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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. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Getting replacement ammunition from anywhere outside of a cache is a problem but they are technically in the company arsenal in the form of Chaparrals. [I me an i specifically name dropped the chaparalls for later on]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2022
  2. Bofors40mm

    Bofors40mm I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Hmmm I assume that a lot of Arrow IV ammo and the schematics and manuals to maintain them would help get the type back into production earlier than otl
     
  3. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    To be honest, and beating a dead horse, I don't understand how the 'unguided' version (I can understand some of the specialty munitions going out of production and then just being forgotten about and never reentering service) of the arrow went out of production and service in the first place, but yeah certainly before the 3rd succession war ends back and available.
     
  4. Bofors40mm

    Bofors40mm I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Honestly I suspect the reason the unguided ammo went out of production was by the time the means to build those was lost so were the vast majority of Arrow IV equipped platforms so no one rebuilt the ammo plans before the knowledge got lost
     
  5. Doomsought

    Doomsought Experienced.

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    If you compare the performance of a thunderbolt-20 to the Arrow-IV, there is a massive difference between the performance of the propulsion systems. The warhead is also much more impressive, doing 20pt AOE rather than 20pt direct fire, the latter is far less energetic even if more effective against armor. Thunderbolt 20 ammo is heavier than Arrow ammunition.
     
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  6. Extras: House Arano Introduction Part 2 3019
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Extras Nominally Canon Extras

    House Arano Introduction Part 2
    3019
    Cormordir or at least the capital region was more topographically excited than Luxen but they had broad similarities... but then that was typical of most planets choosing to settle near the coast or in River valleys, or both.

    He parsed through the incoming data of what they knew. They were already sure McGirk wasn't here in person but all the same it was a very brazen attack to launch on an actual periphery state that could actually be called a state. The Aurigans had emerged after the fall of the League and built themselves into a reasonbly sized periphery power... and maybe that was the reason either McGirk or one of his lieutenants was thinking maybe it was time to follow the example of the Marian Hegemony...

    ... but whatever their motives there was no indication of the bandit king being here in person...

    Even if Black Jack had been here... he wasn't sure that it would have solved the problem. It was clear this was only a fragment of the horde ravaging the frontier of human space, and if Black Jack died here there would be be less ... and if history was anything to go on.... guidance and the groups would splinter and in the short term there would be chaotic unpredictable spikes in violence. That wasn't to say they wouldn't have gone after him... just that cutting the head off the snake wasn't a sure shot to fixing the problem. It wouldn't magic away the danger that he posed or that his supporters posed to people living out here.

    ... and among those his Dalban was already flagged. There was a running gun battle north of a cut, where the road pushed up into the hillside. He was glad that even though they had done painfully little to change any of the electronics signatures put out by their mechs, Black Jack's band of cutthroats had at least painted their stolen machines.

    The MMI finished inputting the map's terrain data into the navigation system, and the jump jets fired taking him down off the embankment and into the roundabout below.

    Even if they had still been painted in SLDF camouflage he doubted it would have stopped him from dropping down behind the sixty ton Champion and delivering his opening alpha strike into the machine, and also the BattleMaster beside it. His Dalban processed the other jumpjet signatures of the others even as the Marauder stepped over the shattered cockpit of the LosTech warmachine.

    Gauss rifles cycled hitting a nearby seventy ton pirate Guillotine, and an already mangled Sentinel exploded as it met incoming missiles from one of the Aurgian Catapults that wasn't above taking advantage of the situation. "Suppress those vehicles." He ordered finally keying his mike.

    A Highlander wasn't exactly the fastest thing, the standard Hegemony design topped out at fifty four KPH, but when a ninety ton LosTech Command mech decides to floor it in the direction of your tanks and hovercraft... very few people responded with the poise and dignity that they might. One of the former SLDF Manticores managed to reverse before Hanzo brought the Highlander's foot up, which only served to cause him to kick the offending treadhead rather than stomp on the tracked warmachine.

    The added leverage pushed the already backpedalling eighty ton tank through a safety barrier onto the red muddy shoulder of the road and where it promptly peeled through and slid down the hundred foot embankment sending the several hundred year old tank to rest on its side at the bottom of the hill. There were a variety of reasons they were deploying the beachhead force without Inferno missiles loaded in the hoppers for their SRMs but the principle reason was the close contact nature of contest Cordia City and thus the civilian population caught in the open by the pirates.

    ... otherwise Gene would have been perfectly happy cooking the slavers in their tin cans and calling it a day, but preventing pointless civilian death even accidental civilian casualties outweighed the tactical utility of incindery weapons against often under cooled designs.

    Still Bahar's Highlander wasted little time

    His Dalban had a holographic progress bar up as it unpacked the navigation. The Starport was under attack... obviously, the local salvage and mech works was defended but was facing less in the way of a challenge than he would have expected from normal pirates... but then Black Jack seemed anything but normal.

    The other question that appeared wasn't so much why VI, it was the capital after all, but why not V which housed a significant chunk of the planet's industry? It did appear as if Black Jack was prioritizing the HPG station. In order to reach the old ministry of communications facility they would need to clear the blocking force out from the starport... the downside of course was Markam's Marauders probably couldn't stop them. Not if the Demons his Dalban was identifying as rolling down the coastal road were in fact armed with Gauss rifles.

    Their furies and alacorns were en route but it was going to take time for them to roll off even with the speedy deployment capabilities of the DroSTs. A handful of digital count downs tracked the estimated time for the waves to get through the atmosphere and touch down... but that would only be estimations on how soon they could touch down. It was more likely to be a minimum threshold of long it was going to take, and certainly not the maximum.

    A chime sounded an incoming Mech with a Lyran pilot at the helm. The IFF resolved as Aurigan, though the computer didn't exactly know what an Aurigan was. The Dalban quickly resolved the Lyran's mech as customized Centurion, probably rebuilt in the Periphery to be as close to factory spec as was practical. A second Aurigan mech, a Wolverine, following along the Cormorant road.

