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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. Viva01

    Viva01 Experienced.

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    I just want Mech combat with superior firepower and tactics with some logistics occasionally thrown in to show that his better mech/education really makes a difference when push comes to shove. Maybe even a —mock gasp— Flanking maneuver!

    But seriously, this last chapter was much better with the inclusion of date, along with having most of the points being more coherent so if you did anything last minute it seems to have paid off. ??? Or is it simply more consistent?





    Urgh yeah Battlemasters, love them. I loved the original Orions back in the original games as well with Mechwarrior games. Madcat's were great fun too with their 'I can see you ergo you are too close/in range'
     
  2. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I think the Luxen conclusion was weak to begin with due to just me trying to get through the chapter. I think Detroit's opening was always going to be stronger, because it was already written, and the plan had been to do an interlude to foreshadow the canopian side of things for the future, just as we're probably going to jump over to Darryl and his Centurion back on Aquagea in a chapter or two. There were minor alterations to II Detroit's opening, but I don't recall any major changes.
     
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  3. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    So who is coming with him to Detroit?
     
  4. Threadmarks: Short Part 1
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Short [Exercise Interlude]
    Part 1

    Luxen, Magistracy of Canopus
    September 3016

    The Vindicator wasn't exactly in the best of condition to begin with, but the shuddering definitely seemed worse than it had been before the pirates had attacked. "SitRep Lieutenant." The Gunslinger's voice was enough to jerk her out of her complaint. The fact that her machine's scopes couldn't find the seventy five ton heavy battlemech was just part of it.

    "I'm at Alpha. Pirate contact, two fire starters like the militia reported." She replied into a throat mike that probably wasn't known for its fidelity of transmission, "Over." Short replied There had been two Firestarters that militia had identified. The pirate mechs though during the attack had been ambushed by the Maguanac Corp Tankers who had unloaded what the Major had referred to as a gridsmash onto the hostile position before the pirates and their infantry had known what was happening.

    They had been explicitly told that while modelled on the recent battle, and script to be similar it would not be identical... and of course part of that was probably that they had taken very real losses fighting the pirates.

    "Your discretion lieutenant. Your platoon may act as it sees fit." The Marauder driver replied.

    Platoon was the now official term for a six mech structure... at least until someone way higher than her commission decided to change it. More established mechwarriors than she had brindled somewhat at it because that was a term already used by tankers and infantry. "Affirmative Major." She rocked back on the stick, and heeled her Vindicator into position before keying her comms onto the Platoon frequency, "They don't seem to know we're here yet, so lets light 'em up." She directed the coterie of enlisted MechWarriors, all of whom were still her age, assigned to the unit.

    There was no actual bang. They logged the simulated firing of their LRMs against the 'Firestarters' that they had detected, and waited for a response. Their fire returned from the examiners as ineffective, and the simulated enemy mechs began moving.

    In the actual battle of course the FireStarters had been destroyed by concentrated missile attacks so she wasn't sure why the attack hadn't worked... perhaps the test advisors had simply deemed that that not enough missiles had 'hit'. Well, they had lost the element of surprise now.

    She pushed the throttle up and rounded through the hills taken them into the open flatland expanse of the eastern river country and checked the telemetry of her TTS. Supposedly good neurohelmets wouldn't have required the screens, but they'd been retained in mech design even during the heyday of the star league, and as electronics manufacture declines it was necessary to rely on them. Her Churchill computer glitched flickering as it confirmed the broadcast test IFF but then fritzed reading the truck that was standing in for the mech opposing her Vindicator.

    "Divide and conquer," She ordered signalling the platoon to divide into two 'demi-lances' and then sent the signal to indicate test cycling her PPC against the enemy. Then groaned in frustration as the firestarter she had picked refused to actually take hits.

    Then her computer informed her that the enemy were charging their position. A real mech, well Real Firestarters would probably have used their jumpjets as well, but for the sake of the exercise it seemed like they were just 'running' at them. That running though was going to put them dangerously close in short order, Short cursed and moved her mech and waited for the the target indicator to to flip green and fired. There was no burst of ball lightning of course, but at least this time she was awarded a hit on target notification on here screen, but not a confirmed kill. Her Ceres Arms Smasher was at least hitting, but the computer was warning her she was about to be in Medium Laser range. At two hundred meters she received a notification that she had been hit on the left shoulder. "Bitch," She muttered, and then hoping her mike hadn't still been keyed on reached for the arm control to add the Medium laser of her vindicator as her unit did the same. After what seemed like an eternity both vehicles stopped and signaled that the 'Firestarters' had been defeated.

    "Damage report?" She asked, and then in reply to what was largely superficial damage decided to press on, "Platoon regroup," Still irritated she reached to key the mike for the command frequency, "HQ hostiles down, we're proceeding back to our original objective, moving to Nav Point Beta."

    Seghal's voice answered, "Lieutenant be advised, enemy heavy mechs are confirmed operating in the AO."

    Great, she thought in response, "Roger that, Force Major." Not that she was surprised, this was based off of the attack after all, "Any other intel?"

    The Gunslinger cut her off, "An Orion, I'm a klick due west of Beta, with it corralled between me and Bubbles and the Curie Resevoir between it and the Nav Point." Major Shepherd declared, "Reinforce that militia infantry."

    Her map flickered showing where she'd have to cut wide to avoid the fighting, and the computer plotted a course based off friendly navigation data. "Was there an orion in the invasion?"

    "Yeah it was one of the pirate officers who got away." Another of her lance mates replied to the question. "Its lance high tailed it back to their dropships from the sound of it."

    Technically her subordinate units should have all been radio silent except for communicating with each other, Local Comms only, but she wouldn't have been surprised if the Vindicators were in fact broadcasting all chatter back to the Mobile HQ that Force Major Seghal was commanding from.

    She grimaced, and started to order them to stow the chatter.

    "Why's that?"

    "Uh because someone ghosted up to a kriffin' DropShip and got it to surrender after slaughtering the entire Infantry company defending it?" The second speaker snorted.

    "That's enough girls. Look alive, spread out and watch for enemy scouts." She ordered killing the chatter. They started to regroup back into cross country formation and then rain started diminishing their vision in a way that thankfully hadn't happened during the actual invasion. Then a couple of minutes later they started receiving casualty reports.

    In the actual invasion second platoon had been mauled after being run head long into mechs heavier than theirs and not being prepared for it... but it wasn't as if they had been the only ones. C Company had suffered a similar ignominy to a pair of sixty tonners. The excuse from C Company's captain had been that they hadn't any ammo left for their auto cannons but she doubted that was the only reason. The whole thing had been a clusterfuck after all.

    Her exterior radio comm fizzed. "Holly .... contact .... break, .... Quickdraws and Pheonix Hawks."

    She pivoted her mech's torso towards the transmission's indicated direction, "No Copy, send again," There was no response, and in the mounting rain she couldn't see shit. There no indicated thermal signatures, and given the Firestarter encounter she wondered if the whole exercise had decided to not involve jumpjets from the OPFOR.

    She waited and requested a repeat, but nothing... asking herself if they should move to the objective or prepare to engage an enemy in near zero visibility

    "I've got a heat signature." Someone announced. "Mass Contact says light mech, not reading an IFF."

    The canopian lieutenant keyed company HQ, "Command possible hostile contact, and loss of contact communications outage with second platoon. Near Zero visibility." A minute later she was glad that they had kept moving as they were informed by the exercise runners that LRMs had started firing onto their former position.

    Major Shepherd's voice cut over the general chatter, "All units maintain radio silence, or communicate by short range laser comm only. Hostile Union DropShip had started targeting by radio signal trace." The line closed and her computer told her that LRMs had been fired at a position about kilometer north of their new position.

