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Author Topic: Emerald and Gold  (Read 18852 times)

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #120 on: 30 October 2018, 22:06:41 »
Can't be following all the rules, now can they.  Though the MoC will likely never trust them again with a single Liaison Officer haha

snakespinner

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #121 on: 31 October 2018, 00:06:44 »
Alex can't take a trick.
Although bullets and knifes seem very attracted to him. >:D
The thought of salvage soon clouded the conversation regarding said liason officer.
Money talks.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
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Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

PrinceSheo

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #122 on: 31 October 2018, 12:08:45 »
Seriously, I questioned his desire to stay in the MoC when the first assassination attempt happened and now more and more are happening. Why stay at this point? It's blatantly obvious that the government or a faction within the government is trying to kill him (and it's also blatantly obvious that the magistrix wants him as her puppet unit), he also has had very bad experiences with the MoC during his time in training, is there any reason why he's still there? I was so baffled by this that I made an account just to ask this...

If I was him I'd just dig up everything left on the map, sell the less useful stuff and the "secret base" (because it's nothing but a drain of his resources, he's not a pirate, he has no need for a secret hideout that has nothing to offer other than it being hidden) and then buy a one way ticket to anywhere out of the MoC because at this point even the Dracs of all people would be a safer and more loyal employer to work for
« Last Edit: 31 October 2018, 12:31:33 by PrinceSheo »

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #123 on: 01 November 2018, 18:03:54 »
Canopus IV
Crimson City
Magistracy of Canopus
May 9 3024


   A furious wind howled and whipped around Alexanders ears that whispered threatening words and taunts of failure.  Before him, outstretched and flesh torn hands gripped onto the side of a massive cliff whose rock face was molten stone and fire.  The young man tried to scream out but no words escaped his lips as a chain that was weighed down by massive iron plates and bore the names of the dead strangled his neck and pulled him back towards Hades below.

   The sound of a drum constantly thundered, its rhythm driving Alexander to action though his movements felt as if he were passing through water.  Looking upwards to the mountains peak and peering through the fleeting wisps of madness that surrounded him, the now very young boy saw an emerald bird of prey pecking at the impassable summit.  Suddenly the creature shrieked and spread its massive wings that blackened the already ebony sky. 

   Laughter filled the old mans ears now as he felt a leather boot stomp on his weakening finger tips.  Pain flared but nothing came of it as a white shroud fell through the shadowy night.  More laughter, that of a mad man, pounded into Alexanders ears to the beating of the drum.  Blood slicked hands finally failed him and with arms flailing the mercenary plummeted to an end.

   Thud... Thud... Thud... Beep... Beep... Beep...  Alex' eyes fluttered open and as he heard the constant toll of a heart monitor, he realized was still alive.  The world slowly focused into view and the first face he saw was that of Keeva Rinne.  Concern painted the fair skin of her visage and Alex could tell from her blood shot eyes she was either very tired or had been crying.  “I take it... we're even now?”  The stricken man choked out, though the words burned in his raw throat.

   Before Keeva had a chance to respond, Doctor Swan was next to Alex checking his vitals.  “Captain Bishop, you should save your strength and not speak.  Your soft tissues have taken extensive damage and need to heal.”  Marilyn then looked to Keeva.  “And you should go rest.  The armed men you have surrounding my office will keep the good Captain alive and safe.”  The doctors tone was stern.  The red head slowly got to her feet.  “I suppose you're right Doctor Swan.  Hang in there Alex.” 

   The Privateer commander watched as his unexpected love interest turned to leave.  “Wait... Keeva.”  The words were difficult to form.  “Call for a meeting... Christopher, Halfrid... Anders and Liam.”  Alex carefully tried to swallow but it was difficult.  “Malcolm also.”  The young woman slowly nodded.  “Of course.” 

   As Alexander started to fall back to sleep from the sedative Doctor Swan had given him,  Keeva made her way from the room.  Waiting outside past the armed guards was Onora.  Her usual cheerful face was chiseled from the likes of cold stone.  “Come sister, it's time we get to the bottom of this.”  Pushing herself away from the wall, Onora nodded once and followed Keeva down the dropships small hallway.  “I agree sister, lets.”


*   *   *

   “That's twice now!  On the same planet no less.  No disrespect sir, but who the hell did you piss off?”  Sergeant Olsen towered over the others in the small medical bay.  Alexander was propped up in his bed.  Dark rings circled his eyes and massive bruising colored his skin around the gauze bandages that covered the staples in his throat.  He forced himself to speak through the pain.  “Chris, Malcolm...  Tell them.”  Despite his weakened state, the fiery resolve still burned in the young leader.

   Lieutenant Grant looked at Alexander and then to Hytuli.  “Tell us what?”  The units XO seemed a little agitated that people knew something he did not.  Taking a deep breath the Privateers technician took the lead.  “In Alex' personal quest to find out about his own past it was learned who his actual parents were.  One Phillip Bishop and Imana Centrella.”  The confused faces of the others present was a reflection of the one Chris had made himself when he had learned the truth as well.  He continued.  “This information was provided by Malcolm' father on Bass.”  Private Rush nodded.  “This is true.  My father was proud to be friends with both Imani and Phillip.”

   Hytuli pressed onward.  “It seemed at first best to keep the information to ourselves as it might not have mattered at all considering the malicious events that surrounded Alexander' parents death took place over twenty years ago.  However, it seems pretty clear that someone is still lurking around Canopus IV wanting to finish what they had started.”  The tech fell silent to let the others soak up the information he had just shared before quickly adding.  “I imagine that it goes unsaid that this information, for now, doesn't go beyond this room.”

   “Well I'll be a Dracs lapdog.”  Anders was the first to say anything as the small gathering stared at their commanding officer.  “Make no wonder someones trying to take off that head of yours.  I imagine it's galling to no end to know someone messed up bad some twenty years back.”  Everyone besides Alex looked at Sergeant Olsen with an incredulous stare.  The Captain knew that the man didn't mean anything offensive by the statement, he was simply being blunt which was perfectly in line with his personality.  Killing people in close proximity would do that to a person.

   Captain Schmitz was the next to speak.  “Vith all due respect Herr Bishop, vye not take our assets and leave the Magistracy?  We are mercenaries and there are wars and work everywhere.  I have personal experience in such things.  Get crews for the other ships or sell them and we start new somewhere else.  Vye stay if your own people want you dead?”  A silence fell over those present once again as it was a question they had all been wondering themselves.

   It took several moments for Alexander to gather his thoughts.  The pain killers the doctor had kept feeding him dulled his wits but at this moment he knew he had to fight though the haze to let his people know his mind.  After all, he knew he could not hide himself from his people forever.  “The blood of our family and friends stain the ground within these borders.  What is my life when weighed against what others have already given.  I cannot turn my back and run like a coward, leaving behind the murdered hopes and dreams of the fallen.  It is not yet decided where my anger shall be directed or if anything will even come of it except for some echo of the past.  I do know this, however.  Like my father, I am a money soldier and will continue to be one to make my way in this life.  Like my mother, I cannot help but care for people who need my strength.  No... I will not flee but instead grow a bastion amidst those who need us and when the time is right let the ones who play power games know that there was an avenging archangel among them all along.”

   Those present had no idea what to say to their Captain as his speech ended.  Finally breaking the silence once more was Sergeant Olsen.  “Well shit... can I have what he's on?”


*   *   *

   The streets were alive with revelry as usual.  The spy walked among the youth who seemed to be out in particular force and let their elated presence sooth his troubled mind.  Twice now he had failed to kill Alexander Centrella.  Twice had he failed to finish what Tamara had tasked him with so many years ago.  It was becoming a thorn in his side, this mans adverseness to death.  He could not let Kyalla know of this and with each failure she would gain more clues to what he was doing.

   As the agent attempted to squeeze past two topless belly dancers wearing plague doctor masks, both women wrapped their arms around him in unison.  Dancing to the festival music they bumped and nudged the man for a few moments before he asked “Please let me pass.”  Their response sent a chill down his spine as one of the women replied “You're getting predictable old man.”  To reinforce the statement the dancer pressed a over sized syringe that looked like a prop against his throat as they continued to dance.

