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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. Jeff

    Jeff Know what you're doing yet?

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    There aren't that many battletech si so i am happy to see this.
     
  2. MovingTarget

    MovingTarget Know what you're doing yet?

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    You seen China shop by TPK on sb? Has the si introduce cheap bare bones BA to the taurens
     
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  3. Jeff

    Jeff Know what you're doing yet?

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    I haven't yet thanks.
     
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  4. Kamehb

    Kamehb Getting sticky.

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    there is a couple of really good CYOA ones which are pretty much just SI with extra steps. For example With a lever or False Prophets.

    They all go off the same CYOA and hit a number of the same steps though which can get a liiiiitle old.
     
  5. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Yeah 'So Dumb' by vital was an amusing one it was a pity it died at like fifteen thousand words.



    I actually have my own version of the Space Heir CYOA, a couple prompts actually.... which I will probably get to maybe in time for christmas once i start painting the wave 2 loot
     
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  6. Cimbri

    Cimbri I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    So I want to preface this by saying that I like this story. But it feels like you write down nine tenths of it and leave the rest in your head. This does make the transitions between scenes and such a bit weird? At least that's how it feels. It feels very sparse in description and cause and effect.
     
  7. Threadmarks: Detroit Exit
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Detroit Exit
    He had had absolutely no qualms putting Detroit in the metaphorical rearview mirror. It hadn't escaped him from reading the first edition copy of the dictates on honor that Kurita Omi the original author would probably have been disgusted by the treacherous backstabbing going on. Or not, authors could be hypocrites too. He had to wonder if the Kuritan political officer or whatever knew the details of what had prompted the Azami who had fled in the first place... he doubted it... not they had probably had made the decision to just double cross the local yakuza for their own reasons... and he hadn't wanted to stick around Detroit to find that out. Not really.

    In a way he supposed that made leaving a lot like the first time he had left, dodging out of the way of a large potential confrontation with one of the big Inner Sphere boys. Maybe that was irony. Whatever it was they were on their way coreward, and the JumpShips would be picking up coreward DropShips contracted out strictly through ComStar paper work... they were going through Capellan space and he wanted to be sure that everything was above board.... there was already one Successor State likely peeved at him, he wasn't keen to the idea of a second. That and not carrying passengers would have been wasteful, and suspicious.

    Gene had spent enough time looking over the current star maps to recognize the volume of worlds that had dropped off the map since the last two and a half centuries... and that the successor states, for that matter the territorial states had all retracted presumably leaving worlds to wither and die, or survive on their own merits. That wasn't the case for Elidere though.

    They were looking at being paid for what would probably amount to nearly six months of travel time; that was to say cashing double. Yusef was currently tabulated which Droppers they could pick up along the way from the ComStar postings, while half that travel time was being paid for by making the journey to the FedSuns for the Job.


    Gene glanced at the rest, "The main," He paused, pursed his lips slightly, and then continued, "issue that has been underlined, is that Elidere as a system has two duchies, and a host of lesser nobility." It was odd to him, and he wasn't sure if that was normal elsewhere, but here it had the potential to be a problem. "Elidere IV, and Ander's moon have plenty of long standing feuds amongst the nobles and dueling is apparently a popular past time going back to the star league." Not really a surprise since the world had for its part only been apart of Davion space since the very tail end of the first Succession war, and before that had been part of the Combine for since the twenty sixth century. The Vandenberg, and McBrin could trace their descent back to the original Terran houses of note bearing those names.... or rather had during the Hegemony, "The political situation on Ander's moon is complicated further because of the traditional succession rights, we're going to try and avoid becoming involved there as much as possible, but if what has been said about Elidere IV is accurate the duchy there is also ripe for a succession crisis of its own." He leaned back, and looked at the senior staff.

    Yusuf glanced up from his tallying of finances, the Colorado's captain had already said much of his peace before they had gotten to the matter at hand. He was trying to find the best, either financially or PR wise, cargo hauling contracts for the firm, but he had also pointed out that among other support staff hires they needed a lawyer sooner rather than later. "I don't suppose the good doctor has actually done the due diligence of telling us who might end up challenging us to such a duel?"

    That us comment. "No, and I don't even think Doctor Abner is there yet. Ford doesn't seem to have thought to include that kind of information. Just the concern of political instability." Maybe they were lucky that they were even getting that much, "we're looking at a hundred and ten days to get there and Ford was waiting on some drilling equipment to come in from New Bern, so even if we get there, we may still be sitting around in Garrison not doing anything while he waits for those." and they might not even find anything out there... which was of course the next matter to make the rounds.

    "I guess they want to avoid the oof," Septim ended his own outburst, "I mean have all their ducks in a row."

    "Paying us half of the money, on top of travel expenses up front in an escrow account, I would hope that this isn't a wild goose chase," The aging captain of the Lebanon nodded in agreement at Yusuf's remark, "He must have something to go off of to pay that much at least for us to ship all the way in from the rimward periphery."

    Gene glanced sideways to Septim, and wondered if this wasn't something they should have read the Lyran into. He was the only person in the room the only person effectively in high command who didn't have the full picture. As far as he knew the whole Combine double cross of the Yakuza on Detroit was just the Combine being thieving dicks throwing their weight around.... the HPG recording of Kurita giving up SLDF positions to the Usurper during the war ... the Azami colony now growing out in the deep periphery Septim didn't know about those. Either of those would realistically be plenty reason for the Combine to try and kill everyone in the company.

