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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Drunkninja on 18 May 2018, 18:39:46

Title: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 18 May 2018, 18:39:46
I'm starting this project because I want to contribute to Battletechs Universe.  I want to tell a story.  I'm not very confident in my writing skills, but I am confident in my imagination.  Where ever this adventure takes me I hope you all enjoy it as much as I will.

Emerald and Gold

Gallis, Magistracy of Canopus
Trolonian Mountains, Persephone Continent
Circa 3020

   It had been raining that day.  Monstrous clouds colored dark with gray rolled down from the mountain slopes and doused the forests below with their wet burden.  Lightning danced across the miserable sky and thunder followed.  Wind howled and the cracks in Alexander' home whistled as if screaming for mercy. 
   The weather was unrelenting in its attempt to wash away the last piece of the young mans existence.  As he folded the military dress uniform and put it away forever Alex almost wished the storm would finish the job and end it all.
   Only turning nineteen two weeks prior the once orphan had dreamed of becoming a famous Mechwarrior.  Joining the ranks of the renowned knights of his time and putting behind him the misery of his lonely childhood.  Those dreams had come to a crashing end on graduation day.
   It was true that he had a problem with authority.  He had accepted that fact even before enrolling as a cadet for the Gallis Militia.  Despite never seeing eye to eye with others Alex was determined to show his mettle and make his mark on the universe.  Instructors hated him but they could not deny his natural skill as a Mechwarrior.
   Passing the final exam with flying colors the determined teenager had piloted the trainee Shadowhawk flawlessly.  In his minds eye he could still feel the rumble of the machines fusion heart below him as he sat in its command chair.
   Even though his marks had been among the best of his class, many people of privilege wished to see him fail.  A nobody, they thought, had no right to become a member of the elite and rise above all others. 
   Thunder rolled and brought Alex back to his small home.  He pushed the drawer closed and sealed away the future that was not meant to be.  Looking down he stared at the still damaged skin on his knuckles.  The hand he had used to break the face of that loud mouth brat Stanford.
   The planetary govenors youngest son.

   Due to Alexander' quick reaction to undeserved taunts by the wrong person he had effectively destroyed his future.  Tears began to well up in his eyes as he stared a hole into the back of his battered but strong hand.  “What have you done you fool.” Anger welled up inside of him as he spoke to no one but himself.

   Lightning flashed and was immediately answered by the echoing roar of thunder.  Alex turned his head and looked to his door as he had thought he heard something among the storm.  “Let's get on with this.” He spoke again only to himself.  Reaching below the dresser he pulled out a simple oak chest.  Inside was the revolver he intended to be the last thing he ever saw.

   Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  This time it was unmistakable.  He had heard something at his door.  Slowly rising to his feet Alex wiped away the streak marks of sadness from his cheeks and made his way to the only entrance into his small house.

   Opening the door slowly Alex peered out into the stormy night.  Before him stood a young female soaked to the bone and a thankful smile forming on her face.  She raised her arms and held out a package bound in leather.  “Signiture please.” Her small voice squeaked.

   Alex took the parcel under one arm and signed the girls noteputer.  She nodded and turned to hurry off towards her delivery truck.  Closing the door Alex walked back into his home and placed the delivery down on his small kitchen table.   Wiping away rain water from the delivery slip he read -To Alexander Bishop.  From the Estate of Eric Bishop-.

   “...the Estate of Eric Bishop?” he repeated out loud.  So it was true then.  His orphaning was complete as his last known family member was dead.

   When Alex had turned thirteen and was forced to leave the orphanage he learned that he had an uncle.  Eric Bishop had no interest in being family to the young boy, but he was honor bound by his dead brother to set the childs affairs in order.  The older man had appeared at Alex' eviction meeting and told the boy to come with him.  Alexander was given a small home on a tiny plot of land in the mountains that Eric had purchased for him using the meager trust fund his deceased parents had left behind.

   As quickly as his uncle had come into Alex' life, he had left again.  All the young boy had learned about his mysterious family member was that he was a mercenary and that the stars was no place for a child.

   Alex' eyes drifted back toward the  oak chest that still lay on the floor.  Taking a deep breath he sat down at the table turning away from his dark fate to take a moment to see what lay before him in his uncles package.

   Inside the water soaked leathers there was a flight jacket that had been wrapped around a thick folder of documents and a holodisk with projector.  Alex picked up and examined the jacket.  It appeared to be old and smelled of cigar.  Its left shoulder bore the insignia of a Commander.  Its right shoulder had a hole torn into it where a unit patch had likely been.  The most notable thing about the jacket however was that in its front breast pocket there was a nondescript gold ring with a single emerald set in it.

   After setting the likely personal effects of his uncle back down on the table, Alex leafed through the folder.  It appeared to be a stack of legal documents pertaining to the ownership of multiple assets.  Deciding that the holodisk might have more answers he picked it up and slid it into the projector.

   The familiar, weather worn face of Eric Bishop appeared floating above the table like a dismembered head.  The features of his gray, receding hair line crackled with static and his sunken brown eyes looked tired.  Alex couldn't help noticing the new scar that ran along his uncles right temple.  A few moments past as the ghost of a dead man stared back at his nephew before speaking.

   “This message I leave for Alexander Bishop.  I do declare as Eric William Bishop, god father to the beneficiary, that all holdings in my stated name go to my nephew.  All documentation of said holdings will pass to Alexander Bishop and are placed in his name.”  The image flickered for a moment and the demeanor of Eric' face softened.

   “Nephew, I am sorry your life has unfolded the way it has.  There is much I could say, but I will not.  I give to you these two gifts.  The leather jacket belonged to your father, the ring belonged to your mother.  I acquired these after their deaths and now pass them on to you.

   “Forget the past Alexander, there is only the future.  Use what I have given you wisely.  My lifes path was not meant to be yours.  Perhaps my death will allow my forgiveness.  Always remember the stars are no place for a child.”  With that the image faded away leaving the room dark and silent.

   Befuddled, Alex turned off the holoprojector.  “I don't understand” he whispered towards the now gone face of his uncle.  Picking up the folder of paper the youth fingered through the documents again but much slower this time.  Something suddenly caught his eye and he stopped on a particular page.

   Not believing what he was seeing Alex carefully reread the same line over and over again in disbelief.  -Warehouse 3-146 Route 78 Tank Farm Rd. WTH-1.  Warehouse 7-147 Route 78 Tank Farm Rd.  PNT-9R.-  Among the mess of legal jargon he noticed the acronyms.  Having crammed hard just recently for his final exams how could he not notice the technical classification for the Whitworth and Panther battlemechs.

   Thunder rumbled through the mountains once again, but this time at a distance.  The storm was finally passing and the sound of rain fell into a gentle rhythm against the roof of Alexander' home.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 18 May 2018, 23:40:07
Great start. I always love a good origin story.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 18 May 2018, 23:41:15
Please feel free to leave feedback! I'd like to know if I'm on the right track with my writing or not.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Mackon on 19 May 2018, 00:33:31
huh, can't recall many fics with a protag from the Magistracy, hope his society/culture gets a look in.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 19 May 2018, 17:22:24
Chapter One
Gambilon, Magistracy of Canopus
Frontiers Isle, Southern Archipelago
February 16 3021

   The Maiden's Voyage was like any other sea port tavern.  Cigarette smoke hovered above the patrons like the mornings fog while half dressed servers floated from table to table fishing for tips.  The smell of salt water permeated everything and those who came and went from there were a hardened bunch.

   Martha McKay fidgeted in her seat, pulling at her low cut blouse for the third time.  Looking down she sighed as she stared at her own cleavage and the way her bra pushed up her middle aged breasts.  “I'm just not cut out for this sort of thing.”  Tugging at the fabric yet again she just couldn't seem to find a way to feel  comfortable in the tight fitting shirt.

   “Get it together girl, you need this job.” It was the same pep talk she had been giving herself now for the past hour.  Picking up the glass of scotch she was nursing Martha took a sip and realized it had gone warm. 

   “More ice cubes mame?” a server asked in passing.  She looked up from her glass and was face level with the servers youthful chest.  The thin fabric left little to the imagination.  Recoiling slightly she couldn't help but think about how it would be easier if she were endowed like the waitress.

   “Yes please” was all she could stammer out.  It wasn't that Martha was ugly.  Being a mechwarrior by trade she had kept fit as war was very demanding of a person.  She just didn't see herself as pretty. 

   While Martha' inner struggle continued on she had missed the moment when the young looking man had sat down across from her.  “Hey there darling.  Would you like that drink topped up?”  The aging mechwarrior brought up her green eyes and leveled them at the intruder.

   “That seat isn't for you lad.  Get a move on, I'm already meeting someone.”  To emphasize her telling him to go away she made a slight jerking motion with her head that tossed her shoulder length brown hair.  It was at that moment she noticed the other man move up next to her left side.

   “Come on now darling, don't be like that.  Me and mah boy here are looking for a good time and you're the best dessert in this rat hole.” The youth curled his lips into a sneering grin, his poorly kept teeth yellow from tabacco.

   “This is your last warning bucko, go to flying fu...” Martha' words were cut short as the larger man to her left tried to muscle his way into the booth next to her.

   She wasn't having any of it.  Taking the glass of warm scotch Martha brought it up hard and smashed it across the big mans nose.  As he recoiled she threw herself back against the wall of the booth, brought up her legs and pushed.  The sailor went flying out onto the taverns sticky floor, crashing into the server who had just been coming back with fresh ice.

   The youth snarled at her from across the table and didn't waste any time before throwing his empty beer bottle. It caught Martha across her mouth causing her head to recoil back against the wall.  Glass shattered and sprayed across the bare skin of her chest.

   No time to wipe off the blood she thought and quickly lept out of the booth.  Bringing her foot down hard on the face of the bigger man trying to untangle himself from the server, Martha spun on her heel and thanked the gods she wore flats out tonight.   She brought her leg up hard into the yellow toothed sailor' abdomen who had chased her out of the booth.  He gasped for air and collasped hard next to his friend.

   And just like that the fight was over.  “My tab is on these ******”  she spat down at the two and stormed out of the bar.  No one, not even the lazy bouncer decided to try and stop her.

   “Excuse me?” A voiced called out after Martha as she stomped away from the tavern.  She spun in place, fist up ready to break the face of who ever dared to ruin her night even further.  She saw another young man walking towards her, in his hands he held her purse.   “You forgot this.”

   Martha lowered her fist and sighed deeply, catching a strong scent of sea air.  She took her purse from the young mans hand and frowned.  “Thank you, but please leave me alone.”  The adrenaline from the fight started to fad and she felt searing pain flare up in her lips.

   As she started to turn away the man persisted.  “Miss McKay?  I'd hate this to be a wasted trip.”  Looking back at the man she saw him holding up a handkerchief to her.  “I'm Alexander Bishop.”  Her eyes widened as she realized this young man was her potential employer.

   Taking the handkerchief she pressed it against her split lip and flinched.  “I'm sorry, this isn't exactly how I thought my interview would turn out.”  She could feel blood soaking through the cloth under her fingers.  “I don't think I'll be welcome back inside if you wanted to sit down.”  Her frown deepened but to her surprise the young man cracked a grin.

   “If you're able we can walk and talk.”  Bishop started down the board walk, his posture straight, hands at rest behind the small of his back.  Martha noted the military bearing of the youth.  “So tell me Miss McKay, what sort of expectations do you have if you join my mercenary unit.  I've seen your file and know your capabilities, but whats in this for you?”

   Of all the questions she had prepared for she hadn't considered that one. “Uh well...please call me Martha.”  She pursed her lips and immediatly regretted it.  “To be honest I need to make a living.  I'm near destitute and there just isn't any work on this rock for a mechwarrior.  So if its a paying job, then I'll be content.”

   Bishop continued to walk and didn't look at her.  “I don't believe you.” 

   Martha stopped dead in her tracks, exasperated.  “What do you mean you don't believe me?  I need to eat just like everyone else!  I came here, dressed like this for christ sakes because i'm desperate.”  She motioned at her ruined clothes with a blood covered hand.  “How dare you say I'm lying!”  Her adrenaline began to rise again.

   Back still turned to her, Bishop calmly continued.  “I watched your fight in the tavern.  You have martial skill.  If you were so inclined you could find work as a bodyguard or in the local militia as infantry.”  He turned to look Martha square in the face.  “But you'd rather starve if it meant you couldn't pilot a battlemech again.” 

   There was something in the tone of his voice.  A certain conviction she recognized.  The red she had been seeing towards her potential employer suddenly drained away and her shoulders slumped.  “I miss it.” Martha admitted to Bishop and also to herself.

   Alexander began to walk again and Martha followed suit.  “The machine I have available is a Panther PNT-9R.  Your dossier said you have some experience in that particular chasis so that's a bonus.  Before I commit to a contract I'd like to stay on world and run training exercises with you to test our compatibility.  During that time we will also be procuring assets that have been in storage for quite some time that's located on various parts of this world. 

   “In the interim between now and our first contract I can't pay you much but you'll be fed, clothed and be able to pilot your battlemech.”  Those last words caught Martha McKay' attention.

   “So....wait.  Does that mean I'm hired?”  The pain pulsing in her lip seemed to diminish. 

   Alexander stopped and extended his hand.  “Lieutenant McKay, I am pleased to welcome you to Bishop's Privateers.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Dave Talley on 19 May 2018, 22:49:06
 nice start
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: mikecj on 19 May 2018, 23:21:39
So far so good, thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ckosacranoid on 20 May 2018, 09:50:15
 not bad to a start. getting ready to blow his brains out to forming a merc unit in just s few days, thats is quite the feat.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 24 May 2018, 22:20:00
good start.
What you lack in confidence, you make up for with storytelling ability. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 29 May 2018, 14:47:34
*   *   *

   The sound of work was amplified in the impromptu mech hangar.  It wasn't as busy as a normal military facility, but the few techs employed by Alexander were hard at work banging away.  He stood below the Whitworth battlemech his uncle had gifted him and looked up at it, still in awe that it was his.  The techs above meticulously worked to remove heavy rust build up from the machines joints.  The strange storage it had been left in had taken its toll on the Whitworth' composite metals. 

   Red stains streaked down across armor plating and it seemed reminiscent to battle wounds.  Why did you leave them hidden like this Uncle?  Ever since landing on Gambilon and procuring the military equipment from various hidden caches that had been willed to him, Alexander couldn't help but be left with questions. 

   Like the Panther he had secured the week prior, the Whitworth was found hidden in a massive liquid storage tank.  It seems his Uncle Bishop had owned a significant amount of land and had used it to keep military hardware out of sight from prying eyes. 

   But why would a mercenary do that? Alexander' train of thought was broken as Martha McKay cleared her throat to get his attention. Looking to his left he found her standing at parade rest.  He noted she looked much more comfortable wearing grease stained coveralls as opposed to flirtatious bar attire.  “Yes, Lieutenant?” He decided to keep a military bearing despite there only being two of them in his unit thus far.

   “I've completed all of my primary diagnostics on the Panther.  She's pretty old and her electronics have seen better days, but operational is a word I feel comfortable using now for her status.”  Martha sounded proud.  “The Particle Projection Canon is in good shape and it seems your uncle had a sizable store of Short Range Missiles stockpiled here.”  The lieutenants eyes glanced up at the makeshift gantry protruding from the inner wall of the massive storage tank.  Alexander could tell she questioned the circumstances surrounding the equipment's origin.

   As did he.  Instead of allowing the conversation to stray to that topic, Alex decided to distract her with the job update he had received that morning.  “That's good news Lieutenant.  If we stay on our planned schedule we should be ready for a contract I've lined up for us.”  He didn't look at her.  Instead his eyes remained focused on a large piece of debris  that fell away from the Whitworth' lower arm actuator. 

   “Good news indeed! Where are we headed Captain?”  Martha followed Alexander' eyes to the astech who had finally freed the mechs arm of its obstruction.  The leak in the tanks ceiling had done quite some damage.  How much time had passed since you were stored here? “The planetary government of Thraxa has offered up a contract for pirate hunting.  It seems they don't wish to utilize their own battalion on planet for this as its below their notice, but perfect for a small mercenary command like ours.  Once we have boots on the ground we'd be charged with investigating pirate activity in rural areas and back country.”  Alex took the opportunity to size up McKay' reaction.  “It's not glamorous but it's a start.”

   “What about transit Sir?”  Is it included to get us and our gear on world?”  Mercenaries often hoped for the luxury of having paid transportation between jobs.  Alex approved of Martha' concern for logistics.

   “We unfortunately have to pay our own way, but this is an opportunity to get our foot in the door.  Thraxa is known for its independant sentiments and often try to do things on their own.  Getting there and performing well could potentially lead to more work.”  It was a stretch, but a gamble the new leader of Bishop' Privateers was willing to take.

   The conversation was suddenly interrupted by Alexander' lead technician shouting down from the Whitworth' cockpit.  “Um Captain, can ya' come up here for a moment?”  Alex excused himself from Lieutenant McKay and took hold of the chain link ladder hanging down from the battlemechs boxy head.  Making the climb in short order he pulled himself up onto the square shoulder of his mech.  Technician Cole sat in the cockpits hatchway as he waited for the Captain.  The fat tech seemed out of place working in the small confines of the machines head but so far Alex couldn't find fault in his work.

   As Alex walked the few paces towards the tech, the older man started to give him the run down on what was wrong.  “It seems I've run into a snag with programming her boss.  Most of the records she should have had of past service has been wiped, but seems there's still memory being occupied by something.”  The obese man wiped sweat away from his balding head.  “When I try to get into it or get rid of it I get locked out of her systems.  And not just like some systems, Sir.  All of em'.  The old bucket has some weird security in her.”

   Alexander thought for a moment as he saw the frustration and curiosity on the technicians face.  More questions.  But Uncle, do I really want to know the answers?  “Have you tried ignoring it and just move on with the installation?”  Not that Alex overly felt comfortable with the idea, but with a shrinking nest egg there wasn't much time for set backs.

   Cole rubbed his chin to mock a thoughtful expression.  “Well Captain, I suppose if you want to ride around on a potential disastor that's your call.”  Shaking his head the tech got back up on his feet.  “I advise against ordering that, but by the look of ya' I assume you want me to go ahead with the software installation eh'?”

   After a moments consideration Alex simply nodded.  “If there's any other odd problems let me know asap.”  He started back down the chain link ladder, but stopped before Cole crawled back inside the cockpit.  “There wasn't anything strange about the Panther' restoration, was there?”  The tech called back over his shoulder as he descended into the war machines brain.  “No Captain.  That one went smooth as a Crappelan' bare arse.”

   “Very well.  Proceed as intended.”  Climbing back down to the metal floor of the storage tank, Alexander was plagued with questions.  What were you hiding Uncle.  Or, who were you hiding all of this material from?  It just didn't make sense.

   “Everything ok Captain Bishop?”  Martha had waited at the foot of the Whitworth

   “Yeah.  Just a slight hiccup.”  Alex looked across the tanker at the Panther battlemech berthed in a similar makeshift gantry.  “Go run one more diagnostic on your mech' Lieutenant.  I want to make sure it's perfectly operational.”  He paused and then looked back up at his own Whitworth.

   Rust had cracked on places where it had stained the armor plating.  The layers were thick from years of storage, but the restoration process was starting to see results.  Alexander Bishop stared long and hard at the work his technicians had achieved. Between the cracks he could now see the the remnants of a unit' insignia that had been removed years ago.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 29 May 2018, 19:40:55
Great update. Got me curious now too.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 29 May 2018, 21:08:15
I'm interested in who his uncle was or served with
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 02 June 2018, 18:57:06
Chapter 2
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Crescent Archipelago
August 2 3021

   Ceresco nervously pulled a drag out of her cheap cigarette again as she looked down at her watch.  He was late.  Out of all the meets in town she had set up with her partner, of course he'd be late to the most important one.  She raked fingers back through her long, unwashed jet black hair and sighed at its unkemptness.  Fidgeting again, more smoke curled up around the asian features of her face as her almond eyes glanced back and forth to see if anyone was watching her.

   From where she stood she could see across the harbor and on the other side a massive cargo ship being unloaded of its sea cans.  Dressed in tight black riding leathers she sat on the grounded hovercycle she had stolen a few nights prior.  Looking at her watch again, Ceresco swore under her breath.  The boat was already half unloaded. 

   “How much for an hour hot cheeks?” a voice questioned from the shadows cast by a large dry docked boat.  Ceresco jerked her head around to see Anton slip out from his hiding place.  “Where the hell have you been!” She snapped harshly despite still speaking in a hushed tone.  “We were suppose to meet an hour ago!  We should already be on our way to prep the machines, not still here confirming the target is gold.”  She flicked her still lit cigarette off the dock.

   “So that a no to the hour?  And here I thought we were trying to fit in with these Canopian filth.”  He shot his partner a sly grin, but it quickly soured to a scowl.  “I was busy losing a tail.  I'm a mechwarrior, not a damned spy.  All this back alley garbage isn't for me.”

   “A tail?  Was it militia?  Clayborne'? Don't tell me they're on to us already?”  Ceresco suddenly felt her leathers chafe her neck as she began to sweat.  They had come too far to only be caught now.  “You did lose them, right? Right Anton?”

   The man exhaled through his nose and looked across the harbor at the cargo ship.  “I'm pretty sure I did.  At any rate it looks like the plan is a go.”  He turned back to Ceresco and pulled a cigarette for himself out of her tight fitting breast pocket.  “You have the netting set up on your Jenner?” She nodded.  “Good.  With my mech loading yours we should be able to make off with a large haul from those supplies.”

   Ceresco cracked a smiled at Anton.  “I might not make a good Canopian, but at least I make a better spy than you.  Hail Caesar.”

*   *   *

   To the untrained ears of the local fishermen the distant thunder sounded odd. To others that had witnessed battlemechs before, they knew they were hearing the cacophony of war.  Long ranged missiles arced back and forth through the sky between Alexander's Whitworth and the pirate Assassin.  Warheads exploded around Alex' battlemech cratering earth as he pushed forward at a desperate pace.  It had been a long day of cat and mouse as him and Lieutenant McKay chased down the two faster pirate machines, but finally they had made headway in trapping the two on a smaller island of the Archipelago.

   After the attack had occured that morning on the shipping yard, the fledgling mercenary unit was able to pick up the thieves trail thanks to a brave news network VTOL.  Unfortunately the reporters had been gunned down after an hour of following the pirates, but it was enough time for the Privateers to mobilize and pick up the chase.

   Now, locked in the dance of death, Alexander found himself in his very first fight for survival.  He maneuvered his Whitworth behind a stand of stunted trees and let loose with another salvo of LRM's from both of his ten racks.  Heat flared up in his cockpit as he watched the missiles corkscrew toward his opponents elevated position.  Blossoms of dirt and fire erupted around the agile Assassin, but Alex' HUD showed him what he wanted to see.  Solid hits along the pirate' right torso and leg.

   “Lieutenant, sitrep.”  Alexander said between clenched teeth as he braced against incoming return fire.  Splintered trees sprayed across his reinforced cockpit glass as they took the brunt of the assault.  The Whitworth' gyro whined in protest as he completed his dodging action and pushed down hard on his foot petals to force the forty tons of metal into the air.  Leap frogging over the now half blasted tree scape, Alex closed more ground between him and the enemy who was slowed by the upper slopes terrain.

   Static crackled before comms came to life with McKay' voice.  “Seems the Jenner wanted to drop its stolen goods off at a dock two kilometers north of your location.  In pursuit but get ready Captain, it's pilot is doubling back.  More than likely to help its partner against you.”  A wave of interference distorted Martha' voice for a moment as she had likely fired her PPC.

   “Roger that.”  Captain Bishop didn't waste any more words.  The Jenner was one of the fastest battlemechs on the modern battlefield and would be on him at any moment. He had to deal with the Assassin and he had to do it now.  Quickly checking his HUD he noted he was still just out of range for his Medium Lasers.  Switching his attention to his topographic map, Alex marked his position on the hillside and adjusted his forward course slightly.  The maneuver he expected the pirate to make was fast approaching and he had to be ready. 

   The roar of missile launchers filled Alexander' ears again as he let loose with another salvo.  Hot air filled the cockpit but didn't dissipate as quickly this time as his jump jets had spiked too much use from the Whitworth' heat sinks.  Most of the warheads detonated harmlessly against a large rock formation the enemy had ran behind but a few found their mark, scarring more of the thin armor of the ancient machine.

   Sensor alarms suddenly caught Alexander' attention.  They had finally picked up the Jenner' approach and painted a bad picture.  The short warning did however allow him enough time to torso twist before the second enemy mech savaged his thin rear armor.  Instead emerald beams cut deep and burnt away protection from his right arm and leg.  Super heated metal vaporizing instantly caused a ghastly aura to briefly engulf the medium mech.

   To compensate for the sudden loss of weight Alex used his forward momentum from his previous jump to leap into the air again.  This time keeping a low arc just above the ground he flew forward while  turning his legs for a braced landing that put his front armor towards both enemies.  Or rather that's what he attempted to do but was quickly reminded of the Assassin' presence.  The pirate had finally closed distance between itself and him and brought its Medium Laser and Short Range Missiles into play.  More armor burned away from the Whitworth' center torso while the more powerful warheads tore open a hole in  the protective plating on the machines boxy left shoulder.

   Gravity became Alexander' enemy and his mech crashed hard into the ground belly first.  Metal twisted and broke as the 40 tons of war material skidded across rock strewn ground.  Inside the cockpit Alex was thrown hard against his restraining harness.  His comms came to life but he couldn't quite make out what was being said as the ringing in his ears drowned out almost all other sound. 

   I need to bring my lasers to bear.  Struggling with the controls Alex desperately tried to prop his Whitworth up on its side as he knew it was now or never.  The Assassin came rushing down the hill at top speed trying to make a break for open ground.  As he lifted his mechs arm to line up a shot Alexander saw the impact of an azure beam smash into the enemies right torso.    The pirates machine contorted for a moment before exploding in a brilliant flash of blinding red then white light.

   Captain Bishop felt a moment of relief.  That quickly changed however as he realized the momentum of what was left of the Assassin hadn't slowed down.  “Oh.....shi......”  The air echoed of crashing metal as the remains of the dead mech smashed at speed into the semi prone Whitworth.  The wind was forced from Alex' lungs as his mech was thrown end over end into a roll down the slope for dozens of meters. 

   After finally coming to a stop Alexander' vision started to blur.  He groggily tried to rub his eyes clear and only accomplished smearing more blood into them.  Before losing consciousness he stared out of his cockpits cracked ferroglass and watched as Lieutenant McKay grappled the Jenner' cockpit with her Panther' hand and bring its leg crashing down to dismember the pirates machine at the hip.  Then darkness took him.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 02 June 2018, 21:25:18
I enjoy a good'old knife fight with medium lasers. Great to see some classic 'Mechs trashing each other.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: mikecj on 03 June 2018, 01:35:23
Very nicely done, thanks
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: PeacMaker03 on 03 June 2018, 10:12:26
Nice bit of rock'em sock'em smash-up.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 27 June 2018, 20:49:49
Chapter 3
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Capital City
December 15 3021

   Sleet hammered against the glass windowpanes of the military liaisons office.  The sound was almost hypnotic.  Winter had gripped Thraxa full bore and as Alexander looked outside watching the snow storm blanket the city beyond he couldn't help but remember the mountains on Gambilon where he had been exiled as a child.

   Alex turned and took a savoring sip of the hot chocolate Lieutenant Wilik Fore had offered him before continuing.  “After interrogating the boats Skipper we learned of the pirates base on Freylise Isle.  Apparently they had taken his family hostage to coerce him into service.  It's quite possible the information he gave us cost him their lives.”  Captain Bishop placed his now empty mug down on the desk that seperated him and the Clayborne Commandos officer. 

   “Please continue Captain.”  The liaison to the Privateers simply rested his clasped together hands in front of him on the desk.  The mans posture was perfect and there didn't appear to be a single imperfection with his uniform.  If it wasn't for his campaign ribbons Alexander would have guessed the man only piloted the chair he currently sat in.

   “Just like my report stated, we paid a local freighter to transport our mechs to the island and we attempted to subdue the pirates there.  Unfortunately they had time to saddle up and engaged us with their battlemechs; a Vindicator and Cicada.  We successfully disabled these as the machines were in a state of disrepair and...”  Alex was suddenly cut off by the fat politician that sat to Lieutenant Fore' right. His voice cut like nails on a chalk board.  “Those battlemechs should be handed over immediately to the planetary government!  In times of crisis the need of the people supplant those of a mercenaries greed!”  The mans jowls shook as he attempted to sound full of righteous conviction.

   Before Alex could respond Martha threw in her two cents.  “Our contract states we have salvage rights.  It's not our fault you wanted to pay garbage to chase ghosts and bank on there being no spoils.  Don't talk to us about greed you pig!”  Her words were seething with disgust. 

   The argument was suddenly stifled by Lieutenant Fore breaking his calm demeanor and slapping one of his hands down on top of his desk. “That is enough! Both of you!”  He sharply looked at the Thaxian official.  “Mr. Hoffer, I did not bring you here to dispute the Privateers contract.  You are hear to be a part of this meeting as a representitive of the government and to learn of the potential threat to our world.”  Glancing only briefly at Lieutenant McKay, he looked back to Captain Bishop.  “I expect you to keep your people in line.  Now again, please continue.”

   Alex frowned at his XO and that seemed to be enough of a rebuke to silence her.  Martha shifted uncomfortably in her seat and looked away, her face still flush with anger.  “To be frank, what we found at the island base was disturbing.  There was a stockpile of military supplies, food stuffs and equipment.  All of which we found cataloged in a military TO&E.  The most pertinent piece of information found at this location however was that there is at least one more pirate cell operating on your world.”  He let that sink in for a moment before adding “We also found a time table that the “pirates” were following.  With the evidence we've uncovered, I believe these pirates are in fact a recon force for an invasion.”

   Mr. Hoffer scoffed at the grim news.  “If you're fishing for another contract by using scare tactics don't think that the govenor will be so hasty to indulge you Mr. Bishop.”  The official dropped Alexander' title in an attempt to insult him by ignoring his due rank.  This time Wilik Fore chose to simply ignore the pettiness of his civilian guest.

   “The case you've brought forward certainly cannot be ignored by the Clayborne Commandos or the planetary govenor.  I will bring this to the attention of my superiors now that you've brought me evidence that this may not have been a raid by simple pirates.”  The lieutenant nodded at Captain Bishop.  “You have my thanks.  We would have never known there was a lance of battlemechs operating in our own backyard without your help.”  With that Wilik Fore stood and shook Alexander' hand in a firm grip. “If you plan on sticking around I suggest getting those machines working again if you can. By the sounds of it more work may be headed our way.  Now if you'll excuse us, I need to have words with Mr. Hoffer.”

   Alex nodded and made his way out of the military mans office with McKay close on his heels.  The moment the door had closed behind them Martha' fire returned.  “The nerve of that swine to make such demands!  We saved lives with our actions and all that puppet can think of is what we earned!”  She caught up to her Captain and walked in line next to him.  “There's no way we're giving up those mech', right Alex?  Hell I've already found possible pilots for them.  We just need parts and then...”  Captain Bishop promptly cut her off as they walked past a guard station.

   “Calm yourself Martha.  Don't be fooled by Fore' rank.  He's a man and would likely be in a higher station if we were anywhere but in the Magistracy.  I have faith he will do what is right.”  Alex smirked at his Lieutenant.  “And don't worry, I won't forget how the government is treating us.  If I get an opportunity I'll give them something to think about to salve that garbage attitude of theirs.”

   As the two left their employers building Alex couldn't help but smile.  It was true what he had said. He had no intentions of giving up what he had earned and he intended to earn more.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 27 June 2018, 21:10:57
Great to see the unit grow. I'm looking forward to seeing just what kind of 'invasion' is put together.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 17 July 2018, 20:52:06
Chapter 4
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
December 29 3021

   The lights flickered for a moment in the old tavern and it brought Martha' attention away from her drink long enough to take notice of Alex taking a seat across from her.  It was nice having money again and she had taken tonight to enjoy some revels after meeting with the new mechwarrior recruit.  Unlike the first night she had met Alex, tonight she had dressed fairly casual enjoying the relaxed feel of her jeans and tank top.  Taking a long pull from her beer Martha waited while her Captain ordered his own drink before talking business.

   “How's that old Jenner looking?  Did Cole scrape together the parts?” Martha leaned forward slightly in her seat feeling excited to know if the Privateers would be expanding.  It was an odd feeling for her.  She had been struggling alone for so long, but now under the command of someone who was young enough to be her child, life had taken a turn for the better.

   Captain Bishop shifted in his seat as if adjusting the weight on his shoulds to carry it more comfortably.  “We've purchased the last actuators needed to finish repairs, but they weren't cheap.  Thraxa is just like any other periphery world, you have to know the right people and unfortunately we do not.”  The waitress came back to the table and placed a drink in front of Alex.  Martha watched him savour his first taste and waited for him to continue.  “I understand now why junkers can make a trade at buying and selling parts, maybe we're in the wrong line of work.”  A grin crept across his face and the two exchanged a cheers to that.

   “The interview went well, leagues better than the others.  I think this Liam Grant fellow is our man.”  Martha polished off her beverage.  “Seems he worked as a recon pilot for the Davions before making his way out to the Magistracy.  Didn't ask too many questions about that but he did have papers for an honorable discharge.” 

   Bishop snorted at that.  “That is better than the others.  Nothing but criminals the lot of them.”  His face became serious.  “I've been thinking Martha, I want to know what's wrong with my Whitworth' programming.  I'll be taking another look tonight.”  Alex pulled out money and threw it on the table.  “Drinks on me tonight if you want to give me a hand.”  The seriousness drained from his expression and he got to his feet.

   It was like that every night, Martha knew.  She wasn't oblivious to the fact that her Captain would spend much of his free time sitting in the cockpit of his battlemech.  So far she had left him to his odd solitude, but tonight was the first time he had asked her to join him.  Deciding to leave her revels behind the Privateer mechwarrior got to her feet as well.  “You twisted my rubber arm Captain, shall we?”

   The pair made their way to their ad hoc base in the outskirts of Merdar. The drive was eerie as a thick fog had rolled in over the town from the ocean, their jeeps fog light casting shadows that distorted the landscape into ominous shapes.  Reaching the warehouse where their battlemechs were stored, Martha was surprised to find Cole inside still working on the Jenner' leg she had ruined in her first combat as a Privateer. 

