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Author Topic: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2  (Read 28178 times)

cklammer

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #30 on: 09 August 2019, 16:11:22 »
All the best for your holiday  8)

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #31 on: 07 October 2019, 03:09:47 »
By the time I came back to New Vandenberg, the Revenants were also present.
To decide on the next course of action, I met the different heads of department of V4RU.
I talked with John Smith about creating the proper installations for the Revenants that were slowly expanding. My idea was that it would be better for them to be in their own “house” rather than to have to rely on the generosity of another, even if it was family. And I also had plans for V4RU that would make space there a luxury. At first he resisted this idea but in the end accept the extra work ; the new installations were to be build in adjacent land that was still to be bought and for that I knew I had to use my own money as the Revenants were not making any money and I had further plans for V4RU, plans which would need a lot of money.
Next I talked with Bertrand Suchet, asking him to find  designs of civilian ‘Mechs produced by companies that no longer existed. To his questions, I answered that I planed to start a production of civilian ‘Mechs as I thought there was a market for civilian ‘Mechs in the Periphery but that I didn’t want to pay licenses / royalties to existing companies, which would allow us to improve our margins.
I also talked with Gilbert Leloup to make sure that he could get the specification of as many “advanced” tech as possible so that we could later use the  advanced kit obtained in the Argo to bring some of them back into production and make money out of it.  He was very interested in that project.
Last but not least, I had a meeting with Lise Bonnel to see how the security of both companies could be improved against spies and sabotage. She already had ideas for improving it and I assured that V4RU would pay for all of it, after all, the Revenants were a sort of security unit for them. She also suggested a false raid/stealth attack to look for weak points. I pitied the poor guys that would be on patrol and surveillance duty when the raid would come.

After launching these projects, it was time again to get back to the Revenants with the recruiting and rebuilding part. Thanks to the tanks, arty and infantry gear obtained in the last mission the unit could even grow substantially. It was around that time that the Fighter pilots recruited from the Outworld Alliance also arrived. Of the six, four came with their own ASFs ; two LTN-G15 Lightnings and two older, barely operational VLC-5N Vulcans; which meant that we needed to perform a comprehensive rebuild and refit before they could be operational. Expensive and time-consuming, but two capable heavy ASFs were always a good thing to have. The last two pilots didn’t have personal fighters, so I gave them the two Hammerhead that until now were collecting dust.
Before we had contracted them, we had a sort of dilemma as they formed a unit, making it an all or nothing contract. The problem laid in that we also needed to contract the wife of the leader, a MechWarrior with a Merlin. Apparently she was former test-pilot of Mountain Wolf Battlemechs and when her contract with the firm ended she could get a ‘Mech. I wasn’t too happy with getting another untested, foreign ‘MechWarrior and so was Vasseur too but in the end we needed to strengthen our Aerospace forces and I signed the deal.
During their time on Althea, the Revenants had defeated a pirate incursion but because  of the contract, all the captured hardware was taken by the Concordat. The Revenants also ‘acquired’ a liaison officer, Subaltern Christine Marais; the Cornet I knew from the Ministry of Defense, which had earned a promotion along the way. Since she was a staff officer and not a ‘MechWarrior, we didn’t have an extra ‘Mech to carry with us.
Once that set, it was time to get back to our Star League business but this time, with the Taurians. While Marshall Tharn wanted to go to Epsilon Pegasus and target the dockyard / dry dock that should be there, the realities of logistics, costs and politics  forced us to put the raid on Castle Nautilus on top of our list. This target fitted the Taurian agenda as the Protector wanted a confirmation that the big findings in the list were real while sending a message to the Aurigan delegates in the currently stalled negotiations.
So, by the end of 3018 we departed for Artru.
I let the fourth lance, the 2 Wasp, the Phoenix Hawk (that sometimes replaced me) and the Merlin home to ‘defend the V4RU facilities’ along with the Vulcans, that still needed a comprehensive refit,  and one of the Hammerheads, taking with me 4 ASFs.
My Revenants were very happy, not only was a raid more prestigious than garrison / anti-pirate duty, but they were going to fight along one of the most prestigious Taurian units in what was for sure the most significant foreign operation executed by the Concordat in several years.
Three weeks later we arrived around Artru. I had taken with me all our JumpShips and DropShips (this was a big operation after all), while the Concordat had sent two Invader JumpShips loaded with two Jumbos, three Mules and the Iberia, a Fortress class DropShip, the pride of the Concordat Navy (another similarity with the game I had played at home), commanded by Space Master (not yet Commodore) Samuel Ostergaard.
In orbit, we had a last video conference.
‘Our plan is to land as near as the cache as possible and crush it… You seem to disagree, Mister Bassot. Care to explain why?’ said Subaltern Samamha McGrtnn (the leader of the Taurian ground forces)

‘I know that you have plenty of experience in conducting raids but we are talking about a Star League Castle with defenses that might be active and that we might not be able to deactivate from afar. I want to land at a safe distance of the Castle, allowing to deploy in force without having to disembark under fire or losing strength before we head towards the target. If something went wrong with the codes, we will need to buy time for the EW specialists to do their job and since we don’t know what we will be facing, I think it is better to play on the safer side. If there is no threat for them, the DropShips and the ASFs can always come to give us a hand
Everybody agreed with my plan and the DropShips headed towards a location some kilometers away from the Castle.


Shadow_Wraith

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #32 on: 07 October 2019, 08:34:25 »
Nice update!

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #33 on: 08 October 2019, 02:58:29 »
The landing went smoothly as the Aurigans didn’t have any force defending the world, so we were  unchallenged.
The ground force that had came with the Iberia was the 2nd Company of the 3rd Taurian Guard Battalion; a mix of assaults and heavies, probably the heaviest ‘Mech company in the whole Concordat and maybe in the whole Periphery. They also had with then a mix of LRM carriers, Manticore tanks and a standard company of infantry. Unlike us, they didn’t have air support.

On the negative side for the Revenants our unit had to disembark from cargo DropShips, which us took a lot of time, all under the eyes of the people my unit want to impress. Not good. I really needed to get my hand on a true military DropShip.
Because we had to deal with 3 small and one big exit, we placed 8 tanks and 1 arty piece before each exit, with the Long Tom of the Iberia ready to support any place. Each small exit also received a ’Mech Lance while the big entry was dealt by two, which left one Lance in reserve to help anyone in need.
And my initial fears were confirmed as the Castle defenses rejected the code we provided and as soon as we got that answer, drones started to exit the fort while several heavy turrets could be seen  emerging from the ground.
And, boy, the memories from the game were very wrong about the strength of the defenses. The turrets were about a dozen in numbers, all heavy and with advanced weapons; the drones were modified Von Luckners heavy tanks, difficult to kill and with a heavy firepower. The only good thing for us was that in the cold climate of this planet, each of our ‘Mechs could fire at maximum rate without running hot.
As planned we launched our ASFs to help us but as soon as they approached the area to bombard / strafe the turrets, two massive laser beams were fired from the Castle, destroying one of the Hammerheads and forcing the others ASFs into a panicked retreat.
Shit! That could only be Naval Lasers, They didn’t exist in the game and they meant a death sentence for any forces flying in sight.
The only good news was that my initial plan of landing away had probably saved us from a total disaster.
The turrets survived longer than I thought and hit badly some ’Mechs and destroying some unlucky Merkavas with them the poor sods. The only way to deal with them was to use our artillery pieces to destroy them one by one but this took some time. The drones were caught in several rings of deadly fire and were most of the time destroyed as soon as they exited the doors, but not before they could at least fire one salvo and in some cases more.



Everywhere around, there was only confusion. I saw near me the four Toro in our Light Lance concentrating their PPC fire on one of the drones, delivering plenty of damage to the big tank, more than enough to destroy it.

To make things worse, the units we were fighting were the Royal variant, with a more lethal weapon load-out. “Shit, I should keep focused” was my thought as my ’Mech was hit by a salvo of cluster ammo from one of the drones, I lost most of my armor  on the right side. I hastily retreat to what I thought was outside of the LBX-10  range just to be hit by another shot that ripped off my left arm and the Large Laser in there.
I saw Vasseur’s Thunderbolt going down, with one leg ripped-off by what looked like a Gauss round fired by one of the turrets.
What appeared to be an eternity later, but was just a few minutes, the TMI specialists finally managed to extract the right code and the defenses powered down.
Castle Nautilus was ours and this time, we had enough time to explore and comprehensively loot it. We were very lucky as very few people had died but several ’Mechs and tanks had been severely damaged, not counting the three destroyed Merkavas and their entire crews.
The first thing we all went to look was the ’Mech bay (call it professional curiosity). And it was jackpot:  40 ’Mechs present, all of them Royal versions. Thanks to the contract with the Concordat, the Revenants had first choice, but that meant only 20% of them, so 8 top of the line Royal SLDF ’Mechs for the Revenants :).
I selected 1 assault lance and a mixed heavy/medium one. 1 Atlas II, 1 Highlander 732b (the ones from the game, even if this was the ‘standard’ Atlas II with an LBX-10 and not an AC/20), 1 Nightstar NSR-9Jb (an unknown Royal variant with a Tacticon b-2000 Battle Computer the one you could find in the Cyclops and there was no discussion: this one was for me) and a Royal Thug (THG-11Eb), 2 Royal Crab (CRB-27b) and 2 BL-6b-KNT, the Royal variant of the Black Knight.
I caught Vasseur, with his right arm in a sling and his left leg in a cast, looking to the Highlander I had selected with the kind of look  reserved for one’s bride. I was sure what his future ‘Mech would be.
They were fabulous machines all of them, even if the maintenance was going to be a headache. I was reasonably sure that producing ammo for the Gauss Rifles was going to be easy and that the Artemis IV systems could fire standard munition, just without the guidance advantages. Only testing would give me the answer about the cluster ammo for the LBX but the gun could still fire standard ammo; so, this was also not a big problem. Furthermore, the armory had hundreds of tons of ammo, armor plates for the ’Mechs and spare parts, including many DHS and I got 20% of all these, nice.
The hangars also had several tanks and ASFs, our share of the booty was four Demon tanks (Royal) and two GTHA-500b Gotha ASFs (also Royal).

