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Author Topic: Every Man must be Tempted  (Read 2598 times)

Davout73

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Every Man must be Tempted
« on: 02 June 2021, 23:25:35 »
This is a new story set in my Kiiro No Torii Universe.  Thanks for reading!

Date unknown, Location unknown, 3034

Look at the ground in front of you, don’t look at the horizon. 
Stay in the shadows.
Don’t drink the water, as cool and inviting as it looks, you drink it, within the day you will be dead.


Doc Lisfranc’s words were a mantra, say them the right way, thy became a cadence you could move your feet to…

He wasn’t even sure he was moving in the right direction, the stars here were different of course, no North Star to guide you, and the compass couldn’t decide what true north was.  But he figured if he kept marching with the sun setting on his left, it would be the right direction, mostly.

There was no need for a fire at night, the temperature rarely fell below 30 celsius at night, in the daytime, even in the shade 45 to 50 c was common.  The shorts and teeshirt were enough to keep him warm at night, but his exposed skin was already redder than normal, and starting to crack and blister.  As he walked, he tried to ignore the sound of the sloshing water in his canteen.  It was all he had left, and he needed to parcel it out as best as he could.  He had read somewhere’s once that on average, taking into account things like drinking, laundry, and even flushing, one person used 30 liters of water a day.  He had been living off 2 liters for almost a week now. 
His stomach grumbled, but he ignored it.  Before the sun came up, he would find some shade, and take a couple of bites of the last ration bar he had, maybe touch the canteen to his lips, and try and get some sleep, and pray the dreams didn’t come to him again.

How many days later was it?  Seven?  Eight?  The water was almost gone, the rocks were staring to look the same, had he been walking in a circle and not noticed?  When the sun went down, and the temperature dropped, it took a lot of willpower to get up and start walking again.  He was glad he hadn’t brought any mementos with him, he knew if he had spent anytime looking at the last photo he had of his family, he would have cried, and he couldn’t waste his tears like that.

Look at the ground in front of you, don’t look at the horizon. 
Stay in the shadows
Don’t drink the water, as cool and inviting as it looks, you drink it, within the day you will be dead.


There were two things stopping him from drinking.  One was the mantra he had been repeating for the past week, no ten...however many days he had been walking.  The second were all the skeletons in the area.  He had smelled it before he had seen it, cool, fresh, even in the oppressive night heat.   But sitting down underneath the rock, looking at a body of water that wasn’t nearly as large as that back at Fiddler’s Green, he knew better.
Nothing lived in this water, and the heavy metals and minerals it passed thru to get to the surface ensured that anything that drank it would die as well.
“Should have listened to Doc a little harder,” he said to a largish reptilian skull.  So far he had been lucky, and hadn’t come across anything else living.  As the horizon grew brighter, and the sun came up, he forced himself under the edge of the rocks as best he could, and debated whether or not that was good luck or bad.

* * * * *

He could barely move.  It had been a couple of days since his water had run out, and he was tired, as tired as he had ever been.  He knew he had reached the edge of the Rift, because the sand gave way to more rock, and the rocks gave ways to more cliffs and hills, but there wasn’t any water anywhere.  Just the wind, and his thoughts.  He knew he was in trouble when the mirages started replying to his questions, and when the rock he got into an argument with won.

* * * * *

He was sitting down, back against the rock, looking at the other rock formations in front of him.  Mother Nature had done a job on this planet, wind carving away the rock into formations that were beautiful, and fragile.  One formation looked like a hand, giving the sun a middle finger.  Despite his best efforts, he found himself laughing, then crying in pain as the hunger and thirst overwhelmed him.  An interminable amount of time later, he found himself back against the rock, watching the sun rise.
“Stuck between the rock and a hard place again, eh?” he heard a voice ask.
“What?”
“I said it looks like you stuck between a rock and a hard place again, Sir.”
“Not on purpose,” he replied.”
“It never is, sir.  Question is, can you get to the other side of the rock?”
He thought for a moment.
“No, this is the end,” he said, finally accepting what he had been putting off the last five days of walking, stumbling, shuffling.
“You’ve never quit before, sir.”
“First time for everything,” he replied.  “I tried, I gave it my all, I fell short.  There is no shame in that.”  He held the cross in his hand, praying quietly, lips barely moving, no sound coming out.
There was no response, just the air whistling thru the rocks.
The sun broke the horizon, and he fumbled at his side, finally pulling the gun from its holster.  Cracking it open, he made sure it was loaded, then closed it.
He closed his eyes, and sat back, head resting against the rock, and thought of happier times.  Camping with his brother, at the bar with his unit, walking with Molly around Fiddler’s Green, helping JJ walk for the first time.  Falling asleep, JJ on his chest, Molly under his arm.
“I love you,” he said, words lost in the wind.  He raised the gun, and pulled the trigger.

* * * * *

“I’ve got something, bearing 217,” A voice said.  Leftenant Keenan snapped his head to the right, pulling the VTOL around in a tight circle.  “I see it.”  In the distance, arcing away, a small red light on a thin trail of smoke,
Tilting the VTOL forward, Kennan headed towards where the trail had originated, or where he thought it had originated from, the wind having blown it away quickly.
A Beeping noise started, Keenan looked down at the console and hit a button.
“What was that?” a voiced over the intercom asked.
“Fuel warning,” Keenan replied, not taking his eyes off the rocks in front of him.  He keyed the radio, hoping it would find a relay.
“Kestrel Six, Kestrel Six, this is Crow Four Six, be advised I am checking on a flare at, Tommy?” His co-pilot read out the coordinates, and Keenan repeated them.  “Be advised, we are three minutes past Point Bingo, I intend to orbit the are for another ten minutes, we will be making plans for an alternative LZ upon return.”
The radio answered with silence.
“What do you mean ‘Alternative’ LZ?”  Leftenent Ansaldo asked.  Keenan tried not to roll his eyes, so he wouldn’t lose sight of where he was looking.
“That beeping noise meant we had to turn around to make it back to Fort Ingraham with nothing left in the tanks.  We’re flying past that point, which means we aren’t going to make it to Fort Ingraham, which means we have to find another place to land.
“And then what?” Ansaldo’s voice started to climb an octave.
“We’re Infantry, sir,” Sergeant Metz replied in his flat Ryde accent.  “We fooking walk to where we need to get too.”

* * * * *

Keenan brought to the VTOL to a hover smartly, a few seconds later the ropes went out, and the infantry not to long after.  He pulled up a bit higher, the winds thru the rocks at lower altitudes made things tricky.
He watched as the squad of troopers split up and began a search.  The console beeped at him again, and again he stabbed it off.
“You figured out what your going to say in your defense when they court martial us,” Jasky asked.  He was leaning out the hatch, looking at the rocks below.  Many were taller than the soldiers walking thru them, and they were soon lost in the shadows.  Keenan didn’t respond.
A few minutes later, there was a puff of smoke a hundred or so meters away, and then it grew in size, changing color to a bright green.  Keenan slid the VTOL over, and saw a cluster of soldiers by a big rock, surrounding someone on the ground.  One looked up, and started making hand signals.
“They’ve found him sir,” Jansky said, interpreting what he was seeing.  “No visible wounds, severely dehyrdated, not lucid.  Looks like we got here in time.”
“There’s nowhere to land safely,” Jasky said, leaning out the hatch.
“What about landing dangerously?” Keenan replied.
“I knew you were going to say that,” Jasky sighed.

The first three attempts were near disasters.  The fourth attempt the wind eddies caught the VTOL and almost dragged it into another rock formation before Keenan recovered.