    Despite having just been told to go radio silent, her mech registered a laser comm, and her partner made the observation that apparently Lady Raventhir must have changed the simulation again. Short blew out a breath and relied on the instrument panel to figure out where to divert the unit to, but she was probably right about the unmentioned change over to the exercise.
    --
    Commentary: This should be three parts its about five thousand words total.
     
  5. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Versed in the lewd.

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    Nice, much better and coherent. Who’s pov is it though. Obviously a Lieutenant in the MAF but no name given.
     
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  6. Viva01

    Viva01 Experienced.

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    Lieutenant Short I believe.

    Very nice chapter showcasing some other points of view with general confusion from them over his ghosting ability. Which with poor weather conditions really highlights the utility.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Short [Final Exercise] Part 2
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Short [Final Exercise]
    Part 2
    She slammed hard against her restraints as the mech stopped moving. She shook her head, and cursed the landing. The decision to push forward to the objective were the reports, simulated or not, regarding the casualties Regiment were taking. Infantry and armor were dying by the droves against pirate mechs, and conventional wisdom held only a mech could fight a mech.

    That had been what had cemented the decision to use their jumpjets to try and get up the incline faster, which had worked, and then had tried to cross the other side of the hills and that was where things had started to go... downhill. The rain hadn't let up, and if anything had picked up and on top of still having to deal with near zero visibility in the rain and wind the ground was pushing giving out.

    "Platoon sound off?" She asked.

    "I've got a warning light on, Lieutenant."

    Great, she thought biting down a curse, and hoping that was exercise specific and that they hadn't actually done that... but it probably was real, "Can you resolve?"

    "I've never seen this one come on. I'm not a mech tech." was the sharpish reply.

    "Stow it corporal, take rearguard we need to move." Short ordered abruptly as the next round of 'screams' came in over the radio. If the admittedly spotty friendly force tracker was accurate the militia were trying to human wave the enemy mechs, with predictable results. They needed to move.

    She keyed company HQ for a response, and received no response... "Come on, damn it." She tried, only thinking after about the directive radio silence and the threat of inviting an LRM attack.

    "Ja, hold on Holly." Septim answered, the connection to the Lyran's mech was spotty at best, "Ok this should." He didn't finish.

    "Alright, I've bypassed the jamming, but I don't know how compatible my Marauder's systems are with the Vindicator." The Major added. "I'm getting some kind of signal issue, codex issues." He muttered darkly.

    "What's going on?"

    "Its simulated ECM from the DropShip, we swapped over to my Dalban to run communications to bypass it. Most likely you never received the instructions to handshake. Admittedly we had to pair Merlin's Magestrix's gamma the hard way."

    "What about Bahar?"

    "She has SLDF pattern comms my Marauder is 5x5 with her and Flank Force.. What's your situation?"

    "We're moving to relieve the militia, and receiving increased calls for aid. 1-4 Has some kind of warning light on."

    "Yeah, her comms unit looks like its damaged. What happened?" Apparently the mudslide, or a rock in the wall of wet earth, had hit an unshielded antennae on the mechs head. Not enough to really damage anything armor wise, but just bad luck Short supposed. "We're in a monsoon rain, I won't order you to not use your jumpjets but its probably not a good idea in this weather for an exercise. Keep pushing to the objective, Bahar and flank force will probably beat there, you have discretion to engage on any targets of opportunity."

    She looked around the soaked area of the ground... for all of five feet she could see from her crouching mech, and then back to her displays. "Corporal," She tagged the damaged mech, "Your long range communications antennae was damaged in the slide, stick close to my right flank." It must have been nice to have SLDF equipment.

    The classroom's lectures had stated that the Vindicator had been a mech designed during, and put into production after the first succession war. Whether it was because by that point there hadn't been a Star League or it had been something left out of later Mechs it lacked the protocols of the Star League Army for communication. That technology had largely been lost as it had been a part of a mostly automated production system that know one knew how to reproduce.

    It occurred to her that while the OpFor mechs were being played by ground vehicles as stand ins... their own forces were played by their real units for the most part. That meant there were actually infantry out in this mess. Infantry that were supposed to be operating in close conjunction with regimental ground combat vehicles, and OpFor vehicles playing at being battlemechs... she keyed her mike, and voiced her concern about how actually seeing friendly infantry."

    There was an exasperated sigh, "Yeah, we'll work something out. Try not to step on any crunchies. Also in the next two minutes you should get visuals on flare launches it will signify Bahar has started her attack to the Militia but you can use it as a visual indicator. It should also provide some illumination as well."

    Seventy degrees she could manage to see the white and red flares bursting , but while she could see them they didn't really do much for ground visisibility. What they could detect were weapon signatures that were probably supposed to be Large Lasers and LRM 10. Those resolved into Pheonix Hawks, and Quickdraws turning to engage Flank Force's as they strafed them...

    The weapons fire at least generated enough heat for her targetting suit to pick them out in this mess even if she couldn't see the mechs themselves. She felt her fellow vindicators more through her neurohelemet than she could see them, and if they had actually been really firing the LRMs she might have actually heard the launch of thirty missiles at the enemy's exposed rear arcs. As a half thought she keyed the mike, "Regimental HQ, Lieutenant Short, we have reached Waypoint and are engaged with hostile medium heavy mechs."

    There was no response, but she assumed that the test examiners could hear what she had said because they returned confirmation that their LRMs were hitting the target. She moved the reticle onto the 'quickdraw's' 'rear'. They needed to finish this quickly, they couldn't afford a repeat of what had happened with the Firestarters earlier. They also couldn't just rush to close in, they didn't have the armor for that, and she knew that.

    ... but if they needed to move somewhere else, move on another objective, "Advance to half a klick," She ordered, concentrate fire on those heavy 'mechs and bring them down," hoping that even as she gave the order that it was the correct one. Her ammunition counter read eighteen volleys remained stored in her mech's left torso. "Pour your LRMs into those Quickdraws." she added, flagging the mechs to the others in the Churchhill's squad level dialogue management.

    Maybe it was because they weren't real mechwarriors controlling the enemy or maybe the pirates really would have been too focused on chasing down the flanking force to turn to engage, but the Quickdraws never got the chance to to fire their rear medium lasers before they were through the thin rear armor of the sixty tonners. The aggressor Phoenix hawks weren't so slow to respond and turned to face the nearing medium mechs. She bit another curse down as she was helpfully informed she was taking accurate Large Laser fire. The OpFor mediums were now turned around and charging them having probably judged they had a better chance of catching the slower Vindicators.

    The downside to LRM volleys, and then PPC fire of course meant her Heat sinks, and those of her unit just couldn't keep the heat down so they were just as visible on thermals obviously as their enemies were. There was no sense though in stopping they were committed and from the lessons learned they needed to capitalize on the imitative of the attack. Failure to do so would leave them exposed to a more mobile enemy that was focused on them.

    "We've got them trapped." Her wingwoman shouted over the squad channel, which was technically probably accurate given the enemy were caught between six Mediums and the six mechs of the flanking force that was continuing to take pot shots at them from long range with a mix of LRM and Large laser fire.

    Numbers decided it. They just were making more attacks on the enemy and weight of fire resulted in word from the proctors overseeing the exercise that the 'Phoenix Hawks' were destroyed caught between the two mech forces... but that came at a cost.

    ... Most of the ... militia infantry were dead, and from the sound of the report everyone else was walking wounded... and from the sound of it the Militia vehicles hadn't done much better. Emphasis on militia. "They did what?" She asked turning her mech to regard the arriving Tokugawa tanks a few minutes later.