    Those mechs were coming north, but wouldn't have gotten close enough to have made contact with Callahan or Sasha's screen lances along the MSR. They'd probably already been in the city, or in the urban outskirts of the planetary capital.

    ... and then the come chatter started, even as the sky was streaked with an increasing number of meteors descending from orbit that as they descended resolved into the aerodyne dropships, with spheroids of heavier mass becoming more apparent as they descended.

    Apparently the Lyran was the head of the local Royal Guard, if he were going to guess from just the colors the mechs were painted given his Centurion matched the paint scheme of Kintaro, while the Wolverine matched the paint job of the Catapult the local noble houses were either directly related from a common ancestor or intermarried... or both.

    Bahar's highlander initiated a Laser Comm connection separate from the radio channels. "The Wolverine, and Kintaro are both registering SLDF era codecs."

    "I noticed the Kintaro." He admitted, but even if it meant something it wasn't a priority at the moment... this whole place raised too many questions as it was, but the first priority was dealing with the invaders. They could figure out why there were anomalous mech signatures when people weren't shooting at them. As it was his Dalban was cataloging a list of anomalies that was already proving to be a headache in itself... but they had more pressing issues "Incoming." He intoned flagging another inbound champion tearing down one of the market district's street.

    He didn't respond to the Azami piloting the Catapult making the quip that Black Jack had the devils own luck when it came to cache finds. Now wasn't the time, but he wasn't wrong... and it certainly seemed like McGirk had no shortage of men he could throw into the fray.
    --
    Overhead dozens of ASF had moved off, to turn and burn away from the Aurigan Reach's capital city of Cordia City, the underside of their wings featuring either a symmetrical starburst roundel in gray and white or with an asymmetrical starburst with crossed sabers. The descending dropships, the final wave coming with medical relief and additional personnel, mirrored the divide with gray and green paint schemes.

    The Marauder's Ferro fibrous was coated in a fine sheen of plaster dust, and ash, but outside of some minor SRM contacts his systems returned positive system checks. Gene wasn't particularly worried, but he had taken note that the Aurigans seemed to have a lot of Mechs and Vehicles for a minor Periphery kingdom... unless of course that was because they were all defending the capital... which might have explained the defenses.

    He resisted the urge to simply mute the particularly swear happy pirate captain currently cursing up a storm to anyone who was listening to the open channel. And it was an open channel, it may as well have been planet wide even anyone with even the most basic receiver system could probably pick up the snarling bastard swearing... but the pirate was also backed into a corner.

    Whether the ones who had escaped had gotten what they came for before leaving the others to their fate was up in the air, but the ones still on the ground weren't going to be leaving.

    "Commander!"

    Gene enshrined inside of his seventy five ton marauder as one of the other popsicles in the unit apparently had had enough and started over the line and was bad mouthing the honor less bandit mongrel. They didn't need this.

    He hit a switch on the upper console initiating a broadcast override. Regimental Command systems linked into the other command mechs on the ground, including hte offloaded Fury tanks. The holographic map began to change as data flowed into Star League era battle network systems ground side as well as in orbit.

    There was a supersonic boom, and then a second as wing of eighty ton Rapier in slate gray colors turned back into a supersonic attack run barreling down on the transmitting mech's coordinates, and going for guns. Guided in by a live transmission and carefully measured trace by dozens of command units multiple assault autocannon rounds and PPCs blasted the already damaged BattleMaster into little more than a smoking crater and scrap on a hillside near the starport.

    The FedSun natives banked high and wobbled their wings as the computer updated their ammo situation and they jetted off again. He looked at the data feed that pegged the destroyed BattleMaster as a -1C... just another question they didn't have answers to.

    A brian cache shouldn't have had access to the kind of, the volume of specific machines that Black Jack had demonstrated... the only plausible explanation would have been he had found a castle brian that had been fully stocked...

    It wasn't impossible that such existed, not even impossible in the periphery but if he had found one in the periphery why wouldn't he have just used it as his permanent lair, why had he come all the way around the reach of known space from Lyran, the Combine, Davion, the Concordant and here, why had he also sent a probe at Luxen? It didn't make sense.

    A handshake signaled, and Yusuf's image appeared in a hologram, "Commander, I have informed the local ComStar adept that the Precentor New Avalon sends his regards, and also what we know of the situation on Aea. I have also begun the process of confirming our initial list of the pirates we suspect managed to successfully flee, however that is also why I'm calling."

    An image appeared. A jumpship with a familiar icon... one he hadn't seen recently, but still one he was unlikely to forget. A blue shark breaching. "We have identified with some certainty the number of pirates involved and can say with certainty that Black Jack must be collaborating with the Tortuga dominions either as member of the pirate kingdom or at least as an associate or ally."

    Gene nodded slowly, wondering if the Tortugas had willingly decided to use Rim World iconography... but then remembered their current leader was some one who had declared herself 'Dame murderess extraordinaire' so maybe it was a style choice for fear points.

    Yusuf threw in a couple of orbital telemetry pictures of House Arano's seat complete with enhanced images of the defunct surface to orbital emplacements that had been destroyed during the fallout of New Vandenburg... which was certainly a relief that such installations weren't around. "Is there anything else?"

    "I am afraid not."

    Then it was time to meet the locals.
    --
    Even a dozen parked mechs the rotunda had plenty of space more as if they expected an entire company of mechs to watch the local theater put on Othello, or maybe something by Garibaldi.


    The Marauder crouched hull down in front of the massive edifice of an era long gone. It was mostly fine but still covered in the grime of war, of the orbital drop, of buildings burning and blown up, and some sandblasting from SRMs that had gotten close. The most obvious standouts were the mechwarriors. The aurigan tankers wore coveralls in the style of SLDF units assigned to the Periphery command c.2765 for a temperate climate as the coalition capital was. They were obvious modern manufacture markets, but any MRB shop carried close enough all one needed to do was add the appropriate local patches, and it was a match. The infantry wore temperate SLDF style uniforms of recent manufacture as well. The specific camo pattern was different than their own but didn't raise really any eyebrows.