“This isn’t going to work,” Leftenant Ansaldo said, pulling himself up off the ground.  “Sergeant Metz, ideas?”
Metz looked around, not liking what he saw.  The rocks made the winds too random, Keenan was a good stick, but in this environment.  He sighed.
“Yes Sir, but you aren’t going to like it,” he replied.
“Aw, nuts, Sarge has that look on his face again,” Private Schultz said.

* * * * *

Kommandant Haye stood back, watching as the hover ambulance sped away.  Fort Ingraham was 53 kilometers away, they would get there in 20 minutes.
“I’m going to have to write you up, you realize that, Leftenant?”  Keenan’s face was one of exhaustion, but he had brought his bird down smartly, after finally being able to reach everyone he needed too.
“Yes sir, I would expect no less sir.”
“Just as an FYI, that report is going to get lost before we head back to Timbuktu,” Haye said, turning to look at the Leftenant.  The Infantry squad leader, Leftenant Ansaldo, had walked over to where they were standing.
Keenan blinked, then nodded.  “Thank You Sir,” he replied.  Haye waved it away.
“Leftenant Ansaldo, I heard what you did to get out of that rock field, good thinking.”
Ansaldo had taken his helmet off, revealing a youthful face under a shock of dark hair that wasn’t exactly regulation.  His face was caked with dust and grime.
“Wasn’t my idea sir.  To be honest, I was O3, asked Sergeant Metz for any ideas.  Was his idea to lash the drop ropes together, then run the paracord through them.  We dropped everything but weapons and one clip of ammo and helmet sir, used the D rings on the MOLLE gear to attach ourselves, while Doc Kronin was at the bottom with the stretcher.  He had to use his legs a couple of times to push himself and the Colonel out of the way of some rocks.  Thought he broke one, but when we landed and got back into the helicopter, he said he was ok.”
The other members of the squad had come around the three officers as Leftenant Ansaldo talked.
Haye nodded when Ansaldo finished.  “That was quick thinking Sergeant,” he said.  Metz replied by briefly coming to attention and nodding.
“This goes no further than this group here,” Haye said after a moment,  “Leftenant Keenan, you suffered an engine failure and had to land short after your normal patrol.  Leftenant Ansaldo, any equipment you had to leave behind will be written off as lost in combat.  As much as I want to, I cannot give you any awards for this, I cannot write up any commendations.  What I will say is that you all have my thanks, and that I owe you one, and I am going to repay you all right now by telling you I will make sure that Colonel Weichs will also not undertake any action when she finds out what really did happen here.”
The surprised look on everyone face when Kommandant Haye mentioned Colonel Weichs went away for the most part.
“I promise on my Aunt Elise,” he said with a smile, hand raised.  “Seriously though, good work gentlemen.  And don’t forget, they owe you one as well.”  He indicated the crew standing on the hovertank about thirty meters away.  Haye turned around, and after a wave, one of the tankers slid down the vehicles side and walked over.
“Gentlemen,” he said, pulling up and saluting smartly.  His accent was flatter than Metz’s, and Keenand couldn’t place it.
“My name is Hauptmann Arlo Huger.  I understand Kommandant Haye here has already told you how things are going to be, but I wanted to make sure you knew what to expect from the Angel’s in the future should you require it.

* * * * *

He was flying towards the heavens.  That was his last memory, then all went dark.

* * * * *

Cool.  The air was cool.  And quiet, there was no moaning.  He stirred, and realized he wasn’t thirsty.  His hunger was there, but nowhere near as overwhelming as it used to be. He opened his eyes a little, then heard the noises, the beeps and pulses.  There was something on his face, going into his nose, cool air.  He licked his lips experimentally, and although cracked, found them wet.
“Andy?” he heard a voice say.  He tried to turn his head towards it, but a hand, gentle on the side of his head, stopped him.  A face appeared in his line of sight, older, smiling, happy to see him.
“Hey Doc,” his voice was raspy, but it was his.
“Just a sec, OK, I have to check you out, ok?”  Doc Lisfranc was quick and efficient, it didn’t take him too long.
“I need to talk to Karen, now,” he whispered.
“But what about Molly-”
“Doc,” he said, looking up at one of his oldest friends.  “DuPuy first.  Unit depends on it, OK?”
Doc Lisfranc nodded, and then left.

* * * * *

“Andy!” It was rare for Karen to show emotion while on duty, but she hugged her friend as best as she could.  She stood up, wiping a tear away from her face.
“What happened?” she asked.  “Where’s Enbo, and Suchet?”
“They’re dead Karen.  They’re all dead.”
But for the noise of the machines, the room is quiet.
“What did you do Andrew?” her voice was soft.
“I raised the Black Flag, Karen.”
“What do you mean by that Andrew?” Kommandant Dupuy asked.
“I became that which I hate, Karen.  I gave them no quarter, no mercy.  I spat on my hands, raised the Black Flag, and slit as many throats with my PPC’s and lasers as I could.  We killed them all.  I killed them all.”
And with those words, Andrew Davout, commander of the Furious Angels, started to cry.
« Last Edit: 03 June 2021, 00:03:24 by Davout73 »
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be tempted
« Reply #1 on: 03 June 2021, 00:00:41 »
"You would have thought after all the major fighting was done, things would have slowed down, and if you were in the interior of the Inner Sphere, you may have been correct."  But as the fighting between the major powers died down, the Periphery erupted into conflict, an soon several "Brush Fires" threatened to become one large inferno."

Excerpt from "Smoke of the Horizon, a History of the Outremer Conflicts" by Dr. Allen Markinson, SINA Press, 3062

"Piracy and raiding has always been a part of life on the Periphery,  some of these groups have been around for generations it seems.  But these new groups, appearing out of nowhere, are causing a lot more trouble than just the occasional raid.  I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a lot of anything important on the Periphery worlds, but at some point, you burn all they have, their voices are going to be loud, and cannot be ignored."

From an Editorial published in the Filtvelt Picayune, June 3033.

"Several of these new groups are well armed and organized, suggesting a logistical structure that is more robust than their counterparts.  Because of the distance involved between such units, we highly doubt this support is from one central location, instead best evidence suggests third party support as the most likely option.  Who that third party support is remains unknown, and trying to name one or more third party at this point is at best guesswork."

From an Intelligence Precis disseminated to the Marshalate of the Federated Commonwealth, June, 3034.

"We recovered a pristine Wolverine 6R, well, all except for the head of course.  Or best guess is that the mech was less than three years old.  None of the serial numbers matched any manufacturers, not the engine, the myomer sheaths, the electronics suite was a Garret 11B, but according to Kallon, Free Worlds Defense, Brigadier and TharHes, none of them installed it.  Garret themselves haven't even reached that sequence in their serial numbers.  So we have a new mech, and noone knows who made it, or where it was made.  This is not a good omen..."

Colonel Alois Blucher, in a letter to Davis Chinrana of the MBRC.
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Daryk

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #2 on: 03 June 2021, 19:24:22 »
WOW!  :o

First, very glad to see you back!  :thumbsup:

Second, seriously... THIS is intriguing!  Can't wait for more! :)

Paladin1

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #3 on: 08 June 2021, 11:02:15 »
Way to make a return entrance Davout!

I can't wait to see how this unfolds.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #4 on: 09 June 2021, 04:56:42 »
So someone got an Aramis era supply factory working?
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

CVB

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #5 on: 09 June 2021, 11:54:43 »
"He raised the gun, and pulled the trigger."

Simply brilliant!
*"But we don't play Battletech to have Simple" - NavPoint

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

Elmoth

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #6 on: 09 June 2021, 16:39:15 »
Nice!

