand dismissing the holotable's projection of the star maps of the rimward periphery, and got up off the barstool seat dumped the last of the baked fish in the recycler and made for the door. His Marauder was waiting, the Outpost Castle was outfitted with if not the final generation of Star League automation before the Amaris Civil War had shattered that Golden Age then the next best thing. Not that there was anything to repair. The Star League Defense Force targeting sensors and not overheating the mech kept his mech in largely pristine condition. He was banking on keeping it that way.

    As it was the last mech unscathed, and not especially fast he was sure they had probably reloaded its missiles. Sensors reporting from the Outpost Castle still showed that the recovery teams were working to pull mechs out, but there was no sign that they'd been able to get any of them back up and running.

    The winds had continued to pick up from yesterday, and the outpost castle's radar also suggested that they were looking at a potential sand storm blowing in and looked bad on sensors anyway. The fact that he had about an hour was almost enough to go back inside and not even bother. The winds and sand would probably be enough to force 'not pirates' to suspend work but he wasn't going to chance it. So he moved the mech out into a trot and started towards the river, pushing east, and south to come down from the north towards the bridge.

    The system trip he'd programmed in via the neurohelmet relayed a warning alert from the castle signifying that the Eagles were coming back from down south. He stopped and turned the laser comm to tune in with the outpost castle, and let the computer search. Apparently the birds had ignored Via Caballero this morning had navigated by following the railway down south to where the alleged 'planetary militia' were holing up, given both birds were on their way back and didn't show any signs of damage they'd probably seen little to no resistance.

    ... or maybe both sides couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. It just reminded him that he had no idea how to be sure to knock out enemy air power. The Blackjack, or the Orion both would have been potentially useful, but there was no telling what their status was... and the Blackjack had been out of ammo when he'd knocked it out of commission.

    It was a silly idea. He didn't have a salvage crew or any other kind of support. Just one guy in a battlemech, just a mirage wading across the dunes. The Marauder crested another pile of sand, and looked over the brush country and the optics started feeding images in across the distance. The Stalker had put its back predictably back up against a building. Today was the day.

    The wind picked up and threw sand across the horizon and everything between. The front was moving in, and had turned the entire northern sky into an ominous gray black curtain. Within minutes he couldn't see five feet in front of his mech, but that was fine. The Marauder's armored shutters closed, and he switched entirely to neurohelmet and interior displays to pilot the mech. The opened up mind machine interface with the Dalban HiRez fed him what he needed to know about his surroundings.

    Fusion reactors are a lot like turbines in a sense. They're surprisingly quiet. You can feel them up close but you don't really hear a properly running Fusion Reactor from more than five feet away, and his Marauder slowly crep closer relying on thermals to paint the surroundings in cold background with bodies of heat painted in colors to correspond to relative output. That overlap was coupled with radar and other sensors searching for not just heat signatures but also the harmonics of a fusion reactor that most humans couldn't detect without being right on top of it.

    --
    Gene made the decision to just ignore the work crews... if they'd been pirate infantry or whatever they would have been fair game if he hadn't had bigger targets to hunt. The Stalker's eighty five tons was still backed up to the building, which yes prevented him from coming behind it normally, but that meant less when they were in near zero visibility with the good old mark 1 eyeball.

    He was up high on one of the few buildings his computer felt that was sturdy enough still to support the seventy tons of his battlemech. He was really glad that his mech didn't carry any weapons which generated recoil, like a stock Marauder's autocannon. That would have been useful here. Not that he fancied just going hull down and lobbing them in, just in case they somehow managed accurate counter battery fire.

    Given conditions he wasn't sure how much the sand would obscure his first shot, but he was planning to fire twice anyway, whether or not this worked he was banking on taking at least one of the assault mech's legs in the attack... and then properly jumping away. Gene had no intention of trying any death from above shenanigans.

    Even just taking a leg out, he'd pull back. Mobility kill might not have been the properly correct term for it, but the Stalker was already slow enough that being put into a situation where at best all it could do was limp meant that he could go find something else to do with his time. At the very least reducing it to that would let him leave this sand storm.

    Gene eased the arms down, and squeezed. Being in a stationary position meant it was a lot easier to rely on just a single stick to move the arms to aim, and a single trigger bind made this practical for timing. Both armored gauntlets flared as their weapons fired, PPCs and Medium lasers both. The armor on the leg vanished in the flash of expansion and continued through to the exposed myomer bundles and actuators that allowed the mech to its full speed push 54 KpH.