The research part of the Castle had then Nirasaki mainframes and dozens of terminals from the Star League time and hundreds of datacores. I didn’t even get a chance to look at them as the TMI people quickly took control of them without any discussion possible. I heard them saying that they belonged to the Concordat, end of the discussion.
The Castle was also powered by the biggest, most powerful fusion reactor that I had ever seen (and by the expressions of the people around, it was a really big one indeed) and that one was also for the Concordat.  I smiled at the greedy bastards.
They also took control of all the surviving drones, 13 in total and we also got our hands on two K-1 DropShuttles.

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #34 on: 08 October 2019, 08:32:10 »
another nice story update!  Keep it up!

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #35 on: 08 October 2019, 12:28:24 »
Not reported before, but the Concordat also get the two NL55 naval lasers in the defensive turret. Luckily for the taurian forces, said turret can't depress enough / don't have LOS to target the grounded dropships.

Kwic

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #36 on: 08 October 2019, 23:02:32 »
Good story, keep it up.

I would suggest using an extra blank line between paragraphs (what the ancients would call a carriage return) to break up the wall of text. This would make it a bit more readable.

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #37 on: 09 October 2019, 03:00:43 »
After raiding local cities, to both hide our true target and impress the Aurigans, we returned home, without problems.
The mission had been a complete success from several angles.
The Concordat had shown to the Aurigan Coalition that if the Concordat decided to invade or even simply raid them, they were defenseless  putting a lot more pressure in the negotiations.
It also had validated the quality of my list of potential targets in the Concordat minds.
Even if I didn’t get access to one of the mainframes or to a copy of the files inside, we had received a lot of valuable loots,  including ‘Mechs, ASFs and vehicles, lots of ammo and spares that would let the Revenants operate the advanced models for a while.
Heck, they had even paid us a nice bonus, a first one for the Exchequer.
This was also the first time that people had died because of me and that hit me hard. I wanted to write letters to the families of the fallen but Vasseur said as the operational commander, it was his job and I let him do it.
After war, it was time again to focus on business. I sold both K-1 DropShuttles to a transport company as they were useless to me and I got a nice price for them. When I was sure that Lise had finished improving our security and that it could deal with anything except a raid by a Steiner Recon Company (‘MechWarriors and their jokes), I contacted several companies, like VMI, Sterope Defense Industries and O-P Electronics and for a nice amount of cash, I provided them access to the Royal toys (‘Mechs, ASFs, vehicles and spare parts/ammo) for exhaustive analysis but on my terms: in our installations, accompanied by our techs and under a very close surveillance by Lise people. I also sold them some samples of our loot.
From the first analysis made by V4RU, and as I had suspected, the Artemis IV FCS equipped launchers could use normal ammo. That’s good, because everybody said that producing new ammo with these kinds of seekers was going to be very difficult in the next years. Gauss ammo was no problem and cluster ammo was also not complicated to manufacture, only expensive. As could be expected, the Double Heat Sinks were one of the most sought after items to study and I sold some for a lot of cash to each company for research. Unfortunately the Streak launchers only worked with Streak ammo, so until I could secure a reliable source of supply, we needed to replace then with normal ones.
In the end, I got more than 25 million C-bills from these operations, including the sell of the K-1s. And valuable contacts and favors from big companies, which was nice.
While I wasn’t exactly the owner of the rediscovered techs-, after several reunions from both sides legal teams we agreed that I was also entitled to a small fee for the use by others of these pieces of technology, not exactly royalties, but close. . The Taurian Government, that had access to same items didn’t for some reason seem to do anything with it. At least, nothing that I or my associates knew about.
Leloup and his people were in heaven poking every inch of the advanced Royal equipment we had acquired in this mission.  But, at same time they were furious with me because we had sold our “toys” and they were being destroyed by strangers or at least it was what they said. I am sure that deep in himself, he agreed with my ideas.
The extensive research done by Suchet and Leloup gave us access to several designs that had been produced by now defunct companies. With a bit of cosmetic changes maybe some could be produced in the Concordat if I was able to negotiate a deal with some companies that I had good relations with now...
While at first I wanted to simply start production of these civilian ’Mechs inside V4RU, the reality was that the company was not capable of that, lacking the industrial might necessary, so I needed to make agreements. In cooperation with other companies, I spent a lot of money and VMI opened some production lines for  civilian ‘Mechs  (industrial, agro, cargo and security), which also turned me into one of the main shareholders of the company. V4RU got several contracts  with special conditions with VMI and the Revenants even got a piece of the security contracts. Thank God, the unit had expanded because I still needed a substantial force for the expedition missions. Even after detaching forces for securing V4RU and VMI, I still had about a combined arms battalion to use for whatever I wanted with about a company of ’Mechs at its core.
After our success, the Navy was preparing for the long range mission  and some of my forces would go with them. However, I wasn’t going to spend two years or more in space, so I decided that for the time being I would stay on Vandenberg, letting Vasseur lead our part in this long raid. After having recovering from his wounds, he was more than happy to go and do something. .

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #38 on: 20 October 2019, 05:42:55 »
In the talks with VMI, I had insisted on security measures and at first VMI people had grumbled that me and my team were paranoids because of the, in their words, excessive backup and security measures I had  managed to implement them via the admin board where I had my seat. And those saying that were Taurians.
But, after a very strange fire in the research area, that consumed several of the new prototypes, they changed their minds. Because of my ‘paranoid’ measures, almost no data was lost and the research were almost not delayed.
For me, it was a signal that Comstar was starting to ‘look’ at (or should I say  interfere with?) my actions. Not good at all as I expected to have more time before getting their attention.
With the added work hours needed to manage all the projects and with the need to deal with the VMI people I got little time to train (or some would say play) with my new ’Mech. It was a pity as it was a real pleasure to run it on the range field and it was very different from my old but still operational Eisenfaust, that right now was for a new ‘MechWarrior. The SLDF Royals were indeed equipped with the best toys; everything was so much better than the normal models. I even got an advanced neurohelmet and  a cooling suit both of Royal grade. The difference with the equipment that I had used before was brutal. Lighter, more comfortable and working much better, it was on par with the Royal monster I now had. The comms and sensor suit alone put it in a very different class, I could easily manage with it a complete battalion, provided I had the  capability for it. After all, this ‘Mech was the big brother of the Marauder and especially designed to be used by unit commanders. The weapons were in a different league too: this ‘Mech was a supreme sniper, with at the same time plenty of ammo for the pair of Gauss Rifles and an ERPPC to add more fun to the party. At this time, my ’Mech was the only Royal design that stayed home as all the others departed with Vasseur for the long raid. V4RU had been busy repairing all the hardware damaged on Atru and by the time of the departure of the Revenants, almost all of it was operational again, even if most of the repaired designed were staying on New Vandenberg for the different defensive contracts they had.
One side effect of entering the board of VMI (that was a much bigger company than V4RU) was that I was now a public figure, invited to several social events, including and some I couldn’t refuse. Most of the times, it was a total waste of my time but some of these events provided me with useful contacts. This made me glad that I had taken etiquette and protocol lessons.
Creating  new lines in VMI as at same time easier and more difficult than I had thought. Easier because the requirements for civilian models were much lower and easier to satisfy than those for military ones. And more difficult because creating several new production lines was still a very complex operation and because some parts were still difficult to get. What I had in mind was  automated control units, high precision machinery that were needed to produce ‘Mechs of decent quality and in meaningfully numbers. Luckily, the advanced machinery at V4RU was up to the task most of the times, even if some components were too big or if we didn’t have the necessary blueprints, forcing us to  get the needed data from other companies.
By early 3020 the first commercial line started operating, producing an variant of the Buster,  with enough improvements to compete with the Powerman being sold inside the Concordat with the added advantage that being produced locally meant less taxes and transport fees and therefore a lower price. Two months later, our variant of the Jabberwocky also entered production followed by other models in the following months. Like I had hoped, they were very successful, the only limitation being our production capabilities. This success  secured my position on the board of directors of VMI, providing the company (and me) with a new and stable influx of money.

Because I was a bit paranoid about Comstar, one of the first jobs of the team that operated the ex-Argo machinery was to try to reproduce it. But unfortunately, while several parts were no problem, the core of the equipment was impossible to reproduce. Way beyond what my tech could defeat or understand. Pity.   

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #39 on: 05 November 2019, 18:32:55 »
The exploring team missed the two years return mark. I knew that we couldn’t  communicate with each other because of the secrecy needed around the mission. The only option was to wait and hope for the best. While there could be a margin of error, after three months of delay I really started to worry.
Meanwhile, the business was doing good. V4RU was only growing a little but at least it was in comfortable economic conditions while VMI had considerable success in the civilian market. They were selling all the ‘Mechs they were able to produce on that specific market. Already some new lines were in different phases of construction.
Because of that, my proposal to add lines to produce all types of exoskeletons was well accepted by the board of directors. While the civilian applications and market were for now the objective, I had the idea that as soon as the program went in smooth progress I could start the development of Battle Armor. The pure research part had already started in V4RU.
The part of the Revenants that stayed back was also doing ok. We had used these two years to train together, and we were now a well cohesive group. Since we had about two dozen ’Mech simulators for only a company of ’Mechs on our side, we had the luxury to be able to train others with us or against us. The specifications of the advanced ’Mechs had also been introduced in the simulators, which proved a difficult job for my programmers, but had already been done by early 3021. One thing that I had trained myself to now was leading a ’Mech company, putting to good use the amazing capabilities of my ’Mech in that area. I had also improved significantly my marksmanship. Thanks to the help of and training with Georgina Martins, the Merlin Mechwarrior and former test pilot at Mountain Wolf, I had learned a lot about how to pilot a ’Mech. This woman was a mobile encyclopedia on ’Mechs and knew a lot about how you could execute several combinations of movements that I had never dreamed about.
After ensuring that all the lines producing industrial ’Mechs and exoskeletons were in full activity, I started to look to the  Vandenberg Shipyards ruins in orbit around Lompoc (New Vandenberg IX). The opinion of the techs that made the survey  (lead by Dr. Murad herself) was that while right after its destruction, many came here to extract salvage, the core of the shipyards was not in such a bad shape and could be repaired. However, it was going to cost a lot and take at least a decade. The principal problem was obtaining the funds since the technology and trained technicians already existed in the Concordat. I started trying to create a consortium of companies to take on the job, but without the support from the government, very few were interested and my contacts ended in nothing.