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #7 on: 13 June 2021, 20:35:24 »
Aboukir

“Sir,” he heard a voice say, and looked op from his field desk.  “Warrant Officer Lehrer needs to see you sir,” the Corporal said.  “He said it was urgent sir.”
Kommandant Freunzburg sighed and put his tablet back down, and stood up.  “I’ll be outside in a moment Corporal,” he replied, trying to not look upset.  The past four weeks had been frustrating, and he had come to the conclusion that if combat wasn’t going to kill him, death by papercuts from all the paperwork he was doing was.
“The most dangerous weapon in anyones military is a piece of A4 sized paper,” he heard his uncle say once.  His Uncle may have been crazy to the point of medication, but in his more lucid moments, he made a whole lot of sense.
He put his sidearm on, and then walked outside.  The Corporal was sitting in a GPV a few meters away, engine running.  He had barely climbed in when the engine revved, and he was almost thrown out before he could fasten the safety harness.
“What’s the hurry, Corporal?” he asked, trying to look confident while inside he was trying to not reach for something to hold onto.  The GPV was an all wheel drive vehicle with enough power and tourque to make it into or out of some of the most rough terrain possible, and speed was an afterthought.  The corporal had put his foot down, and had yet to lift it, as evidenced by the amount of air they caught coming off the hillock.  The Corporal didn’t reply, instead keeping his eyes on the road, and only slowing down to powerslide onto a field.
There were still columns of smoke reaching into the sky, but luckily the fire had been put out before it could spread. 
There were a couple of field gantries already constructed, and a bevy of heavy engineering vehicles as well.  The Kommandant was bit surprised when to Corporal swerved away from the battle debris, and swiftly put it behind them, driving towards and then into the shallow valley that led to the plain they were just on.  There were only a few vehicles present, there was nothing here worth salvaging really, but before the Kommandant could ask why they were here, the Corporal slammed on the brakes and swerved the GPV to a halt, in front of the remains of a mech.
At one point in time, it had been a Centurion, but the Chameleon left arm and Vindicator leg, not to mention other pieces of equipment that had been bodged on had made it one of the many “Frankenmechs” you saw in the Periphery.  This one had been destroyed early in the battle, when platoon of Drillson’s had focused fired on it with their LRM’s as they retreated.  Apparently one of the many that hits it took on it’s central torso found a weak spot, because a few seconds after the other impacts had been observed, the mech staggered, fell over, and then was obliterated when it’s internal ammunition exploded.  Well, most of the mech was obliterated.  It’s Right arm had been flung a few tens of meters away, and that's where the Corporal was leading the Kommandant.
“Warrant Lehrer, Kommandant Freunzburg is here.”
“About time,” he heard a voice say, and then from inside the arm assembly, Chief Warrant Officer Lehrer crawledout, wiping whatever was on his hands on his coveralls.  The Kommandant waited as the Corporal walked away.
“If you’re waiting for me to salute you, your forgetting two things,” Warrant Lehrer said, poking his head back in the arm assembly.  “We don’t salute in the field, unless you want some eagle eyed sniper to drill you between the eyes, and two, I’m tired, and I ain’t doing anything unnecessary.”  He leaned back down to look at the barrel of the autocannon, small flashlight in his hand.
Freunzburg stood up straighter and looked around.
“I didn’t think the Pirates Infantry was near here?” he said, scanning the slopes.
“They aren’t, but for one it’s good field practice, and two, why risk it?”  Warrant Lehrer’s voice echoed, and then he stood back up.  “Over here please,” he said, moving to the elbow assembly.  Sighing, the Kommandant went and stood next to the Warrant officer.  Warrant Lehrer reached inside a pocket, took out a grease pen, and after a few seconds inspection, drew a circle about a half meter across.
“On the count of three, I want you to kick that circle with me,” he said, putting the pen back in his pocket.
“Warrant I fail to see-” Freunzburg started to say, only to find his shoulder caught in an iron vice, and then spinning in place.  The Warrants face was less than ten centimeters away from his, and it was angry.
“Kommandant,” the word sounded like an insult.  “I am going to say this just once, and if it doesn’t sink in, that’s on you.  I have forty three years service in the LCAF.  I started out as a private, went the Warrant route due to my expertise as a tech, and eighteen years ago was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer.  If you are to look at the personnel list you will find there are only seventeen other Chief Warrant Officers with more time in service and rank than me, There is not a mech in existence today I cannot strip down and put back together, there is not a piece of mech equipment I can’t fix, so when I say you kick the circle, you kick the verdammt circle, do you understand me.  Sir?”  The last word was whispered, and the look in the Warrant’s eyes told the Kommandant if he didn’t understand, it would be beaten into him, most likely with the one meter spanner lying on the ground not to far away.
“Y..Y...Yes, Warrant,” he stammered, only to find himself spun back around.
“Count of three sir,” the Warrant said.
A couple of seconds later, his left foot and the Warrant right foot hit the circle.  Kommandant Freuzburg heard a pinging noise, followed by a loud metal crack, and then with a shudder and metallic groaning sound, the arm outer assembly fell off, and would have rolled over his toes had he not stepped back.
Hurensohn,” Warrant Lehrer muttered, then stepped around the assembly, and pulled out his flashlight. 
“What’s the issue, Warrant?” Kommandant Freunzburg asked.
The warrant had walked over and was kneeling down over the now exposed breech assembly of the autocannon that made up the Centurions right arm.  The whole back end of the weapon was clearly visible, as was the ammo feed belt into it.
“This, Sir,” the warrant said, gesturing to said assembly.
“Look’s like an Autocannon 10?” Kommandant Freunzburg replied, then wincing as he realized he made it sound like a question.
“It is, Sir.  Problem is it’s not a Luxo-D Series.”
“How can you tell Warrant?” the Kommandant asked, this time the question obvious.  He walked over and knelt down by the Senior Tech.
“Luxor’s have feed issues, to much wiggle room in the belt links that make up the feed for starters, and the feed motor itself is underpowered, but this isn’t a Luxor feed, and that’s not a Luxor Breech either, because the Luxor fires 80mm shells.  This breech is for 88mm shells.”
“What mech uses an 88mm shell Warrant?”
“None of them today, Sir,” Lehrer said, standing back up.  “In fact, the last vehicle to use this weapon wasn’t a mech, but a Vulcan Aerospace Fighter.”
The confusion on the Kommandants face was obvious, because a second or so later the Warrant glanced over and saw it, and after a soft sigh, said “The Vulcan was the primary ASF of the Rim Worlds Republic.  This here,” he said, pointing at the breech assembly, “Is a Roe Weapons Systems Republic Mk. VII Autocannon.  Last time I saw one of these was in a display at the Apollo War Museum.  And it was in a lot worse shape than this one.”
“Centurion field modifications to the AC/10 are pretty common though, right Warrant?”
“They are sir,” Lehrer said, standing back up.  “So the fact that this gun is on this arm attached to what remains of that mech isn’t the issue.”  He leaned down, and with a few sure moves, had pulled a couple of retaining pins, and then with a whack of his wrench had disconnected the ammo feed belt.  Another few deft moves, and the breech of the weapon was open.  Lehrer had his flashlight out, and was shining it down the barrel.
“The issue is this gun has rarely been fired sir.  There’s no pitting in the barrel, it hasn’t been re-sleeved , and if you look closely here and here sir,” The flashlight moved to a couple of massive boltheads on the breech.   Freunzburg leaned in, and saw -
“Is that packing grease Warrant?” 
“It is.”
“How did it end up here then?”
“That, sir, is the hundred thousand Kroner question.  If I had to guess, this particular group found a stash or cache, and installed it when they could.  This was not a half bad effort, from a professional point of view,” the warrant replied, kneeling back down to look at the assembly closer.
Something the Warrant said was bothering him, and it took a moment for Freunzburg to realize what it was.
“Warrant, what's the million Kroner question?”
The Chief Warrant officer stood up and smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.
“What else did they find, and when are we going to run into it?”
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

EAGLE 7

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #8 on: 13 June 2021, 20:59:40 »
    Chief Warrant please use small words like, use a one-time pad, ask for LIC support/ interrogators.