    "So is this like the SLDF Exodus thing? I mean that's who we're talking about right?" Septim said speaking up.

    "Probably. Ford thinks that its one of the worlds sent word to prepare for the desertion of the Inner Sphere," Gene replied sitting up in his chair, "Anyway, Ford says in his transmission that he believes he found evidence that The Ardennes Division survived the periphery fighting and its survivors had communicated to a BattleMech Division belonging to the 15th Army to participate in the Exodus. Its a fragmentary record, and he doesn't say anything else." He waved at the hologlobe in the table showing the starmap that was presently a map of the Inner Sphere as it had been in 2765. "Operation Exodus as Kerensky codenamed it departed out of the Combine space, which is where Elidere would have been a part of, "The designated rendezvous point was New Samarkand at which point the fleet in full set out for the periphery. IE probably wants to see if they can find the route a piece of the SLDF took to get to New Samarkand, and then trace what they call the Exodus road."

    The Lyran MechWarrior nodded. "Are going to go to combine space?"

    "No, the Combine is pretty leery about approving archaeological digs," He replied recalling his conversations with Abner on the way out of the Deep Periphery, "If we find anything on Elidere then they will probably spend a couple seasons digging in the dirt hoping to find all they can in order to give the Combine time to process the paperwork and get permission for even just one more dig sight." The predecessor, or one of them, of Interstellar Expeditions the Millenium foundation had done digs on New Samarkand which had been continued through the successor organizations but without fresh leads no new discoveries seemed forthcoming from that planet. "No, Ford's contract outlines the natives have a dueling culture and have a peculiar veneration of SLDF artifacts."

    "Like are we talking about Kimi, the New Salvationists?" Septim questioned. Kimi was a periphery world within a single jump distance of Detroit. The locals had great shrines to the SLDF, and had what amounted to a theocracy established that believed in well, on that Gene was a little less clear, but that they were waiting for some kind of triumphal return... or something. "Are they expecting the SLDF to come back?"

    "Not that I'm aware. Its not a full on cargo cult according to Ford at least" Gene wondered if what they were basically going to end up doing was going to end up being seen as grave robbing, if the locals, or at least portion of them weren't going to be awful upset over a bunch of offworlders coming to go digging around where they 'didn't belong'. Still Ford's phrasing was a little concerning now that he thought about it... Ford's message had stressed that there wasn't a fully blown cargo cult on the world. "Until we get there there isn't much information on what we really will be doing. I don't expect to start drafting actual deployment tables until then, we will revisit it at staff meeting once we're over the border into Davion Space."

    Of course... uncomfortable as it might have been they were probably not going to disembark anywhere within Capellan space. Part of that was to conserve fuel, and part of it was jsut to avoid any potential issues with capellan border patrol given the strict terms of their visa on travelling as Mercenaries and Merchants and what not.
    --
    No disembarkation and a long travel time didn't give him much to do other than to study. It was an extended period of down time, and he was hoping that once they reached davion space that being in the Inner Sphere would let them source simulator pods for the DropShips to help mitigate the return trip.

    So he was half way through finishing review of the Hegemony Staff Officer's course material when the aged form of Captain Pasha entered. The captain of the Lebanon sat down and they divided what remained of his coffee. "I did not know how to broach the matter before we left, the new world," Was the euphemism he settled on, "But this recent reminder of the treachery of the Coordinator's servants has only reminded me of the matter."

    "The recording?"

    "Minoru Kurita's betrayal of the League to the satan Amaris, was not the Combine's only betrayal of the Star League. Did you see the JumpShip Cairo up close."

    "No. I did not."

    "It is a salvage, it was the victim of a misjump that was recovered not long after the third succession war, and was only fully repaired in time to make our own exodus. It originally belonged to the 131st division of the SLDF. Cairo in her original configuration was fully laden with material for the division, but her misjump was not an accident. Nor were any of the multitude of other accidents that effected the division, and while I cannot prove it I suspect there were other SLDF divisions that suffered similar matters. The 185th BattleMech division never suffered such attacks as it was stationed on my home world to keep the peace"

    "The combine was willing to let SLDF units bleed on the border with the lyrans claiming that they didn't have the resources to do anything while expanding their military, but it makes sense that they'd have left units stationed on Arkab alone." Admittedly while the combine had a huge population it also had the weakest industry of the big three successor states as well... from a pure per capita standpoint maybe even behind the FWL... but the combine had a lot of people. "And the Lyrans were willing to make diplomatic gestures that allowed the combine to save face," Which really had just encouraged their behavior. He paused... thinking about it, "The 131st was a royal division."

    "Indeed, the Los Angeles Division." Pasha commented, "It was an exemplary find." He wondered if it had been aboard the Cairo that the Mongoose in the rack next to his Marauder had been found aboard of if that had come from elsewhere. "There is an SLDF base on Elidere."

    "The 63rd Mechanized Infantry Division was based there," Which he knew because he had pulled the files from the secure cache data from the castle that before they had gotten Sam Houston would have been in his Marauder's safe. Indeed that computer had been occupying a slate next to the copy of the medical database of New Volgadon that he had given the Azami, "I'm certain that base have picked over."

    "If it has, it was never, it was not publicized. Do you know what became of the division after it departed Matsuida prefecture for the periphery?"

    "I do not." He had almost appended Captain to that... but he didn't. The fact that a Naval Captain would have outranked a ground pounder major wasn't even in it.