Finally, two and a half years after their departure, the team returned to New Vandenberg with no loot but very happy.
While reading Vasseur’s report,  I discovered  that the mission had gone even better than my wildest projections.
Not only had they found the hidden dockyard but also a Congress class Frigate inside almost ready to be launched, with an advanced but empty Lee DropShip attached to it. Apparently, the K-Boom had fused. On the ground, while much of the base was empty, they had found enough spare parts to repair everything. The highlight of the operation was the discovery of an operational HPG. A lot of human remains told the story of a fight between several elements and the holes in the walls meant it had been severe, perhaps explaining why the WarShip was never repaired.
The repairs and learning how to do them were the reason for the 6 months delay. But after doing that, they managed to load everything (and by everything I meant every single piece of equipment of the dockyard) they could in the massive cargo bay of the SLS Admiral Perry (the given name of the Frigate) and loading to the max all the DropShips they returned home.
As usual, I had to go to Taurus for the negotiations regarding our part of the share. This time Christine Marais, our liaison, came with me.
‘So mister Bassot, you deliver again.’ where Marshall Tharn’s welcome words. 
‘Well, Marshall, I like to satisfy my customers and partners. I understand that we might have some problems with my part of the share ?’ I said, knowing full well that that there was no possible way the Concordat could provide me with any of the recovered items.
‘I’m afraid so,’ said the Marshall ‘by the Lord Protector orders, the Congress, the dockyard the Lee DropShips and the HPG are considered strategic items for the Concordat, and their existence also falls under the Protect Secrets Act.‘
‘Oh, rest assured I don’t want to contest that’ I said with a calm face, to the surprise of the other party ‘I just want to negotiate the way the Concordat fulfill its side of the contract. I don’t want nothing of these ‘hot’ items, I don’t have a desire to paint such a big target in my back. But, the value must be in the billions, even for my small part. I have thought about the problem during my trip to here and I might have a solution. You could provide me with this from the Navy Reserve, let’s say one Invader and three DropShips. Since many of the ships in the reserve are only destined to move the Guards in case of open war, right now, they are collecting dust. I can even agree to let them return to the Navy if and only if a state of open war with the Fed Rats occurs. As the operation in Artru showed us, I need transportation for my forces.’
At first the Marshall was in shock, but after a few moments collected herself.
‘That kind of decision can only be taken by the Lord Protector  Mister Bassot. But with this clause, I think it could be possible.’
‘Great. Next, I want the Exchequer to provide me and my associates with fiscal incentives while we try to rebuild the Vandenberg Shipyards.  With that, the Concordat will not only get a  shipyard since you should easily be able to convert that dockyard in a fully functional shipyard but also a second one , in New Vandenberg. Our nation needs it. Oh, and by the way, Lady Sartre, some money from your side could also be of some help. I also want one of these nice Nirasaki mainframes since my people are doing some research that could benefit a lot of more computer power.’
Lady Sartre got an interesting red color, but before she could open her mouth, a voice came from the Marshall’s communicator on the desk.
‘You think big, boy. But I agree. Make it so.’
The way both Tharn and Sartre reacted I was more than ready to bet good money that it was Thomas Calderon, the Lord Protector himself.
Nice, I think while trying to contain a smile, apparently Calderon likes me. Good to know.
‘And what is your next adventure, Mister Bassot ? Another forgotten treasure ?’ asked Sartre with a smirk.
‘Marshall, Lady Sartre, I think that is time for you to provide my people with a contract to clean the Pirates’ Haven Cluster. That area is old Concordat territory and I am sure that the Navy still has detailed cartographic charts of the area. On top of that, the pirates that we captured in the Althea’s contract were from there, so you or TMI got an updated chart for sure.’
‘And why would you want to go there ?’ asked Tharn with an interested look on her face. I also noted that miss Marais was also paying more attention.
‘To be frank, for two reasons – first I despise pirates. And second, my people need a combat contract, they are getting rusty with only long range exploration and security missions.’
‘I think we can do that. For the rest, well, you heard lord Calderon agree, so we just have to wait for the legal departments to finish the details.’
‘Oh Marshall? If I were you, I would take good care of these toys. Don’t let an incident like the one of the Tripitz ruin your day.’
‘Any particular reason for that advice, Mister Bassot ?’
‘Well I like to study history, and one of the interesting things I noticed is that every time a discovery of  a big relic of the past, some unknown forces raid and destroy everything, only never to be seen again. The logic behind these different raids is that someone with unlimited access to intelligence and resources must be playing some kind of game. I don’t see many powers in the Inner Sphere or the Periphery that would be able to do that.’
‘Are you accusing Comstar of that ? They are a civilian neutral company for God’s sake.’
‘Neutral… remember they read all the communications in all human space. That provides then with a lot of power and temptation..’
‘Interesting idea. But without any proof...’
‘Oh, for sure. But someone very well-equipped has done it. Someone never seen again. Just take that in consideration and adapt your security measures. I don’t think that Comstar will be pleased to know that the Concordat has a functional SLDF class A HPG to play. Don’t let them know about it.’
In the end, I received ‘my’ Ships, which thanks to the combo of one Invader, one Union, one Triumph and one Leopard, increased our mobility. The only drawbacks were that they were all staffed with Concordat Navy crews, call this an insurance measure,  and can only use then in TDF / TMI approved missions. I also got the mainframe and the Exchequer even provided me with  bonus of 25 million C-Bill (again in Bulls, but that was okay for me).
By mid 3022 I was starting the planning to go against the Pirates’ Haven right after receiving the ships.
« Last Edit: 05 November 2019, 18:49:08 by paulobrito »

Shadow_Wraith

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #40 on: 05 November 2019, 22:33:08 »
Nice story update.    Glad to see some character interaction.

snakespinner

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #41 on: 05 November 2019, 22:35:50 »
Good to see the Lord Protector listening in on something that important.
I wonder how much notice the TC will take of that warning about comstar.
Nice update. :thumbsup:
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

DOC_Agren

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #42 on: 06 November 2019, 00:14:00 »
combat mission into the Pirates’ Haven, that should be interesting.  So what else are they looking for.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #43 on: 06 November 2019, 03:23:25 »
Before departing, I had a  meeting with all the V4RU department chief officers. There was nothing really new as everything was going rather well but it was always better to leave instruction before leaving and it showed people that I did care about the company too. Unfortunately for them, I had a shopping list.
‘John, I want you to represent me in the meetings with the leaders of the other companies in the Shipyard project. Now, that the government has agreed to give everyone participating a package of fiscal benefits and taxes exceptions, I think it will be easier to make the other companies accept the project.’
‘It’s not going to be that easy, Sir, but I think I can manage.’
‘Good. I let that in your very capable hands.’

‘Bertrand, I want you and your team to look at everything necessary for TMM to restart production of the Snowden. From financial aid to technical expertise.’
‘No problem, but why ? As far as I know you don’t have any shares in that company.’
’Not yet, no. But that kind of station is useful for the Concordat and for us in order to obtain several more resources. I want to know what is necessary to build more.’
‘Gilbert, could you work with Bertrand  and find  designs, free of any patent, of course, of some security and police ’Mechs ? I think those are going to be the next generations of VMI designs.’
‘Sure boss, easy to do.’

At the end of the meeting I asked Lise to stay.
‘Lise, I have a delicate mission for you. You and a selected team of your choice are going to take the Trojan and go along with the next VMI delivery to the League world of Kalidasa. I have arranged for one of the worlds on the route to be the abandoned New Dallas. You and your team will exit the JumpShip there and go to the planet. Your objective is an underground installation in Caddo City, below the military barracks. I want the datacore from the Hegemony Intelligence that is supposed to still be there. Don’t forget to study the return timetable of the VMI JumpShip because it will be your only ticket out. For VMI, your cover is that your are looking for some loot for Bertrand’s group, like you have done several times in the past. If you get something useful to show the better, but it is not really important.’
‘Very strange mission, boss. Why keep it a secret and why don’t you go there with the Revenants or in a combined mission with the TMI ?’
‘First I’ll be busy hunting bandits in the Pirates Haven’s Cluster and I plan to be very visible. Second, if that datacore still exists, I want that data for us. Both missions with VMI and the TDF showed us that they are very adept at taking all the good toys; leaving us with the scraps.’
‘Very nice scraps, boss.’
‘Yes, that’s right, but they are nothing compared to the real value of the things we provided them with. I want this to be very discreet as I fear that someone has taken an interest in us and not a healthy one, I’m afraid. You are going to need anti-rad suits and some cargo / excavator ’Mechs.’
‘Ok, boss, I think I can do that. I will take some time to put together a team and get ready, but I can do it.’
‘Thanks, Lise, and remember we never had this conversation.’
Before departing, I asked Dr. Murad if she was interested in coming with us. Boy, I never saw anyone packing his things so fast.
When I was in the corridor, Subaltern Christine Marais came to me with a confused expression on her face.
‘Mister Bassot, why do we also have to transport a team from the University of New Vandenberg ? As far as I know this is a purely military mission.’
‘Well, Subaltern Marais, we have two missions, one military and another civilian. While you have been fully informed about the military side of the operation, it seems that you somehow missed the civilian side. The specialists from the University are going to analyze if the planets Badlands and Lorkdal are still considered viable to establish colonies after we clean them of pirate presence.’
‘And why didn’t I get info about that mission ?’ asked the beautiful blonde with a stress on her normally suave voice.
‘Merely a failure of communication I guarantee you. Because that part is purely civilian, it seems some of the papers were not send to you. I ask for your forgiveness, Subaltern.’

