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Author Topic: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)  (Read 11744 times)

Trace Coburn

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For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« on: 07 September 2013, 03:03:25 »
[[Posted 06-10-2006, 01:29:04]]


Lyrics to the song 'Suicide is Painless'

Through early morning fog I see,
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...

that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

-The Manic Street Preachers, Suicide is painless, (TM) Fox, 1972 (MASH themesong)

Biloxi, Mississauga, January 1, 3075...

"...can't believe this-I ask for reinforcements, and they send me a damn Periph Militia unit!"  Governor Harkin groused. 
"at least we have the Tamar Cavaliers assigned here-they're a front-line Regiment..."  Gwen Souse, his Lt. Governor, noted, and added, "...there's better than half an RCT worth of gear this 'Er-Zatz' regiment is bringin' in, I'm sure it's the best the Archon can do-what with all the troubles..."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #1 on: 07 September 2013, 03:04:13 »
[[Posted 06-10-2006, 09:12:11]]

Spaceport, Biloxi, Mississauga...

Colonel Liddel watched as  the first dropship began unloading.  "Bulk hauler-not even a combat-dropper, just a bulk-transport..."  he muttered, shaking his head, and looked at the orders in his hand again.

Outside, a Mammoth class began off-loading equipment.

"Oh, my, god."  The first tanks had rolled down the ramp.  They were OLD.  The upgraded model of the Patton lacked the box-launcher installed coaxially to the main gun.  The tanks themselves were obviously in good repair, and they wore a fairly traditional camouflage pattern still referred to in military circles as "Sand and spinach".  Must've hitched a ride... he thought.  The vehicles were rolling out of the bulk-hauler's lower cargo bays.

...or not. Instead of the expected single-company of twelve, mixed-type, older vehicles usually seen in miliz out of quiet places, nearly a full battalion was now forming on the field.
Crewmen and soldiers from the supplementary force were checking the vehicles over.
The Tanks rolled forward after a few minutes-clearing space for more vehicles.

The next group resembled the Pattons, but the hulls seemed out-of-proportion to the turrets, which were lower, the hulls themselves were taller, and the gun-muzzles were smaller in diameter.
On the sides of the vehicles, he noted, was a subdued version of the Lyran Alliance symbol, done in colourless form.  The bumper numbers weren't visible from the terminal, but they had to be present.

So far, Colonel Diem had not appeared in the concourse.  Liddel frowned, as he counted the second wave of vehicles, and did a rapid mental calculation.  He rejected it, and did it again, as three companies of infantrymen came from a personnel door next to the main ramp, and began checking these vehicles over.  It did not "add up" first.  Mein gott, they can fit an entire platoon in each of those...and there are twelve...

Three companies of infantry in what had to be the heaviest tracked APC's in existence- at minimum the vehicles were sixty tonnes, and armed like tanks themselves.

Where are the Battlemechs, though?  The Tracked-vehicles rolled away from the ramp, and another group of vehicles descended.  These had the Patton's profile as well-but it was obvious that they were NOT Patton Tanks.  "Thumpers...they brought field artillery."  He snorted derisively-the Thumper is the smallest practical field-artillery piece, and most 'mech officers call it the "Miliz Doorknocker" for a reason.  Sixteen Thumpers, however, was not an inconsiderable quantity.

Thirty-six in one place, on the other hand, is a rather sobering thought, even for a 'mechwarrior.

Additional tanks followed the Artillery down the ramp-and he noted that the field-guns were forming up with the other sub-units.  A lance of SP artillery guns per company, Plus one oversized SP Battery...  They like red-legs...

The count was already over-sized for a conventional regiment-at least, every conventional regiment he had ever seen.

And they weren't finished unloading.

Lighter APC's were next off the Dropship-their bigger kin having offloaded first.
Like the bigger mechanized units, the light stuff was mostly tracked, and mostly the same basic hull style.  Like the bigger kin, one of four platoons was artillery-this time, towed thumpers, two per infantry company, with an additional 12-gun battery that was clearly dedicated field-artillery.
"They're going to need command-tracks, where are you..."  The last vehicles to roll off with the Mechanized infantry were support-class vehicles, including several "apc" hulls sporting additional antennae and towing sensor-system units.

Liddell did the math again, and let a low whistle- the Mammoth dropship had just unloaded the better part of a third of an RCT's conventional assets...and this was just the first portion of the ersatz regiment's equipment.

Lots of old gear, lots of marginal stuff, a few surprises, but still, not one battlemech.  No 'mechs, no battle-armour, and no Newtech.  these guys are cannon-fodder.  shit.

[[Posted 06-10-2006, 12:01:31]]

[out of story]

We'll see how exciting I can write a battle that the outcome is already recorded... there will be some "Surprises" in how things referred to in earlier stories set later really happened...

[/out of story]

Quote from: Krieghund, 06-10-2006, 12:39:33
I don't blame the guy for thinking they are cannon fodder. PBIs and track toads are not and will never be a determening factor in BT warfare. When a star of elementals could prety much rip a couple of platoon a new ass, a lot of platoons is still a lot of dead people. Is cannon fodder that gets the job done, still cannon fodder?
Quote from: Weirdo, 06-10-2006, 12:46:15
The thing about the Kowloonese is that they realise that a Star of Toads will slaughter conventional infantry. But when said infantry is dug in, surrounded by claymore mines, have the support of tanks, air, and arty, and the Toads' supporting omnis are held up by MBTs, mines and more arty.....things stand a chance of turning out otherwise.
Quote from: Krieghund, 06-10-2006, 12:57:13
Even so, high numbers and low tech equals high casualties. You just can't brute things out forever. Eventually someone will stand off and run you into the ground. Simplicity is fine, but you need tech to fight tech, unless you want to human wave it, which I know isn't the Ngo way.
Quote from: Weirdo, 06-10-2006, 13:10:13
The thing is, the Kowloonese aren't going with the human wave approach, they're going for the combined-arms approach on a level orders of magnitude beyond anything anyone else does. That Star of Elementals may be going after a company of infantry, but if the Kowloon battle plan does anything remotely like it's planned to do, at best a Point will get anywhere near firing range. The rest will be red goo splattered all over the landscape well out of range. And if the plan goes well, none of them will get that close.
Quote from: Krieghund, 06-10-2006, 13:18:35
Thats assuming the elementals are morons and just charge from an open field or something. You gotta plan for air drops behind the lines, or in the lines. Think of a star running through the trenches. Not pretty. Really the only thing that could stop them is some of CSs munched out weapons that I love. Remember an Elemental will take a medium laser hit and not be phased too much. Catch them at range and they aren't too strong, but up close and personal... Better have that man pack PPC or something.
Quote from: Weirdo, 06-10-2006, 13:25:17
True, but given the Clans' tendency to ignore or at least underestimate conventional forces, and the Kowloon propensity for contingency planning, I think these guys are probably much more likely to come out ahead in this fight than any other non-mech unit out there.
Quote from: Krieghund, 06-10-2006, 14:14:25
Heh, this is Cannonshop we are talking about here. His bad guys are always doing things different.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #2 on: 07 September 2013, 03:04:51 »
[[Posted 06-10-2006, 23:11:10]]

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's too late, and...
 suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

-Manic Street Preachers (c) 20th century Fox

Watch Bugeye, JFS Barn Owl, Mississauga system, 1 January, 3075...

"...two large dropships, Mammoth class, looks like they brought some additional capacity on that pair of mules."  Watch Star Captain Joel drifted over to look at the technician's readouts.  "Interesting-notice, Walter, the secondary trails here and here?  run that back..."

The tech ran it back, and Joel frowned.  "This could be bad." He said.  The trails were smaller dropships-probably Buccaneer class, and as he rolled the image forward, the crew saw the two ships landing in a body of water.  "Water landing- must be good pilots to put down on purpose in water with aerodynes."  Walter mentioned without being prompted.

"Yes, bring up the registry on that jumpship, where is her home-port?"  Joel ordered.

Walter dug around in the morass of filesystems developed by a Star League three hundered years in the past, to bring up information gathered in the last twenty years.  "Engadine." he announced, "The registry numbers indicate she's out of Engadine."

"Engadine my freebirth ass! Walter, those ships might be registered on Engadine, but look here-"  the system had already begun playing back  the latest series.  "It's hard to land on a water-body with a dropship, because most Dropship pilots are trained to land on solid, reinforced runways.  Aerodynes are particularly risky-which is how we do not see our own pilots practicing it-the risk is too high...unless you're from somewhere where a LOT of commerce goes by sea ways and rivers, and the handiest landing fields happen to be big and wet.  Watch the takeoff runs... see how the pilots use their flaps and their engine thrust to create a wing-in-ground-effect to break surface tension?  Who is near Engadine, but has a big maritime force, one that trains Pilots?"

"Um... let me look that up..." Walter typed more commands into the system, bringing up correlations.  "Mainstreet, Kowloon, Inarcs.  Kowloon's got a militia that is responsible for both air, and sea operations concurrently, but Mainstreet and Inarcs have larger commitments to aviation."

Joel held back from hitting the Tech, and said, "Kowloon.  Those pilots are from Kowloon."

Walter frowned, "Kowloon's sea-air arm, the Coast Guard, is a civilian organization, with military trappings-they do not go outside of their home would they get ships registered at Engadine? Perhaps the LAAF has been training special aircrew, sir?"

Joel thought about it.  "Right.  Trained on Kowloon, maybe freight runners..."  he sat back and chewed on the idea.  "What did they drop off, anyway?"

Walter re-ran the image files.  "Crates, they offloaded crates from the upper-cargo bay doors, onto the beach.  Looks like pretty standard offsides-cargo-drop, maybe a smuggling operation."

"Mark the location on our report as a possible ammunition dump."  Joel stated, "and keep an eye out for others. We know that a large proportion of the emergency-units raised so far have come from Kowloon, and past records show that they like to use bodies of water for transport and supply dumps."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #3 on: 07 September 2013, 03:05:48 »
[[Posted 07-10-2006, 00:40:49]]

Biloxi Starport, Mississauga...

Colonel Diem rested, for a moment.  Damn it, I have to report soon... the ride had been crowded, confused, and boring.  The troops had complained about the use of MRE's for most of the trip out (made necessary by the mode of transport, as much as anything else...) while he, himself, had worried about the situation on their soon-to-be base-world.  Like most worlds in the Coventry Province, Mississauga had a tiny militia, and relied on Regular forces holding back threats far, far away.
Unfortunately, this was not to be.  The Jade Falcons had advanced to within a single jump, and were showing no signs of intent to halt this time.  With the bulk of the LAAF "Down South" fighting the Word of Blake, and the Arc-Royal theatre tied up with Wolves, the Archon summoned out the last "Hole Card" left-nationalizing the standing Militia of worlds along the bandit-infested periphery of the Alliance...which leaves us, dragged from our homeworld, to play speed-bump while the Regular forces try to hold the other end.  Lovely.

Diem looked over the orders, and his fullest gloom flooded in.  We're stuck with a damn Academy-graduate Battlemech officer for a CO.  He'd already briefed his line-officers about the situation-that scant help would be available from the locals, and they would, at least, for the time being, have to be tolerant of the strutting popinjays of the Battlemech corps, with their long, impractical haircuts, snotty attitudes, and childish views about 'glory'.

"Sir, there is a Colonel Liddell to see you." his aide said, poking  down through the APC's hatch.

Oh, this is going to suck, I hope he's professional enough not to assume my boys are policemen or Tax Collectors, the budget can't handle those kind of problems. "Inform the Colonel I will be there shortly."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #4 on: 07 September 2013, 03:06:21 »
[[Posted 07-10-2006, 23:18:46]]

Happy Valley Lake, Mississauga, 31km southeast of Biloxi...

"...establish a means of camouflaging the approach."  Hauptmann Suomi Thiet  said.  "Sir, I have a question?" Chief Petty Officer Than Vong raised his hand, "Why are we being sneaky at all about this?"

Thiet frowned at the Construction-Battalion NCO.  "We are, because that's what Admiral Cho ordered us to do-the Clanners are one jump away, and intel reports say that every world they've hit so far had plentiful collaborators come out of the woodwork to wreak havoc on anyone dumb enough to resist 'em... so, we don't tell the locals where the caches are.  Next?"

W.O. Ho Thevarssen raised his hand, "sir, We're really going to build this bridge under almost two meters of water?  I mean, we did it at Hong-Sat, but the silt here is so frikking soft..."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #5 on: 07 September 2013, 03:06:40 »
[[Posted 07-10-2006, 23:40:02]]

LAAF command Centre, Biloxi, Mississauga...

"...can't thank you enough for your kind words, Colonel, but my men aren't riot-control cops, they're soldiers.  They don't have that kind of training."  Diem said it quietly.

"Let's face it, Diem, you've got an oversize regiment of mostly infantry-infantry aren't especially known for being effective on today's battlefield-hell, they haven't been effective for centuries on the field.  Your tanks are okay, and you brought a remarkable amount of light artillery, but... If I can't use them for crowd-duty, I really don't see much use for 'em at all."  Liddell folded his hands, and leaned back, "Sorry to break it to you buddy, but these aren't washout pirates in busted gear, if they hit us, they're here for business, not to break windows and steal the jewels."

Diem sighed, "Colonel, let me worry about what my men are, and are not trained to do-and I will, in turn, not mention how effective battlemechs have been against formations of Clan battlesuits, or how well LAAF-trained officers have performed without Mercenary support against Clan forces, mm-kay?  We're both here under the orders of the Archon, and we both, I think, sincerely hope this whole thing blows over-but I doubt it will, and I noted several holes in your deployment strategy on my way here..."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #6 on: 07 September 2013, 03:07:07 »
[[Posted 08-10-2006, 08:14:23]]

Barracks area "E", LAAF compound, Biloxi...

Kommandant Trung walked through the empty bay, and counted bunks.  The adjutant from the Cavaliers walked alongside.  "Broken." Trung prounounced, "I'm not signing for this until those eleven lockers, sixteen beds, eight windows, and that door are replaced."  He stopped dead in his tracks.
The adjutant scowled at him.  "What do you mean you're not going to sign for it?  I'd think ninety-plus days in that freighter's hold would make your guys-"

Trung returned the scowl, and it reached his eyes.  "I said exactly what I meant, Hauptmann.  These barracks are in unacceptable condition.  Water leaks in the latrines, the showers only partially work, there is black mold on the ceiling panels, half an inch of dust on the windows, some of which were broken, the door lintel's got obvious dry-rot, there are holes in the plaster-my men are not animals, I'm not going to billet them in unsafe buildings left in poor repair by the previous occupants-and not maintained by the Garrison of the Post.  Nor am I going to put the repairs on My budget."  He stepped over to one of the wall-lockers, grasped the door, and pulled-it came off. "I'm not paying to replace this crap, I'm sure as hell not signing for it... seventeen wall-lockers, and this is just the first building."