    "They did not join the Exodus, with Kerensky." Pasha replied, "They were disbanded after the liberation of Terra, and some joined the Lyran Commonwealth, and others joined the Free Worlds League. If Mr Ford or Doctor Abner are unaware of this, it might be worth our time to investigate what also might be found on Elidere."

    Gene figured that this even more so than anything else going was just another sign all of this treasure hunting was going to get them into trouble at some point. A thought occurred to him, "You found the JumpShip would become the Cairo."

    "I did, and for many years it was the JumpShip I was the master of, but that is a task I have passed to my eldest son."

    That explained why he was able to captain the Lebanon. "One last adventure?"

    "I suppose that is one way to look at it. It doesn't matter what if anything we find at Elidere, just that we are always looking for a better future, and to learn from the past."
    --
    Commentary: This is basically Elidere 0, but the 'Double Cashing' or whatever you want to call is actually recommended for Merc Companies that own their own JumpShips. You take a contract with travel reimbursement going to a set place, and then you fill out any spare docking collars with anyone headed to along your route. This is why Merc Companies with JumpShips tend to survive while smaller ones don't, because JumpShips make money, and no one shoots at them (most of the time).

    So Cimbri's comment, yeah I can see that, he's probably right, like a lot of this stuff probably stays locked up in my head cause it doesn't make the translation to written word, and that is definitely a me problem. Thats a me problem I need to work on. Elidere one will hopefully be an improvement there, it will open in spring of 3017, lots of travel time to get across space. It comprised two main segments the vaguely late 19th early 20th century esque archaeology bit, with the answer of the 'what happened here' bit, followed by the oh no everything is on fire the combine is here second half. I suspect that the final version for that will be roughly twenty thousand words... and requires me to seque into a topic regarding canonicity.

    Some of what will be covered as part of the Elidere chapter is not even my headcanon, it is stuff for this story that has at best limited supporting basis in canon. I will discuss more about that once those scenes play out, but Elidere as a butterfly flaps its wings chapter is going to have far far reaching repercussions for the Inner Sphere without even being intended that way.


    Oh also, as I have been reminded ... a Star League Division is three brigades. Like British Brigades for a triangle division (My thought) no a Brigade then has three regiments in it, with from there... ah star league more money than sense.
     
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  8. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Isn’t that system the setting if of one of the mechwarrior game?
     
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  9. Laxard

    Laxard Not too sore, are you?

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    Yeah. Ander's Moon is a key part of the setting in the first MechWarrior.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2021
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  10. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Yeah I found one of my old cd cases (you know big like cloth and vinyl holds like sixty cds) full of games when drafting detroit. Its mostly just a shout out we're a couple years earlier of that game, and we'll be in the periphery when its events would normally take place
     
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  11. Jeff

    Jeff Know what you're doing yet?

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    I dont know but i really like the idea of recreating the star League.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Elidere Part 1
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Elidere
    Part 1
    Gene stretched until he felt his shoulders pop, as he yawned. Elidere was a decent enough planet... when you got past the frankly creepy obsession with the SLDF. There were Cameron starbursts everywhere like they were medieval crosses actually. And like medieval crosses every other notable star league symbol were plastered in banners and paint elsewhere. Not that that kept him from getting a good nights sleep though. After months of travel being ground side was a welcome change of pace, and they had settled to the contract. Abner was still en route... space travel was slow aftr all.

    Ford was here and animatedly talking about how they might find some greater clue about the destination of the Exodus, which well he couldn't exactly point out Kerensky had been blindly searching. It seemed a far fetched of a hope though that they might find some indication of where Kerensky had intended to go from a unit that didn't seem to have ever made it to New Samarkand in the first place. The unit just seemed to have disappeared, and general consensus without Ford's scanty pre first succession war records had been that the unit must have been destroyed or disbanded likely as a result of the Hegemony campaign.

    The locals weren't shooting at them yet, which was definitely a plus. If he had to describe the local environment it reminded of southern England... and not in a good way. It was wet, and gray for the most part. Of course thinking about, and looking out over the view from his window of the drab almost medieval landscape the english comparison might not too far from the truth. Even without the complex drilling machines that were apparently needed... which Gene didn't pretend to understand why, Ford was presently supervising a small army of anthropology undergrads digging in the black soil. That in itself he supposed was a little weird, because it wasn't just the environment, the surroundings, the weather that reminded him of England.

    The Federated Suns struck him as... like the British Empire. It wasn't like the Victorian Era, maybe Edward or George the V not quite ... not shifted marred by the experience of the first world war. There was no strong labour government in parliament or whatever the FedSuns legislature was called. That was how it struck him, It was like a future version of the British Empire, an eighties version of the future of the British Empire of sorts... or he was just that idle. Whatever the case the reception by the locals had largely been standoffish. They had come into this knowing that the local nobility probably wasn't going to be very happy to see them, and that was true... to the extent that they were being ignored. Snubbed.

    ... which might have meant something if Gene had been expecting invites to tea and crumpets. He wasn't, he was here to do a job, even if he half felt he stuck out like a sore thumb. The whole unit did really. His comm chirped, "Did you find something?" He asked.

    Ford didn't immediately reply, "Well, not what we're looking for but I might need you anyway."