    "We destroyed their DropShips according to the simulator computer." Major Shepherd remarked as his Marauder emerged from the curtain of rain, then to elaborate, "I had Ali," obviously one of the maguanac tankers from the context, "pump the open cargo bay full of interno missiles." He added. "I believe officially casualty for the pirate infantry is actually higher than the number I killed during the invasion."

    ... "Inferno missiles are," Septim stopped talking as his Merlin slid to a halt, "Anyway Ravnethir has called a halt to the exercise. I don't think she was actually expecting the Dropship to be killed, or even for us to find it."

    "This needed to finish up anyway, the storm front is actually intensifying, assuming the forecast is accurate in a couple hours we'll be getting another eight inches of rain." The Major replied. "Houston is going to be landing so we can pack everything up, get everyone dry. Before we start having PBI get trenchfoot."

    .... whatever that was, Short thought. Then there was the rumble of what at first she thought was thunder, but turned out to be the great thrumming noise of the Houston's fusion drives as it slowly descended, as if summoned by name.
     
  8. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Versed in the lewd.

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    Damn good and you really felt the trainees trepidation.
     
  9. Kyryst

    Kyryst Lurker Supreme

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    I piked what I read. I could tell who was talking, and was really immersed.

    Edit: Liked, but piked works for me, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
  10. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Cool, and if thats the case you'll probably like Daryl's snippet with his centurion back on Aqua Gea in a chapter or two, and hopefully Detroit will be more in line with your tastes as well.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Short Part 3
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Short Part 3
    If it was at all possible she felt even more out of place than at the reception after the drill before Lady Raventhir had swept them up to go looking for LosTech on Pioche a few months earlier. It might as well have been a life time ago now. It hadn't really been that long, but the situation felt so totally surreal she had to wonder if she was dehydrated or someone had slipped her something as she skirted around the crowds.

    Major Shepherd was dressed in a full body suit that should have been sweltering to wear in a battlemech's cockpit, but neither he nor Bahar, dressed in a similar tan suit, looked uncomfortable. Admittedly part of that was probably the lack of actual weapons being fired, and thus no excess heat build up, but they hadn't looked sweaty after the real fight against the pirates either.

    Their suits set them apart from pretty everyone else here. Force Major Seghal was in the MAF dress uniform, and Lady Raventhir was in formal weapon complete with ermine cape. Scuttlebutt, and the fact that it wasn't a secret, meant she had known for a while now that the money just wasn't there to continue the contract. The Mercenary Review Board had already posted the bounties for confirmed pirate kills during the battle, a payout in C-Bills that made her lieutenant's salary look pale and certainly head and shoulders better than the pay a non commissioned mech warrior received.

    The MRB had been happy. Precentor Labarbera had been on the holovids every night at nine o'clock talking about Blackjack's bandits and how he had reeved his way from the lyran commonwealth, Draconic Combine, Outworld Allaince, Fed Suns, and Taurian concordant to finally reach this region of the rimward peripery. The ComStar provided News Network had all the best Rom Clips of hte battle, citing the MRB as their source for the trivid footage plastering major gatherings in public squares. Across the churned ochre expanse of what had been green grasslands of the city PPCs flashed eternally memorializing battle. The pirates had never made it into the city proper though. Watching the videos wasn't the same as having lived it, the videos could have been anywhere, off on some distant world.

    Casualties were glossed over in the ComStar reports in favor of the spectacle. Casualties that were part of the reason on top of just money that they couldn't continue the program.

    A door opened bringing with it a gust of wind, and the pounding rain drops from outside slathered the inside of the door. The Lyran mechwarrior didn't notice it and strode on inwards homing in for the Mercenary Commander, his fellow captain, Major Seghal, and Lady Raventhir. "Last of them all tucked in boss, and no sooner either, the winds picking and the weather service is expecting to issue flash flood watches through tomorrow morning."

    A look of supreme satisfaction appeared briefly on the major's face, but then it was gone, "Thank you Septim, at least everyone is out of that mess." The gunslinger stated, "Lieutenant Short," He beckoned for her to join them. There were plenty of MAF officers in the lounge like expanse, but few if any from non mechwarrior combat arms... part of that was the complete lack of ASF pilots. It didn't escape her that she was probably the lowest ranking officer here.

    Unlike the enlisted mechwarriors Short had purchased, well her mother had put the money up, her commission into the MAF. The Magistracy's Armed Forces could reasonably expect her to remain in a battlemech combat role so long as she had a mech issued to her by the MAF even after she completed her mandatory term of service. The same would be true for the other officers but the enlisted on national service were free to finish up and muster out. Retaining them would have been a costly expense for the Luxen Planetary Government, and that would be unpopular. That meant out of the twenty MechWarriors who had started most of would have been separating out in about a year, never mind wounded or the three KIA.

    In a way that seemed to be the topic of conversation. "I have a contract on Detroit for the scratch veterans on North. Anybody who doesn't have a part in the Mercenary Court proceedings will be there. The MRB doesn't have any idea how long that will be, but I expect it will be a couple of months." Major Shepherd remarked.

    "I see," Lady Raventhir sipped the wine glass, pursed her lips, and contemplated for a minute. The others waited for the noble to speak. "I would like at some point to go back to Pioche." Doctor Abner on their way back had stated that with air recyclers or deployable solar mirrors... or frankly a long list of Star League era devices that were probably all equally hard to come by... could be used to speed up the planet's thawing process. "Of course it will take time to find the excavation equipment as well, or source them from Majesty Metals."

    She wondered if there really was a Rim World Republic facility on Pioche... the batty old Lyran professor made a compelling argument about the catastrophic death of the colony having very likely not been some malign cosmic joke. They just hadn't been able to prove it hadn't been an accident. Unlike at the height of the Star League there was less need for Pioche the breadbasket world to export food to neighboring star systems, especially since there wasn't the transport capacity available like there had been before the first succession war.

    The major shook his head, "No idea what the future will hold. Once Detroit is settled out, well the news makes it sound like its going to be raining pirates on the whole rimward periphery, and there is your Marion problem." He picked up his drink and downed it.

    "We can discuss it once the Mercenary Court returns its findings, or if your contract with Majesty finishes."

    "What's the most optimistic timeline for your heavy machinery?"

    Another purse of Raventhir's lips. "I admit it could be months. We were hoping to be able to purchase more Vindicators from Ceres, a new order would allow us to purchase additional spare parts at a reduced rate." Lady Raventhir glanced to Short caused her to shift uncomfortably, but the Mercenary spoke up.

    "Months?" Shepherd seemed skeptical

    "You said optimistic."

    "You're right." It sounded as if he hadn't meant optimistic. "Well we can revisit the issue at the first of the year." The major put his empty drink to the side, and clasped his hands behind his back, "If Abner is right though, if that was a Kinetic Impact from someone putting a fusion drive onto a rock I would expect that whatever is down there will have other defenses."

    "Like a Castle Brian."

    "Like a Castle," He agreed, though with a somewhat greater emphasis on 'Like'."and that probably means automated turrets, but if you do decide to go in, I'd do a hard check of the asteroid belt, and for that matter the system Oort cloud looking for rocks."

    "I'll keep that in mind." Lady Raventhir excused herself, and she and Force Major Seghal moved to strike up a conversation with one of the Planetary Counselors.

    Shepherd leaned over to the other Mercenary, "Remind me when we get to Detroit, we really are going to need ASF cover."

    "Could always stick a Dropship up there too. I mean," Septim paused to swipe a stein of beer from a passing server, "Abner said there were weeks of warning, surely we'd have enough time right?" The Major shrugged and rattled off something acceleration and that that would probably be tue, but they were also talking about the polity responsible for slaughtering the Star League, and Hegemony's ruling house.