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #44 on: 07 November 2019, 03:14:45 »
February 23, 3023
A few seconds after jumping in Pirate’s Haven  Badlands Zenith jump-point, a collision alarm could be heard.
‘Proximity sensors report two objects near!’
‘Sensors, identify them now! Prepare to launch ASFs.’
‘Aye, Aye, sir. Identification coming… wait, they are both Leviathans.’
Leviathans ? I thought that they were all retired long ago. Nice, if I remember right, they had eight Docking Collars each. I started to think what I could do with so much capability.
‘ASFs and Assault crafts launched! No reaction from the bogies.’
With luck, we could capture both with little damage…. Stop dreaming, when did things go so easily?
Two hours later, the news weren’t  good. Yes, we had captured both JumpShips without opposition. But that was only because they were both derelict, none in working condition. Members of Dr. Murad’s team that were with us on this mission are busy inspecting then to see if they could be repaired or not.
Let’s hope that the team that inserted through the Nadir jump-point will be more lucky.

Four days later after landing in Badlands
Two pirate locations had been detected from orbit, one much bigger than the other. Vasseur took our more experienced force (with all the Royal ’Mechs except mine) against the big one, with full ASF support and I took one lance with vehicle support against the small one.
My warning system informed me that a pirate Rifleman was targeting me. Without giving it a thought, I sidestepped to the left, making the pirate miss me while at the same time turning the torso to put a Gauss round and an ERPPC shot right in the torso of the pirate ‘Mech. It seems the last years of training had paid, finally. Not designed to survive that kind of punishment, and already in bad condition, the pirate ’Mech collapsed with its center torso destroyed. Two of the other pirate ’Mechs, a Commando and a Vindicator had already been neutralized, but the last one, a fast Locust was running away. I couldn’t let it escape. I carefully targeted it and with the extended range of my weapons placed a solid Gauss round on is right leg, making it splash on the ground and letting it unable to move. The pilot must have been knocked-off.
Just like on a training ground, I directed our long range support (four Hunters) a bit behind, to drop fire on a group of enemy vehicles, mostly technical ones according to my battle computer that were the only forces left in front of us. After softening them, we advanced and quickly destroyed the last remains of the pirates.

Meanwhile, the other group provided the bigger pirate force with what could be expected from a SLDF, Royal equipped veteran force: a lot of pain. We took no losses, just a few soldiers of our infantry forces were injured. I do hope that we will be so lucky in the next missions.
Some hours later I got the final report of the Badlands operation.
The other team had indeed luck, capturing a lightly damaged but still operational Merchant. Unfortunately for us, it was  a Concordat ship, so we had to return it to its real owners, ‘only’ getting a rescue bonus. We also captured two DropShips, one Danais and one Mule. But again they were both sailing under Concordat flag. On top of that we also freed several civilians, including the crews of the JumpShips and DropShips.
Not a bad result, even more when taking into consideration that Dr. Murad said that maybe, with a lot of effort and extra spares,  many of them we might have to build specifically as nobody had them anymore,  her team could perhaps repair one of the Leviathans. The other one had its K-F drive cracked and was only good for scrap. Even if said drive had so much refined germanium in it that extracted it could alone pay for the full mission. Since both were of unknown origin, it was worth a try.

This mission also proved that Badlands was still viable as a colony, so the Concordat could settle the system if it wanted.
I had high hopes that we could get our hands on more loot on Lorkdal

Two weeks later, Lorkdal Zenith jump-point.
‘Sensors ?’
‘Nothing near captain.’
‘Understood, detach the DropShips.’
Three days later in orbit around the planet
‘We detect a small settlement near the Equator. Energy readings show that at least a lance of ’Mechs is present. No DropShips detected and because no JumpShips were found in the system, our analysis is that their main force is out there raiding.’
‘Understood. I propose that the ASFs do a strafing  run while we land near. We have more than enough forces to deal with such a small group.’ Said Vasseur during the planning meeting.

Following Vasseur‘s plan, our forces easily captured the pirate base. I didn’t even fire a shot this time. One of the disadvantages of the Nightstar was his speed and before I could come into range, the others had already secured the pirate base and dispatched the five ‘Mechs protecting it, no fun.
Interrogation of the few captured pirates reported that they had an Invader JumpShip but that is was already late from its estimated time of return from a raid in Estuan in the Federated Suns. We waited one more month, but the pirate JumpShip never returned. Years later, we got the information that they had been captured by FedRat forces during that raid.
Apart from the Leviathan (if we could repair it), we got our hands on one Shadow Hawk, one Commando (made with parts of two) and the Locust whose leg I had destroyed. The rest was only good for scrap, except for the Rifleman that could be repaired if we could get a new gyro as my shots had completely destroyed it and nobody in the Concordat made them.
The conclusions of the university team on both planets were that both were still viable to support colonies and that they were perhaps even better than before as with hundreds of years with almost no human on these planets, the biosphere had developed in a way that was favorable to the human beings.

David CGB

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #45 on: 07 November 2019, 04:28:21 »
very nice, great story idea
Federated Suns fan forever, Ghost Bear Fan since 1992, and as a Ghost Bear David Bekker star captain (in an Alt TL Loremaster)

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #46 on: 15 November 2019, 18:04:56 »
Returning to New Vandenberg by early 3023, I had some news waiting for me.
First, Smith had done a good job and the partnership of companies to start repairing the shipyard had been formed and the work on it was starting right now. Curiously, Jeremy’s Consortium, the investment company of my (in this universe) late father was also in, even if for obvious reasons, I hadn’t looked for them.

We also heard news of a coup in the neighbor Aurigan Coalition, and a bloody one it seemed, with House Espinosa removing House Arano from power killing in the process all the Arano bloodline The small nation was renamed the Aurigan Directorate and was going as far as making new contacts with the Concordat.
Nobody understood why I wasn’t happy with that.
The decision to repair the Leviathan was taken after analysis of the cost and capability of producing the necessary parts. The JumpShip was going to be shared by VMI, V4RU and the Revenants with VMI taking precedent unless the Revenants had a Concordat approved mission. Custom production of the necessary parts started at once with the leader of the project being our resident genius, Dr. Murad.
Because buying from the Fed Rats was deeply frowned upon, I used the Revenants funds to buy a gyro for the captured Rifleman in Galatea, the Principal Mercenary Star. For that, I had to use the services of the Concordat representative in that system. The estimated time to receive said Gyro was more than five months, but I was in no hurry, and in the end the Revenants received a new heavy, dedicated anti-air ’Mech. And for the first time, they paid the repairs from their own funds.
During a working dinner with Dr. Farah Murad I asked her about her estimation of the time needed for the Leviathan to be once more operational.
‘Well, you see Boss, first we need to get the necessary spare parts. Some we can produce here or at VMI, but several needs to be made by O-P Electronics and these might take time to be available. My best estimate is  that we can get everything we need in about six months. Then, you have a six months trip from New Vandenberg to Badlands and back and you can add two months to do the repairs and refuel. This is obviously if everything goes without surprises.’
‘So, you are saying that in the best case, we get that JumpShip ready in 12 to 14 months?’ I asked the resident wizard.
‘Very much that, Boss. I’m supposed to depart in about six months and return eight or ten months later.’
‘If that is the time needed, so be it. I will order the DroST IIb with 6 ASF’s to go with your force to provide the appropriate protection. ’
The following day, I called Bertrand and Gilbert to my office.
‘Gentlemen, I was thinking about the Snowden project and the status of these asteroid fields in the system. By your early report, TMM has lost the orbital infrastructure needed to build new Mining Stations and about the same time, a saboteur destroyed all the copies of the plans of the Snowden, was that correct ?’
‘Yes, Boss’ answered Bertrand. ‘ That was basically the reason that TMM stopped making new ones; that and a lack of funds to restart the project.’
‘If I’m right, our system asteroid belts are almost untapped and even if we put twenty Snowden there, in a hundred years, they will only have done a small dent in the resources present, is that correct ?’
‘Well, yes, but in all the Concordat there are only 18 of them and they can’t build more.’ Said Gilbert, looking attentively at me.
‘The Snowden is a station that is too complex for what I want. I want you and your teams to design a much simpler version of it. For starters, it won’t need a K-Boom, as it will only be used locally. Next, this system is well patrolled and the last raid was hundreds of years ago. So, I think we won’t need armor nor weapons, as there is several ASF patrols in the system. On top of that, if the stations are only to be used locally, they won’t need comprehensive repair facilities and I think that the smallest Grav Deck will be enough. We can rotate the personnel faster after all. I believe that with these specifications, you can design a much cheaper and simpler station that could be more easily produced and deployed locally. What are your thoughts on this idea?’
They stayed silent for a while and after looking to each other, Gilbert broke the silence ‘Well… yes that is going to be a much cheaper and simpler design. But even so, we don’t have the resources nor the money to produce these.’
‘Design then and present me a plan to use some of these with estimated costs and benefits. As far as I am concerned, obtaining the money and resources for the project is my job.’
At the end of the reunion, Maud Gerard, my personal secretary entered my office.
‘Mr. Bassot, you wanted me to remember you that tonight you have a ball in the capital. Mr Beaudoin’s daughter is going to be presented officially to the society and it has been confirmed that Edward Calderon is going to be present. Mr Beaudouin is one of your strongest allies in VMI and it is one of the first time that Edward represents his father, so don’t be late.’
‘Thanks Maud, I promise to be a good boy.’ I said with a smile.
She retired after presenting me with a look of light disapproval. At 56 years and a widow, she was the best secretary I could dream of.






paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #47 on: 30 November 2019, 18:20:20 »
Later that night at the party in the Beaudouin’s mansion in the New Vandenberg capital.
God, I really hate this kind of social events. I never liked them in my past life and I still don’t in the new one.
Years of experience, mostly in my past life gave me enough abilities to be able to fake sufficiently and not make a faux-pas. Circulating around and doing my damned best to escape the usual social butterflies that are attracted to this kind of events. I even had a glass of Glengarry Reserve in the hand while doing so and if I may so, this is really a good whiskey.
Josselin Beaudouin, barely 1.60m with high heels, with raven hair, large but not fat, her bone structure didn’t give her any gifts and anyone would hardly call her a beautiful young woman. However the determined look in her face said that she was soon going to be an asset for her family.