    The Mechwarriors though. It was emblematic of feudal trappings especially the ones not wearing neural helmets. There was a clear pronouncement of whose mechwarriors were whose. The local houses had their own colors, their own heraldry, and that heraldry was reflected in the Aurgian leadership present.

    Markham, who Gene hadn't seen in person for a few years, and his XO Darius Olivera were both dressed basically the same as they had been on Detroite. The Marauders mercenary company seemed to have been doing well. "If you hadn't held them off there would have been a lot more civilian losses," The pirates had been aiming to both take the star port and hit the ComStar bureau at the same time, and Gene wasn't going to pretend that that tactical mistake hadn't been a boon to Markham's command.

    "Well we had already signed with Tamati about fighting pirates for him." Darius remarked.

    "Lord Tamati believes there is some kind of pirate base on Fjaldr, and even though she didn't stick around Grim Sybil was rumored to be operating out of it, and then she showed up to attack us here... I'd say its more than just one Pirate clan there."

    Probably so. Lord Tamati was at the podium speaking now, the usual noble spiel. If you had heard it from one noble you had heard from all of them talking about the losses to predators from beyond their borders. It was Tamati Arano's brother in law who was the more striking figure. Tamati didn't fail in any particular respect and as a civilian leader, and administrator, and general cat herder for however the Aurigans organized their government since he kept bringing up the found houses quite frequently he was probably fine.

    There was an undercurrent though that something about this speech was all too familiar to the nobles of the room, not necessarily the pirates, and not the extent of the pirates, but Lord Tamati was not Hanse Davion. His brother in law Lord Espinosa clearly was unhappy about the state of the military readiness of the Aurigan Coalition. He didn't need to say anything he just exuded that sort of vibe.

    ... and of course waiting in the wings were the ambassadors from the taurian concodant and the magistracy of canopus... both of whom were clearly at a heighted state of animosity with one another.

    "Why do I not like that look?"

    "The Magistracy has already extended feelers out through the MRB." Was the reply he received as Tamati turned the floor over to another member of the Aurigan government. Gene glanced sideways to Bahar, even as he did the mental math regarding how far they were from the modern Canopian border with that in mind it was most likely the local ambassador... even so it risked creating problems. This whole mess was complicating their travel itinerary.

    The Rasalhagian contingent knew that the Azami had managed to carve out 'colonies out there in the black' but they weren't up on the details. The original plan, back before Dieron, and the extent of ISF reprisals had been to leave directly from the Aurigan reach, but plans changed even before other things had come up. There might have been something on Ur Cruinne after all. The two stay behinds might well end up in a shock... well on top of everything else.

    The speeches went on for another hour a painful procession of the usual politicking that increasingly circled into government and the wealthy feeling out positions. A feeling out that felt like they were going to be dancing around for a while.

    Septim had found a pillar to lean against and had grabbed a pilsner to pass the time with, "This place reminds me of the Archon's palace on Tharkad."

    "Yes, they did a good job repairing it." He replied looking around and then pointing to the ceiling, "You can there where the DOME replaced a structural support," Where an industrial mech had spider walked across the floor and installed a structural support. The remodeling of the original Taurian architecture to cover up where... most likely SLDF warmachines had breached the fortress and taken out Amaris's local leadership two hundred years earlier.

    "Why didn't they fix the guns then?"

    "Even discounting having the parts, most likely because the Taurians were in open revolt and fighting for Amaris." And with the situation in 2766 being as bad as it seemed why install replacement guns if you were afraid the rebels might turn those guns against you... still the Cordia city palace was an amazing blend of polished and transparent metals and ceramics built in an already picturesque countryside. It was a fairy tale castle, and in significantly better condition than the residences of the various dukes of the Elidere system.


    Septim had landed with the Baffins and had been tasked with securing their landing zone foothold. The pirates hadn't done much contesting of their landing though, and by the time they had probably realized the scale of the offload it was too late not with Septim guarding for the two overlords and the triumph coming in, and with the last wave on the ground they completely numerical superiority over the battlespace.

    "Looks like your wanted upstairs," The Lyran observed lifting his glass.

    "So it seems," but it was also expected, "I expect the Magistracy ambassador is going to reach out to you, past employment history,"

    "Ah so be on my guard, gotcha boss, have fun."

    He grunted an acknowledgement and took the spiral staircase up past the maybe not so ceremonial guards. Apparently Houses Espinosa and Arano both called the system home. The other 'founders' were from other systems but espinosa ruled V, and Arano ruled VI and had since the late 28th century had ruled the 'Aurigan space' independent in practice of any historical claims by the Taurain concordant.

    ... the SLDF style icongraphy wouldn't have been out of place on Kimi, or on Elidere or on any of hte other worlds where the legacy of the camerons had attained a near cult like following. That placed him in a room with the two lords, the councilors and the ones who had heirs apparent present... and one of the Azami elders was in hushed tones with a man later introduced as Lord Karosas.

    Apparently Espinosa's Catapult driving daughter hadn't been told where Black Jack had gotten his mech cache, given her apparent, and shared disgust with Lady Arano over grave robbing. Lord Espinosa cleared his throat, "Its more likely that they found a large storage depot that had been sealed away, Victoria." The graying statesman remarked, "But regardless they have very dangerous weapons." And you needed mechs to fight mechs, LosTech against LosTech certainly helped even things up,

    "We were very fortunate to have outside intervention." Tamati agreed with his brother in law, "And that you were both able to make it out of the battle unharmed."
    --
    Notes This is again nominally canon, and doesn't include some of the material from the I Cormordir arc including stuff from Victoria and Kamea during and after the battle for the capital.

    Also, while I'm sure most people have seen this:

     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022
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  7. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Versed in the lewd.

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    This is going to give more weight to Espinosa’s arguments. Which to be fair were good ideas on centralized Government and Industry. It’s just the manner in which he came to power and held on to it that caused issues. A Tyrant with good ideas is still a Tyrant, but Tiamati is too unwilling to sidestep the High Council and make an Executive decision as his role of First among Equals. This may cause him to seek out the Argo and potentially the Artu Outpost when he learns of it to gain more Losttech given the statement by Espinosa.