    He took a breath, and reached up to take the PPCs off the trigger, and fired the medium lasers by themselves into the damaged limb. The Stalker toppled to one side as the limb's structural integrity failed.

    No. He could finish this now.

    His exterior optics checked the street, more of a plaza really and plotted the distance for the jump to drop right on top of the maimed eighty five tonner, No DFA. He adjusted and fired the jump jets bringing his Maruder down in front of the stalker. Like its fellow assault mech the chin mounted small pulse laser's flash was the last thing for the Stalker.

    He adjusted, and turned his mech towards the road and set off away from the scene of his latest ambush leaving the Stalker where it had fallen, and pushing for the river. Once he was clear of the urban blight he forded the river and circled around. He had been planning to RTB but with the last intact Battlemech threat neutralized he wanted an idea of what the Zathras landing sight was looking like.

    The computer, the battlemech wasn't actually urging him on it was just the freeflow of adrenaline of days now of ambushing enemy mechs, and then disengaging. The air lance was still out there but they had to be grounded in this weather. The dropship was undefended. It was out there... he brought the mech to a halt in the shadow of a skyscraper's corpse. It had toppled over centuries earlier and gave him good cover to think about it.

    ... and do what exactly? He had already gone through their mechs, but no luck with the air lance...

    The defense network on the Union class were semi autonomous, which given he was a ghost to sensors made them even less useful than at someone trying to gauge with the mark one eye ball but why would the dropship matter. He certainly couldn't fly the thing, or even capture it. Could he shoot at it enough to make it run away ? Maybe, but what would be the point at this stage... he'd won the fight. Could he possibly take the eagles out while they were landed? Unions had good armor, but he supposed that was possible...

    Did he just want to brag, dunk on the periphery's idea of 'elite troops' or whatever these guys were supposed to be? Maybe just a little. He keyed the mike, "Zathras Union-class dropship." The Dalban comms suite modulated his voice as it transmitted. "I have downed all twelve of your Battlemechs. Withdraw your personnel and depart the planet, this is your only warning."

    He shut the transmission, and punched the mech up to full speed and ran flat out until he was sure he was outside of the dropship's LRM range, slowed down to normal cruise speed and crossed the river well north of his original route.

    Maybe they'd get the fuck out. Maybe they'd even leave all that salvage... not that he had a way to really recover any of it on his own, especially not with the sandstorm was picking up. He turned the mech into the north end entrance of the mesa, which had an access elevator down into the Outpost castle.
    --

    Commentary: Alright we are officially caught up to the place of the other thread, good. Now, as to where we go from here... we will probably pick up in the outpost castle, but I thinking I might move to introduce some of the other characters at least in brief.

    As for salvage, none yet, but soon, and probably next week or the week after we will leave Aquagea for the time being and head on to Rock City. There will be pirate hunting action but the Detroit section will probably be shorter than Aquagea in the current draft. Aquagea can really be divided up into this set, and its conclusion running Zathras off, and then the aftermath.

    We will begin to touch on political factors Taurian, Aurgian, Magistracy, Combine, Capellan, Free World, Lyran down the road after Detroit. I keep revising the order I want to do somethings in, and part of that it is I'm not sure if I want to stick with 3015 or move to an earlier calendar date. Obviously the HBS game has been somewhat canonized by the release of the source book, which I own, I may start a new play through of that but this will not be a 'novelization' or play through of the game's plot.

    Markham's marauders will show up. Aurgian plots will be relatively important starting in an arc or two, but I'm not sure how involved the MC will be in the main plot of the games. We will eventually get to the Merc Company segment down the road, but a lot of the current planned merc stuff is of the babysit rich merchant and shoot pirates, which will eventually go the route of either protecting say Interstellar or maybe joining cranston snord's irregulars for a spell. There are a lot of other particular conflicts (again assuming 3015 period, late third succession war).

    Again in the current tentative outline we'll be mucking around the Rimward Periphery for the next two years, and I'll be trying to treat Battletech Travel times as somewhat realistic so for example staying on Detroit for half a year then, offworld pirate hunting, maybe herotitus or Aurigan coalition space before potentially going to coreward through the Fed Suns after.
     
  23. Tel Janin Aman

    Tel Janin Aman So tired

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    Hope you get some of that sweet lostech loot, maybe even some clan tech from that wolverine ship out in the boonies.
     