   A mask of experience settled across the spy's face.  “What is the meaning of this?  You girls have your orders.”  They both seemed to giggle and continue the charade of their dance.  “We could ask you the same thing.  Why the duplicity?  If you wanted him dead, why not ask us... unless you're being a naughty boy and the Magestrix doesn't know!”  More giggles.  The old man bristled under the dangerous situation he found himself in.  “That is not for you to know.  Simply complete your mission.”

   It was the other woman's turn to speak, her words dripping with venom.  She leaned forward, pressing herself into his back and hissed into his ear.  “We had a deal.  We do this and then we're free.  You killing our man doesn't seem to coincide with our mission.  Back off or we'll expose what ever you're hiding.”  The first woman giggled again and both let the spy go pushing him into the crowd that suddenly seemed more claustrophobic than it had before.

PrinceSheo

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #124 on: 01 November 2018, 19:03:54 »
Aaaaaaaaaaand Hero-boy lost me...

pat_hdx

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #125 on: 01 November 2018, 19:41:51 »
Quote
Aaaaaaaaaaand Hero-boy lost me...

You are always free to write your own fan fic where your hero or heroine follows your whims...if you couldn't tell that the author was already going for a long term MOC sorry line, I don't know what to tell you.

I actually have a few quibbles for Drunkninja, but may send them via PM because I don't see the point of needling an author publicly who is kindly writing a cool bit of entertainment for us for free and for fun

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #126 on: 01 November 2018, 21:37:23 »
To each their own  ;)  And of course! Feel free and message me! I'd love discussions about this story!  It's become one of my main hobbies.

P.S Pain killers do wild things to the mind.

PrinceSheo

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #127 on: 02 November 2018, 00:59:14 »
I have no problem with the MoC, in fact one of the reasons this intrigued me was that it was a MoC fic, but that speech was just a bit too ridiculously cheesy for my brain to handle.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #128 on: 02 November 2018, 21:08:26 »
If people would like me to change anything about the story feel free to message me! I'm open to suggestions as I don't have access to a proof reading team hahaha

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #129 on: 03 November 2018, 17:36:57 »
Canopus IV
Crimson City
Magistracy of Canopus
May 11 3024


   “Do you think the Captain's starting to crack?”  It was Anders Olsen who posed the question among the three men who were having their breakfast in a small corner pub they had found a ways away from the space port.  Liam remained silent as he poked at his eggs and hash, not overly satisfied with the food.  Chris put his coffee mug down on the table a little hard and looked up at the infantry Sergeant.  The tech scowled at his long time companion.  “If he were, could you blame him?  Two assassination attempts, multiple battle field experiences, not to mention dealing with knowing his parents were murdered.  All the while trying to balance a budget for the most financially unbalanced unit in the history of the Innersphere.  Hell, we almost lost our minds just being stuck on that ice ball of a planet.  Seriously, can you actually blame him.  All this, and he's still half our age.”  The Lyran took a deep breath and brought the bitter coffee back to his mouth for another taste.

   “Alright, point taken.”  Anders shoveled a fork full of egg into his face.  “All I'm saying is what do we do if he is?  Alex runs the show and we need him capable.  Heck, he owns all of our toys and if he decides to run off on some quest for revenge, where does that leave us?”  Chris conceded that was very much true.  “I've thought about that Anders, and honestly I don't know.  We all owe him our lives in one way or another but I also know we signed on to be mercenaries, not patriots.  I want to believe it was the drugs talking.  God knows the doctor has kept him high as a kite to deal with the pain.”  Hytuli touched his throat in mock sympathy.

   Liam slowly pushed his half eaten breakfast away and brought his full attention to bare.  “I haven't been idle when contemplating the financial situation of the unit.  Despite the temptation to sell off the ships we can't afford, I may have figured out an ulterior option.”  The XO gained the attention of both castaways.  “After speaking with Malcolm Rush, it came to my attention his father is a merchant who has dealings in precious ores.  I'm no trader, but that doesn't mean we don't have an in into the industry.  Say we muster a crew for the ships, put them to work and have them pay for themselves.  Malcolm said it wouldn't be hard to convince his father to draw up a contract to ferry material between worlds.  Labor isn't the issue when it comes to being merchants, its the hardware to travel between worlds.” 

   The others nodded agreement.  “That's true enough.  It might be a good solution in the interim instead of selling off good war making material.  If we want to keep growing the armor and infantry, eventually you'll want more transport capacity.  Same goes for if we ever get those birds we ruined years back flying again.”  Anders crossed his arms and continued.  “It's easier to get tanks and men in these parts.  Maybe that's something we should push for if we want to make a go at a battalion.  Better market for jobs at that level.  Could even hook something with a successor state.”

   Lieutenant Grant shook his head.  “One step at a time.  First, we need to address the problem at hand.  Alexander needs our help.  He's no coward but the only way he knows how to do things is charge in head first.  The problem is that he's too young and inexperienced to know how to do things differently.  We have experience and we should lend it to him.  There's no denying he's a damned fine mechwarrior, but he's got a thing or two to learn about people.  I think if we give him some focus and perspective, we can help him become the leader he needs to be.” 

   Hytuli held out his coffee mug to a passing waitress to refill it.  “Maybe we should take the Bass contract.  It would give the unit more income while also having a less stressful post.  Its obvious there's likely strings attached to it, but it would also give us time to set up the other Jumpship to merchant duties.”  Chris took a sip from his fresh drink and looked thoughtful.  “It'd also give Alex time to follow his treasure map and see what his Uncle' unit left hidden around the Magistracy.  Liam, I imagine you and Anders could handle a garrison.”

   The Privateers XO leaned forward, looking full of new determination.  “I'm liking the sounds of this.  Anders, go ahead and write up a proposal for expanding the armor and infantry to submit to the Captain when he's fit for duty.  I'm going to produce one for handling the creation of a merchant branch to the Privateer's.  Chris, I'm going to leave it to you to convince Alex that he should take the garrison contract and pursue his Uncle's war material.  It would be a good reason for him to disappear for a while and give him something to focus his attention on.”

   Liam leaned back in his chair and sipped his own coffee.  Now just to keep our young noble alive until we get off this rock.


*   *   *

   Magestrix Kyalla Centrella watched the message in front of her intently.  She studied the features of the older, shrewd woman carefully as she attempted to read between the lines of what the Duchess was actually saying.  Satisfied with her assessment, Kyalla closed the projector and the visage of Catherine Humphreys disappeared.  A light knock suddenly rapped on her chambers door.  “Enter” her voice said in a practiced, imperial tone.  Looking up from where she lounged on a pillowed couch, the Magestrix saw her spymaster slip into the room.

   “You requested my presence, Magestrix.” the old man passively stated.  Her usually persuasive eyes took a hard look at the man.  “Tell me, why is it that a useful soldier to the state has been almost killed on two separate occasions on my capital world?”  Before the man could answer, she raised a finger to silence him.  “Also tell me, why we are unable to find out who made the attempts.”  Kyalla locked her spymaster with a demanding stare.

   “My apologies Magestrix, but my people are still...” the man was cut short by the Centrella' intervention.  “Do not play me as a fool.”  The words echoed off the chambers walls.  “I do not know the game you play, but do not interfere further with the mercenaries.  I require them in days to come and my will will not be undermined.”  There was a brief lull before the old man replied.  “I understand, Magestrix.”

   “Good, now get out of my sight before I replace you with someone more appetizing.” 

snakespinner

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #130 on: 03 November 2018, 19:14:17 »
I doubt that's going to stop the spymaster, but knowing the Magistry he will have plenty of people looking over his shoulder.
Especially as he is a male. :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: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #131 on: 05 November 2018, 17:01:37 »
Interesting Keeva and Onora Rinne are MIM I'm guessing either ROC or HDC ops.  I didn't guess that one.

I figured we would stay in MOC or the general area for most of the story.  At least now we know who is trying to kill him and why.  Just to clean up a mess he made years ago.
"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!"

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #132 on: 08 November 2018, 19:57:18 »
Obrenovac
The Wilds
Free Worlds League
September 2 3024


   The roaring caused by the dropships drive flares finally began to silence as the massive vessel settled onto the soft sands of the Ripentok Desert.  Dust devils flew away from the craft like demons being exorcised while prevailing winds from above beat down from the heavens against the ships egg shaped hull.  With a loud thud the Ascending Night'  landing gear began to bear the weight of its body, which signaled a successful landing. 