    Gene glanced to his weighting seventy five ton war machine, "On my way," Elidere might not have been a wealthy planet per se but it did produce AgriMechs...which were mechs used for Agriculture... because why make tractors, that's silly... though on the plus side it meant navigating around the area was easy. Both Jasos, and Elidere, the city had roads that were mech safe even if they were still narrow and seemed to refuse to stay straight for more than a few hundred feet at times. "So what is it?"

    "Not what we're looking for, late First succession war almost certainly, probably better to show you." Ford replied. The dig site was located beyond the modern farming communities. He wasn't actually sure if there was an actual land owner other than the planetary government given how grown up things were... or probably had been. Elidere had been seized by the Fed Suns at the very end of the second succession war... but not without consequences Elidere had been a border world since the days of the star league. The duties of the 63rd Mechanized Infantry Division before the Periphery uprising had been to sit on the world and try and keep peace between the neighboring member states after all. Whatever the case this part of the continent at least has been depopulated enough that long stretches of field land and hills had been abandoned just long enough that a bunch of scraggly looking depressing trees had started to grow up. Reforestation would have been too grand a term for it.

    He didn't have any real luck getting any more information on the 'drive' ... ride? Over. It was simple matter to power down and set the Marauder into a low profile crouch next to the expanded form the Company's Daimyo HQ vehicle, and clamber out. There were civilian lorries, and tractor trailers which looked utterly ridiculous next to the pair of sixty ton Tokugawa tanks. Not that the wide mixture of tents of all shapes, sizes and colors wasn't incongruous to look at either.

    All the digging was being done by hand... well with hand tools, but nothing more complex than trowels and shovels... which did raise the question exactly what kind of excavator Ford and Abner thought they were going to need. "Bahar," He called out, stopping her, "Has Ford told you whatever it is they found?"

    She frowned, "Not directly no." The darkened facial expression remained, "We thought it was a war grave at first."

    "At first?"

    The Azami mechwarrior shook her head, "Its a grave, but..."

    "Whose grave? DCMS, AFFS? He said it was succession wars."

    "It appears to be a part of the Sun Zhang Academy Cadre. Probably during their unit's last stand."

    He frowned, "I'm going to check it out." Now to actually try and find Ford in all of this mess, and Bahar pointed him to an excavated trench that was almost twelve feet down into the ground, but more interesting was the concrete floor at the bottom of it... or the various pieces of rubble pulled out of the ground itself. "Ford, what is all this?" He asked dropping town into a culvert for lack description... or maybe a subway tunnel that hadn't had its rails laid.

    "Star League era transport apparatus."

    "This isn't SLDF this is civilian infrastructure," he replied catching sight of an illuminated plaque on a wall, brass.

    "Quite right, we think the Combine built it with funds from the league during peace team, and Star League engineers. The line probably ran to one of the lost cities that were destroyed during the first or second succession wars." That had been part of the reason the planetary capital was Jasos City not Elidere City. Elidere had had a near miss with a nuke, and subsequent fighting had wrecked the city in the push back by the AFFS after Kentares. The Fed Suns hadn't actually managed to take the planet but the Combine had only held on by the skin of their teeth, "No, no this way." Ford called nearly grabbing him to direct him in the opposite direction, "When the Federated Suns took the planet they secured the space ports, and air dominance, only a handful of Combine Dropships managed to escape off world during House Vandenburg's putsch on Anders. It stranded most of the already battered 11th Sun Zhang on surface facing hardened veterans of March Troops fresh from Robinson."

    The tunnel they went down lead to a juncture but they bypassed it in favore an access hatch on the side. He stepped in and swept a light over the desiccated long dead bodies. He was about to voice the scene, but Hanzo spoke up.

    "They committed seppuku rather than allow themselves to be captured." He remarked standing next to a severed head that had rolled away from a slumped form. There had to be ten fifteen corpses in here easy, maybe more than that. At least a company worth of green mechwarriors.

    "Yes, yes, anyway," Ford continued, "The 11th Regiment was destroyed, obviously." Obviously, "But really what makes this interesting, what I felt would catch your attention is perhaps why."

    "Why?" Why? The why as far as he could tell was pretty obvious the Cadre regiment had been overwhelmed and driven from the field, faced no chance of rescue, and were likely going to be destroyed. "Humor me."

    Ford gestured around to the bodies, and then regaining his bearings from counting pointed to a door way, or rather to to the last body slumped beside it. "He killed himself yes, but not with his short sword. Care to take a look, and see it for yourself."

    Gene navigated the mummified remains, and severed heads, and looked at the pistol laying on the ground... it bore ornate Combine themed engraving, pearl grips, and was very much most certainly a laser pistol. "This is a garrison gun."

    "Ah, yes I believe thats the term. Specifically from our hitherto missing SLDF unit." He stepped beside him, "But thats not all."

    Gene shrugged, "Now we expect that we will still have to do a lot more digging, but this find tells us we're in the right general area. You see this young man had some other items, but in the next room over there are a collection of SLDF issue small arms. The terminus point for this line leads to as you surmised a city which was depopulated during the first succession war, but when the Federated Suns invaded this group probably found a cache of supplies. Including a data cache."

    "Are we talking about a map? Or a piece of one?"
    --
    They were sitting surface side while the bodies were bagged up and taken out, "This is probably how this is going to go Hanzo," He told the man they had rescued from the rubble of the gambling den on Detroit, and who had signed up after that for a trip off world, "I suspect that we're going to be watching Ford," And Abner whenever the old Lyran got back, and chances were Abner would be even less tactful than Ford had been... but Ford was probably outright salivating at the prospect of finding something, anything, any kind of lead about the exodus to care right now, "Crack open a bunch of old tombs looking for leads, including in one or more of the cities that didn't make it through the first succession war."