"..we haven't really had anyone to handle post-details..." the adjutant offered weakly.

Trung scowled, "You have soldiers." he pointed out, "and Militia reservists in town."

Hauptmann Leonard sighed, "No engineers, though..."

Trung spat on the filthy floor, "Bollocks, if you'd had a couple details a week come out and look over this part of the post, most of this damage would have been avoided... Let me guess- they were 'too busy'?  I'm not going to sign for this building unless and until all the defects have been corrected by the host unit, or sufficient payment has been transferred to the 2nd Battalion's budget for my men to do the repairs themselves-and adequate temporary housing until the work is completed has been provided."

"'ve got a lot more men in your unit..." the Hauptmann actually whined, Trung felt his right fist flex involuntarily.

"where did you do your basic training? Fort Bitch'nwhine? I'm not going to sign for this, I won't let my company commanders sign for it either. Dereliction is no excuse, it's chargeable.  Your unit has enlisted personnel, it is classed as a Regimental formation, your budget can certainly afford to put some of those enlisted to work cleaning up the post you're responsible for maintaining."  he pointed at his own uniform jacket, "This, is not a civilian job, you don't put in your eight and go home every day. If you do, you are wrong.  Given the marksmanship averages LAAF sent us for your infantry units, they obviously are not spending their time in training, and just as obviously based on the listed standards we were provided by the Liason office, your support staff has plentiful hours to do basic post-cleanup and building maintenance details-which are a requirement under Lyran Alliance Armed Forces guidelines.  Since your men aren't building fortifications in that off-time, I must assume they are out on the town quite often."  He crossed his arms, "And I'm not going to pay for your unit's sloth.  Fix the buildings, or pay for them to be repaired, It doesn't matter to me-but I'm not putting them on the budget until they are up to Military Standards."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #7 on: 07 September 2013, 03:07:33 »
[[Posted 08-10-2006, 22:25:46]]

"The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say...
 suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please."

-"suicide is painless",Manic Street Preachers (TM) 20th Century Fox

JFS Barn Owl, Mississauga System, January 11, 3075

"...what do you suppose they are doing that for?"  Joel speculated out loud.   Walter sat up, and floated to the observation station.

"Sir?" Walter asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. 

"that."  Joel highlighted a series of movements until they were obscured in cloud-cover.

"Um... looks like they are..." he dialed up the magnification. "Fishing, sir."

"why would a military unit decide to go fishing?"  Joel asked.

Walter thought about it.  "I am certain I do not know."  he said evasively.

"Speculate." Walter snapped.

"Fishing is an activity in which one throws out lines, with baited hooks, to catch fish... it is also useful for the main purpose of being so boring to watch, that nobody who is likely to be following your activities is going to enjoy watching you do it, sir." Walter said, adding, "it would be a distraction technique.  Given that it would appear to be... a battalion of the Infantry doing the fishing, this seems likely."

Joel nodded, "Yes, that makes sense-covering up some other activity... but what?"

"Oh, deploying sensors, laying mines, scouting... there are a whole collection of activities that they could be up to..."  He played with the controls.  "Looks like they are busy putting the fish back into the water-not taking them out."  He leaned back, "Of course, since we are on 'passive', I can not verify, but I suspect those to be some sort of mines, probably keyed to large metal objects, since the water appears to be about two meters deep, and they are using wooden boats...though those could merely be sensors of some sort, or relays, or even small caches of ammunition or explosives."

Joel did a quick mental calculation- "two meters...shallow enough that a 'mech could walk through and only have to worry about the mud, normally, but deep enough to be a barrier to a fully-loaded man, or a light, non-hover vehicle that lacks a fording kit."

"Yes sir."  Walter replied.  "may I go back to sleep now, sir?"

"Go on, we have another twenty days of this, then we get to report back."  Joel said.

Walter sighed, "good. it will be nice to get a new assignment after this one."

After Walter went back to the sleeping rack, Joel sat there contemplating, adding up...

dumping gravel into shallow waters, now this? You're not goofing off, you're planning a defense...

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 09-10-2006, 04:34:49
Of course now you have to ask, did they really mine that ford, or do they want anyone watching thinking they might have mined that ford?

*walks off, humming 'Head Games'*

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #8 on: 07 September 2013, 03:08:11 »
[[Posted 09-10-2006, 10:22:31]]

HQ, LAAF, Biloxi, Mississauga...

"...out on a field excercise."  Colonel Diem tented his fingers,  "In fact, the only reason I'm on-post, is because these are battalion-level excercises, and I don't have to be there." 

Liddell Scowled.  "Field Excercises?  What in ******'s sake for??  I told you, we need crowd-control, not-"

Diem sighed, "Colonel, with all due respect, the men are still required to maintain proficiency in their Primary MOS groupings...groupings which aren't, incidentally, 'crowd control', or 'Tax Collection'.  I understand Mississauga has a fine group of young men trained for those tasks, and there has been no rioting here for the last..oh, sixty years, or thereabouts?  Are you expecting trouble, or is there another reason you want to infringe on my unit's SOP.  Recall, sir, that current priorities are that all designated combat troops are supposed to be in preparation for a predicted offensive in the spring... besides, I already gave up a unit for Military Police duty."

Liddell sat down heavily.  "Spring... spring is when I expect it will sink in with the public that they're in direct danger of invasion.  When that happens, the cities are going to be anarchy."

Diem shrugged, "So the local cops will have to earn their pay- the Orders I recieved from LAAF High Command stated that we were assigned here in a joint mission to defend the planet against invaders.  If you needed police, you should HPG to Kowloon, and ask if the Assembly would be willing to part with some Coast Guard personnel-they're duly-deputized officers of the LAW." He leaned forward, and put his elbows on the desk, "Of course, shipping them would have to come out of your budget, since they would be technically acting as mercenaries."

"You brought some..." Liddell pointed out. 

Diem shrugged, "Yes, I have Aviators and Corpsmen-but that comes out of my budget as allocated by the Assembly on Kowloon-the folks back home are paying for them, which is what you, as a non-Kowloonese formation, would have to do."

Liddell sighed, and slumped back into his chair.  "Things were easier..."

Diem actually smiled "Things were easier, what? when just being a 'mech operator meant you could push around anyone who wasn't, without regard for things like earned ranks?  I'm certain it was.  Note the past-tense.  We got here, the fighting positions around the base were crumbling and over-grown, Half the post was unsafe for human habitation, nobody had bothered to deploy basic early-warning systems, and your support personnel were sitting on their asses after doing perfunctory checks on your heavy equipment.  This has not provided a strong case for respecting your command as a professional military unit, in spite of individual proficiencies among your men as 'mechwarriors.  In the last forty-one days, about half the deficiencies I noted from orbit have been at least partially addressed, including the regrettable lack of discipline and fitness among those members of your command who happened to be spending a lot of time wasting it off-post on passes, rather than preparing for an attack."

Liddell nodded, "I noticed...and don't think I don't respect that-but..."  His posture shifted slightly, "...that doesn't mean we have a chance-in-hell if the Clans do hit this planet.  The Jade Falcons will tear through those defensive works like wet tissue, if they don't just decide to go around, and those pop-guns the infantry are carrying won't do a lot to battlesuited Elementals."

Diem shrugged, "Maybe you are correct, and maybe you are not.  The Clans as a whole prefer to fight quick, decisive engagements that work well with their range and speed advantages.  Cut down on their mobility, and they become, at least, 'mortal'.  You'll note that my artillery units have been conducting live-fires on flying targets during their range time."

"Yeah, the Live-fire excercises are getting complaints filed-that was the other thing I wanted to discuss.  Couldn't you just use the Simulators, like everyone else?" Liddell asked.

Diem shook his head, "Simulators are programmed by men, they rarely take into account the variables, and almost never provide the level of proficiency that spending time on the actual weapons does."

Liddell nodded, "Agreed, but some of the locals have been bitching to important people, and... you must have gotten those memos from LAAF TRADOC?"

Diem nodded, "I did, indeed, and filed them appropriately." He gestured at the trashcan next to his desk, "If they don't like my training regimen, they can file charges like anyone else."

Liddell actually laughed, and relaxed.  "I understand that one." he said.

Diem frowned.  "Your condition doesn't match with the reputation, sir, why?"

Liddell looked at the smaller officer.  "It used to-that was eight years and three retreats ago.  Half my troops at the moment are replacements-"the finest that could be spared",  According to LAAF Personnel command." His note was bitter sarcasm.

"I thought as much, but was too polite to mention it to my own men." Diem confided.

"Thanks, you're a gent, too bad we're all screwed." Liddell said.

Diem shrugged, "Maybe, maybe not... I take it the Loki men aren't here to help stiffen your own troops' morale?"

Liddell shook his head, "Nope,they're here to make sure we don't go...ah... 'off the reservation', since about half of what's left of my original outfit are or were free-skye sympathizers."

Diem sighed, "Almost as bad as the isolationists in my own units.  I have found that 'busy hands are happy hands', intense training can take a young soldier's mind off of ideas like Secessionist sentiments, and hard work is usually a good cure for seditious grumbling."

"Seditious Grumbling?  I didn't think you border-rats would have such problems." Liddell looked didn't reach his eyes though.

"Colonel, my people are conscripts, from a zone where the Lyran State's military Assistance tends to be notable more for the lack, from a region where there are frequent raids by bandits and pirates. every man out there has family that are still under threat, far away from here. If I didn't have to deal with those problems in others, I'm not sure I would be able to cope with them myself." Diem said, "I have two children, and ten grand-children, a wife, a business, and a home, and all of them are out of reach if they should need me." Diem was very sincere, "Going home requires that we succeed.  Thus, every trick, every possible means of making sure that my men and I can return to our homeworld when this is over, is a trick I will use-and since that requires that we beat the living shit out of someone with better technology and a fanatical ethic, that is what we must do." He smiled, "Your men, on the other hand, if they make it back, win-or-lose will be sheltered by the power of your Duke from any repercussions.  Duchess Elizabeth is a strong woman, but she lacks the influence to buy forgiveness from the Archon for failure."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #9 on: 07 September 2013, 03:09:55 »
[[Posted 09-10-2006, 22:42:37]]

Fannington, Mississauga, 52 Km Souteast of Biloxi, at the eastern edge of Happy Valley...

" remember, tell your mum to change the bandage before you go to bed, and for being such a brave little boy, here's a bit of sweet..."  Corpsman Second Class Han Bui gave the boy a piece of gum made with a mild, nonaddictive pain-killer, "..and remember, stay away from ground-hornets nests!"  The boy nodded and his mother took him out of the tent.  Bui turned on his chair, and looked at McBride, a medic from the Cavaliers.  "That's the last one.  Who handles these folks when we're not around?" he asked.

McBride shook her head, "Nobody-not since the mining company decided the threat was too big, an' pulled out of the area and off the planet for somewhere 'safer'.  They pulled up the machinery and left the people behind."

"Your boss knows about this?" Bui asked.

She shook her head, "yeah-kind of-he doesn't know I've been skimming med-stores, or that I've been off-post doing this since we got assigned."

Bui whistled.  "Off the books, huh? well, I'll tell you what, you don't have to snake the stuff out of LAAF stores anymore-I've got plenty of stuff marked 'refugee aid' coming in with the next Coast-Guard drop.  Give me a list of what you need for this 'clinic', we'll keep it going for you."

"What's the catch?" she asked.

Bui stretched, yawned, and said, "Medical supplies are funny things-when you don't need 'em, they're 'extra', and 'getting ready to expire', but when you do, you never have enough." He smiled  at her, "Especially military-grade meds.  Technically, the Coast Guard's here mainly to set up a few airfields, do a little bit of flying, and provide medical support for the troops.  We could do that with about a squadron-and-change.  We've got a Construction Battalion, two companies of Marines, and a Disaster-Action Patrol, what you'd call your basic field-hospital unit with some firefighters.  That means our job is a little bit more than Admiral Cho told the LAAF Liason guy back home.  Ground is just dirt, water's just water, it's people that make it a world.  We expected a hell of a lot of refugees showing up on this rock in front of the Clanners' advance, so we brought extra-well, the refugees didn't show, but it looks like they didn't, because the muckety-mucks pulled up stakes and ran as soon as the threat came up-and so it's that other part of the job for us."

She nodded understanding.  "We did too-but QM command won't release it."

He laughed, "Bastards, it figures-let me guess, they want everyone in the outlying areas concentrated in Biloxi and the other big cities, right?"

She nodded, and added to his statement, "and these folks won't go."

He smiled.  "Smart of 'em.  The Clans come, they'll want to take the cities first, which means the grunts are going to try and defend those cities, and that means Collateral Damage, also known as 'Civilian Deaths'.  Facing an invader, it's smarter to spread out the people so that as many as want to, can run for the hills until the shooting stops."

a knock from the tent-post, and both said, "Come in!"

Two men were holding up a third, his leg crudely splinted. 

"Work to be done." Bui said to her, and to the men he said, "Over here, on this bed...careful...oh, that's a nasty one..."

Quote from: Idea weenie, 10-10-2006, 03:17:44
Hmm, after seeing how well Kowloon troops do vs invaders, this little planet may want to change military providers.

Or they will send their troops to get trained by Kowloon.  I'm sure Kowloon won't mind sending trainers to the planet, to teach the locals how to fight.  If the Clans can concentrate their forces against one world, even Kowloon, they could likely take it (and have a nightmare of a guerrilla war afterwards too), but the more worlds they have to divide their forces against, the nastier the situation looks.
Quote from: shadrachvs, 10-10-2006, 04:18:25

Been invaded more times than you can count? Afraid of the Clan Invasion? Problems with Nutjobs in White Robes?
Call us here at the Kowloon Military Academy of Attrition-based Infantry Combat, Let your enemies know that You Won't Go Down With Out Taking Them With You!!! Call Today for details and Rates.
Not responsible for any casualties listed as: Training Accidents, Coincidental Death, Injury due to Insubordination, General Stupidity, Collateral Damage, or Genetic Misfire.

Anyway, Keep up the good work there Cannonshop. O0

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #10 on: 07 September 2013, 03:10:52 »
[[Posted 10-10-2006, 08:23:41]]

11 Km Southeast of Fannington...

The volunteers were eager enough, most of them had signed on in the last few days of January.  Unfortunately, most of them had never handled a firearm before.  Their eagerness as students, however, made Chief Petty Officer Liu Chen's job easier.

"Now, try again, put blade in notch, line up blade even, centre on target. Squeeze trigger, this not mining-ram, this is rifle, rifle wants to be steady..." His english wasn't, unfortunately, the best, and nobody here spoke Viet, Finnish, or Hebrew. 