   Captain Schmidt called the all clear and looked to Alexander who was present on his bridge.  “Best get moving Herr Bishop.  The locals are pretty upset ve're on their world.”  In the background comms chatter could be heard, a junior officer attempted to assure some unseen person that the mercenaries hadn't come to cause trouble.  “Also, according to my instruments, I can tell that this landing zone vill be compromised by the deserts shifting sands.  Time is of the essence.”  Captain Bishop nodded and unstrapped himself.  “Remain on station and stay in contact Captain Schmidt.  Hopefully this site will bear more fruit than the last.” 

   Before Obrenovac the small compliment of Privateers that Alexander hand picked for the mission had landed on a world marked by Eric Bishop as being important.  Upon arriving at the coordinates, the mercenaries found the hidden cache site to have been raided and nothing remained of the Devils Wake assets.

   Alexander made his way to the Union' mechbay and met those he had chosen to be his lancemates during this brief odyssey across the stars.  Waiting for him at the feet of his Warhammer were Sergeant Kendall Mathers, Private Keeva Rinne and Private Malcolm Rush.  With them, Christopher Hytuli stood near by with a clip board in hand looking up at the Guillotine he had finally managed to fix.  Ill gotten gains from their time on New Roland, it was to be Private Rush' ride while his Dragoon was held back under the Privateers Protocol Omega. 

   Upon parting ways with the other Privateers on Bass, Lieutenant Liam Grant had commented to Alex that he was taking most of the companies heavy hitters.  To keep his people feeling secure, Captain Bishop had left two of the units reserved assault mechs behind with them to be cross trained on.  It also freed up space on the Ascending Night for anything of value Alex and his star bound explorers might find.

   Salutes were exchanged and Captain Bishop got straight to brass tax.  “Alright, time is an issue on our little visit to this League world so I'll cut straight to the chase.  Like last time we're here looking for a hidden cache of military equipment.  The coordinates I have are near by but this was the closest we could find a suitable landing spot for the dropship.  Keep in mind that this desert exists because of the damaged ozone layer above us so radiation will be an issue if we're exposed to it for long.  The goal is to locate the cache, secure it and set up a perimeter while our ground crews do their job hauling out whatever we find.  Any questions?”

   Sergeant Mathers was quick to ask his question.  “Sir, what are we going to do if the prime movers can't get our astechs through the sand?  The weather and terrain outside aren't very accommodating for their gear.”  Alexander was ready for the question.  “Ultimately two of or mechs have hands.  If our salvage teams can't get to any equipment we find, we'll drag out what we can while our other two machines maintain our perimeter.” 

   “What of the planetary defenses?”  Keeva asked, her tone different from when her and Alex were alone.  “I don't want to start any fights with the local militia if possible.  I have told Captain Schmidt to continue our reassurance to the locals we are not here as an aggressive force.  We're also no where near any population centers, so if they do decide to come and see what we're up to it should take them a bit of time to get out here.  Do not start any fights with them, but defend yourselves if necessary.”

   “Any other questions?”  The lack of voices meant it was time for action.  “Alright people, saddle up.  It's time to find us some lost treasure.”  Everyone broke from the meeting and mounted their battlemechs.  The heavy lance powered up and Alexander signaled the dropship Captain to open the massive doors to the vessels hold.  As they lowered Alex could see through his view screen a strong wind blasting sand against the ship and shifting dunes beyond.  “Keep a tight formation people.  Follow me.”

   The first few foot steps onto the sand took some getting use to.  The heavy battlemechs sunk deep into the ever changing surface of the dunes.  Strong winds from above caused the ground to appear as if it were a golden sea, its waves slowly rolling while the assault from the sky kicked up its gritty foam obscuring sight.  The treacherous march took the good part of two hours, the forward momentum of the lance hampered by cautious checks of all instruments to ensure they were in fact heading in the right direction and not stumbling into dangerous terrain.

   “This is the second most shittiest place I've ever piloted a battlemech.”  The comment came across the comms from Kendall Mathers.  Alex knew that the first must be the hellscape of the planetoid Sailors Refuge was located on.  The echo of a familiar scream played out in the Captains minds eye.  Shaking the memory from his thoughts Alex activated his own mic “Focus, we're nearing the location.”

   “Sir, not to sound skeptical but there's noth...”  Sergeant Mathers was cut off by Private Rinne shouting “Hold!” into the lances closed communications channel.  The Privateers came to a sudden stop.  “What is it Keeva?”  Captain Bishop asked.  There was a brief lull before the Northwinder replied.  “Sir, my instruments are picking up a soft spot in the ground just a head.  A fissure filled with sand most likely.”  Alexander double checked his his own computers, switching to magscan.  It looked as if she were right, though it was barely noticeable.  A testament to Keeva' Black Knight and its electronics.

   Alexander looked at the coordinates of the fissure.  “This might be it people.  Mathers, Rush.  Set up guard position and keep your eyes peeled.  Keeva, see if you can gather me any more information.”  A series of yes sirs came back across the comms.  The location seemed much more discreet than the other they had already visited.  The Captain wasn't surprised it had been looted as it had been only disguised as abandoned warehouses.  Alexander felt a rush of adrenaline as they had possibly found another part of his uncle and father' unit.

   Minutes past before Keeva' voice crackled to life again across their comms.  “Sir, I believe there's a hollow behind the sand going deeper into the ground.”  Jackpot.  “Alright people sit tight.  I'm calling in the haulers.”


*   *   *

   It had taken the rest of the day for the Privateers prime movers to transverse the desert and for their engineers to clear the sand from the cavern networks entrance.  The sun had gone down and cold was now setting in.  The sandstone tunnels were surprisingly large and could fit even the units Battlemechs.  Small fires burned as techs and engineers stayed warm and ate rations while the mechwarriors powered down their machines to their lowest idling setting and made camp.

   Alexander stood alone a ways down inside the cave staring into the darkness beyond.  Both stalagmites and stalactites made the eerie tunnel appear as a gaping maw filled with teeth waiting to swallow any who entered whole.  The orphan felt a chill run down his spine only a moment before he noticed Keeva step up next to him wrapped in a field blanket.  She leaned into him and casually placed her head on his shoulder.

   “What do you think is down there?”  The woman's accent softly crept into her voice as she broke the silence.  Alex took a moment to ponder the question before responding.  “Hopefully the past.”  He quietly commented, seeming somewhat distant.  Keeva looked up at the man with wonder in her eyes.  “You never did tell me how you know about these hidden caches.”  She let her gaze settle back to the darkness beyond.  “It seems odd that people would hide such valuable things and just leave them.”

   The Privateer commander thought back to all the things he had learned over the past five years.  “There are things that happened that people don't know about.  Wars that were never written because history is owned by those who win.  Down there...” Alex motioned towards the dark caverns.  “...are the possible remnants of a civil war that went cold.”  Keeva suddenly felt rigid against the Captains arm but it passed as fast as it had set in.  “The Magistracy of Canopus is a place of peace though, what cause would anyone have for wanting civil war... the worst kind of war.”  The twins voice sounded hushed as if saying the words would invoke something terrible.

   The silence lasted a little too long as Alexander stared down the dark path into the unknown.  He had been asking himself a similar question.  The answer still eluded him, even more so after the debacle with announcing some foolish statement of heroism while being drugged.  The truth of it was he didn't know if he wanted to cross that line.  He didn't know if he wanted to avenge his parents at the cost of his soul.  It's why he lingered when even now people tried to kill him.  Who would he be if he decided to run when those that loved him stayed and died for something they believed in.  He just didn't have an answer.  Alex simply replied  “I'm sure they had their reasons Keeva.”