After exchanging the usual platitudes with her, I was free to pursue my own agenda and start looking for  Edward Calderon, to speak to him and convince him to support me and my agenda.
It took me some time to find him, as he was also trying to dodge the socialites and the kiss-ass people, attracted to people like him. This time, thank God, I wasn’t the top dog in this competition.
‘Lord Calderon? Funny, I never thought I would see such a high personage play the hide-and-seek game to escape the socialites. I’m Jean-Luc Bassot, at your service.’
‘Please to meet you Mr. Bassot. ’ He replied with a harm smile.
‘Would you mind us looking for a quiet place outside of this circus?’
Having been here several times, I was now familiar with the mansion and I easily found my way to a quieter room.

Upon entering the room, Edward Calderon placed a white noise generator on the small table between the chairs and turned it on, signaling that this conversation was going to be ‘off the record’.

‘So, Jean-Luc’ started Edward Calderon, after sitting down in a comfortable chair, ‘would you care to explain to me the enigma of your actions?’

‘What enigma?’
‘On the one hand, you provided the Concordat with WarShips, Royal ‘Mechs and top-of the line equipment that benefit our nation greatly on the military side’, started Edward Calderon with a very serious look on his face ‘but on the other hand, all you created on your own was in the civilian side. Do you care to explain?’
‘There is no enigma at all. I provided the Concordat with the items that I found but what I really want is to improve our economy. If you enlarge the military first, you cripple the economy, but if you do it the other way around, you can easily enlarge the military at a later time while first making the civilians richer.’
‘And you think that we have time to do it that way?’ asked Edward with an interested look on is face.
‘Sure. It is a simple multiplayer game. House Davion principal enemy is Kurita, followed by Liao. The principal enemy of House Liao is Davion and the secondary is Marik. House Marik is preoccupied with Steiner first and Liao second and House Kurita with Davion and Steiner. House Davion, because of his nascent alliance with Steiner also has to deal with Marik. In other words, all the House Lords of the Inner Sphere are too much preoccupied with each other to look towards the Periphery.
It is no coincidence that in the past hundred years nothing bigger than small raids and counter-raids has been done here.’ I said with a reasonable voice.
‘And the worlds that Davion took from us?’ asked Edward Calderon looking at me intensely.
‘After two hundred years? Let us be real. With so much time of Davion indoctrination and with much migration from other Davion worlds these are now Davion worlds, not ours under occupation. No revolts, no manifestations, no heavy troops presence. Should I go on? I don’t like it, you don’t like it and I'm sure your father hates it, but is the cold reality. Even if was the other way around, even if we could triplicate the power of the TDF, we still wouldn’t have enough forces to take them back. House Liao, the weakest of the Inner Sphere realms is still way more powerful than us, so I’m afraid that we don’ stand a chance in that area.’
‘In some circles, that could be considered traitorous...’ said Edward Calderon.
‘If said circles don’t like reality, it is their problem not mine.’ I coldly answer. ‘But if you want to improve our military with a small investment, just open some aerospace academies. The TDF is weak in that arm, even if VMI and Pinard produce ASFs.’
‘And where would we find the instructors for said academies?’ asked Edward Calderon.
‘In the same place I found most of my pilots, just contract them in the Outworlds Alliance. They are not hostile to us and have a very good aerospace force.’ I said.
And the look in Edward face showed me that they hadn’t thought about it.
‘On another topic, what are your plans for the future Jean-Luc? I don’t believe you are happy with what you already got.’ said Edward Calderon, conceding the point, more or less.
‘Glad that you asked that. You see I have this idea...’
Several hours later heading home, I was reasonably convinced that Edward Calderon could be now counted as an ally, and maybe, with a bit of luck, he could convince his father to finance / support my space program.


Shadow_Wraith

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #48 on: 30 November 2019, 19:33:53 »
nice story update!  Glad to see more interpersonal interactions.

DOC_Agren

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #49 on: 30 November 2019, 21:49:56 »
Nice to see that someone sees that the TC needs an Aerospace School...
Now can he get the Calderon family to see and act on it.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #50 on: 01 December 2019, 05:07:53 »
Some months later, Lise’s team came back to  New Vandenberg.
The official version was that they had found two Mackies 6S that were so obsolete that they could only be donated to museums, the first one being the New Vandenberg War Museum and the other one a BattleMech Museum on Taurus.
The real important price was that  the data core was now safely multi-copied and in my hands.
While it contained lots of full blueprints for military hardware, including several Royal grade equipment; the real treasure were the blueprints for many different kinds of factories, shipyards and vehicles. Unlike the military hardware, these were mostly of the non-Hegemony sort, meaning very few if any were state-of-the-art automated ones, but even so they were so much better than what the Concordat had right now.
To be honest, the hundreds of advanced hardware blueprints were utterly useless right now as the Concordat like most of the Inner Sphere and the Periphery could barely produce ‘standard’ hardware. Much more interesting were the blueprints of the ‘black boxes’ in use in the automated systems of today factories. With that, I could greatly contribute to the improvement of almost all the industrial park of the Concordat and that gave me a lot of leverage.
One thing that couldn’t be built right now were  the factories that produced advanced items. That meant no Endo Steel, no Ultra or LB-X guns, no Extended Range energy weapons, etc. While I had the plans for several of these factories,  several critical components were beyond our capability to produce. And without the science behind to understand  them, it would remain so for the near future. I needed the Helm or the Niops cores, the ones with the data on the principles and science behind these technologies.
I had also checked to see if I had any blueprints for the Nighthawks. But no, top-of-the-line hardware of the Hegemony were not included. Bugger. Oh! Well, we would try to get these from Niops in the future, if everything went right, after all.
By the way, several designs of ‘obsolete’ WarShips, JumpShips and DropShips, all obsolete by SLDF standards were also included. Many of these I had never seen in my original universe. One of the gems I found were the full data specs of the Leviathan JumpShip and thanks to it, we would be able to make a full refit of the JumpShip that Dr. Murad’s team was trying to repair in the Badlands system.
Some civilian items came to my attention, one was the Super Caravan transport cargo plane; an improved version of the Antonov An-225 from back home. With 6 hydrogen powered engines, it could carry up to 200 tons of cargo and loaded, it had a range exceeding 15,000 km. Few were produced because by this time, the cheaper to operate fusion powered alternatives started to appear. But in a universe where fusion power engines were not so cheap (like right now), maybe they could have a future. The other interesting civilian items was a mix between a  cargo shuttle and a short range DropShip. It could carry up to 2,000 tons of cargo to orbit or to a moon while having articulated, powered arms much like the space shuttle of my universe. It was the perfect design to support and expand an orbital industry. It too fell in  disgrace with the massive DropShips entering full production.
These industrial blueprints provided me with several options to create production lines in VMI for almost everything from DropShips to ‘Mech for civilian or military use. That is, if I could secure the necessary funds.
Before I could make any decisions on how to best use this new data, I was ‘invited’ to go to Taurus to ‘consultations’ with the Lord Protector. Joy.
Before I departed, I left instructions to my team to present the VMI board with options for possible upgrades and I took with me the latest plans of the future Snowden Lite prototype. Unlike the other times and because of a fortunate alignment of JumpShips, I managed to do the voyage in just about two weeks.

The reunion with Thomas Calderon, his son Edward and Grover Shraplen turned very differently from what I expected. Thomas, while very suspicious of House Davion, wasn’t totally paranoid about them but Grover has a profound hate against the FedRats as he kept saying. On the other side, Edward wanted to reduce the tension between both realms and perhaps to start with some commercial openings, a position I was more than inclined to support. After several hours of discussions and negotiations, it was decided that the Concordat was going to try to open commercial relations with the Federated Suns but only of civilian products and if VMI wanted to participate,  the earnings would have to be invested in new military lines whose production would be sold to the TDF at a reduced cost. While I couldn’t decide for VMI, I was only  one of several shareholders after all, I was asked to convince them to follow the plans made by this small council.
I also learned that the Far Lookers were going to be directed to the ex pirate location that I had recently cleaned. The two systems were viable and already had a small infrastructure after all. But this time, they would have to do it with only private financing, no funds would be diverted from the government.
Returning to VMI on New Vandenberg, I got involved in several meetings with the board of directors. In the end, the decision was taken to go along the will of the Protector. The new lines that would be created would be for modernized Toro and Talos BattleMechs. These tried and venerable Taurian ‘Mechs would probably create a morale boost in the ranks of the TDF while the research part had already been done at V4RU, allowing V4RU to earn a percentage of the sales and also cutting the price down.
Unfortunately, all this forced me to delay the shift to the air and space assets I wanted to produce.
After all was taking care of, now it was time to start doing some marketing research on the Federated Suns. Not really an easy or a small task.

snakespinner

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #51 on: 01 December 2019, 19:34:29 »
Should have taken care of Grover whilst you were there. >:D
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

cklammer

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #52 on: 04 December 2019, 07:54:29 »
Openly taking care of Grover is not viable at this time politically: JLB's position is wrong and too weak at this time.