  24. Extras: FAQ Format Page Universe Details
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    FAQ Format Page
    Universe Details

    Subject to updates​
    1 Timeline, and Canon
    Now what I mean by that is I am predominantly using the source books, but that admittedly runs head long into the cliche fasa-economics problem. There is also the issue of having not just FASA books, but Fanpro, and Catalyst. Now on Video Game usage, as a I said I'll be using HBS's introduced faction of the Aurigan Coalition, though Auriga has been canonized with their own source book. This story will attempt to organically explain a variety of things in cannon, and rationalize some of the information that we're explicitly told.

    It is however currently the Late Succession Wars. [Specifically its the 31st century i.e. the late 3rd Succession War period]

    2 Tech

    Technology has been on the backslide. For example the Marauder carries a single small pulse laser, which is a weapon that is currently extinct. It is however a weapon that went extinct in 2950, what that generally means in canon is that is when the last factory producing the part is thought to have been destroyed. So it isn't unfathomable to have mechs show up with them as 'lostech'.

    In this I'll be hewing more towards RPG standards, though not quite Video Game standards. I have rolled several results for loot gen using Drakensis's lootboxing for example to generate various treasure finds.

    This brings us to the bigger issue, the majority of the human population in universe lives more or less at a technological subsistence level that we would consider primitive. Now what I mean by that is that that is in one part the fault of the succession wars, but also the fault of both colonist movements who intentionally left earth, or left other worlds later, as well as intentional policies of the Terran Hegemony and later Star League. So the majority of the universe doesn't live anywhere close to 21st century western living standards. This is in no way just ComStar's Holy Shroud's fault, because again people left Earth canonically to get away from the tech, left for religious reasons, as well as then were effected by conflict, disaster, and the machinations of the Terran Hegemony.

    But also the Terran Hegemony, and Star League buried caches literally everywhere.

    3 Population.

    Detroit has two billion people. This is because its an earth like world. Its basically ideal for human inhabitation, and it was originally colonized by people who came in looking to set up a farming community away from what they were leaving behind, and then afterwards was invested in by mining and industrial concerns that built up the industry. Not everywhere is as amenable to human settlement.

    Aquagea in this would have been doing better if not for a couple of problems. Firstly it was sparsely settled to begin with. Its very American south west writ large in terms of geography but the Capellans didn't really settle it too heavily. Still at the end of the Star League it had a much bigger population than it did now, but unlike Detroit it was subject to in particular the second succession war where the Marik's came in and destroyed a bunch of infrastructure causing catastrophic flooding, wrecked agriculture, and just generally made a mess of things. So the planet again to use the south west example is about the same level of population as the late Old West.

    Both of the above examples are planets where you don't need lots of infrastructure to keep things sustainable and that leads us to another reason that the Inner Sphere has some oddities.

    4 Infrastructure
    So House Davion has a Star League era Black Box Facility (and this is not their only one) on New Avalon which is an automated factory (Hesperus II (Lyrans) has several of these types of factories as well, etc). What makes House Davion special is that it, this one hands off factory, can produce a hundred light mechs annually. Yeah these are Valkyrie but that is a hundred plus mechs in the 'present' safely tucked away on their capital as opposed to Quentin, or Coventry or Hesperus. That is huge.

    The problem is that this facility is, much like some of the lines on those named planets is effectively magic. They produce large volumes of mechs for the modern era but they have to be heavily protected because they can do that, especially since no one knows how to fix them in the present day.

    Its not just complicated war machines either. Plenty of worlds after the Star League collapsed or were at least greatly reduced because their environments were tainted or just inhospitable to life without Star League era terraforming or environmental cleaning technology. This could be biological toxins, or heavy metal poisoning from tainted whatever, but the Star League era water filtration systems basically ceased being available and that wrecked worlds. The Star League heavily controlled JumpShips, and then the Succession Wars wrecked the majority of shipyards as well as for a long time JumpShips being fair game to blow up.