    Bahar had tensed at the reply Short had noticed, and seemed to relax when the Major changed subject. "Its mostly an abundance of caution. Even if we get lucky and there is something there most of Amaris's army relied on large volumes of suicidal troops to attrit the regular army, or chemical or nuclear weapon attacks. I m not saying there couldn't be a Mech Line there, but Amaris didn't have the DoME, and it'd be more likely that its combat vehicles." He shrugged, and their conversation turned to the Union.

    "Did she not bring that up?" Septim asked.

    "The one in the exercise or the actual DropShip?" She piped up trying to participate.

    "In this case the actual DropShip. The magistracy has enough manufacturers that Majesty can produce the Union hull and then assemble one from parts but the sucession wars being what they were means they're mostly just making spare parts. There are some parts on the DropShip that need to be replaced, but we'll have to wait till Detroit to see if we can get them."

    Force Major Seghal apparently already had copies of the next nine weeks itinerary, in addition to the recommendations for refit and repairing of the Vindicators damaged in battle with the pirates, but that was more or less it. "So you think we should go to large lasers and LRM 10?"

    "To be honest, from a skill perspective, with green pilots yes." The gunslinger responded, "Large laser loses you some range and overall damage, but they run cooler than PPCs. You'll tax the heat sinks less. The LRM 10 is an inefficient weapons system, and with more experienced mechwarriors you'd be better off having two LRM 5 launchers, but an LRM 10 throws more missiles when you're just firing one weapon. I personally prefer PPCs, but its less expensive to put in Large Lasers, and the depot has a bunch of salvage ones in usable condition." He shook his head, and stuck out his hand, "You'll do fine Lieutenant. I'll probably see you sometime next year."
    --
    Commentary: So what is going to happen is that I am going to go spin Luxen II off as its own thread, I will add new content, and it will cover the three arcs it was supposed to cover in great depth, and I can hopefully address the issues that manifested. What I dont' want is for it to balloon into fifty K, but we'll see.

    So yeah it will cover: Cadre and introductions, Raventhir's little treasure hunt side quest, and then hopefully by the time all that is covered I will be happier with the first BlackJack Pirates fight on Luxen as the conclusion.

    That will probably be October, I have some other projects I want to work on, and Detroit II will go up in a couple days. I'm working on revising it some, but I think Part 3 of the chapter will be much better received.

    As to LRM thing, yeah its kind of table top ish, Thus the reason to explain LRM 10 being so common when from a stat perspective is that presumably it is easier for a pilot to fire one weapon. Thats what I'm going with because even in fluff an LRM 10 is more expensive than two lrm 5 launchers. Putting an LRM 10 in costs you an extra ton, costs you on paper 40k c bills more, so the utility of having an LRM 10 has to be employment. I press button shoots ten missiles its a single system to keep track of versus keeping track of two (and thus should be more maintenance in down time, in addition to a pilot tracking the second system). If that makes sense.

    EDIT: Regarding the downgrade from PPC to LL... as it turns out apparently the Magistracy produces or seems to produce plenty of PPCs, enough that their leopard DropShip variant pulls the large lasers out and goes all PPC. Why don't know, but presumably unlike someone I could name the Magistracy does not have a problem producing PPCs, so we'll say that this is a field expedient refit being proposed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  12. Kyryst

    Kyryst Lurker Supreme

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    So, if the enlisted Mechwarriors get released from service at the end of enlistment, that should mean the MoC has a large amount of low skilled Mechwarriors in their population. That seems like a fertile ground for recruitment, low skill means low pay. And if you want to fill seats in bug mech companies, they fit perfectly. And who knows, as they gain skill, there could be diamonds in the rough. And an indirect fire support company of bug mechs could be useful.
     
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  13. RazeByFire

    RazeByFire Getting out there.

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    Has the Magistocracy thought about hiring a PR firm to push up their retention numbers? From stars and other famous people visibly dating veterans to action movies being given tax breaks, manipulation of public opinion should gain them a few % points.

    Also, additional benefits for going into the Reserves and keeping skills sharp- special tax exemptions, preferable rates on loans, all sorts of levers for that.

    Orit could be that they’re already doing that sort of thing and that’s the percentage their getting with that; it wouldn’t be particularly exciting to read. Though the Protagonist suddenly being wildly popular with the ladies or gentlemen when he’s of age would be funny.
     
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  14. Threadmarks: II Detroit Part 2
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    II Detroit
    Part 2
    November 3016
    Detroit [19.15, -452.55]


    130 Light years. That was the distance between Detroit and Luxen, give or take. Unlike his trip from Detroit going to Luxen they were doing it the normal way. He was glad that Baffins, as the Union had been registered, had had its ASF bays ripped out by a previous owner in order to make room for more habitable space. Since they owned the JumpShip they were riding it made the ride a little more manageable anyway, but it could have been a lot worse. Conventional jump meant they stayed docked to the JumpShips, they waited for the sails to charge, and thus there was no jump detach move to another jumpship and then jump out in short order.

    They also weren't going off into an unknown combat situation. They were going to a commercial hub, that hopefully wasn't under a pirate threat. ComStar, the MRB, had given him the documents to review over, maybe intended as a refresher, but it was mostly a copy of his own BattleRoms from the battle, and corroborating footage including from the local infantry unit. Captain Fields had secured the Pheonix Hawks, and Panthers downed on the main highway as he had been .

    That was apparently a big thing, planetary militia had not just footage of his kills, but what could be construed as directions to secure the salvage. The salvage that the combine was claiming was stolen property in the first place, and should be 'returned' the Dragon's legal representatives.

    There were signed statements included in the packet from Colonel Khan. He had apparently already given testimony about the battle, as well as to events leading up to it.

    There had apparently been some fairly cutting remarks about the embarrassment to having so much equipment get walked off from if indeed all of the equipment did or had belonged to the DCMS, which was being called into question. There were questions about the Harrasser missile platforms that Gene had more or less accidentally stomped on as he had entered the spaceport, and their unit as a whole.

    Septim had apparently downed a pair of lights and some vehicles during the fighting, and it wasn't really Gene's business to tell him how to proceed for the hearings. Personally though... well he did want the catapult he had downed, but he was running into a problem where he already had the strange position of more Mechs he had pilots for. Schiffer buying the farm had left him with a wrecked Cicada that he didn't know what to do with, and it was sitting in the union's cargo hold as basically scrap.

    He had a shopping list of things he wanted to get on Detroit that was like a mile long, and well cashing out the other Mechs in the 'docket' as it were seemed pretty fine by him. The Merc Court he had to do with the MRB. He was going to need lawyer time for contracts to be drawn up for among other things future employment... not that he was really expecting any of the short terms jobs with Majesty Metals to involve a lot of salvage. ComStar's news broadcasts of late had really stoked concerns about pirate attacks, and those were probably going to constitute a lot of future contracts... assuming that Raventhir wasn't right and something had to be done about this Marian Hegemony place....

    There was a knock at the open door of the wardroom, and he directed Septim to enter. Small talk followed before they moved on to the matter of unit operations on Detroit, the contracts they had already lined up. The Lyran flipped through the paper in his hand squinting seeming to double check that he hadn't missed whatever it was, "So I noticed we're not doing the six thing."