   Letting go of Alexanders arm, Keeva planted a kiss on the Captains cheek and said “Make sure you get some rest.  Tomorrows going to get exciting” before heading back towards the mercenary camp.  Captain Bishop watched her go and then turned back towards the darkness a head.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2018, 21:29:01 by Drunkninja »

Motsognir

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #133 on: 08 November 2018, 20:12:43 »
Oh, you tease. Show me the loot!
Hopefully, it's not played out like their last stop.

mikecj

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #134 on: 08 November 2018, 22:02:37 »
Nice, not a Star League cache!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #135 on: 08 November 2018, 22:16:49 »
I've been trying to figure out this story line for a long time and avoiding the idea of a direct star league cache.  I mean indirectly there are star league mechs, but I want different reasoning why the unit has them.  So far I've been very happy with the story and the plot and the machines they have and why.  The initial ones came from The Jolly Roger Affair in a very round about way.  I thought it a neat way to incorporate them.

Dave Talley

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #136 on: 08 November 2018, 22:51:24 »
show me da money!!!!!
Resident Smartass since 1998
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Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
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Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #137 on: 14 November 2018, 22:30:47 »
Obrenovac
The Wilds
Free Worlds League
September 3 3024

   The morning came early.  A chill still clung to the air in the caverns as the heat from the desert sun had not penetrated below ground.  The Privateers broke camp and readied themselves for the day to come and what ever surprises might lay a head.  It was decided that Sergeant Mathers and Private Rush would remain behind in their battlemechs to guard the entrance while Captain Bishop and Private Rinne proceeded a head on foot with the engineers and technicians.  Advancing on foot with a single prime mover seemed prudent as no one could guess how treacherous the caves might be.

   Walking in front thirty feet of the Privateers massive salvage truck Alexander maintained a sharp eye on the alien like terrain of the underground passage.  The caverns pale,  jagged teeth felt imposing, like something out of a nightmare but they gave the young Captain a clue that he was on the right trail of what he was after.  To both sides of the odd, winding path were stalagmites of various sizes reaching towards the equally sharp ceiling.  These naturally grown formations at some point had been cut away to form a crude road that meandered down into the thick darkness beyond.

   If it wasn't for the bright lights and rumbling engine of the prime mover there was no doubt in Alex' mind that the entire expedition would have been shrouded in even more of an eerie quality.  Walking next to him was Keeva, her vibrant red hair moved slightly in a breeze with an unknown origin.  As if reading the Captains mind the freckle faced twin spoke softly, keeping her eyes on the trail.  “There must be another exit somewhere.”  Alexander nodded in agreement.  “My thoughts exactly.  It must be causing this air flow.”

   “Look!”  Shouted a voice from behind.  One of the techs hitching a ride on the flat bed of the large truck pointed forward with the vehicles mounted fog light.  A head the stalagmites suddenly fell away and a massive chasm opened up in the caverns floor.  At the man made trails end, spanning the seemingly bottomless fissure, was the rusting body of a military grade, temporary bridge.  At the very edge of the Privateers light, beyond the crevasse, a huge humanoid silhouette stood silent vigil.

   “Proceed with caution.  Bring us near the edge but no further.  Engineers, check the bridge.”  Alexander' voice echoed commandlingly off of the underground walls.  The units prime mover slowly made head way, its loud combustion engine rumbling until the vehicle came to a halt where the Captain stood, staring forward into the now visible scene.  Keeva slowly raised a hand to her mouth and her eyes went wide.  “Oh... my...god.”  Was all she was able to say.

   The lights of the expedition poured into a large chamber of the cavern.  Despite decades of dust being tossed into the air, the view was clear enough for the naked eye to take in the splendor.  Alexander noted the row of sea can shipping containers that were stacked neatly on the left perimeter of the area, but those were not the primary spectacle.  Some standing ten meters tall, at rest in make shift scaffold gantries, were battlemechs.  As Alex looked forward at the culmination of human technology, he noticed Keeva look at him with awe and a hint of wonder on her face.  And something else.  Was it fear?  “You were right Alex.  They're here...”  The Northwinder quietly questioned again in a hushed voice “...why are they here.”  Captain Bishop took his lovers hand and gave it a squeeze.  “They're a part of my family's history.” He answered and walked towards the engineers inspecting the bridge.

   Keeva remained behind for a moment as she watched the Captain go.  A chill ran down her spine as she remembered the words Civil War.   The worst kind of war.


*   *   *

   The engineers gave the all clear after an hour of inspecting the old bridge.  Christopher Hytuli joined Alexander at the lead of the column as they moved in among the underground treasure trove.  It was clear that everyone present was in awe of what they had found, but every caution was being taken as it was evident that these machines of war hadn't been maintained in many years.

   Staring up at one of the larger battlemechs present, Alexander looked at its time worn, desert camo paint scheme.  Something caught the young commanders eye and he walked to the right of the machine.  On its boxy shoulder he saw a unit insignia that depicted a devil walking away from the viewer, it waist deep in water, and towards a setting sun.  The Devils Wake.  This was the symbol that had been torn away from so many different objects Alexander had found that were clues to what happened to the unit.  To his family.  The orphan stared long and hard at the simple depiction and let it burn into his mind.

   The Privateers head technician walked up and placed a hand onto Captain Bishops shoulder.  “Now there's a specimen!”  Alexander looked over at his friend.  “I don't recognize this chassis Chris.”  The older tech shook his head and smiled.  “I'm not surprised.  I barely recognized it.  She looks like she's been slightly modified, but this right here is what they call a Thug.  I only know that because i scoured the war books on the other Star League era machines I've had the privilege to work on.  You don't see many of these anymore.” 

   Alexanders gaze shot back up towards the ancient mech.  “Did you say Thug?  Isn't that what Malcolm' dad said...”  Chris finished his sentence for him.  “...what your uncle piloted.  It sure is.  We won't know for sure until we get elbows deep in her computer, but there's certainly a chance.”  The Privateers leader felt humbled and closed his eyes.  Thank you Alex quietly said to his now gone Uncle. 

   “That's not the one I figure you'll really get excited about though.”  Opening his eyes again Alex looked at his friend, curious.  “Oh?  You have my attention.”  A broad grin crossed the techs face, ear to ear.  The Captain followed the smug Lyran around the side of the Thug and past the hulking form of a Dervish.  Walking past old piles of scaffold, Chris brought Alex to the resting place of an odd, spindly looking machine.  Its narrow legs held up a sleek yet strong looking torso that supported what looked like two large lasers that made up its arms.  The Captain was reminded of an athlete that was built for running.  “You have me at a disadvantage again Chris.  I have no idea what this mech is either.”

   The older man had a knack for making an impossibly broad grin wider.  “This right here O Captain, my Captain is what they call a Lancelot.”  The tech didn't have to say anything else.  Taking a shaky step forward, Alexander placed a hand on the dust covered foot of the heavy machine.  “My father's mech.”  He said out loud, half to Hytuli, half to himself.  “Yup, could be.  If I were a betting man finding this rare tech along with that Thug over there, I'd say we found your old man and uncle's rides.”

   Captain Bishop fell silent for a few moments as he took the time to look at ever detail of the battlemech in front of him.  The moment however, came to an end when Keeva walked up to the two men.  “Alex, there's something I need you to see.”  Both men looked at each other and followed the private.  She crossed in front of a gantry housing a Locust and brought them to a large battlemech.  The Marauder' paint scheme looked slightly different than most of the other mechs and vehicles present.  Keeva pointed to the crest painted on the side of the mechs elongated torso.  The Magistracy Royal Guards.

   “Alex, I'm no history buff, but the battalion symbol for this mech belongs to a unit that was called The Faithful Few.  They use to be honor guards for the royal family until they were declared lost to a misjump over twenty years ago.  The ship disappeared with all hands on board.  What is this mech doing here?”  Keeva pointed up towards the iconic machine.

   Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath he decided to finally tell her.  “Last year while on the planet Bass, I discovered who my parents had been.  My father had been a mercenary like myself.  My mother, well I guess you might have heard of her in your history books.  Her name was Imani Centrella.”  Alex raised a hand before Keeva began to speak.  “That being said, I'm not sure why this battlemech is here.  It's just another piece to a puzzle that i've been trying to put together.

   Chris could see that Keeva was both in shock and pissed off.  “Well look on the bright side you two!  If we ever get this equipment off this god forsaken rock, some lucky pilot gets to wreck face with a Marauder!”  Both mechwarrior' looked at Hytuli and couldn't help but smile.  Alexander' was sincere.  Keeva' was not.