    In terms of decay the institutional knowledge loss is not the only factor that creates the conditions on the ground in the setting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
    Eljin, Eadbald, kalifianto and 5 others like this.
  25. Threadmarks: Sand Storm
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Sand Storm Shut in

    --
    The sheriff hocked and spat into the sink as the last of the water circled the drain. The scoundrels from Zathras trying to throw their weight around hadn't really done much damage even if they'd scared the living daylights out of a bunch of cows. The only way anyone would have been able to miss the commotion of the last week would have been if you'd been in the old mines, and they were mostly shut down. Aquagea didn't have much use for the mines much, except occasionally to dig up enough iron, or coal to make steel, and that mostly happened elsewhere and was shipped in via rail. For a planet as dry as Aquagea tended half of the year you couldn't really rely on river transport... and speaking of dry there was a bad batch of sand blowing in.

    He sauntered down to the wooden chair behind the desk in his office and contemplated the past week. It had been impossible to miss the Zathras DropShip come down or trying to act like they were in charge. It was the first time they'd ever shown up with BattleMechs that Yan could remember, and he'd been sheriff thirty years now. He knew there was no way they could have done anything against BattleMechs, even just one piddly little light mech with machine guns would have been too much.

    The best they could have done would have been to high tailed it for the hills and take cover. Not a glamorous proposition by any means but he'd been sheriff long enough to recognize that there were some fights you couldn't win. The fighting in the Old City had of course prompted some of the young fellas to ride out to check it out, and he'd have dismissed their account of things if not for it was obvious that something was going on.

    Zathras had stirred somebody out there up, and was being made to regret it. Via Caballero was the furthest town north on the map in this sector, and while the sector did end the next one up was just terra incognitum. A stretch of land long since left to the wilderness after the Mariks had been driven off. Yan was sure there were farming communities up north, but nothing amounting to anything he'd have expected a BattleMech to show up on. If there had been any BattleMech's on this rock they were probably in some big hacienda down south dating from kicking the damn puking chickens of the planet.

    The radio broadcast though... he blew a breath out between sun cracked lips and wished for a little pick me up. Twelve mechs. It was an almost impossible thing to think of, especially for someone who had only seen a BattleMech in person enough to count on one hand and have fingers left over. To have somebody tell some other fella say that sort of thing was enough to get faint.

    The mayor, the only other elected official in these parts didn't bother knocking. He came in dressed up like a dandy the same as any other day but the sweating was already messing up his carefully worked on hair. "Will they leave?"

    The sheriff looked at his fellow native, and considered telling the idiot what was coming in less kind terms. "They can't squalls coming big old white out. Can't lift a Dropper out in one," And that really should have been something the younger man should have known, but they barely ever saw any kind of flying machine so how could he have known. "It'll last a day at least." Then they'd see how things pulled out out.

    The mayor tugged on the ends of his whiskers with a frantic nervousness. "Some of the boys managed to get some footage of the fighting, and its been making rounds this morning, people are stirred up." They were lucky that the town's power planet, an old oil fired steam turbine array it was closer to the mine than it was town. They were doubly lucky that when it had been originally built the wiring had been run underground. If it had been fusion powered the Mariks would have blown it up if not during the occupation then on their way out of town.

    --
    The sandstorm lasted over forty hours dumping sheets of sand across the old city. Apparently though this was still normal for aquagea. The planet usually got a big sandstorm or two like this every yea. 'White outs' that made communications difficult and it hard to do anything for a couple of days, but then you just went on about your life once it was done.

    That had left him in the outpost castle for basically three days. The automated machines in the mechbay had automatically touched up the sandblasting his mech's paint job had been subjected to without any prompting. The systems chirping along without human oversight.

    A castle brian was supposed to house an entire SLDF brigade... including their dependents and support elements. Outpost Castles were smaller, basically scaled down. The Star League didn't do budget cuts, but you couldn't just plop a castle brian down everywhere. OCs were intended to be small brians, where a CB would support the garrison of a full brigade an Outpost was supposed to be for a Battlemech battalion. What distinguished the Outpost Castle wasn't the size difference it was the reasoning, and where the funding originated. The Terran Hegemony had constructed the Outpost Network to keep the periphery inline and that meant being able to deploy units as a firebreak in the event of the yokels getting uppity. Not that Aquagea had been periphery Yokels, they had been a part of a Member State, which was a detail which had surprised him.

    Of course that idea still hadn't worked out so well given the mess that the Amaris Civil had turned into, but this facility had been left to its own devices sometime after 2784. Most of the immediately useful military stuff was gone. The depot, specifically, had been cleaned out before the 'Exodus' of all the best goodies, but the facility hadn't been truly stripped. The depot to supply the battalion was painfully bare of most 'warfighting' needs, though there were 2 tons of LB 10-X autocannon Cluster ammunition that he had absolutely no use for. The library by contrast was an example of what hadn't been touched. Why would the SLDF take that after all?