     Lost tech find......
“ My Clan honor is bigger than your Dragon honor, and comes in 18 clan flavors.”

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #9 on: 13 June 2021, 21:12:06 »
"I used to think soldiering would be fun.  That and the extra money was nice, what with the job market being what it was.  Then when Blackjack's Legion showed up, it got real quick.  The mech lance, they tried to slow them down, but one versus three isn't good odds, especially when the mechs your in aren't in the best shape to begin with.  We were a Motorized Infantry Regiment, but nothing we had would stop most of their mechs, let alone the Banshee this Blackjack fellow was in.  My Battalion was caught, I don't know how, one minute we're on the road, the next minute there's explosions, and gun fire, and more explosions, and the truck I am in get's hit.  When I come too, my heads hurting, I can't find my weapons, and everyone is standing, hands on their head.  Sarge pulls me up off the ground, and I stand up, looking around.  It was getting dark, couldn't see much really, but the flames were enough to show me the dead bodies and blood.  There were a couple of mechs in front of us, a Locust and Commando.  I see this vehicle come up, and this guy gets out, all swagger, and walks right up to the Major.  They start having a conversation, and something sets Sarge off.  He turns me too look at him, and says "When you hear the gunfire, run as hard as you can, as fast as you can, and don't stop until you can't run anymore.  Than hide until they leave, got it?"
I wasn't sure I heard him correctly, and was going to ask what he meant, when I saw the pirate pull his sidearm and just shoot the major point blank.  The he turned and walked away, and both mechs opened fire on us.
I did what Sarge told me to do, and when I saw their dropship boost off, I went back to civilization, and found out I wasn't the only one with the same story."

Corporal Jeffry Pearlmen, 1st Memphis Motorized Infantry, from an Interview made to the Federated Suns Intelligence Bureau, June, 3036

"The transport network is now just getting back together,  but that's not the primary problem.  The Primary problem is that the vast majority of our frontline forces are in the wrong place, and we're spending an inordinate amount of time and money to keep the planets we've taken under control.  It doesn't help that people on our side are making as big a mess of things as some of the occupied inhabitants are.  For every good deed we do, it seems there are two that come back to slap us in the face."

Exceprt from an Intelligence report prepared by Kommandant Hector Cerillo, 3rd Lyran Regulars, Unzmarkt.

"I hate to say it, but we want to use as few of the House troops as we can.  All we need are the news cycles filled with stories about more dead soldiers coming home, especially now since the War is "Officially" over."
"So what do you suggest?"
"Use the mercenaries we have under contract.  Preferably those with their own transport.  Offer them Liason or Independent commands, give them a discount on supplies, a bigger percentage of the salvage, and if need be, a free hand to get things done.  That said, we need to move some units back to the Outremer, preferably some of the new LCT's."
"And the news from the Lyran Periphery?"
"Just as bad as what we're seeing.  That's not what worries me most though."
"Do Tell."
"Since the Schism, we've had next to no reliable Intelligence reporting out of the Former League Worlds.  I'm hearing reports that the Marians made a move on Kendall, and RUMINT says there's new groups of pirates springing up from Astrokazy to Circinus and beyond.  We could be looking at two or three new players in that area of space."

Conversation between Yvonne Davion and Hanse Davion, declassified by MIIO in 3072.
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #10 on: 13 June 2021, 21:55:48 »
Oh, Hey, what's this?

This is still a work in progress, It's going to be a bit before I have everything current.  But it's getting there.  More maps later.
« Last Edit: 13 June 2021, 21:57:44 by Davout73 »
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

DOC_Agren

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #11 on: 13 June 2021, 22:07:37 »
nice updates
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

idea weenie

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #12 on: 14 June 2021, 00:50:01 »
Oh, Hey, what's this?

This is still a work in progress, It's going to be a bit before I have everything current.  But it's getting there.  More maps later.

Dear sweet Blake, the FWL got blendered.  Still, I see potential worlds that could be brought under Comstar's umbrella of protection, and convinced to pay taxes.

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #13 on: 14 June 2021, 01:14:36 »
Dear sweet Blake, the FWL got blendered.  Still, I see potential worlds that could be brought under Comstar's umbrella of protection, and convinced to pay taxes.

Idea,  you can read what happened in my Kiiro No Torii thread, which is linked in my signature.  I got all the way to the end of the Marik Schism when real life events took over.  But the playground is only empty for so long...

Thanks for reading!

 
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Daryk

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #14 on: 14 June 2021, 15:05:20 »
Oh, Hey, what's this?

This is still a work in progress, It's going to be a bit before I have everything current.  But it's getting there.  More maps later.
You, sir, are a gentleman, scholar, and CARTOGRAPHER!  8)

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #15 on: 14 June 2021, 15:18:23 »
You, sir, are a gentleman, scholar, and CARTOGRAPHER!  8)

About 85% of those are the files I used in the KNT maps, I'm sort of surprised I was able to figure out which ones are which.  One of these updates will have the 3036 Map on it. Which will have a lot of changes in it.

Thanks for reading!
Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #16 on: 17 June 2021, 00:41:02 »
Attached is a map of the Inner Sphere States at the End of the Marik Schism.

Any questions post them here and I will do my best to answer them, assuming I won't be giving away to much of the upcoming stories. :-)

Thanks,

Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Daryk

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #17 on: 17 June 2021, 03:34:02 »
Near Tikonov, there's a world named "Angol"... I thought it was "Algol"?  ???

idea weenie

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #18 on: 17 June 2021, 07:11:38 »
Attached is a map of the Inner Sphere States at the End of the Marik Schism.

Any questions post them here and I will do my best to answer them, assuming I won't be giving away to much of the upcoming stories. :-)

Thanks,
Dav

(Just finished your other story in your sig that explained how you got where you are.)

That little Comstar world should be getting a lot of attention from Terra.  Show the other worlds what Comstar governance is like, the benefits of being under Comstar control, aso, and there might be other worlds slowly wanting to be governed by Comstar as well.  From there, the other Unaffiliated League Worlds might start to wonder if they would be better off under Comstar government.

Thanks to Terra, Comstar has an excellent source of technology that can be used to upgrade the various worlds.  If the multiple worlds are within 30 ly of each other, Comstar might be able to set up pirate point trade networks, so shipping times can be reduced (and recharge times are reduced to the core's safety limit, instead of just the star's limit).  Comstar can say that this plan was proposed several years ago, but the safety of the network would mean that both systems would have to be under Comstar control (a Successor State wouldn't want Comstar just handing out pirate point coordinates to everyone, and Comstar would have required control of the pirate point locations in order to make sure ships didn't interpenetrate).

Blake's prediction of the Successor States falling and Comstar picking up the pieces may come to pass in this manner.

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #19 on: 18 June 2021, 19:48:07 »
Near Tikonov, there's a world named "Angol"... I thought it was "Algol"?  ???