    Why are the Ambassadors at each other’s throats again?
     
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  8. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Because their respective governments have been accusing each other of taking advantage of or even supporting pirates against their neighbors (I mean its the periphery so thats technically true historically) which escalated to the Canopian ambassador accusing the Taurian one of being responsible for the ongoing pirate attack

    [As opposed to the we should put our differences aside because Black Jack is a revenge addled warlord with a mountain of star league era metal, maybe we should not fight among ourselves]
     
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  9. Bofors40mm

    Bofors40mm I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    i will note assuming you make sure to copy the data on the argo so you don't lose it due to the locura....it has a map with locations of many a star league facility. which would be huge for the aurigans both in material terms for stuff they can directly get and diplomatically speaking. and the very capable machine shops and the like aboard her aren't small potatoes either
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022
  10. Fragment of Serenity

    Fragment of Serenity Yu-Shan's Paperwork Ninja

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    So... Battletech on the whole. Got it.

    Will be amusing to see how the two heiresses change with learning from and interacting with Gene.
     
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  11. Bofors40mm

    Bofors40mm I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Well with a visible external threat causing much needed reforms for one the odds of the Aurigan Civil War happening just ended. So at the very minimum the two aren't likely to end up in a duel to the death
     
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  12. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    At least on the latter yes, but on the former I don't know like my Take on Tamati was (and some of this writer's inertia where I've already written a significant chunk what may well end up its own thread in terms of a timeline's novelization of the civil war covering major campaign missions) unwilling to make reforms because the council kept dickering about things and then he died leaving things unfixed.

    Now certainly here, there is a much larger pirate threat, but does that fix the interal system? Because Espinosa seems to be talking about how the reach had been in decline already (which I have a here, in universe explanation for) and had been declining before the pirates (also apparently in 'canon' on Fjaldr Markham lost a dozen mechwarriors so I assume Markham's marauders is at least a company sized element not the much reduced medium lance and leopard that the HBS game opens you with)
     
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  13. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Versed in the lewd.

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    It will at the least drive home the need to make the ACM a force with more teeth than it currently has as well as give Tiamati more fuel for his Pirate War on Fjaldr. Though that apparently was a slog of a campaign and as you said the Marauders suffered badly in it. Likely so badly they were in the straights we saw them in in the campaign and pretty much surviving only by being on retainer to House Arano. Which dried up after the coup and put them in the debt cycle that eats up so many merc companies or forces them to go pirate. Who then get hunted down by Government Forces or other Mercs and the system that creates them continues with only the banks and military industry coming out on top as always in the Sphere...
     
  14. Bofors40mm

    Bofors40mm I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    the best way to reform the aurigan coalition is to make it more federalized and give the high lord or lady more power especially over military and foreign policy matters.
    on another note would bribing the taurians for the data on what SLDF installations the argo has the location for in their space for a formal recognition of the AC being a sovereign independent nation work?
     
  15. Fragment of Serenity

    Fragment of Serenity Yu-Shan's Paperwork Ninja

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    The arrival of Gene's forces also opens up a solid opportunity for an expansion of the Concordat's skill base. Should they be hired on for the creation of a training cadre, both heiresses are going to be in for some serious changes of thought processes. Gene doesn't have time for stupid or arrogance.

    Added to that is the opportunity that the castle Nautilus offers. An Atlas II would be... spicy.
     
  16. Molder

    Molder The fattest Jon Snow

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    What even is the company's name? Because I don't think it's been said yet.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Highland Faire 7
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Highland Faire 7
    Septim winced, and rubbed his eyes. The headache was fairly pronounced, and the rain had cleared off even though it was still early in the morning. The lyran ran his tongue around the corners of his painfully dry mouth and then winced looking at the door, "Alright, gott mitt uns." He hissed against his hangover, "I heard you." Making sure he still had his trousers on the right way he hobbled to the door and opened it to stare bloodshot eyes at the courier.

    Mail.

    Priority mail.

    Still mail though.

    He signed for it and sent the robe away... and with annoyance glanced at it. Post Marked Lyran Commonwealth of course... home. Mail from home... and dated recently. This wasn't something that ComStar had been dancing around trying to get to him from the periphery, from his time there. It wasn't of course, and it had been silly to even think it might.

    Severus callsign 'Septim' Alexander was itself a nom du guerre and his family had had enough sway to insure a posting with the Lyran Guards but not enough to insure he would make rank and not enough to rise to command it. Thus his moving on to mercenary life had been, for him at least the right move, but the family back home hadn't approved.

    He wasn't cut off per se but there had been no attempts by either side since he'd parted ways with the Inner Sphere.

    He doubted they knew he was on Northwind, or that this was where the mail would land. Forward Service Paid for, not requested, they'd paid ComStar to make sure it followed him. He wondered if it had gone to Robinson first or if ComStar had picked it out and sorted it somehow before that point knowing that the Shepherds were moving to the Highlander homeworld. Surely since ComStar ran the MRB they knew who was shipping wear and could just tell the Post Office that.

    The letter was even if it hadn't been in glowing gold holographic script pretentious in the extreme, it opened with salutations, and included as if he needed to be shown references to the things being referred to clips of battles on Elidere. God in his heaven he'd seen them enough, but he supposed that the public couldn't get enough of them.

    --
    Gene closed the thermos of coffee was the vehicles moved over the ground.

    The Badger ground vehicle was expensive, as in, the Jenner 7A was or would have been cheaper. It wasn't as if he had to pay for them per se, and he didn't have the pilots for them. He had been looking for something cheap and effective as an easy to maintain raider, scout vehicle... and the Badger's modularity while nice worried him in terms of keeping it functional given how new they were.

    That and there was the need for crews. He could wrap his head ... sort of... around the fusion engine shortage. The lack of engines meaning that 'mechs were the priority reducing the commonality of things like Manticores, or the Tokugawa that the Azami used but it still made his head hurt. Had the production bottlenecks really been that significant... but he supposed the Succession wars were two hundred years of strife and fratricidal murder between the member states.

    "What do you think?" He asked the Azami tanker finally.