    "There is less of a point," It wasn't just a facet of training or individual mech warrior skill. Nobody had the same mech, which was another contributing factor in his thinking, though that could have been worked around, but, "I'm not saying the company might never use it, but in our situation right now we're more likely to resort to an augmented Lance with four mechs with attached armor. Or operating three mechs independently," A so called demi lance, "or with attached armor," Seeing as the tanks were in the same speed bracket. "The ability to concentrate the same weapon systems as a single unit isn't viable. We have more variety and that makes traditional lance structure better at least with regards to the time being." There wasn't anything stopping them from using a demi company but it wouldn't be the same thing, and there was less of a reason than with six Vindicators as it had been originally, "And of course you and I will both be in Ann Arbor."

    "Right, court." Septim half groaned at the reminding. "What about the Union?"

    "Well we've been talking about, we need crew, and it needs work. Not that its the only thing, I'd like to hire on an air lance," For the Sam Houston, since Baffins had had its ASF bays ripped out at some point to make room for other stuff, "We've got a couple spare mechs as it is, so hiring dispossessed mechwarriors is an option." He wasn't entirely confident in hiring someone who just wanted to be a MechWarrior but had never even been in a Mech that would require a comparatively greater investment , and probably not the best idea if they weren't going to be on a single planet for more than six months, but they'd see, "We need infantry." and some other personnel on top of all that. "IF ComStar is right and McGirk is moving into this area of space," Displaced from Tortuga or whatever, "Or even just other pirates we're going to be looking at a much different threat profile." McGirk, or his lackeys, had apparently hit Fronc, and some of the other Rimward worlds, but the second Battle of Luxen had probably been more than anything someone feeling adventurous, but whatever the reason they had tried it all the same, and they were pirates after all so they would do things like that.

    --
    Ann Arbor's Space Port controller had lit a beacon to guide them. Baffins needed to be put down in Ann Arbor anyway for the hiring on, and other work, and they'd be working out of it. Sam Houston would be departing for North once everything was ready on Majesty Metal's end of things. If that had the double benefit of avoiding any confrontation between the Azami and the Combine presence well that was nice too.

    Realistically though they were, there was a good chance that they'd end up spending the rest of the year here, which was fine if the Union took that long to get everything it needed done to it. He felt the shift as the Union's thrusters fired and adjusted them into final position on the landing pad that had been cleared for them.

    There was no sign of a battle, but then Ann Arbor had cleaned the debris of battle in short order after it had ended... from the space port at least. He hadn't spent enough time in the city even before the battle to know what in the skyline had changed either as a result. They could have done without parking them basically right next to the Combine Overlord though, that was a little on the nose. At nearly ten thousand tons the Overlord had sleeker cleaner lines than the much more rounded ball like Union that was less than half its mass.

    He tried to think back to the night the Luxen contract had been rushed forward. There was a Combine flagged JumpShip in orbit when they had gotten in. Last year there had been other DropShips with it, presumably they were. Just what all had the Combine brought with them? Well, he was saying the combine, but he didn't really know who or what their side of the story was. Not the Combine or the ISF as a whole, he was pretty sure they had spun some yarn to avoid talking about the stolen HPG recording.

    Or he could be completely wrong and someone could know and just care. Or they could know that they weren't being given the whole story, and not care. There were a lot of possibilities, and precious few of them good. Ideally they'd be able to avoid any lasting grudges or bad blood with the combine, and really duck any outright hostilities, making an enemy of a successor house was a poor life decision if it could be avoided. Well, regardless, "Clamps locked?"

    The longshoreman at the helm nodded. "We're docked captain, we can open the fuel pumps and top her off. Begin offloading when you like."

    Then there was work to be done it seemed. It wasn't as if they had to wait long the planetary government had been expecting them, probably even before they had Jumped in. This whole legal mire had probably been a nightmare for a world with as weak a central government like Detroit, stuck between small periphery powers and now having the Cobmine coming in to make stupid demands. He was more surprised that the Planetary Government was here waiting, but there was no one from the MRB, but he supposed that they wanted to avoid the impression at least of impropriety. Surely they were getting tired of this shit?

    Part of it had been the appropriate rating of the contract. The MRB by laws required, 'required', that the contracting party provide a fair assessment of the difficulty and conditions as was reasonably known to them. 'Reasonably'. If you were sending someone to another planet it was a little easier to shake your head and say how could we have possibly have known, but for emergency contracts where the enemy was already attacking , and you were scrambling for anything you could get? The MRB had wanted C-Bills in term of payment, because of course they did. Detroit's planetary issue currency might as well have been tokens after all. The compromise that had been were the salvage rights to whatever had gotten knocked out by contracting 'mechs.

    'Appropriate Compensation' or whatever legalese, gods he hated this shit. Reading Septim's had been fairly short he'd basically gotten assigned a defense zone and gotten to stay there. Zig zagging across the grid the packet the MRB had sent him on Luxen had detailed from his start point at his warehouse loft, to the starport, through the comms issue with the contracting party, all the way through the Azami leaving. Itemized earnings, and what not tallied up.

    "Septim,"

    "Boss?"

    "See if Markham's Marauders are here, or if not why not?" They could have already come and said their bit, but they had been one of the Merc Companies on Detroit at the time, though had left before the Combine had ever shown up.
    --
    Commentary: Ok we are officially back on Detroit. And I am in the process of a complete overhaul of the rest of Detroit II as a chapter, I'm far enough ahead that Sunday's update shouldn't be a problem, and it will introduce some of the Combine Characters who would have been introduced at the end of Detroit I... and Bob returns (the DCMS local guy).
     
  15. Laxard

    Laxard Not too sore, are you?

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    To hell with ever working for Draconis Combine, they have dangerous tendency of trying to kill their employe.

    Not very related to the story, but I still thinking that Liao is the best employer, even if they don't offer that much of the payment and such big number of potential fields of deployement, but they are competent and expect competency from everyone. Well, of course it's better not to serve the Mad Max while he is in his phase and keep away from his second daughter. But an actual army and even Maskirovka? You can be sure that they are the less likely to backstab you while you are on their side. I mean, it's weird since they are supposed to be "the Evil Guys" but when they sacrifice you they are likely to tell you in advance and if you are actually manage to survive you will be welcomed back and more respected. Meanwhile in Draconis Combine you will be told that you didn't managed acomplish enough and at real risk of lose everything you posses including your own life.

    They also don't do that stupid "Mechwarriors are a super elite caste, everyone else worth nothing" nonse everyone else does (well, except Romano but she is stupid crazy and crazy stupid), it's "everyone worth nothing until they acomplished something and then they worth accordingly" and they will not go for pointless duels.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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  16. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Versed in the lewd.

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    The Cappies aren’t a good employer for low level Mercs, as they will use you as a disposable asset readily. Plus how invasive the Mask is. Honestly given which side of the Galaxy he’s on Glenn’s best bet is to shuffle between the Taurians, Davions, MoC, and FWL fighting pirates. Especially since Jolly Roger went way, way worse this time around, and the Tortugan’s are being a major pain.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: II Detroit Part 3
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    II Detroit
    Part 3
    "Mother fucker." He swore, and looked around. Everything else looked like he had left it, plus the well dust he had expected from not having been here. Gene hadn't expected to away this long so the warehouse rental had never been intended to last this long. The plan originally, so far as there had been a plan, to do the job for the Magistracy and take the contract provided ride back to Detroit on the Magistracy's dime.


    ... and running from a confrontation with the Combine and the IE money being good had tossed that 'plan' into the rubbish bin. The warehouse had been left to sit, the lease paid out through the funds that had come in with the first Luxen contract.

    Gene kicked the safe in the vehicle, and cursed again. It was fucking blatant. Someone had gone through all the trouble of not making a show of breaking in, hadn't fucked with anything by all indications and the first edition copy of the Dictatum Honorarium was the only thing missing. Moving the ground vehicle had been a secondary concern... he hadn't been on Detroit long enough before the Luxen emergency to really accrue much in the way of material goods, and the Magistracy had seen to moving his Marauder after all.