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #53 on: 15 December 2019, 18:28:47 »
Having inside intel, I decided not to wait for any treaty and began looking for opportunities in the Federated Suns.
 As I suspected, the market for our Industrial ‘Mechs existed and was indeed huge, even if most of it was in the core worlds, the ones near the Concordat being too poor only ordered a few. Some months later, I received information from Taurus, that a limited commercial treaty had been signed between the Concordat and the Federated Suns, allowing only the trade of civilian goods in both directions with inspection from both side naturally. While that could seem fast, it just showed that the Suns didn’t care about the Concordat and anything that improved the peace in the area and better commerce was considered good enough for New Avalon, so they didn’t  delay such limited treaty.
Before the end of the year, V4RU presented a refit of the Talos, replacing the AC/10 and its ammo with 1 PPC, 2 Medium Laser (in the left arm), 1 extra ton of ammo for the LRMs and 4 heat sinks. This version fixed the problem of an ammo dependent ’Mech and became a hit in the TDF, with orders being placed for 50% of the operating Talos to be refitted to this model by V4RU. Considering that this refit was paid at full price (by the Ministry of Defense) but received a full factory support, it was a very good sale for V4RU (much like the AMG / Mercedes relation I knew from back home).
With all of this happening, the arrival at V4RU of the gyro for the Rifleman captured to the pirates was almost unnoticed, even if that result in another Heavy ’Mech for the Revenants. 
The sales of Industrial ’Mechs to the Suns largely surpassed even my wildest dreams, most of them being sent to the richest core worlds. Basically they wanted every single one we could sell them as there was no production in the Federated Suns, the factories having been long ago converted to the production of war material.
There was such a demand (as orders also came from  the Concordat, the Magistracy and the FWL), that new lines were planned. To fulfill their part in the increased orders, O-P Electronics not only expanded their production in Brisbane, but started a new factory on New Vandenberg. This was only possible because all other nations, including the the Concordat before I financed the new production lines, had focused long ago on other productions like the example of the Federated Suns had shown us.
Thanks to the New Dallas data core I also had access to  several formerly lost designs of several other civilian ’Mechs, some too advanced for VMI to produce, some too old, but several just with the right tech level and capabilities to be added to the company growing portfolio. As a bonus almost all the unknown models were from companies that had long ago disappeared, so no problems with the royalties.
By mid 3025 business was booming, the repaired Leviathan had returned to New Vandenberg. Thanks to the profits made, my position inside the VMI board had improved.
So far, I had successfully maintained the Hegemony core a secret, but I knew that sooner or later someone was going to report it or leak its data to the TMI or to another organism of the Concordat government. Until then, I had used several of the blueprints to upgrade as much as possible the production lines of VMI while selling a bit later the same upgrades to other companies inside the Concordat.
I wanted to share the knowledge I had with the Taurian Concordat while making a profit out of it. After all, I wasn’t much of an idealist. Being on the board of VMI, running my own treasure hunting company and having connections among the government was all I needed to be able to speak to several boards or directors about a deal. In exchange for money, shares, production licenses, I gave them access to these “new” upgrades. At the end of the ‘tour’, I gifted one copy of the core to Edward Calderon, thus cementing my relation with the ruling house. While I had no doubt that the Calderons were going to put the core to good use, increasing the competition for VMI, I knew it was impossible to hide the use of said core forever once it started to be used so it was better to make the best out of it.
I used a big chunk of the money obtained that way to buy VMI shares from several sources and with my alliance with the  Beaudouins, I got effective control over VMI.
For the gift of the core to the government (technically speaking to Edward, but it was just another name for the  government) , I got the title of Baron but because we were in the Concordat, it didn’t mean much in terms of money while carrying some other interesting advantages.
One thing that I was aware of was that the New Dallas data core didn’t provide any help on the theory, on the math or science side, just some blueprints. With that, me and the people I provided said blueprints to could copy several things, but not deviate from the ones in the core or innovate without a massive investment in R&D, something that House Davion could do with the NAIS but that was nearly impossible in the Concordat. For that I needed the Helm data core or the one from Niops. Better even, both.
The lostech front was also a waiting game for now as I wanted the most valuable of all items, Double Heat Sinks. I had the full blueprints for several models, including the latest Star League and even one not so advanced from Davion as well as the schematics for their production lines. What I was still lacking was the capacity to produce out of laboratories, the complex crystalline matrix that was at the heart of all the models.
One interesting bit in the Hegemony core was that it contained all file formats, data structure, file compression standards known at the time, even if very exotic, rare or obsolete. It could be useful for me later.

At this time, I began hearing rumors about  a terrorist organization operating inside the Aurigan Directorate under the name of the Aurigan Restoration and commanded by Kamea Arano that seemed after all to be alive.
VMI finally started to build the production lines for the Super Caravan and for the Star-Lifter (the big cargo shuttle). Estimates put the first design to be operational by early 3026 and the second one by mid 3027.
I still didn’t have a clue of how to deal with Helm, so I decided to take a different direction.

Daryk

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #54 on: 15 December 2019, 20:05:52 »
Not sure how I missed this thread before, but it's definitely interesting!  :thumbsup:

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #55 on: 16 December 2019, 05:12:44 »
Remembering that the Perdition Massacre should be around this time, I contacted ‘Mr. Smith’ from TMI. Obviously, I couldn't give him too much detail but I informed him that one of my contacts had heard about a terrorist cell planning an attack on Perdition. When asked about details, I answered vaguely about business contacts of one of the companies I was dealing with.
Unfortunately a month later Victoria succeeded and not only did she successfully executed the chemical attack, she also managed to escape without a trace.
To make matters worse, the ‘evidence’ that Santiago Espinosa presented against the Federated Suns was quite convincing but that had to be expected as the special effects / movie tricks team used was very competent.
And that brought a lot of problems to me and VMI. The trade agreement with the Federated Suns was broken by the Taurians, which caused us to lose our largest foreign market and a huge setback in the detente policy that Edward sponsored. Because the Magistracy supported Kamea, something that the TMI had quickly discovered, it created a tense situation between the two nations when Thomas decided to openly support Santiago.
However, by not accepting a contract offered by Espinosa for mercenaries to support his forces, I was able to prevent my Revenants from getting involved.
With great efforts, I was able to very discreetly contact Anne-Marie Centrella, saying her that Kamea should pay special attention to the 'Madeira files'.Having done all I could, I could only hope that she would find the evidence that would clear the Federated Suns while implicating Santiago at the same time.
This whole situation caused a great deal of economic damage to the actual and future plans I had made for VMI and took much of my time, forcing me to postpone for a long time any expedition to Niops, which was my next objective. I couldn’t get away for so long at this point and this was the kind of mission I couldn’t delegate.

This whole situation was problematic inside the unit too. One day, Vasseur came into my office clearly annoyed.
‘Boss, why did you turn down the contract by House Espinosa against the terrorists on the Aurigan Protectorate?’
‘Vasseur, do you think Hanse Davion is stupid or incompetent?’
'I never heard anyone accusing him of that,' replied Vasseur with a surprised look on his face.
‘So think a bit, this deal with the Concordat is clearly good for him. It lowers the tension on one of his borders and creates a new source of trade and money.'
‘So far I'm following you, Boss. But what does this have to do with the Protectorate? '
‘If it is good for him, why would Hanse, who in your words is not incompetent, kill it shortly after it was signed?’ I asked quietly.
'If you put it that way I see no reason,' replied Vasseur, who had obviously not yet reached the conclusion I wanted him to reach.
'On top of that, chemical weapons are not Davion style, they use assassinations or military raids.' I explained 'On the other hand, Santiago Espinosa came to power through a rather bloody coup and clearly needs our support to stay in place.'
‘Are you suggesting that Perdition was a false flag operation performed by House Espinosa?’ asked Vasseur with a startled air.
‘Cui Bono. Of the two, Hanse does not benefit at all from the attack, while Santiago needs our help. It is very convenient for him that House Davion decides to perform this type of operation when it is most needed, don't you think? And the only 'evidence' there is was provided by Santiago.’
‘Maybe, but about some Davion patriots operating independently?’ asked Vasseur.
‘’Possible,’ I answered calmly ‘but usually they act against Kurita first, Liao second, and the last raid against us was how long ago? Not in the last century if I remember correctly.’
Vasseur was silent for a few minutes, analyzing the implications. ‘Do you have any proof?’
‘If I had, I would already have submitted it to the Lord Protector. But this smells a lot like shit, and I don't want to get involved.’ I answered.
Visibly calmer ‘You're right, Boss. It was really better not to accept this contract.’
Not helping at all, Hanse Davion launched Operation Galahad a few weeks later, greatly increasing the tension in the border, even if it only moved troops to the Capellan and Draconis borders. But Grover Shraplen was quick to use the fear of a possible invasion … not the best time I had in this universe.

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #56 on: 17 December 2019, 05:03:21 »
While the actions of House Espinosa had caused a lot of damage to my plans, in a strange way, Galahad was good for me and my business.
Betting that it would be equal (or at least quite similar) to the operation I knew from the fiction in my universe, ie that Davion forces would not invade the Concordat, I took advantage of the fact that a Concordat noble was expected to be ready to defend the Concordat and its people and preemptively made the Revenants available free of charge for the defense of the borders. Of course, it was quite a popular gesture in patriotic circles, making it impossible for the TDF to turn my offer down. The result was that a company of ’Mechs with tanks, ASFs, and infantry support was sent to MacLeod's Land under Vasseur’s command, while another unit, similar in strength, went to Pinard under my direct command. This forced me to leave several instructions on both V4RU and VMI to be followed during my absence, but the advantages far outweighed the drawbacks.
For me, provided that Hanse did the same that he had done in my novels, it was a pure public relations operation that would make things better with Thomas Calderon, who liked this kind of patriotic attitude. However for my men, it was a very serious affair, after all they were almost all Taurians and patriots. That was made obvious by the serious looks and small talks I observed during the movement to the border areas.