   The three exchanged simple nods as they made their way to Alexander' Whitworth.  Another makeshift gantry had been constructed next to the medium mech that now housed the Vindicator the unit had salvaged more than a month prior.  The Cicada that had been procured with it had been stripped down and moved to storage as the damage done to its fusion reactor was beyond repair with the facilities available on world.  The days of the Star League were gone and high technology with it.  There were no easy fixes, especially in the periphery.

   Martha climbed into the Whitworth' cockpit behind Alexander and felt the machine come to life below them as her Captain went through the motions to animate the colossus.  As the systems came online Lieutenant McKay heard Alex swear.  “The hell is that...” His voice trailed off as he double checked his now active sensors.  “Holy sh.....Martha get to your mech...GO GO GO!”  Her mind frantic she suddenly understood what was happening.  As Bishop put on his neurohelmet she rushed out of the cockpit towards her Panther.

   The pirates had come for revenge.

*   *   *

   Centurion Phobos appreciated the still night as she pushed her Vindicator forward into the fog.  Through her mechs reinforced view screen she could make out the silhouettes of her two lancemates just ahead of her, their shapes half hidden and distorted making them appear more nightmare than man made machines.  It had taken some doing but finally her cell had found the base of operations of the mercenaries that had ruined half of her on world operation.  Legatus Richardson was en-route with his Cohort and her people had lost too many supplies to those damned head hunters already.  It was time to punish them for their meddling.

   Activating the comms that linked her to the Legionnaires under her command, Phobos coolly informed her people “I want to get in and out fast.  Destroy the warehouse, their mechs and equipment.  No survivors if possible.  This should be a milk run people, no mess ups.”  A sound suddenly brought her attention to her long range sensors.  As Centurion Phobos was processing the information she was seeing, a voice came back in her ear.  “My sensors are picking up a fusion reactor coming online!  Why are they in their mechs?”  She heard panic in her mans voice. 

   “Go weapons hot.  Prepare for battle!”  The leader of the Marian Century throttled up her Vindicator to keep pace with the lighter Commando and Hermes.  Thinking back to her reports she knew the mercenaries had yet to field more machines than a Whitworth and Panther, which if that held true, gave her a twenty-five ton advantage.  Despite the surprise attack being foiled, the odds were still very much in her favor.

   A second fusion reactors power up was detected on Phobos' HUD only moments before she saw the first detonations of Long Range Missile fire fall down on top of her Legionnaires Commando.  The explosions blossomed in the nights fog that flared outwards causing ghostly baubles to silhouette the machine.  “Just five more seconds” the mechwarrior said through gritted teeth and then as the target lock rang in her ears Phobos sent off her own flurry of warheads into the blanketed sky, trusting her computer to make them find their mark. 

   Cursing the lack of cover approaching the town, Phobos used her mechs speed to maneuver wide and right to try and spoil any attempt at targeting her.  “There you are!” she almost shouted as a direct line of fire opened up between her and the enemy Whitworth.  Toggling her primary weapon, Phobos could hear the whine of the weapons capacitors build up and discharge her Particle Projection Cannon.  The man made lightning ripped through the cold nights air and smashed into the mercenaries left torso, mangling most of the armor plating located there.

   Comms crackled to life as Legionnaire Lorence made contact in his Hermes.  “Engaging Panther battlemech.  Main target beyond.”  That's all their cards on the field, Phobos thought.  If we can crack the Whitworth quickly then damage should be minimal and we might get some salvage.  As the Vindicator' LRMs finished reloading the night suddenly became day.  The Commando' pilot didn't even have time to scream as emerald lances of laser fire from the Whitworth detonated the Short Range Missiles it had stored within its torso.  The shockwave from the blast rocked the Vindicator and Phobos had to wrestle its controls as her soldiers reactor went critical.

   Shrapnel still rained down across her mech as Phobos fired her PPC again, this time ruining the armor on the mercenaries left leg.  Bringing her own medium laser into play, she scarred a line across the other machines right torso all the while spitting curses after her lost man and material.  She saw the return fire arc up through the air before her ears roared from the impacts of over a dozen missiles exploding against her mechs protection.

   Fighting the controls again to keep her footing, Phobos barked into her comms “Lorence, report!”  There was no answer.  Another flight of missiles let loose from her torso mounted launcher.  “I repeat. Lorence, report!”  Checking her heads up display she could see his mech was still active, but not moving.  “Damn it!”  The pang of target lock sounded and she fired the mechs PPC again, her cockpit becoming a sauna.  The bolt went wide as the Whitworth dodged by taking to the air.  Phobos' mech suddenly lurched forward as alarms started to scream for her attention.  The computer told her the story.  She had been hit by an enemies PPC blast and now she saw the mercenary Panther closing distance.

   Today wasn't the day for Phobos' hopeless battle.  Sweat pouring into her eyes, the once confidant officer decided to break and run.  For what the Vindicator 1AA gave up in armor, it gained in speed.  Neither of the mercenary machines should be able to keep pace so Phobos decided to thread the needle between both enemies and make for an escape towards the coast.  Missiles rained down around her fleeing machine, some impacting her fresh rear armor but it wasn't enough to stop her from living and fighting another day.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 17 July 2018, 23:14:26
Great action Drunkninja! Its good to see things heating up for our heroes. Keep it coming.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 18 July 2018, 01:11:32
Looking back at my old battle reports for this unit is fun.  Weaving a narrative around those battles is also very interesting. I'm still no where confident in my writing but I sure am enjoying putting this units tale to paper! Hoping to write more tomorrow at work if I have time!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 18 July 2018, 10:27:09
I like that they were saved by someone doing late night maintance on thier mech
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 18 July 2018, 12:01:27
Nice story . Your writing is all good just keep on rolling.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: OpacusVenatori on 19 July 2018, 12:35:57
Good stuff! Keep it coming!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 19 July 2018, 17:11:25
Chapter 5
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
January 20 3022

   Reporter:  “And you say you saw the dropships land?  Who's colors were they flying?
   Old man:  “Those thrice damned Marians!  You'd thick they would have learned last time.  Not that Tamara Centrella did a single thing for us.
   Reporter:  “Do you think Kyalla Centrella will send aid and out do her mother?”
   Old man:  “Who cares! After Tamara had her sister killed who can trust any of them!” -angry shouting in the background-
   Reporter: “Sir, are you saying you welcome the Marian Hegemony?  That's treason!” -more shouting and booing from the crowd-
   Old man:  “Forget the Marians! IMANI FOREVER!!!”
   End of feed.
   January 11th, 3022.  Thraxian Press and Paper News 6.

   Sleet hammered the ground furiously in waves, freezing instantly and caused even the safest walk ways to be treacherous.  Gripping the handle tightly that lead into the makeshift mechbay, Alexander steadied himself as he opened the door and stepped inside off of the icy ground.  Shivering out the cold he made his way towards the group of people gathered around the foot of his Whitworth battlemech.  It had been eighteen hours since he had last slept and it seemed his turn to rest would have to wait even longer.  At 2200 hour he got the word that the Marian invaders were making a move towards the town of Merdar and his base of operations.

   “Captain Bishop!  Well met.”  The familiar voice of Lieutenant Wilik Fore sounded off the walls of the warehouse.  Salutes were given and received quickly as the business of the day took precidence over formality. 

   After the attempted night strike against the Privateers, the Thraxian Military Police were brought in to apprehend a prisoner the mercenaries had pulled out of the mostly intact Hermes battlemech.  Following a thorough interrogation it was revealed that in fact there was an invasion force en-route towards Thraxa and was due in system very soon.  Upon learning of the inbound danger, the Thraxian government quickly drafted up a new contract that was offered to the mercenary group Bishop's Privateers, albeit with much stricter rights on salvage and the direct attachment of Lieutenant Fore to the unit as its Liaison.

   Alexander looked at each of his mercenaries one by one.  There were two new faces, mechwarriors Liam Grant and Brian Swansky.  Grants application had gone smoothly and had been praised by McKay.  Swansky on the other hand had been a snap decision by Alexander once news of Marian jumpships being in system reached them.  Techs from the Clayborne Commandos had been borrowed to rush the repairs of the Vindicator the Privateers had salvaged and Alex needed a pilot.  The best application available was a questionable mechwarrior from Astrokaszy who claimed he wasn't an outlaw but otherwise couldn't prove as much. 

   “Ok people, lets get straight to brass tax here.  The main Marian OpFor has moved against the Clayborne Commandos position in the capital but that doesn't mean we've been over looked.   Lieutenant Fore' pickets have informed us we have enemy forces on our door step.  To our knowledge a reinforced lance has been seen making best speed towards our location.  We are to engage the force away from the town of Merdar and ensure the safety of its citizens.  Any questions?”  Silence was all that answered.  “Alright then, saddle up and lets go make our pay cheque.” 

   The group dispersed with a nearly unison “Yes sir” and headed towards their battlemechs.  Only Lieutenant Fore lingered for a moment.  “The government might not like you Captain, but the Commandos appreciate what you're doing here.”  The officer seemed sincere and took the time to shake Alexander' hand.

   “Thank you Lieutenant.  Its sad that the politicians aren't able to see past our gains to appreciate what we've accomplished for them so far.  That aside, good luck on the field, we're not out of this alive yet.”  The two parted ways and made their way to their own battlemechs.  Alexander decided it was worth storing away what Wilik Fore had said to him for later use.  For now however there was a battle to be won.  Climbing into the command couch of his Whitworth he began the war machines start up sequence.

   It was the better part of two hours before contact was made with the advancing enemy force.  Alexander had his Privateers take up a defensible position among a thick stand of trees thirty kilometers outside of Merdar.  The location was chosen based on the intel received from infantry pickets posted by Lieutenant Fore and the fact that it was along the main highway due south of the town.

   The engagement was much slower paced than Alex was used to.  Both sides had taken up sniping positions and had been exchanging missile and autocannon fire for the better part of half an hour without any sign of giving ground.  The Marian force, who appeared to be hired mercenaries, were anchored around a heavy Jagermech that punished any Privateer who strayed too far from their cover.

   “Commando One, sitrep.”  Alexander slammed his feet onto his foot pedals and took to the air to maneuver out of the way of another missile salvo from the wily Assassin he had been fencing with for too long.  He came down hard in a cluster of young oak trees that soaked up most of the blast from the enemy LRMs.  Static crackled in his ear before Wilik replied with autocannon fire echoing loudly in the background.  “The Jagermech is keeping me pinned down and is slowly taking my Shadowhawk apart.  I'm losing more trades than winning.  Without reinforcements or a heavier machine we'll lose the center if this keeps up.”

   “Wilco.  Dagger,  sitrep.”  More heat spiked in Alex' cockpit as he let loose with only one of his Long Range Missile ten racks.  The protracted battle was taking its toll on his ammo reserves and causing havoc with his heat, which he'd been pushing into the red more and more.  “Commando bogey has taken the bait, Captain.  Taking him to tour the scenic route. “

   It was now or never.  “Roger that.  Now's our chance people.  Commando One, push the center.  Hammer One and Two ignore the Vindicator and crack that Blackjack.  Dagger, take their rear and turn them.  I'll meet you in the middle.  GO!”  Captain Bishop throttled up his Whitworth and broke from cover.  At a full run he shifted his attention from the Assassin and onto the Vindicator Martha had been trading PPC fire with.  Sending two flights of LRM 10s into the air towards it he changed targets again and brought his medium lasers to bear against the heavy Jagermech who seemed briefly stunned by the head on charge by both Magistracy machines.

   His target lock chimed and, staggering his fire, started to slash outwards at the right flank of the larger mech.  The enemies pause only lasted a moment before it opened up on the Shadowhawk who was closing much faster than Alexander' Whitworth.  Lieutenant Fore' armor quickly became a mere memory under the savage barrage of autocannon fire.  The canopy protecting the medium mechs cockpit kicked loose and spat Wilik towards the sky in his ejection seat seconds before his Shadowhawk' reactor split the mech asunder.

   Alarms screamed at Alexander as his mech threatened shutdown.  Slamming the override button he continued towards the center, medium lasers cutting deep into the enemy heavy as its guns now turned on him.  The hail of autocannon fire never came however, as the Jagermech jerked suddenly to the side and came apart at the seams in a savage explosion.  Liam Grant' comms came to life with a cheer and through sweat stung eyes Alex saw the Privateer Jenner sprint past the once enemies rear toward the Assassin that had continued to pour fire into the Captain' flank.

   Taking a precious moment to dial down his heat in take, Alexander assessed the battlefield.  The Blackjack was down with an exposed gyro and not moving.  The Commando was no where to be seen and Alex heard over an open channel Lieutenant McKay demanding the surrender of the Vindicator' pilot who had lost a leg at the hip.  All that remained was the Assassin.  Turning to assist his new mechwarrior, the Captain of Bishops Privateers pushed his ancient machine to full throttle once more.  The controls responded sluggishly due to his heat build up but the heavy foot falls thudding into the snow covered ground reassured him his Uncle' machine was still alive.

   In the distance through his cockpits reinforced glass Alex could see Private Grant' Jenner exchanging fire with the enemy Assassin.  Both machines were pushing their top speeds in an intense dance of death.  After closing as much distance as he needed Alex slowed to a walk and took advantage of the enemy mercs distracted fighting.  Gaining a tight target lock the young leader once more let loose with both of his missile racks, sending a stream of high explosives down range.  Smoke trails drew a white arch across the sky but instead of some fanciful pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, there was a gruesome end every mechwarrior dreaded.  Impact after destructive impact drove the Assassin into an awkward backwards fall as the thin protective armor of the medium mechs cockpit shattered under the onslaught.  Alexander felt a twinge of pity for the warrior as the last attacker was cut down.

   Alexander' people held the field of battle.  In a raggedly dry voice comms were activated and the Captain addressed his people.  “The day is ours.  Well done mercenaries.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 20 July 2018, 01:15:09
Great to see Bishop’s Privateers still going strong, pulling out the wins.

I hope that they forced a nice pay-packet out of the local government since it sounds like the salvage is going to be light despite the win on this contract.

Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Ironburk on 20 July 2018, 08:26:49
I like this story alot. The fact that you have believable characters and progression in the plot is nice to see. I'm used to super characters or the "becoming an elite mechwarrior over a month with no real fighting" trope. I really want to see where this goes. Thank you for writing.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 20 July 2018, 19:28:49
Chapter 6
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
January 23 3022

   The mech hanger was abuzz with activity.  It had taken the better part of a day and a half to pull all of the salvage from the field, have it cataloged and then divided up via a third party voting system that was common practice in the Innersphere.  Alexander was a litter bitter over the whole thing, but he knew that it was a reality he would have to learn to live with. 

   The Prime Mover that had been among the assets his uncle had left him currently acted as an operation table as laborers and astechs crawled over the Vindicator Lieutenant Fore had been awarded to replace his lost Shadowhawk.  It would be an easy fix as Martha more or less had severed its leg at the hip actuator with a PPC blast, leaving the rest of the machine functional.

   Just beyond the massive truck volunteers from town helped with the removal of armor plating that was needed from the Assassin the Clayborne Commandos had also acquired.  The mech lay sprawled on the ferrocrete floor as space in the warehouse turned hangar was in short supply.  A small forklift ferried the plates from a pile that workers had already stripped and brought them to the makeshift gantries where the Privateer machines were being refitted from their damage.

   Alex currently stood in front of the mauled Blackjack he had managed to squeeze out of the whole affair.  He patiently watched his lead technician Cole carefully climb down the scaffolding that had been erected around the machines torso.  “How's it look?” he asked as Cole came close enough so he didn't have to shout over all of the noise.  The chubby man looked back over his shoulder as if appraising the damaged mech while wiping grease from his hands.  “I think I can fix it Captain. It'll take most of the rare parts we have but it's doable.  The Gyro itself is in one piece, but the housing is all shot.”  The tech looked back at Alex.  “Don't get too excited though.  This will take me a while so it's low on the current priority list.

   “Understood.”  Captain Bishop pondered for a moment.  “Strip her armor but leave the weapons.  We'll likely need the plates after the next engagement.  There's no telling how long the fighting will go on so we need to stretch what resources we have.”  It was odd for Alexander to hear himself talking this way.  Just a few years ago he had hopes of becoming a mechwarrior in a planetary militia but now he was commanding man and machine into battle.  It would take some getting use to.

   Cole gave a clumsy salute.  “Yes sir.”  Noticing Wilik now making his way towards him, Alex left Cole to his work and met the Magistracy officer just beyond a shower of sparks that fell from Liam' Jenner.  Dark bruises covered more than half of Lieutenant Fore' face that puffed up around the deep cut he has sustained during his ejection.  Alexander couldn't help but think that now the man looked more like a seasoned warrior than from when they first met. 

   “Sorry again about your Shadowhawk.” Alex blurted out before he could stop himself.  Wilik raised a hand to cut off any further apologies.  “There's no need for that Captain.  It was the right call.  You had your man briefly reduce the enemies number so it was the right time to strike.  It just happens my mech was the heaviest and the proper machine to push the middle.”  He gave a slight shrug that was suppose to pass off the subject lightly where in fact millions of cbills of war material had been lost in seconds.  “That aside, the Vindicator will be a fine replacement.  I'll admit I was never fond of the weapons load out on the Shadowhawk anyway.  It just happens to be one of the only battlemechs still in production in the Magistracy of Canopus.”

   A look of annoyance grew on Alexander' face.  “Well your spoils of war will be at least ready to ride in the next few days.”  He looked back at the Blackjack laying prone on the warehouse floor.  Lieutenant Fore caught the jab at the mornings proceedings.  “I understand your disappointment Captain Bishop, but things don't always go your way.”  Wilik briefly touched his face with his finger tips before letting his hand fall to his side once more.  “It's the way of the universe.  Being a leader is not easy nor will it ever become easier.  You will lose equipment, people and maybe even friends along the way.  Feel grateful for what you have, it may be gone tomorrow.”

   Alex felt slightly ashamed.  He of all people should know how cruel the universe truely was.  His mind brought forward thoughts of his childhood solitude.  “There's something I've been wondering.”  Alexander snapped out of his brief trance to see Wilik staring up at the Jenner battlemech.  “Why haven't you really painted your unit?”  He followed the officers eyes up towards the patchwork armor plates.  Some freshly added, others colored with the light brown paint he had purchased in bulk to keep the cost down.  “You know, I couldn't decide on anything so I just painted them brown.”  He almost laughed at himself.

   “A units identity is a powerful thing.  Knowing who you are is important.  I am proud to call myself a member of the Clayborne Commandos.  I suggest spending some time to come up with something.  If we all get out of this mess alive you might just have a name for yourself.”  Lieutenant Fore turned to get back to over seeing the progress on his new mech.  As he did Alex noticed the colors of the Canopian crest on his shoulder.  Looking back up to the Jenner he recalled the shade of brown his fathers leather jacket was.  Sorry Wilik, that was a personal question.  It was Alex' turn to get back to work, after all they were at war.  Turning to walk back towards his uncles Whitworth he quietly commented to no one in particular “It could use some emerald and gold.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 20 July 2018, 21:36:38
You’re on fire Drunkninja, the chapters are just rolling out now. Keep up the great work.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 July 2018, 17:07:21
Chapter 7
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Marian Firebase, Target of Opportunity
February 2 3022

   Reporter: Do you think we need the mercenaries or will our home grown Clayborne Commandos carry the day?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I have confiedence our men and women will protect us.  If the mercenaries happen to catch a few bullets that were meant for our people, I'm ok with that.
   Reporter:  Is it true you tried to convince the Govenor to break their contract?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I am of the opinion that the people are more important above all else.
   Reporter:  If our Magestrix fails to send aid, will you push for Thaxian independence?
   Official Emanuel Hoffer:  I'm not one of those ghost Kyalla haters, but I will always do what is best for our world.
   January 19th, 3022.  Thraxian Press and Paper News 6.

   Winter had gripped Thraxa with primal ferocity.  Wind howled and hurled thick snow to the ground in waves that could be likened to the angry seas of ancient Terra.  It was in this whiteout that Bishops Privateers marched to war.  The sky was darkened by night and Alexander was sure that without his Whitworth' advanced navigational systems he and his people would have gotten lost hours ago.

   Orders had come down the totem pole that the mercenaries were to raid a target of opportunity.  Their unique position of not being bogged down fighting in Thraxa' capital city allowed them the freedom to press the attack against a firebase that was supplying munitions to the Marian invaders forward forces.  It was up to Alex and his people to quickly get in and out while destroying as much enemy equipment as possible.

   Maintaining radio silence was an important part of the night operation as surprise would hopefully tip the opening moments of the battle against the superior force and in the young commanders favor.  Intel about the base had stated there were at least two heavy machines controlled by the enemy mercenary unit Blue' Brigade.  Alexander hadn't been very keen on being thrown against a stronger enemy but Wilik Fore had reassured him that between the weather and the fact that he was also being ordered to be a part of the raid the government wasn't trying to wear down the enemy at the expense of the Privateers.

   Alex checked his instruments one more time as the silent march continued.  It wouldn't be long now if the coordinates for their target were accurate.  Staring out his view screen and into the stormy night he took a moment to savor the odd serenity of white haze before the fire fight began.  Just ahead of him the silhouette of Liam' Jenner sauntering forward could be barely seen.

   The rhythmic foot falls of Alex' Whitworth caused his mothers ring to bounce as it hung around his neck on the chain with his dogtags.  Tonight he had decided to wear it for good luck as the strange events of the day prior had left him somewhat shaken.  A local news station had approached the Captain for an interview which at first Alexander thought might be a good idea to counteract a lot of bad press his unit had been receiving from the government.  To give himself a boost in confidence he had decided to wear his fathers jacket as it lent the appearence of having more expereince than he actually had.  The whole affair ended up being a waste of precious time however, as the reporter was relentless in her attack to try and undermine the efforts of the Privateers and paint the Thraxian leadership as being the true reason behind the mercenaries success so far.

   Later that night the letter had appeared.  Mechwarrior Swansky had found the the envelope addressed to “Alexander Bishop” literally on their doorstep leading into the small office building the mercenaries had been using for their barracks.  There had been a question written across its single sheet of paper and also an address.  “Who are you to carry the name Bishop?”  The question had caught Alex off guard but it didn't make much sense to him.  It was the small piece of weather worn, light brown leather attached to the letter however, that had left the empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.

   It was the same material as his fathers.

   Sensors came to life  with contacts that began to populate the Captains heads up display.  Quickly evaluating the information being fed to him, Alex decided they had caught the enemy with their pants down.  Breaking comm silence he spat out orders to his people.  “Go weapons hot, target the ammo dumps, prioritizing the ones near the Warhammer and Rifleman.”  Those two names nearly caught in his throat.  “Get in and get out.  I don't want any martyrs tonight.”

   Throttling up his Whitworth into a run Alex pushed his machine through the storm of snow and into a sudden storm of chaos.  Bringing missile systems online he toggled his computer to stagger his left and right torso mounted launchers fire so that he could target two seperate munition stockpiles.  As the first swarm of warheads took flight from their tubes, Alex watched as an azure bauble of light tore through the whiteout and cast a brief silhouette across the humanoid form of a mech before impacting with an impromptu structure. 

   At that moment, all hell broke lose.

   The explosion that followed sent a shockwave through the blizzard that, for a moment, cleared the surrounding air of snow.  A large cloud of debris flew skyward seconds before the sympathetic explosions caused by the onslaught began.  If it hadn't been for the protective polarization of his cockpits glass, Alexander swore at that moment he would have gone blind.  The night had suddenly turned into day.

   The staccato of small arms fire ricochetting off of his Whitworth' canopy quickly snapped Alexander out of his daze and brought his attention to infantry that were running out of military tents and into defensive cover.  He decided to ignore the ground pounders as a much more troublesome foe presented itself.  Rising up and stepping out of a raging inferno that use to be an ammo dump, an enemy Warhammer brought the Privateer' commander under its guns.  Weighing in at 70 tons the Blue' Brigade mech almost doubled the Captains own weight.  It was a machine to be feared and despite the damage it had taken from the explosion Alex knew that he was in serious danger.

   A blast from the behemoths partical canon ruined Alex' target lock as his right torso nearly lost all of its protective armor.  Reflexively taking to the air, the Whitworth leap frogged to the left just in time to spoil the heavy machines second shot of man made lightning from its other canon.  Mid flight Alex let loose a snap shot with both racks of LRM 10s and then braced his landing, unknowingly taking lives as he did so.  “Any available unit, Leader One needing support.  Warhammer...” His transmission was briefly cut off by the enemies return fire that savaged his mechs left arm mounted laser.  “...Warhammer impeding withdrawl.”

   The temperature of the ancient warmachines cockpit climbed into the red as Alex spiked its fusion reactor again to move the 40 tons of composite material into the air and over the burning wreckage of a Vedette tank that had not survived the munitions explosion.  Short range missile fire rocked the ruined vehicle and threw it up onto its side as Alex made another landing and continued to run his mech at a hard pace.  Torso twisting he stabbed back at the closing heavy with beams of emerald that slashed across its right arm and torso.  Not bothering to check to see what damage he had caused Alex took a hard turn to his left trying to zigzag away from the death incarnate.

   Bursting out of the snowstorm suddenly in front of his Whitworth an enemy Stinger light battlemech fired its hand held medium laser, luckily just missing wide due to Alex' quick turning.  Not wanting to bleed momentum Captain Bishop raised his ruined left arms weapon and with a battle cry only he could hear charged forward and brought it down hard on top of the smaller machine.  Sparks flew and the eerie groaning sound of metal cracking echoed out into the night amid the maelstrom.  The Stinger' 20 tons crumbled underneath the attack and fell to right landing sprawled onto the ground.

   Another massive explosion cracked the air like thunder, the shock wave throwing Alex' already off balance battlemech furrowing into the ground.  Dirt and steam geysered upwards as restraining straps cut deep into Alex' bare arms as they kept him from becoming a broken mess against his cockpit wall.  Sweat and blood blurred his right eye momentarily as he wrestled his controls to pry the Whitworth out of its prone position and get it at least up onto one of its knees.  I have to get up... the Warhammer...just behind me.  Actuators cried out in protest like a wounded animal as the mercenary Captain brought the war machine back to its feet.  Where are you... He glanced at his instruments, still blinking burning liquid from his eye. 

   Alexander' Whitworth staggered slightly as it turned, reflecting his own sense of balance.  The Brigade mechwarrior had been thrown to the ground as well and now struggled to bring the mighty Warhammer upright, its right leg having been mangled from multiple explosions and its fall.  A flash of blue, coherent light entered from Alex' right field of vision, striking the heavy mech low in its torso and vaporizing nearly a ton of metal into steam.  The young commander added all of his weapons to the attack as well, another cry of battle rage escaping his throat until the heat from the barrage choked him to silence.  Warheads impacted and burst with force, peppering the iconic battlemech with fiery death.  One of Alex' two remaining lasers slashed across the exposed myomer muscle of the Warhammer' lower leg and bit into its structural supports.  For a third time the heavy mech crashed to the earth, never to rise again.

   Wilik Fore' Vindicator came into view and swept the battlefield with its weapons looking for its next target.  The Lieutenant had answered Alexander' call for aid.  “Thanks for the assist Commando One.”  The Captains voice was no more than a forced whisper, the heat having scorched his throat.  “Sitrep?”  Alex took a few precious seconds to allow his heatsinks to do their work and lower the temperature of his cockpit to that of a sauna.  “Main munition dumps have been destroyed.  Hammer Two' Vindicator is down.  Hammer One and Dagger engaging Rifleman and Trebuchet.  Orders?”

   The words quickly drew a picture in Alexander' minds eye.  If he called for the withdrawl, he would lose his Vindicator but more importantly one of his people.  As the fledgling Captain wiped his own blood out of his eye, a new fire came to life deep inside of him.  These are MY people.  “We take the base.  Make best speed and engage the enemy.”  There was a pause before Wilik replied.  “Sir?”  Anger began to roil from the leaders resolve that had taken shape in Alexander' soul.  “We leave NO ONE behind.”

   Captain Bishop pushed his haggard Whitworth into a full run as Lieutenent Fore' damaged Vindicator fell in beside him.  The sprint across the field base was quick.  Alex noticed along the way a Wolverine battlemech crumpled over an antique Prime Mover, its cockpit nothing more than a smoldering crater. 

   Approaching the site of the firefight the rest of his Privateers were engaged in, Alex took stock of the situation.  Lieutenant McKay' Panther was taking cover behind a farmers barn which was the only permanent structure near by while the enemies Rifleman spat depleted uranium shells from its only remaining Autocannon down range at her.  Liam Grant' Jenner harassed the Trebuchet at short range as the new recruit danced his machine around the medium mechs laser fire.

   Alex managed to fire one salvo from each of his launchers down field in support of Martha' tough position before alarms screamed in his ears of a target lock.  His Whitworth rocked violently as short range missiles ravaged his rear armor and legs.  Checking his HUD, the computer informed Alex that an enemy Javelin had come out of hiding and now flanked his position.  Triggering his jump jets the Privateers leader stagnated his forward movement by scorching the ground with super heated gas and then twisting his torso during the short hop he swiveled his legs so that he swiftly reversed his facing.  Landing somewhat hard but still upright Alex hot fired his long ranged missiles at the smaller machine.  Not all of the warheads denoted when they made contact with the Javelin as their systems didn't have enough time to arm, but enough did to give the lighter mechs pilot something to think about.

   Lieutenant Fore added his medium and small lasers to the knife fight, cutting away more of the preciously thin armor that protected the mercenary within.  As quickly as the Javelin had appeared it tried to escape, its pilot utilizing the hit and run tactics the machine was designed for.  The mechwarrior never had a chance to make a similar mistake due to putting itself outside the minimum range of the Clayborne' PPC.  Azure energy coalesced and turned a once valuable tool of war into an eruption of super heated metal and fire that caused Alexander to reflexively shield his eyes.

   “I've lost my main weapon.”  Lieutenant McKay' voice came across the comms, veiled pain mixed between her words.  Alex was abruptly reminded of the threat posed by the enemy heavy as the Rifleman speared his Whitworth' already damaged left arm with its large laser and vaporized it into memory.

   “All units, concentrate fire on that Rifleman!”  Captain Bishop barked the order out on an open channel to ensure the opposing pilot knew he was going to die.  Moments after the command, a cascade of fire from all angles engulfed the enemy warrior.  Though a stout design, the Rifleman wilted under the combined fire of the Privateers as it had been already battered from enduring a munitions explosion from the initial attack.  A short range missile from mechwarrior Grant' Jenner found the ammo bins of the larger opponent and caused the last devastating explosion of the death filled night.

   The Blue' Brigade Trebuchet powered down its weapons, the pilot not wanting the same fate as his comrade.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 25 July 2018, 17:56:38
Tough fight.

Expensive too, by the sounds of it.

As always keep it up Drunkninja.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 26 July 2018, 02:34:09
Good fight, especially as you won. ;)
With all those mechs down there should be some salvage for Bishop.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 26 July 2018, 20:28:46
and a nice used Prime Mover too
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 27 July 2018, 02:10:11
When I played that last battle on table top it was pretty scary. I expected that more damage would have been done to the heavies from the munition explosions but nooooope.  Really enjoying putting this story to paper.  Keep the comments coming! They're great motivators!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Esskatze on 29 July 2018, 13:59:46
Hi, I really like this series of chapters. I hope you'll get to expand this to ebook size. Can't wait to read more!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 04 August 2018, 17:49:24
On vacation and all I can think about is how I'm going to write the next chapter.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 05 August 2018, 09:36:15
*ping* Station Keeping, Mr. Bishop.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 08 August 2018, 17:55:44
Chapter 8
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Captured Marian Firebase
February 3 3022

   Sunlight broke the horizon casting rays that distorted through the settling fog of war.  Smoke coiled skyward from still burning fires that sent ash to stain the remaining patches of snow between wreckage and hot spots.  Alex, still sitting in the cockpit of his battered Whitworth, surveyed the scene as he ground his teeth together in anger.  He had chosen to stand guard while the others set about their work to secure prisoners and ensure the security of the captured base.  In truth, he needed time to compose himself and collect his thoughts about how he was going to handle the unfolding situation.

   When the storm had broke Captain Bishop had contacted his salvage team to make best speed towards his location.  He knew it would be hard on his people, but there wasn't any time to lose if the spoils of the costly victory against the Blue' Brigade would become worth it.  Before   the mercenaries hired hands arrived a message came in from the Capital. The govenor herself called for the Privateers to immediately break camp and assault the rear elements of the main Marian force that now maintained a strong foothold in the city.

   Alexander listened to the recording again while sitting in the confines of his cockpit. “...repeat, Lieutenant Fore.  You are to command Bishops Privateers into action and force them to assault the rear guard of the Marians main battle line.  If you fail to do so the city is lost and all the dead will be placed upon your shoulders....I repeat...”  The words caused Alex' blood to run cold.  He heard it in her voice.  Fear.  The audio provided distinct sounds that formed the background noise of the message.  It was obvious to the trained ear that the governors bunker was being shelled and she was afraid for her own life.

   Wilik Fore had brought the message to the young Captain for review, the worry and frustration painted on his face as he did so was very evident.  He knew as well as Alex that the breach of chain of command along with the suicidal order clearly broke the Privateers contract.  What to do about it though?  Those damned mercenary hating bureaucrats'.  I will not spend the lives of MY people to save the likes of some selfish coward.  If the fool hadn't called for the Commandos to dig into the city, then maybe she wouldn't have bombs dropping on her own head. 

   Taking a deep breath, Alex activated his comms.  “Lieutenant McKay, saddle up and take over guard.”  There was a brief moment before her reply of a hesitant “Yes Sir.”  He was aware that her Panther was missing its Particle Projection Cannon, but it couldn't be helped at the moment.  The deep need to lead his people boiled up from some unknown recess of Alex' being, and now was the time to follow it through.  “Lieutenant Fore, meet me at the foot of your Vindicator.”  With a clenched jaw Alexander depressurized his cockpit and lowered the access ladder.  I was never good at getting along with planetary governors anyway.

    It only took a few minutes for Alex to make his way over to the Capellan designed Vindicator that was now in the possession of the Canopian Lieutenant.  As he approached, the Captain could see the concern written across Wilik' face.  “Lieutenant Fore.”  He opened with, the anger barely kept from his words.  “We are both aware of the terms of the Privateers contract here on Thraxa.”  Steel entered the young man' voice, sharpened to a razors edge and ready to attack.  “I will not throw my people to the slaughter, I will not march damaged machines into a meat grinder and I will certainly not bow to the whims of a selfish coward.”  Alex watched Wilik Fore flinch slightly under that last comment.  “I understand Captain Bishop, but if we lose the capital we lose the planet.  Surely a hit and run might...”