The volunteer started holding his breath, and Chen interrupted, "Stop! Breathe, Smeghead, you not breathe, bore go all over, miss shot! breathe steady-steady and squeeze until gun surprise you, go off!"  He shook his head, "Start over, if you screw up this time, I make everyone run circuits, then try again with fast heartbeats, sweaty hands!"

The recruit settled down, and fired a five-shot string.

CPO Chen looked down the improvised range at the target with his field glasses, and pronounced, "Ten Years old, My Ten-Years Old Niece shoot better group!  You not Serious, You ****** around here, think this is game!!  No wonder you rejehkted bah da Ah-Mee! Lazy, Slothful! EVERYONE UP!! Rifles over you Heads! Fall In Rifles over you heads, we Running CIRCUITS!!"

To demonstrate, he lifted his own weapon-unlike the TK-22's thoughtfully provided by the LAAF Quartermasters, was actually listed as a support-grade light machinegun in the catalogue.  (Liu Chen was a BIG man-Samoan and Jewish ancestry granting him a stature nearly a head taller than most of the recruits, and two heads taller than most of his peers back home.)
"Sing Ca-Dence!"

Up the hill

Ensign Joseph Lo watched Chen's platoon form up and begin running the obstacles around the uprange area.  "They're learning fast." he commented.  Hauptmann Gordon from the Planetary Civil Militia nodded, "Yeah, they are.  Do you think this is going to make any difference?"

Lo shrugged non-comittally, "It might-people with dignity hold out better against occupations than people who're already broken-it's a documented fact.  If they believe in themselves, they aren't as likely to throw their hands up and their weapons down if things don't go exactly right the first time.  The important thing, is to nurture their will to resist-do that, and maybe the invaders can be pushed off this rock and they won't come back for a time."

"How long before you start the 'advanced' material?" Gordon asked.

"About two weeks- most of the Volunteer platoons are picking up on the whole working-together idea pretty well, they're still not to the ideal mindset yet, but they're getting there... I think we'll start them on camouflage, concealment, and cover concepts... though I think Chen wants to put more emphasis on their marksmanship and unit-cohesion.  Tsang's radio-classes have been going well enough-cheer up, your Planetary Militia's going to be the envy of your neighbours." Lo said it with confidence.

"I'm just worried, that's all-all we have is really light stuff, and if the Cavaliers or your bunch goes away, we're defenseless." Gordon commented.

"Well... the Third isn't going anywhere without at least two month's notice to pack up their gear again-it's quicker to offload from a dropper, than it is to load one, and we're here basically until you don't need us anymore.  Your 'concerned citizen' cheques cleared back home, and the Assembly's appropriated matching funds to keep the training cadre, Construction Batt, and field-hospital squadron on-world for another year.  The idea of raising local forces to take over so our guys can go home without leaving you defenseless is pretty much accepted.   The tough part will be finding enough capital equipment or a sugar-daddy in the Alliance to provide enough, so that you guys don't need us anymore."  Lo smiled, "As for the Cavaliers, you didn't really count on them to stay-not with them being Skye troops, did you?"

Gordon shook his head, "No, and that's why we requested the help.  Word leaked in about what your people were doing on Engadine and Winter.  We haven't had that much support from official LAAF sources."

"Of course you haven't, the General Staff never thought the damn Falcons would resume their invasion, or that they'd be threatening worlds this far into the interior." Lo reminded the man, "Hell, your own royals didn't-which is why they took off when the Falcons got threatening, an' took most of the heavy stuff your folks own with 'em..."  the Platoon was making the turn around  the westernmost barracks-tent as he spoke.

"It will be different if they show their faces around here again." Gordon said it with conviction.

Lo gave him a stern look, "Keep that sort of talk under your hat, Hauptmann.  Officially, I didn't hear what you just said, okay?"  he gestured around the valley, "You don't want Loki to kick down your door as an excercise in reaffirming the rights of your Liege Lord...even if he is a big ****** coward.  Ask the Cavaliers-a LAAF suppression raid is no fun at all."

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 10-10-2006, 11:15:20
Hmm, I bet the nobles, tax collectors and 'company store' if the mining company had one are going to be inventively cursing Kowloon 'aid' ;) for the next couple decades.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #11 on: 07 September 2013, 03:11:17 »
[[Posted 10-10-2006, 23:27:51]]

JFS Emerald Roc, in transit somewhere along the front...

"...not underestimating them, I simply believe that what we have seen thus far, indicates that the fight simply is not in them."  Star Commander Jagit Buhallin stated, "I believe the time is now to move forward with the next wave-let the PGC's take care of garrisons on the worlds liberated so far."

Diane Anu shook her head, "Neg.  one of the critical problems with both the last set of excercises, and the ones before, was a tendency to out-run our supply lines and leave our interior weakened.  Or have you forgotten the lesson of Audacity?"

A Staff-Tech scurried in, and placed briefing folders before the assembled Warriors, then hurried back out again.

Buhallin studied the reports for a moment, cleared his throat, and announced, "They are apparently reinforcing the current border, with Militia troops."  His distaste shone like a bright beacon.  "Clearly, they are not taking us seriously."

Anu studied the reports carefully, and the imagery.  "What do we know about this 'Kowloon'?" she asked, "Why, for instance, would the Lyrans be pulling so many troops from that world?"

Mar Helmer, silent until now, spoke up.  "Because that world has so many to pull.  A Solahma cluster assigned to support the Falcon Jaegers went there in search of Bandit-Caste.  They did not return, but the Watch has a source in the system, and the reports have been... interesting."

"A bandit-kingdom?" Anu asked.

"Neg.  They crucify bandits, the reports indicated that Kowloon's 'militia' is of a significant size-multiple regiments with wet-naval, artillery, and air-support."  Helmer explained, "Thousands of men under-arms, and more in training and reserve.  Imagine Clan Blood Spirit, but without the temper-tantrums, and about one hundered times the numbers."

"So...they're poor?" Buhallin asked, "Poor fighters, I mean?"

"Neg. Good, but limited to conventional forces in quantity." Helmer replied, "Roughly seventy-thirty split of infantry to everything else, but thousands of troops.  The Lyrans could easily draw half a million or more men to shore up weakened garrisons along our border, with second-line equipment, obviously, but enough to make heavy losses hurt less."

"How heavy would the losses have to be to hurt them More?" Anu asked.

"They were quite put-out when one of their conscripted units was hit with a nuclear weapon last year.  The Fourth Ersatzkampfgrupp, as it was designated, was targeted with nuclear weapons by Blakist forces in the Lyons' thumb region."  Helmer stated it flatly. 

Anu leaned back, and popped her spine, easing sore muscles from sitting too long.  "By 'put out' , you mean they were angry, not frightened." the statement was not a query.

"Yes."  Helmer said.

"I want to fight them.  They sound...interesting.  Certainly better than the roll-over dogs we have encountered in this latest drive.  Three years, and our only restraint, has been the need to garrison what we have taken.  It will be a relief to face some actual opposition." Buhallin stated, and Anu nodded agreement.

"The Khan wants this to be sustainable-no giving back worlds, no embarassments like the last time-no weak flanks that an enemy force can exploit to cut off the advance.  We move in March, on the fifteenth."  Mar Helmer announced, adding, "Projections on our time-table have Mississauga under Falcon control by May.  That should give you enough time to work out your necessities and determine your own supply requirements."

"How many of these 'ErsatzKampfgrupp' troops are we expecting?"  Anu asked.

"Five thousand, including a wing of Aerospace fighters, and the Tamar Cavaliers."  Buhallin answered before Helmer could reply.  "About Ten thousand, all told if the local militia are willing to fight, seven thousand if they are not."  He set the packet on the table, "We are going to need reinforcement-I doubt very much that they will bid down to something reasonable, given that it is unlikely that they would participate in bidding at all."

Anu sighed, and said, "This is going to be a bath of blood...their blood, unless they are sensible, and retreat or surrender."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #12 on: 07 September 2013, 03:11:53 »
[[Posted 12-10-2006, 09:19:30]]

Biloxi, Mississauga, north-side of the spaceport...

Sam Hall nervously idled near the telecom booth for a few more minutes, then dropped the data-disc into the coin-return slot before walking hurriedly away.

Twenty five minutes later, a car stopped, a well-dressed man got out, went to the telecom booth, placed a call, hit the coin-return, and walked away.

Three hours after that, on a subfrequency piggy-backed to the nightly tridee news, a signal was beamed out..out...out to where it was recieved by a ship that was not a transport freighter.

JFS Barn Owl, on-station, Mississauga system.

"Our source on the planet finally reported in."  Walter announced, "he has something for us..."

  Joel floated over, and dragged himself into one of the seats.  "What is it?" he asked.

"Biographies on a few officers, definite unit designators, confirmation-they are building an airfield in Happy Valley...oh, that is interesting..."  Walter looked at the other Analyst, "They apparently are training an unsanctioned volunteer force to act as behind-the-lines resistance.  Snipers, demoltions, some medical and survival schooling too."

Joel spat, "Guerillas.  Great.  Just what we need-Civilians who think they can take Warriors."

Walter shrugged, "The source isn't happy about that, he is concerned that the outcome will be an increase in violent crimes,  There is a partial list of involved families in the dump, along with addresses."

Joel sighed, and scrolled through the attachments.  " is similar to what we observed, that is no surprise...damn.  He is old!"  the image stopped at a photo of a man in LAAF field uniform, talking to a working-dress uniformed officer.  The man was small, and wiry, his face like leather and wrinkled.  "Diem.  According to the file, he is the commander of the Third Ersatzkampfgrupp.  Bio says he is in his late fifties, a vet of the fighting during Revival."

"What kind of veteran?" Joel asked idly.

"It does not say, our source's source redacted a lot of the man's file-it was probably done at AFFC or LAAF headquarters, some point in the past, and edited further when the man was named commander of his unit, and the bios were shipped to Mississauga."

"Does it say where he served?" Joel asked.

"Neg.  that section is marked 'Eingestuft.' It was classified on November of 3055. about three years prior to his first separation from LAAF active-duty."  Walter said.

"A ringer, then."  Joel muttered.

"Sir?" Walter asked.

"A 'ringer', is a term once used on old terra, it means a professional player playing in an amatuer league-level game."  Joel tapped the screen, "This guy, he is probably Loki or Lohengrin, and probably the first man our warriors are going to have to kill before the others will do the right thing and give up."

Joel scrolled into the data on the Tamar Cavaliers, and stopped.  "Well, this is going to be a surprise." He commented. 

Walter paged through to the same data, and nodded.  "Fifty percent of their forces are fresh out of training...or re-training, in the case of men called back to the colours.  It would appear that their mail is being censored as well-fears of mutiny, quiaff?"

Joel nodded, "Aff.  A lot of skye-loyalists in these files.  They would be harder to control if they knew how badly the Lyrans are taking it on their coreworld front."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #13 on: 07 September 2013, 03:12:39 »
[[Posted 12-10-2006, 22:57:27]]

Headquarters area, 5th Battle Cluster, Charging station, otherwise uninhabited star system along the current border...

The Holoimager went black, and then, the letters formed...

Blood Dawn

What followed was two hours, and at the end of it, Star Colonel Diane Anu looked at the Watch officer who'd brought the disc.  "Okay, that was disgusting." she said.

He nodded agreement, "We captured copies on four worlds in the last wave-lots and lots of copies.  Most of them were still in the packaging, but on one world-Zhongshan, it was spread widely.  You may be interested to note that Zhongshan has presented a constant and unwavering series of resistance actions and insurgencies."

"Ah, Propoganda, and the Watch believes, it is or has been available on the target planet, quiaff?" she looked at the projector again.

"Aff."  the Watcher said with a nod.  "Almost certainly, given who is garrisoning the world."

"I wonder how Buhallin is reacting..?" she mused, "He was in the Homeworlds during the Nova-Cat Abjuration."

4th Talon Cluster assembly area, same base, same time...

Jagit Buhallin shot the projector and released a stream of invective, ending in "...and it did NOT happen THAT WAY!!"  He glared at the Watcher who'd brought the offending film.  "Who did This??" he fumed.

"Someone in the Inner Sphere, someone who wants the Spheroids to hate and fear the Clans, with an emphasis on hate.  It was found on a number of worlds in the last wave, but it had only reached widespread release on Zhongshan before our forces took that world."  the Watcher said evenly.

"It is an abomination.  You think it may be present on Mississauga, or you would not have troubled me with it, quiaff?"  Buhallin asked, mastering his pique.

"Aff.  Almost certainly-the film was produced on Kowloon with money supplied by a company headquartered on Skye.  I suspect the edited footage from the Homeworlds was provided by someone outside the Alliance."  The Watcher tented her hands.

Jagit breathed down slowly.  "Zhongshan... there is an insurgency that the Garrison troops can not seem to pin down... Oh. Savashri... and Kowloon is not only the homeworld of more than half of the LAAF troops on Mississauga, it is also the homeworld of that unpleasant woman from the Holovids in your earlier reports... the one that called the Clans a 'reincarnation of Hitler's henchmen', and compared our prowess to 'the brutality and murder of the Amaris Regime'... nice."  He sighed heavily,  "This can not be allowed to exist."

"The Clan agrees, but the Council is split on what to do-for that matter, so is the Watch, we have...a source, on Mississauga, someone whose desires and goals coincide with our own.  There is a movement there, it is currently 'underground' that supports an alliance with Clan Jade Falcon.  Clearly this film has not affected that, but it may cause...problems if our local friends are revealed too quickly."  the Watcher was careful in how she said it, but Jagit understood immediately.

"You mean, if our occupation reveals them too quickly, they may end up getting lynched before we can stop the riot."  He said, then thought for a moment:  "Is there any more of this sort of material we should be prepared to deal with?"

"Several, we are analyzing and cataloguing them for disposal, but it seemed wise to make the military personnel heading up the next thrust aware of the situation."  the Watcher said.

"Good thinking.  Provide me with additional examples-if they are as... creative as this, my warriors will find them quite...motivational.  Motivation to stamp this out before it spreads further."

"Honour to the Clan." the Watcher saluted, and left.

Jagit was alone in the room, contemplating the damaged holoplayer, and replaying the images in his mind-and what had been edited by the Propogandist, how the battles had been turned into systematic, mindless slaughters of civilians, the way the editors had cut the footage to linger on dead children and wounded women, while removing the Novacat 'mechs and soldiers as systematically and completely as if they had never been there.

Were they there? he questioned, then realized the real power of the Tridee producer's art-he, who had been there, and done battle with enemies, could no longer summon the memory of the battle-the true memory.  Only the false, edited images were ready for recall.

"Monstrous." he muttered, and realized how much more effective those scenes would be, on minds not trained to a Warrior's sharpness.