Another side of Galahad that benefited me was that due to the perceived risk, the Concordat government increased the budget for military expenditures and ordered several new ’Mechs from VMI and some refits from V4RU. Due to the escalating international tensions, several mercenary companies also placed orders with both companies, making good use of the modernization of production lines that we had just finished at great cost.
Another advantage I had not realized was that unlike in the HBS game,  the expeditionary force operating in the Aurigan Directorate and commanded by Commodore Samuel Ostergaard was called back. For several reasons, most of which I had caused (like the disappearance of the Argo and its databases before he would go for it), Ostergaard had no personal vendetta against Kamea Arano, nor did he ever find her, and he returned home smoothly.
Three months later, with the end of Operation Galahad and the returning home of most of the Davion forces, the situation in the frontier cooled down a bit. 

VMI sales department in Galatea following my instructions had tried for several months to sell equipment to the famous Wolf’s Dragoons, but to no avail. I wanted a contact with the Dragoons for the future. But by the end of 3026, they finally managed to make a sale, even if it was a small one.

The Leviathan was currently operating on the busiest commerce lines within the Concordat. Old or not, it was the JumpShip with the biggest cargo and DropShips capacity in all the Concordat and this by a wide margin. The next ones were two Star Lords, with almost all the rest of the fleet being of the Invader or Merchant classes. To protect the ship against any pirate having bad ideas, one of the collars was taken by a Leopard loaded with two ASFs and marines (instead of ’Mechs).
Later on, two old Tigress that were being used in patrol duty in the New Vandenberg system were refitted and placed in two of the four small craft bays of the JumpShip. Part of the refit was to equip them with several rocket pods and armor piercing warheads, guaranteeing  a very bad day for any pirate DropShips they would engage. The marines were quartered in the passenger area, freeing the much needed collar for another cargo DropShip.
During my time on Pinard, I also negotiated several deals with Pinard Protectorates Limited, Pinard-Dicolais Electronics and Wingman Enterprises Limited, ranging from partnership to exchange of licenses. For example,  VMI received the rights (and blueprints) of the Sabre light ASF from PPL in exchange for those for the Toro light Battlemech.
Interestingly, PPL take on the Toro was different as they replaced both LRM-5 by one SRM-4 and torso mounted jump-jets, creating a ’Mech similar in capabilities to the popular Combine Panther.
No company started producing new units as at this time as all were busy with current orders or involved in the shipyard or Snowden / Snowden Lite long term projects. Their recent upgrades had cost them a lot of resources and they needed some return on investment before doing anything else.

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #57 on: 22 December 2019, 16:21:50 »
Just before the return of the expeditionary force to the Aurigan Directorate under Ostergaard’s command, some news arrived that completely changed the scenario.
Fred of having to deal with Concordat forces, Kamea got her hands on the Madeira files and obtained the proof that the Perdition Massacre had been planned by Santiago Espinosa and executed by his daughter Victoria. Unfortunately, I heard that Alexander Madeira hadn’t survived the extraction mission.
Saying that Thomas Calderon took these new badly was the king of understatements. He went ballistic and sent the already ready force under Ostergaard to the Aurigan territory, but this time to defeat and capture the Espinosas. To support the Guards, he wanted to recruit a mercenary force and I accepted the job,  securing the Revenants participation, which not only help me improve my relations with the Calderon family but also allowed me to play my part in the end of the Espinosa regime, AKA the Aurigan Directorate.

At the same time, Edward Calderon was tasked with fixing the relations with the Federated Suns, a difficult job, but if anyone could do that it was him.
Coordinating our actions with Kamea, through the good offices of Anne-Marie Centrella, we managed to make all the forces converge towards Coromodir for the final showdown.

Coromodir, February 23, 3027
This time the Taurian forces were much bigger than the early expedition (that one only included the Iberia), with one Fortress, the Iberia, two Unions, two Leopards and one Triumph transporting a full ’Mech battalion of the Taurian Guards and support forces.
The few Directorate ASFs, four in total, were quickly swept away by the combined Guards and Revenants escorts, opening the way for the capital of the Arano Directorate. Kamea’s forces, wanting to be the first to land, pushed their DropShips to 2g moving ahead of us and messing with the approved plan for the sake of ‘honor’ or pride..,
Four days later, near the planet capital.
Like the Revenants, the Taurian Guards were firm believers in combined arms operations. Thanks to superior training and better coordination, the resistance of the Directorate forces against us had been so far rather weak. To be honest, they were also busy with the more numerous but poorly equipped Restoration units that had arrived earlier.
Advancing with my Command Lance, with my Nightstar, Georgina’s Merlin, Ruben’s Thunderbolt (that was earlier Vasseur’s own) and Pauline’s Marauder, against a detected enemy presence ahead of us, I suddenly saw Kamea and Victoria fighting.
‘That Catapult K2 is mine, engage the rest!’ I ordered on the mic, advancing against Victoria’s ’Mech that had just destroyed the left leg of Kamea’s Kintaro and was getting ready to deliver the final blow.
An interesting consequence of me mixing with everything was that both had their original ’Mechs.  Kamea had never received the Atlas II from Nautilus and Victoria never lost the Catapult nor received the King Crab. I had always thought that Periphery small lords getting her hands on such a ’Mech outside of a SLDF cache was impossible, but game mechanics… Reality was different.
Taking advantage of Victoria’s focus on Kamea, I carefully aligned my shots and let loose with all the weapons  available at that range, both Gauss Riffles and the ER PPC.
I got lucky as all the shots hit, the ER PPC and one of the Gauss hitting on the right side, destroying one of the K2 main weapons while the other Gauss round hit in the center,  causing damage to the gyro and putting Victoria in serious trouble.
Showing just what a good Mechwarrior she was, she turned my way and fired all of her weapons, while I tried to move sideways and out of the line of fire.
Her PPC barely missed but both Medium Lasers hit my ’Mech in the center, making two deep scars in my pristine armor, but not penetrating. This baby was made to take and survive much heavier damage.
From a semi upward position, Kamea fired all of her surviving weapons at the back of Victoria’s ‘Mech  and at least eight of the SRMs hit sending the Catapult to the ground.
Not giving her time to recover, I carefully targeted her legs and put one Gauss round and a laser beam on each, destroying both and ending her struggle.
Looking around I realized that my teammates and the only survivor of Kamea’s unit had finished dispatching Victoria’s unit and that in this area, the war had ended.
‘Are you okay, Lady Arano?’ I asked with concern in my voice.
‘Just a bit bruised, but I will survive. Let's end this.’ Is the answer.
Before resuming our advance in direction of the capital, I sent instructions for our infantry to capture Victoria. Soon after a pair of Maultiers arrived and two platoons of heavily armed and armored infantry quickly disembarked. They took care of Victoria, that until then, under the sights of my ’Mech weapons, had  in her cockpit. After their arrival, my lance could advance again.
Three days later in the Coromodir palace.
‘Milady Kamea, my orders are very explicit. I have to return to Taurus with both Santiago and Victoria Espinosa cuffed or in coffins.’ said Ostergaard to Kamea while I stayed a little away. I was only a mercenary and even if socially I was superior to the good Commodore, he was in charge of the Taurian forces.
‘As a proof of the good relations that should be from now on between our nations I give you both of them, Commodore’ answered High Lady Kamea Arano.
A few hours later, when the official ceremonies were over, I received an  invitation for a private meeting with the High Lady.
Arriving at the small office, I was surprised that Anne-Marie Centrella was also there. I would need to play my game the best I could.
The following afternoon (and dinner) was very agreeable. In company of two beautiful, sophisticated woman we discussed the present and future of the region and what that meant for the Aurigan Restoration. They were in a weaker position than before, with the economy in pieces, the industry seriously damaged and several ex-directorate forces turned pirates. The relations of the Concordat with their respective nations were also discussed. I had the felling that I was in the middle of an interrogation by at least one expert (Anne-Marie) and I was afraid that I might have revealed way more than I wanted while getting very little in return.
At least I successfully deflected the questions about how I knew about the Madeira Files, making a tale of how with the Madeiras being very able at politics and very close to the ruling clan at the time I had considered very likely that they had tapped in the surveillance cameras in the castle and even added some new ones, to get leverage on others. If Kamea and Anne-Marie believed a single word of what I said, I didn’t know, but apparently they accepted the story.
Anne-Marie was way too well-informed about the Concordat in general and my business in particular for my liking. I put a good bet that she had dropped the MIM on me long ago.
All in all, I returned to my DropShip satisfied but with too much to think about.

paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #58 on: 31 December 2019, 14:09:00 »
   

    Before I got back to the Concordat, I didn't miss an opportunity to perform one more coup. After the conflict ended, the mercenary force known as the Markham Marauders was in a much worse position than in the video game. Without access to Argo or SLDF ’Mechs and with the number of Assault ‘Mechs in the Periphery not being inflated as in the game, they had suffered severe casualties.
    In fact, at this point, they only had one injured MechWarrior (Jessica Chernovskaya, call-name Glitch) and their only surviving ’Mech (a Griffin GRF-1N) was more junk than ’Mech. What they had, and what I was interested in, was a good team of technicians, an excellent DropShip pilot, and a Leopard.
    It wasn't hard for me to convince them to sign for the Revenants, a superbly equipped force, by Periphery standards and with much more means.
    Even Darius had his usefulness, after all, he had good contacts in mercenary circles and in some less legal areas. You never know when these contacts would be useful.

    As I suspected and as the Marauders files confirmed, they had found in Panzyr the hulks of about a hundred Griffins GRF-1N. The Directorate had used the available parts to repair about a company, but they didn’t have the expertise and industrial resources for the rest, as far as I knew, nor the Restoration or the Magistracy. Only a few companies in the Concordat, including mine, could do that. The others that were capable of that were all in the Inner Sphere.