Hawkeye Jim

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  • I'm small but sneaky
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #138 on: 17 November 2018, 22:53:19 »
Let's hope you can keep this going. I'm not worrying about the plot, just enjoying the story.

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #139 on: 22 November 2018, 17:22:07 »
Obrenovac
The Wilds
Free Worlds League
September 7 3024


   The desert finally began to agree with the Privateers.  Among the shifting dunes Captain Schmitz had managed to locate a safe landing zone for the Ascending Night that was near the area of the military cache.  Clear weather proved to be a double edged sword however, as reports came in that the planetary militia had finally made a move and were heading towards the mercenaries position. 

   The loading operations were almost complete and there was time to finish before the Leaguer' reached the dropship, but another problem had risen.  So complete was Eric Bishop' preparations in setting up the cache, he had stored enough battlemechs and material to field an entire company on an extended campaign.  There was not enough cargo space on the Ascending Night for the war material and the existing machines owned by the Privateers.

   “Sir, not to be rude, but this sounds like suicide.”  Sergeant Mathers frowned across the glowing topographic map that separated him from his commanding officer.  “Why not just leave or scuttle the remaining material and machines.  We're already making off with a literal treasure trove here.  Trying to take it all seems greedy and risky.”  Alexander studied his second in command for the mission.  The glowing lights of the navigation table on the Unions bridge cast shadows beyond the gathered mercenaries. 

   Choosing his words carefully the Captain responded.  “We can hold out here and here.”  Alex pointed at the choke points of the now mapped caverns.  “The engineers have been ordered to mine the bridge here.”  This time pointing at the underground chasm.  “We also now know where the second hidden entrance is and how to get there.”  To reaffirm the fact he pointed to a half buried cliff face two kilometers away.  “We're not throwing away anything that we've found.  We're protected from any air support down here they might have.  I'll be on the ground just like you while we wait for the dropship crew to transfer from the Ascending Night to the Sirens Call and come extract us.  We will make this work.”

   “What if the second entrance becomes compromised and we get trapped down there?”  Malcolm Rush voiced his concerns with doubt filling his words.  “The only thing that likely gave away our position was the dropship.  I'm putting my money on the militia's CO sending his people to its last known coordinates, even after it leaves.  They don't know why we're here and won't know about the cavern until they recon the area.  We had a hard enough time of finding this entrance with being told where it was.  Our back door should stay open if we're pushed out.  If it's not, then we break through what ever they throw at us.”  Everyone recognized the determination in the Captains last statement.  He would never back down. 

   “I want to pilot my Dragoon for the remainder of this operation.”  The question caught Alexander off guard as Private Rush gave a strong retort that said more than just the obvious.  “Granted.”  The Captain shot back, but he realized the significance of the request and added “We're all getting off this rock and the Privateers will be better for it.”


*   *   *

   
Obrenovac
The Wilds
Free Worlds League
September 9 3024


   Private Rudolph Gunner drove his Vedette tank over hopefully the last sand dune he ever saw in his life.  The area known as The Wilds was not a place many people on Obrenovac traveled through and there were plenty of reasons for that.  The blasted sand was one of them.  The terrain was ever changing and treacherous and the heat was enough to boil the skin off of the bone.  Here they were however, the 203rd Dervish Cavaliers Militia chasing bandits in the butt hole of their world.  Gunner would take spending time in their units mess hall eating the yellowish gruel slop rations over spending time plowing through the desert any day.

   A sandy haired recruit by the name of Reed sat behind the Private bouncing in his control stations chair.  The young upstart had pissed off his noble parents and had bought himself some time serving in the Cavaliers and of course the General had stuck the little shit with Gunner.  In a weezly high pitched voice the rich kid sniveled “Why are we even out here.  Report says the bandits dropship fled from us yesterday.  What a waste of time.”  Despite the Private agreeing, he couldn't let himself be on even footing with the annoying brat.  “Orders are orders, recruit.  We find out what the off worlders were up to here and report it back to base.”

   Gunner could feel the little sleaze roll his eyes behind him and imagined the most likely pout that was on the man childs face.  Before he could berate Reed for the imaginary sleight, the Captain of their mixed arms company radioed across the units open channel.  “All units, full stop.  Scout lance has located a massive underground cavern that appears to have been the focus of the bandit activity.  Hold until further notice and stay on guard.”  Gunner found some comfort in his Captains words.  Hopefully we get this over with fast.

   Ten minutes past before the Captains voice sounded again.  “Striker lance, move up to support Scout lance.  Proceed into the caverns with caution.  Command will be right behind you.”  Gunner snorted at that and commented under his breath.  “Of course Command would be last to go in.”  The comms crackled to life one final time.  “Recon the area.  Lets find out what those bandits were up to people.”  The Private threw his Vedette tank into gear and rolled it forward, its mechanical roar a reassurance of his safety inside its armored hull.  “Stay alert Reed.”  Gunner commented and proceeded to follow his fellow lancemate Vedette' down into the oddly shaped cavern the 203rd had found.

   Another voice came across the Vedette' comms but it was not someone that Private Gunner recognized.  Checking his instruments he realized it was on a open channel.  “Obrenovac Militia, we are not hostile.  We will be leaving your world when we can.  If threatened we will defend ourselves.  I repeat...”  The message played over and over into the Leaguer' ears until the familiar voice of the units Captain answered the message on the same open band.  “Bandits, you are violating our worlds sovereignty.  Leave now or be dealt with.  This is your only warning.”  The recruit manning Rudolph Gunner' autocannon spoke up behind him.  “What does he mean dealt with, we're not getting into a fight, are we?”  The young noble sounded worried.

   Gunner and his lancemates turned on their spot lights that were mounted on their tanks as they rumbled underground in ranks of two.  The 203rds Striker lance consisted of four Vedette tanks, a Bulldog tank, a haggard Manticore tank and a Hermes II battlemech.  Not the strongest force ever in the Innersphere, but strong enough that any opponent should respect the presence of the Dervish Cavaliers.  “Do not approach us any further.  This is your last warning.  We are not hostile but will defend ourselves.”  The bandits voice sounded strong and did not show any hints of fear or concern to the unfolding situation.  Who are these people Gunner wondered.

   The forward scouting elements of the 203rd were the first to contact the enemy.  The Cavaliers Locust, whose mobility was hampered in the confined space of the cave system, made the call of sighting the enemy battlemechs.  The Captain called a hold position on all units likely in hopes to parley a surrender, but that was not to be.  The pilot of the Locust must of gotten spooked for some reason and went weapons hot.  After that moment Gunner watched as all hell broke loose.

   “Holy crap!”  Recruit Reed cried out as Gunner watched bright blue light envelope the forward elements Locust and saw it instantly turned from being a machine or war to a slagged ball of ruin before falling hard to the caverns floor.  “Recruit! Draw line of sight and return fire!”  The Privates sharp command snapped Reed out of his shock and the Vedette bucked as its powerful autocannon began to spit hot death towards what the tanks computer tagged as a tan colored Warhammer.  The high velocity shells chewed across the massive stalagmite the enemy was taking cover behind and fortunately found emerald and gold armor to tear into.  Metal shards shattered off the behemoth before it took full cover.  “Take that!”  Reed cheered and gave a shout of elation.

   “Cavaliers.  Push forward and take these bandits out!”  The call came from the Captains Quickdraw.  Almost in unison Gunner pushed his Vedette forward with his lancemates.  Looking at his computer he saw another friendly Cavalier green blip go dark.  Those bastards are tearing up our scouts.  The tank began to vibrate again as its main gun was fired.  The Private heard Reed swearing behind him and knew he had missed his shot.  “They're falling back!”  Gunner recognized the voice of mechwarrior Therissa Burns, though her voice was distorted.  The tanker figured she was clenching her jaw as she fired the Hermes II' autocannon like she always did.

   Rolling the Vedette forward, Gunner gave only a brief pause to let the Bulldog and Manticore take up point as they pursued the bandits deeper into the cave.  On his HUD screen Rudolph saw the burning wreckage of his units Locust and the shattered hull of a Scorpion light tank.  Not much further along the oddly groomed road the 203rds Stinger lay prone, its head completely missing.  Swallowing hard Gunner tried to steady himself as he brought the Vedette to a stop one hundred feet from a man made bridge his lancemates in the Bulldog were currently crossing.