    The book he had taken from the storage depot on Aqua Gea had been one of his few possessions that he hadn't taken with him... and he had no idea when they would have broken in, and he doubted that the Combine had actually come in looking to steal it specifically. Pilfering had probably been done because they'd been looking for something incriminating, or just more information.

    Not that that made him feel any better.

    His comms chimed. "Haqim." He greeted the Azami tech, "Are you settled in on North?"

    "Indeed Major, we have completed offloading, and officially on the clock." Well at least something was going right. "Sir?"

    He glanced into the tri vid device, "Stay alert Haqim."

    "Understood." The line clicked dead. Everything here, well the ground vehicle was everything, needed to be packed up and moved to the new larger rental space in a similar warehouse on the other side of the spaceport... and he'd have the techs they had with them go over it with a fine tooth comb. He sent that request as basically an email, and all it really said was he wanted the machine picked up for transport, and the lease closed out.

    Detroit though, well Ann Arbor since he really couldn't say much about the planet was back to normal. Not that they had gone the Luxen route, who had been broadcasting wall to wall coverage of the pirate attack even while they'd been preparing to ship off. He had to actually dig around for a newspaper actually covering the merc court's proceedings still. Detroit was as a planet actually industrialized compared to Luxen, it had a population of like two billion, and as a result well there was a lot of business to be done at the hiring hall. If not that then all the shops that catered to a mercs needs. It was true the general that the consensus was Luxen had better entertainment... but Luxen was a Magistracy world and very libertarian and libertine in terms of regulation on vices... or so Gene had been told.

    "Captain Fields."

    The PBI Company commander was already seated, and Fields was already through his second beer and had a half eaten sandwich in front of him.His eating companions side eyed him in confusion. "Oh shit. Major." The other guys straightened at the rank, "I appreciate you giving me the time of day."

    Gene pulled up a chair, and tossed his comm unit on the table. "I assume its important Captain, and besides I need someone who can acquaint me with the shops here." He gestured out the eatery's window to the teeming street below... and he needed someone to walk him through what was going on with the Merc Court.

    He was the youngest man at the table, everyone else had full mustaches that were truly the epitome of the eighties. The infantry officers all looked like they had plenty of time in the gym. "Anyway yeah, CNB had combat footage from Luxen on last month, they've really been showing what a mess Blackjack has been making of the periphery."

    "The government's shitting its pants." One of his buddies added snorting into his own beer as he did so without any concern. The corporate security logo suggested why the man was comfortable saying that. Given the scarcity of BattleMechs, especially in the periphery most companies found it easier to have their own infantry, and other conventional forces. Some might have battlemechs but that was an oddity if it wasn't in the family, but barring a major threat, or something off world, or the need to be deniable ... etc... they went to the MRB to hire mechwarriors. He didn't recognize the company, but that didn't mean anything. "It ain't just Fronc getting hit, Black Jack punched his share of Taurian regulars out on his way."

    That wasn't something he had caught on the news. The coverage had been dominated by the attack on Luxen, and to a lesser extent some others, but the news service had gone back to talking about how Black Jack's band had used to be on the fringe of Lyran and Combine space.

    "Black Jack McGirk pilots an Orion." The third guy added. "Seventy five tons, apparently a star league mech he pulled out of some big cache."

    He wondered why that detail hadn't hit the Magistracy either. With as much gossip as went into Mech pilots surely someone would have thought to mention a pirate king piloting Kerensky's chariot, but whatever he'd have to trawl the MRB's database for what all they had on the pirates later. Later, was the operative word, and after the infantry officers finished paying for their meals in the local scrip they shuffled out the door and into the confines of the one way street, for roadcars, that eventually rejoined the bazaar like expanse of storefronts and stalls. It was a lot of concrete blocks, and plywood structures illuminated by a mix of harsh arc lighting and garish neon going down a slight incline accommodating probably ten thousand people, and a hundred slow moving angrily honking vehicles.

    Vehicles that could actually be called trucks anyway, never mind all the moped looking things, or the ting ting tinging cable cars going along their fixed routes. It was a flea market... if you could easily buy rocket launchers and automatic weapons, and heavy machinery at the flea market. It wasn't the sort of place he had had reason to visit on his first go round, but as Fields put it, "Yeah, everything you need to resupply, this is the closest to a one stop shop." That might of been stretching it, and at the same time understating just who all were Detroit's clientele. As what passed for an industrial world, especially in the periphery, this was the center of commerce sitting out in the middle of space between the Magistracy, the Cappellans, and the Taurians.

    The corporations were more powerful than the planetary government, which really wasn't all that unusual, but was made all the clearer as Lieutenant Ford flashed hand signs at some local toughs wearing the same corporate patch as they passed eliciting respectful nods as they walked by. This was part of the reason he had wanted a local guide. "What's the deal with the Combine?" The Star Lord at the Jump Point just sitting idle for months seemed utterly absurd, but did seem to be the case... as ridiculous and wasteful as that was. "Are they really just sitting there?"

    "Pretty much, major." Fields shrugged as made there way past a greasy looking chicken joint, and a place called Warders that claimed to be a travel broker. There were a couple of competing pawn shops after that, "They've rented an entire hotel for just their muckity mucks. Its impossible to miss them in the hospitality sector."

    "Tell 'em about the asshole."

    "The asshole?"

    "One of their mechwarriors has taken to go around challenging some of the salvage claims. Wants to settle it by dueling."

    Oh that was great, because of course he totally believed that the Combine wouldn't potentially renege on any such agreements. "And the MRB agreed to that?"

    "I have no idea." The captain replied. "All I know is personality problems aside he's a contender."
    --
    Commentary: So if you remember of the first detroit chapter (the End of Detroit I, the start of Luxen I whichever it was) in the original version at the party rather than Gene getting immediately swooped up by the Magistracy for the Luxen contract the plan had been for our Combine duelist guy referenced here, to get in his face and just generally make a scene in public. (as in you know how Gene is drinking in that scene, yeah, splash breaking glass spilled drink)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  18. Kyryst

    Kyryst Lurker Supreme

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    Wow. All that, and it isn't blueprints, computer cores, military hardware, or SLDF court martial paperwork, but the hand-brushed copy written by the first Coordinator's daughter that is stolen. It has to be the O5P or a collector from Comstar. I smell plot.
     
  19. Rodon

    Rodon Not too sore, are you?

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    Wait, you left your copy of "Dictatum Honorarium" around those assholes? Wow, didn't think ahead and how most nobles there have little honor.

    Granted, maybe they wanted it since they may have burned their original copies, don't want people to know what the original actually said about honor, or just wanted to have some 'honor' of their own since they have none.
     
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  20. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    This is one of the things that has been in the script for a while, pretty much since jump street. In Gene's defense he did lock it in the safe. Its not like he left it out in the open with a sign 'almost seven hundred year old manuscript right here', then on top of that he was gone way longer than he expected to be.

    and a first edition... the order of five pillars might very well kill to get their hands on an original first edition, having one is pretty big bragging rights for a combine noble to have, whats a little theft in the face of that kind of prestige

    Whats that you hear? No theres nothing on scopes. /pissed off phantom mechwarrior.

    *Azami start passing popcorn around*
     
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  21. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Is Gene going to do what the Gunslinger program was originally train for? Time to send those Combines back in a pine box.
     
  22. RazeByFire

    RazeByFire Getting out there.

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    If Gene is nice, he’ll just stomp on the windshield of the guy’s mech after he wipes the floor with him.

    if he’s not, he’ll just tear it into scrap and leave the idiot dispossessed. Lol.
     