   The older man was cut off by Alexander' outburst.  “The govenor IS NOT the planet.  The people are!  If she dies in her little hiding place the Clayborne will still have their real reason to fight.  Don't you dare tell me otherwise.”  Anger and frustration flushed Bishop' face, the fire in his heart growing. 

   “So you'll abandon us then?”  The question was blunt but Bishop never expected less from the man he had grown to know.  Alex turned and started to climb the Vindicator' access ladder.  “No, we will not abandon you, but I do have some words for your Govenor Charleston.”  Wilik followed the Captain to the cockpit of the battlemech and readied the machine to preform a tight beam transmission.

*   *   *

   Olivia reflexively brought her arms up to shield her head as the bunker shuddered again from another explosion.  Once she realized there was nothing falling down from the reinforced ceiling she quickly regained her composure and glared at the live video feed connecting her to Colonel Yosef Sonari.  “What do you mean he's in his right to do so?  How dare he feed me an ultimatum!”  The govenor sneered at the thought of mercenary scum dictating to her demands of contract renegotiation while the enemy was shooting at her.  The most important person on the planet!

   The Colonel' face remained impassive, though the wrinkles in his dark skin cast his features to appear as a perment glower.  “Govenor Charleston, despite the dire situation, you broke contract with Bishops Privateers the moment you ordered my officer to force them into a hopeless situation.”  The man paused before choosing his next words.  “I feel fortunate Captain Bishop didn't contact the Marians outright and declare neutrality.”

   “This is what we get for bringing in outside help.  They want that entire base they captured for me or else they'll leave us all for dead!  The greedy maggots....”  Olivia' voice puttered out as the walls trembled from another attack.  In a much smaller voice she continued “...the Magestrix  will hear of this!”

   If there was a limit to the old war dog Colonel' patience, the govenor had just probbed its boundaries.  “With all do respect Olivia, not if you're dead.  Captain Bishop has already shown to be an able commander.  I need his help and I need it as soon as possible.  Approve the addendum to the contract so there might be some people left in this city to save.”

   Govenor Olivia Charleston ended the transmission and quickly hid underneath her desk as another explosion quaked her bunker.  She cursed the Privateers as the last thing Alexander Bishop had said echoed in her mind.  “Freedom isn't cheap and neither are Battlemechs.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 08 August 2018, 20:22:38
Great to see you back at it Drunkninja, hope the holiday helped recharge the batteries.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: OpacusVenatori on 09 August 2018, 09:10:43
Nice. Some real merc negotiations here!
My respects to bishop!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: shadowdancer on 09 August 2018, 15:03:45
Great story. Hope you continue!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 09 August 2018, 16:23:03
Chapter 9
Lyran Commonwealth/Draconis Combine Border
Location Unknown
Jumpship Typheus Invader Class
Circa 3001

   In the vacuum of space no one can hear you scream.  Those were the thoughts of Adept Reginald Harris as he looked out a port hole in the massive ships hull and pondered the depth of the void.  The young mans trance was only broken when his commanding officer, Precentor Kintero, called him forward for an introduction to the merchant turned pirate.  The small man put on his best porcelain smile and turned from the window.  Taking five quick steps he joined the gathering of people that stood in the command bridge of the Jumpship.

   “I present to you the last of our gifts.  Mr. Reggie Harris.”  Kintero displayed the adept as  if he were a piece of meat hanging in the market place.  The large pirate looked him up and down, appraising his worth then looked back to the Precentor with an unimpressed expression.  Before he could speak disapproval the ComStar official continued the sales pitch.  “I suggest for the time being you take Mr.  Harris with you.  The rare war material that we've generously donated to your cause will require proper maintenance and repair.  This young man has the knowledge to do so and can teach your technicians.”  An unspoken understanding appeared in William Roax' intelligent eyes.

   Standing up as straight as he could, still wearing the false smile Harris added “I can also pilot a Battlemech in a pinch if needed.”  The pride pouring into those words were perhaps one of the only truths that the young adept would let slip before his mission was complete.  Being a part of the Jolly Roger Affair was an important first step in Harris' career with ComStar and the scope of the mission was of great magnitude.  The man allowed his pride to be joined with ambition as he knew he would be a key player in manipulating the mighty Successor States to ComStars whim.

   “Welcome aboard Mr. Harris.” The pirate extended his strong hand and shook the adepts with a tight grip.  “I hope you have your personal effects in order.  I am not a man to waste my time.”  The ComStar operative returned the steady gaze and handshake.  Neither am I old man.  Soon enough you'll belong to me.  “I am at your beckon call.  Just say when and I'll get to training your people.”

*   *   *

   Harris wailed again after wiping away bile from his parched lips, the rusty chains that bound his arms and legs rattled as he did so.  “Where are you taking me?” the young man screamed at no one but the walls of his prison cell.  The Typheus had just finished another jump through time and space and the adepts reality came crashing back to him with a vengeance.  It had been quite some time since Harris had lost track of the date, but he could tell that Roax' pirates were traveling system to system without making any stops or planet falls.

   Everything had seemed to be going as planned.  Adept Harris had just completed teaching one of the press ganged Lyran merchant technicians everything he knew about the Star League era machinery while the pirates continued to make successful raids along the Combines border out of the Periphery. It was going so perfect until William Roax found out I no longer had a use.  “Curse you!  Amaris trash!”  Reggie' throat was raw from yelling oaths and the lack of hydration provided by the pirates.

   The holding cell briefly shuddered and Harris knew that the ships solar sails were extending yet again to collect the precious energy needed to make another tear in the void of space.  He slumped down onto the floor and curled up into the fetal position.  He would have cried if he had tears left to do so.  Whimpering as he adjusted his chains he whispered out to the universe.  “Where are you taking me?”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 09 August 2018, 23:35:11
Chapter 10
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Outskirts of Capital City
February 10 3022

   “Leader One to Commando One.  The LRM Carriers are destroyed.  I repeat, the LRM Carriers are destroyed.  Tell your people to push no mans land in five.  We'll meet them in the middle.  Leader One out.”  The temperature in the Whitworth' cockpit finally began to lessen and Alexander silently thanked the gods it was a winter planet.  The assault on the rear of the invaders dug in position had begun that morning and so far Bishop' Privateers had caught most of their initial targets , a company of LRM tankers, in an unfavorable position.

   “Those snail crawlers sure can dish it out, but their butts seem to be made of paper.”  Brian Swanksy joked on the lance' closed channel from his recently -borrowed- Trebuchet.  The mechs' recent owner, one Zephyr Tenneson of the Blue' Brigade, after offering his surrender made a quick proposal to join the Privateers if it meant he would be able to keep his battlemech.  The mercenary Captain understood the terror of becoming dispossessed, but for the time being would not permit a new prisoner to fight against recent allies for obvious reasons.

   “Roger that.”  Martha McKay replied but followed with “Let's keep the channel clear and  keep our heads in the game people.  We're almost at objective two' location.  Don't get cocky.”  Alexander grinned as his XO kept their people in line.  She sure gets bossy when that mech of her' has its PPC.  As the Captain's HUD began to populate with red he became serious again.  We were lucky this time and had the one from the damaged Vindicator.  But next time...  Alex' mind left that worry until a later date.

   “Alright people here we go.  Enemy contact!  Heavy lance...”  The Captain' automated speech skipped a beat as his war book tallied the Marian force composition.  “...Centurion, Dervish, Dragon... Orion.”  Why in the world are my opponents always bigger than me!?!  “Commando One, pull back to our right flank, we need yours and Commando Two' support.  Now!”  I hope that cobbled together Assassin pays off with dividends today.

   Alexander throttled up his Whitworth into a run to make it past an open intersection and into the cover of a ruined apartment complex.  “Dagger, take a back street and get into that Orion!  Keep it occupied and away from us.”  Missiles impacted the half destroyed building, throwing concrete and debris into the air around the young mercenaries position.  “Hammer One and Two, concentrate fire on the Centurion first, then the Dervish.”  Alex walked his mech across the next street opening and let fly his own missiles.  His heat spiked and caused the dry salt on his skin to become wet with sweat once more.  “Commando One and Two, when you get here the Dragon is yours.  Keep your head down people and lets make some money!”

   It was taught in the back water academy where Alex learned to pilot a mech, that city fighting was the worst of the worst.  Between the loss of civilian life, collateral damage and the potential for booby traps a mechwarrior was suppose to avoid fighting within a city whenever possible.  The governor was in the wrong to keep her forces bottled up like this.  She's killing her own people.  A giant dust cloud became visible above the building skyline as another structure was lost to the close infighting.

   Strict military chatter steadily flowed into Alex' ear as the battle began to unfold.  Despite his lance still being in its infancy, it had matured into a cohesive fighting unit nicely.  If they had not Alex had no doubt that all their lives would have been lost to the intense fighting of their first campaign. 

   Familiar alarms warned of incoming missiles.  Captain Bishop maneuvered into the shade of a condo complex but his reaction had been a moment too slow.  The long reach of the Dervish brought multiple explosive impacts that rocked the commanders Whitworth and cracked composite protection.  It was time to respond in kind and, working the old machines controls, he rolled off the concrete structure of the Canopian home and brought his own weapons to bare aiming down the avenue. 

   The Centurion was the closer of the two enemies, its helmet shaped cockpit clearly painted to mimic the heraldry of the Marian Hegemony.  Not far behind in support was the Dervish, painted in a similar scheme of blues.  Knowing the later would be recycling its only available weapon in the tight exchange, Alex took the opportunity to tear into the Centurion with an alpha strike.  Heat surged in the confines of his cockpit that near baked his exposed flesh as he sent a trio of medium lasers and both racks of LRMs corkscrewing down field.  Only one of medium lasers missed its primary target and scarred the pavement beyond, the other two found their mark into the right leg of the invader.  Warheads followed and turned the extravagant paint job into a cratered wreck.

   Maintaining a forward momentum Alex pushed his mech into cover once more and braced for the return fire, though it never came.  The Centurion pilots aim had been ruined by a more savage steel rain that fell from the sky that followed the Captains own attack.  The avenue briefly turned into an inferno as Swansky' Trebuchet brought death down on the medium machine from two streets over.  Adding to the cacophony, Lieutenant McKay had made her move and plummeted down onto the street propelled by super heated air between Alexander and the staggering foe.  A brilliant flash of light reflected from all the still remaining windows and smashed into the chest of the Centurion, cracking its torso protection and sending it flying backwards onto the street.  The short ranged missiles that followed spelled the final doom as one of the more powerful warheads blew apart the mechs skeletal structure at the knee.

   Martha' lighter Panther paid the price for clearing the Dervish' line of sight.  The Marian pilot moved his mech forward just enough to find the sweet spot between the ranges of all of his long and short ranged weaponry.  The torrent of laser and missile fire was too much for the Lieutenant and her mech toppled to the street.  Alexander didn't waste time to come to his friends aid.  Withdrawing from his cover the orphaned boy turned mercenary pushed his Whitworth into a full run up the avenue.  Passing his XO' machine as it struggled to regain its feet, Captain Bishop filled the air between him and the enemy with multiple beams of coherent light that cut sharper than steel.  Red filled the mans eyes as he closed the distance and made sure his query paid attention to him and not his vulnerable ally. 

   Medium lasers seared and short range missiles pock marked Alexanders remaining armor but it wasn't enough to change the war machines course.  The resounding boom of the collision sent a small shockwave down the street as both medium mechs made an abrupt contact and crashed into the reinforced structure of a bank.  Alarms sounded and the computerized feminine voice that never had good news informed Alex of critical damage.  Before he had time to check the schematic for himself his stomach suddenly lurched from an odd sensation that was quickly followed by another crash and his restraining straps drawing blood from his juking body.

   The larger Dervish had thrown the lighter Whitworth off of it and to the side.

   Darkness threatened Alexander' vision as he thought he heard Martha McKay' voice through the ringing that still reverberated in his ears.  “I'm up!  He ruined the weapon pods on his arms doing that.  Fire for effect!”  There was a sudden rumble of explosions very close to the Captains prone position.  Blinking his eyes in an attempt to clear the haze he noted that his computer showed more indirect missile fire pouring down nearly on top of him, but definitely impacting the enemy Dervish.  There was an odd groaning mixed in with the sound of explosions and before Alex could pin point the source vomit splashed out of his mouth to his surprise as his stomach lurched again as both battlemechs dropped an entire story below ground into a parkade.

   Strobe lights of yellow and red rhythmically painted the insides of Alexander' eyelids and a low groan escaped his horrid tasting mouth.  Warning... Warning... Warning... an irritating voice kept talking into his ear when all he wanted to do was go back to sleep.  “Ca...ou...he..e” a familiar voice whispered into his other ear.  “”   Warning... Warning... Warning... “ALEX!”  Captain Bishop' eyes fluttered open to his view screen being covered in dark rubble.  “Can you hear me?  Report, Alex!”  Martha McKay' concerned voice filled the young mans ear piece.

   “Roger that, Lieutenant... I hear you.” It burned his throat to talk.  He must have went unconcious from the fall.  Checking his instruments Alex saw that his left torsos missile launcher was ruined.  “Report.”  It hurt to move but trusting the durability of the undisputed champions of the modern battlefield Alex started to work his controls to undo his own burial. 

   “Dagger had to withdraw, his fusion engine was damaged by the Orion.  Hammer Two and myself now engaging the same Orion.  Commando One has routed the Dragon and is returning.  Commando Two is... dead.”  Light flooded the Whitworth' cockpit as the last of the debris fell away from its view screen as Alex managed to get his battlemech back onto its feet.  Ensuring first his jumpjets were still functioning, he took flight over the motionless wreck of the Dervish and back to the street above.

   A mushroom cloud suddenly blossomed towards the sky only a single street away.  Ammo explosion Alex realized as he throttled his mech into a run just in time to turn the corner and see the heavy warmachine laying prone on the ground and be nothing more than a burning ruin.  Both Lieutenant McKay' and Brian Swansky' battlemechs stood over the dead Orion.

   Martha opened the private channel that they both shared.  “Thank you Alex... for saving me.”  She held it open for a moment so he couldn't respond and continued.  “But I have to ask... why aren't you afraid to die?”  He let the question hang in the moment between them.  There was only one answer he could offer as he remembered the bullet that he had intended for himself. 

   “I will protect my people.  To the very end.”  Alexander Bishop had no idea the extent of the truth he had just spoken.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 09 August 2018, 23:50:52
Bishop’s crew are getting trashed. I love it. Nothing like pulling out a hard win. I hope the pay and salvage make it all worth it.

I almost feel bad for the Marians they always get trashed. Just pissing away their ‘Mech strength.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 10 August 2018, 12:19:48
K :thumbsup Keep it coming , love the story . Looks like your going to need a lot of hanger time after all this.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 11 August 2018, 15:27:30
Chapter 11
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Capital City
February 21 3022

   It had taken some time to find the right house.  The devastation sowed by the prolonged fighting in the city was staggering.  There were civilian casualties and a lot of them.  It was the horrors of war and Alex was living it.  Not five feet away from where he currently stood lay a dead man half buried underneath the rubble of his own home.  The brown leather jacket the stranger wore was coverd in dust and blood.  Alex took one shakey step forward before a single word whispered from his lips.  “No.”

   Taking one more step he knelt down next to the body.  Pushing away the debris that had likely killed the elderly man and stomaching the smell of the dead, Alex checked the jacket.  Sure enough there was a small patch missing that matched the one he had received.  Why didn't you evacuate with everyone else on this block?  Carefully, he rolled the man over.  At first Alexander noticed the old fashion dog tags hanging around his neck, but soon after did a double take of the pale, blood stained face.  I've seen you before...but where?

   The sound of wheels slowly moving across freshly fallen snow caught Alex' attention.  Standing, he turned around to see a police car making its round of the destroyed sector.  It stopped near by and two police offciers stepped out wearing parkas.  “You there!  You better not be looting that house!”  The officers voice was stern, but tired.  After the fighting had ended there had been an immediate problem with mass lootings.  Everyone trained in law enforcment had been put to work 24/7 in an attempt to bring the populace under control.

   “No officer, I was trying to do my part and look for survivors.  This man unfortunely has been dead for a while.”  Alex motioned down to the body at his feet.  “I suppose its fortunate he's the only one I've found on this block.”  The mercenary Captain had a distaste for lying, but he could not just walk away.  He needed to know who this man was and how he was connected to his father.

   “Say, aren't you that merc who's people took down the Marian' Legatus?  Mason Richardson or what ever his name was?”  The other cop chimed in.  “Hey yeah, you're Alexander Bishop!  I saw you on the holovid.  Boy oh boy does Governor Charleston hate your guts.”  Both of the police officers laughed.  “Though, at least Colonel Sonari has the right of it.”  The man seemed to catch himself and remember why he was there.  “That aside, you can't be here sorry to say.  We appreciate your help but it's our turn to do our jobs.”  They both climbed back into the car but the driver lowered his window.  “I'd hate to win some brownie points with the Governor by arresting you.”  Both officers laughed again and continued their patrol of the area.

   I need to hurry.  Alex waited for the car to be out of eye shot before leaning down and quickly snapping the dog tags off of the body and ramming them into his pocket.  He double checked to see if the unit patch was removed like his fathers.  It was.  His eyes searched the rubble for anything that stood out.  For anything that could be a clue.  This blasted snow!  Frantically he pushed aside fallen rafters and large chunks of concrete.  Rolling over a broken clothes dresser Alex suddenly took pause.  Floor boards of the house had been broken and snapped upwards by the second floor bathtub falling from above.  Looking down into the hole the once orphan had found a hidden black fire safe. 

   No time was wasted in pulling the safe to his jeep and getting as far away from that house as possible.  About ten minutes away from the mech hangar a call came in from Martha McKay.  “Captain, I need you to get back to base ASAP.  There's a situation.”  Of all the times for something to require my attention.  “This better be important Lieutenent.  I told you I was taking care of personal business.”  There was a brief pause before his second in command replied.  “I think it is Captain.  I just got word from a man claiming to be a Dropship Captain who was a part of the invasion force.  He says he wants to surrender directly to you.”


*   *   *

   Martha was never one to feel comfortable in a dress uniform.  She much prefered casual wear or just shorts and her cooling vest.  The clean cut fatigues she currently wore was loose enough to satify her comfort, but was official enough to wear into the meeting she was currently a part of.  As the XO of Bishops Privateers her Captain wanted her there.  She stood at attention behind his chair and remained at parade rest while taking in all that was going on.  So far the conversation taking place had not been pleasant.

   Sat around the large table of the meeting room were some of the most powerful personalities on all of Thraxa.  Sitting in front of Martha was Captain Alexander Bishop of Bishops Privateers.  To his immediate right was Lieutenant Wilik Fore, the mercenaries acting Liaison.  To his left was Captain Halfrid Schmitz, owner of the dropship Ascending Night and the reason why the current council was taking place.  Across the table from Schmitz sat Colonel Yosef Sonari in full dress uniform, his face resting in a wrinkled glower.  At the center of the table Governor Olivia Charleston sat flanked by two of her councilman, one of which Martha recognized as the indignant Hoffer.  The last person present Lieutenant McKay had not known until she was introduced at the beginning of the meeting.  Envoy Yadmeen Jasu from Canopus IV.

   “Be thankful you're not wearing chains Captain Schmitz!  You are after all only here because you attacked our world!”  Governor Charleston scowled across the table.  “Your vessel and its equipment are simply the spoils of war.  It is of no concern to us that you couldn't escape due to a thruster malfunction.”  The Captain retorted immediately.  “I am clearly protected under the Ares Conventions Furher Charleston.  I came baring the white flag of truce.  It is a violation of my rights as a free person to take my ship!”  The man bristled as he spoke.  “Even so, my business does not even concern you as I have surrendered to Herr Bishop.”

   It had become clear to Martha not long after talking to Alexander about why the Lyran mercenary would want to surrender directly to the Privateers.  He intended to be the prisoner of a man with no ties and negotiate his freedom instead of losing all of his assets to a sedentary government in a military absorption.  It seemed to be the best course of action for the man as he fought for his livelihood.  No mercenary ever wished to become dispossessed.

   Hoffer spoke up in his usual annoying fashion.  “The mercenaries contract clearly states that the spoils of war taken in service to the Thaxian government is divided via third party voting system.  It has been declared that the dropship is to be handed over to us as our share.”  He raised his fat head so his chin stuck out in defiance. 

   Martha tensed at the mention of their contract.  She quickly glanced down at her Captain and, even though he was facing away from her, could see the man's fire beginning to ignite.  It was a quality she had only begun to notice in his fighting style when piloting a mech, but lately as Alexander grew into his leadership role it had bled into his personality.  The way he threw himself at situations with reckless strength but controlled by logic and reason told that tale that one day she knew he would become a very powerful and dangerous man.

   Today he did not disappoint.

   “Who are you to talk to me about my contract?  Those who recklessly throw life away while hiding in a hole.  You would watch the Magistracy burn to save your own hides.”  Captain Bishops voice began to grow into a roar.  “If you were familiar with the Ares Conventions at all you'd already know by keeping the Clayborne Commandos bottled up in your own city you painted a target on its civilians.  Your own people.  Their blood is on your hands and all you can worry about are more instruments of war which clearly you would misuse.”  Martha noticed Envoy Jasu' stoic expression slip while listening to Alexander' tirade.  “I wouldn't be surprised if the people didn't impeach the likes of you all with torches and pitchforks.” 

   “That's enough Captain Bishop.” The honeyed voice of the Canopus IV representative finally inserted itself into the debate.  Rising to her feet the dignitary made sure she gathered everyone's attention before continuing.  Martha felt a pang of jealousy as she watched the beautiful woman who, was likely use to being a part of the royal court, address her superiors as if they were squabbling children.  “I've heard from almost all of you.  The only opinion that seems to be missing is yours Colonel Sonari.  Please, indulge me with your thoughts on this situation.”

   All eyes turned to the aging military man and the sudden attention didn't seem to phase him in the slightest.  Clearing his throat he leaned forward slightly and clasped his hands together on the table in front of him.  “Well to be blunt Lady Jasu, Captain Schmitz' surrender came after the fighting had stopped.  Like any military leader I would be stupid to deny myself access to rare technology like a dropship, but I am also not a thief.  Despite being mercenaries, Bishops Privateers who, fly the colors of the Magistracy of Canopus, were the reciprocates of a white flag surrender.  Being an independent military organization that had participated in combat actions previously against the defeated, it is to my understanding that they are the ones responsible to deal with their now prisoners of war.”

   “Yosef!” The governor barked at her associate.  The outburst was quickly muted by Envoy Jasu.  “That is enough Governor Charleston.  Thank you Colonel for your wise insight.”  She bowed her head slightly towards her elder, chocolate locks of hair falling down across her blushed cheeks.  “I have heard all I need.  Captain Schmitz, you, your people and your equipment are under the custody of the military entity Bishops Privateers.  As the acting voice of Magestrix Kyalla Centrella, I declare it so.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Esskatze on 11 August 2018, 16:39:53
So they have their own dropship now. Awesome!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 11 August 2018, 18:36:10
Always good to pick up a dropship.
What type is it, hopefully my favourite a Fortress. ;)
Now that they have a dropship it's about time to get off planet before the governor really throws a tantrum. :D
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 11 August 2018, 19:03:31
Just a Union class lol Sorry to disappoint.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 11 August 2018, 20:03:34
Chapter 12
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Town of Merdar
February 23 3022

   The hour was late and most of the busy noise of the day had died down.  Besides Alex the only other person in the mech hangar was the Privateers lead technician Cole.  It had been a long past two days and only now the young man had a few moments to himself to hopefully quash the curiosity he had hidden from the others.  Sitting vigil in his usual spot to find peace of mind, the cockpit of his Whitworth, Alex stared down at the now cracked fire safe at his feet.  Taking a deep breath he reached down and opened its steel hatch.

   From within, the secrets of the past began to weave together pieces of the puzzle.

   There were multiple objects held within the confines of the safe.  A large amount of M-Bills, an equal roll of C-Bills,  a Canopus Cluster earring with an emerald gem, a Needler pistol with clip and a photo album.  A lump caught in Alexander' throat as he opened the album and saw what was attached to the inside of the cover.  Sewn onto a torn piece of brown leather, a military crest depicting an amethyst colored eagle with outstretched wings greeted any who opened the memory book.  Written across the insignia were the words “Devil's Wake”.

   Alex began to flip through the photos from someone elses life time.  There were various images of people and places that were all strange to him.  The old man he had found dead were in many of the pictures, albeit a younger version.  It wasn't until he reached the last few pages that he stopped and let his eyes soak up what he was looking at.  One of the photos were of four men standing at the foot of a battlemech with arms draped over each others shoulders.  All four wore familiar brown leather flight jackets.  To the very left was the man who had died in Capital City recently, next to him was someone Alex didn't recognize.  To the far right was a younger version of Eric Bishop, his uncle.  To Eric' left was a man that could have passed for an older version of Alexander himself except that his skin was of a lighter complexion.

   “Dad?”  The word slipped out of the Captains mouth, spoken as if hoping the photograph would reply.  Alex's mind became frantic as he suddenly realized that he might not be Canopian.  The Free Worlds League?  No, that can't be right.  That can't be... It wasn't until he turned to the last page of the album did the young mans hand stop trembling.  There was a photo of the man who looked like him with his arms wrapped around the waist of a much younger woman.  She wore her dark brown hair in long tresses that draped down across her shoulders and almost reached the small of her back.  Her skin was light brown and fair and her eyes he noticed showed strength beyond what a picture should portray.  On one of her slim fingers he saw the ring that now hung around his neck on a chain.  “Mom?”

   The once orphan sat in silence as he looked down at the faces of his lost parents.  His father had been a mechwarrior and his mother, one of the most beautiful women he had even seen.  As his eyes began to tear up Alex tilted his head back and stared at the ceiling of his cockpit.  In a stifled voice he questioned the dead.  “What happened to them Uncle?  Why wouldn't you tell me!”  Tears rolled down the mans cheeks.  “Why are the stars no place for a child?”

   A familiar, feminine electronic voice replied to Alexanders questions.  Incorrect password.  Please try again.  The mans head snapped back to facing forward.  “What?”  There was no reply this time, just silence.  Alex wiped his wet cheeks on a sleeve and checked his HUD and other instruments.  “What the hell was that?!”  Pausing a moment he thought about the motions he had just gone through.  Deciding to try he repeated everything he had said out loud.  Incorrect password.  Please try again.  You have two attempts remaining.

   Alex held his breath and thought hard.  What's going on.  He started to put all of the words into context that prompted the odd computer message.  Biting his lip he thought about different combinations that might be what the computer wants to hear.  Alex' eyes suddenly widened as it dawned on him.   Always remember... “The stars are no place for a child.”  The young man recited the last words his uncle had ever said to him.

   Phrase recognition accepted.  Welcome Eric Bishop.  Monitors across Alexander's HUD suddenly came to life with data.  Screens scrolled with information and a map suddenly appeared on his central council.  Leaning forward Alex watched as the shape of the Magistracy of Canopus came to life as well as a portion of the bordering worlds in the Free Worlds League.  Certain systems glowed a bright emerald in color, others a faint gold.  Switching monitors Alex noted scores of coordinates, addresses and locations all compiling in a massive list.  On another screen the computer coalesced an inventory of war material.  The Captain started to compare the planets, coordinates and particular items.  “Oh... my... Blakes Blood!”  Gambilon... Thraxa...Gallis.  The list went on.  The edges of a larger puzzle began to form before Alexander' very eyes. 

   That's the address of that old man here on Thraxa!  The wealth of statistics started to make sense.  Alexanders eyes locked on another address.  That... that's where I lived on Gallis!  The young mans heart raced as the very walls of his reality exploded into something very much larger than he was ready for.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 13 August 2018, 16:51:07
looks like your going to have to find some more mechwarriors , how about a TO
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 14 August 2018, 14:54:14
Upon leaving Thraxa the Privateers were short on mechwarriors for the machines they gained from that world.  A Loose TO&E at the point would have looked like

Whitworth - Light Damage - CO Alexander "Lucky" Bishop - 4/4 Regular
Panther - Light Damage - XO Martha "Peg Leg" McKay - 4/5 Regular
Jenner - Engine Damage - Liam Grant - 4/5 Regular
Blackjack - Repaired - Brian Swanky - 5/6 Green
Trebuchet - Light Damage - Zephyr Tenneson - 5/6 Green

Vindicator - Gyro and Engine Damage
Cicada - Engine and Leg Damage
Hermes - Gyro Damage
Wolverine - Head Damage
Centurion - Leg Damage
Warhammer - Leg Damage

Other Assets would be things like 2x Prime Movers, Union Dropship Ascending Night  and some equipment, armor and munitions left over.  Did this up from memory and looking at my old game write ups but I think it's mostly accurate.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 16 August 2018, 09:15:03
Good start on a solid merc unit . Hopefully those other locations he just found out about has some parts for his damaged units . Keep it up your doing a great job on the story .
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 16 August 2018, 17:26:58
You know I am kinda now interested in the “Devil's Wake” group, who unlike most mercs seem to have stashed "hardware" all over this side of the sphere.  Almost makes me wonder if they were not someone's "Black Project" Merc Unit, so they can arrive as civilian tourists and then "arm up" when ready for the mission.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 16 August 2018, 17:45:32
Chapter 13
Thraxa, Magistracy of Canopus
Capital City, Space Port
April 4 3022

   Capital City' space port was a buzz with activity.  Cargo lifters moved crates of equipment while mechwarriors did final checks on their battlemechs before walking them to secured berths aboard a Union class dropship named the Ascending Night.  Wilik Fore stood at parade rest just outside a security check point on the tarmac and watched as the mercenary unit Bishops Privateers prepare to depart.  A freshly painted, tan colored Blackjack slowly began to make its way up the ships ramp and the Lieutenant couldn't help but smile at the Canopian colors of emerald and gold that ran parallel down the mechs right side.

   “It's amazing that Cole was able to fix up that Gyro.” A familiar voice caused Wilik to look to his right.  Standing there also looking out across the tarmac was Alexander.  The man was almost unrecognizable in civilian clothes.  The only military tell he wore was some old, torn up flight jacket.  “I agree Captain Bishop.  That man could probably make an actuator out of a paper clip if he had to.”  An amused look crossed the young mercenaries face.  “Did you just make a joke Lieutenant?  That's new.  And please, call me Alex.” 

   Wilik turned to face the man that possibly had saved his world.  He noted the Captain had let his black hair grow out in an unruly fashion and now wore dark stubble across his face.  Something was different about the mercenary he had met almost a year ago.  “No can do Captain Bishop.  Around these parts you have to buy that rank and it's a lot of money.  Enjoy the position.”  He let himself relax and grin at his now friend.  “Very well Ensign Fore” Bishop shot back a grin as he made fun of the fact Thraxians sometimes migrate from proper Magistracy rank. 

   Taking the comment in good stride the Commando officer turned his attention back to the Blackjack just to see it disappear into the reinforced hull of the dropship.  “I'm surprised you're leaving already.  Despite the Governor, the Colonel was willing to give you an extended lease on the space you were using.  The extra down time would have been good to consolidate you gains and work on repairs.”  Wilik' eyes fell to a a Prime Mover now making its way up the ramp slowly, a Cicada strapped securely to its massive flatbed.  “Though I guess you doing something unexpected isn't out of character.”

   “I have to ride the wave of popularity, or notoriety, that the Privateers have gained here.  Being approached for a contract was unforeseen but fortuitous.  The more I get my peoples name out the higher likelihood of our success.”  Lieutenant Fore found himself nodding in agreement with Alexander' assessment.  “I suppose you're right Captain.  Maybe I just sleep a little better at night knowing you and yours are still planet side here.”  Both men laughed, but Wilik had meant what he said.  These mercenaries had helped protect his people and their way of life. 

   “Where are you headed if you don't mind me asking?”  Wilik watched Bishop as he weighed a response.  The mission must be something out of the ordinary.  “Well, I can't say where but I was hired on by some company called Vixen Corp Consortium.  They need help putting down some self proclaimed bandit king named William “La Mort” Roax.”  The mercenary shrugged.  “The pay is low but the customer said they just want the planet secured so the pirates -junk- is ours as they put it.  It should be a straight forward in and out mission, not like what happened here.”

   “Well Captain, I wish you luck”  Lieutenant Fore extended is hand to Alex.  “If you ever find yourself back on Thraxa be sure to look me up.”  The mercenary took his hand and agreed before turning and taking his leave towards his people and dropship.  Wilik watched him go and wondered what the stars held next for the young man.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 16 August 2018, 22:49:45
It'll be a trap of course... but we wait on baited breath to find out...
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 17 August 2018, 02:33:22
A straight forward mission, now that is funny.
When are merc mission's ever normal. >:D
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 18 August 2018, 19:07:10
Chapter 14 Book Two
Vixen, Lost World
Nadir Point, Jumpship Kelly's Triumph
July 7 3022

   It had always amazed Alexander how people were able to rule star spanning empires.  With such great distances between worlds, protecting borders and waging wars on your neighbor was an abstract thought to him.  It was technology that made it all possible and Alex knew he'd never get use to the gut wrenching feeling of having his reality torn apart and sewn back together traveling the cosmos. 

   It had been an hour since the Kelly's Triumph had made its jump into the once lost system and still the mercenary did not feel at ease.  He stared out the small port hole in the side of the dropship and looked into the void.  The presence of the other jumpship bothered him.  Why isn't your solar sail deployed?  Where are your dropships?  The Captain's train of thought was interrupted by a light knock on his door.  “Enter.”  He stated but continued his star gazing.  Lieutenant McKay opened the steel hatch and made her way through, hanging onto handles as she moved.  She did not seem to do too well with the weightlessness of space.

   “Ship inspections cleared Captain.  All is still secure in the cargo bay.  Captain Schmitz has given the operation a green light.  Just waiting to hear from the Kelly's Triumph to detach and make our burn towards the planet.”  Alexander didn't reply as he continued to stare out the port hole.  “Captain?”  Why do I have this uneasy feeling.  “Out of respect for Captain Schmitz Lieutenant, while I am on his vessel the courteous title for addressing me is Major.”  Alex finally turned to face his XO.  “It's a good habit to be in to not insult our new found and generous friend.”  He watched as Martha' cheeks flushed.  “Yes sir!”

   “Thank you for giving me an update.  We should probably make our way to the bridge.”  Alex watched Martha nod and take her leave.  Stealing one more look out into the void, he turned and made his way through the hatch as well.  Navigating his way through the zero gravity towards the upper decks, the young mans mind began to wander again.  Bass.  If all goes well here on Vixen, that's where we'll go next.  The visage of a large glowing gold dot on the map of a star scape shined brightly in Alexander' minds eye.  It displayed the same color of pip as my home and the old man.  Maybe it's a person who's still alive!