    "It is a credit to its designers." He replied. Rashid was a big man, easily Beau's height, if not as broad as the Free Worlds native, he was still not the build that Gene associated with a tank commander. "I appreciate that it is compact enough that we secure it in a light vehicle bay. I also appreciate that it was a gift."

    He nodded in agreement especially to the last one. Gene thought about the meeting he was due to have in Castle Northwind... meetings... he corrected mentally as he sipped the coffee. "I know we're short on people."

    "I have sworn to Yusuf that I am doing my best to find good able bodied recruits, but Pasha is surely correct that our best option..." he trailed.

    Would be to recruit Azami tankers who would be able to fold in to their doctrine of battle, and support. "Do we have time tables on that?"

    "As the wind the blows I am afraid."

    The Bandit and its heavier hover version would have fit well to Star League needs for independent regiments, but he declined to mention that. If only the league had made them, "I understand, than you Rashid. See what you can do." This was really their last opportunity to test the vehicles. They had a couple of more weeks and then it would be time step off.

    That wasn't a lot of time. Even for elite formations within the Star League that was a very narrow scope, and would typically have only been application of those units to make planet fall ahead of a larger force. Not... throw basically the whole invasion force into the Gravity Well of a major world and wing it.

    ... but then again Dieron's defenders were much less numerous than the planetary militia would have been in the 27th century... it was a small... minor blessing. The successors states had been in a constant back and forth for centuries now, and that had worn them down to the point that Gene was relatively sure they would have potentially fared poorly against their late Age of War early league predecessors... or not he was only relatively sure .

    Whether or not that was the case or not he wanted to be sure they were as prepared for a combined arms offensive against the combine before they left Northwind. BattleMech evaluations were the priority as far as the Davions were concerned. There was no shortage of paper work to catch up on from things on Robinson, and Bahar had been busy, so that was his next stop.

    The twelve davion mech warriors were already inside the facility, somewhat less expectedly were the additional presence of a mixed Eridani and presumably Northwind native collection of MechWarriors. The Northwind were dressed similar to the Eridani in SLDF pattern uniforms in more of a scotch irish garrison style, but there were no obvious declarations to evoke the black watch. Instead they wore the Stuart Tartan.

    He was less surprised that Bard was ribbing it up with RBA alumnus and the others, but when the Countess of Kestrel showed a few minutes before the scheduled start the room started to quiet.

    "Did you invite them?"

    It was the same question he'd been about to ask. "No. I have a meeting with the Eridani, and the Highlanders later." In addition to the meeting he'd expected to see the countess at where presumably the Field Marshal intended to address any particular developments. "Its not a problem." he slid the data chip into the star league era computer and started the 'power point of doom' tm. "The cache on Robinson was intended to facilitate rapid rearmament and mobilization in the event of conflict. To that end it included a wide range of designs common to the Hegemony of the 27th and the SLDF of the latter period in particular. There were questions regarding reequipping brigade forces with technically superior models, which was eschewed on the basis that this course is designed to insure maximum ability with your chosen chassis. This is a compiling of data on personnel equipment. You should know your machine, and its model the best as possible. Even if we moved you to machine even one with objectively superior systems and you then suffered a problem that you encountered hitherto unknown issue in live combat you would be ill equipped to deal with it. Hence the decision that it was preferable to keep you in the machines you started the course with."

    Obviously the entire introduction had been done on the expectation that he'd just be addressing the company strength of the Davion Mechwarriors. There wasn't anything he could add for the sake of the Eridani or Higland observers. So, he went and got on with it changing slides.

    "Combine preference for single combat will preference ranged engagements, particularly in the use of particle projector cannons, and the limitations imposed on BattleMechs by excess heat." It wasn't that he didn't understand where turning a catapult into a direct fire unit didn't make sense. It did but only in a narrow niche focus. The K2 could work, but the Catapult's default second line configuration still could be used as a duelists machine. "The exchange of shots, while not a priority also minimizes potential civilian collateral damage. Its ultimately a game of nerves." No one liked taking hits, even if it failed to breach armor. That put stress on a pilot, that effected their MMI synch rate...

    That brought them to where, how the company of pilots would be deployed,

    The division into battle buddies was aimed to insure frontline deployment to maximize the frontage covered. There were two real scenarios the first was of course letting experienced pilots cut down training cadre units. The second... the dicier proposition was the company facing sword of light pilots... who realistically were going to have much more significant dueling experience.

    A duel though would keep those pilots and possibly units of them penned down while other sectors advanced. It was an operational calculus. It was part and parcel of being the first boots on the ground, and tip of the spear. Units that were offloading from San Saba, or the other Triumphs, or the Overlord class dropships would face different threats as the battle lines oriented.

    Which was about the point when he was interrupted, by one of the highlanders, "Begging the colonel's pardon, but this makes it sound like you intend to handle the whole lot of them. Not to disrespect this lot, but we're talking a whole regiment of the sword of light with extras around."

    Gene spared a glance to the Countess of Kestrel, before moving to address the matter. "Cooperation with the Eridani, and the Guards is a priority, and in an ideal scenario there would be frontal coverage aimed at decapitating Combine leadership with units like this. In practice we simply haven't had time. The resources are not, and have not been available to pull the 3rd off the line and focus on rearming for this sort of strategy." He might even have used the word gambit, "This program was put together at the request of the DMI for a tactical solution," and one with limitations reflecting what they had had available on Robinson basically at the start... and that was including obviously political pressures from within the Draconis and Crucis Marches.

    None of them could enter the 'squires tourney'. Everyone here were mechwarriors, all the Davions complete with spurs... which Gene felt relatively silly to wear outside of actual formal ceremony. "If this lot isn't getting the new ones, the new mechs, then what about all the talk coming out of GM?"

    There was rumbling not just from the other highlanders, but apparently scuttlebutt had been making its rounds through the Eridani and also probably the DMM Units. Who cared about artillery, or tanks with gauss rifles when there were battlemechs after all.