A song of hate! He reached down, toggled a setting on his personal communicator, and spoke, "Quartermaster..."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #14 on: 07 September 2013, 03:13:50 »
[[Posted 13-10-2006, 09:43:58]]

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat.
that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

-"Suicide is painless" Manic Street Preaches, (TM) Fox Television

LAAF HQ, Mississauga, 22 February...

"...Complaints from the local government."  Liddel finished.

Colonel Diem shrugged noncomittally, "I have no authority over that, Colonel-as a matter of fact, as far as I know, they're just building a few roads and firming up a few areas with gravel and aggregate from the tailings piles."  He smiled, and added, "What the Coast Guard does in terms of community-relations is out-side of my jurisdiction."

Liddel gave the smaller, older man a level stare, "Bullshit. you know exactly what is going on, you've got units training with them.  The Civil government's filed protests about 'arming civilians' and 'raising armies'."

Diem shrugged,  "I'm not responsible for the concerns and issues of the Civil administrators here-my job, our job, is to prepare this planet for an inevitable attack by a technologically superior enemy focused on total domination.  If a portion of the local populace is concerned about the threat of the Clans, and willing to do as much as they can about it... who am I to oppose them?"  He pushed his hands into his pockets, and added,  "If they are recieving training and stockpiling arms, it is not off of my budget, it is something they are doing on their own, and the Civil Administrators should possibly examine funds-transfers off-world."

"So, you see it as nothing more than a few communities locally hiring mercenaries?" Liddel asked.

Diem shrugged, "I presume such arrangements are not my concern-they're yours, certainly, as the Military Governor, but, if the people hiring those mercenaries are not discussing it with you, perhaps that is an issue you can bring before the Office of Mercenary Liason."

"Deniable."  Liddel said after a moment.

Diem nodded, "someone might see it that way-if so, one might question why it might be necessary to have it be deniable."

The Tamar Cavaliers officer frowned for a moment longer, and thought, then spoke.  "It has to be deniable, because someone thinks...what? that there is a spy?"

Diem shrugged, "Not necessarily a bad supposition-it is quite possible that one of the reasons the Clans advanced so quickly in the early part of this decade, can be traced to those who seek advantage under their rule, or those who feel that resistance is truly futile."  He rocked on his heels, "Such a situation would be more-or-less a strong reason to have preparations that are difficult to track easily from space, and such a situation would certainly require work to inform and prepare such resistance movements as can be raised should the inevitable happen.  Rounding up suspected criminals without proof is dangerous, but preparing against them by strengthening the loyal citizenry is certainly less so-a minor rise in crime is nothing compared to being backstabbed by organized collaborators, or being sold out from the side."

Liddel groaned, and asked, "If, hypothetically, this was being looked at by higher, who would authorize it, and what agency would be supervising the operation?"

Diem shrugged, "Hypothetically, such an operation would have to be known to LIC, it is expensive to do what the Mayor is accusing us of, and it would require some form of legal cover-since it would be impractical to make it a 'black bag' operation... with this level of interference, that means it would require consent at the highest levels of the Lyran government, both to run the mission, and to maintain a level of secrecy about it to minimize leaks."

"Not eliminate?" Liddel asked.

"Can't.  People talk, people see things-even people that are not involved.  Unlike a wetwork mission, this one may be discreet, but not so discreet one can actually keep it hidden from unauthorized eyes.  Hiding the extent and nature is possible, but not the presence of such an operation."  Diem settled into a loose stance, and looked around the room, "Unlike your Skye people, we can't exactly conceal recruitment in this setting behind a formal place of education or a large military beaurocracy."

"So, hypothetically, the Archon would have to authorize the mission, and the funds would be laundered before electronic transfers by HPG-just in case someone is listening."  Liddell nodded, "So, 'hypothetically', you would be required to maintain a claim of ignorance... and yet you would probably be tapped to provide some ancillary support?"

Diem shrugged, "The Coast Guard has plenty of people for that-Hypothetically it would be good tactics to have some reasonable understanding of the relative skills of the potential resistance organization, and have some type of means of coordinating training and eventual combat operations... of course, this assumes I know anything, which officially, I do not."

Quote from: Weirdo, 13-10-2006, 13:01:09
I'm not sure, but I think he's claiming that "whoever" is training the local citizenry has backing from higher-up, and that he's officially not a part of it.

I also think the first part is utter bull, and there isn't enough quotation marks in the world to wrap around the word 'officially'. :D
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 13-10-2006, 15:42:29
Quote from: chanman, 13-10-2006, 14:08:44
Why does this remind me of Zarkhov's quote when you make one of your tech breakthroughs in Alpha Centauri?  ::)
I don't recall that, I'm reminded more of Garibaldi's doublespeak to an EA investigator in the B5 episode 'Matters of Honor".

I don't recall it exactly, but it went that Garibaldi didn't know where his superiors went, because as Security Chief his job is to keep secrets from disreputable types, and what kind of Security Chief would he be if he told someone like himself a secret.

Or Sheridan's comments to Franklin after covering for the Telepath Underground Railroad ('A Race Through Dark Places') on B5.  "I'm not saying what I'm saying.  I'm not saying what I'm thinking.  For that matter, I'm not even thinking what I'm thinking.  All I know is I need a drink."
Quote from: chanman, 13-10-2006, 17:32:15
"The Academician's private residences shall remain off-limits to the Genetic Inspectors. We possess no retroviral capability, we are not researching retroviral engineering, and we shall not allow this Council to violate faction privileges in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!"

Fedor Petrov
Vice Provost for University Affairs"

"The Coast Guard's activities shall remain off-limits to civil inspectors.  We are not raising unauthorized militia, we are not assisting unauthorized militia, and we shall not allow this Council to compromise our defensive preparations in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!"

Yeah, I can see that.  :D
Quote from: Trace Coburn, 13-10-2006, 18:58:40
Garibaldi: "And what kind of Head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know?  I know what I know because I have to know it - and if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anybody else tell me, either."

... a little later...

Endawi: "Because you won't... tell yourself about it?  ???"
Garibaldi: "I try never to get involved in my own life.  Too much trouble.  ;)"
Endawi: "... This is a very strange place you have here, Mister Garibaldi.  :D"
Garibaldi: "Thank you! ;D"

So the Kowloonese are not only feeding maskirovka to the Falcons, they're also training and arming the locals and denying any knowledge of that activity to their superiors - thus feeding them misinformation to bamboozle any fifth columnists?  ???
I think it's working - I know my brain hurts....   #P
Quote from: chanman, 13-10-2006, 19:31:13
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 13-10-2006, 19:25:17
Plus someone high up that wouldn't dream of disrupting local fuedal relations between lord and vassal for such piddling matters as the security of the realm most certainly will not admit that he let his intelligence service launder the Archon's funds and run cover for such an underhanded operation.
"What? Me, your liege lord, secretly arming your malcontent vassals through some periphery militia?  I think you've been drinking too much of my booze again."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #15 on: 07 September 2013, 03:14:37 »
[[Posted 14-10-2006, 00:35:37]]

The situation

By the spring of 3075, Victorious Clan Jade Falcon troops had driven a solid line of advance into the Lyran Alliance along a front stretching from Melissia to Arc Royal, capturing more than a dozen inhabited worlds.  Their technology's superiority restored by the introduction of new weapons like the Anti-Personnel Gauss, Hyper-rate Assault Gauss, Plasma rifle, and advances in 'mech and battlearmour technology is coupled with a renewed vigor from a string of victories and a more flexible tactical outlook.

The LAAF is in disarray-attacks by the Word of Blake in the Lyran core sectors, loss of Hesperus, Alarion, and the Sieges of Skye and Inarcs have crippled or eliminated much of the Lyrans' hard-won abilities.  The LAAF has not recovered from the Fedcom Civil war either, leaving huge gaps in coverage on three major fronts.

The Archon has been reduced to drafting planetary militias to hurl into the path of advancing enemies on two fronts while the bulk of the LAAF's main body struggles to regain some measure of effectiveness.

On the Clan side, easy victories and the Clan Council's concerns about  Supply problems and a crisis in the Clan homeworlds, rumours of a pending attack by another Clan on the Occupation Zone have slowed the Clan advance by months.  The objective is to split the Lyran Alliance in half, destroying the only major power that could threaten the Jade Falcons should they be assaulted by another Clan from outside the OZ.

Preparations on both sides lasted for months beforehand, the Clan's initial force is four FULL Clusters in strength, units of long-standing tradition led by expert commanders who have the best intelligence, weapons, and manpower the Clan can put at their disposal.

The Lyran forces are somewhat less impressive- the mauled and recovering Tamar Cavaliers, supported by a force of Kowloon's militia temporarily re-designated as Ersatzkampfgrupp Drei, or "The Third Emergency Combat Formation".  The Cavaliers' rating of 'veteran' is a paper tiger-less than 40% of their pre-invasion personnel are still alive, their places taken by hastily trained and hastily recruited new soldiers.  The Ersatz unit is made up of Conventional troops, which lack a formal rating, armed with obselete weapons and equipment, much of it decades out of use by the LAAF's regular forces.  A secondary factor involved, is that the Tamar Cavaliers are mostly Skye recruits, and have been under a news-blackout since June of 3074.  Morale in the Battlemech unit is shaky, and supply problems on the Lyran side have further reduced their combat-worthiness.  The Cavaliers, as a Battlemech unit, have sufficient means to leave, if victory proves impossible.

The Kowloonese unit has none of the supply problems their more-advanced comrades are suffering, their equipment may be old, but ammunition is plentiful, and spare parts and supplies have been arriving regularly from their homeworld.  For the Kowloonese, retreat is simply not possible after February 2nd-there are too many of them on-world, and not nearly enough transport to even contemplate escape, only digging in and preparation to fight a sustained campaign is possible for them.  Kowloonese assets include superior numbers-nearly 8,000 men with Tank, Air, and Artillery support in-place, they have accurate maps of the continent, and have begun supplementing their forces with local volunteers willing to act as guides and translators.

The Cavaliers are centred at the LAAF installation 31km south of the planetary capital of Biloxi.  Ersatz troops have been concentrating much of their activity around the strategic position known as "Happy Valley", where they have temporarily located much of their airpower in an effort to prevent a single-strike attack being able to shut down combat aerospace operations.  Knowledge of the Clans' numbers is almost nonexistent, and they have no idea which Clan units will be deployed-only that Clan forces WILL deploy against this world.  In preparation, Colonel Diem, the commander of the Ersatz forces, has chosen a worst-case scenario focusing on the idea of a full Galaxy with warship support being tasked to take this world.  Minefields, trained guerillas, alternate airfields and ammunition dumps, and a strategy focused on deception and confusion are his chosen weapons.

 Diem's strategic intent, is to hold the Falcons on Mississauga for as long as possible in a sustained war of attrition.

The Falcon force, commanded by Star Colonel Mar Helmer, has the mission of securing Mississauga as a 'flank' and staging ground.  The world's mineral wealth and climate making it a valuable commodity for the Jade Falcon war machine.  The Clan intends to take this world and hold it.

The Battle of Mississauga will serve as the turning point in what would later be seen as a sideshow to the Jihad...

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #16 on: 07 September 2013, 03:15:32 »
[[Posted 14-10-2006, 23:37:25]]

Mississauga, 15 March, 3075...

1530 hours...

"...urrender, you will not be ill-treated..."  the recording droned.
Colonel Li Diem looked at his battalion commanders.  "They didn't last long in there." he observed.

Kommandant Nick Trung snorted derisively, and muttered something obscene in H'mong, then his expression brightened.  "Sir, the City surrendered, Colonel Liddell is away, that leaves..US as the Military Governing Body, with you as the Governor, if I recall the Lyran laws right."

Diem nodded, "It does.  Have the Coasties left yet?" He asked.

Trung shook his head, "No sir.  I understand Lt. Commander Collins has already laid plans to begin harassment flights, and the Marines are getting ready to play grab-ass in the city."

Diem nodded, and looked out the open flap of the tent, at the distant military base.  "They'll be landing there soon." He said.

Trung shrugged, and looked over at Kommandant Hui from the Engineers' battalion.  Hui was watching the distant military centre with a decided look of satisfaction.

"Okay, deploy the way we gamed it, go time is their time into the base plus two hours."  Diem said decisively, "Use new codebooks from the cassandra series, and... yeah, H'mong will do for a while.  If the rumours of their ELINT are true, they've probably got a decent vocab in Viet now.  Dismissed."

The staff-call over, Diem walked over to a radioman on-loan from Hui's group.

"Send in the clear, use standard LAAF protocols."  he ordered.

Biloxi Spaceport environs, Mississauga...

"...welcome you to Mississauga."  Mayor Brant smiled greasily.  Mar Helmer felt his skin crawl in the presence of the man-but the intelligence the Mayor's people had supplied to the Clan had converted the impressive defensive arrangement into  a one-sided slaughter and rout.

"Have the...temporary regiments reported in their surrenders yet?" he asked.

Brant shook his head, "It's only been two hours, I'm sure they'll come around."

Something crackled in the background, and a Clan comstech rushed up.  Helmer pre-empted the non-warrior, and said, "Put it on speakers."

"...repeat, this is Colonel Li Diem, of the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces Third Emergency Combat Regiment, To the Motherless unborn vat-scum Clan Green Chickens.  If you want our weapons, as the Greek said, 'Molon Labe'.  This world did not surrender because some spineless, pork-grease-slurping collaborator gave up one, badly defended city to a token show of force.  WE are not effete wine-sipping terrorist-kissing shit eating scum sucking belly-crawling mewling courtiers.  We are Kowloonese, and we fight for the Lyrans.  Come out and play, or we will come in after you...repeat, this is Colonel Li Diem of the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces..."

"Did you trace it?" Helmer asked the tech. 

"Aff, Forty-five kilometers southwest of the fomer Lyran base." The tech replied.

Helmer nodded.  "As I predicted, get this one from my sight, I dislike flatterers, and have no use for sycophants."

Former LAAF Headquarters garrison, 31km south of Biloxi...

Jagit Buhallin's Headquarters binary thundered downward on superheated exhaust plumes, the combat-drop was low-altitude, and would catch most of the base unawares.

As his Turkina slammed into the ground, the sensors aboard flickered.  "Activate your Probes if they are not already active, there is heavy ECM here."  He ordered, suiting actions to words.  The scene changed radically-there were no heat-sources in the sweep of the probe, no movement, no People

"Oh, Savashri!! he keyed the frequency, "TRAP!!!"

That's when the demolitions in the streets went off, triggering buildings that had been prepped by gas-leaks at the intersections, and several tonnes of stored munitions for weapons that the Cavaliers had possessed in abundance, but the ErsatzKampfgruppen couldn't use.