   The hatchway to the bridge hissed open and the Captain pulled himself through before carefully closing the protective door behind him.  Making sure he found a place near Captain Schmitz but out of the way of the crews work, he settled into a restful position while hanging onto a support railing.  “Ah, Herr Bishop!  Welcome to my bridge Major!  I see you survived the jump.  Excellent!”  Alex noticed the Captains cheery attitude.  He's been like this since -rescuing- him from Thraxa's Bureaucracy.  “Barely Captain. I don't believe I'll ever get use to that sensation.  Status report?”  Straight to business.

   “The green light has been given from the Kelly's Triumph to detach.  On your word we head planet side.”  He paused as if reading Alexander' mind.  “No word from the other jumpship.  Either she's a hostile running silent or it's derelict, Major.”  The mercenary chewed his lower lip in thought for a moment considering the danger, but decided to brave what awaited them.  “All speed to the planet Captain Schmitz.”  The Lyran began to bark orders to different stations as a chorus of “Yes sirs” followed. 

   Just a straight forward in and out sort of mission.  Alex hoped that were true, but the shadow cast by the quiet jumpship darkened his spirits.

*   *   *

Vixen, Lost World
July 20 3022

   Most men would have been at least nervous about their first high altitude insertion while piloting a battlemech.  The idea of ground dwelling warmachines plummeting towards the ground at high speed wasn't something pilots looked forward to, but Alex found himself filled with apathy as the god of death stared up at him from the planets surface.  His concern was only with his people, though both Liam Grant and Martha McKay had reassured him that they had preformed the maneuver before and could handle it. 

   The Captain had called for the insertion after Schmitz brought his attention to enemy activity when they broke the planets atmosphere.  He had found a patrol lance of mechs near the dropships chosen LZ and had asked Alex how they would proceed.  A surprise attack on top of the pirates seemed to be the best course of action.  “Status.”  Captain Bishop questioned through clenched teeth as the intense g-force from the drop pressed against him.

   “Dagger reporting.  Systems and course holding.  2025 feet and falling fast.  Preparing deceleration.  Out.”  Alexander double checked his own distance from the ground.  “Hammer One reporting.  Systems and course holding Captain.  1845 feet, initiating deceleration on mark.”  A loud roar of exhaust began to scream over the comms.  “Mark.  Out.”  Here we go.  Alex  began to tap into his fusion reactor for the raw power required to stop his Whitworth' descent before becoming a small spatter on the ground below.  Heat began to spike in his cockpit as he pedaled his jump jet controls to create long bursts of force to oppose gravity.  His battlemech began to shake violently and Alex suddenly recalled a lecture one of his teachers in the academy had performed that briefly touched on the exact maneuver he was conducting.  “...and without a Drop Cocoon I would strongly suggest finding another means of assault.  Only the desperate or crazy would throw a battlemech out of a dropship.”  Sweat poured from the Captains face as heat continued to bleed from his engine. 

   4...3...2...1 Alexander cut his jump jets at the last moment before slamming into the ground.  His Whitworth' actuators squealed in protest as the mercenary let the machines legs bend at the knee to absorb some of the impact.  Restraining straps dug into flesh as Alex fought his controls while nearly vomiting from a surge of dizziness due his gyro grasping onto his own sense of balance.  Death did not greet him this day. 

   “Contact!” A female voice barked out over the units secure comm channel.  The wave of nausea began to pass and the Captain suddenly realized Martha was already engaged with the enemy.  Checking his HUD he identified a pirate Commando, Whitworth, and a machine the computer wanted to classify as a Centurion but said it could also be a Vindicator because of its weight class.  The hell is that?  Alex cycled his monitor to take a better look at the mystery mech.  To him it looked like the incarnation of a Slender Man.  A monster from ghost stories told at the orphanage where he grew up.  “Dagger, Hammer One.  Can you get an ID on that strange medium?”  A duet of negatives came back to him.  Cursing, he throttled up as there wasn't any more time to wonder.  The pirates were coming in fast as they seemed to be spoiling for a fight.

   The forward momentum of the bandit machines surprised the commander of the Privateers.  Only having time to exchange two salvos of long range weaponry, the enemy was on top of their position in the matter of moments.  “They don't seem to want to spar at range.  Prepare for close quarters!”  If it hadn't been for the knife fight between titans, those involved might have noticed the beautiful mountain ranges covered in snow to each side of the meandering valley that was now a battlefield. 

   “They're focusing me!”  Lieutenant McKay cried out in alarm as Alex tried to bring his lasers to bare against the Commando who was currently bombarding his XO' Panther with short range missiles.  Slag fell away from the 25 ton mech under the onslaught but not before the damage was done to his lancemate.  Between a torrent of missiles and laser fire from the enemy Whitworth and the large laser from the strange medium punching a hole straight into the heart of McKays center torso, Captain Bishop knew Martha was out of the fight.  The small feline head of the light battlemech suddenly broke away on a trail of fire as its pilot ejected.  The now decapitated body crashed to the snow-covered ground with a failed gyro.

   In a fast reprisal for his fallen comrade, Grant finished a hasty jump into the rear arc of the pirate Whitworth who had been focused on McKay' dying machine.  A chill went up through Alexander' spine as he watched the Jenner' pilot put an alpha strike into its thin protective armor and turned the mighty lord of battle into a fireball.  Sympathetic explosions erupted as multiple missiles detonated from the hit to its ammo bins. 

   The Captains attention was quickly brought back to the fight as his own Whitworth was rocked by a large laser hit from the unknown machine into his right leg.  There's no cover here.  That mech has to be dealt with and dealt with now.  Making a fast sprint over frozen ground, Alexander let loose with his LRMs followed by laser fire.  At a disadvantage in fire power the young mechwarrior quickly decided to resort to melee.  Hammering his jump jet pedals just before reaching the enemy, Alex rose slightly into the air before moving his mechs leg into a kick that used the extra momentum to crash down on the enemies own leg.  Metal grated against metal before the eerie wail of breaking composite joined in the cacophony.  Alarms sounded that suddenly informed the Captain he had just lost one of his mechs legs, broken off at the knee.

   Gravity followed the laws of physics and pulled both battlemechs to the ground in a cruel embrace.  Familiar stars filled Alexander' eyes as he tried to read the stream of data his HUD was feeding him.  The thought of ejecting raced through his mind before getting vetoed by the simple fact his launch would be fouled by being tangled up in the strange opponents gangly machine.  Comms suddenly came to life with the voice of his lancemate.  “Captain, the Commando is retreating.”

   It wouldn't be until a short time after the battle that Alex learned the enemy mech had tried to kick his Whitworth at the same time as he landed his own blow.  The salvage team had to pull both dismembered legs apart before bringing them back to the dropship.

*   *   *

Canopus IV
Magistracy of Canopus
Crimson City
July 20 3022

   The tall, slender woman whose hair reminded the man of a dark chocolate sat comfortably on the plush sofa across from him in the mansions sitting room.  He had always found the circle of nobles from Crimson to be exceptionally flaunting with their bodies and Lady Jasu proved to be no different.  Thin, golden laced silk wrapped the womans body in a toga that left nothing to the imagination.

   “So you see , there is nothing more to note about my visit to Thraxa.”  The man could tell she was laying the honey on thick.  “I awarded the mercenaries what I thought them owed, nothing more.”  His eyes devoured her movements, but not for the reason she wanted him to.  “I have no idea what interest the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry would have in some home grown, patriotic mercenary.”

   The man ran a hand back across his shaven scalp as if to show frustration and defeat.  “So all you have is his name and dossier.  Very well Lady Jasu, I appreciate your time.”  He slowly got to his feet, giving her time to add anything of use to the conversation.  When all she offered was an invite to her chambers, the agent took his leave.

   Walking the streets of the city was a habit the spy had picked up over the years and did so when he needed to clear his mind.  Something about the busy sounds blurring together seemed to give him clarity of thought.  It could just be a coincidence.  The man shook his head.  No, you need to be sure if it's him.

   The city was alive with its never ending party, but all the man could think about was a child who had died with his parents twenty years ago.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 22 August 2018, 20:21:50
Chapter 15
Vixen, Lost World
Ruins of Star League Era City
July 22 3022

   The Jenner' feet stomped into the snow covered ferrocrate with a rhythmic beat.  Moving fast and with purpose, the light recon machine pushed forward at desperate pace and skirted by streets that were filled will infantry.  Liam knew better than to get too close to a brave soldier with a satchel charge while piloting a scout mech.  A lesson he had learned while fighting for the Davions.  “Dagger reporting.  Engaging target.”  Slamming feet onto his foot pedals with experienced timing, the mechwarrior took flight in his Jenner just in time to crest a ruined low rise apartment complex and bring his weapons to bare on his soon to be victim.

   A thick smoke filled the parking lot where Liam found the LRM Carrier.  It had just sent another massive barrage of missiles down field toward his allies and the exhaust it created reminded him of a thick mornings fog.  His targeting computer pierced the veil and made good with his assault of laser fire just before the mechs landing required his attention.  Heat boiled over into the small cockpit of the wily battlemech as its pilot feathered a landing only those with a practiced touch could accomplish.

   Maintaining a forward momentum, the Privateer followed up his lasers with a spread of short range missiles that tore into the tanks weakened side armor plating.  The explosion that followed drowned out the sound of heavy machine fire chipping away at Jenner' thin hide.  Turning his mech and angling it towards another side street, Liam tore away from the parking lot  before the APC's that were guarding the unfortunate tankers could do any real damage.  “Dagger reporting.  Target down.” 

   “Roger that.  Good job Dagger.  Get back to us in one piece.  Crossing no man's land now.”  Liam wiped sweat away from his eyes as he worked his mechs controls and paid attention to his HUD to ensure he navigated the labyrinth of ruined streets.  After hearing Lieutenant McKay' voice over the comms his minded drifted to the prior night that they had spent together.  The cramped confines of her cabin and the intimate moments.  That train of thought was quickly ruined however as Brian Swansky's surprised voice filled Liam' ears. 

   “That mech just hit me at over five hundred meters with a laser!  Wait, the hell is that thing.”  Panic permeated the green mechwarriors voice.  The units comm chatter increased as the new recruit Mathers chimed in.  “Is that an assault mech, dear god....”  Liam' mind began to run frantic as he listened to the confused comments from his comrades until Captain Bishop cleared the channel.  “Focus people.  Hammer one, keep those Vedette' bottled up in the ally ways.  Hammer Two and Three, concentrate fire on the Thunderbolt.  Hammer Four, suppress that hovercraft and cover my six.  Leave the assault to me... and Dagger, get back here double time.”  A chorus of yes sirs followed and Liam found himself joining them.

   Precious seconds past as the light mech specialist made sure his machine kept its footing as it sped along the slick ferrocrate streets while he rushed to rejoin the fight.  Turning a sharp corner and coming under infantry fire, Liam arrived at an intersection junction with a large overpass.  Holding the center was an enormous battlemech his warbook could not identify and at that very moment was unleashing hell onto the Privateers Blackjack.  Through his reinforced cockpit view screen, Liam watched as Swansky's mech was rag dolled backwards and thrown through the bridge portion of the pass under the onslaught.  Not wasting a moment, the pilot throttled up his machine to a full run now that he had room to maneuver and sped towards the assaults partner, a Thunderbolt

   Following the Captains last orders for a prioritized target, Liam closed range and started an attack run against the much larger heavy.  The Thunderbolt looked a little worse for wear as it was evident the Privateers had engaged the pirate.  The familiar hum of energy weapons charging followed by a wave of heat accompanied the light pilots attack on his foe.  Lasers cut into the thick torso of the iconic machine before slashing across mangled armor plating on its left arm.  Black smoke coiled into the air from the hit as once solid metal slagged and fell into the snow below.

   The Thunderbolt' pilot didn't have time to eject.  Due to a design flaw and to Liam' surprise the heavy battlemech erupted into a ball of fire as its machine gun ammunition exploded.  “Dagger reporting.  Returned to the fight.”  He couldn't help but grin before hearing his Captains voice.  “Roger that Dagger.  Relieve Hammer Four and hunt down that blasted hovercraft.”  Liam could tell Alex was in a hard spot.  As he raced past, he saw the Captains newly acquired Warhammer send azure death towards the assault mech, who was returning the favor in full with a savage laser and autocannon barrage.  “Wilco.” He simply stated and made best speed back into the twisting streets of the ancient city. 

   “Vedette' neutralized.”  Lieutenant McKay stated on the comms, then followed with.  “The Wolverine' cockpit replacement is garbage.”  This time she spoke over a private channel .  “I swear Cole better fix this better or it'll get me killed.”  Liam felt a pang of worry.  “You better make it back to my bed safe Martha.”  There was a pause before she replied “I will” and then followed on open comms again with “Engaging enemy assault.”

   The hovercraft he was told to subdue was a fast one.  Liam' warbook appeared to be useless once again, but to his advantage the enemy pilot couldn't maximize their speed due to the cluttered streets.  The game of cat and mouse began as he left the main fight to the larger battlemechs.  Passing through a four way intersection both machines lined up shots on each other and exchanged laser and missile fire.  His HUD displayed yellow warning lights as the damage spread he had taken ate at his thin armor.  I lost that exchange.  He quietly thought to himself.

   “Assault mech down.  I repeat assault mech down.”  A wave of cheers echoed over the units comms, following their lieutenants voice..  All across the battlefield the pirates began to surrender.  “Martha, what happened?”  The question was quickly answered in a super excited tone.  “I got his head!”

   The self proclaimed bandit king William “Le Mort” Roax was dead.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 22 August 2018, 22:31:19
It will be interesting to see what type of assault that was. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 23 August 2018, 01:16:16
Great Drunkninja.

But I agree with Snakespinner.
I am looking forward to finding out just what Roax’s Assault ‘Mech was, and other mystery units were.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 23 August 2018, 01:27:39
Gotta leave you hanging wanting more! :p
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 24 August 2018, 02:41:17
Evil authors. :brew: :beer:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 August 2018, 17:05:19
Chapter 16
Vixen, Lost World
Ruins of Star League Era City
July 23 3022

   Women and children.  That's what the Privateers found on Vixen.  Following their sudden surrender, the pirates sought to parley with their would be conquerors.  Now, under the protective guns of battlemechs, Alex was in a room with people who he realized were desperate.  You could cut the tension with a knife as tempers flared and tears were shed.  Currently , the man who had lead the infantry against the mercenary battlemechs, held his wife as she wept openly while pushing the pirates tenuous position.

   “You have to take us with you.  You can't leave us here to die.”  The man the others called “Sarge” gently passed his wife off to a friend and stood up to his monstrous height of 6'7”.   “I swear I'll continue to cause trouble for anyone who steps foot on this world until my dying breath if you don't help us.”  Anger flushed the large mans face. A female voice chimed in from the large gathering of people.  “This isn't our fault!  We had no choice, they forced us!”  A chorus of agreements followed.

   Alex tried to rub the stress from his temples and closed his eyes for a moment to forget the room full of press ganged castaways.  It was one thing to kill an enemy who was faceless inside another battlemech, it was completely different to have to tell women and children he couldn't help them and then leave them to die.  “And I keep trying to tell you that it's beyond my ability to take you with me.  I have one dropship and that is already filled with my personnel and materials.  From what you tell me, there are hundreds of you!  I am sorry, but it's not possible.”  Captain Bishop was a capable mechwarrior, but when it came to dealing with people, the man felt clueless.

   “You're just like William.  You condemn us to a slow death.”  A different person cried out and pointed at the seated mercenary Captain.  Alex could see the wild, frantic fear in the strangers eyes.  Like a person drowning.  The problem with having killed the pirates leader and their second in command, was that there wasn't a particular person the Privateer could accept a formal surrender from and complete his contractual obligations.  The leaderless people were too afraid to see past their nose and understand that they would be taken care of under Magistracy Law due to their unique circumstances.  The exception being those already fingered as Roax' press-gangers that had been thrown into the Ascending Night' brig.

   Before Alexander could try and retort, yet another voice joined the verbal battle.  This time however, instead of shouting over others, a man stepped forward and made his way to the table Alex had hoped to be a place of negotiation.  Like everyone else the Captain had seen from the marooned population, the man, who appeared well over twice Alexanders age, wore odd, time eaten clothing.  His in particular stood out; a set of coveralls with the insignia of the long lost Star League on the right breast pocket.  He looked down at the Captain, but decided to sit as he spoke.  “You won't change our minds about wanting to leave with you, the fear of being left stranded is far too great.  I would like to speak for our people , if certain personalities here would allow it.”  The mans eyes looked up at the monster of a man who had just recently been threatening violence on the Privateers benefactor.

   Both men exchanged a long, hard stare at each other before Sarge turned and shouted at the crowd.  “Alright everyone, out.  We're going to take care of this for you.”  He took greater care when telling his wife they needed privacy.  “It's ok my love, go with them.  Trust us to handle this.”  The bull of a man gave the woman a hug and once all others had been ushered out of the room he turned and addressed the older man.  “I'm staying Chris.  Don't sell us short.”  He crossed his arms and took up a stance behind his colleagues chair. 

   The older man took a deep breath and returned his eyes to Alex.  “My name is Christopher Hytuli.  I'm the lead technician among our people and I would like to bargain for our freedom.”  He stopped Alex' immediate response with a raised hand.  “I know what you would repeat and say, but hear me out.  Between the salvage you have taken from your first fight with Roax' men and then what you have to claim from the streets when you killed the pirate, plus counting the units you fielded and knowing personally your dropship to be a Union-class, I would say your ship is indeed going to be full.  What you are not accounting for because you don't know about it yet due to the stalemate in negotiations, is the resources and other assets you could gain by helping us.”  The tech shared another look with Sarge.  “For example, we have two dropships and another battlemech at our disposal.”  The bigger man exhaled sharply, showing his disapproval but his wayward glance towards the door told Alex that he was trying to think of his friends and familys wellbeing. 

   “I also know that the chances of there being open berths on your rendezvous Jumpship is very likely, as the most commonly used in the Innersphere is the Invader, which has three berths.”  Alexander was surprised at Hytuli' assessment of the situation and continued to listen as he could tell this mans intelligence was that of no ordinary person.  “Roax was a successful pirate, albeit a terrible person.  We have money to pay for passage, but we need help being recognized as more than criminals if we are to escape our prison world.  Captain Bishop, after losing those who could operate our Jumpship, we've been stuck on this world for over ten years.  Only by scavenging this frozen city have we been able to survive this long.  People have started families here.  Please, negotiate our passage on your ship and I promise you compensation.”

   Alexander let what the castaway was saying sink in.  He felt for these people, those that had been used by a tyrant.  The young leader found himself thinking of the logistical problems.  There we a lot of them.  Most of all he would have to convince the Captain of the Kelly's Triumph to accept money from refugees to transport them to a population center.  Alex felt the weight falling onto his shoulders.  Looking at both men in front of him the Captain of Bishops Privateers conceded to the fact he could not turn his back on these people and finally said “I cannot promise you anything but I will do my best and try.”

   A new life filled Hytuli' eyes.  “And that Captain is all I can really ask for.”

*   *   *

   Alexander understood now why Captain Schmitz had not detected the two dropships when he had scanned the ancient city for the pirates base of operations.  Over ten years prior both ships had landed in a massive concrete basin that was once a Star League era reservoir.  Water would come down from the mountains in the spring and flood the basin with fresh water and recede during the fall.  The presence of the massive spheroid vessels however upset the water levels that  encroached seasonally and caused a huge sheet of ice to form over the top of the reservoir that eventually hid both ships.  It was currently winter season so both ships were accessible within the great cavern made of concrete and ice.  It was a spectacle Alex would remember until the end of his days.

   Hytuli led Alex into the bowels of one of the two dropships, this one being a Union.  It looked a little worse for wear but the tech assured the Captain that it still functioned.  He had also spent the better portion of of the afternoon answering the Privateers questions.  Making their way into the main hangar of the dropship, Hytuli was currently explaining the mystery mechs to Alex.  “Roax had hired me on the Lyran world of Romulus, my home planet, to help fix his battlemechs.  I was young and stupid back then, but knew how to tinker.  I had no idea what I was signing on for.”  The older man stopped at a electrical panel, opened it and pulled down a large lever.  Lights began to come to life in the cavernous belly of the ship and as its contents became visible Alex suddenly felt weak in the knees.  “I was taught to fix these machines by someone that was around my age, but far from stable minded.  The first one you encountered is called a Wyvern.”  Christopher followed the Captain' eyes upwards to the battlemech still in the hangar.  “The one your people are currently loading up is called a Crockett, that was Roax' ride and a scary piece of kit.”  The last lights mounted on the assault machines gantry turned on.  “The hovercraft is called a Zephyr.  It makes for an amazing scout.  This one...” Hytuli motioned to the monster that was sleeping in front of them.  “This was William' wife's ride before she passed away a few years back.  It's known as an Emperor.  The whole lot was Star League era machines.  I have no idea why someone would hand this equipment over...”  The tech stopped talking and looked at Alex, who had gone ghostly pale.  “Captain, are you alright?”

   Taking a few steps forward Alex reached out and put his right hand on the cold, composite material of the Emperor' foot.  A shiver shot up through the mans spine as he felt the smooth armor beneath his touch.  “Mr. Hytuli, do any of your remaining people know how to fly these dropships?”  The young mans voice was subdued and distant.  “Only enough for a skeleton crew for one of them.  If we have to, we can leave the Mule.”  Alex considered that and looked upwards at the massive machine of war.  “Perhaps my crew can stretch to pilot the Mule.”  His mind raced with possibilities.  “I have a question Mr. Hytuli.  If by some miracle I pull this off for you and those marooned here, would you join me and my Privateers?  I'm going to need someone who knows how to fix the two battlemechs we salvaged.”

   It only lasted for a moment, but Alex caught the look of infinite sadness that crossed the technicians face before he buried his emotions once more.  “Captain Bishop, I am sure we have much to discuss if you save us.  There may be those among our ranks that would choose the mercenary life over what ever awaits on the world that will take us in.  However, for me to accept that offer, I would need a lot more from you than just a simple jaunt across the stars.”

   The reply caught Alex off guard.  “What would it take to convince you?”  There was a long pause before Christopher replied.

   “You would have to promise to help me bury my family.”

*   *   *

Magistracy of Canopus
Capital City Spaceport
December 9 3022

   Liuetenant Wilik Fore extended his hand and grasped Captain Bishops hand tightly.  “It's good to see you again my friend, though I am still surprised it is so soon.”  The mans sharp eyes stared out at the tarmac in a reminiscent way of their last meeting almost a year ago.  Alex followed his eyes to the stream of refugees exiting the Mule-Class dropship.  “I hadn't intended to return so soon either, but it seems life has a funny way of sweeping you off your feet and leading you on adventures.”  He looked back to the Thraxian Officer.  “Thank you for taking them in.  I still can't imagine what horror their life has been up until this moment.” 

   Wilik Fore shrugged and motioned for Alex to follow him.  “It's not every day a friend of the people show up and offer a rebuilding military Star League era technology.”  The Lieutenant pointed towards the Zephyr hovercraft now parked some distance away from the dropship.  “Besides, its Magistracy law to help those oppressed by others and give them a fair chance at life.  It was mighty fine of you to bring them here at your own expense.  It must have cost you a small fortune.”  Alex cast a quick glance at his friend as they walked into the small bar the spaceport offered to new arrivals.

   “Funny you say that Wilik.”  Alex couldn't help but let a growing smile raise his cheeks.  “Long story short, my people may have inherited a Jumpship.”  The young Captain looked out the large glass windows that made up the small bars walls and up towards the sky as if looking at the ship called Typheus.  “What? Wow... Is this why your people call you Lucky?”  The Thraxian slapped Alex on the back.  “First drink is on you my friend!”

   Alex let his eyes stay locked on the sky for a few moments.  He didn't feel so much lucky as he did responsible for the lives that now looked to him for a future. 

*   *   *

   Making it through the crowd the man pulled his rags tighter around him as if for warmth.  The journey away from the cursed planet had been long, but he knew his new path had just begun.  Adept Harris took one final look back at the dropship the refugees had finished exiting and gave a message that no one else could hear.

   “Peace of Blake be with you mercenaries.  I will be seeing you again soon.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 25 August 2018, 18:40:03
A Crockett, Emporer and a Wyvern, plus 2 dropships.
Now that's a good way to build your unit. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 August 2018, 18:48:07
It's an origin story.  Everyone can't be Wolf's Dragoons and start with 5 regiments lol  I'm enjoying the ride of mustering these guys up.  Lots of more fun to come.  And a few twists along the way.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 25 August 2018, 20:15:15
.  “Long story short, my people may have inherited a Jumpship.”  The young Captain looked out the large glass windows that made up the small bars walls and up towards the sky as if looking at the ship called Typheus.  “What?
Did I miss this or forget???
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 August 2018, 20:19:49
The derelict ship that was silent at the jump point.  It was the pirates, but they lost the ability to pilot it.  During the journey to return to civilization, many decided to become mercenaries instead of starting a regular life on a new world.  The ship was adopted into the unit along with the people who came with it.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Dave Talley on 25 August 2018, 20:25:36
now just need to get some parts and some crew and go pick it up
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 25 August 2018, 21:32:13
The derelict ship that was silent at the jump point.  It was the pirates, but they lost the ability to pilot it.  During the journey to return to civilization, many decided to become mercenaries instead of starting a regular life on a new world.  The ship was adopted into the unit along with the people who came with it.
So how were the pirates getting around?  or have they been stuck for the 10 years?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 August 2018, 21:35:51
They were marooned on Vixen for over 10 years without proper crew to use their Jumpship.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 25 August 2018, 23:28:52
Drunkninja, I’m pretty sure an Invader JumpShip only has three DropShip Collars, not four. However, the truly ancient Liberty Class JumpShip, and the somewhat less old but just as unlikely, Royalty Class JumpShip, both have four docking collars and look like larger Invaders.

Just a thought. Otherwise great stuff, keep it coming. 
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 August 2018, 23:35:04
Gah! You're right! I'll fix it when I'm in front of a computer. Thank you!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Intermittent_Coherence on 29 August 2018, 09:31:35
Upon leaving Thraxa the Privateers were short on mechwarriors for the machines they gained from that world.  A Loose TO&E at the point would have looked like

Whitworth - Light Damage - CO Alexander "Lucky" Bishop - 4/4 Regular
Panther - Light Damage - XO Martha "Peg Leg" McKay - 4/5 Regular
Jenner - Engine Damage - Liam Grant - 4/5 Regular
Blackjack - Repaired - Brian Swanky - 5/6 Green
Trebuchet - Light Damage - Zephyr Tenneson - 5/6 Green

Vindicator - Gyro and Engine Damage
Cicada - Engine and Leg Damage
Hermes - Gyro Damage
Wolverine - Head Damage
Centurion - Leg Damage
Warhammer - Leg Damage

Other Assets would be things like 2x Prime Movers, Union Dropship Ascending Night  and some equipment, armor and munitions left over.  Did this up from memory and looking at my old game write ups but I think it's mostly accurate.
Didn't you also down a Stinger right after the Warhammer? Should have head damage or something as well.
Between it, the Hermes, the Jenner and the Cicada, you've got enough for a recon/skirmish lance.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 29 August 2018, 13:02:22
If I remember that game (it was sooooo long ago now) I vaguely remember that Stinger being cored on paper.  During writing I wanted to make its death a little flashy.  Maybe I didn't detail the scene quite enough to describe it was truly destroyed.  The Hermes and Cicada will be out of action for a bit.  The resources to repair their damages at the moment were still out of reach.  We're getting there though..... a full company mustered may be on the horizon...or perhaps total destruction.....who knows...catch it all on the next episode of Emerald (Dragon) and (Ball) Gold (Z)!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 29 August 2018, 20:55:34
Chapter 17
Magistracy of Canopus
Thraxa, Nadir Jump Point
Jumpship Typheus
December 31 3022

   Alex sat alone in the small conference room on board the jumpship Typheus.  Multiple noteputers lay open in front of him showing data pertaining to his growing units financial status.   Displayed on his primary computer screen was a manifest detailing all the men and material at the disposal of his unit, Bishops Privateers.  The Captain at the moment was feeling a little overwhelmed with the growth rate at which he was expanding and decided that next time he made planet fall he needed to hire someone to take care of his book keeping.  That is if maintenance costs didn't make them destitute first.

   Following the conclusion of the VixenCorp contract, Alex had budgeted enough money to pay his people and be able to afford light refits to his machinery if the mission ended up being a slug fest.  What he hadn't accounted for was having to hire crews for multiple space faring craft and feed a large amount of refugees turned mercenary.  The expenses for his unit had sky rocketed and he quickly realized he was in over his head. 

   The door to the room opened and, looking up from his work, Alex saw the first people he had asked to join him in a meeting had arrived.  Martha walked in, a rare luxury in outer space thanks to the small grav deck aboard the jumpship, and was quickly followed by Christopher Hytuli.  The two seemed deep in a conversation about the current state of McKay' Wolverine' cockpit and almost didn't notice their Captain.  Clearing his throat, Alex brought both of their attentions to him.  “Good of you to join me.  Take a seat.”  Looking at his chronometer, he added “The others should be joining us soon.”

   As if on queue, more people filed into the small conference room and took their seats.  Joining the others were Captain Schimtz from the Ascending Night, Sergeant Anders Olsen, the giant of a man from the rescued castaways, Master technician Cole Warren and a new face, Sergeant Melissa Muller, a woman who had been in charge of maintaining William Roax' tanks.  Alex waited for everyone to settle in before speaking, and made eye contact with all to ensure their attention.

   “I wanted all of you together to discuss a few matters at hand and the direction the unit will be taking onward.”  The young Captain raked fingers back through his black, messy hair as was becoming a habit when he was nervous about talking to people.  “I'll be blunt.  With the current size the unit has attained in material, we will not be able sustain effective upkeep unless we procure more lucrative contracts.”  A redundant statement, but a useful contrast for the risk he was about to put forward.  “That being said, it has come to my attention thanks to our new members, that we are not yet able to look for more work.  There is something we must do for our growing family.”  Alex gave Hytuli a meaningful look.

   “What could be so important as to risk the units well being, Major?”  Lieutenant McKay asked the question he knew that would be and should be asked.  He valued Martha above all others and honestly didn't know how far he would have come without her.  “When we chose to rescue those marooned on Vixen, we only saved half of those who were controlled by Roax.  The other half were left aboard a station in a dead system.”  Alex let those words sink in for those who were not aware of the pirates base of operations.

   To better explain, Sergeant Olsen spoke up.  “Who ever endorsed Roax to cause trouble on the Draconis/Lyran boarder offered up a few locations that he could use as covert locations to strike from with impunity.”  Anders drew a mock diagram on the table with his finger.  “It seems a clerical error must have revealed a possible location near the Magistracy/Free Worlds border.  When William decided to cut and run, he made for those coordinates and we migrated away from his shadow sponsor to an entirely new part of the sphere.  When we finally arrived, we did indeed find something.  There was an ancient Star League supply depot built on an asteroid.  It was empty, but all of its life support systems were functional, so that is where we settled down.”

   Finishing the tale, Alex chimed back in.  “There are people, friends and family, that may need our help there.  I know the odds of these people being alive are very small, but I can't ignore that they may be.”  He nodded towards Christopher.  “I owe it to those who joined our ranks.  Besides that, I am informed that the rest of Roax' assets are located there.  Nothing much in the way of battlemechs, but Sergeant Muller tells me there should be at least a company's worth of light tanks.  This is something we should not ignore, despite the obvious risks of jumping into an unpopulated system.”

   “What of the star base itself, Major?  That's some fancy set up to just gut and leave behind.”  Cole still appeared shocked about the facts he had just learned, but as always the mans inquisitive nature didn't stop.  “We will be playing that by ear.  People do not tend to travel these systems, as we have recently been reminded, because of the dangers.  If it is still in a condition to be utilized, then precautions will be designed to avoid being trapped due to any reason.”  Alex took a deep breathe and forged onward.  “Once we leave that system, we will then head to the Bass system.  There, we will deliver any surviving refugees from the station and look for work.  If we find none, then we will move on towards Canopus IV to possibly liquidate some of our bloated assets, produce funds and hopefully find work.”

   “Last but not least, after discussing this in some depth with Christopher and Cole, I have decided we will not be fielding the Emperor battlemech.”  Everyone except both technicians suddenly appeared confused.  “The machine will be the beginnings of a unit protocol named Omega.  Since we cannot hope to maintain this sort of lostech for any number of engagements, I have decided that it will be only used if our dropships ever become in danger.  The same goes for any other lostech machines we may find or repair, such as the Crockett.  Are there any questions?”

   Many questions followed.

*   *   *

   Adept Harris exited the HPG facility and walked along the nicely kept paths that wrapped around the building.  It was good to be back in civilization and despite the Free Worlds League being a very long journey from his home, the man was content to know he was once again free.  The report he had written up pertaining to The Missing Jolly Roger was now on its way to his overseers and he was once again on his way towards his destiny. 

   Reaching the end of the cobble path, Harris met with a tall man wearing an out of style trench coat.  He casually smoked a thick cigarette and acknowledged the Adept as he approached.  “You get me my money?”  The mans voice was slurred and rough.  Harris nodded and continued walking , the large mercenary fell in beside him  “You will receive half now and half when we are finished.”  As the bigger man laughed his approval, the ComStar acolyte nodded in agreement to the excitement.

   It was time to claim his prize.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 08 September 2018, 18:04:41
A note about this chapter.  I admit to having a lot of trouble figuring out how to write it.  Sorry for the delay.

Chapter 18
Magistracy of Canopus
Dead System
Black Site, Sailor's Refuge
March 19 3023

   It was a tragedy, pure and simple.  Anyone who had ever said “It's a pirates life for me” did not consider the potential disasters that could befall them.  The smell of death permeated every inch of the forgotten star base.  The source being multitudes of bodies locked in their final pose of agony either from starving to death or suicide.  Alex walked the halls of the tomb and what he saw hardened another piece of his soul into cold steel.

   As he approached a pair of infantrymen, one of them rose to their feet as the other zipped up a child that appeared to have been killed by their mother before she had taken her own life.  Alex recognized Sergeant Olsen once he turned and addressed the Captain with a salute.  “Sir, we've run out of body bags.  Permission to cannibalize field tents to continue clean up.”  He saw the restraint in the mans eyes to hold back the raw emotions he knew he must of been feeling.  “Permission granted... and Anders.  I am truly sorry.”  The Sergeant nodded and walked off to find his make shift supplies.