    He looked around the unruly pilots, "That isn't on the itinerary today," He half expected to be booed, "Who has been briefed officially on the Marauder II program?" No one raised their hand, but he hadn't expected them to. "And that's why we're not covering it today, in addition to the cache on Robinson there are a number of additional systems that need to be covered ahead of introducing these systems to the brigades at large." He paused, "I'm due a conversation with Captain Campbell, and Brevet General Kerston this afternoon. Briefing packets will provided over the next few days on the Marauder II Program, and we will address it in greater depth in the following week."
    --
    Notes: I am pulling, have pulled the last scene for this segment delaying with Lycomb Davion Introtech, and Federated Boeing it doesn't add much content other than commenting on ASF pilot recruitment in exchange for FB and Introtech getting access to ASF pulled out of the MID's depot. It is material that is not polished enough for putting up I don't think.

    The Davions have a 340 engine option. Its not the Aero Ford the Rapier originally used, and presumably that was made somewhere in Lyran Space and may have 'sploded other wise. Hell the Rapier this odd duck entered by a company that is a toy maker. This is not a toy maker makes assault rifle design because country being invaded this Bauer makes ASF in peace time because Star League is looking.


    .. and the Rapier has DHS which is just mind boggling given this is the height of mother doctrine and yet the standard rapier has DHS it has twelve double heat sinks in 2596. I digress, but in this and Essence Rapiers both reenter productions in slightly different configurations obviously the 'freezers' are in the works at NAIS at this point because of well 'here are DHS' because they're old Hegemony tech mid 26th century. Just the advantage they offer, Hanse Davion probably went 'those buckaroo those'. Admittedly this only puts them a few years ahead of canon's timeline on the project its not a magical solution.

    EDIT: as a note there will probably be an interlude next before moving on to eight
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
  18. Threadmarks: Highland Faire Interlude
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Highland Faire Interlude
    7-8
    There were about a dozen men in the room when the next load of boxes came in. There would be more trickling in as they prepared the expected briefing that would probably only occupy an hour maybe of the Prince's Champions time... but there was the chance something would be asked and they'd need to reference.

    The Shepherds were just the sort of Motley Crew that made popular movies. Dramatizing the entire campaign on Elidere was an easy task for the Federated Sun's propaganda wing. It was an entire full spectrum media series for the Elidere Campaign, and the intelligence officer would have been shocked if the Draconis March's broadcasting service wasn't planning to do just that. That was probably part and parcel why the latest memorandum had against warned them against taking too many liberties when dramatizing the affair.

    It didn't help that despite a dazzling performance on Elidere IV that half of Shepherd's company seemed to have disappeared ... probably for a garrison contract or security provisor in Lyran space... but thankfully those were just tanks. The public .... from the battle roms knew that there were more but mostly as a faceless extras a role treadheads tended to be in most productions. The Duke of Robinson might not care for that reality but it was probably what they were going to do.

    ... and casting this Commander Tristian since they didn't know what he looked like, they could make him any Davion or Lyran actor in the right age range it didn't matter. No, the bigger warning was going to any cheap titilation... the Prince's Champion had a hand in that he was sure. She'd also quashed any potential romantic subplots, which was unfortunate for hitting demographic targets. There were other details that obviously should be quashed.

    He'd already had to completely squash a couple proposed scripts for how ridiculous they were, which given the subject matter was saying something. Heaven forbid they try and fictionalize the Colonel as some long lost descendant of house cameron, one of his writers had bullishly held on to the idea and suggested a 'compromise' of just settling on a 'McKenna'... which was still almost as absurd as making him some lost Davion line... Heroes didn't need to always be long lost royalty.

    ... and of course any projects needed to be done so they could work around the snake's own failures at propaganda.

    The door opened and they all stood.

    Field Marshal Yvonne Davion sat down at the head of the table, and Alexandria, the Countess Kestrel, took her place besides the Prince's Champion.

    She looked around and gestured to be seated, and nodded, "The budget requests have been submitted, which means we should see a flurry of activity." Including of course internal actions, demands for revisions and what not, but they were hoping to catch foreign vermin not just the usual corruption, "I will say the meeting with Introtech and Federated Boeing went well, unfortunately while that is the case," She paused considering the reason Federated Boeing was being patient than for example GM or even Blackwell. She almost wished that they could delay in hopes the Colonel would find and open another of these 'brian caches' ... It would have been nice to insure that the Blue Star Irregulars and the New Avalon Hussars would be launching their offensive with SLDF weapons to maximize their striking power.

    They were making certain contingencies with the entire spring and summer campaign aimed at hitting the Combine and inflicting such a severe blow that the snakes had to give ground. There had to be a median though of doing what they could without overstretching.

    That took Asta, and Yorii off of the table. It would mean that for the time being that the Combine would still have access to the Terran corridor, even if that was mostly prestige given the jumpship transit rights. The idea was however that the combination of the Hussars, and Light Horse would be able to seize Altair as well. It would be tangible gains and something they could use to shore up the Crucis and Draconis Marches support while both enriching hte realm and weakening the enemy's. It was the job of her and her staff

    That meant more than simply invading a planet. "We will begin with the considerations inside of the realm. There is a broad consensus among the Crucis and Draconis March that not only must a blow be struck against the combine we have been given the opportunity, a once in a lifetime opportunity to do so." Any of the successor states could mount an invasion, but they needed to be able to insure it succeeded, that things changed in the inner sphere.

    That meant more than just the AFFS succeeding on the battlefield.

    There was a pause from the assembled men and women from around the table, and then someone to her left finally managed to work up the stones to ask, "The duke of Errai is on planet." And he wasn't the only one. The Duke of Robinson's decision to make an appearance was understandable of course.

    Yvonne didn't miss the dark look the flashed momentarily across her lady in wait's face, and she doubted anyone else did either. It was of course a small mercy that they were still far enough ahead of the curve that thus the Capellan march, the Haseks, hadn't moved yet... but that wasn't going to last and she knew that.