The overall level of destruction was huge-but the damage to the Falcon Cluster was minimal-the trick had been pulled before at a Spheroid factory on Chahar, one that had been owned by Ngo Industries.  His conservative choice to land away from the greatest concentration of structures and piplines was now confirmed.  "Report in." He ordered.  The order was as much to reassure his own Warriors that he remained untouched, as to check on the condition of the fifteen or so 'mechs and Elemental points that had drifted inside the perimeter of the main base.

Something fluttered to the ground near the Star Colonel's feet. 
"Welcome to Mississauga" the banner said, and below it, he could make out a joke, "WE, for one, welcome our new Penguin Overlords."

"Humour."  He muttered, and burnt it with a jump-jet on lowest power. 
"I will have to return the joke."

Quote from: GBscientist, 15-10-2006, 05:30:01
As per the Ares Conventions, militarytargets located away from civilian population centres are open to orbital bombardment with non-nuclear weapons.  I would argue that the presence of units drawn from Kowloon and the training of partisan militias effectively makes every citizen of Missassauga a combattant.  Thus, there are no civilians, and everything is available for orbital bombardment.

The term for this in Imperial parlance is a Base Delta Zero.

If the Falcons were to decline to invade every planet that Kowlooneese troops set foot on, but instead simply destroy the infrastructure that makes life there possible, how long would the LAAF keep deploying Kowlooneese Erzatskampfgruppen?
Quote from: chanman, 15-10-2006, 09:14:08
Longer than it would take for Kowloon to begin issuing nuclear munitions and orders to use them freely, I would think.
Quote from: Cannonshop, 15-10-2006, 10:04:24
The really sick part is, the Kowloonese would be first-in-line to insist that the LAAF should pull someone else for those jobs...and the Falcons Know this. (at least, the Falcon Watch does).

To achieve victory, the Clan must defeat the enemy- this is different from merely smashing them.  The foe must be made to roll over and surrender.  Annihilation and the Ares Conventions aren't really applicable here, your enemy must be forced to acknowledge your inherent superiority. The use of WMD tactics doesn't come into Vogue with the Jade Falcons until the 32nd Century and the rise of the "Mongol" movement-which, looked at from the outside, is more or less a big temper-tantrum brought on by the loss of most of the better genes from the pool.
Quote from: GBscientist, 15-10-2006, 12:11:25
Given the behaviour of Kowlooneese troops, I think of them and anyone that willingly works with them more like Bandits than people.  It takes care of a lot of the philosophical problems involved with orbital bombardment.
Quote from: chanman, 15-10-2006, 12:31:42
Which defeats the point of *capturing* planets, as opposed to sterilizing them.
Quote from: Cavalier, 15-10-2006, 18:56:16
Getting a little vicious here, no? The Clan sense of "honor" is a joke at any rate, but I shouldn't have expected that to be displayed quite so blatantly. Also highly misplaced; if the gloves come off, there will be winners and there will be losers, and the Clans clearly fit in the latter category. Total warfare is precisely what the Clans can't afford to play. Of course, the divine right arrogance displayed in expecting everyone to play by a set of rules designed to massively favor the technological advantages and minimize the numerical inferiorities of the Clans, and for civilians to meekly submit to being turned into literal slaves, and which justifies extermination is those expectations are not met, is indicative of why so few Clans adopt more productive strategies of pacification or have the wit to realize that Kerensky was no prophet and that the Crusade is insanity.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #17 on: 07 September 2013, 03:16:10 »
[[Posted 15-10-2006, 23:00:15]]

March 16, 3075, 0330 Hours...

Sometimes, the most primitive methods are indecently effective.    Nicholas Trung sat on the glacis plate of his command-track, and watched through field-glasses as the scout-element flashed a message using morse code.  The relay was arranged to be emissions-null in order to avoid the sensitive Clan detection gear.

"Fifteen, E, Twentyfour, F, Zero Zero D..." he recited, and the hexidecimal coordinates were input into the fire-directors for his battalion's support-battery.  "Six, A... okay, that's the last of them, it's 'end message'."

The communication was one-way, and if the scouts had been caught, the enemy would know where Second Battalion's main body was hidden-before, rather than after, recieving their 'good morning'.

Trung looked at his wrist-chronometer, then, he climbed into the hatch, picked up a sound-powered phone, and gave a single order: "on my mark, initiate Fire Mission, Repeat three times, bug out for rendezvous at point Yankee....Mark."

Some of the systems Kowloon's scroungers had come up with over the years were rather more useful than others-insulated, thermal-channeling camouflage mats were one.  These rolled back off the gun tubes of thirty-two 155mm copies of the Defiance M-30 Thumper artillery piece, a weapon dating in design back to the 22nd Century, with only moderate changes to improve feeding and handle improvements in ammunition.

Tonight's mission was simplicity itself- Deliver three time-on-target salvoes to what calculated out as the East end-the former Military end, of the Biloxi Spaceport.  The First wave of shells being used were "Bounce-blast" HE rounds, a base-bleed design that releases small submunitions at 20 meters height, which land, and bounce up to three meters in the air again before detonation-Each round releases four milimeter ball-bearings at 1000 Meters/Second in a ninety meter area.  The antipersonnel round isn't ideal for hammering at hardened structures, but the ball-bearings are "bouncy" enough that open doors, hatches, seams in mechanical parts, and other "Soft" areas (as well as soft-skinned vehicles and exposed munitions and engine parts) are disrupted.
What it does to people, of course, is a whole 'nother thing.  Troops caught in the open become hamburger mixed with fragments of whatever clothing or thin items they're wearing.

The second wave are "Penetrators"- rounds designed to punch into Ferrocrete, stone, overburden, and thin-armour-these are targeted more individually than the first shot, they also fly on a flatter trajectory, with more propellant, in order to arrive ahead of the antipersonnel rounds.  four guns in each firing platoon of the Battalion's main artillery battery have their assigned targets already plugged-in.  Each individual company's artillery platoon has their own set of discrete targets as well.  Fuel storage, coolant, and utilities structures at the port for the Company-level guns, Barracks, supply, and suspected ammo dumps belonging to the Main Battery.

The third wave are conventional HE rounds fused for near-contact detonations. These are the more 'typical' rounds seen as general-purpose shells.  Their purpose is simply to sow confusion,and the angle of fire is "High and slow".  Secondary Proximity fuses in these are set to detonate if the round passes within 90 meters of an airborne craft-such as a dropship trying to launch, or a fighter coming in too close.

The actual fire lasts thirty seconds, from where the guns are sited.  Crews simply roll the sides of the camouflage up onto the track-skirts, disconnect the commo-wire, load themselves, and roll out.  A process of around thirty seconds given that the tracks' drivetrains were already 'warm' and the support equipment already pre-loaded for a fast getaway.

Within  one minute, forty seconds, secondary explosions were lighting the night, as the 2nd Battalion rolled southwest.

"Well, That ought to make them think, Eh Kommanant?" Corporal Trygvassen, a Finn from the North Continental coast's timberlands, commented.

"I think it will do us much harm, if it fails to cripple their ability to use dropships for airmobile operations." Trung said in a quiet, precise, tone. "Their 'mechs are faster than our Tanks, and while they have not got full air-superiority yet, sooner or later, they may.  Damage as much of their equipment when it is grounded as possible, let the Coast Guard deal with their fighters in the air... we might survive two months."  He smiled, "By then, hopefully, we will have Relief coming faster than they can get in reinforcements and replacements."

Aid station, Biloxi Spaceport, 0430 hours...

Star Colonel Diane Anu grunted as the Medtech pulled another fragment from her shoulder.  Outside, firefighters from the spaceport worked under Clan Technicians, trying to contain the blazing fires and assess the damage from the artillery attack.
"How bad is it?" she asked, when one of her Star Commanders, Peter Shambag, walked in.
"Two Jagatai are going to need extensive repair to cockpit and life-support systems, as well as engines and atmospheric flight control surfaces. Visigoth Three is a total loss-the artillery round apparently bounced into the exhaust housings before going off-which turned it into a shotgun that slaughtered eight Technicians and ruined a number of critical test-equipment rigs inside the hangar-bay.  Their 'bouncing' bombs destroyed four ten-tonne pallets of Missile munitions in a locker whose door was knocked loose by a penetrator round, the airfield towing vehicles are a total loss.  One Dropship is currently gutted and burning thanks to a careless tech who left the boarding-ramp down, one is heavily damaged and will need replacement of seals in order to survive making orbit without losing internal pressure and atmosphere.  Most of hte Port's groundside fueling equipment is damaged or destroyed, and we do not have either Liquid Hydrogen, or Petrol fuels remaining in the airport's tank-farm... which leaves us with the choice of fueling fighters from the dropships for continued air-combat missions, or fueling dropships to conduct air-mobile assault missions. Until the fuel-processing equipment is replaced, and the tank-farm replaced, we can not do both with what is left."

She cocked an eyebrow, "They knew exactly where to hit us, then-do we have a trace-back on the point the attack came from?"

He shook his head, "Neg.  Surveillance Sattelite deployments have been disrupted by enemy aerospace units, while their aerospace units have also crippled the dropship left in orbit.  While the fighters of the Gyrfalcon cluster drove off the attackers, it was not without cost."

" other words, the Solahma Cluster's ship was crippled, like ours, only they have fuel and can manuever once the damage is repaired, Quiaff?"


She rolled her eyes.  "great Kerensky...I presume fighter losses in other areas were light as well, quiaff?"

he nodded, "Star Colonel Mar Helmer's Cluster only suffered one total-loss fighter, but damage to his dropships was more extensive.  Star Colonel Buhallin has lost one Union and two Confederate dropships that were re-fueling  on pad Three when the strikes hit.  The greater problem is fuel-most of the dropship complement is still short of fuel from the landings and initial combat, whiel the supplies here are-were extensive, the equipment is antiquated, and they were forced to wait their turns.  Most of the dropships are below one-quarter fuel loading."

"I see... that limits our mobility somewhat.  Have the Dropship commanders trial or bargain, but get as many as possible of the least damaged fueled, and scavenge the excess as fuel for fighter units.  Make certain they understand that this is temporary, and that the Technicians will be working night-and-day to restore ground-support facilities.  In the meantime, have the senior Astech for our Cluster begin assessing which ships can be scavenged to repair the least damaged of our own hurt, I believe we need to assume a de-centralized posture somewhere that we do not make such a tempting, and easy, target for enemy artillerymen-at the minimum, until our fighters have eliminated the last of those accursed guns."

Quote from: Axeman89, 16-10-2006, 06:42:24
Impressive! Those bouncing bombs with the bomblets that have bombletlets are scary.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #18 on: 07 September 2013, 03:16:57 »
[[Posted 16-10-2006, 21:40:22]]

Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Ersatzkampfgruppen 3, Bender's Creek, 18 Km West of Happy Valley. Noon...

"...lost signal from the sensors on the east bank-"  Lt. Cui never finished her report-the side of the command track turned white-hot, and shattered inward in an explosion of shards.  The IFV's turret launched on a superheated column of steam a meter high, tilted midair-and landed beside the ruined kicked-can remains of the hull.

This was the second warning Alpha had-the first warning being the ECM field projected by Star Commander James' modified-loadout Cougar, which had jammed and effectively blinded the resting headquarters platoon's remote-emplaced sensors.

Duty crewmen on the IFV's wasted no spent moments bringing their guns to bear on the lead element of the enemy Binary in their midst, while men resting from the night's operations roused to the battle that had found them.

The sweep Binary was in full "Headhunter" mode, having tracked the armoured vehicles...with a bit of help.

James grinned a death-rictus, and triggered his Heavy Large Laser again, carefully watching the heat as it incinerated expensive camouflage matting, blistered through the thinner armour behind the tracks, and crippled another of the infantry-carrying tanks.  The turret slewed, and a bluish bolt of synthetic lightning marked the passage of a stream of accellerated neutrons from the tank's PPC, followed by a salvo of short-ranged missiles.  The PPC bolt hammered the Light 'mechs left torso, and the missiles struck arms, legs, and center torso-leaving a burning film of jellied incendiary.  To James' right, Darla's 'mech, a rare Grendel taken from the Smoke Jaguars when that clan had been a viable rival, hammered away at another of the infantry-tanks, peeling sheets of heavy armour from its front as it replied in kind.  James held his own target's attention, as the five Elementals that rode in with him swept to the right and began cutting down unarmoured men as they tried to exit the doomed carrier.

The new Antipersonnel Gauss weapons weren't really 'new' anymore, but the effect they had on men was still one that impressed, ripping through fox-holes and fighting positions to shred the men within.

James, ever-mindfull of his heat, switched to a cooler array for his "Next trick".  Four Streak missiles found the softer spots on the infantry tank, and the results were every bit as a Warrior could desire-hatches slammed open with the explosive forces unleashed throughout the vehicle, and a pair of blow-out panels at the rear of the turret-bustle slammed open, emitting a high-speed stream of smoke as even the paint inside caught fire.

James waded forward at nearly seventy kilometers an hour, to catch a track that was backing up and firing.  Lucas' Jenner IIC was on the ground, shattered at the knee.  James noticed that his heat was acceptable again, and unleashed his fullest fury on the tank, as it fired a second shot into the freeborn Warrior's 'mech, a shot that grooved the cockpit without penetration.

The tank-commander was luckier than the last pair, the Heavy Laser struck dead-centre of the front glacis plate, while the SRMs failed to achieve a lock, in spite of the close range.

The gunner's answering shot was well-aimed, especially since the particle stream at this range was almost ineffectual in the older-model weapon's design.  James felt the impact to his damaged torso, and the pinprick impacts of short-range missiles from the rack on the turret.  These were not infernoes-they were standard-model High-explosive rounds, rounds designed to defeat Battlemech armour a bit at a time.

The commander's cupola-gun, a three-barrelled 14.5mm rapid-fire gatling, added to the injuries, peeling a small portion of his 'mechs head-armour away.  James noted the row of impacts, and how much starring-and sighed in relief.  The Tank's commander clearly had an idea, as it suddenly seemed to just slide to the left, and halt momentarily, before accellerating-right past his leg as he made a turn to hold the machien in his sights.
The turret had held him, he realized, as another bolt of synthetic lightning-an afteraffect of the PPC's stream, linked the tank to a point where his lower half joined the upper, and the ECM system's pip went black as a wave of electrons, stripped by the passage of particles, washed through the body of his 'mech, shorting out the ECM and melting some of the shielding on his engine-as well as blowing several heat-sinks.

James replied with a full volley of SRM Death, and this time, the Streaks had a solid lock. The lefthand tread on the vehicle rolled off like a ribbon, and the drive-cog on the right came apart from the axle, the tank came to a crashing halt.

His systems alerted him to a simple fact-the tank was Transmitting.