Find Tikonov.  Go "south" to Mira, then to Almach, then SW to Demeter, and then one more time SW to "Algol.:  :-)

This many worlds there's bound to be some similarity.

Thanks for looking!

Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #20 on: 18 June 2021, 21:59:59 »
Fiddler’s Green
Arcadia
December 15th, 3033

The meeting room was filled with low murmurs, as the assembled troops spoke amongst themselves.  RUMINT was all over the place, speculation ran rampant.
The doors opened, and the voices stopped.  Andrew Davout, Furious Angels, commanding, walked down the aisle, face buried in the slate he was holding, which he then put away as soon as he reached the stairs leading to the dais.  The officers that came in behind him had peeled off, and were standing against the back wall.
“Morning people,” he said, smile on his face.  He was answered by a few rumbles.
“This morning we received orders from our employers.  Whomever among you had the Periphery down as our destination, you win half the pot.  Unless you also picked Pirate Hunting, in which case you win the whole pot.”
The rumbling grew louder.  The Angels had been born in a Pirate Raid, and had fought some other groups several times over the years. 
“First of all, the Intelligence precis,” Davout said, and the lights dimmed, and the projector came on, showing an Inner Sphere few recognized.
“Best guess at the moment is that the outcome Marik Schism is still in flux.  Duncan Marik is still trying to build a coalition to fully secure the Captain-Generalcy, but noone else is buying into it, I would suspect a major push on his part against Thomas Marik and the Oriente Worlds here shortly.  The Andurian War is still ongoing, with no end in sight.”  The projection moved to each area as Davout spoke.  “The Core March is in the stages of a low grade insurgency, which will never ever end, and I suspect sooner rather than later the Tamar “Domain” worlds will also erupt in flames as well.”  As Davout spoke the last, he looked up from his slate, ignoring the look Kommandant DuPuy, his units LCAF liaison officer, shot him.
“However,” Davout said, putting the slate away, and walking over to the lectern and putting his hands on the side, “Those are problems we know about.  Twelve weeks ago the first reports started coming in from the Periphery, and the Outremer about the same time.  Pirate attacks have increased almost two hundred percent the last six months, with several new groups appearing and attacking. While some of these raids are your standard smash and grab’s, some of them are not, in fact more than a few seem to be bent on destroying whatever they can, when they can, including civilian settlements.”  A loud rumble of anger went thru the room.  While it is believed some of these new groups may be former mercenary units, and possibly former FWLM troops in the Lyran Theater, our counterparts in the AFFS have identified no less than seven new groups coming from the Tortuga Domains, and if you were a merc in the Combine, once you get clear you aren’t crossing the entirety of Davion space to get to Tortuga.”  He paused, looking at the assembly.
“We’ve been tasked to to move to Timbuktu, and to be there no later than 150 days from now.”  The grumbling grew in volume again, and Davout waited a few seconds before it died down.
“The Solvangen will be departing ahead of 30 days earlier,” He said, and the murmurs grew in volume, “They have a detour in Tharkad they need to make,” he said, looking over them assembled officers and non coms.  “As of about four hours ago, we have an agreement in principle with Semier Data Tron to purchase a refurbished Excalibur class dropship.  In exchange we are “selling” them the two Mules we incorporated from the Highlanders.”
Silence greeted this announcement.  The Mules had been retrofitted to carry combat units, but couldn't drop them, and some of the modifications had caused a ripple effects of problems that had the Angels senior Astro Tech either cursing a long blue streak, or retreating into the bottle, or sometimes both.  They didn’t really meet the needs of the unit, and as loathe as Davout was to go into anything resembling debt, essentially trading the two in for one unit that was appropriate for their TO&E made sense, even it it did mean going into debt a little bit.
“The next obvious question is how are those of us going to Timbuktu getting there?”  he asked.  “Kommandant DuPuy?”  He gestured to their Liason officer, who stepped forward from her spot on the wall.
“In sixty days, give or take, the battalions of the 7th Lyran Regulars, currently on Loric, will start rotating thru.  Of the Two battalions of Angels Mechs staying behind, they will rotate as OpFor for the 7th Lyran.  LCAF Transport assets from the first units of the 7th will move the Angels from here to Timbuktu, from there you will meet up with your own transport and proceed from there.”
“By the time we reach Timbuktu, we should have a better idea of what we are going to be fighting, and where.”
The briefing didn’t last to much longer, almost all of the junior officers left.  The doors were then shut, guards posted, and the senior officers stayed behind to talk details.
“I assume your taking 1st Battalion?” Angus MacRory asked, sitting back in his chair.
“1st Battalion, the Command Squadron, 1st Armored Kamfgruppe, and McPherson’s Regiment,” Davout replied.
MacRory nodded.  McPhereson’s regiment of Mobile Infantry was the better equipped of the two that had signed on as the 4th was winding down.  Sedgewick’s Slammer’s had been a three regiment unit contracted to the DCMS to garrison Caldrea, and to protect the sprawling industrial complexes at Trothas.  Surprised by the planets regular armed forces when the ‘Death To Mercenaries’ order was sent out, one regiment, including most of the command staff, fought a desperate rearguard action in order that the other two regiments could escape.  Making their way to Galatea, Louis Berthier, armed with some information provided by Major Kearney, had convinced them to come on board and sign up with the Angels, adding two battalions of mechanized Infantry, Two Battalions of Motorized Infantry, a Battalion of Jump Infantry, and two ‘Regular’ Infantry Battalions to the Angels TO&E, not to mention the two Gazelles, two Triumphs, and two Condors they had managed to escape with.  However, the two Invaders the unit had contracted for transport had left them high and dry on Galatea, and the unit’s were close to disbanding before the Angels had stepped in.  If the unit was to deploy, the  Angels had the Invader class jumpship they had captured from the Pirates on Dalcour, but would be relying on their employers for the rest.
“That leaves you in command here, with Chasseur as the 2iC.  And I expect you all to run rings around the 7th, savvy?” Davout said with a smile.  MacRory smiled and nodded back.  While the two may not have been the closest of friends, the former Highlander officer was well respected in the unit, and the decision to leave him in charge, even though Chasseur was technically senior to him, was a very public vote of confidence. 
“Arlo,” Davout said, looking at the former Dalcour plant operations manager.  The young man was a gifted manager, and had he stayed in the civilian world there was little doubt he would have ended up running his uncles companies on Dalcour, however his talent as a manager was exceeded only by his capabilities as an Armor commander.
“Sir?” Huger’s flat Dalcour accent was still an oddity.
“Get me a unit list of who you want in your Kampfgruppe by the end of the month.  Keep in mind we are going to the Periphery, so I would stick to those more common designs.  That said, I want at least a platoon of Pelham’s with us, to supplement McPherson’s platoons.”  Huger nodded, and pulled out his own slate and began writing.
“Are we Liaisoning with 11th Arcturan?” Major St. Cyr, commander of the 1st Battalion asked.
“No, we’ll receive updated intelligence from LIC on planet when we arrive, and we will be able to procure most, if not all, of the supplies we need there as well.  I would expect a briefing by KG Okidala at a minimum.”
“Who are we working with then?” asked Sergeant Ouidinot.
“Noone,” Davout replied with a thin smile.  “This one is all ours.” 
This response was greeted with surprise, and shock on a couple of faces.  With few exceptions, there was always a liaison officer to work with.  Since the assumption was DuPuy was going to be staying behind with the majority of the unit, expecting another officer to act as an intermediary between them and the LCAF was expected.  It took a unit with a great rep to get an independent command, and while the Angels rep was good, the LCAF still wanted to keep an eye on them, officially and other wise.  DuPuy was a very good Liason officer though, and had done the Angels more than a few favors the past few years, and the expectation was that anyone they had assigned to them at Timbuktu wasn’t going to be up to her quality.
“What did we give up in salvage rights for that?” John Friant asked.
“Nothing.  We get 70% of salvage, but the LCAF gets first choice in anything...unique we may come across.  We cover 50% of transport, no contract bonus though.  And independent command.” 
The room was quiet.  Every officer there knew what those terms meant.  They meant the situation was considered bad enough the higher ups were trusting those on the ground to do what they thought was the best course of action, and as long as they didn’t get their hand, or other appendages, stuck in the meatgrinder, they would be absolved of most things. 