    Michael Hasek may have been content to ignore the destruction of the 19th Galedon Regulars, but it was doubtful he had ignored the discovery of the MID depot on Elidere, and certainly wouldn't ignore the finding of another depot on the March capital. She certainly wouldn't have put it past the Duke of New Syrtis to attempt to leverage emphemermal, estranged even familial ties to the Dukes of Elidere as reason that the capellan march should receive some portion of anything recovered from the Mechanized Infantry Divisions stockpiles.

    ... after all plenty of members of the aristocracy were already sticking their hands out. That was why she wanted an eye on the ruler of Errai, "The Duke of Robinson believes that for the time being Errai can be kept on the sidelines." How long that would last was still up in the air.

    It didn't assuage the sandy haired blonde man, "With respect your grace, our best records on Errai say there was only one Castle Brian."

    That was to say that there had only ever been proven to be one Castle Brian... on a world brought into the Terran Hegemony by Director General James McKenna, on the world that had produced the Thug Assault BattleMech...

    --
    The truth was that propaganda films were nothing new. They dated to ancient Terra when films had been the latest medium of communication. To that end dramatization of events was simply a tool of the trade... but Alexandria did get annoyed have to read through some of the drek that MIIO's media department some times put together.

    Besides there was a more pressing concern, "What if there are caches here?"

    That there probably were was the consensus. Colonel Shepherd was willing to admit that much at least, but his reasons for not looking while not identical to their preferences were at least understandable, "It would be a problem. The Robinson Cache, we might be able to place or obfuscate as from the 100th BattleMech Division," And that wouldn't require anything too special in the way of deception, "but access of the two close together will raise questions we can defer those with saying one lead to the other but it will raise questions of where other ones might be. That's why the squires tournament is going to be the particular issue,"

    There was an expectation that guests would attend to see the next generation. It was therefore the most likely place that if someone was going to accidentally bump into anyone and strike up a conversation ... well it was there that they'd have the opportunity. "What about the Highlanders, it certainly seems as if they're monopolizing his time... and I understand that General Keston wants to introduce him to the Blue Stars."

    The Prince's Champion hummed thoughtfully, "I didn't intend to exclude them from the dinner, but realistically they need to be ready." Even though they were technically mercenaries the Blue Star Irregulars may as well have been Davion Regular troops. The truth was that they needed the combine to commit to their current scope of repression and terror attacks against their own subjects... it was distracting the ISF and it was tying down troops that should have been focused on the outside. "But you're correct it would probably do to have them at this briefing you mentioned."

    That wasn't quite what Alexandria had meant, but she didn't say anything immediately. That wasn't what she had meant ... but there was another matter. The countess of Kestrel hadn't been able to make the trip to New Avalon. She'd been needed on Robinson and as annoying as some of the higher peers of the realm were, there was work on Robinson that had needed to be done, "What happens if GM makes the decision to attend?"

    Yvonne Davion paused, "On New Avalon we were able to structure things, and truthfully General Motors had other priorities." At the time of the original offload there had been no knowledge of the most recent developments on Robinson. The cache, the mechs, the spare parts the manuals, none of it... and GM had been unaware of other finds at the time. They had known she'd been in contact with the firm on New Valencia and there were customized Marauder II packages in the delivery... but that hadn't warranted much interest until the specifics had started to circulate... and the rumor mill.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Highland Faire 8
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Highland Faire 8
    The Hegemony security protocols, even given the ... not quite decrepit, but skeletal ... appearance of some of the hallways had involved significant volumes of anti vehicle and anti personnel turrets from the walls, and ceilings and floors and several elevation changes. The tram changes were interesting, but probably suggested there were collapsed tunnels that they weren't seeing... or when the Hegemony had built Northwind... there had been some reason to layout the castle... which was probably also possible. It was however time consuming to reach this portion of the facility and the meeting with the Field Marshal had run long as it was, not helped by the flagrant degree of Dante penetrating Davion data networks.

    The tram dinged as it came to a stop in a full size station, and Gene could understand why. For Dante there was no need to restrict his presence to any single room. The AI had already demonstrated he could communicate across various terminals, or network connections, even with DropShips.

    The fact that they were in what he was fairly sure was a shielded annex in the mountain that given the way the angles were... probably lead to a port complex, the landing sights for accepting Aerodyne and possibly even spheroid dropships of significant size. Then there were the various storage crates, including several marked SCI, and the more telling logo of Star Corp Industries Terran based home branch. That certainly lent credence that this was access to a port complex.

    While the Black Watch was the Royal Highland Regiment... it was far from the only scottish regiment of the star league... and well the Northwind Highlanders while mercenaries had also been part of the Hegemony, and mercenaries were semi deniable. The Hegemony had had really countless other Scotts-Irish units, as had the Lyrans, the Davions, the League, the Kuritans, the Capellans, and of course the Magistracy and the Taurians. Even today twelve hundred years after the Act of Union joining England and Scotland into the United Kingdom there were tartan units, including those who claimed descent and colors from the British Empire, or the United States through the heritage of the star league or through that exodus from Terra.

    On Northwind at least three Highland Mech regiments had fallen during the Amaris Crisis.

    It made sense that the Black Watch could blend in as just another Highlander fraternity, who would believe that the lodge might really have valid credentials?

    He pushed around the side of the crate, even as Campbell asked what it was.

    "Well what is it?"

    He stuck his head back out, "M7 Gauss rifle, probably intended for a Highlander." There were other Mechs that could have accommodated the M7, and would have been transported like this but, the Highlander was the most common mech in Terran and SLDF inventory fielded with the weapon. The M7 had been in service so long that the Hegemony and later the League had produced by different companies under license and in various versions, including the M7D that was standard aboard the Alacaron which was really only distinguished by its lengthened 'barrel' profile what in other naming convention might have simply been specified with the barrel calibre that were produced by Norsestorm.

    The M7D had eventually been developed into the M9 which frankly wasn't all that different, but had then been fielded with the Fury that together with the superior avionics package offered an effective Anti Aircraft system only limited by its ammunition. That hadn't been much later than the Alacorn entry into Terran service though. The fury had entered Hegemony use and then SLDF royal division use, and then dumbed down export models in the 27th century.

    Judging from the situation...

    "Just left here?"