    "I understand, it will not be an issue." He inclined slightly.

    Bahar making her way over caused him to straighten up. "Mr Ford wants to borrow the techs to catalog things. He also can't get into the data cache it seems."

    "So he's been trying?"

    "Since he came out of there," She replied, "It seems the standard SLDF decryption attempts at working, and I doubt the DOME ciphers would work."

    Ford was already heading there way, "I guess that means he wants me to take a crack at it." He reached up to unzip his jumpsuit and pull the metal ceramic chit on the chain. On one side was a concentric patter of circles with an eight pointed star, representing Sol, and on the other was his name. It had a data profile, and genomic information on file along with the encrypted user profile that was effectively the authorization... or 'security clearance'. A similar profile was paired into the Marauder's MMI that could be used via the Dalban to talk to any doors or security systems or whatever have like he had done at the DOME built 'fort'. He wondered if the Azami had gone back to strip down that place to its nuts and bolts... there had been gear there after all.

    Ford sat down at the picnic table, "At my wits end I'm afraid," Putting the electronic system down, "It refuses to make sense of it. I mean I've been told that security clearance is invalid, or insufficient or of course other things, I've had the screen just turn off. Might you try it?" He'd been about to plug into the device when he looked at it, or the read out of Ford trying to demand the chip give up its secrets. "What is it?"

    "Its a map, right?"

    "That's what we think."

    "Bahar," He gestured to the image, "What does that look like to you?"

    "Part of an image." She shook her head, "I can't make it out."

    "And you think the Cadre group pulled this from somewhere up north?"

    "Well not necessarily, the line also goes to a city on the coast, both of which would have been relatively important. The town north of station would have been closer, so if we went there first we'd take less time. Of course its also occurred to me that if its the port city the base might very well be under water, I talked with Doctor Abner about the business on Pioche, and ... that would be a problem as that town took a nuclear strike directly." First succession war had involved throwing the ares conventions out the window and popping nukes like firecrackers after all, "We'll check the town up north, I don't there is anything in the water, no CAAN units have been discussed."

    "That's a fair point. It doesn't eliminate the possibility... but, well lets just hope that's not it." He shrugged, "I know Abner wanted to pull the geographical surveys of the planet from the 24th century, that would have included mapping of the coastal, the littoral waters, but we're fairly certainly the nuclear strike destroyed all of the League built tidal power stations, and other offshore, uh improvements either directly or causing to fall into disrepair."

    "We could drop a sonar buoy."

    "And ping an SLDF IFF from it, yes we might get some kind of response from that. I'll see what we can rig up on that." That still left the matter of the closer town and investigating there... and for that matter now Gene wanted a map of the League era planetary... or at least continental transportation grid.
    --
    Commentary: When you post only half the section because its got a whole page between them....
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2021
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  13. Morkail

    Morkail I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Always liked this aspect of this setting looking for lost technology finding intact bits is all well and good but if you actually find a tech database better not let starcom know or your all dead.
     
  14. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Oh certainly telling Comcast anything is a bad idea even when the nice ones are running the asylum and we’re moving into the period of time where the loonies have even more influence

    lol autocorrupt

    also anyone who read the first segment might want to may want to read the second half. That was my bad
     
  15. Morkail

    Morkail I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Comstar comstar autocorrects is my bane in my old iPhone 6. Which isn’t that old but people look at me like I’m using a old floppy disk pc.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Elidere Part 2
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Elidere Part 2
    "So you found a room full of mummies?"

    ... they had been sealed up in an environment where bugs couldn't get to them, and had dried out so yeah maybe mummies was the correct term. "Part of a Combine regiment trapped on the planet elected to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner," He explained as Septim toweled his face off, "Did you find anything?"

    He shook his head, "No, I mean yeah you can tell this was a battlefield. My mech's sensors were warning about old munitions being buried," Something to remind the IE diggers to be sure, "But I didn't pick up anything like what you described."

    That didn't mean there wasn't a communications bunker tucked away somewhere, but it had been worth a shot anyway, "Alright well what about the town?"

    "Radiation levels, but really they're fine. I don't know about the coast, but its probably okay as long we don't spend too much time there. You want me to check it out?"

    "Don't grow any extra fingers, but yeah, schedule taking a look and get readings. Take Chang along with you, just in case. I know the locals aren't very happy, but I doubt they'll actually take a shot at you."

    "Boss all they have are Franken mechs, whats the most 'bang an AgriMech can even carry?" He didn't know the answer to that, "I'll bring Bubbles, and Beau with me. Sound good?"

    "Sounds good," He replied. "My bigger concern is if we have to start making trips back and forth between Ander's Moon." Which was yes technically a habitable moon, but it was in orbit of a gas giant and was basically a baby planet in its own right... smaller than Elidere IV, but still basically planet sized.

    "What do you make about that Chalice of Herne thing, they plaster it on everything. They say its from Terra."

    "I have no idea Septim," He had seen the images... and it just looked like gaudy big cup to him... it was a gold cup, but he had no idea what if any non local historical significance it might have had. "Anyway we've confirmed the unit markings on the gun which seems to validate that the Regiment survived the periphery campaign."

    "Couldn't someone have left the gun with family? Then bought the farm out there?"