    So he had spent two days reading up on the SLDF's Gunslinger program and hitting the mech simulators. Originally called the Advanced Combat and Maneuvering Skills Project when it had been started in 2687 the program had morphed considerably taking on increasingly exotic ideas, then again the phrase 'warfighter' came to mind, he supposed.

    Whatever the case the focus on eastern mysticism prompted him to trawl through for an explanation of Phantom Mechwarrior abilities. Ki abilities were hinted at but even the Terran Hegemony's Central Intelligence Directorate had little concrete in the way of explaining it. It was interesting but was mostly about how it in theory shaped what had become the gunslinger program rather than the Phantom Mechwarrior ability itself.

    In that respect it was a dead end, but in terms of information on SLDF military practices it was a gold mine... and something he could practice in the sim pods without using his phantom mech ability. It was far from the only military material to read either, or watch for that matter. There were an abundance of briefing videos, lectures and continuing education courses that just reminded him that that SLDF had been a professional military... even if the Gunslinger Program in its final iteration was fairly out there from the SLDF's more basic courses on Mechwarrior doctrine that he'd been going over before the assholes from space had shown up.

    The bigger downside to that was that he got to drool over the intelligence briefings. Like the Stalker -3F Kurita which had Artemis IV Fire Control Systems, and Double Heat Sinks. The Kurita version Marauder, he didn't care about as much even though it occupied an entire section in the Gunslinger program files. Being able to replace the heat sinks, upgrade them to double heat sinks would have meant his Marauder could have ten more tons of space.

    Of course having the ER PPC of the 2R would have been a great complement to go along with it even if it would have necessitated needing some additional rare heat sinks for optimum cooling. Then again the 'new' at the time the base had been mothballed KGC-010 was only going to carry a standard range Magna Hellstar PPC.

    It was an idle flight of fancy. Still having ER PPCs and DHS would have made him a lot more comfortable for plinking at that damned union. The Dropship was still sitting where it was, where it had been for the better part of a week now. He wondered if he could manage to punch a hole through the flight control deck at the top of the spheroid dropship. A couple of shots thought might be enough to get them to move along though, and that really more than anything was the goal.

    Outpost castles were not entirely self sufficient... or rather they weren't supposed to be. The base's hydroponics, and other systems were supposed to complement star league shipments, or locally sourced provisions. There was fresh fish, plenty of green vegetables, some herbs and spices, beans, and coffee all in abundance because the system was feeding one person not an entire battalion plus supporting body.

    Gene stretched... what to do about the union still out there sitting? and once it was dealt with, he mused thinking about the map of known space, what was he going to do next? He needed to get off world.

    --
    Commentary: This is more meant to set things up, so not a lot of action. Aquagea was at the time of the Amaris Coup / End of the Star League a member of the Capellan Confederation's Sian Commonality. A frontier world sure, but it was a world that belonged to a voting member of the Star League proper not a periphery state, and indeed in the successions wars it was invaded by the FWL... and we will get to that later. Aquagea is or would be considered on the periphery because its been abandoned by the retreat of the great houses from the rimward periphery.

    Its such a Pity that the Hellstar didn't debut until 3079 in canon. Even if it didn't, Cimbri's CYOA required you to pay for SLDF Royal Mechs and specified its 3015. I mean sure, in terms of in production current Clan Mechs, the Timber Wolf would massively reflect well on this MC but uh... then the Wolf Dragoon's would be looking at him. We will get to some more advanced tech in the near future though.

    Fourth Sword of Light:
    STK-3Fk Stalker: The new STK-3F Stalker upgrades its heat sinks to having 18 Doubles. It replaces the SRM-6’s with 4 Streak SRM-2s and adds an Artemis IV FCS to the LRM-10s.
    WHM-6Rk Warhammer: This Combine-built Warhammer upgrades the Engine to an XL Fusion Engine and increases its speed to 5/8. Its heat sinks are also upgrades to having 15 double heat sinks. All remaining tonnage is dedicated to extra armor protection.
    PHX-1Kk Phoenix Hawk: The PHX-1Kk Phoenix Hawk upgrades it heat sinks to having 11 double heat sinks, upgrades its Large Laser to an ER Large Laser, and upgrades its two Medium Lasers to Medium Pulse Lasers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  26. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    I myself like ER Lasers when compare to most other lostech. Better overall compare pulse lasers anyways.
     