   The Bulldog and bridge disappeared in a brilliant ripple of explosions.  A thunderous echo boomed down the length of the cavern and told the 203rd they had made contact once again with the tan colored bandits.  The wreckage of the bridge, along with the decimated tank fell into a chasm Gunner knew he wouldn't be able to cross.  “Damn it.”  He cursed, though his voice was drowned out by the battle cry of his recruit as he blasted away with the Vedettes autocannon at some weird battlemech his computer refused to ID properly but settled on a Rifleman, though visually did not match.

   The Vedettes HUD came to life with more friendly green blips as the units command lance joined the battle.  The Captains Quickdraw lumbered past the staggered line of firing tanks and, joined by its Griffin lancemate, fired their jumpjets and crossed the chasm to engage the bandits heavy lance.  Gunner watched in awe as at the same time his commander took flight, the strange Rifleman took to the air on its own jets.  At first the Private thought both machines were going to collide over the grounds rift, but at the last moment the unknown mech fired its autocannons but the shells exploded outwards like huge shotguns that splattered death and impacted the Quickdraw everywhere.  The attack ruined the Captains flight and sent its awkwardly twisting midflight and missing the edge of the chasm with its feet.  Gunner didn't have a chance to see his commanders fate as suddenly his own lance was in proximity with the odd Rifleman.

   “All guns on that mech!”  An alarmed voice cried out and the line of tankers opened fire.    Reed now added the Vedettes heavy machine gun to the hellfire their lance was blasting towards the enemy.  The mystery machine fired its jets again, rising like a devil, it flew over and to the rear of Gunners partner Vedette.  His own tank jostled from his left flank as his allies ride exploded in a rain of shrapnel and crew.  “Jesus Christ”   Recruit Reed cried out as he swung the tanks turret around while Gunner slammed his gear into reverse to try and hide the vehicles thin armor. 

   From across the chasm a loud resounding crash of metal on metal screeched through the cave.   Gunner stole a glance at his screens and watched in horror as the bandits Black Knight wrenched its fist out of the hole it had punched in the Cavalier Griffins torso.  The 203rd pilots retort was wasted as its PPC was nearly ineffective at such a close range.  To his surprise he did see the Captains Quickdraw clawing its way back our of the chasm and, while still on one bent knee, let fly with the mechs short range missiles and battery of medium lasers that tore into the bandit and sent them staggering backwards.

   More shock waves from explosions rocked Gunners Vedette and was followed by his computer screaming warnings at his face.  Before he could see what the red flashing light meant on his console, the razor blade sharp end of a massive stalactite pierced through the armored top of his tank followed by the rest of the caverns ceiling.

theCrowe

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #140 on: 18 December 2018, 20:21:49 »
Well I've just caught up on this story and I have to say I'm enjoying it immensely.
Looking forward to following this as you go. Keep up the good work.

Drunkninja

  • Corporal
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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #141 on: 27 January 2019, 22:25:00 »
Hey all.  Time for me to try and attempt to get back in the writing saddle.  Here's a little warm up to try and get back in the swing of things after my busy holidays!




Deep Periphery
Persephone
Circa 2994


   It could be worse Henry Rush thought as he fired his Dragoon' jump jets and feathered its controls to bring the 70 tons of man made warmachine to a safe landing on the other side of the facilities outer defensive wall.  Below the colossus's feet infantry carrying conventional arms scattered and fled for more suitable cover.  It wasn't the unarmored pirates that drew the mercenaries attention however, as the old Amaris battlemech painted a battle line of light tanks on it's HUD.  There was a brief whining sound as the titans PPC capacitors charged before expelling a death sentence to the crew of one of the bandit kingdoms defenders. 

   Alarms blared and warned the middle aged mechwarrior of a target lock and incoming missile fire from the turrets he was suppose to be dealing with.  Glancing at a secondary monitor Henry swore.  "Ok, it's worse.  That's a lot of missiles."  Slamming both feet onto his jump pedals the heavy mech took flight again but caused bile to rise in the mercenaries throat as gravity fought against the maneuver.  Most modern battlemechs would be already boiling its pilot alive from such steady energy draw from the fusion reactor, but not Henry's machine.  It was the Devils Wake's claim to fame.  As technology continued to decline, the command lance of his mercenary unit was able to out preform their opponents, not only due to skill, but the advantage they usually held with their weapons.

   There was something to be said however about quantity over quality.

   The second landing was far less soft than the first.  The broad feet of Henry's Dragoon flattened most of the Scorpion light tanks chassis that he had jumped towards before it exploded, sending a fireball up and around the 70 ton mech.  That's when the missiles found their mark.  Scores of long range warheads began to impact and explode against the armored shell of his ride.  Fire and shrapnel rained across the ground, some from Henry's Dragoon, some from the pirate tank line.  The Leaguer didn't have time to contemplate why his opponents suddenly disregarded their allies safety as his battlemech staggered drunkenly backwards and fell on top of another Scorpion, ruining its main gun.

   Gasping for air as restraints dug into his ribs and stomach, mechwarrior Rush thought I have to stop those turrets!  Still prone, the veteran warrior toggled two of his rare autocannons to fire slug rounds and, separating their firing studs to different targets, let loose with a quaking wave of metal death down field towards the hardened emplacements that mounted the missile launchers.  Successive explosions followed and let the pilot know before his computer could tell him the targets were neutralized.

   As if on queue there was a massive blast wave at the main entrance leading into the facility grounds.  Large gates faltered under a weathering barrage of energy fire and fell after their generator had erupted into fire and useless slag.  Henry brought his battlemech back to its feet as his computer painted the picture of his lancemates forcing their way past the ruined bulwark. 

   "Mammon to Lucifer.  Turret support down.  Finishing light guard assets."  A loud crash of metal against metal screeched through the air as the Dragoon's leg kicked hard into the side armor of the crippled Scorpion it had fell on.  A moment past before a voice replied.  "Roger Mammon.  Move to these coordinates and ready to repel our pursuers.  We're coming in hot."  One of Henry's HUDs came to life as General Philip Bishop transmitted him data.  Throttling the Star League era machine up the mercenary moved quickly to rendezvous with his comrades.

   Earlier that day the Devils Wake command lance had been cut off from the rest of their battalion by a head hunting operation conducted by the bandit kings forces.  With their allies entrenched with the main body of a surprisingly large enemy, there was no support left to try and help the beleaguered officers.  While on the run the four mercenaries had happened across a major installation that they suddenly received a plea for help from.  Within, a group of apparent slaves had over powered their guards and transmitted a message to the mercenaries that the compound was lightly defended.  Not being able to ignore the opportunity for hard cover and to help the captives, General Bishop had given the order to make a drive into the facility.

   The first of his lancemates that Henry saw was Philip piloting his Lancelot at a full run before taking cover behind a light vehicle warehouse.  Next was Louis Marloe in his Icarus II who was followed finally by Eric Bishop and his hulking Thug.  All three took up fire positions covering the breach in the fortified gate they had made.  Henry soon joined his friends and aimed guns toward where the enemy that had been dogging them would soon appear.


*   *   *

   The fog of war still obscured the factory grounds as freed men, women and children slowly trickled out into the open from where they had earlier been held captive by their would be masters.  Not an hour before the main body of the Devils Wake had broken through enemy lines and routed the bandit kings force that had been holding the world.  Before that however, the commanding officers of the mercenary battalion had put down their head hunters and secured the facility that they had made their stand within.

   General Philip Bishop stood at the foot of his Lancelot battlemech and accepted much thanks from the people he had helped.  As he did so he noticed a large man pushing his way through the crowd toward him.  The Leaguer noted the mans distinct Canopian heritage before the giant reached him.  Everyone of the slaves appeared in very rough shape from the heavy hands of their pirate overlords and this man was no exception.  Before Philip or the Canopian could speak, the light touch of a very beautiful Canopian woman moved her guard aside and stepped forward. 