    "Air raid sirens probably went off, and they sealed the port." He guessed. The blast doors were rated for megatons of sunshine even in contact detonation, but if the doors were open then... the doors armor wouldn't have done you any good.

    "Affirmative colonel... the facility was locked down, and then left. This port was not intended as a priority facility, and while it was potentially secure the manpower was allocated elsewhere. The bulkheads were sealed, and other portions were struck by orbital fire from Rim World warships that dissuaded Terran personnel from the use of the facility."

    "But ... I was under the impression that Rim World troops took Northwind?" Kerston queried stepping over to hit an office light switch, add a little more light into the room.

    The AI's voice crackled through the speakers, "Yes, I was required to weigh engaging the facility's self destruct but held off on the calculation that SLDF reinforcements would arrive to relieve a still resisting world." Dante replied, "Instead as the invaders had demonstrated no ability to override SDS or other systems I simply insured they remained bottled in the main facilities."

    He suspected but couldn't prove that Dante had probably pumped the facility's sealed wings full of if not poison gas then at least full of an atmospheric compound that would keep anyone from wanting to try it... though Dante had just implied that strategic level bombardment had been raining down on Tara probably for a protracted period of time. It was giving him a headache thinking about it, and it was no longer relevant to their present needs... then again the Secret Fleet, and an ongoing resistance, Dante probably had expected a main SLDF counter had been on the way from the periphery... and not years down the road.

    --
    Gene finished the boot process, and watched the system telemetry come in. Kerston was a career mechwarrior and command track. Campbell despite his age was a career mechwarrior as well but with a different track from the regular SLDF. The technical instruction and education component just no longer existed... which of course left Gene wondering why he hadn't pulled more continuing education courses from Tristian's outpost.

    Whatever the case this was the sort of thing that would have been left to a specialist officer track anyway to manage and coordinate incoming systems handling, and he would have b een supported by an entire detachment of enlisted. Thankfully much of that could be bypassed once Dante was networked into the system to handle processing incoming and outgoing feeds.

    ... they sat there and watched the rest of the holographic displays populate. White lights black lights, red lights not enough yellow painfully few green.

    "God in his heaven."

    "Yeah."

    Northwind had been colonized in the initial wave of exodus from Tara. The Scotch Irish Diaspora from the english speaking world at large on Terra had carried the 7th Taking to settle worlds like Northwind and Skye, and as one of the Hegemony's initial worlds.

    ... there were indicator returns reading non functional or destroyed for settlements, towns, forts, orbital facilities, lagrangian dockyards, deep space facilities, and more on terrestrial surface and space that were uncountable for as many as there were.

    N001 was reading massively reduced in effectiveness.... which wasn't surprising given the long skeletal hallways and the constant movements and shifts

    ... Danta finished recalculating a number, and the estimated dead on Tara from the 2765 to 2767 revised upward...

    What was worse was that these were wholly fixed assets. Population centers that you couldn't move, means of production... these weren't units that had died they were things you could saturate with ballistic missile fire and tag by minute of nuke. Some were military targets of course, and some were nominally civilian but with military value, but the saturation attacks on Northwinds cities had killed hundreds of millions.

    "I guess we know who Jinjiro Kurita learned how to fight from then."

    It was an unnecessary sullen comment from the highlander.

    While technically inaccurate of course it was the sentiment that Dante agreed with. "What is an Argo?" Kerston was in the flight data logs, "It doesn't look like it landed, but it says it launched .. "Warship?"

    He pulled the same file up. A hundred thousand tons... gigantic even by League standards of DropShip construction, but definitely not a Jump drive equipped vessel.

    Pulling the registry didn't make sense either. The vessel had been on its maiden flight, but the course plan didn't make sense for it to be leaving Hegemony space for trip that had all the ear marks of a deep periphery exploration.

    "Dante, was this an SLCOMNET Tender?"

    "I do not believe so. Argo's mission statement was exploration, it would make little sense not to specify an HPG role. It is possible of course that it was a clandestine service package, but why send it into the deep periphery?" The AI posited.

    Still there was a course intersection that might have been coincidence or might not that took it down through into the Periphery similar to the route that they were with high probability confident that Tripitz had taken but the Argo went further into former Taurian space, and further rimward still.

    "Federated-Boeing operated the Galax shipyards after the fall of the league." Kerston observed, "If you think its relevant, they might know something."

    "Aye, they're poking around." Campbell agreed, but also on the other hand this could be just what it looked like another League era boondoggle of doing something with a too fancy too cutting edge piece of machinery that hadn't been properly tested... like the baron-class warship for example.

    Whatever the case was the Argo was only one of many DropShips that had in the unknown to then final years of hte league had logged flight plans with this port complex. Because, however of its unique size, its uniqueness in general the Argo's registry and plan stood out in most data tables. That and he had already plugged in the tables for known SLDF losses, which was probably no where near complete but it was better than nothing in terms of having something to parse through the data.

    The Highland captain cleared his throat, "I dunno if we can clear this blockage of the main hangar, gonna be needing digging equipment, I don't even have exterior camera feed. This probably got buried and then snow and mud piled on for two hundred years on."

    Probably exactly like Bristol that was going to be who knew how many months of work to get to where you could even open the hangar doorways... maybe Abner still had the digging equipment in the IE dropships' holds. It would be worth asking about once they backtracked, and went back to the surface... but it would almost certainly be after dark by the time they finished here.

    There didn't look to be anything they could reliably pull out of the Port, from Gene's cursory overview. They needed manpower to come in and make sure the trams could pull that weight and they needed loaders, but it would make more sense to just clear the port entryway and see if they could get the doorways open and then just bring DropShip crews in.
    --
    Notes: This is really more along the lines of an interlude but it does reference ahead of time several things that come about or are dealt with later on. We have the Marauder II and mech stuff next, then the Squires tournament and the introduction of what will become Bardiche and Claymore and then preparations to finish out January of the year and then the HPG interlude of the attack on Cranston Snord's folks by Marik in February possibly. I'm not sure i'm going to do that or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022 at 8:28 PM
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