    Gene shook his head, "Date on the gun says it was manufactured after Terra was liberated." He replied, producing the engraved laser pistol and handing it over. Septim raised an eyebrow at the jade inserts, and asked if it worked, "It appears to be functional. Power cells can be recharged. No reason it shouldn't work, but the techs have other things to do." It would be something for them to play with later. "What about the chalice? What brought that up?"

    "Talking to some of the locals."

    "Yeah, making friends?"

    Septim held for a long moment, "Maybe not friends, just that in addition to being the duke's badge of office its supposedly the sacred chalice entrusted to the planet by the SLDF." He bit down the snide response that they were turning a gaudy goblet into the veritable holy grail. "I was kind of wondering if Doctor Ford had said something about it, I mean if its from the SLDF could it be important."

    He shrugged, and reiterated that frankly he had no idea, Gene sighed, "I will ask Ford about the cup, but its on Ander's moon." Or at least it should have been, but even if it wasn't he doubted they could just walk up and ask hey can we look at your holy grail, "I'm hoping we won't have to go traipsing all over the damned continent." Septim returned the laspistol, and seeing the rain starting saluted, turned up his collar and went to find the others in his 'demi lance' even as people started cursing the sudden rain storm for the inconvenience of having to stop what they were doing.

    Ford... so best as Gene had understood it was still in school... in the process of still attending post graduate studies and had not at least during the little expedition he'd been involved in, had not been awarded the post nominals of someone with a PHD.... unless of course the last thousand years of human development in future eighties had changed how that was treated. However a number of people had explicitly referred to Ford as Doctor though not professor. It was entirely possible that Ford had successfully defended his dissertation before committee while he'd been shooting pirates.

    "Damned weather." Speak of the devil.
    --
    The spate of on and off rain continued for the rest of the week slowing digging and excavations to a near crawl, and that was without having to contend with defusing old ordinance. Ford though was convinced that they hadn't exhausted the area... citing the clear evidence of battle here as that there had to be something more here. He wasn't convinced, but Ford was signing the paychecks... and the paycheck meant that this wasn't a waste of time. Gene was getting a little concerned that they might have been getting lax, but he wasn't comfortable scheduling excercises while they were still digging unexploded remains of two hundred plus old battlefields... and realistically IE probably would have complained about the risk of damaging the dig site.

    That of course left the unit with academic past times to engage in. On the plus side Ford had stated that he'd be able to put them in contact with suppliers for various equipment and material that hadn't been available in the periphery. Simulator pods were at the top of that list.

    He pushed the pencil and pad away, rested his chin on his hand and scowled at the attempt to puzzle out the image... or his attempts to recreate the fragment of it. He was pretty sure at least that that was a Cameron starburst, which meant nothing the symbol of the hegemony and the star league were everywhere on this damn rock so this piece of a puzzle having it on there probably meant nothing... and of course he would probably sit there and laugh if this whole thing turned out to be another wild ass goose chase that turned up nothing... but it was one more thing that Ford was convinced that they were on the right path.

    ... and on that path would lead them hopefully onto the exodus road. It was an obsession he simply didn't understand... "What do you think?" He asked the dark haired teen across the table.

    Bahar looked up from her end. "If it is a Star League unit patch it isn't one recorded for the 63rd division."

    "How far down did you go?" He asked picking his pencil back up to move it back through his figners. It was as good of an idea as any to be sure... it was sort of kind of the right shape even though it... the image had empty spaces like it was incomplete. "And if its a unit crest why is it incomplete. Ford thinks its some kind of put the pieces in puzzle."

    "I went down regimental patches, would SLDF batallions have individual unit patches?"

    "They would." He replied. "On the other hand I don't think we have those on file, and even if we did I doubt its that." Pulling the tables for an SLDF division break wouldn't be a bad idea, there might have been some kind of attached battalion at headquarters for a division... engineers or pathfinders, but they were largely spitballing and there was no sense pretending otherwise. Presumably any of the SLDF gear they had recovered from 'the mummies' tomb' had had their unit marks had also been checked, "What do you think it is?"

    "The very top might be," She paused, "A torii gate maybe, but if its a Terran unit why would it use that... and I think part of the missing segment, it looks like a wing. Some sort of bird?"

    "Its not an eagle if it is, but yeah I sort of see it." He shrugged, and stopped twirling the pencil and craned his head to the doorway.

    "Good I had hoped I'd finder you." Ford replied striding in, he had a noteputer with him showing a map of the region, but the note dated it as 2765. "This is the continent as it sat before the division that was stationed here was sent off into the unknown, we're excavating the ancient tramway its slow going what with the weather and much of the civilian infrastructure having been damaged by the fighting a lot of the ferrocrete had sunk and shifted. Well, regardless there has to be a spur that tracks off into the mountains."

    "Why do you think that?"

    "DOME liked excavating into rock formations, it provided natural ablative armor against orbital attacks, and concealed facilities from easy detection of course. That's what we need the digging machines for, its almost certain that the mountains have had landslides or other obstructions given this planet's climate." That made a certain amount of sense. "In any what this tells me is that there should be the remains of a starport, but we can't find it. I've gone over the Davion records from the time of the Ander's uprising and they don't have it on their maps either. Its like the starport just stops showing up."

    ... which was a long winded roundabout way of 'hey come help us look' in your giant stompy robot, because Ford didn't have any better ideas.

    ... "Anything?"