    Imperator Pax likes this.
  27. Threadmarks: So what if they're not Pirates
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    So what if they're not Pirates
    I'd really like those guys off my lawn, and I really want to stop asking so the PPCs come out to play...

    Some basic reading ... even if the almanac in question was three hundred years old... clarified why the 'white outs' didn't leave much buried. They were about once or twice a year, but more important the kick up of cool air that threw the dust in the first place generally signaled the beginning of the rainy season... and Aquagea got a lot of rain during those months. Of course it would be weeks before the worst of that started and there was any chance of the river coming over its banks and flooding.

    Still the gentle rain was doing a lot to keep the dust to a minimum today as his Marauder cruised through the brush country. He was going to ignore the technicians he'd basically decided on that. They were technically fair targets. They were military support personnel working to recover downed enemy weapon platforms, but the Union being driven off was the bigger objective and attacking the techs seemed less likely to accomplish that objective.

    The rain wasn't the same degree of reduction in visibility as the sand storm but it was useful in its own way. The way the SLDF had written manuals for mechwarriors had been about relying on the neurohelmets to make calling up sensor data from radar, lidar, thermal, and acoustic instrumentation among others as an extension. That wasn't possible with non SLDF neurohelmets and even if it was he wasn't playing fair anyway. He didn't show up on electronic sensors, he was a ghost, and he intended to put that to use.

    A quick check of the map showed he had another half hour until he reached the river crossing he intended to use, and then he'd move from there and see if there was any sign of Battlemechs having been brought back online. There were no fusion signatures at the location where he'd been doing most of the fighting at over the last week. A couple of ICE engines from the work vehicles, but no sign of a working mech. The only other active fusion engines were those of the two damnable aircraft, and they weren't flying right now.

    He had no other fusion signatures that could be militia ground vehicles on the scope so who knew what the planetary militia was doing... even assuming that they had fusion engines in their ground vehicles in the first place. He kind of doubted it it was 3015 and it was the periphery... it was an independent periphery planet on top of that.

    That just reminded him that he had no idea what he was going to do after this. There weren't any prospects on this rock. He was going to have get off world, being a mercenary was going to be hard given his apparent age, and it would mean things besides paperwork... Gene flipped the telemetry on his left instrumentation panel to double check the 'recovery site'. Still nothing, no sign of fusion reactors powering up or running.

    He didn't jump up on any of the buildings. It was wet, he didn't want to find out how good his mech's traction on aging and weathered ferrocrete girders were the hard way. That made trying to squeeze a shot off into the armor over flight control something of a problem. Did he try a radio call again? Would that make it seem like he was bluffing.

    He turned to his low altitude ground coverage radar array readout on his instrument panel. There were a couple of buildings on their side, but nothing that gave him the angle to shoot at flight control. Looking at it though he could picture the surroundings as giving him a shot at the ASF bays... that might let him take the birds off the board though.

    Neurohelmets were great, and let him navigate and process information vastly more efficiently, but part of that was probably not just the helmet but the fact the Marauder had served in the Star League as a command mech, and his still had the correct Star League pattern electronics. He wasn't eager to have them take any damage, so what he was going to do was risky. He was going to be shooting at a dropship after all.


    --
    It would have been really nice to have ER PPCs, he mused. Gene hadn't bothered hailing the Dropship. It had been enough trouble finding an angle of attack. The Marauder was currently hull down waiting for a chance that might never come. He willed the ASF bays to open, and they regrettably failed to budge as he sat there in his hide.

    Not for the first time he considered shooting through the bulkheads. It was however the first time he noticed the way they were sealed up. The Union wasn't launching its ASF from its bays. He hadn't found any documentation on dropship ASF information, but it also hadn't been a priority. The eagles had come down with the dropship originally and had probably been flying scouting missions while a base camp had been secured.

    He flipped the sensors on and started looking as the war machine stood up.

    Camo netting had been pulled haphazardly over a set of work area probably more of a pathetic attempt to protect against the weather than military decorum but there were machinery and deck hands working on what could only have been the nose of an Eagle. He didn't need the computer to tell him that.

    A smile split across his face. He had made a mistake but that gave him an option to correct it. He swung the Marauder's arms around and brought them to bear on the first while still using his mech's sensor suite to look for the second. The camo tarps cover it was slightly better but more than that was the fact it was positioned with a building obscuring most of the line of sight.