It meant Pirate Season was open, and there was no bag limit.

* * * * *

“At least as far as Timbuktu,” Molly said, her eyes almost as big as her smile. 
Andrew laughed and put his arm around her, as they watched JJ play on the floor.
“I let you go to Timbuktu, you’ll want to come along when we leave.  And we aren’t taking JJ with us, so one of us needs to stay behind to keep an eye on him.”
JJ, sitting on the floor and playing with his toys, looked over when he heard the sound of his voice, and smiled.  Andrew smiled in return, but inside he was breaking a little.
Molly sighed, and snuggled in closer to him.
“I want you to promise me something,” she said, watching JJ stack blocks as high s he could.  When they fell over he didn’t complain, or cry, instead a brief look of determination crossed his face, and he began stacking them again.
“I can’t promise I’ll come back,” he replied softly.  “You know as well as I do what can happen out there.”  The image of her Commando faceplanting a slag pile near Kristonos flashed before his eyes briefly.
“I’m not going to ask you that,” she replied.  “I’d never ask you that, just as you would never ask me that.”
“OK then,” Andrew replied, leaning down and kissing her on the top of the head.
“If you don’t make it back,” she whispered, soft enough he had to lean down to hear her, “I want you to promise me me you’ll do everything you can to make sure we don’t have to go out there and finish what you started.  I read some of those reports Andrew.  This isn’t going to be like Dalcour.”
Andrew didn’t say anything, but hugged her a little tighter.  JJ’s tower of blocks fell again, and he looked like he was going to start crying.
“JJ,” his father asked.  “How about we take a walk around the lake?”

Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Daryk

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #21 on: 19 June 2021, 05:43:50 »
Find Tikonov.  Go "south" to Mira, then to Almach, then SW to Demeter, and then one more time SW to "Algol.:  :-)

This many worlds there's bound to be some similarity.

Thanks for looking!

Dav
Thanks for setting me straight!  :thumbsup:

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #22 on: 19 June 2021, 10:22:32 »
Thanks for setting me straight!  :thumbsup:

It happens.  If it weren't the fact the off reader I use has a search function I'd be up a creek sometimes.  Or when I forget to turn of a definition query in ArcGIS and can't find what I am looking for because it's not displaying.  Fun times ...
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #23 on: 04 August 2021, 21:57:18 »
May 3034

"You made good time," the Kommandant said as he maneuvered the GPV thru traffic.
"We got lucky," Davout replied, looking down at his slate, flipping thru an intel report.  "Can you tell me anything new, this data is at least six months old."
The Kommandant shrugged.  "Always been pirate attacks here and there.  Lots of hiding places in the old Rim worlds, be a fools errand to try and root them all out.  Things were mostly quiet until the Fourth, and then there was nothing.  Then the Fourth winds down, and we start getting reports, small units attacks here and there, and then late last year we get a report of a mixed Pirate Unit, about a Battalion in strength, 5 lances of mechs, rest mobile Infantry, hit Langhorne, roughed up the Milita, destroyed a couple of power stations, and left.  We got lucky, Militia managed to capture a couple of them, and a group from 15th Arcturan chased them to Aboukir."
Davout looked over at the Kommandant, who pulled into a parking space in front of a non descript building.
"Former Rim World, mostly abandoned, engaged the Pirates fought a couple of running battles, then pinned and flanked them.  Page 77." The Kommandant said, still sitting.  He gestured at Davout to flip forward.
Davout read the report.  Then read it again, and a third time.
"Your telling me we've got Pirates who may have found a Cache?"
"Evidence suggests they found something.  Problem is we've had reports all up and down the Theatre about Pirate attacks, all different bands, different Force Compositions, different leaders.  They don't appear to be working together, that is, they aren't coordinating their attacks, but..."
Davout sighed, putting the slate away.  The trip had been uneventful, a lot of training, a lot of reading, a lot of missing Molly and JJ, and here he was now, on planet for less than an hour, and already the situation was changing.  "The only constant is change," he thought to himself.

* * * * *

"There is one brief," Davout said, holding up his slate.  "With seventeen parts and three appendices.  Read it all, people," he said with a smile, and there was a concerted groan of discontent from the assembled officers. 
"Tomorrow at 0900 local there is an Intel briefing, I want everyone Leftenant and higher there.  Platoon XO's your job is going to be making sure you are short anything, and by that I mean if you are short something, pad how much you need by at least 10%.  This is perhaps the one time we can get away with it."
"Death Handmaidens?  The Black Flagg?"  Sergeant Grouchy looked up from his slate.  "Where do they come up with these names?"
"It's supposed to install fear," Friant replied, reading thru the intel brief.  "Doesn't alway's work," he said, looking up at the others.  He shrugged.  "More to a unit than the name.  Fluffy Bunnies, right Colonel?"  He smiled at Davout, who smiled back at him, then looked at one of the officers on the back wall.
"Warrant Greaves, while we're in the briefing tomorrow I want you to go over to the local Intel shop and ask for the raw data.  If they pitch a fit let me know.  It's not that I don't trust them but I'd like your opinion on it."
The tall warrant officer nodded.  He was a former member of Sedgewick's Slammers, and according to all the he had talked to, Greaves ability to read the tea leaves had the unit prepared for when the infamous Death To Mercenaries order came down, and how the Slammers had been able to escape with almost all of their equipment and troops.  Since joining, he had demonstrated a competence that Davout liked to see, and most importantly, was more than willing to disagree with those who were nominally his superiors in a calm and intelligent manner.
"What's the timeline?" Major St. Cyr asked, looking up from his own slate.
"Four weeks here, training, maintenance, resupply, intel gathering,"  Davout reply.  "Then we boost into orbit, and wait for the word, four weeks max.  After that, we go hunting."
There was a low grumble of approval from the group, and Davout smiled.

* * * * *

"It's Periphery wide,"  Greaves said as he entered the office.  Davout looked up from his own slate, as Greaves shut the door behind him.  The warrant went over to the wall trid and turned it on, then inserted a chip he pulled out his pocket.
"The local shop is good, but...biased," he said, manipulating the files on the screen.  "They only gave us the LIC info.  This is every pirate attack from the end of the fourth till about four months ago.  It includes information from MIIO, and the League, but given whats going on there, I don't trust it as much."
He manipulated the screen one more time, and then stepped back as the 2D image of the Inner Sphere zoomed out, and little red pinpricks of light started to appear.  It too almost a minute for the lights to stop.
Davout cursed, and found Greaves nodding in agreement.
"What's your assessment?" Davout asked.
"I think waiting for something to happen may be the wrong thing to do.  I think if we study who hit what and when, we can track back and determine an originating point, a base of operations.  I think we need to be a bit more...proactive.  But there's risk in that."
"You made copies of that?" Davout asked, pointing at the screen.  Greaves nodded.  "Local Head Shed pitched a fit, but there's nothing they could do, contract stipulated we get access to the raw data as long as anything classified is redacted, and they can't redact this sort of information, not without a breach at minimum."
"I'm tempted to agree with you," Davout said a few moments later.  "I'm meeting with Colonel Timmons later this afternoon.  I want you there, and between now and then I want your groups assessment on this.  Any other news?"
"Kristen Marik showed up at Colfax and declared herself Captain-General a couple of weeks ago," Greaves said.
Davout blinked, then gave his intel officer a stare.
"I swear that family put the 'Fun' in 'Dysfunctional'," he said with a sigh.
"That's a decidedly diplomatic way of assessing the situation, sir," the Warrant replied.
"It is," Davout replied, looking at his watch.  "Brief with the Colonel is at 1600 local.  Do what you can, and meet me here at 1500, we'll want to discuss a plan of attack."
"For a briefing, sir?" Greaves asked with a puzzled look.
"It's not just a briefing, Warrant.  With what you've just shown me, it's going to be a turf war, and we're on their turf, which means we need to be devious to win this fight."
"Of course Sir."