    Nope. "Nothing on scopes." He replied to the question being asked yet again. He wished that he had Star League era copies of the maps programmed into his nav computer, but nothing was showing up... no beacons or electronic signatures, and there wasn't even any indicators of buried ordinance from the chemical sniffers. "This whole sector is clear Ford." There wasn't anything here... which... he paused, "What if the map is fake?"

    "What?"

    "More correctly how sure someone didn't modify the maps to show a starport where it wasn't, and then obviously when the davions and kuritas started fighting over the world they wouldn't have a starport on their maps?" There was a pause as Ford must have been turning the idea over in his head.

    "Oh, yes, I suppose thats a possible misdirection. I didn't consider that." He paused, "But why would they do that?" at the proffered explanation of making people like us wander around like idiots, Ford shook his head over the line, "No, that can't be. I am sure that this is an unmodified map, and besides it matches all of the other 2765 era maps, further and earlier maps. The starport just doesn't show up in first succession war and later period documents." Gene rotated his Marauder's torso and looked around the stand of white pine. All of them were mature and covered what should have been support facilities for the port that had disappeared from history. "Look, just humor me," a pause as the radio seemed to get an intermittent signal, "lets try that sonar buoy idea, broadcast a general interrogative using an SLDF IFF, we haven't tried that yet."

    He glanced up at his console's array of switches, and then back to the surrounding landscape... he didn't see any concealed turrets that would pop out and start shooting at him... and more pointedly his Mech hadn't detected any.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
  17. Cimbri

    Cimbri I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    There be treasure in these lands yarr? Lol anyway they better be ready to hightail it if news spread of a lostech find.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Elidere Part 3
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Elidere
    Part 3
    He wasn't sure how to gauge the archaeological find. They weren't really pulling anything more than trinkets out. Oh sure there were a handful of various Star League era small arms that the Sun Zhang cadre seemed to have looted, there was the missing space port, but nothing really substantive one way or another.

    The SLDF IFF broadcast hadn't turned up anything, and he was kind of glad for that. Truthfully Gene had been a little concerned that it might result turrets suddenly exploding awake and shooting at him... or worse anything not broadcasting an SLDF friend foe tag. Nothing had happened though, and Ford had been admittedly disappointed but they had moved on. Elidere had had a hard life, well like most worlds, since the fall of the Star League, the combine's turn around after Kentares had largely ended with the borders returning to the previous status quo. While that had without a doubt rankled the combine's military leadership it had had other effects. The 1st Succession war had killed more people than the Amaris Civil War... but not by much... and what was worse was that the succession war had been fault just as the losses of that conflict started to come home to roost.

    Without the Star League to continue to distribute technological information, and the massive destruction of infrastructure that would characterize the first and second wars things had started to fall apart. While most of the fighting had originally been concentrated towards Terra it had morphed into general fighting along the old borders. Then peace, then the Minnesota tribe, then the second had started... and history. "I doubt it."

    "But we know the tribe crossed through combine space,"

    "Sure but why come this far coreward the last planet in the combine they could be confirmed on was Valentina." Gene muttered, which still ran into the problem of how exactly they had just disappeared like they had after presumably jumping over the border into FedSuns space. "It would make more sense that they then passed through the Alliance or made the jump to Niles and proceeded rimward."

    "Unless they were looking for SLDF caches."

    "That would explain why they came through the combine in the first place, but doesn't explain them disappearing after Valentina." He replied, "But cutting inward from there to come here would mean half dozen jumps, and this was on the border with the FedSuns." This was all target fixation as far as he could tell, cause that immediately brought Ford back around to his missing starport... thankfully it wasn't so bad he wanted to take time to cut down the forest and see if there was anything buried down there... which admittedly there might be.... but short of a better explanation swinging inward to Kesai was one thing, swinging in and then keep going ... seemed like wishful thinking.

    He turned the Marauder through another series of hillocks. Mudslides over the last two centuries had buried what had been a town. Not that the town hadn't been shellacked during the FedSuns post Kentares offensive, and the combine hadn't had the resources to rebuild so it had sat abandoned and nature had done the rest.

    A few minutes passed as he continued to poke the mech's snout around the debris strewn streets.

    "Anything?"

    "Couple of Unexploded ordinance warnings." He replied. From the looks of it one side or maybe both had held up in the city and neither had decided to pay much concern to minimizing collateral. "Looks like Arrow Vs, breached a wall, and diverted the reservoir."

    Ford made a low hum into the microphone, "Hmm, that would make sense we only saw its remains on the fly over. You should be coming up on the turn the station entrance should be somewhere about kilometer further." His seisomgraphics built into the Star League Era dalban sensor package actually had the rail tunnel highlighted and projected for him to trace, but he decided not to spoil Ford's fun. He had after all walked basically parallel the length of the tube as he had progressed north looking for more entry ways or points of access, which the teams who had walked the length of the tunnel said were often stuck or otherwise sealed up and unable to be opened from inside. I.E. Didn't want to risk flooding the tunnels by pushing their luck by opening a door hastily when the other wise structurally sound tunnel was safe. They didn't want to do anything to compromise that.

    ... in spite of asking him to take his seventy five ton bipedal war machine and go check it out, which was why he was out here. Admittedly it might been a better idea to take the mongoose out for this but here he was. He eased back on the throttle to thirty five, and then to twenty to make the near right angle turn. Elidere's geography made the continent prone to rain, and was prone to blowing rain and fog without much warning as a result of the mountains shaping cloud formations. The planet itself though, in terms of development, even during the Star League had never been particularly advanced outside of its agricultural output. Elidere had never been particularly industrialized or technologically sophisticated by the standards of the star league though... and that had been before the Ares Conventions went out the window.