   Walking past the other soldier, Alex noticed that the man now leaned over both bags and held them while sobbing “I am so sorry” into the black, sterile plastic.  Were they once this man's family?  The thought sent a tremor through the mercenaries being.  All because of a tyrants greed.  The universe was a brutal place, ruled by merciless people and every single day it seemed to want to remind Alexander of those very facts.

   Continuing his tour, Captain Bishop stopped again.  This time in front of an old Star League wall insignia that had been vandalized by graffiti.  The words “Freedom is Dead” were painted roughly across the Cameron Star burst in a bright orange.  The image reminded Alex of what Christopher had explained to him about the hidden supply depot.  From what the pirates had gathered from the still operational computers in the facility when they had first arrived, they learned the depot dated back to the days of the Reunification War.  It had at one time served as a secure location that was a part of the Marik supply lines that were used to conquer the Magistracy.  The Free Worlds League' involvement in that war still soured the hearts of Alexander' countrymen.  The hatred from that defeat still lingered in the Magistracy' people.

   A shadow entered the young mans mind.  My father was from the Free Worlds League.  Alexander' thoughts never had a chance to mature into anything else as the door to his left hissed open and two infantry passed by carrying a body bag.  In the room beyond he could see the person he was looking for.  Alex approached a teary eyed Christopher Hytuli who stood in front of a computer console and seemed only half focused on the task before him.  Coming up beside the technician Captain Bishop allowed the man a moment to take notice of his presence so he could compose himself.  Seeing his now commanding officer next to him, Hytuli quickly wiped one hand across his face and cleared his throat.

   “It looks like all the hardware is still here Captain Bishop.  From the Scorpion tanks, anti-personnel equipment, to the pieces of that Griffin-2N I told you about.” The techs fingers danced quickly across the consoles key screen.  “It's all in disrepair as one would imagine being the case, but it's here.”  Hytuli' eyes looked up from the screen and into the wide expanse of the supply depot' warehouse.

   “Thank you, Chris” Alex said as he placed a single hand on the techs shoulder.  “You're a man of your word.”  Before being able to offer his condolences, Alexander' communicator came to life with a message.
   “Alex! Get to your mech on the double!”  It was Martha McKays voice and she sounded frantic.  “We have two incoming Leopard dropships.  Could be pirates, or worse.”  Bishop' mind suddenly raced at the news.  He looked at Hytuli and the man replied with a look of surprise on his face as to say -I don't know who it could be-.  Turning abruptly the leader of Bishop's Privateers started at full run towards the mech hangar.

*   *   *

   After escaping that blasted planet Vixen Adept Harris had traveled to the Free Worlds League and, tapping into long forgotten funds, had purchased his plan back into the good graces of ComStar.
   Following a reinforced lance of mechs' out of the mercenaries Leopard-class dropships, the Adept double checked the sensors on the rust bucket of an Orion he had bought for too many C-Bills.  “The destination isn't too far from here.  I've given you the coordinates.  Move out.” Harris said, a grin cracking his normally emotionless face.
   A rough voice crackled over the comms in response to the order.  “This is a lot of hardware to just take for a stroll on some space rock Harris.  Your money better be good.” The man sounded suspicious, his age and lack of patience bleeding into his comment.
   “Simple guard duty and a walk in the park my good Captain.  You're here as insurance, that is all.  You'll get the rest of your money after the all clear is sounded. On my word.”  And I'll have my prize, Harris thought to himself.

*   *   *

   The asteroids surface was comparable to hellscape.  Its terrain was pitted with huge craters, jagged ravines and debris fields that no sane pilot would want to navigate.  Alexander marched his Warhammer into the airless void and his mercenary band followed and did the same.  “I repeat, get any capable marines onto the Ascending Night and make a burn towards their jumpship.  No one leaves this system Schmitz!”  Captain Bishop' voice  was hoarse from barking orders.  The moment enemy forces had been detected the proverbial shit had hit the fan.

   “Sir, with all due respect, the Ares conv...”  The spacer was cut short by his enraged superior officer.  “We're not in the Innersphere, Captain!  These pirates forfeit everything the moment they touched ground.  Now get Sergeant Olsen, make the team and go!”  There was a short pause before a weak “Yes Sir” followed.

   Alexander switched channels to a direct line with Martha.  “Lieutenant, sitrep.”  The females familiar voice chimed in and began briefing him on the current situation.  “Captain, the coordinates of their Leopard' have been given to our dropships and they are prepping to engage.  On ground thus far we have confirmed a reinforced lance of mixed mediums and heavies with a light asset.  The asteroids surface is interfering with exact Ids.  This will be a tough fight, Sir.”  Alex cursed under his breath.  “We will push them back.  This facility is too important to lose.”

   During transit to the black site known as Sailor's Refuge, the young mercenary had time to contemplate the significance of controlling an off the map location.  Weighing the dangers against the idea and advantages for it, Alex had decided to wait and see the depot for himself.  Despite the horror discovered within, the Captain had concluded that the Star League facility would make for a very useful base of operation for his growing mercenary unit.  None of that would matter however, if they were to lose it before settling in.

   Opening the channel to his forces, Captain Bishop declared “All units, use the terrain to your advantage.  Focus fire and bring these pirates down.  Each mech under their arse' is ours to keep once we blow it out from underneath them!  Protect your family and protect your home!  To war!”  There was a chorus of cheers over the comms as the mercenaries pushed forward and found protective cover from the caldera that surrounded the ancient structure.

*   *   *

   Alexander watched as the enemy Orion crushed the life out of mechwarrior Zephyr' prone Trebuchet.  It's massive foot crashed down through the wreckage caused by an earlier ammo explosion and through the shielding of the mechs fusion reactor.  Relief washed over him as the mech simply died a silent death instead of erupting into a ball of crimson that would have consumed his friend.  Alex brought one of his two potent PPCs to bare against the deadly foe and fired, sending charged particles across the hellscape and into the bulwark he couldn't seem to break.  The void of space claimed more armor from the Orion' thick leg plates, but it still wasn't enough.  The mercenary throttled his Warhammer away from the dismembered Vulcan he had finally brought low and began to close distance with the enemy juggernaut.

   “You're going to pay for this.”  The young man muttered between gritted teeth.  A quick glance at his HUD told a tale that was better left unsung.  The Privateers thus far had been ravaged by the superior force and his people were now hanging on by sheer tenacity.  The loss of Tenneson' mech was a sever blow, but the brawl that was unfolding couldn't be helped as long ranged weapons were becoming scarce.

   A sudden battle cry over took Alexander' ears and he recognized the voice of Kendall Mathers, his Centurion' pilot.  “Crusader down! I repeat Crusader down!  Put my foot right through his face!”  That was good news.  That enemy in particular had caused havoc for his people with its long range support and had devoured tons upon tons of armor from their machines.  Another voice echoed his, stress very evident  in its tone.  “Then help me with the damned Pheonix Hawk!”

   Before Alex could register the call for aid was coming from Grant in his over heating Jenner, his world seemed to slow down as something happened he would remember for the rest of his days.  No one on the ground had noticed the growing shadow as the damaged Leopard fell from the sky, drawn down by the massive planetoids gravity.  The impact caught the combatants nearly unaware, the massive hull  of the craft sundering ground as it met the surface of the asteroid.  The ensuing shock wave blasted a wave of dust and debris outwards from the crash site, which in turn ate distance as it spread out towards the battlefield.  Alexander managed to keep his heavy Wahammer up right and on its feet, but Martha McKay was not so lucky.  Her Wolverine was knocked prone by the brutal onslaught and Alex noticed right away she was dangerously close to the enemy Orion

   The pirate didn't let the opportunity slip by.  Alexander could hear his heart beat in his ears as he watched the heavy machine turn and let loose with its autocannon into his fallen friend.  There was a brilliant flash of light as the Wolverine' short range missile ammo suddenly erupted and Lieutenant Martha McKay' screams were cut short by the concussive explosions that followed.

*   *   *

   They had won, but at what cost.  The Captain of Bishops Privateers sat alone in the warehouse of military weapons that were his prize for trading the life of his best friend.  Cold metal cut against his flesh as he squeezed the only clue he had to who the people were that had attacked his unit.  Looking down at the chained medallion that bore the insignia of ComStar, Alexander Bishop saw an adversary for his strength and hate.

For all that's following this, bare with me.  The next chapter is an important one and I hope I write it well.  Thanks for reading!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 11 September 2018, 15:18:13
3023 Comstar mech use...  I would almost wonder if it was a setup
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 11 September 2018, 15:52:26
Sad to see one of the founding members go , but still a good read . Keep at , really enjoying it .
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 11 September 2018, 22:12:25
Chapter 19
Bass, Magistracy of Canopus
June 10 3023

   Dust kicked up into the air as the jeep bounced along the countryside road.  The tan colored vehicle blended in with the dull landscape as it neared its destination.  The trip had felt longer than normal, Alexander lacking his regular travelling companion, now dead and her ghost already haunting him.  In her stead, silently sitting in the passenger side seat was Christopher Hytuli, a man that as time went on, seemed more and more a person the Captain could confide in.

   The two stopped at an old gate that blocked off entry into the massive plot of land that they intended to visit.  A rusty sign hung heavy on its front that stated “Private Property.  No Trespassing”.  Chains and multiple locks kept the entrance to the land hold securely shut from anyone driving through.  “I guess we walk.”  Alex said and parked the jeep on one side of the road.  “Doesn't look like they want any visitors.  You really think this is a good idea?”  Hytuli seemed nervous, his eyes locked onto the expanse that lay barred before them.  “Feel free to stay here and play guard dog if you'd like, but I'm going.”  The mercenaries determination was very evident in his matter of fact tone.

   The technician gave a shrug and hopped out of the jeep.  “I guess I've survived worse.  Lets do this.”  Alex followed suit and jumped onto the road side.  Climbing over the unwelcoming fence, they both started down the road once again on foot and towards the unknown coordinates the orphans uncle had left in his care.

   It was about an hours walk before the pair drew near their destination.  As they closed with the coordinates, they began to feel the familiar rhythmic tremors caused by the heavy foot falls of a battlemech.  The tree line had grown thicker along the sides of the dirt road and hid what ever machine was near by.  Hytuli started to fidget with the loose fitting cover-alls he always seemed to wear.  “So, you're sure this is something you want to do Captain?”  The mans eyes scanned the treeline, desperate to find the source of his concern.  “I mean, couldn't we send a courier or something to try and set up a meeting?”  Alex ignored his friend and continued to walk in silence, marching toward the answers he sought.

   A turn in their path led the mercenaries to the location that matched the address that was acquired from Eric' hidden archive.  At the end of the road the property opened up into a large farm style homestead surrounded by trees.  It only took a moment to find the source of the ground tremors, as both men could see a large, armless mech modified with an odd harness system pulling what appeared to be a massive boulder of ore into a large structure that stood not far from a conventional styled farm house.  The weird machine was much too large to be any chassis of agro or forestry mech, but then again the Periphery always had its secrets and surprises.

   The two approached the house, but before they reached the door to knock, an old man exited the front holding a large slug thrower and leveled it at the mercenaries.  “This is private property! Who the hell are you and you got two seconds before I start putting holes in ya!”  Alex and Hytuli both immediately raised their hands into the air.  “Sorry for the intrusion, but I was hoping you could help me.”  Staring at the stranger in front of him, Captain Bishop was almost positive it was the forth mystery person from the photographs he had found on Thraxa.  “Like hell, get outta here!”  The old man walked closer towards the two men with his gun raised, then he stopped suddenly and looked as if he had seen a ghost.  Stammering out “Just who the hell are you?”

   Slowly Alex reached down to his pocket and slipped out the photograph, holding it up so the man could see.  “My name is Alexander Bishop.  I'm trying to find this man and ask him if he knew my parents.”  The Captain tried to ignore the foot falls of the large mech as it approached, but the tension of the moment made him second guess what he was doing.  That is, until he watched the old man slowly lower the gun, his face having gone ashen white.  “Of all the gods above and devils below... I can't believe it.”  The strangers hands visibly began to tremble.  “This is a trick, do you have any proof of who you are?”  Again Alex slowly reached into his jacket and pulled out his mother's ring and let it dangle on its chain.  “I have this.  My uncle said it belonged to my mother.  In my back pack I have a brown leather flight jacket that belonged to my father.  That's all I have”.

   Seconds dragged on as the mech stopped only a dozen or so feet away from the encounter.  Breaking the silence, its external speakers boomed.  “Pa, is everything ok?”  The old man motioned for the pilot to come down out of the mech and then asked the pair “Nobody followed you here, right?”  Alexander looked at Hytuli and then back to the stranger.  “Not as far as I could tell.  Our vehicle was left behind at the gate though.”  The fusion reactor of the large mech died and its cockpit hatch opened revealing a younger man wearing a cooling vest. 

   “You two fella's want to come inside then?  Seems we have some things to talk about.”  The old man looked down the road where Alex had come from and then turned and walked back towards his house.  Both Privateers followed him inside the front door and as they took off their army boots heard the man call out “Sarah, we have guests.  Put on some coffee.” 

   Being led into the home, Alexander was offered a seat on a comfortable sofa in a well kept living area.  Family pictures decorated the walls and antique china sat in hand made cabinet sets.  The smell of homemade soup attacked the senses and soon the aroma of coffee followed.  The old man sat down in what Alex guessed to be his favorite chair and rest the slug thrower against its arm.  “Now then, if what you say is true, you know that I'm in that photo ya got there.  Mind if I see that jacket of yours?”  Alex unshouldered his backpack and pulled out the old leather jacket and, hesitating a moment, handed it over.  The man closely inspected it, especially taking his time when running fingers over the spot where the unit patch had been torn away.
        “I guess I should introduce myself.  My name's Henry.  That young fella...”  He motioned to the pilot who had just joined them. “ my son Malcolm.”  As if on queue an older woman carrying a tray with hot coffee walked into the living room and offered drinks.  “This here is my wife Sarah.”  Henry carefully accepted a coffee from his wife.  “What is it you're looking to find out exactly.  Its been over twenty years since I had anything to do with your parents.”  Alex accepted the drink and blew on it before taking a sip.  “This is Christopher.”  He motioned to the technician and with all introductions out of the way took a deep breath and forged onward.  “All I have are these few objects and pictures and a whole lot of questions.  I want to know who they were.  I don't even know their names...”  The young mans voice trailed off as he pleaded with the stranger.

   Henry left the statement hanging in the air a moment as he tasted the thick coffee, closed his eyes and settled back into his chair.  “Your fathers name was Philip.  A great man.  The photo you have there is from our glory days of being the command lance for a mercenary unit called the Devils Wake.”  The old man smiled to himself as he thought back to another time.  “We were a gutsy lot with a pretty wild assortment of machinery.  Your father piloted a battlemech called a Lancelot.  One hell of a mechwarrior with courage like no other.”

   “Your mothers name was Imani.  What a gorgeous woman she was.  Never met such a beauty in my whole life, well mind you except for Sarah here.”  The old man gave a wink and a grin at his wife who had sat down to join them.  “Your dad fell head over heels for your mom, but I can't say I blame him.  Besides beautiful, she was a strong soul.”  Alex saw a pained look cross Henry' face.  “After those two met, there was no separating them.”

   “How did they meet?” Alexander hung on to ever word the old man was saying.

   “The Devil' use to take all sort of missions others would refuse.  Our tech and guts were our selling point.  The whole lot of us were Leaguer'.  At one point we were hunting some nasty pirates out here on the fringe of the Magistracy.  Well, it was more like towards the deep Periphery.  Anyway, at one point things went sour and the four of us ya see in your photo there got separated from our battalion.  Bad luck have it we stumbled onto the no goods base and their guard where they were holding all the good folk prisoner.  After some nasty fighting we saved the lot of them, your mother included.”  Henry pulled out a small chain he wore and showed Alex and Christopher the Canopus Cluster award he wore.  “We won some medals that day.”  The old man laughed as he continued to remember.

   “Henry... how did my parents die?”  Alex tried to keep the emotion from his voice but failed.  The old merc took a deep breath and explained to the orphan what he had always wondered about.  “Well, you see lad that some folks didn't like to see a Canopian marry a Leaguer.  That old hatred goes pretty deep.  Worse still, when they heard about little you, some horrible people did some horrible things.  The hospital where you were born was blown up.  I thought you dead all these years.”

   Alexander tried to process the information, but he was having trouble.  “I don't understand.  Why was it such a big deal for a man from the Free Worlds League to marry a woman from the Magistracy?”

   The old man looked Alexander dead in the eye.  “You're aunt Tamara didn't approve of her much younger sister and her fraternizing with foreigners.  You see son, your mother was Imani Centrella.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 11 September 2018, 22:25:46
Well that I didn't see coming he is a Centrella
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 11 September 2018, 23:14:20
Heh, nice twist! Keep it coming Drunkninja.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 12 September 2018, 01:49:45
And here I thought the Centrella's would have sex I mean fraternise with anybody. >:D
Interesting twist. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Sharpnel on 12 September 2018, 02:03:01
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 22 September 2018, 17:34:49
An update is coming soon guys!  Had to paint up all the new units for the battles that will determine how the story goes.  I've officially run out of battle material.  Keep an eye out!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 September 2018, 20:07:02
Chapter 20
Bass, Magistracy of Canopus
June 10 3023

   “What?”  It wasn't Alexander who spoke, but Hytuli.  “What do you mean his mother was Imani Centrella.  That would make him a royal.”  The Privateer tech looked at his friend.  “I mean, I've been stranded on a rock for a long time but that can't be right.  There was never any whispers about a Magistracy civil war or succession problems.  Hell, I've barely heard about Imani Centrella for that matter.” 

   A brief silence followed the Lyrans awkward outburst before Henry, still looking at Alex, continued.  “History is written by the victors.  There may well have been a war.  Sure as hell we were gearing up for one as things got tense in the shadows.  Before things came to a boiling point though, we lost Phillip and Imani to that bomb.  Your uncle Eric decided to save a lot of lives instead of fighting for the dead.”  The old mercenary held a steady gaze at young Alex.  “Revenge wasn't worth starting a war over, so we all decided to disappear and move on with our lives.  All be it with broken hearts.”

   Alexander remained quiet for another moment before speaking.  The overwhelming facts bombarding his thought process like a warship from orbit.  Finally, regaining some semblance of speech he said “That's a lot to take in.  I never imagined my parents would be people like that.” He paused and then continued.  “Something still doesn't sit right with me though.  I've spent my whole life thus far within the Magistracy.  I'm no politician but I have some understanding how succession works.  Even if my mother sought the throne she would have to be voted into power by the Central Committee.  With being much younger than Tamara and not very well known, I don't understand how she would contend.  There's more to this than a displeasure with foreigners.”

   Henry stared Alexander up and down, taking in everything about the young man that was sat across from him, a mask of seriousness blanketing his face.  Suddenly, after a crucial moment the retired mercenary laughed.  “You certainly are your parents child.  There's no doubt about that.  The people from both your bloodlines always seemed too smart for their own good.”  The old man motioned his hand at Christopher, thumbing in his direction.  “You trust this fellow or should we carry on this discussion in private?”  Alex looked at his friend and then back to the mechwarrior.  “I'd like to think with my life.”  Henry nodded.  “Very well. There's no doubt in my mind that you're who you say you are.  I could swear there's two ghosts sat right in front of me as I look at you.”

   “Here's the thing.  When we were out runnin' round in the Deep Periphery and found your mother, we found something else.  Now, I'm not going to tell you what we found, but I'm damned sure it's still there as I haven't seen it on any new broadcasts.  You might be your parents son, but they didn't raise you.  Take my word for it though, Imani had a strong claim to being Magestrix because of what she could bring to the table.”  Henry took a long drink from his coffee, savoring the taste.  “Even if Tamara lived out her full rule as the leader of the realm, she had her eye on wanting Kyalla to take her place.  With her younger sisters age and all, she threatened the chances of that as well.”

   “Now then, I got some questions of my own.  How in the Devils name did you come to find all this out, being dead and all?”  Alex took his turn to speak and explained.  “Well, my Uncle Eric only made a few appearances in my life.  One was to rescue me from an orphanage and set me up with my own home and schooling.  The other was to will me some of his belongings.”

   Henry frowned.  “So old Eric is dead then.  That's too bad.  I missed him.”  Alex nodded.  “Yeah, he's gone.  He willed me his estate and some wealth.  Among all of his possessions I found storage locations for his Whitworth and Panther battlemechs.  That's how I was able to start a mercenary unit.”  Captain Bishop paused as he couldn't help notice the funny smirk Henry now wore on his face.  “What?”

   “You telling me he gave you two of our worst mechs'?”  The old timer laughed again.  “I'm sorry son, it's just funny.  Those two machines were our training wheels for the new guys.  The fellas Eric wanted to train...”  Henry trailed off.  “That sly old coot.  Even when dying he couldn't but be the clever ass he always was.  Alex son, your uncle was a genius.”  Seeing the expression on Alexanders face, he added.  “Mind you, it might have seemed like he abandoned you but your uncle never did anything without reason.  Sounds like old Eric took the smart route and tossed you out on your own to save your ass as well as his.  Maybe even all of ours.”

   “That would explain a lot.”  Alex reflected.  “Eric basically left me with a riddle that eventually let me find a database hidden inside of his Whitworth.  A map that led me to you and potentially others was among the wealth of information, along with more riddles.”  Captain Bishop took a deep breath.  “It all makes some sort of sense now.  Thank you, Henry.” 

   The older man had come to look a little sour.  “Despite the nature of the information, I feel comfortable sharing it with you.  Although I find myself upset with your uncle, as he wasn't suppose to leave any trails to the rest of us when we parted ways.  He must have taken some sort of stock in you as a person and decided it was worth the risk.”  Henry Rush took another sip of his coffee and then stroked his chin in thought.  “Perhaps if you proved yourself competent he wanted to give you an opportunity to choose your own path concerning the fate of your parents.  That sounds like something Eric would do.”  The last living member the Devils Wake command lance leaned toward Alex meaningfully.  “Which begs the question, what do you want to do with that information young man?”

   The three others in the living room hung on to every word both men were saying, the tale a complex and twisting story.  Silence hung in the air as the leader of the Privateers attempted to form some sort of satisfactory answer.  “If what you say is true and Tamara Centrella had my parents murdered, then their killer is beyond my reach for she is dead.  If her daughter Kyalla is innocent of this affair, then there isn't much I can do but move forward.  My mercenary unit Bishops Privateers has become my family and my bond is now with them.  I do not see a need to cause suffering for the Canopian people by revealing who I am and starting a war for the sake of the dead.”

   Henry slowly nodded and finished his coffee.  Placing the cup down on an end table he smiled at the young Captain.  “I feel son, your parents would be proud of you.  Though here we sit speaking of secrets woven inside secrets, you choose the higher moral ground and let those innocent remain untouched by our woes.  I understand that you may feel detached from any sort of duty to the Magistracys people, but I feel honor bound to your parents to say something.  Despite you following the sell swords path, I want you to remember one thing.  Your name is Alexander Bishop-Centrella and your mother died for her people.  Never forget that in your blood, they are your people as well.”

   Alex nodded his head.  “That I can swear and promise to respect.”  The intense moment was suddenly broken by Henry clapping his hands together and laughing.  “Splendid!  Well then, I'd like for you and your friend here to stay for a while, even if it's just for a few days, and share stories with us of your own exploits and perhaps I could share some of mine.  It's been a while since we've had visitors.  I'd also enjoy to see if my son takes a liking to your unit and their standards.”

   “Dad?”  Malcolm looked at his father questioning.  “Oh hush, you know you've always wanted to test your mettle.  If you find these lads to your liking you might as well join them and go on your own adventures.  I say it's about darn time to show the universe the sort of mechwarrior my son turned out to be!”

   Hytuli once again injected himself into the conversation.  “Speaking of which sir, I'm curious.  What sort of mech is that outside?  I've seen many in my day but that one is surprisingly alien to me.”  A broad grin crossed the old mans face.  “That out there is a family heirloom.  Mah draggin' goon.  She's pretty old but a relic from some darker times.  My family has kept her in fighting trim though and have passed on her secrets down through the years.  You won't be finding many parts for her though, most are extinct, but there's a few bits and pieces left here with us that should ensure my son would get some use out of er' on a battlefield.”  Henry looked at his son Malcolm with pride on his face.  “Her designation is Dragoon.  And she belongs to mah son here.” 

   The old man looked back at Alex.  “While we're on the topic, your uncle piloted something called a Thug.  If you ever see it, you'll understand why I laughed when you said he gave you a Whitworth!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 25 September 2018, 22:23:10
Great story, Drunkninja. Alex might be taking the high road, but I wonder for just how long he will get away with it.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 25 September 2018, 22:35:38
For me this has turned into a long term project.  Basically a units origin story first and then where ever their feet takes them!  If there's one thing we know about the Innersphere it's that good things never last.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 26 September 2018, 02:14:17
The uncle having a Thug. Now that would be an interesting addition to the unit.
A Dragoon, that's the old rwr mech, nice. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 26 September 2018, 15:16:26
Chapter 21
Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus
Crimson City
October 24 3023

   In other news the Merchant Jumpship Silver Star has gone missing!  Not having arrived at her destination the ship is now suspect for being the target of pirate attack or worse, a misjump.  As always folks, your ears is our mouth!  Make sure to call in and let us know any news you might find important!

   News Network The Eagle Now!
   Bayindar, Free Worlds League

   Canopus IV, the heart world of the Magistracy of Canopus.  Capital world of the Periphery state and seat of power for its Magestrix Kyalla Centrella.  This was the place to be if you were a person who wanted to rub elbows outside the Successor States of the Innersphere.  With a respectable industry base and a night life like no other, who would want to be anywhere else?

   Alexander Bishop could not wait to leave.
   Out of necessity he had brought his growing mercenary unit Bishop's Privateers here aboard their newly aquired Jumpship Typheus.  Despite his rolling successes in contracts and outrageous luck in acquiring equipment he had no business finding, the butchers bill was coming due.

   Almost all of his Battlemechs were broken.

   The late night streets of Crimson were alive with people and their revels.  Alex made his way through the crowds and stopped in front of a large building with a neon sign he was told to look for.  Staring up for a moment he watched the lights flicker in a pattern to simulate a woman taking off her blouse and winking at the people below.

   "Here we go I guess." Bishop said under his breath to no one in particular and pushed his way past a pair of bouncers.  The inside of the night club was vibrating from loud music that the local youth apparently loved while the patrons were being assaulted by strobe lasers that eerily reminded Alex of a battlefield.

   Elbowing his way past a topless woman promising him a good time, Alexander began his search for the man he was suppose to meet.  The Captain decided fighting enemies trying to kill him were much easier opponents than the trade workers local to the area.

   After twenty minutes of defending himself from more naked women than he had seen in his entire adult life, Alexander finally found his contact.  Sitting in a private booth overlooking the main stage area, a woman in each of his arms, was one of his two senior Techs Christopher Hytuli.

   After burying his wife not that many months ago, despite her being dead for years, Hytuli had found solace in one of the Magistracy' main industries.  The Pleasure Circus.  Already proving to be an invaluable asset to Bishop' Privateers Alexander turned a blind eye to his indulgences.

   Tonight was pushing it.

   "Captain Bishop!" Hytuli yelled over the music, a broad grin dancing on his face.  It was obvious the man was already drunk.

   Alex took a seat on an overstuffed bench near the three and leaned in before shouting "This had better be good." Then looking at the two girls continued "Can we at least talk in private?"  The tech was thirty five years older than his commanding officer but only insubordinate while intoxicated.

   "Bah, these beauties can celebrate the good news with us Captain!" If it was possible the mans grin grew wider. "I found it!"

   "Found what?" Bishop inquired as he politely declined the advances of the woman on Hytuli' right arm. He hated games and this was rapidly fraying his patience.  Despite being a very young leader Alex prided himself on his professionalism.

   "Captain, I found a cockpit assembly for the old bucket." The tech cheered and the two sex workers joined in, bouncing and laughing.  Immediately Alex knew what his friend was talking about.  His inner eye could see the battle taking place in the ruined city.  The moment his second in command had killed the Bandit King Raux with a large laser strike to the head followed up by explosive short range missiles that had blown out the Crocketts cockpit.

   Alex drew himself away from the battlefield and back to the present.  Since Vixen and Hytuli leveraging his services so Alex would save the castaways that were marooned on that world, he could not deny the mans worth.  Despite the techs current behavior he had potentially outdone himself yet again.

   "Where is it Christopher?  I can't be wasting time here and you know it.  I have mouths to feed and we have an agenda to keep."  Alex again refused the advances of the woman near him as she tried to whisper something in his ear. He noticed that her eyes then stole a look behind him and a small frown flattened her lips.  Turning around Alexander looked up to make eye contact with a woman dressed in a Magistracy Armed Forces uniform.  Noticing the silver pips on her cuffs Captain Bishop slowly rose to his feet and saluted a fellow mechwarrior.

   The woman returned a crisp salute. "Are you Captain Alexander Bishop of Bishop's Privateers?" The soldier remained at parade rest and seemed unphased by any of the going ons in the surrounding bar. 

   This situation seemed odd as Bishop was wearing civilian clothing.  How did she even guess who he was?  "I am." He simply replied, knowing not to waste time with questions.  Alex would know very soon what this was about.  His mind briefly raced back to his meeting with Henry Rush on Bass.

   The woman stiffened her stance.  "You are to come with me."  Hard blue eyes stared directly at Captain Bishop.  "By order of Magestrix Centrella."  With that the soldier smartly turned and exited the balcony without waiting for Alexander to answer.

   Glancing back down at Hytuli, Alex saw the man looking stunned and trying to rise to his feet.  "Stay here." Was all he said to his tech before following the Armed Forces member off the balcony.

*   *   *

   There had been an armored car waiting outside the peeler bar.  Standing next to it, rear passenger door held open, was the same Magistracy soldier.  “After you, Captain Bishop” the woman calmly said as she motioned inside the vehicle with a single movement of her hand. 

   Alex settled into the vehicle.  The driver he noted also wore the clothing of the Magistracy Armed Forces and had an additional shoulder insignia of “MP” on their arm.  A military helmet with visor hid the persons sex.  Once the female soldier had taken her place in the front passenger side the armored car started to move.

   Remaining silent for a moment, Bishop waited for some clue to why he had been collected in such a manner.  When none came he cleared his throat and decided to finally get some answers.

   “You clearly know who I am.  Might I inquire to who you are?”  His question was aimed at the steely eyed Magistracy mechwarrior, but it was the MP who replied.  “The fiery spirited one that collected you is Lance Corporal Williams” the now clearly female driver stated.  “I'm her lowly body guard First Ranker Lopez.”  The MP raised her hand in an informal wave directed at the back seat.

   The Corporal shot an icy stare at her subordinate.  “Show some restraint and professionalism First Ranker or I'll have you busted down to Volunteer again.”  The armored car hit a rather deep pot hole bouncing all inside.  The Lance Corporal turned back to face Captain Bishop.  “We are apart of the Magistracy Support Corps.  As it is our duty to manage mercenary activity within our sovereign borders, we are your chosen ride to bring you to the Magestrix upon her orders.”

   Alex pondered on that for a moment before carefully replying “My unit currently has no contract with Canopus.” The armored car made a turn towards what looked to be a military installation.  “Even if the Privateers did, wouldn't it be your commanding officers that I should be meeting with, not with the Magestrix herself?” The mercenary leader started to become tense.  There's no way they know.  Hell, I only found out.

   “That is not for me to answer.  I am loyal to Canopus and not dare question our rulers wishes.” The Corporal turned away from Alex and fell silent once more.

   Bishop leaned back in his seat.  This whole thing stank of more than just a military meeting.  Alarms went off in his minds eye as he realized it was possibly something much worse.  Politics.

*   *   *

   The security detail for the complex Alex was being led through was tight.  After multiple body searches, questions and ID checks he was certainly convinced that he was indeed being taken to see someone important.

   There hadn't been much more conversation between him and his two Canopian escorts despite the side long glances First Ranker Lopez kept giving him.  There was something odd about her smile.  It wasn't exactly reassuring, but somehow it relieved his tension.  After disembarking the armored car she had removed her helmet.  Alexander had been surprised by the long red hair, pale complexion and green eyes her gear had kept hidden.  Not exactly what he expected out of a military woman.   Then again, Alex had never spent time on Canopus IV.  Perhaps it was acceptable due to the Matriarchy.

   “Here we are” Lance Corporal Williams flatly stated.  She handed identification to the two armed guards that stood watch at a pair of heavy set doors made of polished mahogany.  “Be on your best behavior Captain Bishop.  Do not get within five paces of the Magestrix or you will be shot.  We will remain outside and wait for your return.”

   The two sentries opened the door for Alex and as he went inside he couldn't help notice the playful wink that Lopez gave him as he passed by. 

   Walking into the next room was like entering into another world.  You would have never known it was at the heart of a military installation.  A stone strewn path meandered away from the door into a vast, enclosed garden.  The sound of a babbling stream was mixed with the chirping of birds that were hidden somewhere in lush undergrowth.

   Alex followed the trail until he came to a small grove of large ferns.  At its center lounging on a comfortable looking, padded bench was Kyalla Centrella.  Laying on her side casually, the Magestrix gently swayed a green fern through the air in front of her.  The movements drew attention to her like-colored, silken green dress.  Its material clinging to her shape a little too closely.

   “Ah, Captain Alexander Bishop.  What a pleasure to meet you.” Kyalla' words were thick like honey.  After a moments pause she raised grey eyes to assess the man before her, starting from his feet and slowly returning to Alex' face.  “I must admit, you out do the description I was provided with.”

   Unable to stop himself, Alex fidgeted under the powerful gaze of the Magestrix.  “This is an unexpected honor Lady Centrella, but I have to admit, I do not understand why I am here.”  The young man took a deep breath to try and calm his nerves.  It was one thing to lead a mercenary unit.  It was something completely different to be collected off the street in the middle of the night and find yourself in a meeting with the leader of a Periphery State.  This was a potentially dangerous situation.  Alexander knew he had to proceed with great caution.

   Lady Centrella seemed amused, a feline smile curled on her perfectly shaped face. “It's not often a citizen of my realm goes from being a washed out student of war to a powerful military leader.  Call me impressed.”  Kyalla' smile widened.  Slowly she leaned forward to lay the fern gently on the ground in front of her and in doing so exposed much of her bare, mocha skin to Alex.

   Citizen of my realm.

   The Magestrix rose to her feet and walked a few paces towards the mercenary leader, whom for the moment seemed hypnotized by her deliberate movements.  “I'm also informed you wear the colors of my Magistracy.  Your people honor our flag by painting your machines of war to resemble those of my House.  Is that true?”