More to come, I'm going to try an update twice a month, assuming real life doesn't interrupt things.

Thanks for reading!

Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #24 on: 11 September 2021, 23:31:56 »
April, 3035

It did not appear on any maps.  If you asked the locals, they would not tell you.  But if you knew where to look, if you were patient enough, you could find it.
One second it wasn't there, and the next it was, a mirage at first, and then real.  Massive sandstone walls , very few windows, very few signs of anything resembling modern civilization, until you were closer and realized the reason it looked so small from space was because most of the cultivated land was covered my camouflage netting.  It served two purposes, shade for the crops, and to keep them hidden.  There were very few people attending the crops at this point, none of them looked at the GPV as it drove by.

There was no gatehouse by the main entrance, no other vehicles.  The GPV came to a halt, and Andrew Davout, Colonel commanding, stepped out with a slight limp.  He walked over to the wooden door, and knocked.  A few seconds later, a small window opened.
"Colonel Davout to see the Abbott please," he said.  The window slid shut, and a few seconds after that, a smaller door within the bigger door opened, and he walked thru.

The heat wasn't as oppressive, but it was still hot.  The monk who had let him in gestured in a "Follow Me" motion, and led him to a small alcove, gesturing for him to sit down.  He walked away, and a few moments later another monk appeared, with a pitcher of ice water and a glass.  He poured the first glass, Davout thanked him, and then found himself sitting alone, looking at the austere walls.  He found himself staring into space, and was surprised when he heard a voice call his name out, so much so he dropped the glass he was holding.  He was able to react quickly enough, sticking his foot out just enough that the glass didn't hit the floor, but the water spilled everywhere.
He looked at it for a moment, then looked up, and snapped to attention.
"Sir, I apologize-" he stopped, when the older man raised his hands up, as if in apology.
"I have not been 'Sir' for a long time Colonel, Brother Giles is fine."
Andrew nodded, still at attention, then relaxed after a few moments. 
"What can I help you with?" Brother Giles asked.
"I'm here to check on one of my own, Brother Giles.  Oscar Grouchy-"
"There is noone at St. Marinus House with that name, Colonel," Brother Giles said.  He turned to walk away, and Davout responded by walking next to him, reaching into his jacket and removing a letter.
"I know he is here Abbot, he sent my family this."
They stopped walking, and the abbot looked at the piece of folded up paper, then over at Davout.
"I do not doubt that he wrote that, Colonel.  But I have noone here by that name."  Davout started to reply, but the Abbot raised a hand.
"Walk with me Colonel," he said, and headed off in a completely different direction, they went thru a series of hallways, then up several flights of stairs, eventually the Abbott opened a door that led to a rampart of top of one of the walls.  Davout was reminded again how hot it was when the sweat on his face evaporated almost immediately, and staggered slightly under the onslaught of the heat.  Brother Giles, heavy robe and all, did not seem to notice.  After walking a few yards, the Abbot stopped, looking around.

"Some give up their names when they decide to stay, Colonel.  It's not that we are hiding, or running away.  Some come here because the conflict has become too much, some come here to try and repent for the things they have done in the name of King And Country, others are looking for something else.  Absolution maybe, atonement perhaps.  Take for example, that man there."  The abott pointed to a work crew, who were manhandling large blocks of stone, either rebuilding an interior wall, or building a new one.
"He arrived here none months ago, asked my permission to stay, and the first three months he was here, he woke up screaming in terror.  Then one day, he worked himself almost to death, he collapsed in the fields, but he slept thru the night, if he had the dreams that sent him here, they did not wake him.  And almost every day since then, he has worked himself to exhaustion.  He rarely speaks, does not take his meals with anyone else, his room is austere as can be, but if someone needs help, a task needs to be done, he is among the first to volunteer, and he does the work of two men half his age.  I do not know what drives his madness, I do not what I know I can do to help him, I can only stand by and watch as he works himself, to the death maybe, in the belief it will undo, or redeem, whatever in his past haunts him."
Davout found himself staring, and a couple of minutes later, the Abbot turned and headed inside.  Davout watched the group of men working another minute, and then headed back in himself, to find the Abbot waiting for him.