   "Are you the leader of the people who have saved us?"  Her voice was firm despite the visible signs of abuse on her face and else where.  Looking at this woman the mercenary leader for a moment lost his ability to speak.  Composing himself he nodded.  "Yes, I am" was all he managed to say. 

   The woman continued "My name is Imani."  Suddenly she threw her arms around Philip and began to sob.  "Thank you!"  From Philip's left Eric Bishop approached and, only looking at the crying woman for a moment, commented to his commanding officer and brother.  "Two hours until it orbits above us again.  We need to move."

   Philip nodded and cradled the stranger for a few moments longer.  "Understood.  We can't be caught out in the open when it does."  Looking down at Imani, Philip smiled.

Esskatze

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #142 on: 28 January 2019, 18:55:50 »
Not bad. A view into past events is a nice change of pace!

Motsognir

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  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #143 on: 28 January 2019, 20:06:43 »
Great to see you back at it Drunkninja! Thanks for the update.

Drunkninja

  • Corporal
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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #144 on: 24 April 2019, 16:49:04 »
Obrenovac
The Wilds
Free Worlds League
September 17 3024


   Keeva's hand trembled in the deserts cold night air as she brought a cup of rationed coffee to her lips.  The Privateers command lance had been on the run from the remainder of Obrenovac's militia for over a week now and had received no word from their comrades about being extracted.  That wasn't what was bothering her though.  She had been in many dire situations before in her life, but only a few had ever sat heavy in the pit of her stomach and made her feel afraid.

   Looking across the small camp fire the mercenaries had allowed themselves, Keeva watched Alexander banter with Kendall while Malcolm's Dragoon loomed further away behind them on guard duty.  It was this man that was the ticket to paying off the debt her and her sister owed to the Magestrix and up until recently Keeva had been confident in seeing her mission to its end.  The flames crackled and flared causing a wreath of fire to frame the Captains facial features as the operative watched her lover.  A cold fear gripped the woman's heart.  Are you not the ally the Canopians wanted Alex?  Are you in fact their enemy?  It's a question Keeva needed answered.

   The Northwinder knew that Kyalla Centrella was searching for allies and strength, that was evident from her mission; To gather information about Bishops Privateers and to secure their continued service to the Magictracy.  Why the Magestrix was doing it, Keeva didn't really care.  What did concern her though was that her mission and personal feelings for the unit was suddenly at odds.  Both sisters had already risked everything to keep Alex alive when they realized that the head of MIM had a different agenda than Kyalla herself, but at the end of the day they had to act in the Magestrix' favor to ensure their own future.  The same future that now felt suddenly uncertain.

   A unit from the Magistracy Royal Guards.  The Faithful Few.  An ironic name for a unit that was thought to be lost to history but instead was simply on the losing side of a shadow war.  A relic from the not so forgotten past that Keeva feared could prove Bishops Privateers also to be on the wrong side of a future yet to be written. 

   The twin took another sip from her coffee and decided to proceed with caution.  “Captain, where do you think we're headed once we recover the last of these caches?”  The question was on the innocent side and Keeva made sure her eyes were focused on Alexanders' every feature in an attempt to extract what lay hidden between his words.  A small dust devil blew through the small, makeshift camp before both Alex and Kendall turned their attention to their fiery haired lancemate.

   Keeva could see the thoughts pass behind Alexanders' eyes as he tried to bring words to bare.  The movements of his jawline and the subtle change in his breathing was a language written the spy was trained to read.  “Once we secure everything the Privateers will be ready to grow again.”  The Captain paused for a moment before continuing.  “I want to begin to utilize Sailors Refuge to its fullest potential in this next, more delicate step of growth.  From here on out we will be more cautious with our recruitment, hand picking those who most suit our units...”  It was here that Keeva saw the uncertainty.  “...units identity.  This will slow filling out a roster, but I want that time dedicated to strengthening our fledgling merchant operation so we have more of a financial backbone to be able to sustain the hardware and people we have and will gain.  Also, in that interim we will maintain our garrison contract with the Magistracy as long as they allow it with our existing, visible assets.  Failing that we search out other contracts that will maintain us.”

   The agent watched as Alex's eyes moved away from her and to the fire as he picked up a small stick of tumbleweed and poked the flames burning embers, causing them to flare.  “These are my intentions.  Now that we know my Uncle was indeed successful hiding hardware on such a large scale, the evolution of the Privateers has to change in order to support...” she saw it again, the flicker of confusion. “...the burden and tax of such large material gains.”  A shadow then passed across the Captains face in the form of a grin.  “It's going to be a logistical nightmare.  We're going to have to hire more administrators or I might just go insane from the paper work alone.”

   They all shared a laugh over Alex's comment, but at the same time another piece fell into place at the center of Keeva's minds eye.  What the young leader had just said sounded like the beginnings of a groundwork for military expansion and a secret one at that.  Her thoughts were suddenly derailed as the Captains communicator came to life with Malcolm Rush' voice.  “Just got word.  Our ticket out of here is en route.” 

   Alexander simply responded with “Roger that Command Four” while Keeva Rinne knew things in fact were not going to be simple at all.

Motsognir

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  • And so there I was...
Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #145 on: 24 April 2019, 20:33:40 »
Great to see you still writing Drunkninja. Awesome story.

cklammer

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #146 on: 25 April 2019, 14:22:33 »
Nice update and good to see you back.  :))

EAGLE 7

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #147 on: 25 April 2019, 16:34:18 »
Happy to see this updated.
“ My Clan honor is bigger than your Dragon honor, and comes in 18 clan flavors.”

Drunkninja

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #148 on: 26 April 2019, 22:08:51 »
Auspex
Polar Flood Plains
Periphery, Independant World
August 3025


   Not much else could be heard over the roaring flood waters of the swollen river.  Its browned currents swept by fast and hard dragging debris and eroded riverbank along with it.  Standing at a safe distance away and adjusting his respirator, Alexander Bishop stared long and hard at his next adversary.  The Privateers had learned very quickly that the world of Auspex was a very harsh place.  The atmosphere was barely breathable and due to its nature existing in a binary star system, the seasonal weather changes were nothing short of devastating.  It amazed the Captain that anyone would even consider colonizing such a hostile place, but when they had landed at the only space port on the entire world it was learned why people were so stubborn to exist in such danger.  The planet was laden with gold.

   Alexander had come to the frontier world for a different kind of treasure.  Following Eric Bishops star map he had been led to the backwater globe.  The locals seemed very protective of the knowledge they possessed of the worlds terrain, but the mercenary's learned enough about its dangers.  It seemed they had arrived during the transitional season, a time when Auspex' orbit came closer to the systems second star and caused the normally half frozen world to melt rapidly, producing massive floods that washed across most of the planet.  It was here that the contingent of Bishops Privateers had traveled across the stars to hopefully find another piece of the not so distant, yet unknown past.

   “I'm starting to think your Uncle might be related to Hanse Davion.”  Christopher's voice was muffled from his own respirator as he stepped up beside Alex.  “The design of this hidden cache is remarkable.”  The tech stared down at his noteputer and studied the image it displayed.  The screen outlined a series of drop cocoons held stationary in a massive block of ferrocrete.  He scrolled through side screens that noted where the internal explosive charges had been installed to make extraction of the cocoons fast and efficient.  “They must have set this up in the frozen season.”  The older technician sounded excited and awed at the same time.

   “Who's Hanse Davion?” Alex replied half distracted as he peered down at the raging waters below.  “You're joking right?” Hytuli shot back in a deflated tone.  “Am I Chris?”  Alexander had little time to keep track of the fleeting personalities of the Innersphere.  The past year of exploration, excitement and disappointment had started to take its toll on his energy.  There was always something more to accomplish now,  more to do for his people and his unit. 
   
   The young Captain scratched at the stubble chaffing along the face mask he wore.  “So you're sure the engineers confirmed this is the only way, by diverting the river temporarily?”  The plan was audacious but could work.  “If you really want whats in those capsules, then yes, it's the only way.  A battlemech wouldn't even survive that current.  They estimate that the crater up stream the flow will be diverted to will give us a few hours at best before it fills and pushes water back down our way.  It's our only shot unless you want to wait basically for hell to freeze over and use an ice pick?”  The humor was currently lost on Alex.  “Let's begin.” Was his only reply.