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  23. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I've written versions of the fight for both
     
  24. Threadmarks: Detroit II Part 4
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Detroit II
    Part 4
    There was nearly about everything on sale here... well up to the point of say fully functional mechs. Corean Industries was advertising that they had a brand new... well 3012 opening... factory producing new Centurions, and a handful of other corporations with little information kiosks and big signs advertising to passerbys that inquiries could be made about contract orders for spare parts, maintenance, replacement weapons, and presumably if one had the money buy mechs from the corporation... "There is a showroom that has used mechs," Fields was saying, "I mean its kind of interesting to see what all Frankenstein's monsters get put up there."

    Which might be worth a look at, at some point at least during his stay here. As it was the mechs he had were plenty of reason to come, he needed spare parts, and looking at this place there was no way he was going to find the ammo, never mind spare parts like gyros and myomer bundles he needed all in one afternoon anyway.

    They came to stop in front of a semi respectable establishment, at least in comparison to the bazaar, most of the giant flea market's ridiculous appearance. The building was a squat rectangle of ferrocrete with a big set of double doors over which sat a large electric blue sign reading

    'GUNZ'.

    Nothing else, but the distinguishing feature was that was the exterior was clean. There was no grime on the walls, and the storefront had been washed at some point. The building was so plain and featureless he misjudged the size on a guess. A hundred fifty thousand square feet of space on the inside, only really discernable by the rows of standardized container cubes along one wall being numbered off, and the ceiling was high enough to accommodate both of the Industrial Mechs working on the shop floor.

    "No, no, no, no." A man started, growling as he chomped on a cigar, "I don't take corp scrip. I don't barter. You pay in C-Bills here." He said squaring up with the Corporate security officer about to jam a stubby finger into his chest.

    "C-Bills is fine." Gene cut in, "I need Inferno missiles."

    The man blinked, and straightened. The shopkeeper wasn't much taller than gene, was nearly as wide as he was tall, and a carefully braided beard that reached down to a prodigious gut. He looked, bluntly speaking like a stereotypical tolkien dwarf. He squinted, "MRB credentials kid, fork 'em over."

    The paperwork, scanning into the noteputer, and presumably actually going so far as to walk into the back room to ring the local MRB office, took nearly forty five minutes which left Fields and his friends to wander around the store oogling everything from the pistol cases up to a pair of Long Tom Artillery pieces. "Lloyd." The proprietor grunted, still not especially personable. "I can do inferno missiles, enough to resupply your unit with what I have on hand. If you need more than a campaign load, I'll put in an order. What else do you need?"

    That... that was kind of a list.
    --
    The disassembly of the Federated Arms X9 series was refreshingly familiar. Even a thousand years into the future the well formed tilting barrel linkless cam of a browning action remained an excellent choice for a firearm... and indeed the X9 was both nine millimeter and ... well visually resembled a CZ 75. The other firearm... was basically an AKM in a different intermediary cartridge... or well more accurately resembled one of the compact descendants of the Valmet RK62 given the placement of the rear sight, or top mounting rail.

    Truthfully those were for close range personal defense, or rather the infantry hired on would use them for that. Laser Rifles just weren't readily commercially available... and in truth the infantry would predominantly be set piece units to defend, or cover an area with SRMs rather than intended to directly attack other infantry with rifles.

    While that couldn't' be contractually assured it was doctrinally the 'plan', and he had told Fields as much when it came to recruiting infantry for the company. The MRB paperwork for organization incorporation would follow the same as the armor unit under the company table of organization so it wasn't an entirely new experience. The Infantry Company though would be posted aboard the Baffins, but once they got the situation handled they were going to see about expanding to fill out for Houston. All that minutiae aside, there were other MRB issues to handle. That had included trying to find out what he could about McGirk, and his movements, but it was mostly rumor and speculation.

    The MRB had bounties posted, and had paid out for it... but there wasn't a real explanation of why though. McGirk had obviously done something beyond just usual piracy. Whatever it was ComStar wasn't advertising it. It wasn't as if he had any leads to work at. That left him, "I don't understand," They had his battle roms... there seemed to be no point in being physically present. "The Combine," He frowned at the MRB liaison he had first met two years earlier, "Only seems intent to call me up to recount events because I was off world." He had to stop himself from bringing up the 'unauthorized' duels, "There isn't any question about what happened."

    "No, but under the charter for evenditary proceedings they have a right to bring up individual direct testimony."

    ... Cause that didn't sound like a recipe for abuse. It sounded like some tortuous re interpretation had been inflicted on common law thinking... or maybe it had some basis in civil proceeding, but it sounded like it would be the sort of thing to get abused by the unscrupulous. He really disliked this whole mess, and they just offer to buy the salvage rights it would have been a lot more palatable. The salvage was valuable, true, but nothing he had taken on the highway or even overall compared to the near priceless value of the Gunslinger Mongoose, and he certainly wasn't going to advertise having that in the Houston's bay. He did want the Catapult, it would be nice to have a dedicated fire support mech in the backline available... but he did also have LRM carriers now.

    The hassle almost didn't seem worth it, which was probably the whole fucking point of this shit... but even if he felt that way... they had decided to make this shit personal by breaking into his safe and stealing the book. Not that Gene was convinced that that had been an intentional provocation, but it still pissed him off. "And we have no idea when that is going to be?"

    "No, there have been a lot of documents, appeals, and motions submitted.... and well no we really don't know when they'll get around to putting you up to give testimony." Which of course meant since he was here he couldn't really leave the planet.

    That was alright since there were local contract options, and other work that needed to be done... but he had to wonder exactly how all of this would have played out if the local DCMS guy hadn't recognized the pirates, or hadn't been able to get a live broadcast back too wherever he had called... if the MRB had actually distributed the salvage rather than recognizing the petition to the merc court.

    Too many what ifs he supposed.
    --
    Commentary: This is shorter than it was going to be, we will introduce the combine people (or reintroduce in Bob's case.) next segment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  25. Cthugha

    Cthugha The Burning One

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    When is something going to happen? Not to be rude but it feels like it's just been all build up with no pay off for a long time now.
     
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  26. MovingTarget

    MovingTarget Know what you're doing yet?

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    I too want to see him plant a few snakes in the ground
     
  27. Threadmarks: Detroit II Part 5
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Detroit II
    Part 5
    This was law fare, there was no pretending it wasn't. It was a concentrated effort to take enough time to run anyone who didn't have the bank account to stick around on Detroit... or presumably the local contracts to earn a sustainable income to live on world while the court proceedings dragged on. Certainly that probably would have been Chang's situation, and it wouldn't have been worth the Vehicles here hunchback had punched... Septim might have but it would have been expensive all the same and really probably not worth it.

    "You sure you want to do this boss?"

    The mercenary commander glanced to his seventy five ton war machine, and smiled.

    Yamaguchi, 'Bob' to his mercenary acquaintances, exhaled loudly. Louder than he had meant to, and certainly not in a demonstration of intentional rudeness. That indiscretion, his lack of control, was overshadowed by the murderous looks directed between the two younger men.

    Bob wanted to be anywhere but close by in the moment, and was grateful as they slowly retreated to wait. This was not going to go well. He didn't voice that of course. That would have been silly, but he had seen what the Marauder pilot, 'the ghost', had done to the K2 he had fought during the Azami incursion. The previous matches had all been against light or medium mechs, or at least all the ones he had seen.

    The Combine delegation slowly settled into their seats. The MRB delegation sitting down between them, and everyone else. The mechs began their power up sequence. One of Comstar's priests began the process of authenticating the duel, a lengthy monologue that Bob's ISF liasion clearly detested for reasons besides just being boring, and Yamaguchi himself just signaled for a drink and toasted the two mechwarriors respectfully as the displays of the box came online... and nearly dropped his saucer of expensive sake. "Is that kill count accurate?"