   Kyalla now stood a mere six paces away from Alex.

   Our flag.

   Choosing his next words very carefully, the Captain proceeded.  “The Magistracy is my home.  I am proud to wear the colors of my birth place.”

   Five paces.  Four paces. Three paces.  Alex caught his breath and widened his eyes as Kyalla Centrella closed the distance between herself and him.  Fear gripped him briefly as he remembered Corporal Williams warning.  The bullet never came however, as the Magestrix laid a soft palm to the mercenary leaders cheek.

   “Are you my ally Alexander?” Kyalla' eyes soft, searching.  She left the question hanging in the air before turning away and walking toward a large frond.  Her fingers gently ran along its edge as if she were caressing a loved one.

   “Since your campaign on Thraxa I've had eyes on you.  It is important as a leader to know the people who aid in your nations victories.  It wasn't until you traded military hardware for the freedom of human lives  however, that I knew you to be a man of good character.”  She turned facing him again, her expression painted with innocence and adoration.

   “I wish to repay your kindness with generosity.  Perhaps one day we may continue this cycle and in turn you may pay me with loyalty.”  She quickly raised a hand to silence Alexander' next comment.  “For now I offer you a gift.  You came to Canopus IV in search of parts and people.  Though I cannot give you everything you seek, you will find that after your visit here my quartermaster will be a little more open to your needs.”

   Befuddled, Alexander clumsily bowed.  “Thank you Magestrix Centrella.  You are very kind.”

   Once more Kyalla approached Alex but this time the periphery leader placed a kiss on his left cheek.  “You will also be rewarded with a chance to serve our House directly.  I hope some day you may receive the full potential of my kindness.  For now, I bid you farewell.”  Turning, Magestrix Kyalla Centrella moved gracefully back to the bench, hips swaying seductively as she did so, and took a seat.

   Stealing one more glance at the beautiful leader of the Magistracy of Canopus, Alexander Bishop also turned and took his leave.  Upon reaching the other side of the door way he couldn't help but swear under his breath.

*   *   *

   The agent emerged from a thick stand of greenery.  His expression calm and calculating.  “What do you think My Lady.  Is this mercenary what you expected him to be?”  Reaching into the breast pocket of his nondescript jacket the man retrieved a handkerchief.  He casually wiped away moisture that had fallen on him from the large plants and also beads of sweat.

   Kyalla Centrella' eyes watched the exit to her garden sanctuary. She gathered her thoughts together of the meeting that had just taken place.  “He is young and inexperienced when it comes to dealing with people.  He will be easy to manipulate.  We must gain his trust and in doing so we will gain his power.”

   Standing up the Magestrix stepped on the fern she had used as a tool earlier.  “He has a Jumpship and multiple dropships.  From the material request forms you've shown me this boy potentially owns a reinforced company of Battlemechs.”  Her sharp eyes looked at her subordinate, cunning and determined.

   “Deploy the asset.  He seemed nervous, even fearful, while here.  Nervous men have secrets.  I want to know everything there is to know about this Captain Alexander Bishop and his Privateers.”

   “As you wish Magestrix.”  The bald agent bowed, turned and left.  Behind his calm demeanor a panic began to rise.  There is no mistaking it.  That is their child.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: cklammer on 27 September 2018, 05:00:36
Obscurity is not security nor safety ...  :D
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Intermittent_Coherence on 27 September 2018, 17:04:12
Strange, I'm pretty sure I've read that audience scene before.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 27 September 2018, 17:08:52
You probably have.  It was the first piece I tried writing and posted up on these forums as a test to see if people liked the way I wrote.  It was a scene that basically I wanted to put into words.  It's success basically led me to start writing this whole story.  I just finally reached the point in the time line when the unit went to Canopus IV and the scene actually happened.  There's two other scenes I've been itching to write but one occurs in 3051 and the other in the Jihad lol. I find myself invested in the development of the unit.  I hope people are enjoying whats become one of my main hobbies now.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: chongobongo on 27 September 2018, 17:58:00
well keep it up . its been a good read , and some good plot development going on .
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 27 September 2018, 18:38:18
Chapter 22
Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus
Crimson City
October 29 3023

   Christipher Hytuli as of late had pretty bad hang overs.  Today seemed to be the one that might top them all.  It was his job this morning to over see the transportation of the Crockett CRK-5003-1's cockpit assembly to the Privateers dropship Fleeting Dream.  The Mule-class ship had been designated the storage area for Protocol Omega' machines and also his personal workshop.

   Tiredly watching a group of laborers move the sensitive equipment onto his prime movers flat bed, the veteran technician wished he were dead.  Squinting his eyes briefly up at the unforgiving Canopian sun Hytuli swore off drinking for the fifth time that week.

   “Again with the empty promises Chris?” A familiar voice commented from behind.

   Hytuli blinked his eyes a few times to get rid of the light baubles before turning to look at his commanding officer walking towards him.  “Whatever gets me through the day Alex.”  He turned his head back towards the laborers who were now tying down tarps over a large piece of electronics.

   “I see at least you're on schedule. Always the reliable one.”  The tech grunted as his CO slapped a strong hand on his back in camaraderie.

   “You seem in good spirits Captain.  Odd for a man who just spent so much money.” The senior of the two looked over at his younger companion again.  Alexander had a large smile on his face.  Christopher couldn't recall the last time he had seen his Captain smile since the death of Lieutenant McKay.  “Want to share your secret of happiness?”

   Captain Bishop casually leaned up against the outside wall of the Arcade that they had managed to purchase the Crockett' cockpit from and lit a cigarette.  He took a long drag from it and exhaled before sharing.  “Besides from this treasure you found for us...” Alex motioned towards the gear being loaded onto the flat bed. “...I've been rather successful finding dispossessed pilots here on Canopus.  I have my last interviews tonight. “  The Captain took another pull from his cigarette and then flicked it to the ground, stomping it out.

   “On the equipment side of the battle, the local Magistracy Quartermaster has been quite helpful despite shortages.  We won't be able to get no where near what we require but I was able to trade the Wyvern for a substantial amount of replacement parts.”

   Chris noticed his superior lose himself in his own thoughts for a moment.  Something he noted that Alex seemed to do a lot.  “That's a bad habit boss, the smoking I mean.” Hytuli tried to shake his friend out of his mental trap.  He had thus far failed at garnering any information about the Captain' encounter with the Magestrix.  He was sure that's where Alex' thoughts had just gone.

   The mercenary Captain shot his tech a large smirk. “You're one to talk about bad habits! If you weren't so good at your damned job I'd leave you here on this woman infested rock.”

   “Is that a promise you want to make, Captain?” Both men laughed.

   “We'll have to travel to Dunianshire after we're done here Chris.  It'll be a long trek but it can't be helped.  It's our best shot at mustering up to a full company. We have lots of salvage but its not much good unless we can make mechs out of it.”  Alex turned to stare at the flat bed truck.  “After Dunianshire I have a possible contract for us, but it depends on our state of readiness.”

   Hytuli sensed the distance in Alexander's comment and decided to try again and pry out what happened with the Canopian leader.  “What's the mission?  The Magestrix isn't planning on throwing us to the wolves on our first outing from her is she?”  The Lyran born tried to add some jest into the question, but it came out sounding too nervous.

   Alex pulled his eyes away from the flat bed truck and back to his trusted friend.  Running fingers back through his messy black hair, the Captain frowned.  “Not in so many words no.  I just want to make sure we have the man power and machines ready.  The money is pretty good, though this time the salvage percentages is almost non-existent.”  The sound of the Prime Movers massive engine sounded as the truck fired up.  “We have a chance to test ourselves against one of the Great Houses.  The Magestrix wants us to perform a smash and grab raid into the Capellan Confederation.”

   The older man whistled at what his commander had just said.  “That's a step up from pirates, that's for sure.  I see why you want to get men and material sorted.”  The tech nodded.  “You sure I still can't get you to use the fancy Star League mechs we have for those sort of missions?  It'll raise our success chances by leaps and bounds.”  But what did Kyalla say to you?  “Or we could pull them out if the Magestrix decides to go after her royal competition.

   The cold glare that the older tech received let him know he should stop fishing.

   “You and I both know using those machines is not sustainable. I'd rather keep them to protect our assets.”  The Captains response sounded like a closing statement to the topic.  “In terms of our readiness, I also want to maintain a garrison force on Sailors Refuge in case ComStar returns for what ever reason.  We have a lot of material there to protect and that complex has already cost us an expensive price.”

   “That's pretty ambitious Alex.  And we're still not confident on who those people were that attacked us.  The prisoners we dumped on Bass didn't know squat.  All we have is that hunk of metal that fool who taught me how to fix mechs was wearing when he ejecting himself out into space.  I just don't think that's enough to go on.  I'm sure it was just that idiots greed and he wanted Sailors Refuge for himself!”  Hytuli could see the doubt on his friends face.  He added “Villainizing a powerful faction will only get you killed.  Martha' death shouldn't be placed at anyone's feet except the man who killed her.”

   Alexander turned and began to walk down the street towards his jeep.  “That's why I want to be sure Chris.  I was the man who killed her.”

*   *   *

   “So your name isn't actually Lopez?”  Alex stared across the interview table at the familiar red haired woman whom he had briefly encountered a few days prior.  Turning his head slightly he then looked at the woman who sat next to her.  The second was almost a mirror image of the first.  “And you're her twin sister?”  The young Captain looked back and forth between the two.  Both seemed roughly around his own age.

   “Aye, mah true name is Onora.  This ere' is mah sister Keeva.  We're the Rinne sisters.”  A large, playful smile danced across the woman's face.  The same she had given Alex while escorting him to the Magestrix.  “Now I know what yer thinking.  Why lie about mah name, right?  Long story short I didn't think they'd let a family from Northwind into the MAF.  So I smothered mah brogue and became Lopez.”  Onora winked at Alex and continued.  “Mah sister already owns our fadders mech, but I want to be a mechwarrior too!  What better way I figure then tah jump on a new hot up and comer.”  Her grin seemed to widen.

   Alexander couldn't help but fidget at that last comment, but forged ahead the best he could.  “If the MAF find out you forged identity documents they'd have you arrested.  Also, why not let Northwinders into the MAF?  The Magistracy' borders have always been open to most foreigners.”

   Onora raised her arms and raked fingers from both hands back through her long red hair.  “It's a long story, like I said. Maybe I can tell ya over a drink sometime.”  Alex watched her sister Keeva roll her eyes at the comment and then listened as she added her own two cents to the interview. “We bring a lot tah the table Captain Bishop.  My Black Knight is a eavy' itter', though she doesn't ave' any of the old weapons left on er.  Onora, despite not havin her own, is quite the capable pilot.  You'd be missin' out if you didn't sign us on.  I think we'd make better mercenaries than government soldiers any how.  I mean, well...”  Keeva gave a nod towards her sister.

   Captain Bishop took a deep breath and looked down at the  service records that were laid out in front of him.  “Well, your documents seem in order, all except for the obvious now.  Your records do seem appealing, despite being short.  Though I'm not one to judge in that area.”  Alex looked up and smiled at both women.  “I'll discuss your applications with my officers and I will let you know within a day or so.”  The young mercenary got to his feet and extended his hand to both women.  “Please send in the last applicant on your way out.”

   “A pleasure.”  Onora practically purred at Alex and then took her leave with Keeva close on her heels.  He watched both go and exhaled.  Those two are a hand full...but yet, appealing. 

   Before sitting back down the last potential recruit made her way in.  A tall, slender woman with shoulder length blond hair hurried her way over to the desk with hand extended.  In a even voice she introduced herself.  “Hello I'm Victoria.  Thank you for allowing me to...”  Alexander only heard the glass shatter after the bullet had smashed through the young recruits skull and deflected enough to catch him in the jaw.  Gore splattered across the interview desk as Victoria and Alexander fell to the floor.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 27 September 2018, 21:58:19
Bye Vickie...?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 28 September 2018, 01:35:36
Now that was a short interview. xp :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: mikecj on 29 September 2018, 04:18:23
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 30 September 2018, 19:08:48
Wonder who Vickie pissed off 8)
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Sir Chaos on 01 October 2018, 06:00:01
Wonder who Vickie pissed off 8)

I figure she just strayed into the line of fire.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 06 October 2018, 13:58:49
Chapter 23
Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus
Crimson City
October 29 3023

   It should be an easy gig.  Get in, set up, kill the merc and make some bills.  Eli was convinced the evenings kill should be a milk run compared to some of his more recent work.  Crawling along the roof to the side of the building that faced the office complex across the street, the self trained hit man chose his position.  Popping open the black case he had carried with him, Eli began to piece together his instrument of killing.

   Placing a small tripod in front of him, he then settled his assembled rifle into its nest and looked through its scope to appraise the surroundings and then his current target.  The night was alive with people, like always, but the backdrop of sound was always his friend.  Counting down the number of windows to the appropriate one he was told to look for, the assassin found his mark.  Currently the unassuming man appeared to be sitting at a table with two red heads. He fits the description.  Why hello there payday. 

   Watching through the scope Eli watched as the three people got to their feet and shook hands.  Taking that as his queue he readied himself for the two women to leave.  The man slowly sat back down, briefly becoming obscured but then appeared again as he was left alone.  Eli slowly sucked in his breathe and held it as he leveled his rifle and put the cross hair over the strangers forehead.

   Just as he pulled the trigger Eli realized his error.  The new woman had come out of no where and rushed in front of his query.  The moment her blonde hair obscured the target its color quickly became a distorted red.  The rifle kicked into his shoulder a second time shattering the offices glass window but the bullet dug into the very likely dead womans back as she fell.  The merc was no where to be seen.

   Cursing, the hit man disassembled his rifle and rushed it into its case. Time to get up close I guess.  Scampering back across the roof he threw himself over the side and, catching a maintenance ladder in a gloved hand, slid down to a secondary roof.  Breaking into a run, Eli hurried toward the fire escape he had planned to use in case of a similar event.  Riding its rails to the wet alleyway ground, the Canopus born killer started at a full sprint towards the street and aimed for the next alleyway beyond.

   The noisy crowd on the street only now seemed to be noticing something was wrong as the knowledge of the shattered window raining debris on the party below started to spread beyond the perimeter of the actual glass.  Eli pushed through the crowd and was satisfied with their apathy towards him.  Leaping over a pile of garbage and an unconscious drunk he made is way into the next alleyway.  Legs pumping hard to pressed towards another fire escape to climb upwards and towards his targets estimated position.

   The high leather boot caught Eli suddenly in the side of the jaw spinning him around and dropping him to the ground.  A lightning flash of pain pulsed through his face and the world spun but combat instinct pushed him to act without thinking.  Rolling with the blow he moved backwards to regain his footing and crouched low readying for an attack of his own against who ever decided to make him an enemy.  He hadn't counted on the second attacker to come from his blind side.  As quiet as night the second assailant planted a solid kick in the rear of his head and threw him hard against the wet cement of the alleyways ground. 

   Everything swam in a world of distortion as the third kick from the initial attacker booted Eli in the teeth and sent him moaning and rolling over onto his back in agony.  Through tear and blood soaked eyes he peered upwards and made out two blurry forms hovering around his near unconscious body.  The only distinct feature he could pick out was the crimson red of both women.  In a gurgling broken voice Eli choked out in surprise. “You? But...why?”

   Before the man received a response the silent flechettes from Keeva's Needler stole away Eli's life and darkness took him.

*   *   *

Canopus IV, Magistracy of Canopus
Crimson City
November 1 3023

   Lieutenant Grant sat next to Alexanders bed side and looked intently at a photograph he held in his hands.  It was the only picture he had thought to take of him and Martha as a couple.  He stared at his own smiling face and then at hers.  A deep frown creased the middle aged mans mouth and then looked to his stricken Captain who lay unconscious only a few feet away.  “So this is our lives.” Liam said out loud to no one in particular.  He stared at the bandages that wrapped his friends face.  The very same that hid the scars from the emergency surgery he'd received to rebuild his face and save his life.

   “What do you mean, Lieutenant?” A soft and respectable female voice questioned from the doorway that led into the small dropship med bay area.  Liam turned to see the new recruit Onora Rinne leaning up against the door frame and peering into the room.  He knew this woman from picking up Alexanders tasks after the incident.  Her and her sister had made it into the unit according to the Captains bloodstained notes but it was left to Liam to conclude business in Crimson City while the leader of the Privateers was incapacitated.

   The Lieutenant turned to look back at his injured comrade.  “That's a pretty loaded question Private Rinne.  There's some coffee left if you actually want to hear the answer.”  Liam motioned towards the pot and paper cups sitting on the vanity near the doctors wash station.  Onora quietly slipped into the room and closed the door before making herself a coffee and taking a seat across from her new senior officer. 

   The ex Davion military man took that as her answer and continued all the while looking at the bandaged Captain.  “I have yet to know Alexander for very long, just a few years really, but I can say that I as a man wouldn't follow anyone else into battle if I had the choice.”    Liam took a sip of his luke warm coffee.  “The man leads from the front and appears fearless at times.  You'd swear the devil himself possesses what ever mech the Captain pilots.  Some unearthly vigor pushes him forward that I can't grasp.”  The Lieutenant looked to the new recruit appraising her young features.  “Despite those traits I feel as if a shadow follows us.  There's some sort of darkness to this man and though our people nicknamed him Lucky, the demon that we don't know continues to dog him and one day it may catch up.  We've already endured loss.”  The older mans eyes looked down to the photo he was still grasping.

   Onora seemed unphased by the dark portent the Lieutenant had just laid at her feet.  “If things feel so bleak, why follow him though.  He's just a man.  There are more like him.”  The womans gaze felt piercing to Liam as if she were looking far deeper than her question probed.  The Davion knew Alex's notes had said the twin sisters were intense and straight forward but he hadn't experienced it until now.  “That's the thing Private Rinne, there isn't another man like him.  I can't make you see that though, you'll have to watch and learn it on your own.”

   Lieutenant Grant turned back to his bedridden friend.  “Why do you think someone would want him dead if he was just someone ordinary.”  Liam didn't hear Onora slip away again, nor did he see her appraising look at Alexander with new eyes.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Intermittent_Coherence on 06 October 2018, 19:48:16
i see MIM in the house!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 07 October 2018, 10:10:11
I suppose it's pointless to wonder who the woman was (or if she was the official MIM plant, our Rinna girls maybe something else entirely...)
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 08 October 2018, 20:15:07
i see MIM in the house!
where did you see that??
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 09 October 2018, 00:47:19
That was the lady entering just behind Elvis. ;)
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Intermittent_Coherence on 09 October 2018, 09:37:55
where did you see that??
Was either the one killing (or even hiring) the assassin or the Rinna sisters.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 09 October 2018, 20:44:10
Chapter 24
New Roland
Capellen Confederation
February 6 3024

   We will not bow to these pirates!  We will drive the periphery scum back into the holes they crawled out of and show them the might of the Celestial Throne!  How dare they attack their betters!  Today we are the teachers of war and the lesson to be learned is death!
                                                                                                                                                                   Major Amy St.Cyr.  Addressing the public on the pirate incursion, New Roland 3024.

   Foreign soil made for dangerous ground.  The game of cat and mouse that Bishops Privateers had been playing with St. Cyr's Grenadiers Battalion was starting to finally come to a head.  Onora understood the plan Alexander had put into motion at the start of the campaign.  He intended to lure the larger force away from their mission target and bait them into a game of chase while the assault force launched their final move.  It seemed the solid tactical move, but the lead up was a long and grueling process of guerrilla style hit and runs.  It was no surprise the populace thought they were pirates.

   Working with most of the newly recruited Privateers seemed normal enough to Onora. They all seemed excited to finally have a shot at piloting a battlemech either for the first time since their academy days or once again since becoming dispossessed.  Interacting with the Privateer members that were a part of the unit before it was mustered up to a full reinforced company was a mixed experience.  A lot of them felt like a very hardened bunch.  The group made the young recruit think back to what Lieutenant Grant had said about a shadow.  A darkness.  She felt determined to understand the new family she and her sister had joined.

   When Alexander designated her the Whitworth battlemech from his available forces, she had taken the time while they were alone to inquire about the odd morale of his existing unit.  He explained to her that most of his personnel had come from having a rotten deal in life, but had found a second chance.  Their ordeal had grown in them a perseverance that had steeled their hearts.  She followed up the question by asking about himself, but the Captain simply placed a firm hand on her arm and had asked her to look after his Whitworth as it was special to him.

   Now, as she sat in the command chair of her Captains personally owned battlemech clad only in a cooling vest and shorts, she couldn't help but wonder about the man that the Privateers followed.  Onora' train of thought was suddenly interrupted as her comms came to life with activity.  “Contact!  Light elements breaking through the treeline now.  Reporting at least a Wasp and Firestarter supported by a pair of Saladins.  In bound towards Hammer Lance' position.   Letting them slip by.“  The Northwind born recognized the mans voice but couldn't place his name yet, though she recalled he was a mountain of a creature.  She knew he commanded the infantry and tankers that were dug in to hold the traps door closed once the Capellans were lured in close. 

   “Roger that Anchor, Dagger lance opening door number two now.”  Onora knew that was Lieutenant Grant.  He led the units scout lance in his Jenner.  Their job was to tie up the approaching armor column that was slower than their battlemech and hover craft allies while the lead forces broke against the Privateers fire lance and became pressed by their Anchor force from behind.  It would create a layered battlefield but the Privateers would be able to anchor onto their armor and infantry and vice versa in case enemy reinforcements made it in time to join the fight.

   “Ok people, it's our time to shine. You know the drill.  Just like we've been doing for the past month but only this time aim for the kill.  This battlefield is our missions payday.”  Sergeant Swansky barked out at Fire Lance and that was Onora' queue to put her butt into action.  Activating her Whitworths long range sensors she took a moment to locate the inbound enemy forces.  Doing a double take at the data feed something didn't appear accurate.  “Hammer Two to Hammer One.  I'm reading additional forces to our 3 O'clock flank.  Shadowhawk and Guillotine.  Please advise.” 

   There was a moment of silence before the Sergeants response came back through Onora' ear piece.  “Roger that and confirmed.  Enemies flanking.  Confirm also bogey Blackjack with vehicle support.  Calling Anchor, support required.”  There was a hiss of static before a frantic voice replied, the staccato of machine gun fire chattering in the back ground.  “Negative Hammer One, Anchor has been compromised...engaging ...” Static suddenly filled the comms.  “Alright people we're on our own for now.  We're going to slowly angle our rear to Anchor and pull back slowly to them.  Have faith in them pulling through so they can do the same for us.”

   Onora found herself among a chorus of -Yes sirs- that seemed to follow most Privateer instruction.  Throttling up her machine she began to put her war engine on the route Sergeant Swansky had just sent out to his lance.  It was a questionable move, but it would ensure Privateers wouldn't become separated and abandoned on the field.  “Well Alex, lets see what your old ride can do.”

   Not more than a few minutes of travel did the first Capellans appear on close range sensors.  The Wasp and Firestarter bounded towards the slower Hammer Lance escorted by their pair of Saladins.  Onora let fly a twin salvo of LRMs towards one of the hovercraft as she recognized them as very dangerous if not dealt with.  The first wave of waste heat boiled over into the mechs cockpit and it reaffirmed her choice of attire.  The satisfying sight of warheads cooking off on the tanks hull was a good omen to begin the fight.  The small blossoms of fire suddenly ignited into a larger explosion as an azure beam smashed into the drive fan of the craft causing it to suddenly flip and smash end over end into a death roll.

   The initial exchange was the only weapons fire Hammer Lance was able to put into the Capellans before their light assets were able to bring weapons to bare.  Onora watched the surviving Saladin make a headlong dash towards the Privateers Blackjack.  The Sergeant brought his close in weapons to bare on the encroaching tank but the medium laser fire wasn't enough to deter the enemy.  The Saladin let loose with a spray of death as it fired up its devastating Scarborough Autocannon.  The powerful stream of shells tore into Swanskys center torso and devoured armor plating, turning it into scrap and throwing his mech to the ground.

   The Privateers weren't so easily thrown back however, as Hammer Lance' Vulcan added to the firestorm of medium laser fire into the Saladin.  As it was almost finished its pass a single beam of coherent light breached the hover crafts armored hide and set off the vehicles fuel reserves.  Its combustion engines exploded in a brilliant plume of fire and smoke as the tanks wreckage kept up its momentum and smashed into a light stand of trees, igniting them as well.  Onora kicked in her jumpjets and sent her medium Whitworth to the sky and across the field to land in front of her Sergeants stricken Blackjack while it struggled to its feet.

   More heat surged into the Northwinder' cockpit as she let fly a salvo of LRMs at the Shadowhawk that had just entered her long range bracket.  “Anchor, status?”  Onora hoped for a reply from the Privateer ground pounders but all she got in response was more static.  What the hell is going on over there? Her train of thought was broken by an unexpected alert on her comms.  “Another enemy mech en route!  Wolverine this time.  Well there hell are all these mechs coming from?”  The voice sounded panicked and Onora realized it was one of the green pilots in her lance, Chen Jian piloting his Phoenix Hawk.

   Swanskys voice sounded next, a little worse for wear.  “Looks like the lights are chasing Dagger Lance.  Keep falling back towards Anchor and prepare to engage a hostile reinforced medium lance.”  The mans calm wasn't lost on Onora.  He firmly believed in his allies pulling through.  This was a man who had served in combat with the Privateers before the current contract on New Roland.  “Yes Sir.”  The chorus of voices echoed in compliance.

   As another flight of missiles took skyward towards the advancing enemy lance, Onora noticed that the enemies lights that had taken chase after Dagger Lance fell of her radar much sooner than they should have.  The mechwarrior didn't have time to contemplate its meaning as her Whitworth trembled from a viscous attack that ate away leg armor caused by the advancing Shadowhawks Autocannon.  A shadow began to form in the twins mind.  If Anchor falters we'll be caught between what ever is attacking them and a force that out weighs us.  Switching to a direct line with Sergeant Swansky, Onora voiced her concern.  “Sir, I'm not sure if we can fight this enemy.  They out weigh us and we're uncertain of our back door.” There was a pause before she got a reply as she could see Autocannon shells peppering the ground around the Blackjacks feet as it rained death on a solid target down wind.

   “You're no coward are you Rinne?  You're a Privateer!  Have faith in your fellows.  Now fight or we'll die here anyway!”  Onoro noticed again the confidence in the mans voice.  Gritting her teeth, the woman tried to return her focus to the task at hand.  Laser fire from the Guillotine set blaze to a stand of trees that she had briefly taken cover behind.  Throttling up into a run and using the combined smoke from the fires and a wrecked Saladin, Onora pushed her new mech forward and angled it into a shorter range with the Capellan Shadowhawk.  Toggling her three medium lasers to the same firing stud, she let loose with a stabbing coherent light to eat armor from the hide of the enemy.  The twins pale skin began to glisten with sweat as she stomped on her foot pedals and catapulted into the air for a short jump that broke her out of the cover of smoke and directly into the flank of her enemy.  A battle cry built up in her throat as she landed hard on the ground before taking two fast steps and, using her Whitworths momentum, brought the machines composite metal foot down hard onto the Hawks' lower leg actuators. 

   A screeching of metal echoed in Onora' ears as she fought against the controls.  Through her view screen she could easily see the Capellan mechwarrior lose his footing and disappear from sight as the 55 ton mech lost its fight with gravity.  As the enemy medium fell, the looming form of the heavy Guillotine came into view.  Snapping off a salvo of LRMs in its direction, Onora began to back peddle her mech away from the Shadowhawk and into the relative cover of the smoke.  Before her view screen became obscured, she managed to see a large laser seer its way across the torso of the fierce mech.

   “...emy thrown back and their unknown mech has been subdued.  Coming to reinforce Hammer!”  A familiar voice bellowed out over the comms.  Sergeant Olsen!  Onora looked to her HUD and saw a line of Privateer armor pushing out of the tree line that had been their hiding position.  Determination filled her chest as she understood now.  Believe in them so they can believe in you!  Onoro Rinne stepped her Whitworth forward once more through the smoke with a rekindled vigor.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 10 October 2018, 19:53:44
Chapter 24
New Roland
Capallen Confederation
February 6 3024

   The sky threatened rain as thunder rumbled.  Alexander stole a quick glance up at the clouds through his canopy before returning his eyes to the landscape and facility ahead of him.  The scarring on his jaw ached from the massive reconstructive surgery he had undergone to save the left side of his face.  The healing wound was still a deep red and purple in color, but the doctor had told him he was lucky to be on Canopus IV when the incident happened as the Magistracy was known for their medical advances.  Lucky, except that someone wants me dead.

   “Captain, we have inbound militia hovercraft converging on our position.”  Sergeant Mathers calmly informed the lance.  “Roger that Anvil Two.  Hold your ground Anvil Lance and put down the hovercraft before advancing towards target.”  It hurt to speak, but that couldn't be allowed to stop Alex from guiding his people.  No word had been heard so far from the rest of the company and how they were fairing in their game of cat and mouse.  For now Alex hoped all was going according to plan and focused on the battle that was about to unfold.  Once they secured the supply depot, the primary objective for the entire raid from the start, the unit could rendezvous and get off world.

   The gentle hum of the Warhammers PPC capacitors charging momentarily filled the mechs cockpit.  There were times Alex missed the mobility that his Whitworths jumpjets provided, but he couldn't deny the raw power and protection that his current machine offered.  Though it still wasn't anything compared to the strength he felt while training in the Emperor.  The colors on the Warhammers HUD suddenly shifted and caught Alex' attention.  A Pegasus hovercraft was on a fast vector to meet his heavy lance for its first pass.  A pair of Maxim Hover Transports joined in the attack run from the buildings beyond.  So far it seemed his plan had worked to draw off most of the defenders from the site.

   Gold light burned on the mechs targeting reticle and Alexander instinctively squeezed his joysticks firing stud once and then twice.  Heat washed through his cockpit as the staggered blasts of PPC fire raced towards the nimble Pegasus.  The initial shot fell short but the second smashed into the light crafts nose.  Blue sparks danced back across its hull and left dark scarring marks deep in its armor.  It seems like suicide for them to engage my heavier force like this, but they'd be even worse off stuck in those buildings.  Two heavy beams of laser fire streaked after the agile craft from Keeva' Black Knight but the Pegasus juked away and closed distance.

   Long range missile fire began to arc through the air between Anvil Lance and the hovercraft, though Alexanders instruments told him Zephyr in his Crusader was already taking the worst of those trades.  The Pegasus, taking advantage of the heavy mechs distraction, added to the maelstrom of missile fire with its SRMs, scoring hits along the Crusaders right leg.  Its success was short lived however as a stream of heavy autocannon fire from Sergeant Mathers Centurion dissected the tanks remaining armor and turned its cockpit into a charnel house.

   Alexander turned his attention to the remaining Maxims that were harassing his lance at range.  Catching one of the tanks in a veering turn as it doubled back to make another strafing run, the Privateer commander staggered two more PPC attacks that evaporated a ton and a half armor.  The savage attack threw the hovercraft off course and, to its crews dismay, smashed nose first into a large boulder that capsized the tank and sent it sprawling into a old growth of trees.  The last Maxim thought better of sticking around and retreated back to the relative safety of the builds.  As it did so Alex saw the looming threat on the facilities perimeter.  “Push forward and engage the enemy Crusaders.  Minimize damage to warehouses if possible.”

   Throttling his heavy Warhammer into a run Captain Bishop pushed himself forward in an attempt to get underneath the umbrella of warheads that both Capellan machines could produce.  The ground thundered beneath the massive machines weight as it advanced towards certain violence.  “Captain!”  The voice belonged to Keeva Rinne.  “ My long range sensors are picking up two more battlemechs.  A Stinger and a Stalker assault mech!  The light is skirting our position.  The assault in moving up behind the pair of Crusaders.”  Alexander pondered the new information for a moment.  “Privateers, best speed ahead and cut down the Crusaders before their support arrives. Ignore the Stinger until it makes its move.”  I suppose it makes sense the Capellans left slow assets to guard the prize.  A chorus of -Yes Sirs- briefly filled the comms.

   Before reaching his weapons maximum range the sky began to fill with the tell tale signs of missile fire as the Crusaders started to rain death towards the advancing Privateers.  Sticking with their original target, the Grenadiers sent salvoed fire towards the mercenaries own Crusader.  The green mechwarrior faltered under the fusillade of fire and lost control of his machine and it crashed to the ground.  In turn as they came into range of their own weapons, the three remaining lance mates opened up with their own weapons.  Between gritted teeth Alex called out “The one on the right first” and scorched his own cockpit as he let loose with a dual blast from his mechs arm mounted particle cannons.  The combination of autocannon, laser and charged energy fire brought the enemy mech low as it staggered backward and crashed into a two story tall guard tower.

   Turning their attention the remaining heavy, shorter range weaponry came into play.  The Capellan chose Keeva' Black Knight as their target as more savage fire was exchanged.  The lone mech had little hope of stopping the heavy lance from advancing but seemed determined to buy time for the assault mech to arrive but also to trade blows ton for ton.  For a moment Alexander wondered if the pilot was experiencing  the hopeless battle he had heard about that was more common among those of the CCAF.  Before being torn apart by weight of fire, at the last second the Crusaders pilot decided to withdraw back into the buildings.  Keeva' straight forward voice commented “I lost a lot of armor in that exchange.”

   Before Alexander could give the order to chase he heard Zephyr begin to swear and call out for help.  “The Stinger' on me.  Need assist asap.”  Having been distracted by the brief but intense fire fight the Captain had failed to notice that his lance mate had failed to stand his Crusader back up to its feet.  “Anvil Two, go assist Three.  Four, you're with me.”  Alex saw Mathers Centurion pull away on his HUD.  Taking a deep breath and ignoring the painful throb coursing through his jaw the mercenary leader walked his Warhammer through the barbed wire fence of the facility's perimeter and into its streets.  A menacing red blip was very evident converging on his and Keeva' position.

   “Stinger down Anvil One, but Three is out of the fight with a ruined leg.”  Kendall didn't sound impressed.  Alex cursed silently under his breath.  “Roger that Anvil Two.  Keep watch over him, we'll deal with the last Grenadier'.”  Hoping that was true the young mercenary turned a corner cautiously as he expected to see the renowned assault mech waiting for him.  Instead the damaged Crusader brought weapons to bare.  Bringing his own close range weaponry online the Captain and his opponent stood their ground and threw lethal energies and ballistics savagely into one another.  A short ranged missile cracked Alex' cockpit shielding and the resonating sound briefly deafened him as he cried out in pain.  The Crusaders pilot was less fortunate as the Warhammers heavy machine guns ate away at the mechs exposed internals and found its mark on one of the machines missile ammo stores.  Suddenly caught in the brilliant, close up explosion Alex fought his controls to maintain his mechs footing.