   After explosions were used to channel the deadly waters else where, a flurry of activity began among the Privateers.  The window was small for them to complete their task, though thanks to Eric Bishops tedious planning in creating the cache there was hope for being able to secure all of its contents.  The roar of massive combustion engines now replaced the sound of a flowing river as the units two newly acquired Carbine constructionmechs went to work securing and dragging each freed drop cocoon from the rivers bed. 

   Alex couldn't bare to stand idly by as the operation took place and so he took up the mantle of piloting one of the two labor mechs.  Keeva had volunteered to pilot the other.  Using their massive excavation buckets the duo had hastily constructed a ramp leading down that they would use to transverse the dangerous terrain.  In total there were eight massive cocoons holding what ever Alexanders uncle deemed worthy of hiding in such a deadly climate. 

   Four of the cocoons had been secured so far and now Alex sat in the cramped cockpit of the Carbine, soaked in sweat, watching as his engineers blasted free the remaining four.  Concussive ripples quaked through the ferrocrete as the noncoms activated the old explosives.  Like the previous extractions most of the cement came free, though this time it appeared one of the cocoons remained partially embedded in its saddle.  “Keeva, move in and proceed with your securing preparations.”  The Carbines old radio crackled with her response.  “Wilco.”  Taking a moment to assess the only partially crackled ferrocrete Alex then messaged his head technician.  “Chris, get the engineers to check out that failed blast location.  Use caution.”  Captain Bishop manipulated the controls of his mech to put it into motion towards his designated target.

   “We're running out of time Alex, the pickets are telling me the rivers getting pretty close to back filling towards us again.” Damn it all.  “Then double time checking it.  We can't abandon this hardware.”  There was no response.  Alexander knew Hytuli well enough that he knew he wouldn't waste any time arguing over the matter.  By the time his own constructionmech was fully harnessed to the second last cocoon he had to pull, he noted that Keeva had her target already half dragged up the ramp out of the danger zone.

   The awkward, jerky movements of the Carbine was a far cry from what Alex was use to while piloting true battlemechs.  One saving grace as he used its hunchbacked frame to pull the massive orbital insertion case was that the the ground was slick and smooth from having recently been at the bottom of a river.  The going was slow but at the very least he knew his load would soon be secured at the top of the riverbank.  The restraining straps harnessed to the mechs chassis moaned from strain as he carefully walked up the incline of his makeshift road.  Waiting at the top of the ramp were the units two Prime Movers and Keeva for her turn to continue back down for her last payload. 

   “One more to go.  We need to hurry.”  Captain Bishop commented with slight urgency as Keeva's machine walked past his.  As the crew attached to his Prime Mover removed the straps joining him to his charge, Alex radioed Hytuli again. “Chris, sitrep.”  There was a pause and a hiss of static before his trusted friend replied.  “We're out of time.  I'm evacuating my team.  We cleared out some of the remaining debris but we were unable to completely free the cocoon.  The internal blast mechanism must have suffered a failure and...” Captain Bishop cut his tech off.  “How much time do I have?”  There was only a slight hesitation before the Lyran replied with.  “Maybe ten minutes.  Fifteen at the most.”

   Alexander rolled the thought over in his head for a moment before deciding to act.  “Tell anyone who wants to volunteer to stay and harness me to it are welcome, if not that's acceptable.”  The comms briefly picked up Hytuli cursing before following his Captains lead.  Getting the green light from his staffers on the Prime Mover, Alex throttled up the civilian mech underneath him and pushed it down the slope for the last time. 

   “Alex, what's going on.  Half the crew is fleeing out of the river bed.”  Keeva's voice didn't sound panicked but she was definitely concerned.  “We're out of time.  The moment you're secured you get you and that payload out of the hole.”  Almost zero time passed before Keeva's reply crackled across the comms airwaves.  “What about you?  Why are you headed back down here if we're out of time?”  The answer was simple.  “I'm going to get the last load.”  Before his lancemate could argue over his decision, Alex shut down the connection between the two so he could focus.

   Marching his Carbine down to the last cocoon, the Captain of Bishops Privateers waved aside the engineers who remained behind to harness him to the load.  Taking a one-two step towards the ferrocrete still locking the container in place, Alex drew back his machines massive bucket arm and brought it crashing down against the partially cracked platform.  The small constructionmech vibrated violently as its myomer muscles flexed and strained against the reinforced building material.  Suddenly, with a large groan and a chalky burst of dust, a large chunk of cement gave way and tumbled away from the cocoons saddle.  Some still remained clinging to its shell, but most was now clear.

   Lights flickered across the Carbines HUD denoting damage to the civilian mechs myomer and actuators but that was a price Alex was willing to pay.  Moving the machine into position he quickly motioned the engineers to go about strapping the cocoon to his labor mech.  He noticed that a few of the men lept from the platform prematurely and began to run towards the safety of the high ground.  A few more moments past and the final strap was in place.  With his people scattering for safety Alex quickly throttled up the Carbine to full power and lurched forward. 

   The constructionmechs actuators screamed in protest for a brief moment before Alex felt the last cocoon break away from its cradle.  Static began to crackle over the machines external microphone as it started to pick up a thunderous sound in the distance.  As the Carbine began to plod forward, its pilot could feel the resistance caused by the remaining ferrocrete that clung to the containers hull.  Seconds.  Alexander knew that every single one counted now as the too distant ramp slowly inched closer on his view screen.

   Water didn't impact Alexander's Carbine until it was nearly on top of the ramp.  With a thunderous roar, a wave like something out of a dream smashed into the side of the small mech and its load.  Alex drove the machines lifter arm down hard into the softer earth of the ramp and reached out desperately with its bucket in an attempt to grasp onto the ground ahead to pull himself out of the current.  The current ebbed slightly where Alexander was caught in the torrent, but he knew the ramp was responsible and it wouldn't last forever.

   Slowly, amid the screaming of the world around him, Captain Bishop slowly dragged himself forward. I'm not going to make it. The thought suddenly surged forward in his minds eye as he felt the ground underneath his feet begin to give way.  Just as Alex closed his eyes to accept his dark fate he felt something heavy impact into the front of his Carbine. Through the obscured canopy of his mech he saw Keeva's cargo lifting arm latched onto his machines outstretched bucket arm.  In the moment before the ramp washed away, the combined strength of both lancemates Alexander and his burden made it out of the rivers deadly flow.

   Once safely on shore Alex powered down his mech and dismounted.  Before he could assess the damages to his ride Keeva ran across the mud and grabbed him in a tight embrace.  “You crazy fool” she cried out into his ear as she hugged him.  Neither of them heard the explosion before they felt it.  Ferrocrete and slagged metal erupted suddenly from Alexander's cocoon as its final blast charges cooked off, having not completely failed after all and still stuck to the side of the shell.

   A large piece of slag slammed into Keeva and tore her away from Alex's arms.  With loud ringing in his ears the young leader looked up from the thick mud he had been thrown down into.  He couldn't hear Keeva's terrified cries, but Alex saw on the rivers edge flailing arms grabbing onto the large piece of super heated metal that had broke away from the drop cocoon in the blast.  It was slowly sliding down the bank towards the ravaging current below.  Dragging himself with what strength he could muster Alexander threw himself towards his companion.  He saw the fear in her eyes as she wildly tried to grip the cool side of the armor plate, but the blood from her wounds and the mud made it impossible for her to get a firm grasp.   

   Frantically with both hands Alex reached out and grabbed the only thing he could before Keeva was lost to the waters.  Both of the orphans palms gripped onto the super heated metal of the slagged metal.  Crying out in a spike of searing pain, Alexander held on just long enough for his lovers hands to gain purchase on his wrists before he let go of the metal and it slipped into the raging river.  More hands joined the struggle as two engineers helped drag Keeva onto solid ground once more. 

   Captain Bishop didn't hear Christopher call out for a medic, but he had decided the scorch marks on his flesh were a fair trade for saving Keeva's life before slumping down into the mud in agony.

ThePW

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Re: Emerald and Gold
« Reply #149 on: 27 April 2019, 00:42:22 »
… that dude just gets his arse kicked in every conceivable way. Does OSHA exist in the Inner Sphere?