The Abbots office was simple, a desk, chairs on either side, a comp, a shelf filled with books, and a window that would have showed the fields being cultivated if not for the netting.
He had offered Davout a drink, and poured it himself, then sat down with one of his own.
"Do the names people adopt have a meaning, Abbot?" Davout asked, after a few moments of silence.
"Not always,  Why do you ask?"
"Giles is Old Earth French, from the word "Gides", which referred to the goatskin that ancient shields were made out of.  But the person it is most associated with, Saint Giles, was a Greek who fled Athens, because he was to popular,. his acts of healing the lame and crippled gave him notoriety he did not want."
The Abbot sat still for a moment, then reached into a cabinet and withdrew a bottle that was about half full, then two small tumblers.  After filling each one about half full, he handed one over to his guest, and raised his glass.
"Caraidean às-làthair," he said in Gaelic, then downed his glass in a couple of gulps.  Davout raised his own glass, and drank down as well.
"What are your intentions here, Colonel?" the Abbott asked.
"I don't know what you mean," Davout reply.
"Are you here for Sanctuary, Colonel?"  It took a second for Davout to realize what the Abbot was asking.
"No, No Abbot," he replied, holding his tumbler back out.  The Abbot filled it about halfway again, and then his own.
"One does not have to join to take advantage of the services offered here either."
Davout smiled, and drank about half of his tumbler.
"Thanks you, but no thanks.  Doc Fournette says that I'll be fine, eventually.  The pills help," he added with a wry smile, and finished the rest of his glass.
"I've read the after action reports of what happened," Brother Giles said, indicating the comp on his desk.
Davout wen still, then held his tumbler out.  The Abbot filled it halfway again, then paused briefly as Davout shook the tumbler slightly, and responded by filling it up until there was maybe a fingers worth of space left.
Sitting back, Davout looked at the tumbler, then drank it all down.
"Then you also know that report left out quite a bit," he replied after a few moments of silence.
"They all do," the Abbot shrugged.
"I can't apologize for what happened.  I can't apologize for ordering what I did, but I can make amends to those I need to."
"And who would that be?"
"Everyone in my unit.  Everyone in that godforsaken unnamed city.  John Friant, Jacob Lannes, Liam Suchet..."
"Soldiers die in war," the Abbot replied simply, then filled his own tumbler up, to about the same level he had filled Davout's.  He also downed it on one go as well.  "And those that don't die, or wish they had, come here."
"For absolution?"
"That is the one thing I cannot give," the abbot replied with a sad smile.
"The man you pointed out to me earlier, does he have a name?" Davout asked after the silence had become to heavy.
"That is Brother Orlando," Brother Giles replied.  Davout smiled, looking down at the floor.
"Orlando is the Italianized version of Roland," he said, sad smile still on his face.  "Are you familiar with the story of Roland?"
"There are quite a few out there concerning that name, Colonel."
"I am referring to the Old Earth Frenchman, Roland, whose exploits were later turned into plays, including a couple of famous Italian ones, Orlando in Love, and Orlando Furioso."
The Abbot nodded, telling Davout to go on with a short wave of his hand.
"Roland was the nephew of Charlemagne, and after a successful campaign in Spain their army was headed back home.  Roland was the commander of the rearguard, and was betrayed, leading to a surprise attack, in which the rearguard was surrounded."
Davout was silent for a few moments.
"I had a plan in case that happened.  Something wasn't right, I had an itch in the back of my head I couldn't scratch, so I had Captain Pimental prep the valley...Grouchy could have called for help, should have called for help, but instead he let me keep marching the rest of the unit away.  And when he had those pirates just where he wanted them, he blew the valley, he buried those pirates under tons of rock and rubble.
"What we didn't expect....we didn't expect the rest of the mountain to collapse.  It slid away from the valley, down the slope, into the bay.  You know what happens when several tons of rock and rubble crash into a semi enclosed body of water?  You get a man made tsunami.  A wave of dirty water, debris, god knows what chemicals and the like were also there, ten meters high, growing higher as the land shallowed, hitting a town of three thousand people with no warning.  Men, women, children, pets, gone...all gone in an eyeblink."
Davout looked up, and stared at a spot somewhere over the Abbots head for a few minutes.
"He snapped," Davout said.  "I think any man would have.  We didn't have the facilities to treat him, neither did 11th Arcturan.  He was with them the last big battle, before..." Davout's voice trailed off.  "He lifted with them, I expected to have him report back when we reached Timbuktu, instead I got a letter, saying he was quitting, he couldn't sleep, all he could see was that wall of water..."  The Abbot noticed Davout's hand had gone to something he was wearing around his neck, and he was fiddling with it.  Davout noticed the Abbott staring at him, and stopped what he was doing, putting the wooden cross back inside his uniform shirt.
"We all have our demons to work thru," the Abbott said softly.  Davout nodded in reply, then raised his tumbler for another drink.
"Roland died in that battle,, didn't he?" the Abbot asked, reaching for the almost empty bottle, and after looking at it, retrieved a full one from the desk drawer.  Opening it, he poured liberally for the Colonel and himself.
"Oscar Grouchy died as well, sir..." Davout said.  He went to take a drink, but stopped, because he had started crying so hard his hand was shaking to much to drink.

* * * * *

It had been awhile since he had been that drunk, and he couldn't tell if it was the temperature, or thin air, or both, that made it worse.  The room his was in was utilitarian, but the small bathroom had a shower, and after a soak, a shave, and a few minutes making sure everything on his uniform, which had been laundered apparently, was in order.
After sitting down and writing the letter, he went out the door, and found himself in a strange hallway, and after a moments wandering, found another monk led him back to the Abbots office.
"Are you OK?" Brother Giles asked, after sitting back down.
"Yes and no.  The pills help with the headache, the rest remains to be seen." Davout replied.  He looked away for a moment, then back to the abbot.
"With the recent events of the past few years, your House has grown in size, has it not?"
"Sadly, yes."
Davout nodded, then reached into his jacket again, and pulled out two sheets of paper.  He looked at them both, then handed one over the the abbot, who took it.
"What is this?" Brother Abbot asked.
"We, that is the Furious Angels, are making a donation to St. Marinus, in the names of Oscar Grouchy, Liam Suchet, and John Friant.  To help you help those who come here for help.  That is the details of the accounts here on Zaniah where the money is, you are free to withdraw from it at anytime."
"And the other letter?"
Davout looked down at it, and waited, as if fighting with himself over whether or not to hand it over.
"Should my friend Oscar Grouchy ever show up here, I would ask that you show him this, please."
He handed the envelope over, and the Abbot took it silently.
"My offer to stay for awhile is open ended, Colonel," the Abbot replied.  Davout nodded, then stood back up.
"I thank you for it, but at this time, I think I will be OK when I get the help I need back at Fiddler's Green."  The Abbot nodded in reply, then stood up himself, proffering a hand.
"I'm sorry I couldn't be of more assistance to you," he said sincerely.
Davout smiled briefly, then stepped forward and shook the hand.
"You were a great deal of help, this House is blessed to have you here, Abbot Giles."
They said their goodbyes, and a few minutes later, after keying in a command on his comp, Abbot Giles watched as the main door opened, Colonel Davout stepped out into the heat, turned around to take a look one last time, and after a few moments pause, climbed into the GPV and drove away.

* * * * *

A few hours later, in the midday sun, Abbot Giles was walking thru the House, when he came to the wall that was being built.  This area had been a larger interior courtyard, but with space in demand, it had been decided to cut the size of the courtyard in half, and build new rooms in the space.  While the technology to help build faster was available, in this case a group of men had decided they would build the wall by hand, and were doing a very good job of it.
"Brother Orlando?" the Abbot called out, attracting the attention of the man.  He was wearing just a pair of loose pants, his now non-regulation hair tied back into a ponytail.  He was dangerously thin, you could see his ribs, but that was due to a variety of reason one of which he was now wiry with muscles, with hardly any body fat left.
Brother Orlando set the tools he was carrying down, and walked over to the Abbot.
"I would like you to read this, please?" the Abbot said, handing over the envelope.  On the outside only two words were written.  "Brother Roland."
Roland looked at him, unsure, but after a few seconds, took the envelope, opened it up and extracted the letter that was inside.
Abbot Giles could see the letter was short, and after maybe a minute, Brother Orlando looked up at him, and then back down and read it again.
He looked up, confusion on his face, and then after a few moments, handed the letter back to the Abbot, and walked past him without a word.  The others on the work crew, who had watched the interaction, were surprised, and one of them came over.
"Is everything OK, Abbot?"
"I am not sure, Brother Wallace.  Do me a favor please, stay close to him for the rest of the day, keep an eye on him, and if he looks like he could become a danger to himself, or another, let us know?"
Brother Wallace nodded, and walked off after Brother Orlando.  The Abbott took the letter, folded it up without reading it, and put it away in his own pocket.

* * * * *

The next morning, Abbot Giles was walking thru the halls, his daily exercise, when he encountered Brother Wallace.
"Brother Wallace," he said by way of greeting, "How is Brother Orlando?"
"He spent the majority of the day walking the fields, Abbot.  Up and down the rows, Up and Down, then retired after an early dinner."
The Abbot nodded in response.
"He slept thru the night, Abbot," Brother Wallace said softly.  Wallace had the room next to Brother Orlando's, and was often the first one to deal with Orlando's nightmares.  "First time since he's arrived since that happened."
The abbot allowed himself a small smile.  "That is good to hear, Brother Wallace.  Please keep an eye on our friend for us?"
"Of course, Abbot.  Good Morning to you," Brother Wallace replied, and both men passed each other, to continue their day.

* * * * *

Thanks for reading,

Dav

 
« Last Edit: 11 September 2021, 23:34:48 by Davout73 »
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
Every Man Must Be Tempted, a KNT Universe series: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/every-man-must-be-tempted
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

DOC_Agren

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Re: Every Man must be Tempted
« Reply #25 on: 14 September 2021, 23:57:30 »
WOW

I like the Abbott and the Monastery
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"