   Through ringing ears the young commander barely made out Keeva' call for help as shrapnel still rained against the Warhammers chassis.  Blinking away the light baubles from his eyes he quickly looked to his instruments to locate her.  It was now plain as daylight to see that a block away her Black Knight was nearly toe to toe with the beast of an assault mech.  Side stepping the smoldering crater left by the ruined Crusader, Alex hurriedly accelerated his mech into a run.  Not seeing any appropriate ally ways or side streets to make it to his lance mate in time, the commander quickly decided the next best route and chose the softest structure in a direct path.  Charging at full speed the Privateer ran his Warhammer straight into an office building.  There was a brief lull in the machines movement as iron girders buckled and bent and concrete exploded until it suddenly burst out the other side and directly into the flank of the Stalker.  For a half second Alex saw through his cracked canopy the ruined armor of Keeva' Black Knight before the familiar brain jarring squeal of two colossus running into each other tore apart the air.

   “Alex!”  Private Rinne cried out as the Captains Warhammer rammed into the Capellan assault mech.  Armor plates buckled and broke and a cloud of dust swallowed the area as Privateers machine bulldozed into the Stalker and sent both battlemechs crashing to the ground.  Alexander was thrown hard against his restraining straps and warning lights flashed yellow and red.  Groaning in pain the young man began the process to getting the heavy mech back to its feet.  Before he even had the chance to rise to a single knee after pushing himself away from the armless assault mech, his computer told him that Keeva wasted no time in dumping megajoules of laser fire into the prone enemy.  Her battle cry echoed out over the Privateers combat comms until the Capellans mech was no more.

   Alexander slowly brought his Warhammer back to its feet and checked his instruments for any more hostiles.  Seeing no immediate danger he radioed his dropship.  “Anvil One to Ascending Night.  Move to prime target and commence salvage and appropriation mission.”  There was a crackle of static before Captain Schmitz responded.  “Roger that Anvil One.  Dropship inbound.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Siden Pryde on 12 October 2018, 20:48:02
Lovin this story so far.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 13 October 2018, 16:59:46
Chapter 24
New Roland
Nadir Jump Point
Capallen Confederation
February 16 3024

   “Give it to me straight.”  Alexander sat across from his two primary technicians and newly hired Doctor.  The Ascending Night had become the Privateers unofficial flagship as the Captain tended to perform most serious meetings in its small boardroom.  He appeared stoic despite being in near agony.  The jostling his Warhammer took during the engagement with the Stalker and Crusader had reopened scar tissue on his jaw.

   The three in attendance looked at each other before deciding Doctor Marilyn Swan should go first.  She sat up straight and cleared her throat and looked at the noteputer in front of her.  She pushed a loose lock of hair away from brown eyes and tucked it behind her ear.  “Lieutenant Liam Grant will recover from his concussion and will be able to return to duty.  Sergeant Brian Swansky will have major scarring on his leg but will eventually recover and return to duty.  Private Zephyr Tenneson will recover quickly from his bruised ribs.  Private Onora Rinne will recover but will have facial scarring.  Private Jude Simon is still in intensive care and I am unsure if or when she will return to duty.”  Doctor Swan took a deep breath.  “Private Angela Farber has died from her wounds.”  The womans tone was deadpan, but Alex could see the grief in her eyes.  The butchers bill was high today.

   Captain Bishop looked to Christopher and Cole.  “How are the assets?”  Cole nodded to his senior and Hytuli proceeded, also consulting a noteputer.  “Angela' Javelin is a total loss.  Brian' Blackjack is scrap.  Jude' Vulcan is scrap.”  The technician paused and frowned.  “Onora' Whitworth will require major repairs.  It's amazing she survived Alex.  She probably deserves a metal after three confirmed kills to save Hammer Lance.”  Alex' friend looked back to his notes.  “Zephyr' Crusader needs a new leg.  Liam' Jenner needs a new leg.  The rest is extensive armor replacements.”

   Cole picked up where his partner left off.  “With our contract percentages our liaison has agreed with us that we are entitled to the Wasp, Firestarter and Javelin.  There is contention over the unknown light that we captured.  Our percentages dictate we hand over the second Wasp, Shadowhawk and Guillotine.  The tanks have also been divided up appropriately.  You'll need to personally negotiate over the contested piece, though I'd like to note it's special equipment must have been destroyed by Sergeant Olsen' satchel charge as it doesn't seem that special to me besides being an unknown chassis.”

   Alexander leaned back in his chair and stroked a finger along his discolored cheek.  “Doctor Swan, please make preparations to have Angela' body returned to her family.  Keep me posted on Jude' condition daily.”  She nodded solemnly.  “Yes sir.”  Looking to both technicians Alex added.  “Both of you get to work on stripping the salvage and repairing our machines before you touch the captured mechs.  I'll speak with the liaison and sort out the remaining details.  Dismissed.”  The three stood and filed their way out of the small room.

   Looking to the table, on top of his files, the young womans dog tags lay on the paperwork.  Reaching out slowly Alex picked up the cool metal and held it in his hand for a moment before opening its chain, putting it around his neck and clasping it shut.  It made a small clinking sound as it came to rest against Martha' tags.  “Are they heavy?”  The young commanders head came up and saw Keeva standing in the doorway.  “Sorry Private Rinne, I didn't hear you come in.  Can I help you?”  The Captain tucked the tags underneath his shirt.

   Keeva pursed her lips but let Alex' deflection pass.  She slipped into the room, letting the door close, and settled into a chair.  Leaning forward onto the table slightly she smiled at her senior officer.  “I wanted to thank ye for saving mah, Sair.  If ya hadn't intervened when ya heed, that Capellan would ha' shredded me.”  Her dialect rolled like a purr and Alex could tell she was being a little more familiar with him, the same way Onora usually was.

   “I take care of my people...”  The weight grew around Alexander' neck.  “...when I can.”  The way Keeva was looking at the Captain suddenly told him more than words at the moment could.  “Well, if thar's anything I can do to repay ye Captain Bishop, please let mah nu.”  She smiled the devils smile at Alex, got up and left.

   Leaning back into his chair the orphan looked to his desk and the pile of paperwork.  Taking a deep breath Alex closed his eyes.  “They are heavy.”  Despite the burden settling on the lone mans shoulders, as he worked well into the night, he couldn't help but wonder what Keeva had meant.

*   *   *

New Roland
Nadir Jump Point
Capallen Confederation
February 17 3024

   The short Canopus born man was shaking his head and pointing a finger at the large metal form of a captured battlemech.  “That belongs the Magistracy of Canopus.  The Magestrix will agree fully with me.  You have no leg to stand on here.  It's for our national security.”  The liaison kept pointing at the machine to reinforce what he was saying.  Alex found it rather annoying.

   “It also breaks the percentage of allocated material rightfully due to us via our contract.  Give us the Guillotine.”  The mercenary pushed his point.  The small man nearly vibrated as he turned on the Captain like a rabid wolf.  “Absolutely not!  It is the property of the state.”  liaison Stall puffed up as much as he could, though it just made his rumpled suit look even more ridiculous.

   It was Alexander' turn to point a finger, but it was at the Canopian.  “I lost people on this mission and you tell me you want the lions share and ignore our contract, but then spit back your rights due in the same binding agreement?”  A familiar rage began to rise out of the void that had settled at the center of the young mans being.

   “I'd watch what you say to me, mercenary.  I'm a man of the state and what I decide here is law.  You think long and hard before you try and play high and mighty with your better.  You and your people are walking a fine line of contract breach or even treason”  liaison Stall pointed at the light battlemech again and sneered.  “Count your lucky stars I feel generous when we return.”

   “You leave my people out of this.”  Alexander' voice lowered to an even tone as he stared a hole into the smaller man.  “Was that a threat Captain Bishop?”  Stall stormed directly up to the Privateers face.  “You listen here.  You and your precious people are expendable.  Your lives don't matter squat if you dare question my author...”

   Alexander didn't hear anything else liaison Stall had said.  Red boiled behind his eyes as he remembered the boy who had cost him his first chance at being a mechwarrior.  Reaching to the pistol at his side the Captain drew, swiftly put the gun to the small mans temple and pulled the trigger.  Gore splattered across both men but only one fell to the floor.

   Looking down at the body as the shot echoed through the mechbay the orphan boy took a new stance on life.  Hytuli silently walked over stunned at what had just happened.  “Chris, throw this garbage out of the airlock.  Our liaison seems to have been lost during our operation.”  Alex turned and began to walk away, but briefly stopped.  Looking back he commented “No one threatens my peoples integrity or lives.  No one.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 13 October 2018, 19:08:52
Well, that is one way to negotiate with the appointed merc liason.
He did win the argument, interested to find out what chassis it was, must be something good. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: qc mech3 on 13 October 2018, 19:16:12
prototype Raven or Cataphrac maybe?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 13 October 2018, 22:27:26
*claps* I'm pretty sure the liaison is easily replaceable as well...
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: cklammer on 14 October 2018, 07:45:27

Surely, Sir, it was a sniper ... yes it is funny how sniper's rounds always leave smoke burns, Sir.
 ... Salvage? What Salvage, Sir? We were too hardly pressed for salvaging ...

In for a cent, in for a Euro.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren on 21 October 2018, 19:53:08
Well you know people around Alexander keep getting shot in head, liaison Stall just the latest.

Any chance we could have a current TOE for the unit?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 22 October 2018, 15:49:34
I'll try and put something together for you this week. The TO&E shouldn't be too hard to update. I had the records mostly written up to the point of taking the mission on New Roland.  Life got busy but I'll attempt to dive back into writing again this week.  I'm happy you guys are enjoying!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 30 October 2018, 06:22:37
I am always looking forward to more, the story is very entertaining.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 30 October 2018, 20:02:15
Canopus IV
Crimson City
Magistracy of Canopus
May 2 3024

   Onora practically skipped along side the delegation from the Magistracy Support Corps as she lead them to the small board room on the Ascending Night.  Having worked with at least two of the group previously before her career change, the now mercenary felt giddy being on the other side of the proverbial fence.  The trip back to Canopus IV from the Confederation had left Onora feeling exhilarated.  She had entered the crucible of battle and survived to tell the tale of a warrior.  Something she never had truly gotten to do in her other professions, at least not in a cockpit.

   “And here we are ladies and gentleman.  The Captain is just in here.  He apologizes in advance for not wishing to meet in the city, but getting shot in the face will do that to you.”  Onora put on the largest fake smile she could muster.  “I'll just be waiting outside for when you're finished.”  She pressed the entry button and the door slid open.  As the delegation walked into the board room she saw Alexanders somber face greet them.  A pang of jealousy washed over her as she cursed her sister for infiltrating his bubble of solitude before she could.  Giving her Captain a wink she closed the door so he could go about his business.

   “Greetings Captain Bishop.  Seeing as you're here alive and well I would like to congratulate you on a job well done.”  The lead delegate Sophie Unsma extended her hand to Alex.  Getting up the Privateer leaned forward and took her hand in a firm exchange.  “Well met Miss Unsma.”  The Captain took his seat once more. “And thank you.  Now, if you'd all take a seat we can get the finalization of our contract wrapped up.”  Sophie did as asked and then let a smile curl his pink painted lips.  “Yes, of course Captain.  The first matter at hand is the death of Liaison Stall.  We have received your report on the situation revolving around his accidental death, but my superiors are very concerned about you not being able to retrieve his body.”

   Alexander folded his hands in front of him on the table.  A habit he noted he had picked up from time spent with Wilik Fore on Thraxa.  The same somber expression still rested on his face from the moment the rooms door had opened.  “I understand the concern Miss Unsma.  It's unfortunate but war zones are unpredictable.  As you have mentioned, you have already received my report concerning the matter.”

   The smile on the Canopian woman's face remained sweet, but her tone was anything but.  “Liaison Stall was assigned to your unit as a noncombatant.  He was attached to your unit for accounting purposes and salvage deliberation.  He was not suppose to leave your dropships or become involved in combat.  The news of his death is most disturbing.”  The delegates face was a porcelain mask, her smile never touching her eyes.

   “As I've already stated, war is unpredictable.  Sometimes people unintentionally find themselves in the line of fire.”  Cold steel entered the young mans voice.  “It's all in my report.  If you'd like to begin an investigation on the matter, feel free.  If that is the case then it is in my right to with hold all material assets which I have returned with until the end of said deliberation and the conclusion of our contract.  That includes the salvaged battlemechs we have returned with for you.”  The scarring on Alexanders jaw flushed as his temper began to rise.  “If you'd take a closer look at the submitted report, you'd see that I also lost people and material on this mission.”

   The delegates smile broke slightly as she seemed suddenly taken aback by Alexanders angry retort.  “The Magistracy recognizes the loss of life as an unfortunate necessity to maintain its sovereignty and we mourn your loss.  The retrieval of functioning mechs does fufill your bonus objectives for the contract.” Miss Sophie Unsma recovered her composure.  “You can understand though our concern for our own man.  A delay in our acquiring the material you retrieved for us however, is unacceptable.  We will tolerate Liaison Stall as a martyr of the state, but understand in our next negotiation we will require concessions on your part for a larger Liaison attache.”

   Next negotiation?  That caught Captain Bishops attention.  “Beg your pardon Miss Unsma, what -next- negotiation?”  The young leader could see the joy taken by the Canopian delegate in catching him off guard.  Alex inwardly scowled at the petty power games played by those in positions of authority.  Delegate Sophie settled back into her chair.  “It was the Magestrix' intention to offer you another contract upon successful completion of this foray into Capellan territory.  It isn't a glamorous post, being garrison duty, but our esteemed leader wished to maintain a working relationship with your Privateers in case she needed to call upon you again.  Consider it a retainer of sorts.”

   Captain Bishop narrowed his eyes as he assessed the people present and the possible implications of agreeing to such a contract.  “I'll take it under advisement while I am present on world and refitting.”  He watched as Miss Unsma withdrew a memory drive from her dress and placed it on the table.  “Very good Captain, this is the details and terms of the contract. Your post would be Bass.”  The woman's smile broadened but still didn't touch her eyes.  “Now then, shall we go inspect the pair of Wasps and Firestarter you have brought back for us to conclude our meeting?”

*   *   *

   Keeva stirred from her dreamless slumber.  She felt the warm skin of Alexanders chest underneath her arm as it rose and fell from his steady breathing.  As her mind cleared she couldn't help but think this was the first time she had actually seen the man fast sleep.  Taking an appreciative moment the Northwind born stared out through her own locks of red hair that dangled across her face and watched the man next to her. 

   Before a smile had a chance to form on her lips, her hidden eyes caught a fleeting movement in the darkness beyond and focused.  The silhouette of a person dressed in black crept from the shadows to the bed side.  Eyes widening, Keeva began to act but to her dismay it was not fast enough.  The assailants knife lashed out and opened up Alexanders throat with a wet splash.  Training kicked in and the woman's hand snapped up grabbing the wrist of the intruder and wrenched it hard.  A feminine squeal shrieked through the mouth piece of the sneak suit as bones broke and caused them to drop the knife.

   Maintaining her hold on the assassins arm, Keeva rolled her naked body and kicked upwards to wrap her legs around the shoulder of Alex' would be killer.  Ignoring the flurry of hammering fists that broke her nose, with all her strength pulled down on the arm in the opposite direction it should bend.  There was scream of pain accompanied by a sickening crack as the assailants arm folded over backwards.  Wasting no time Keeve released the momentarily pain stricken attacker and quickly found the knife.  Leaping off of the bed and on top of the other woman she planted the already bloodied blade over and over into the side of the assassins head until she stopped moving.

   Hurrying to her feet Keeva stumbled to a computer council and sounded an alarm.  Her face ablaze with pain and her bare skin blood soaked she moved to her new lovers side and began to attempt to stop the flow of life escaping him.

The following is the requested TO&E of the unit after New Roland.  It doesn't factor in vehicle/aerospace assets and infantry.  (Haven't designed exact forces yet)

Roster: Late 3024
   Command Lance (Anvil)
   Alexander Bishop CO Veteran – Warhammer WHM-6R
   Zephyr Tenneson Green - Crusader CRD-3L
   Kendall Mathers, Sergeant Regular- Centurion CN9-A
   Keeva Rinne Regular – Black Knight BL-7-KNT

   Fire Lance (Hammer)
   Brian Swansky, Sergeant Regular – Dispossessed
   Onora Rinne Regular - Whitworth WTH-1
   Chen Jian Green - Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
   Jude Simon Green - Dispossessed

   Recon Lance (Dagger)
   Liam Grant XO, Lieutenent Regular – Jenner JRD-7
   Sekai Xolani Green - Hermes HER-1A
   Angela Farber Green - Dead
   Jiang Shufen Tan, Sergeant Regular - Vindicator VND-1AA
   Garrison Lance/Home Base
   Feofil Andreev Green - Cicada CDA-2A
   Marilyn Anwater, Sergeant Green - Panther PNT-9R
   Dominec Holt Green - Commando COM-2D
   Gabby Burns Green - Wasp WSP-1A
   Reserves/Protocol Omega
   Emperor EMP-6A
   Crockett CRK-5003-1
   Malcolm Rush Regular - Dragoon AEM-01

   Salvage:  Javelin-10N, Shadowhawk-2H, Raven-RVN-1X, Guillotine-3N

Assets: Union Class Dropship “Ascending Night”, Union Class Dropship "Siren's Call" Mule Class Dropship "Fleeting Dream", Invader Class Jumpship "Typheus", Invader Class Jumpship "Silver Star" (semi mothballed at this time)
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 30 October 2018, 21:42:19
Oh...… crap :/
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 30 October 2018, 21:58:49
Hah, Alex just can't seem to get a break. Also nice to see the mix up with the salvage.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: PrinceSheo 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
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: PrinceSheo on 01 November 2018, 19:03:54
Aaaaaaaaaaand Hero-boy lost me...
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: pat_hdx on 01 November 2018, 19:41:51
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
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: PrinceSheo 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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.” 
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner 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:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: DOC_Agren 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 08 November 2018, 19:57:18
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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 08 November 2018, 20:12:43
Oh, you tease. Show me the loot!
Hopefully, it's not played out like their last stop.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: mikecj on 08 November 2018, 22:02:37
Nice, not a Star League cache!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Dave Talley on 08 November 2018, 22:51:24
show me da money!!!!!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 14 November 2018, 22:30:47
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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Hawkeye Jim 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 22 November 2018, 17:22:07
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.”

*   *   *

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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: theCrowe 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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja 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
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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Esskatze on 28 January 2019, 18:55:50
Not bad. A view into past events is a nice change of pace!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 28 January 2019, 20:06:43
Great to see you back at it Drunkninja! Thanks for the update.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 24 April 2019, 16:49:04
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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 24 April 2019, 20:33:40
Great to see you still writing Drunkninja. Awesome story.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: cklammer on 25 April 2019, 14:22:33
Nice update and good to see you back.  :))
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 25 April 2019, 16:34:18
Happy to see this updated.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 26 April 2019, 22:08:51
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.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW 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?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: snakespinner on 27 April 2019, 07:25:30
This is the periphery, of course osha has not been invented yet.
Anyway Alex seems to be a masochist, so he wouldn't bother with it. >:D :D :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 30 April 2019, 21:20:49
Magistracy of Canopus
Dead System
Black Site, Sailors Refuge
January 1 3026

   Anger flushed Onora's usually pale cheeks red as she turned off the video message that had told her the news.  It had finally happened.  Her father was dead and she was now free. Onora had known his death was coming, that was an inevitable fact she had been prepared for.  But his passing was now seemingly tainted with a horrible lie.  Onora and Keeva's father had died over a year ago, but the Magistracy government had avoided telling them in order to maintain the twins mission.

   Onora looked across the table at her sister, her blood boiling.  “Did they think we wouldn't find out sooner or later?”  She felt like smashing the holovid player but resisted the urge.  “Of all the arrogance...”  Tears welled up in her eyes and she looked down at her trembling hands.  “... they used us and now he's gone.”  Her sister reached across from where she was sitting and wrapped her hands around hers.  Keeva had always been able to hide her emotions better than Onora had.  “We will make them pay.”  There was a cold, sharp edge to the operatives words.

   “But how do we fight a nation, my dear sister?”  Onora felt the words almost choke in her throat as an overwhelming feeling of anger and grief swept through her.  She looked up from her hands to see stone set in Keeva's green eyes.  “Much has happened since Alexander and I have been away.  There's many things to discuss.  Since our would be overlords have cut our strings, perhaps it's time to take advantage of one major flaw in their planning.”  Onora wiped her tear streaked cheeks and attempted to steel herself.  “And what would that be Keeva?”

   A silence hung in the air between the two for a moment before it was said out loud.  “They wanted us to grow close to Bishop's Privateers and in return they'd look after our father.  They have failed us but yet we have succeeded.  Alexander has been on the edge of a precipice concerning his opinion of the Canopians.  I would say sister if we give our dear friend a small nudge he may fall on those who have wronged us with more savagery than we could ever accomplish on our own.” 

   Keeva let go of Onora's hands and stood up from the table.  “Come, let me show you.  The dropships are being unloaded as we speak.  My love has accomplished what he had set out to do.”  Onora slowly pushed her own chair back and got up to follow her sister.  As the twins walked towards the rooms door Keeva added “Alexander has come home with his family's legacy.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: OpacusVenatori on 30 April 2019, 21:53:49
Glad to see you back  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 30 April 2019, 23:02:29
Drunkninja, show us the loot!
Heh, please.

So what can Alex field now?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 07 May 2019, 21:44:29

*   *   *

   Technician Cole tapped a stylus against his lower lip as he stared at the noteputer that he held up awkwardly higher than needed.  The balding tech squinted his eyes at the light blue screen as if it would help him better understand what he was looking at.  “I don't get it.  All of its parts are basically still accessible, but I've literally never heard of this machine before.”  Sticking the stylus into his mouth and gnawing on its end, Cole lowered the noteputer and placed it onto the workbench in front of him.  “I can probably handle the maintenance on the two Icarus II's but...”  motioning with his hand toward the gantry closest to his left he continued “...that Lancelot thing is all you Chris.”

   Hytuli nodded.  “I figured as much, the burden of knowledge is a heavy one.”  He grinned at his coworker and friend.  “The Icarus II is an old Leaguer design, she just doesn't have a factory any more.  Replacement parts should be easy to find in comparison to trying to maintain some of the mechs we're adding to our new TO&E.  You'd think the Captains family was straight out of the Star League with some of the tech they held on to.”  Cole wrinkled his nose at that comment.  “That's true enough, though it's a damned shame he wants us to mothball a bunch of it here.  We could get a mighty fine upgrade in pay if he would just bring those toys to one of the Successor States.  The Davions especially would shell out big for mercs with tech.”

   “The Captain has his reasons though.” Chris almost said with a sigh.  The floor shuddered as behind the two men a Privateer piloted an ancient Longbow into the gantry next to the rare Lancelot.  Cole let out a whistle as he watched the assault mech come to a lumbering halt.  “Now I haven't seen one of those since I was a kid.  Man, that right there is some huge piece of work.”  He paused for a second before looking back at Hytuli.  “And don't you mean Major?”  The senior tech waved his hand out in a sweeping motion to all of the secondary warehouse of Star Refuge's storage facility.  “With all of the newly acquired hardware, combined with our existing assets garrisoned on Bass...” Cole counted on his fingers while looking upwards. “ the armor company, our Major Bishop has a reinforced Battalion.”

   Christopher noticed the Rinne twins walk into the warehouse from the administration access door before looking back at Cole.  “All these old war toys have been in storage for a very long time, pushing twenty years I'd say.  It's going to take some elbow grease to maintain them, let alone have them ready for combat again.”  The veteran tech wiped sweat from his brow before punching a few numbers into his own hand held device.  “In the mean time I'm pretty sure Alex is going to remain a Captain, for various reasons.”  Hytuli made a note on his to do list to have the Marauder's paint job changed as one of his teams first tasks.  “Besides, we're severely lacking the personnel to field such a large unit as it stands now.  Those numbers will take some time to muster.”  Cole shook his head.  “I still say it's a damned shame.  This star tour the Captain went on certainly seems to have changed him.  It's like he suddenly has an agenda larger than just running a mercenary unit and making money.”

   Chris typed a few more numbers into his datapad.  It was true, Alexander had changed.  Had grown.  It had slowly happened over the past year, but there was certainly a difference.  It wasn't until they had located the final cache that the change was complete.  Hytuli still recalled that night clearly in his minds eye.  The aging man placed put his noteputer and stylus into the front pocket of his coveralls.  There was not technology in the final hiding place, no grand treasure of battlemechs or weapons.  He was the only one Alexander had told what he had found in the large safe that had been buried on that last planet.  Eric Bishops plan to invade the world of Canopus IV.  Christopher smiled at Keeva and Onora as they approached and pushed those dark thoughts from his mind.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 08 May 2019, 17:32:53
Oh wow...... over 10,000 views now.  Hoping you guys are enjoying this hobby of mine.  That number is awesome! Thank you everyone!
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Hairbear541 on 08 May 2019, 17:37:55
can't get enough....more please .
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 08 May 2019, 19:09:31
Magistracy of Canopus
Dead System
Black Site, Sailors Refuge
January 4 3026

   Sergeant Anders Olsen came to attention as he stood in front of Captain Bishop.  He felt his new standard tan infantry uniform hug tightly across his broad chest while looking out straight, maintaining a professional bearing until his commanding officer paid him notice.  “At ease.” It wasn't long before the earthy voice of the mercenary commander let him fall into a parade resting stance.  “Captain, you requested my presence?”

   A silence hung in the air for a few moments that allowed the veteran soldier to appraise the young leader.  Anders hadn't had many opportunities to physically see Alexander since they parted ways on Bass, but he had heard talk among the Privateers that their youthful Captain was beginning to fill out his own shoes and become more of a man.  The Sergeants eyes wandered down to peer briefly at the aggressive scarring on Alex's hands.  Another detriment from his brazen heroism no doubt.  More testament to why the Captain's nickname Lucky was circulating among his troops.

   Alexander looked up from the paper work that was stretched from one end of his desk to the other and Sergeant Olsen saw for the first time not just the successful guts of a young upstart, but the determination and burden of a leader behind the Captain's eyes.  “I've been looking over your reports from the time spent on garrison duty on Bass.  I appreciate the effort you and Lieutenant Grant have put into growing the infantry and training the armor company while I've been away.”  Anders snapped a smart salute.  “Thank you sir!  I can return to my post there sooner than later if you wish.” 

   Captain Bishop shook his head.  “No, everyone gets their turn on rotation here.”  Alex reached down and opened a drawer of his desk and withdrew a datachip.  “I have arranged special training exercises for you and a particular roster of men and women to under go here at the Refuge.  After reviewing the boarding action you undertook successfully against the Silver Star, I intend for you to hone those skills.”  The Captain leaned forward and handed the datachip to Sergeant Olsen.  “You and your team will use the Leopard's crash site as your zero oxygen training ground.”

   Anders glanced down quickly at the chip in his large hand.  “Yes Captain.  I will get on this right away, though might I speak freely sir?”  With a nod from his commander he continued.  “That action was a bloody mess and we barely pulled it off.  I lost a lot of my people that could even handle such risky business.  Honestly, I don't think we'd be able to do it again.”  Alexander leaned back in his chair and stared intently up at Sergeant Olsen.  “I understand Anders, and I agree.  My thoughts on this are that I want a crack unit of specialists that can tackle challenging tasks.  Your peoples bravery in that particular action just make you and yours the obvious choice core of want I intend to form.”

   “Also...”  Alex continued.  “...while I visited Bass and made our rotation of troops, I took the liberty of fishing for more contracts that we could possibly take on to alleviate the tight budget we're running.  I came up with a small job for a lesser noble in the Free Worlds on a border world.  The details are documented for you on there as well.”  The Privateers leader motioned to the tiny object Anders held.  “Once you're finished a training cycle here, you're to take the Refuge Guard and a selection of vehicles of your choosing along with a hand picked force of personnel to go and fulfill this contract.  I've outlined a new form of combat doctrine for you to use if possible on this mission.  In short, you're to incorporate a trial run for a combined arms unit.”

   Olsen was briefly taken by surprise at what the Captain was saying.  “Sir, this seems awful sudden don't you think.  I'm just a ground pounder and...”  The older man was cut off.  “Oh stuff it Anders.  You're one of the most seasoned veterans I've likely met.  It's time you had an opportunity to lead and run a full operation.  And the one I've secured is right up your alley.  You've been running in between the feet of battlemechs for a long time.  All I need is for you to start telling them what to do.”

   “Yes Captain.”  The Sergeant nodded and looked down at the data chip again.  Before being dismissed Captain Bishop explained.  “I've been studying Magistracy battle doctrine and its obvious to see vehicles are a part of its backbone.  I have faith that you'll be able to help me in creating a hybrid lance that utilizes mixed arms to maximize our resources and success ratios against pure mech and tank formations.”  Sergeant Olsen nodded and turned to leave.  The veteran began to wonder where Alexander had theory crafted the idea, but then again he was learning to expect surprises every now and again from his units leader.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 09 May 2019, 17:18:27
Deep Periphery
Violet City
January 4 3026

   The red sun was shining brightly that day with barely a cloud in the sky.  Jason brought his right hand up to his brow and squinted as he stared upwards trying to see it, though he knew it was easier to see at night.  Main street was busy as usual and people walked around him on the side walk going about their own business.  Finally giving up he blinked the stars away from his eyes and ran to catch up with his mother.  “I still don't understand mom, how can you be so content with knowing they abandoned us?” 

   It had only been that morning over breakfast that Jason's mother had told him the truth about their lives on Persephone.  He had known nothing but a peaceful existence on his home world, but to find out that there was more to the universe than just the quiet life he knew was agitating.  “You could be out there fighting bad guys.  I could be out there fighting bad guys!  Instead, we're stuck here protecting people from no one. Man, it would be so cool.”  Jason kicked at a rock that was sitting on the edge of the side walk.  It briefly took flight and hit a stranger that was walking in front of him.  The elderly man turned around and frowned at the teenager.

   “Sorry about that.”  General Elliott said to the victim of her sons attack.  The old man was about to retort but the moment he recognized her the anger drained from his already pale, wrinkled face.  “It's ok.”  He replied and then turned, picked up his pace and hurried away.  Jason's mother stopped and took a hold of his shoulder.  Her own wrinkles creased the sides of his bright blue eyes as she scolded him.  “Be more careful.  Never use your strength to harm others, even if it's an accident.”  The General's son frowned and squirmed under her strong grip.  “He got it my way, he should have moved.”  The boy pouted and looked away from his mothers stern gaze and focused on the pin she wore of her units insignia.  It was old and from another time and place.

   “If you keep acting like that I won't bring you today.”  There was an edge to Jason's mothers voice he recognized.  He wouldn't dare call the Generals bluff.  “Okay, okay I'm sorry.”  The teen huffed and let his shoulders slump in defeat.  “I do really want to see it, but I still don't understand why we need it if we can't leave.  I want to be like you mom.”  General Elliott smiled at Jason and let go of his shoulder.  “Some day.”  She dryly replied and started walking again.

   “Will I get to have one of those cool badges?”  The teen asked as he started walking besides his mother again.  General Helen Elliott looked down at what signified her as being the leading officer for The Faithful Few.  “If you earn it son.”  Jason looked to the sky again and grinned contently as he caught a glimpse of what he had been looking for earlier.  His mind wandered to the day he would be in charge and what he would change.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 16 May 2019, 18:51:38
Free Worlds League
May 17 3026

   The staccato of small arms fire continuously thumped off the ruined concrete wall of the abandoned building.  Private Micheals checked her short ranged missile launcher one more time before swallowing hard.  Her throat was dry, possibly caused by the dust being thrown into the air by incoming enemy fire, but likely caused by the terror of what she had to try and accomplish.  She brushed strands of dirty blonde hair back out of her face and tucked it behind her ear.  “Any word on an ETA?” The League soldier shouted out across at her comms officer.  The younger Corporal had a listening device pressed hard against his ear with his infantry helmet lifted up just enough to show off his grit covered forehead.  “Two minutes and counting.”  He yelled back, while keeping his communications suite close to his face.

   This would be a damned lot easier if we hadn't bogged down in this fire fight. Kaitlyn Micheals muttered to herself as more suppressing fire strafed across her position causing debris to rain down on her helmet.  After two days of pursuing the mercenaries who had made planet fall, the goal was to ambush them in an abandoned settlement they were being channeled towards.  When the Privates platoon had made it to the empty village via APC they were surprised to find mercenary infantry already dug in two thirds of the way to the towns center.  Then all hell had broken loose.

   Clearing her throat and swallowing again, Micheals checked her safety for a third time.  It was at that point she felt it.  The thing most infantry learned to fear.  Placing her left hand to the ground she could feel it.  The rhythmic shock waves caused by battlemechs making speed across open ground.  Closing her eyes she said a brief prayer to any of the gods she hoped existed at that very moment.  Kaitlyn heard her Sergeant yell “Covering fire and missiles away!”  It was time to act and the Private let her training take over.

   Infantry under the employ of their local noble raised up from their rabbit holes and opened fire on the mercenary positions.  It was hard to see the enemy men and women but the tell tale yelling and occasional screams let the League infantry know they were fighting more than just ghosts.  Thud... Thud...Thud... Thud... It was Micheals turn now.  The machines foot falls were in ear shot and she needed to take advantage of the covering fire and the lives being spent around her.  Pushing up hard with her right leg she spun around and, with her left foot finding solid purchase on a large piece of rubble the Private steadied herself. 

   No training could ever really prepare a human being for facing a battlemech unaugmented on the field.  Private Kaitlyn Micheals froze as she held her srm launcher aloft and stared at the goliath of a warmachine sprinting down the street toward her position.  As the leading mech approached, a Wasp, it seemed to ignore the infantry and focus on its intended course through the ruins.  The roar of missile fire from Micheals comrades snapped her out of her daze and, flipping her weapons safety, fired her own.  A corkscrew of smoke billowed out in front of her as the short range missile sailed through the air and found its target on the tan colored leg of the mercenarys light battlemech.

    Not all of the infantries missiles found a mark on the behemoth, but enough had to break its shell and destroy internals.  An unearthly squeal screeched through the air as shredded armor plates blew through the Wasps lower leg actuator and to Micheals surprise sent it reeling down hard onto the street.  Its forward momentum was too great for it to simply fall however and the war machine created a deep furrow in the pavement as it continued for quite some distance, throwing up debris as it went.  Despite not being destroyed the Wasp no longer stirred and was likely due to a pilot injury.