    The young lady from the MRB nodded, "All contracts certified by the MRB involve reviews of all combat ROMs for the last two years."

    Bob gulped down the saucer, and then before it could be refilled signaled for something stronger.

    Blah Blah Blah, Graduate of Sun Zhang, which of course he was half tempted to interrupt and point out graduated the most mechwarriors of any school in the Inner Sphere at least according to ComStar, but Gene let the other MechWarrior rant over the line while he checked over his console, and focused on the mind machine interface of the neuro helmet linking him to the fine controls of his Marauder.

    The buzzer sounded before the asshole finished talking, and he almost considered flooring the BattleMech and accelerating, but decided not to. "You sound like you graduated from Luthien's pageantry school," He grunted, brought the reticles for both PPCs into the Mech's torso, and confirmed master arm was engaged. He considered going for blowing through the center torso to cook off the machine gun ammo in there. The Catapult didn't really have arms, not full ones anyway, even though there were actuators that gave the vestigial limbs some elevation adjustment.

    There was some indignant spluttering and he adjusted to the left and squeezed. The two lightning bolts converged slamming into the Mech's hip as it started to move. The Marauder's torso slowly twisted as he moved the seventy five tonner advancing parallel in the arena.

    He felt rather than really saw the mech crush a burned out ground car in the arena and the catapult was briefly eclipsed by a fake... or maybe at one point real... overgrown burned out building. If he had to guess some land developer had bought this after some pirate raid and then no one had ever tried to reclaim it... and then turned it into discount Solaris...

    The Marauder was a hundred and fifty meters past the derelict structure when the K2's PPC's slammed into the building. It folded like a wet piece of cardboard, and a rewarding column of dust as it tumbled into the loamy green soil. He replied with the rejoinder of both PPCs aimed again at the light mech's legs as it charged forward.

    In the box Septim Alexander snorted into what passed for beer, "Oh he's doing it again." The beer was too watery for his taste, so thin. The mechwarrior smacked his lips as he watched the boss sheer through armor and negate the enemy's mobility. The reality of armor was that it was rare there was anything that could one shot an enemy mech at close range. It was like watching a cat line up for a kill while taking minimum risk to himself... and of course if the enemy tried to make up the distance...

    Lightning bolts slashed into the exposed internal structure of the leg and the mech crumbled at the blow through. The flare of jump jets lifting the seventy five ton marauder and carrying it to one side causing the alpha strike that had been the catapult's last attempt to woof harmlessly passed

    Septim shook his head as the catapult tried a desperation charge the Combine MechWarrior shouting and firing his weapons as he rushed forward. Of course in turning, or attempting to turn the Catapult into a frontline direct fire mech... the Combine had pulled the original design's jumpjets in addition to pulling the LRMs. Though he couldn't hear the people in the crowded box seats watching shared holographic displays projecting close ups he could imagine the noise having been to Solaris.

    ...and the mechs were close enough to have just entered medium laser range. The Marauder padded forward from where it had landed on the soft earth, and at about two hundred fifty meters switched to its medium lasers. Septim put his beer aside. "You want to call it ref?" He called probably louder than he needed.

    Yamaguchi set his whisky to the side. The Lyran's smug call completely reframed the earlier question to his superior. Had the older mechwarrior merely considered this a waste of time? The 'kill count' would have been a known value within a company surely.

    The ComStar priest looked contemplative and reached for his microphone interupting the plebian announcer, "I am calling the duel." He pressed a button, "Safe your weapons return to your hangers." He ordered.

    The Marauder's arms lowered, and the mech backed up, swung around and began to trot to the corner of the ring it had emerged from.

    "Kuso," Yamaguchi groused dropping his glass as the catapult stumbling rose and tried to open fire into its departing foe. Tried but the shots went high and right of the warmachine. The seventy five ton mech's arms flipped behind and its medium lasers and PPCs destroyed the Catapult's other leg sending into the ground once more.

    A voice opened a line into the box, "Precentor?"

    "I have no objections Major." The priest replied regarding the combine delegation with thinly veiled contempt, "Please return to your hangar and power down. I'll send a recovery team." One of the idiots compatriots rose to Bob's right and started to protest but the ComStar Precentor just glared him into silence, and wouldn't hear it.
    --
    "Did you see that?"

    Never mind the exclamation was looping the post match conclusion of the attempted back shoot all over Ann Arbor, probably even the whole planet. Septim shook his head at the antics on display from the other onlookers and opened his calm to check in with the other half of the company on North. He paused, "Where to?"

    "MRB building, we're getting the paperwork done." The major replied stepping through the opening elevator doors.

    "Ok, I mean I got to ask why you even agreed to this, didn't you say this was pointless preening bullshit," Exact words actually, "What changed?"

    Gene frowned, and didn't mention the stolen antique book, "Bahar has a contract for us. I need you to find out if Phillip and Jowett are going to stay on board, or if they want to stick around with Majesty on north," Or whatever else they wanted to do, but he needed an itinerary, "And we need to get Baffins squared away. We have a lot to do. If your up for it?"

    Septim paused and fell in beside the other mechwarrior, "uh, yeah boss wherever." Like it was even a question, "Bahar does?" He couldn't help to ask.

    "its an IE thing, follow up on a dig, but its a lot of travel."

    "I'll ask them how they feel for signing on for that." He replied, "How long do we have?"

    "Till we're finished with the job on North, and I'd like to have a full complement or at least a headcount before I sign on the dotted line. You can expect that we'll be under contract through the next fiscal year. If they want it in writing on sucessful completion I can bring them back to Detroit if they want to separate after that." They piled into transport, and rode back into the city proper and into the 'Mercenary district' with the masonic temple like ComSTar run MRB building buzzing with activity.

    "How'd you get ComStar to agree to this? I mean they had everything ready to go,"

    Gene shook his head, "Judicial dueling is legal, it was the Precentor's idea to do this publicly, and the city government," Planetary government, "Wasn't going to turn down what amounted to basically free money for a live mechwarrior throw down to broadcast. "They handled all the ring side affairs."

    "Are we getting paid?"

    "No." Gene replied, "But that's a small price to clearing this bullshit up." The bigger question he had was whether this got everyone in the clear from this. If not it was going to make the debrief annoying, but they'd go from there. A part of him was a little weirded out by just how readily the precentor had turned from 'yes we can work with this', to turning it into a planet wide broadcast spectacle for the masses... and beyond probably. The holographic displays in the MRB building, and the ones outside of it in the plaza along with the two D flat screen were all broadcasting clips.

    ... then of course on all of that was he still no closer to finding a lead on the book that had been stolen at some point.

    --
    Commentary: The fight, and particularly the shoving match that occurs before it, have gone through a couple of iterations and none of them I was completely happy with, and kind of decided on the shifting unreliable perspectives one just because well Bob is important later. This is half way Detroit II and we're going to Davion space after that. That chapter will start in November, Elidere, and should run through December probably even the first of the year. Its one part actual not looting archaeology and one part oh look the assholes from Galedon are here.

    The following segment will pick up with both MRB side things, paperwork, and the Combine going 'how did this go so wrong', and how to fix it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  28. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Are they going to try and assassinate him?
     
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  29. DahakStaz

    DahakStaz I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Its the Combine, of course someone will try to kill him.
     
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  30. RazeByFire

    RazeByFire Getting out there.

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    Wow, didn't even go for the kill after an attempted backstab- that Combine guy is going to be invited to use the GARDEN if he's lucky.
     
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