Darla's Grendel limped at fifty kilometers per hour-faster than the Tanks were moving, and James watched as her left leg's exposed thigh evaporated under synthetic lightning.

"Proximity Alarm! Proximity Alarm!! Inbound Artillery!! his on-board system-alarm sounded.

four explosions struck around the stricken vehicles, and the tracks indicated that eight more were on the way.

"Backtrack the source of the shelling." He calmly ordered the system, as he delivered a solid kick to the rear-doors of the track.

"Relay data to Star Colonel Buhallin's 'mech." he added as an afterthought.

"Warning, warning.." he reached down and shut the alarm off, as something shoved his 'mech to the side-and something else struck his rear armour with enough force to burrow in, his Gyro gave a grinding whine, and suddenly, he had to fight to keep his 'mech upright. 

About then, he noticed the rattling.

James saw a bloodied hand-print on his cockpit window, and then, a face, half-ruined and bleeding, loomed up.  It was fascinating, watching as the man clawed at his swaying 'mech.  He reached down, lifted his sidearm, and, with the laser's setting dialed to bypass the filtering, he fired.

The torso-zone camera showed the explosion of the man's satchel-charge in mid-air as his body fell.

James triggered his A-pods, and bodies fell from zones not covered by the 'mechs damaged viewing gear.

He smiled grimly.  "Make certain you take prisoners-The Star Colonel wants someone to question."  He said, over the common frequency, as another set of sensors told him that Aerospace fighters were headed for the artillery that had abortively tried to fire on the battle.

Five Kilometers southwest...

"Aircraft inbound, ma'am, and we have lost contact with Hauptmann Weizer, and the other officers from Alpha."  Corporal Nui Thiel stated.

Leutnant Magda Nut nodded sadly, "Set proximity fuses, if they didn't get out of there, they aren't coming.  Rig for anti-air and prepare for a hit... number on the bogeys?"

Sgt. Jian Se Leung announced, "Five, Ma'am... Falcon doctrine goes with five fighter stars instead of tens, so we've got a full star on the way."

Magda nodded, "Guns up, I'm designating the point man on this pass first-one and two get the point-man, three and four, I want his wingman."

The artillery guns tracked-and-fired, slewed, and repeated.  The result in the air was barely visible at first-until their efforts were rewarded with a smoke-trail, then another, coming in and slightly off-course to the artillery's position.

Secondary explosions followed on the ground.

The other three crossed hard atop their position, and bombs fell among the guns.  The falcons were rewarded (those that survived) with a carnival of exploding ammunition from guns one and three, but they failed to make solid hits on the other pair, which slewed hard and engaged the retreating fighters, causing smoke to billow from the engine of the trailing most aerospace fighter, and causing one other to spiral violently, corkscrewing from low altitude straight into a hillside.

Lasers from an undetected five fighters crossed the 't' on the gun-platoon, finishing them off in violence and bloody death.

Lt. Nut found her fading thought, trapped under a dislodged fire-control console in the ruins of the fire-direction centre vehicle, to be Well...I guess Intelligence was wrong, they DO use ten-fighter stars...
The universe turned gray after that, and she sank into a stinking sea of ozone and numbness.

Thirteen Hundered Hours...

"Well... you managed to kill every single one of them."  Star Colonel Buhallin said, walking among the wreckage.  "Did you even Try to get them to surrender, Star Commander?"

Star Commander James nodded silently, then, he spoke.  "OvKhan, I tried.  There was one I thought would surely see reason-in that vehicle, over there-" he pointed at an IFV that was mostly intact.  "The vehicle was neutralized, he was facing Warriors in armour his weapons could not but scratch at, he was cornered, and instead of doing the right thing, the intelligent thing, and throwing his rifle down when we deduced his hiding place-the man tried to fight his way out-alone."

"I see... well, take heart, the Beta Trinary went in to that artillery position, they found a live one, and she was in no shape to fight [/i]anything[/i], nor in a position to refuse our...'hospitality'."  Jagit said it with an ironic lift to his lips, and a bitterness of tone.  "The medtechs found a suicide capsule under flesh-coloured tape on her wrist.  She is expected to regain consciousness in a few days."

James' eyes widened, "Suicide Capsule?" he asked, aghast at the idea.

"Suicide capsule, the poison is reputed to be quite painless, and the only reason she did not take it, I think, is because her arms were trapped and she could not reach it before passing out from shock and blood-loss.  Our 'reputation', apparently, precedes us."  Jagit said the last bit with no humour at all, just a hint of anger and frustration. 

"The propoganda films..." James said, suddenly understanding that lonely Private.

"Aff.  Lies and half-truths can make sane men crazed, make otherwise rational people do the most irrational things.  The prisoner is to be handed over to the Scientist-Caste assigned to the Watch, for interrogation and as a subject for de-programming experiments to remove the worst of the brainwashing."  Jagit added.

"How can we liberate them, if they are so...poisoned against us?" James asked.

Jagit smiled, "we must crush them first, we must destroy their ability to resist, then, we can apply reform to the lucky survivors..." He sighed, and the smile died.  "I do wish it could be less...wasteful.  By the end of this campaign, we will be wading a river of their blood, and the thing I can not escape, is that it is so only for the most senseless of reasons."

Quote from: Adjudicator, 17-10-2006, 00:13:54
Psyops and HUMan INTelligence.

With the Clan methods of interrogation pitted against the reputed stubborn will of the Kowloonese soldiers in general... I think the "interrogation" and "Indoctrination" will be... interesting.
Quote from: Krieghund, 17-10-2006, 01:53:48
Propaganda to make youeself look great is one thing, but when your making it so your side won't even surrender... I don't see too many bondsman being taken. I won't if anybody but Liz and her upper escelon know the real story about those films. Heh, talk about a demoralizer if the little people fond out what was really going on. Talk about being pissed.
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 17-10-2006, 05:07:46
Who's lying more about the Green Turkies?  The Kowloonese, or the Falcons to themselves?  I doubt Clan life is as rosy as it appears from a Star Commander's lofty perch.

Right now Ersatzkampfgruppen 3 is facing Xerxes and is playing Leonidas and the 300 to the hilt, and like them seem to have decided it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees.  A strange mindset in the Sphere, and one that should scare a Clan shitless.

"Go, tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie"
Quote from: Krieghund, 17-10-2006, 07:10:55
I doubt Clan life appears rosy to any Clanner. However they do belive in what they are doing. But we know Liz doctored the vids to make the Falcons look like take no prisoners civilian slaughtering psychos. Its one thing to make your people hate your enemy, but to try to get them to kill themselves just becaus you hate them isn't all that great either. As for that kind of attitude scaring us, well I kind of doubt it. It is something to consider of course, but in the end, it just means less bondmen and no POWs. Less drain on the supply chain, you see. So far as I know, Clanners don't have anything against suicide, so let them kill themselves. We may not understand the reasons, but we aren't going to cry over it either.
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 17-10-2006, 08:01:13
Killing themselves isn't what should scare the Clans, being willing to fight to their dying breath to drag a few more of the enemy to hell with them is an attitude that should scare the Clans.  Clans work on 'just in time' production principles, and they produce warriors like they produce Mechs and Fighters, only with 16 year lead times.  An enemy that will not surrender, that will keep fighting just to kill a few more enemy before he dies is their worse nightmare made flesh.

Clans 'warfare' is built around artificial limits to tactics, limited warfare for specific gains, and limited losses.  The bid system means that even in defeat the Clans limit their losses so that it does not fatally weaken them.  Total warfare on the Kowloon model is something they can not survive for long.  Pyrric victories (another such victory and we are lost) means that they eventually lose so much of their Tourman, so fast, that they are fallen upon by their enemies.  Clans can not just go to their recruiters and pick up another three Galaxies of troops to train into Warriors, they need to call up their Scientists with the Iron Wombs, and wait almost seventeen years for delivery.  The Sphere (production allowing) can raise, train, and lose a Clan's Tourman four or five times in the same period, each wave devouring more of a Clan till shear numbers wash them away.  As a smart Green Birdy put it in a previous Kowloon story, invading a world defended like Kowloon would make the Steel Viper invasion of Lum look like a three day R&R pass.

It goes back to my Leonidas allusion, the Spartans had far fewer forces than the Persans, were eventually wiped out, but their postion and resolve to fight to the last caused casualties all out of proportion to their size, plus either fatally weakened and/or delayed them enough to insure Xerxes's eventual defeat in Greece.
Quote from: chanman, 17-10-2006, 08:05:07
The whole scorched earth deal with facilities (and let's face it, with the militia training, this includes the civilian population to some extent) is also something the clans don't normally deal with with their Trials of Possession seeing changes of territory like succession-war era IS planets - the uniforms and the faces on the money changes, but not a whole lot else.

As opposed to turning your factories into command detonated mines and arming the populace and pscyhing them up with anti-invader sentiment.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #19 on: 07 September 2013, 03:19:27 »
[[Posted 17-10-2006, 09:49:57]]

1730 Hours, Falcon firebase Alpha, 31Km Southeast of Biloxi...

Star Colonel Buhallin met with Mar Helmer in one of the few un-sabotaged structures in the former Lyran base.  "Good to see some success, Star Colonel."  Helmer, the overall force commander for the invasion, said with a smile.

"Success... success can be measured in many ways." Buhallin said with a serious look.  "For instance, it can be measured in terms of enemy casualties-which we have certainly inflicted.  It can also be measured in terrain controlled and pacified, or it can be measured on the basis of achieving dominance over a targeted population.  I think we are less successful at the latter tasks."

"It will come, Star Colonel, though I see in your report that some of your warriors have voiced concerns..." Helmer let it hang there.  Buhallin left that comment alone for the moment.

"The Prisoner taken after the airstrikes on the artillery park is still comatose, but my senior Medtech says she should be conscious in two or three days-that would be two or three days longer than we need if we want anything useful information-wise out of her."  The two men walked over to a table.  "Personal effects?" Helmer asked.

Buhallin nodded, "Aff.  Know your enemy.  Leutnant 'Nut', and I believe, if my Watch attache is correct, it is pronounced 'Noot', is multilingual-we first thought these were written orders in code-they turned out to be letters from her family on Kowloon.  The LAAF Identicard is in both german and english, standard for what has been captured before, but the personal correspondences are not."

Helmer cocked an eyebrow, and Buhallin gave him a sly look, "The letters are in Vietnamese, Star Colonel Helmer.  We also found a map, with most of our projected troop movements.  I do not believe this map is the result of intelligence-gathering, I believe it is what Leutenant Nut thought we would do."  He unfolded a waxed-cloth copy map that had survived the airstrike and the fires.

"is that-grease pencil?"  Helmer's look was incredulous. 

"Aff, so were the angle and velocity calculations on the back.  I had them run through a Naga's targeting system, and the calculations are accurate, given the prevailing winds at altitude, range, and the relative elevations between firer, and target. More interesting, and of more use to us, are these areas marked here-those are alternate firing positions, they were intending to fire, then move before we reacted.  We caught them by surprise this time."

"And next time?" Helmer asked.

Buhallin shook his head, "I do not know-the computer-equipment salvaged is antiquated-I believe it was antiquated in the time of the Usurper.  My technical intelligence technicians from the watch detatchment are going over the smashed vehicles, but it would appear that most of the digital engine management systems have been replaced with analog guages, the turrets have been simplified, and a lot of what used to be used for running the tanks in their original configurations has been re-routed to give them better sensors rigged specifically for running at night or in obscured conditions...and you will just love the next thing I have for you."

Buhallin led Helmer over to another table.  "Hunting rifles?" Helmer asked.

"Not exactly-the Mauser&Grey 150 is marketed as a hunting weapon-notice something about these?" Buhallin watched his commanding officer.

Helmer picked one up.  "Light... well-balanced, a little heavy on the muzzle."

Buhallin nodded, "Aff, heavy on the muzzle end-the barrel has a thicker cross-section than the TK-22 along its length, but it is fluted for added stiffness.  The magazine is longer than the civilian model, and the bullets.."  He stripped one from a magazine, and handed it to Helmer.

"What about them?" Helmer asked.

Buhallin tapped the magazine on the table, and said, "High-velocity, depleted-uranium mixed with osmium and tungsten, bronze half-jackets.  These bullets are designed to penetrate thin armour.  I lost two Elementals in full armour this morning, and we could not figure out how that rifle-troop did it, until the techs tore some of this ammunition apart."  He set the box on the table again, "It took that soldier firing full-auto at nearly point-blank range to do it, and the bullets themselves had to enter through joint-seams, visor-glazing, and other thin spots, but they were able to do so.  Several of my Elementals had to report to the aid-station after the battle because of wounds taken, thankfully, only two died."

Helmer did some mental math.  "He must have emptied the magazines at less than thirty meters..."

Buhallin nodded, "Aff, Point four Jo-anne was shot at less than ten meters.  Point Commander Parsifal was less than fifteen-their Point was the one detailed to mopping up the troop-carriers that were not on fire."

"The soldier?" Helmer asked.

"Dead. We had no other option at the time."  Buhallin replied, and added, "If we did, Point Three Sindas would have taken him-she was close to Jo-Anne."

"Sindas..?" Helmer asked.

"Formerly of the Goliath Scorpions, she is a Crusader and was taken in a Harvest Trial before My cluster was deployed into the Inner Sphere."  Jagit replied.

Helmer frowned, "she is not using drugs, I trust?"

"Absolutely not.  Sindas is one of my best warriors, and one of the more intellectual Crusaders I have ever met...she had interesting things to say about our enemies as well."  Buhallin replied.

"such as?" Helmer asked.

"Just a moment..." He activated  comm, and summoned the Elemental to the commander's office.

Sindas walked in like a huge cat, her skin was a healthful bronze complexion, her hair worn shorter than most female warriors, and her uniform seemed to be straining to contain some kind of frantic energy-field as she moved...or even as she stood still.  "Star Colonel!" she announced, and saluted.

"Sindas, please enlighten the Invasion Commander as to the nature of our opponents-the history, as you related it to me last night." Jagit said, and added, "and relax, we are all warriors here."

"The Kowloonese are not typical spheroids, or even typical of the Periphery, sirs.  Before the Usurper, their world was held subject to the Rim Worlds' Republic."  she seemed to slip into a 'teaching' mode, and her 'martinet' act vanished.  "After the Reunification War, Kowloon was a constant source of problems for the Rim Worlds government, and by extension, the SLDF, which was called in numerous times to quell anti-Amaris revolts.  The last big one was in the early 28th Century, the mid-twenties If I recall from my studies.  SLDF units under General Oswald were brought in after forty days of rioting and insurgency in the city of Dinh Diep-insurgencies that the Republican Guard was unable to quell.  General Oswald's forces had to resort to aerospace fighter bombardments, followed by artillery strikes, and then house-to-house fighting to bring the rebellions to an end.  Half a million civilians were injured, and forty-one thousand died.  The city itself was razed."
Mar Helmer sat down in a chair, with a surprised look.  "The SLDF, burned the city to the ground to keep house Amaris in power?"