    Just as we entered Concordat territory I had one message waiting for me: Proceed to Taurus at full speed. The Lord Protector wants to talk with you, ASAP.
    While I went to Taurus, the Revenants returned to New Vandenberg for a well-deserved R&R. The return trip went smoothly, but Taurus was clearly on high alert when we arrived, something had happened during my absence.




    Calderon Palace

    Thomas and Edward immediately received me, another sign that something serious had happened.
    ‘Welcome back, Jean-Luc. I regret to inform you that Concordat is in a much worse situation than when you left.' Thomas began by going straight to the point 'when Edward was charged with fixing our relations with the Davions, Grover had a fit of rage. Using forces that he managed to trick, he tried to take over the two Warships to use them to attack the Federated Suns. In the ensuing conflict, we managed to stop him, but both the ships and the dockyard were seriously damaged. We lost several of our special forces that day. The first estimates for the repair of the ships and the dock is a decade and that is the best scenario we have.'
    Edward leaned towards me 'If you have any more miracles or hidden bases to visit, now is the best time to inform us. The Concordat needs a backup immediately. Right now we don’t have any way to stop any of the Great Houses if they want to invade us, outside of massive use of nuclear weapons'.

    ‘It is the exact situation as before the WarShips turned operational, isn’t it?’I asked, not seeing the big problem. Then I remembered that the existence of the operational WarShips played a big part in reducing Thomas’ fears and paranoia regarding a Davion invasion.

    ‘Well, yes, but right now we strongly suspect that at least one if not more of the IS Houses know that we have ships and that they are no longer operational. It is only a question of time until one or more of them try to grab them. We even suspect that Liao has already done that.’

    ‘Why do you suspect Liao's hand in the Grover case?’ I asked puzzled.

    ‘Well, we don’t have any proof, mind you’ said Edward, after looking at his father and Thomas silently nodded ‘but TMI found some advanced electronic codebreakers, of very recent Liao manufacture, on the bodies of some of his men. Codebreakers that were used to gain access to the WarShips’ computers. Also several of these people couldn't be identified and the reports talk about a high number of very capable fanatics.’

    ‘In other words, Death Commandos or ROM Rho’, said a small part of my brain that I tried to keep quiet with effort. Crap. Liao or ROM, both use the ships to start a war between us and Davion. Any of them would love that. ‘I can only recommend increasing the defenses there.’ I said softly, was my answer.

    Damn, that was not good at all. I took a quick decision.
    ‘In fact, I know some places we haven't visited yet, but they're all distant or complicated.' I replied as I began to see the scale of the disaster.
    ‘Whatever is needed and that the Concordat can provide is yours.' was Thomas' answer.

    ‘Ok, let’s play cards on the table then. I know the location of a weapons test place of the SLDF Navy.’ At that mention, both Calderon looked to me with hope in their eyes. ‘There is no guarantee that any WarShip will still be there to be looted but it is possible that we find something useful.’ I said in a calm voice.

    ‘And the catch is?’ asked Thomas, ‘because if it was easy, you would have already taken action.’

    ‘For starters, it is further away than the place where we found the dockyard’. I said and I saw the look between both Calderon's good news is that I also have four possible cache locations that could be ‘visited’ during that voyage.’ With that being said, I was sure to get what I wanted.

    ‘It is a long voyage, but we can provide you with the same force used in the previous mission’ said Thomas, while Edward nodded in agreement ‘let’s hope that they will find useful things there then. We won’t forget your help on this, Jean-Luc. Are your forces also available for this mission?’

    ‘Not this time, my Lord.’ I said ‘I want them for some missions including trying to obtain more Star League files. They are also vital, after all.’ I explained.

    ‘Changing subjects, about the Arano case, if we leave the area alone, the Magistracy will not take control. They already have immense influence over Kamea, I think it is better to try to counter it.’

    ‘Mmmm’ Thomas looks at me pensively ‘and what do you propose?’

    ‘While I’m not trying to dictate our diplomacy in the area’ I started (yeah, right, I thought very quietly), ‘I think that providing some support is going to do us a lot of good. Like helping Kamea with the nascent pirate problem or help her rebuild these Griffins the Directorate found on Panzyr.’

    ‘You are funny, I give you that’ Thomas laughs, ‘in the first case your mercenaries are the best option and in the second one, your company is tailor-made for the job.’

    ‘I never said I didn’t want to gain something from the area’ I said lightly, looking at Thomas in the eyes. ‘But the truth is that both options will help us immensely with the Aranos and help us to reduce the Magistracy influence so close to our borders. By the way, before I forget, before you execute the Espinosas, can TMI obtain their Combine contacts? That can be useful in the future.’

    ‘Sure, I already said I like your style,’ said Thomas in a good mood.’ But it is up to you to secure both contracts from High Lady Kamea. If you want it, you will have to work for it.’

    ‘In that case, I need two things’ I asked Thomas. ‘One is a comprehensive team of ex-TMI people, which covers security, infiltration, code-breaking and interrogation. Because of the needs of chain-of-command and deniability, I can’t take any current unit, but because I’m going to operate in another nation and with a third one operating in the area, I want these capabilities available to me’. I know full well that they are going to report back to TMI / Thomas but that is a price that I’m comfortable to pay.

    After a few moments Thomas answered ‘No problem, I can arrange that for you. And the second one?’

    ‘I also need to know your intentions about the Aranos and Centrellas – while in theory, I’m going as a mercenary/ industrialist, we both know that I’m also a Concordat noble with close ties to you. So, I need to know what you want or plan for that area to not put myself in a delicate or contrary to your intentions position.’

    ‘That reasonable. Well what I want his...’
     


paulobrito

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Re: An SI in the Concordat - GhostRider's Revenants Rev.2
« Reply #59 on: 31 December 2019, 14:09:26 »
One of my pet projects as soon as I took control of V4RU was the Omni vehicle.

Thanks to the great experience of the V4RU technicians in retrofitting systems and the fact that the Revenants had several Merkavas, I decided to make this experiment based on that chassis, which thanks to the age of the design was a bug-free and very sturdy one.

The Merkava design had several advantages that made it possible to convert it to an Omni vehicle.

The chassis is already using a Vlar 300 fusion engine, and the engine compartment is big enough to accept an ICE or fuel cell type instead, no doubt because the older variants used ICE ones and even a primitive fusion – thank god they don’t changed much the dimensions. Even so, the V4RU technicians need several years of tinkering and testing to arrive at a solution that lets change more easily between all types. While swapping ICE with fuel cell engines and vice-versa is a no brainer, changing to a fusion one takes a lot more time and need to also replace several electronic boards in the crew compartment. But is possible for a decently trained tech team even on field conditions provided they have the necessary tools – and time.

Then, apart from the front mounted MG, all weapons and ammo were mounted on the turret. Thanks to this, with a simple change of the turret – and replacing some electronic boards in the crew compartment - you could get a completely different weapons load-out. The complicated part was the interface, electronics in the crew compartment that needed to be upgraded to accept the more-or-less plug-in boards.

The crew compartment is like the one in my timeline the T-14 Armata – full inside the frontal area of the chassis, with an extra layer of armor.

After this “small” works, the tank could be swapped between different configurations. The basic one was like the Merkava Mk.VIII but with Concordat produced weapons and electronics, the next one used a Thumper, the third a Sniper cannon in the turret for SPG role, followed by another that used three AC/5 and dedicated anti-aircraft sensors and electronics, like a smaller (but still very capable) version of the Partisan. Yet another replaced the AC/5 of the Merkava by one PPC, but this one could only be used with a fusion engine limiting the design because of its cost. And, finally, one used the Arrow IV launcher system. This last one could only be designed after we got our hands on the Hegemony data core of New Dallas. I always thought that it was strange that everybody forgot how to produce the Arrow IV missile. The guidance packages and advanced warheads, sure, but the missiles per se were not that complex nor was the launch system. Both could be produced with the current Concordat tech level without any problem.

For this first production run, the missiles were unguided as we couldn’t produce the guided system but several warheads were provided, HE, FRAG, incendiary and smoke being available from the beginning of the project. Later, HE-FRAG and thermobaric followed in the mid-thirties by sub-munitions and scatterable small mines were also produced. Guided, SAM and AAM (this one for ASFs) variants of the Arrow IV missile were being studied, but again the problem was the advanced warheads needed, something that the Taurian Concordat military-industrial complex was not yet capable to produce outside of labs even with the upgrades that I had given it.

When I presented the results to the VMI board of directors, they first thought that I was crazy, but after showing them the prototypes working at V4RU, the possibilities were understood by most of them.

So, in late 3027, the Leclerc, the first Omni vehicle started production at VMI. The Arrow IV variant was only produced by late 3029 and at first only for the Revenants or the Taurian Guards. So, the first batch offered two MBT (AC/5 or PPC), two arty and one flak variants that could be changed from one to another, even with the small mechanic support unit that the poorer militia or mercenary unit normally had. For them, it meant doing it in the rear areas but capable units could do the swap on the field. Only the PPC variant was less accepted than the others and that was because of the increase in price that put it outside of the pocket of most customers, but even that one got several orders.

Nothing high tech was needed to create this very successful tank, just clever design and the ingenuity of the V4RU technicians, which meant that the attention from all around the Inner Sphere and the proposals for license production offered by firms all around the Inner Sphere meant more money for V4RU. Unsurprisingly, Wolf’s Dragoons were very interested in the design and ordered a lot of them, for a merc unit that is.

In late 3029 two extra configurations are offered – one use 3x Doombud LRM-20 in the turret essentially re-creating an LRM carrier – even if a costly one, and another – that need the fusion engine, also turning it costly and unpopular – with a turret with a pair or Sunglow Type 2 Large Lasers and two Magna Mk.I Small Lasers (for anti-infantry support) and the electronic, radar and tracking systems of the 3x AC/5 / Flak variant. Neither is popular nor generate big sales, but they added an extra layer of versatility and both the Revenants and Taurian forces – both Guards and militia – bought several.