   Private Micheals quickly fell back to cover and started to reload her srm launcher.  One down she said to no one in particular and counted her blessings.  The wailing cries of the injured and dying could be heard more clearly now without the blasting of her platoons covering fire or the drumming of the Wasps rampaging feet against solid ground.  It was hard to listen to, especially knowing that it could have easily been her, but Micheals knew trading infantry for a battlemech was a huge success on any battlefield. 

   It was unrealistic to think that the same sort of attack would work again against another mech of the mercenaries lance, and so it was to no ones surprise when the remaining Cicada, Commando and Panther rushed passed the dug in infantries position.  Micheals knew all that was left for her platoon to do now was hold ground for the next few minutes until her own allied battlemechs show up to continue the fight.  That would have been easier said then done if the enemy battlemechs fell in line with their own infantry, but they seemed content to move further toward the center of town. 

   Kaitlyn heard cheering suddenly as a call went up that the mercenarys had begun to retreat.  The young soldier let herself smile as she took in the moment.  Behind the cheering she could also hear the movements of her Lords own battlemechs passing by on the street.  “After them!”  Her officer commanded and up the Private went to join the route of their enemies.  The infantry platoon couldn't hope to keep up with the movements of battlemechs, especially unaugmented, but gaining ground was still important even if it was to simply clean up after the mech jockeys did the real work.

   Not as fast as her comrades Private Micheals lagged behind slightly carrying her srm launcher.  The slower movement allowed her to catch a glimpse of her allies largest battlemech, a Griffin, stop dead in its tracks and freeze a moment before firing its jump jets in sort of a panicked fashion.  The mech failed to get out of the way of what ever had caught it off guard and suddenly the air filled with a horrific roar.  Not unlike her own weapons effect, smoke trails began to fill the space between the Griffin and its foe.  The amount of carnage that followed however was beyond what a handle held launcher could achieve.   Warhead after warhead detonated against the medium battlemech in a cascade like nothing the Private had ever witnessed before.  In seconds the once potent weapon of war disappeared in a cloud of hot death and was ripped to pieces by a storm of short ranged missiles.

   “SRM Carrier!”  Micheals heard one of her comrades scream just as the remains of the Griffin crashed hard into a near by building.  The Privates heart nearly burst from her chest as she saw the boxy shaped tanks silhouette past the smoking remains of her commanders mech.  Kaitlyn broke and ran for cover, more so to hide from sight than to gain any real protection from the monsters destructive ability.  The clanking of tank treads was joined by rippling pangs of automatic gunfire again as the fade maneuver the mercenaries had just used was now catching the Privates platoon in a reversal.  Cries of pain and terror filled the young womans ears as she curled up trying to stay hidden from the massacre her battle line had quickly become.

   The familiar whooshing sound of more missiles letting go overtook all other noise again as a second mech killer broke through a wall and caught a Free Worlds League Stinger between it and the mercenaries Panther.  Private Micheals never heard the infantry approach from her flank, but smartly raised her hands the moment she saw their tan uniforms.  “Please no” was all she could say before the stock end of a rifle being held by a surprisingly large man knocked her out.  Private Kaitlyn Micheals would later find out she had been the only survivor of her entire platoon.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 17 May 2019, 18:53:21
Author Notes:  I'm doing this post after a few requests for a TO&E of sorts.  Up until now the story has been about Bishops Privateers origin and how they obtained their hardware.  It's been about the development of their leader and what brought him to this point in history.  About a boy forced to become a man rapidly and carry a heavy burden.  About making a choice.

I'm honestly surprised with myself that the story has gone on this far, but as my desire to write grew the story began to snowball into something large.  I have a lot of ideas for the future and from this point on I'm hoping to get into the meat and potatoes of the Innerspheres history.  I'm not the best writer and I apologize, but I hope you're enjoying the ride if you've stuck with me this far.

The following is the TO&E that I've been working on for the unit.  It's likely full of holes but the book keeping is becoming difficult.  Besides the hardware, something else has been gathered that's very important to the units development and strength.  The knowledge that Alexanders uncle has been passed down to him through information packages in each cache.  I didn't want to have an origin like Wolf Dragoons or the Kell Hounds.  I needed a better explanation how the unit became a Battalion.  With that in mind and the units actual financial status a grey back ground area (not tackling that yet), here's their TO&E.

Roster: Early 3026 and TO&E

Battlemech Company

Command Lance (Anvil)
   Alexander Bishop CO Veteran – Warhammer WHM-6R
   Zephyr Tenneson Green - Crusader CRD-3L
   Kendall Mathers, Sergeant Regular- Centurion CN9-A
   Keeva Rinne Regular – Black Knight BL-7-KNT

Fire Lance (Hammer)
   Brian Swansky, Sergeant Regular –  Guillotine-3N
   Onora Rinne Regular - Whitworth WTH-1
   Chen Jian Green - Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
   Jude Simon Green -  Shadowhawk-2H

Recon Lance (Dagger)
   Liam Grant XO, Lieutenent Regular – Jenner JRD-7
   Sekai Xolani Green - Hermes HER-1A
   Zane Zoya Regular -  Javelin-10N
   Jiang Shufen Tan, Sergeant Regular - Vindicator VND-1AA
Garrison Lance/Home Base
   Feofil Andreev Green - Cicada CDA-2A
   Marilyn Anwater, Sergeant Green - Panther PNT-9R
   Dominec Holt Green - Commando COM-2D
   Gabby Burns Green - Wasp WSP-1A
Reserves/Protocol Omega
   Emperor EMP-6A
   Crockett CRK-5003-1
   Malcolm Rush Regular - Dragoon AEM-01

Reinforced Armor Company

Command Lance
   Von Luckner Tank
   Manticore Heavy Tank
   Manticore Heavy Tank
   SRM Carrier

Fire Lance
   LRM Carrier
   LRM Carrier
   SRM Carrier

Recon Lance
   Galleon Tank
   Galleon Tank
   Vedette Tank
   Vedette Tank

   Tracked APC
   Tracked APC
   Scorpion Light Tank
   Scorpion Light Tank

***NOTE An over-sized Platoon of specialist infantry is directly attached to the Tank Company.  The entire formation is lead by one Lieutenant Anders Olsen.  The infantry are Veteran and are the most seasoned formation in Bishops Privateers to date.

    Griffin GRF-2N
   Corsair CSR-V12
   Corsair CSR-V12
   Sparrowhawk SPR-H5
   Leopard “Young Eagle”

***NOTE The aerospace assets were found in the warehouses of Sailors Refuge among the tanks that were stranded there.  To date there are no techs among Bishops Privateers that are capable of their repair.  The Griffin only consisted of a center torso and head when also found on Sailors Refuge.  It had been a part of the Jolly Roger Affair gifts to Roax but was destroyed during the pirates raiding. The Leopard Young Eagle was the craft to crash onto the planetoid that houses Sailors Refuge.

Other Notable Assets
   Prime Mover, Union Class Dropship “Ascending Night”, Union Class Dropship Siren's Call Mule Class Dropship Fleeting Dream, Invader Class Jumpship Typheus, Invader Class Jumpship Silver Star. 
Recovered Devils Wake/Faithful Few Hardware

   Locust LCT-1V
   Spider SDR-5V
   Stinger STG-3R
   Stinger STG-3R
   Icarus II ICR-1S
   Icarus II ICR-1S
   Hermes II HER-2S
   Vulcan VL-2T
   Wolverine WVR-6M
   Griffin GRF-1N
   Dervish DV-6M
   Lancelot LNC25-01
   Marauder MAD-3R
   Orion ON1-K
   Thug THG-11E(modified)
   Longbow LGB-7Q
   Ontos Heavy Tank
   Goblin Medium Tank
   Goblin Medium Tank
   Drillson (Changed to 2x Scimitar as the Drillson's production date didn't work)
   2x Carbine Constructionmechs.

***NOTE All assets listed were mothballed for over twenty years.  At this juncture they needed a large amount of work to be battle ready.  Along with these major assets there were large amounts of munitions and support material.  This TO&E is tentative and possibly not permanent.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Tyler Jorgensson on 19 May 2019, 01:03:50
Following: Well done and please do continue.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Elmoth on 27 May 2019, 02:10:10
Caught up now. Great story so far. Better than a few of the official books I have read. Looking forward to more entries :)
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 06 June 2019, 19:43:31
Free Worlds League
Tellman's Mistake
Dropship Ascending Night
February 6 3028

   The constant thrum of the dropships engine could be felt like a second skin in the reprocessed air of the vessels armory.  With every cycle of power pushed out from the belly of the Ascending Night into its veins, Alexander was brought closer to another world and another conflict.  At the moment however, the newly titled Major sat on the cold metal floor of his weapons room with his back up against a wall and feet kicked up on an awkwardly large steel framed crate while dangling a set of dog tags in front of his eyes.

   In his minds eye Alex remembered the night he had met Martha McKay.  The smell of ocean air that permeated the bar, the clothing she had worn, the fighting spirit she had.  Most of all the young man recalled the desire she had to pilot a battlemech again.  It was such a simple thing, but it had defined his friend until she had met her end doing what she had desired most of all.

   So much had changed since then.

   After Martha had died in combat Alexander had found himself chasing ghosts down into a very deep rabbit hole.  Life was no longer about the simple joy of being able to operate a lord of war on open ground and face an enemy honorably like the knights of old.  Lines had become blurred along the way and became polluted by crime and emotion. 

   Years ago he had only want the same thing, to be a mechwarrior.  Now, as if fate had taken him to task, he felt as if he were trapped on rails designed to propel him in a single direction.  No longer was his own desire sculpted by a simple need, now it was molded by the twisted desire and actions of others.

   Like a phantom hanging in the air just beyond his focused vision, the near complete puzzle of his own and family's story remained unfinished as one final piece of knowledge eluded him.  Why were his parents Philip Bishop and Imani Centrella murdered.  Alexander had intended to ask Henry Rush that question again when the time was right, but the young Major felt that the old veteran might not tell him if he didn't approve of the path Alex was following in the shadow of his family's legacy.

   “If only it were that simple.”  Major Bishop closed his eyes and lowered the dog tags down onto his lap.  He spoke to no one but ghosts and sincerely wished they would reply just once.  Alex knew that his Uncle had not carried out the elaborate plan he had devised to invade Canopus IV.  A task that only seemed possible by using what now the Centrella descendant had at his disposal.  Alexander shifted his feet so that one of his ankles crossed over the other as he rested both on top of the nuclear warheads stored in the specialized steel crate.

   “You chose to disappear instead of fighting and cause others harm, and still you all hid what you found in the deep Periphery.”  The Major felt the weight of Martha's dog tags resting on his lap.  It reminded him of his current actions.  Both dropships the Ascending Night and the Fleeting Dream were on a course to touch down on the world of Tellman's Mistake.  Their cargo was the newly formed companies of Bishops Privateers and their goal was to raid the world as a false flag operation posing to be Marian bandits.  The difference between this mission however and the others the Privateers had taken on before, was that there was no contract, no pay cheque at the end of the day.  Alexander had decided to operate a raid on a world as a training exercise for his newly mustered men and women.  In hindsight it made him feel more like a petty warlord than a mercenary commander, but at the time he had felt he needed to keep his new found force a secret from his enemies, whoever they turned out to be.

   Now, in reflection after collecting his thoughts he wondered if he was wrong.  Not about raiding a world as he knew now the nature of the Innersphere, that might made right.  The Ares Conventions legalized warfare to curb the savagery of man, not to stop it.  No, Alexander wondered if he were leading the people who had joined him to war for the right reason. 

   Martha's dog tags felt heavy.

   The hatch to the armory creaked open and, looking over, Alexander saw Keeva's lilith form glide into the large chamber.  “There ya ar'”  She said in her soothing accent.  “I have news.”  Alex unwedged himself from his position and floated up in the weightlessness of space to meet Keeva.  “What is it?” He simply asked.

   Pursing her lips before speaking, the fair skinned woman Northwinder continued.  “I've finally taken the time to go over my personal messages from Onora.  Apparently she took liberties on her personal leave...”  Keeva paused for a moment for effect before saying “...she says she knows where the man responsible for your parents death is.”

   Her words struck Alex like an autocannon shell.  “Where?”  He asked, and with her reply he heard more rails of fate click into place.

   “Canopus IV.”
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 15 June 2019, 19:22:50
Free Worlds League
Tellman's Mistake
Foreland Expanse
February 23 3028

   Sorolynn Bruister maneuvered her Hermes II behind a pair of rolling hills that put her battlemech between the edge of the Foreland Expanse plains and the start of arboreal forest.  She relished the speed that her new ride could put out but at the same time resented her commander for tasking her lance with the cat and mouse game she was currently playing.  Instead of engaging in a stand up fight that she wanted in order to test her skills, Major Bishop had ordered her to lead her formation to bait the enemy OpFor with hit and runs in order to bring them away from the Privateers raiding target and closer to the tree line.

   “Raider One to team, hold ten then break cover for salvo.”  It had been the same thing over and over for the past two hours.  Now however, the forest was in sight and it was time to test her mettle.  Finally Sorolynn thought We're close enough to actually fight these mercs.  The green mechwarrior counted down from ten underneath her breath before pushing forward on her joysticks to draw power from her fusion engine.  The gyro of her Hermes II whined before the mech lurched forward again into a run. 

   Despite her machines high maximum speed of ninty seven kilometers per hour, Sergeant Bruister's medium was the third Privateer to break cover.  At a break neck pace, the pair of Scimitar's attached to her lance sped out onto open ground.  Through Sorolynn's cockpit shielding the hovercrafts autocannon fire almost sounded to her like song birds chirping, but she knew better than that.  The insulated canopy of her Hermes II protected her from the damaging roar the massive weapons would cause her hearing if exposed to it directly. 

   “With me mechwarriors!”  the young Sergeant cried into her comms as the enemy became visible once more.  Across the field making chase were the mercenaries tasked with protecting the League world, Lori's Bandits.  Sorolynn's HUD painted her first opponent for her, a Charger.  It was an assault class machine, but it's weapons payload was almost laughable.  It had steadily led the chase for its lance and the rest of the OpFors company.  It was closing fast, but not fast enough to avoid being chewed up by the Hermes II's autocannon.  As she pulled her main guns trigger, 'Lynn could feel mild vibrations ripple through her mech as it spit out the autocannons macro shells at high velocity from their chamber.  Thick armor on the Chargers left arm absorbed the blow of the streaming attack, but didn't appear to break. 

   Sergeant Bruister let go with another long range volley into the advancing enemy before juking her medium class machine to the right to throw off incoming fire.  As she did so the young Privateer noticed as the Charger took more fire from her lance mates, its own pilot twisted the huge mechs torso so that its left arm continued to absorb much of her units abuse.  During a brief lull in her offensive as one of her allies crossed her field of fire, a familiar nagging voice chimed in Sorolynn's neurohelmets ear piece.

   “Raider One, pull back.  You are still over extended and have not brought the enemy into the designated kill zone.”  For some reason Major Bishops voice chaffed on Sorolynn's every last nerve.  His planned game of cat and mouse was such a waste of her skill.  For a moment she strongly considered just ignoring the man as she continued to fight.  “Sergeant Bruister, retreat to the treeline now!  That's an order.”  Again the annoying backseat leader of the Privateers tried to take away her glory.  Finally she answered, anger in her words and adrenaline pumping in her ears.  “We reached your damned zone but you didn't act.  Come out and fight instead of hiding like a coward.”  'Lynns blood boiled with battle lust.  Thankfully no other comment was retorted from her arm chair Major.

   Being able to focus again at the task at hand, Sergeant Bruister brought her medium laser into play along side her autocannon against the much closer Charger.  The coherent light of her attack stabbed into the assault mechs right torso causing a black scar in its orange paint job, but to her surprise the Hermes II's powerful autocannon missed wide though luckily catching an enemy Stinger in its stream. 

   The battle was moving fluidly and Sorolynn's instinct told her the Charger was on the verge of breaking against her brutal attacks.  Her vision tunneled in on her foe as it ran at her spitting out its weak small lasers in an attempt to damage her colossus.  Another familiar voice echoed in her ear but unlike the other this one was welcome.  Gently it whispered Let them burn and in response 'Lynn toggled her flamer for an attack.  Liquid fire spewed forth in a dazzling display from her battlemechs left arm.  The inferno blackened her own colored paint job but the beautiful hell it unleashed was worth it.

   At the last moment as the Charger stepped past the fiery blaze Sorolynn Bruister's mind fully broke.  Through her cockpits reflective canopy glass her eyes widened as she saw the massive fist reach out through the roiling smoke rising from her foes torso.  The green mechwarrior wasn't able to hear her own scream as the sound of the assault mechs physical blow quashed all other noise with a deafening crash.  'Lynn would later remember seeing her Hermes II's view screen ripple before exploding from the impact and sending clear shrapnel through her arms, severing both off at the elbow. 

   Before darkness took her, the future ComStar adept saw the gore of her own dismembered limbs, but still couldn't hear her own screams.

*   *   *

   Alexander Bishop stepped his Warhammer through the edge of the treeline just in time to see the enemies commander cave in the head of his Sergeants Hermes II.  Swearing under his breath he was at least relieved to see that the rest of his battered Raider lance was falling back.  Analyzing the enemy formation across the plains Alex could tell their heavy recon was buying time as a distraction in order to maneuver their slower fire support into place.  “Thunder lance.  Fire for effect on top of their recon support.  Let it rain until they pull out.”  Switching comm channels Major Bishop continued.  “Ok Battle lance, it's not ideal but our line in the sand has been drawn.  Push out towards the enemies main column under our umbrella and dig in your heels.  Make them come to us by focusing on their long range assets.”

   The familiar thrumming of his Warhammers fusion reactor grew louder as the Privateers leader throttled up into a run to push himself toward battle.  Exiting the trees along side of him in a rough formation were battlemechs newly christened as second company.  Alex's HUD displayed green pings that represented allies and he took note of his Marauder's, Orion's, Griffin's, and Wolverine's positioning.  Keeva's Black Knight was present as well but he had full confidence already in her ability.

   In truth Alex knew he held a superior number and fire power advantage over Lori's Bandits with the reinforced company he fielded, but the purpose of all this was to train his new recruits hard while securing supplies for his grown unit.  Already, like Raider lance, he was seeing weak links in his peoples skill set, but it was the trial by fire he needed to forge his pilots into a hard unit.

   Wisps of exhaust corkscrewed over head as Thunder lance blanketed the sky with LRM fire.  The combined output of missile fire from two LRM Carriers and his Longbow assault mech was staggering.  As time went on Alex was learning combined arms with vehicles was a slippery slope but when fielded appropriately could yield amazing results.  I do wish I had Anders unit here as well.  The new Major had found experienced infantry to be the key to bringing it all together.

   Following the cascade of destruction being sent down field, Alexander's Warhammer made range with the enemies recon elements.  Major Bishop didn't fire however.  Watching the scene unfold he suddenly felt that he didn't need to.  “Let them go.”  Alex said into an open channel that his people and those of Lori's Bandits could hear.  Staring out through his cockpit glass the Major watched as the enemy Charger burn along with a pair of Stinger's.  The once advancing mercenaries were now in a full withdrawal.  After seeing their own commander sent to ruin, they decided it prudent not to have the same happen to them.

   “To the warehouses.  Lets go collect our pay cheque.”  Alexander continued to watch the routing enemy.  You may keep your lives, but I know one man who will not.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 18 June 2019, 18:27:42
Magistracy of Canopus
Canopus IV
Crimson City
March 1 3029

   The man leaned onto his balcony railing that over looked the down town area of Crimson City.  Neon lights hung bright above the smaller streets below and sounds echoed into the nights air that was the normal backdrop for his home.  Staring down, it wasn't the bustle of the cities ambiance that drew attention, but the architecture of his own hands.  Holding them out his eyes soaked in their shape and shades, wrinkles and cares.  All else was a blur behind the design of those two tools that had accomplished so much.

   “Time catches up to us all.”  He commented to the sky before taking in a deep breath and exhaling slowly.  Age had become the enemy.  It seemed with the fourth succession war in full swing the universe was changing yet again and this time it was the old mans turn to be left behind.  He snorted at that thought.  “After achieving so much for my nation I am demoted to that of an insignificant adviser.  Oh my dear Kyalla if your mother were alive she'd have you beaten for being such a fool.  Pah! Forced retirement indeed.”  He knew in the coming war she wanted the Magistrix would miss his experience in such matters, but the petty queen to be couldn't see past her lusts and understand the complex web that was the world she lived in. 

   Wrapping his age spotted fingers tightly around the brass banister in front of him, the once spy master could not help but be reminded of the loose end that began his slide into dotage.  Three times in his life had he tried to kill Alexander Bishop-Centrella.  At least your parents had the dignity to die when told to.  The old man shook his head slowly in self disappointment.  “Who knew someone could be so damned lucky.”  Now as an insult to his ability, the mercenary was on his world again at the behest of the Magestrix to be hired to fight in her brilliantly ordained campaign.  “She invites vipers into her bed and doesn't even know it.”

   At one point to defend himself the old man had thought to tell Kyalla who the mercenary actually was.  He had decided against it though as he thought it better not to draw attention to one of his greatest failings.  To one of Tamara's biggest secrets.  In the end though it all had mattered not as Kyalla still discarded him like an ugly, useless carcass.

   Behind him, the door leading into his penthouse suite from the balcony suddenly slammed close.  The aging spy let go of the railing and did an about face turn.  There was no wind just then to cause that.  Someone just opened my front door.  His minded raced knowing a pressure change in his home would have sucked the door shut.  Reaching instinctively down to his hip for his fire arm, the man was disappointed to find no holster.  Blast it.  Why would I wear a gun at home.

   Lowering his posture the man crept to the door leading inside and listened.  There was no sound he could hear, but that didn't mean no one was there.  He weighed his options.  Did he risk opening the door and going on the offensive or wait and try to surprise the intruder if they searched the patio.  With no weapon he decided on the later and readied himself to strike.

   Time passed by slowly as he waited.  Carefully and deliberately the door opened.  The business end of a Needler came into view as its wielder made there way through the entrance.  A life time of experience kicked in and the man surged forward grabbing the enemies wrist.  Twisting hard he her a feminine gasp of surprise before his free hand wrenched the weapon away.  In retaliation the masked woman used the door to strike back and throw the spy master off balance.  As he fell backwards he fired a spray of needles wildly.  Some impacted the door but a high pitched squeal told him he had also tagged his assailant.

   After landing hard on his rear the man rolled back to his feet.  He could feel the age in his back but now was not the time for that.  Sprinting forward he moved in for the kill before the woman clad in black had a chance to recover.  Passing through the threshold of his home he saw her trying to crawl to gain cover behind his sofa.  “Not today.”  He said bringing up the Needler for the kill shot. 

   Then there were stars.  Falling forward from the blow the man hit the floor flat.  Groaning he placed his palms down and tried to rise.  There was two of them! He desperately tried to regain his composure from the strike to the back of his head but the world continued to swim.  He felt weight straddle his back the moment before he felt plastic smother his face.  Wiggling weakly he tried to free himself but to no avail.  His gasps for air was met with resistance and his last thought before his eyesight tunneled was how his lungs burned to breath again.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 18 June 2019, 22:22:08
Just a little bit of good old vengeance. Great work Drunkninja.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Elmoth on 30 June 2019, 17:22:29
Great story
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 10 March 2020, 22:19:55
15,000 views. That blows my mind people keep reading this. My apologies for not writing more. I had a kid this year so my free time has shrunk. Really happy though people are still enjoying something I put a lot of time into! Cheers.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 10 March 2020, 23:01:48
Hoping for more story, but understand you have priorities.
Besides I still remember B.A.M.B.( Baby ate My Brain) days with a new born.
Congratulations on the baby.
We will be here when your muse is not sleep deprived.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: cklammer on 11 March 2020, 05:07:59
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Hairbear541 on 11 March 2020, 16:31:49
congrats on the new ankle bitter in the family . there is never any free time for self . try it 3 more times and watch your hair become a thing of yesteryear .
whenever you get a free moment just remember your devoted fans await your return .
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 15 October 2020, 01:38:49
Well, I think it's time.  I've spent today re-reading this story I began to write.  I did like where it ended off, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about the directions I wanted to take it over the past year.  After going over this again I realize there's a lot of holes, but I figure I blame that on my amateur skill set.  I'm going to try and pick up where I left off and dust off Bishops Privateers.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Motsognir on 15 October 2020, 03:00:36
Great to hear, Drunkninja! I am looking forward to more of Bishops Privateers, and their adventures.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 22 October 2020, 14:38:35
Magistracy Of Canopus
Canopus IV
Crimson City
May 3030

   It was a lot of money.  That was the only reason he was here yet again.  Alexander's military dress boots clicked on the marble floor of Crimson Citys palace as he approached its throne room.  Today he would visit the Magestrix alone.  The bad blood he knew Keeva still carried for the Canopian leadership weighed on her and he had no interest in bringing that into such a sensitive meeting.  Telling his fiery, pregnant wife that however had not been an easy task.

   The Major was stopped by the guards stationed in the waiting area outside of the Magistracy's seat of power.  As they checked his personal effects and identification, Alex thought he heard arguing past the heavy set doors that were lined with emeralds and gold.  Seeming satisfied with his credentials, the armed security personnel proceeded to open the decorated entryway and wave him through.

   Words still echoed off the walls from a heated debate that had been taking place only seconds before within the throne room.  All conversation abruptly halted with the Privateers leader entering the hall.  A page of the royal court suddenly announced “Major Alexander Bishop of Bishops Privateers” to the Magestrix and then immediately took their leave.

   Kyalla Centrella sat on her throne with a regal bearing.  Unlike his other visits with the woman where she had been dressed in comfortable gowns that let the imagination run wild, today the noble was clad in the uniform dress of the Magistracy Armed Forces.  Her posture was straight and eyes fierce.  A leader of many faces.

   There was a second woman with her.  Standing only a few bold paces away in front of the throne was a young officer that had an uncanny likeness to the Magestrix.  The glare she initially cast in Alexander's direction was that of disapproval, though her facial expression quickly changed to that of mild surprise then settled into a mask of neutrality.  It's true, I'm not as pretty as I use to be.  The Major thought to himself as he appraised the ranking pips worn by the stranger.

   Reaching the end of the carpet leading into the room Alex stopped walking.  It was customary to bow before royalty the young man had come to learn, however today he refused to give any such concessions.  It's time to start playing this game on even ground.  I'm not the same person you met years ago. 

   The small amount of disrespect immediately showed results as Alex watched Kyalla shift in her seat.  “Welcome to my home Major Bishop.”  The Magestrix spread her arms to entice her visitors view to take in the majestically decorated hall.  A blatant display of wealth.  “It has been some time since we had last met.  Congratulations on your units successes.  I see they have come hard earned.”  A smile crossed the rulers ruby painted lips. 

   “It helps when my enemies miss, Magestrix.”  Alexander raised a maimed hand to touch his purpled jaw line to draw attention to it and by extension her houses failings.  He could hear Keeva's voice in the back of his mind.  To deal with rulers you need to know how to talk through their verbal sparing.  Don't lose the high ground.  The mercenary did not follow up the barb with a smile and let his arm fall back down to his side.  “No matter where the battlefield might be.”

   “Words of wisdom to be sure, from such a young leader.”  A mock look of surprise crossed Kyalla's face as she pretended to notice the other person present for the first time.  “But where are my manners.  This here...”  The Magestrix motioned to the officer who now stood off to her side “ my daughter, Emma.”  The young woman gave a single curt nod towards Alexander in recognition.  “She will be your Commanding Officer during the upcoming operations laid out in the contract we have proposed to you.  You are indeed lucky we have more work for you now that your existing garrison contract with us has expired.”

   I see the long game you play Kyalla.  Lets find out how much your ambition is worth to you.  “Though your offer is generous Magestrix, I have yet to give my signature of approval on any joint venture.  I cannot in good conscience approve of close integration with the 2nd Canopian Cuirassiers.  Bishops Privateers is not a house unit and despite the logistical advantages of doing so in such a large scale endeavor against potential line units, my people will be remaining autonomous and staying a separate military entity.” 

   Alexander`s interpretation of the contract offered by the MAF did not inspire confidence towards their long term goals for his unit.  Canopus had planned a large scale incursion into the Capellan Confederation and needed as much man and machine power as they could get their hands on.  Both of said items were a rare commodity in the Periphery and certainly came at a premium.  The clause that caught the commanders attention was that in order to maintain a protracted campaign against a Great House and its line units, the MAF wished to integrate the mercenaries into their command structure, if only for the war, to bolster one of their own units to endure a larger amount of duress from the enemy to ensure lasting cohesion and produce success.  To Major Bishop, it felt like a set up to potentially absorb his unit and war material if the opportunity presented itself on foreign soil.  The true nature of an Innersphere House incarnate.

   Magestrix Centrella leaned slightly forward on her throne towards Alexander.  “I admire your bravery Major and your unit, but I require strength for the task at hand.  If perhaps you commanded a full strength battalion, I would grant such a contract, but alas you do not and I cannot in good conscience entrust the goals of state to a reinforced company of mercenaries.”  Kyalla leaned back into her seat of power.  “I'm afraid even if I could, I would be hard pressed to find a liaison willing to work with you.  It seems you have a reputation of misplacing them.  The only contract I have to offer you Major Bishop has already been placed upon the table.  Please, accept it.  I wouldn't want this token of our friendship to be discarded.”  Threatening words from an ambitious house lord.

   “I can make it work.”  The words caught both Major Bishop and Kyalla Centrella off guard.  As eyes fell on Emma, the young officer continued while staring daggers into her mother.  “In the interest of the safety for my unit in Liao space, I'll find a middle ground that satisfies both the needs of the Cuirassiers and the Privateers.”  The Magestrix' eyes grew cold toward her daughter as she had just interfered in a carefully laid out negotiation. 

   The leader of Canopus smiled poison and turned her attention back to Alexander.  “It seems my lovely child wishes to extend to you an olive branch Major Bishop.  Such a noble offer indeed.”  Kyalla extended her arm and began to examine her nails as if the two meeting with her suddenly lost importance.  “Very well, I leave the mercenary contract to you daughter.  I have faith you will do your duty for our house. You both may now take your leave.  I have more business to attend to.”

   “Please follow me Major Bishop.”  Emma commented as she walked past Alexander.  “We have much to discuss.”  The young mercenary gave the Magestrix one last look, turned smartly on his heel and followed the MAF officer out of the throne room.

Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 22 October 2020, 20:47:45
   You have not lost it, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: ThePW on 23 October 2020, 01:12:46
Excellent. Because the end results are known (It ends up being a bad idea for the MC post 4th SW), does this mean the end for this story?
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 23 October 2020, 18:01:13
Capellan Confederation
Nadir Jump Point
September 19 3030

   A wave of nausea struck Emma hard in the gut as reality stitched itself back together.  Claxon alarms sounded moments later and a females voice boomed over announcement speakers.  “Jump successful.  All ships accounted for.  No immediate threat from the planet at present.  Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Capellan Confederation.  All commanding officers please report to the bridge.”  That was the Canopian nobles queue to begin the invasion she had fought against tooth and nail to stop from happening.

   “Yeah, yeah once my eye balls stop spinning inside my skull.”  The young officer commented as she tried to brace herself against the jumpships hull next to a porthole.  The jump sickness began to pass and Emma's sight began to focus on the world around her once more.  Through the small, reinforced window her adjusting eyesight locked onto a distant object against the back drop of stars.  The blurring ceased and the Centrella born found herself looking at Typheus, Bishops Privateers jumpship.  Seeing the vessel reminded her of her direct dealings with the units commander, Major Bishop.  She had found it very odd that such a small mercenary unit had naval assets, let alone an Invader Class ship.  Though after learning this, Emma understood why Kyalla had taken such interest in the Privateers.  “Always the schemer, mother.”

   Pushing herself away from the porthole, zero gravity making her movement near effortless, Emma began her journey through cramped corridors and toward the Captains bridge.  Her mind continued down the rabbit hole of curiosity that she had toward the mercenaries she had at her disposal.  Another question that arose during contract negotiations with Major Bishop was why he had a third dropship with him.  When Emma had asked him about it all he had replied was “For the spoils of war and my family.”  The odd reply had kept any reprisal from the officer silent at that time.  It was an alien concept to her to bring your family to war with you, though as she let her mind digest the idea perhaps it was merely a part of the mercenary life.

   In order to thwart her mothers machinations concerning Bishops Privateers, Emma had decided to intervene during the beginning to what she thought would become a heated contention over the proposed mercenaries contract.  More out spite toward Kyalla's power playing than to actually caring for the sell swords the young noble was pleased when she was able to meddle in her mothers affairs and come out on top.  She had decided that all reports and records pertaining to the Privateers involvement in Task Force Duo would be cited under the umbrella title of the Second Canopian Cuirassiers.  This would produce an illusion of Emma continuing her mothers own plan for the mercenaries but at the same time still give the officer plenty of wiggle room to find common ground to hammer out an acceptable contract for the Privateers.

   The peculiar commander had caught Emma off center by the approach he had taken when negotiating.  Unlike any other unit she had dealt with, where the idea of capturing mechs was paramount, Major Bishop made it clear he was more interested in money and certain parts for certain chassis of machines if encountered.  It was almost more like a shopping list for groceries than a -I'll take everything I can get- approach that she had expected from a mercenary unit.  In the end they had found common ground on how her Regiment would utilize the reinforced company of mercs.

   Emma Centrella gently shook her head to try and expel her thoughts and focus on the task at hand.  Reaching the door that lead onto the Captains bridge, she operated its control panel and gained access.  With a hiss the door opened and she floated through and began her adventure into war.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: AlphaMirage on 23 October 2020, 19:54:02
Always down for more Emma Centrella, thanks for sharing Drunkninja
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 23 October 2020, 20:35:43
I've been reading up on the Andurien Crisis over and over for the past 2ish years now trying to figure out where the Privateers would fit in. I THINK I have it nailed down now so I can put it to the pen.  The material on the war isn't exactly detailed so filling in some gaps will be fun I hope.
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Elmoth on 24 October 2020, 16:26:22
Interfamily conflict. I like that.
Let's seew hat the Capellans throw to the Privateers.  And what the do about the canopians as well....
Title: Re: Emerald and Gold
Post by: Drunkninja on 24 October 2020, 16:36:13
In the canon lore Emma and Kyalla were at odds about the war and other decisions made by the Magestrix that directly affected Emma's life.  I wanted to try and show that strain here and how it indirectly affects my story.  I'm happy with the additions so far.