"Aff. This was before the Usurpation, remember.  It was their duty to support the established governments."  She said.

"Hmmm... what next?" Helmer asked.

Sindas half-sat on a heavy metal desk.  "During the Campaign to suppress the periphery uprising that led to the Usurpation of the Star League, they rebelled again-this time, with most of the Rim-World military in the Terran Hegemony, they were more effective-they slaughtered every single Amaris official, and many of their families and friends, in a twenty-day campaign of revolt, revolution, and rebellions.  General McEvedy's 331st was detailed to take Kowloon, found that the population was already anti-Amaris, but then found out that they still hold a grudge against the SLDF for the Dinh Diep 'massacre'.  Kowloon proved to be of no value as a staging base, because forces stationed there had to fight constantly against insurgents and terrorists.  After the SLDF abandoned the site, the Lyrans moved in, and somehow established a working relationship with the dominant rebel leaders.  For two hundered years after that...well, I lack sources more recent than the Exodus, but it would seem to me that the continuing language-barrier, differences in fighting styles, and general aggressive hostility are not changed from distant history.  It is remarkably rare, you know-for people to self-identify so strongly."

"How does this explain them better?" Helmer asked.

Sindas cocked her head, "They would be remarkably disinclined to surrender even without the Propoganda-which is not difficult to understand, when you look at the ethnicities of the original colonists.  Vietnamese, Finns, Chinese Christians, United States Separatists, Mormons, and Israeli Jews are all peoples known for opposing conquerors, tyrants, and colonizers.  There is a tradition of resistance ingrained into their culture, and given what I have been permitted to examine, I believe the strain bred true."

"Fanaticism?" Helmer asked.

Sindas nodded, "Inevitably, Star Colonel.  Especially with the Propoganda.  While it is offensive and enraging to us, to them, it is probably even more so.  These are people who still hold observances mourning the Shoa, the Nazi pogroms against Jews in the 1940's, they still insist on condemning the Khmer-Rouge massacres of the 1970's, and they still carry resentment over the fall of Israel in the 2020's.  Add in the accumulated anger at two hundered years of Rim-Worlds occupation before the fall of the Star League, anger at the Star League's actions during the last gasp of that time... The comparison to the enemies and oppressors of their ancestors on Terra does not mean a whole lot to you or I, but to them, it means everything.  They will fight like fanatics, because they fear what will come if they fail."

"What do they think is going to happen, any way?" Buhallin prompted.

Helmer nodded-he also wished to hear the Warrior's theory.

"They believe, I think, that if we are allowed to triumph, it will mean a new, bloody, Holocaust, they believe we will systematically exterminate whole peoples as 'undesirables', then enslave the rest.  I say 'enslave' quite literally-that is how they view the tradition of taking Bondsmen.  I have...multiple sources from just what we captured in the last few days indicating this as a dominant view..." she stopped, and lifted one of the scraps of personal correspondence, before continuing:"...which is, I believe, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our Breeding Program.  You see, the Nazis believed in Eugenics and the creation of a superior race, and the Kowloonese have preserved a hatred for the Nazis well beyond that faction's span of existence."

Helmer was surprised.  "The Breeding Programme?" he asked.

"Aff, it is based on Eugenics, selective breeding for certain characteristics, and the removal of undesirable strains to create superior warriors-to them, it is an attempt to create ubermensch, the Nietschian Superman ideal. To them, a Universe under the Clans has no place for 'natural' people, except as slaves and servants.  They intend to prevent this for as long as they can, utterly if they are able."  she finished.

"Savashri...great Father, that is the most insane concept I have ever heard." Helmer said, and added, "I have heard a great many insane concepts.  Do you truly believe this is the core of their motivation, and not the films and propoganda?"

Sindas shrugged, "I am not a Scientist, but it fits what I observed on the field.  That soldier, the last one-the one that tried to fight his way free..." she reached into her pocket and laid a medallion on the desk.  "He called me a 'nazi bastard', I am certain this is merely because he could not see my face with the polarization of my visor. He was wearing this..."

The medallion was two-sided, on one side, a six-pointed star of david, on the other, a fixture was shown, with seven candles.

"I think we need to put the Entertainer sub-caste, and the Watch, on this one to clarify a great many misunderstandings," she said, "I, for one, do not enjoy being compared to one of the great monsters in history."  She folded her arms, "This must be won, because they do not believe us weak, they believe we are Evil. and the difference is light-years apart from our normal enemies."

Buhallin cleared his throat, "Not so irrational, is it?  Wrong, disgustingly wrong, alarmingly wrong, but not irrational.  I am actually somewhat surprised that we have not faced this kind of thing before."

Helmer nodded, "As am I, Warrior Sindas, thank you for your enlightening perspective, If you please, the Star Colonel and I have work to do."

The two Star Colonels walked out into the evening sunlight.  "You believe her theory is correct?" Helmer asked.

Buhallin nodded.  "Aff, I do. I believe that our opponents this time think we are stronger, and that we must be opposed anyway-opposition without limits, even to the point of futility...which means our problem is greater than merely winning battles in the field."

Helmer nodded, "Aff, I am forced to agree.  I do not know how the Clan Council will view this, though. It cuts close to Warden arguments."

Buhallin snorted in disgust, "I know it does, which makes it all the more distasteful as a subject."  he stopped, and looked across the burnt shells of buildings.  "I think we need more Warriors to win this, and the price is going to be high on the civilians.  We can crush them, but it remains to be seen if we can win the peace as easily as we will win the war."

Helmer nodded.

Quote from: JA Baker, 17-10-2006, 11:15:43
Clans = Space Nazis? I can see how some people could believe that.

Kudos for the story  8)
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 17-10-2006, 11:25:24
Yeah, but how do you counter propganda it?  Those who are not parts of a breeding program are visibly of lesser status.  Clan Warriors are the ruling class, Freeborn warriors get lesser equipment and promotion chances, hell the very term for a non-Breeding Program Clanner, Freebirth, is a curse in the Clans, calling a Trashborn warrior a Freebirth will get you stood up in a Circle of Equals.

Can you name any Freeborn Khans, or even SaKhans aside from Phelan since the Breeding Program got going full steam?  Have there been ANY besides Phelan?
Quote from: Cannonshop, 17-10-2006, 11:44:00
[out of story]
Remember, it doesn't mean they're right hold that view, also remember that the concept is, at the moment, only a theory floated to explain a behaviour and ease tactical and strategic decision-making.  Sindas could be wrong, or only partly right.  One of the most important things to do for a commander, is to predict the enemy's moves, guess his strategic and tactical goals, and predict his movements and actions.  Psychology, history, and philosophy are powerful tools for getting inside the head of your enemy and defeating him before the first shot is fired.  source after source after source in Canon insist that the Trueborn Clan Warrior is a "Tactical Genius", so having them ignore the fundamentals of tactics and strategy would be feeding the Clan characters in the story "Stupid Juice" to get a specific result, this is often noted by fans as "Author Fiat", and is roundly criticized in reviews of Stackpole and Thurston's works, as well as the Cappellan novels.  if the Clan troops do their jobs right, and the Kowloonese do THEIRS right, and both are using solid principles and the result is the one in the outline, it's a good, if nasty and brutish, story (I hope!)
That means my in-story Clanners have to be smart and inquisitive, they have to be able to formulate theories and hypotheses and act on information that is at least mostly accurate, in a believable manner consistent with both the game-materials' portrayal, and the dictates of common sense.  What they do, has to be "Sensible" for someone of at least median intelligence.

(this means doing things like actually having a rear-guard that can fight to protect your assets, rather than leaving a warship with the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked, unattended...)

Things you won't see:

1. The ER Small Laser of Dhoom
2. Clanners leaving the windows open, lights on, and shades up to make life easy on snipers.
3. Phantom 'Mech ability and other cheesy things of the sort.
4. Clanners that actually like butchering women and kids when there aren't real enemies about.
5. Inner-Sphere "Messiah" heroes that dont' die when their cockpit is opened by a Gauss rifle.
6. Exploding Fusion Engine-bombs that wipe out whole Clusters.
7. Clanners walking blindly into an ambush a four-year-old would have predicted, or being lured into ambush by schoolyard mockery.

Things you probably will see:
1. People dying horribly in combat.
2. (Hopefully) realistic fights that don't requre a lot of handwavium to depict.
3. Battles that have an outcome that is reasonable for the forces used and their tactics.  no "Dumb Luck" victories need apply.
4. Characters that are more than cardboard stand-up caricatures of factional stereotypes. This is really tough for me, since all three of my main Falcon commanders are Canon personalities, and Buhallin in particular was back on the Homeworlds during a particularly nasty chapter of recent Clan history.  I decided he was not a butcher or sadist.  Antagonists are better if they're reasonably likeable and fairly intelligent.
5. Both protagonists, and antagonists, are going to suffer a LOT before it's over.
6. POV characters from both sides, to make sure it's a solid read.
7. the occasional, random, silly event, because there does need to be some form of comedy relief when the tone is this dark.
[/out of story]

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #20 on: 07 September 2013, 03:20:12 »
[[Posted 18-10-2006, 00:37:02]]

Locked Ward, Biloxi Medical centre, Mississauga...

("...Hate the sin, but love the sinner, for it is...")

"...brain injury caused by fumes from the fires, she might not wake up at all, but there is plenty of neural activity showing on the Encephalographic Scan.  We have reduced the swelling, (but she will need to heal a bit before we can bring her out..."

("...the province of the Lord Our God, who delivered the Israelites from bondage...")

(" screwed up, Cadet Nhut, and got your command killed..."

("...Judgement is the sole property of God.  To damn a man for the nation he serves is to imperil your own soul, and to walk the Devil's Path...")

"...certain you can not wake her? I really Must insist you show some progress, I can not keep dodging Star Colonel Helmer's inquiries..."

(" man can walk so long in the shadow, that he can not come into the light.  Let us pray...")

Mama its cold out here let me come in i promise i will be good...

("...Oh Lord, our father in heaven, protect these young soldiers and grant them mercy and forgiveness.  They go, oh lord, to protect innocents threatened in these dark days...")

"you are the runt, Cadet Nhut, you're slow, weak, and confused. Give it up, go back home, you are not cutting it.  How you EVER got into my officer-basic course I have not a damnable clue, but you are failing, and you should take the easy way out, now, before you get someone killed."

("...grant them the strength and determination to do what is right, and the wisdom and fortitude to understand it.  Let them do their duty, oh lord, that they may return home safe...")

Mama im scared...why are you screaming?

"...grant them wisdom, to walk in righteousness even into the valley of death...")

"... not recommending you for a command position.  Does this surprise you,  Cadet?  You're a gifted girl, but you're not gifted the way you should be to lead men in combat.  I will not bounce you out of the Academy, I probably could not, if I were inclined to-but I AM recommending you go into a research-field, where your actual talents are strongest..."

("...protect and guide your sons and daughters through this dark time.  In Jesus' name, Amen."

mommy? wake up mommy, the bad men are gone...mommy?

Magda Nhut (Misspelled "Nut" on her LAAF identity papers) opened her eyes in a room too bright, smelling of chlorine and alcohol, and the pip-and-beep of machines.  She had a tube down her throat, and one up her nose.  Her arms were restrained to a bed.  I'm in a hospital.
A man in a lab-coat was talking to two others at the foot of the bed, and she caught a flash of jade-green cloth under one of the coats.
Shit, I'm captured.
 she closed her eyes again, in frustration.  Evaluate your environment, formulate a plan-the first duty of a prisoner, is to escape.  The second, if escape is impossible, is to resist.

"She is awake, Tom."  One of the voices said, close to her ear.  "no point in hiding it, Magda, you are awake, and aware of where you are."

She opened her eyes, and looked at the doctor leaning over her.  Okay, where am I? she thought it with as much force as she could muster, given the splitting headache.

"Inform Star Colonel Buhallin that his...prize, is awake now, but her injuries still do not allow her to speak just yet..."   The doctor looked at her like a butcher examines a particularly sickly lamb, he then told her, "Both of your lungs were punctured by fragments from your ribcage, you suffered a line-break to your pelvis, a severe concussion, a mild spinal injury, compound fractures on both legs, and significant blood loss.  After you are healthy enough to withstand interrogation, you will not be my concern any longer, unless the Star Colonel decides otherwise.  That artillery attack in the early morning killed two of my colleagues, you might consider how that may affect your treatment."

Anger is a normal reaction to stress, we stressed you out, didn't we?  She didn't feel any satisfaction in the thought.

Oh Lord, deliver me up from bondage.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #21 on: 07 September 2013, 03:21:13 »
[[Posted 18-10-2006, 09:40:29]]

Biloxi Spaceport/Jade Falcon Headquarters area, 25 March, 3075...

The streets outside the 'port were swept clean-the homeless and the vagrants had been removed from the area.  Well, there goes that entry.  CPO Franklyn "Koko" Woznikowski noted.  The Falcons also patrolled the area along the "Green Zone" approaches to the airfield itself, which made his position a dangerous one.  The line-trucks had been hastily re-marked with Clan symols, these roamed the approach and access roads, occasionally stopping to drop off or pick up five-man teams of Elemental-breed second-liners.
Teams like the one less than five meters away.

"...Technicians say the fuel-processors will take another day.  I think they are slacking though-back in '50 our binary's techs started gold-bricking on Dustball to get more time sampling the local black market..." one of the younger ones was saying. 'younger' is relative, to Frank, the guy looked about fifty.

Frank recognized the conversation-soldiers had bitched about tech-services guys since the first guy specialized in chipping stones into points for neanderthal hunters.  Come on, jackass, move along, nothing to see here.  Frank had been holding still for over an hour now-waiting for the patrol to move on with their sweep.

"...not slacking, I got a look at what was left of that system.  With the transport being tied up on other fronts, the Invasion Commander wants as many replacement parts as possible made locally-he thinks it will help with lower-caste relations."  another one insisted.

They were moving now-in Frank's direction, two talking, one apparently listening intently, and the other two actually doing their job-watchfully looking for anything out-of-place.

"Lower Caste Relations.  You would think he had been drinking Necrosia, or listening to the Wolves.  Smash a few to make an example, and they'll fall into line."  The first one, which Frank had silently designated Loudmouth, said in total earnest.

"One might wonder the same thing about you, Jordan.  You even pay attention to that ****** on Newtown Square?  or how about Alyina?  wasting civilians only works once, maybe twice-and only if the civilians in question are actually rebels."  The one speaking now was already designated 'scarface' in frank's eyes.  Scarface was smarter than Loudmouth, and he was apparently the tougher of the two, because loudmouth took the criticism without complaint, much less the hostility he'd seen two hundered meters and a day ago.