    He directed the targeting computer to flag both birds, and set them to trip an alert if their fusion engines came online.

    He couldn't effectively cover the target, but he'd probably have enough time to detect its fusion reactor heating up. He swung back to the dropship, and fired both ppc's at the main bay door, so designated by the big '1' painted on it.

    It was like he had kicked over an anthill or something. People who had been moving in pretty orderly camp work suddenly were running every which way. Tiny little ants scurrying everywhere. One of the flatbed trucks backfired, and tires squealed as it tried to reverse and then ramped its way up onto what had at one point been sidewalk.

    He kept watching for weapons fire alerts. Missile launches in particular. He supposed in theory someone could use a manual gunsight to aim an autocannon presumably non electronic optics were used as back ups in combat vehicles in the 31st century after all. Of course he didn't think they had any combat vehicles... not given he'd downed the whole mech company. They'd have to revert the weapons on the dropship to manual control, and he wasn't sure how well that would work that was why missiles were his bigger concern. They had a better chance of hitting him if they splashed the whole area with a hundred twenty LRMs.

    Gene triggered his particle projector cannons again scouring the armored bulkhead. The computer squawked adjusting and proving a flight solution for his jump jets. Jump onto the top of the Union. It was crazy. It would be too close to use his PPCs.

    He jinked the mech to the side and hit the switch triggering the jets, because if he was standing on the top of the dropship they couldn't launch LRMs at him, and he doubted they'd be risk the autocannons even assuming they could track him. The heads up display highlighted the 'nose' weapons of the union even as started to descend back down, and he planted a foot onto the ball. A switch later toggled the binds of his medium lasers to his trigger, and he started blasting.

    It didn't take long for the Union's captain or someone reporting to figure out what he was doing.

    "-Stop goddamn it, stop already!"

    He let the shouting continue for a minute longer, and then keyed his mike. Part of that was just to clamp down on his own urge to say something that might get the wrong result. "Zathras Dropship, I assume I have your attention now. You are to power down the ship's fusion drive and safe the vessel. You are then to disembark from the dropship. All personnel are to withdraw from the Dropship. Do not deviate from these instructions." He almost immediately continued, but stopped himself. If they did anything with the weapons he was just going to keep shooting. He was pretty sure that they couldn't get an angle on him with him perched here, but if he had to move, say jump off... then it'd be a different story.

    His thoughts caused the computer to pull the Union's schematics up and showed where the Nose mounted weapons ammo storage was, but he doubted he'd be able to get through them faster than the control deck.

    Thankfully after some spluttering and attempts to negotiate the reactor of the DropShip initiated a controlled shut down and about the right amount of people came out of the Union. As it happened being a beat stick was the easy part. He was just one guy in a big stompy robot, and didn't give him a whole lot of options.

    --
    Commentary: DracoMage just pinging you regarding this thread figured you might be interested.
     
  28. Rodon

    Rodon Not too sore, are you?

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    Well, that was likely the least bloody and least damaging way to fight off a 'raid'. And I bet a lot of the crew is now pissed that the captain of the ship didn't take the offer to leave earlier. Throwing good money after bad. On the other hand, you have a lightly damaged dropship now. A couple ASFs and some decent mech salvage. The locals are likely a bit annoyed with you, but the way you worked though them, meant that there was fairly little damage from your fighting. So they shouldn't hold it against you too much. The local government will likely be fine with things, if you give them a couple of the light mechs.
     
  29. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    The thing with the DropShip is that basically once the Sandstorm started, we're talking the equivalent of a sand storm hurricane kicking up the Dropship couldn't really leave. The sheriff mentions this in his interlude, once the rain had started yeah, thats totally on the captain or the 'viceroy' for refusing. And these are technically professional house troops if in service to Zathras as an empire, not mercs or pirates (mind you if this was one of the obvious suspects of the successor houses the captain would be getting purged anyway)

    I'm actually in the process of rewriting the salvage scene but in terms of haul from this in particular, not actually getting all of that much, from the Zathras loot, but that is because we will be coming back to Aquagea later on.
     
  30. DracoMage

    DracoMage Making the rounds.

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    Thank you for pinging me. This story just keeps getting better and better. BattleTech stories make me so happy. All your stories are very good. Again thank you very much for alerting me to the thread. Can't wait to see more. I hope you have a good day and week.
     
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