    And that made sense given he doubted even without access to maps of how the town had looked in late 27-whenever or 28-whenever some had lobbed short range ballistic missiles into critical infrastructure it had been intended as anything other than intentional destruction meant to wreak further havoc. Whether there had been troops in the path of the released torrent of water, it had been intended to cut them off, or if just to damage the down to deny it to the enemy there was no way to know. It had been the first succession war.... and such behaviors had happened on a thousand worlds as the conflict had lasted over thirty years.

    There was a marked difference in construction and building materials of the northern town, from the still inhabited towns to the south. The latter were all purely local construction reminding him of rural England, where as though a shattered husk the buildings in the north were the half buried remnants of large steel beams and wholesale prefabricated steel structures who after two wars and two centuries had largely wasted away to ossified structures. The roads were still built wide enough a mech could walk without an issue, but there were no correspondingly obvious entryways to let a mech down into the underground.

    He keyed his mike, "Looks like its under a couple meters of mud, but it adjoins what might by the civic center, or other government office." Gene ran the mech's high beams up the gutted structure that was listing painfully to one side.
    --
    Gene would have felt more comfortable if they had demo-ed the derelict government center. Ford wouldn't hear of it, the structure despite being a safety hazard represented the Combine before Takiro Kurita had been the forced homogenization of the combine in the twenty seventh century. The town's structure and infrastructure had likely been laid out and constructed under the auspices of the Star League.... probably star league funds.

    Admittedly the homogenization towards a more uniform reactionary Japanese culture had begun under Urizen, and from Takiro had succeeded Minoru, and then Jinjiro.

    "Do we know what happened?"

    "Best guess is that the regiment was pushed back here, and then the Davion's assumed they were out of the fight." Ford shrugged, "As you observed all of this was likely wrecked by that point, and had been for decades. The Sun Zhang students fell back into the urban center and the ruins and seemed to have found their way to supplies. House Davion must have realized that they were still a threat then and forced them into a corner, and rather than surrender or mount hit and run or defensive fighting or what have you they elected to commit seppuku."

    He glanced around, "This place still has power, what's it running off of? Geothermal?"

    "Indeed."

    That explained why no one had tried to loot it then. Fusion power plant might have been worth it, but geothermal was local dependent. They still could have looted the power couplings and other apparatus but it probably just hadn't been considered worth it.

    Or they thought the place was haunted, and it was always possible that there had been combine booby traps left behind. "What about the vault?" Ford hadn't been able to bypass the security lock on what should have been a civilian shelter, "Bahar you looked at it? What did you think?"

    "I think someone had to repair the door, and replace the lock work, the original door is from the twenty seventh century, but looks like it had to be repaired or refit after. Still Star League." It was still a DOME door, big heavy, CRBN rated... big... anything that would breach it would probably do damage to the corridor.... or probably buried them.

    He might have questioned why the building was mechscale, but apparently that had become the norm for construction projects by the end of the twenty sixth century. As a result anything 'modern' not built to that scale was deemed a result of the backslide from those glory days... and the great houses couldn't have that...

    Gene scratched his head looking at it, glanced to Bahar. "Any signs of other tampering?"

    "It doesn't appear to have been tampered with, or rigged with explosives given the door's structure it would be rather pointless and its a complete airlock seal on the other side according to the schematics." CRBN decon etc etc.

    "Its unfortunate Pasha is out of the system." The JumpShips were on a gig to Robinson, "Alright how would you do this?"

    "I think it could be just a simple software problem." Bahar hedged, "We need to plus into the computers and see why the lock is actually off safe, but a diagnostic could take days to fully run."

    "Well we've got nothing better to do," Septim declared as he joined them, "I have the maps you asked for, I paged through the newest one says its from the reign of Jinjiro Kurita, but doesn't give a year."

    "Does it say which year of his reign?"

    Septim paused, "Chang, that last one, what's it say exactly?"

    One long string of combine gobblygook later, "That would be 2828" Bahar didn't elect to point out that Jinjiro had succeeded to the throne after his father had been KIA-ed on Kentares... and subsequently... the eponymous massacre had been carried out on his order.

    "Probably put together in the lead up to starting the second succession war," Ford opined. "Supposedly his court astrologer told him it was an auspicious year."

    The diagnostic itself ended up not taking long at all. "It tripped a chemical weapons system, when?"

    "It can't be right."

    "When?" He repeated.

    The tech shook his head, "According to this 2784, but like I said that can't be right, the door log clearly states that someone overrode the lock and opened it in -"

    "Let me guess at the time of the Davion invasion of the planet?"

    "Well yeah."

    So the door could be overridden. They just weren't doing something right. They had ended up getting the door open by convincing it to run a diagnostic to check if it detected any poison gas. Then they had overridden the lock when the computer hadn't detected any nerve gas... which of course meant that computer forced them to repeat this process in order to get out.... and get back in. "So there was probably never any nerve gas?" Septim asked.

    "Who knows,"

    "When they installed the new door it probably created a compatibility issue with the computer. It can't clear the error so it seals the door, and forces you to go through the override procedure." ... Cause that was a good well designed system right there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021 at 5:42 AM
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