They passed him, then stopped...less than the reach of a hand away from his left side.
"Well, it still means the first-line warriors have to go over-land on patrols and hope there is enough fuel for air-support missions until that system is up and running."

An Aerofighter took that moment to do a rolling-launch, heavy with bombs.  The roar drowned out the answering comment.  "...need air-support, if the ****** freebirths would just stand and fight.  We have superior warriors, and superior technology." One of the quiet ones spoke up.

"And if they did that, what then?  This is not the fifties, we are not facing an enemy that can be baited into handing us the advantage, or tricked into assuming that we are incapable of handling a mass-defense." Scarface was saying.  Another fighter warmed up in the distance.

Keep talking, scarface, keep them and yourself occupied, ignore the lump in the grass...

"What do you think we are facing, then?"  Loudmouth sounded interested, for the first time.

"They fight with patience. no rash moves, they do not come charging out where they lack advantage, they do not gather to make an easy target.  There are better than four thousand out there, and our front-line warriors have found, what? a company that was sleeping, and only that because of a tip from a local, a few scattered engagements, and their fighters, which pop up from hidden airfields to attack ours if they can catch them in small numbers, or away from reinforcement.  The enemy's strategy is to bleed us with small cuts and erode our forces through attrition." Scarface plucked a green stem of grass from just in front of Frank's right hand.
"Pretty clever, really.  a Shame the only prisoner we have taken so far, is that one Lorra's star found in the artillery position ten days ago."

"Yeah, I saw her when they brought her in-what a mess.  Why are Clan resources being used up that way?"  Loudmouth asked.

"I assume, because in ten days of sporadic action, she is the only one taken alive.  There was a point from the elemental trinary in the Sixth that cornered one of their guys in an ammunition-storage area-he pulled the pin on a grenade and took them with him."  Scarface  replied, "that was a hell of a mess.  it made a crater you could land a Confederate in."

"I did not know we had an ASA go boom?"  'quiet dude' asked.

"we did not-it was a Cache site, the sixth sent in a force to seize it-lost two 'mechs and twelve elementals against a bunch of light infantry types armed with SRM systems...and that big pile of explosive ordinance-it was out by Oxford, about fifty Kilometers west of here.  The commander of that Elemental Star managed to win a trial, got the 'mechwarriors to play Taxi, and pull rear-security while the Infantry went for the glory." Loudmouth said.

"Messy. any idea on the kill count from the other side?" quiet-guy asked.

"No hard data, could not have been more than a company, if that, of the regulars, plus some irregulars raised locally.  A Watcher I've been coupling regularly with said that the analysts think the guy who pulled the pin was probably native, and probably panicked.  Bomb-damage assessment techs think most of our casualties came from the explosion and shrapnel effects. They sure as hell did not come from a bunch of light infantry with popgun launchers or those stupid little slug-rifles."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #22 on: 07 September 2013, 03:22:31 »
[[Posted 18-10-2006, 23:31:11]]

25 March, 3075, Hubert Murphy Regional Prison complex, 11 Km North of Biloxi...

"...drug her, she reverts to her native language, this is slowing the narco-interrogations quite a bit..." Scientist-interrogator Gerhardt said, placing his coffee on the table.  "Not that her English is particularly good to begin with.  The problem with the lingual reversion, is that while the root speech is derived from archived sources, she is several dozen generations removed from those sources.  Words change meaning, loan-words and concepts, slang, all of these have had centuries to work their way into her unconscious, so when you strip away the inhibitions, what comes out in a five minute session takes hours to translate."

"I am not interested in your excuses, Scientist, I am interested in your Results."  Jagit Buhallin snapped.  "What have your sessions yeilded?"

Gerhardt frowned, and replied, "Very little, I am afraid.  I know she was initially given her Military Training by a man named Morgan Icaza, that she graduated near the bottom of her Field Officer's Course, but that she topped the artillery sub-course, and achieved higher scores in her specific MOS than students with twice her grade-average.  I know, using symbolic mathematics while she was under, that she possesses a sub-doctoral level of proficiency in mathematics and physics, particularly related to the behaviours of various forms of matter under energetic stress, and that she is able to make ballistic-arc calculations in her head at a rate that compares favourably to...well, to your scores in the same aptitude batteries.  Her brain is wired like a targeting computer, but her motor skills are horribly crippled.  Near-bottom of norms for captured soldiers of her age, genotype, and apparent rank."

"Simplify please?"  Jagit commanded.

"She is brilliant-brilliant, and incredibly clumsy, slow, and almost pathetically weak physically-almost too weak to wear a uniform in anyone's Military.  Compared to the bodies we've examined from previous skirmishes, I would say you caught the runt-of-the-litter.  The girl must have achieved everything she has achieved, due to a combination of deviousness and pure will...oh, and she has an amazingly high pain-threshold.  If you or one of your warriors decide to keep her, set your 'medusa' for setting five or higher-the lower settings simply will not work effectively to dissuade her from doing what she wills."

"Five?"  Jagit asked, unbelieving, "There are only seven..."

"Five. she nearly escaped yesterday because one of the Guards did not realize I was serious.  He struck her, she took the blow, and took the stun-stick away from him.  It took three men and a sonic-stunner to put her down."  Gerhardt insisted.

"Five would almost drop me."  Jagit insisted.

"If she were stronger, it would have taken more than two shots with the stunner, and more than three men."  Gerhardt insisted, adding, "She bit one man hard enough that he lost fingers.  She Swallowed them, and that was after being stunned twice with the sonic-stunner, then hit with stun-sticks from three directions."

"Five... More interesting... Could it be a result of the drugs you used?" Jagit asked.

"Neg.  those were mild soporifics, set up without pain-inhibition, to keep the subject pliable. If there were lasting effects, she would have fallen over on the first shot."  Gerhardt stated.

"I see...Very well, I will see her.  NOW."  Jagit stood up.

Gerhardt did not argue, he led the Star Colonel into the prison-complex, past cells emptied of their 'normal crook' inhabitants by the arrival of the Clan Justice System.  A Solahma warrior, serving as overseer to a group of recently-sworn-in Militia Police, saluted him as he passed.  Jagit returned the salute of the aged warrior. 

Magda Nhut was not naked.  Among other things, nudity could not be achieved without removing the bandages from her attempt to escape.  She was, however, bound to the steel bedframe with the sort of shackles used to restrain epileptics and those considered too dangerous to themselves or others to be allowed loose unsupervised.

"Open." Jagit commanded.  The door opened, he waved the Scientist off.  "Wait here."

The prisoner eyed him suspiciously, her blue eyes alert and sharply focused.  He sat down on a small, plastic chair, and studied her.

Her eyes seemed to have trouble focusing on him-but it was not drugs, it was something else... bruising around the top of her nose, the structure underneath bent inward from a lifetime...

"Where are your glasses?" he asked.

She gave a start-the question was unexpected.  "Me don' knaw." she drawled it-and Jagit smiled a secret smile.  "You can stop the act, Magda, You see, I have you on a recording, without the tridee accent.  I must say, I am impressed-not many people can make a fool out of a Clan Scientist."

she strained at the restraints again. they 'gave' enough to prevent bruising, but not enough to let her slip free.  "Who are you?" she asked.

"I, am Jagit Buhallin, Star Colonel of Clan Jade Falcon, a Warrior, and your conqueror."

"I have not surrendered." she hissed.

"I never said that you did.  we crushed your soldiers, and hold you now, probably against your will.  You have, at the moment, no choices but to do what we will."  He told her.

She snorted, "you hold my body.  Not Me."

"That is only a matter of time.  You will eventually, break."  He said, "or, you can find a middle-ground, and survive." He paused to let that sink in, before adding, "It takes a powerful survival instinct, a potent will-to-live, to survive more than an hour in the shape you were in when you were captured.  The question is, do you think your conscious will can overcome your instincts, or, will you see reason?"

"You sound like Colonel Icaza." she stated, "He wanted me to 'see reason', to drop out of the Officers programme and go into a research field.  Next, you will be blathering about how it is not my fault, and all the other psychobabble crana-shit about not dealing with my anger issues constructively."

Jagit shook his head, "No, I am afraid I do not subscribe to 'psychobabble crana-shit'.  I am simply stating a fact-you will, eventually, find yourself cooperating-even willingly, with us.  It is simply inevitable...and for the record, it was not your fault, you were doing as you were told,  it was our fault, because we are simply that much better in war than the men you were fighting alongside."

She laughed then. 

"what is so funny?" Jagit asked.

"You...I Knew that stopping for a rest out by Milford was stupid, but Hauptmann Weisel insisted that the  unit needed a rest-break more badly than another twenty or thirty kilometers of distance.  I set up our platoon at a position where we could bug-out when, not if your men hit the Company in enough strength to take them.  If the Intel had been right, your fighters would have lost agianst my gunners."  she sighed.

"Then...what? What would I be telling you it is not your fault?" he asked.

"None of your damned business." she replied.  Her 'walls' were back up.

He stood up, walked to the door, walked through it, and faced Gerhardt.  "Find out, inform me when you do."

"Why waste so much on just one freebirth?" Gerhardt asked.

"Know your enemy.  I think that is why you failed your Trial of Position, is it not?  Ignorance of your foes?"  he jerked a thumb at the cell, "We find her weakness, we find the weakness of our enemies, the place they dare not venture.  Find it."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #23 on: 07 September 2013, 03:22:59 »
[[Posted 19-10-2006, 09:00:02]]

Biloxi Starport, 2230 Hours local time...

The Flight Line was well-guarded, but the Falcons, for all their sophisticated gear, did not have enough men to handle guarding everything

Three days of slow-crawling in a sneak-ghillie was getting old.  The Coast-Guard chief slid up to the edge of the paved area, and observed the patrol patterns while deciding the best route across the tarmac.  While there, he counted noses.

There were thirty fighters missing.

****** intel pukes screwed up again.  Where are the other three stars? On patrol, maybe, or hiding in orbit? Or maybe they moved 'em.  Be smart if they moved 'em...

The mission itself was simplicity- if he did his job right, they would not know he was here until after he'd gone.  Hopefully, long after he'd gone.

Per Coast-Guard doctrine, 'solos' were Bad Ideas.  However, necessity as a mother is a bitch.  Getting two men into something as tightly held as the 'port would cube the difficulty, and Frank was significantly less likely to survive and be captured if he did not have someone else with him, and things went belly-up.

If he did, what they could drag out with drugs and electronics wouldn't get them much-the mission was compartmentalized enough that he had no idea where the other members of his Patrol Team were, and only a rough idea where 'friendly' lines were-the same idea the Clans would have.

You Volunteered, remember? This is a baaad idea, but you volunteered.  Don't get shaky NOW.

The opportunity presented itself, and Frank made his way across the tarmac to a drainage culvert next to the former civil flight-line.  As he dashed silently across the paving, he was able to notice the filled fractures-places the pavement had buckled under the assault of the artillery.

He stopped and analyzed the opposition from closer range.  The flightline guards were mostly the ****** the Clans call "Solahma", but there were plenty of locals mixed in-guys who managed to convince the Clanners that they were 'friendlies'.  For a brief moment, Frank contemplated how good it would feel to kill them for that, then shoved the anger aside.  They're Lyrans, City-Lyrans.  OF COURSE they're going to turn Collabo.

He knew the attitude was unfair, but what he'd seen during the training phase, the faces and the names and the men who dropped out versus the ones who stuck through it, told him that these were probably veteran tax-men and riot-troops,  men whose personal honor was for sale under more peaceful times, and during occupations would find the nearest enemy boot to lick in hopes of getting out of real work.  Hating them was a comfortable feeling.

He took a moment to pray to Coyote and Raven.  'sticking it' to the Arrogant was an act the Tricksters would appreciate, and this would be an excellent prank by the brutal lights of Coyote, Loki, Raven, and Old Scratch, four of the Trickster's ancient guises.  Normally, at home, such a prayer would be directed at stopping the kind of thing he was here to do- as a Coast Guard Marine, he was strongest aligned with The Keeper of the Law, Judah, YVWH, or Justice in the guise of Tyr, Horus, or the Old Testament Hebrew God.  but tonight, he was all about making trouble for others.

faintly, he hoped the Norns and the Furies had his back, as he slid into a fractured drainage grate and dropped three meters into the storm-water system.

Quote from: Deathray, 19-10-2006, 09:16:55
He took a moment to pray to Coyote and Raven.  'sticking it' to the Arrogant was an act the Tricksters would appreciate, and this would be an excellent prank by the brutal lights of Coyote, Loki, Raven, and Old Scratch, four of the Trickster's ancient guises.  Normally, at home, such a prayer would be directed at stopping the kind of thing he was here to do- as a Coast Guard Marine, he was strongest aligned with The Keeper of the Law, Judah, YVWH, or Justice in the guise of Tyr, Horus, or the Old Testament Hebrew God.  but tonight, he was all about making trouble for others.
This is an excellent touch. Probably one of the most interesting future religions I've seen, in that it seems to be at least dual-theistic, but without one of the Gods being a malign figure. The synthesis does make sense for Kowloon.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #24 on: 07 September 2013, 03:23:24 »
[[Posted 19-10-2006, 09:36:01]]

HQ Barracks, Falcon Firebase Alpha, 2200 Hours...

The details of leading a point of Elementals was not new to Sindas.  Being assigned as the Point Commander for her particular star, especially in light of her history, was.  She finished the administration work, closed out the terminal, and looked at the portion of the collection that Star Colonel Buhallin had tastefully excluded from his briefing for the Invasion Commander two weeks ago.

The collection was a mishmash of religious icons that spanned much of pre-star-league history.  Sindas understood the significance-the tendency for soldiers to become 'religious' is almost cliche-but the sheer variety of religions, and the age of some of the pieces, was interesting enough to the Historian in her to merit some study.

There was a feeling of intense, but simple, faith in that collection, but not a unified faith.  stop it, or they will think you are turning into a Cloud Cobra...  She suddenly wished she had a Cobra here, someone for whom Theology was as fascinating as history was to the Clan of her birth.

Get inside their minds. What would they be doing?

She picked up the bible first.  It had been in Lt. Nut's rear cargo pants pocket.  It was dog-eared and worn the way a favourite possession becomes worn.  There were rosary beads in a pocket on the inside of the back cover, and they, too, had a worn look.

She prays a lot.  Sindas realized.  She set it down, and looked at the other items, mostly taken from near-survivors or 'last man' troops in prior engagements (the possessions of the hapless held no interest).

Worn.  worried over.  Kept usually somewhere safe on the body, close to the owner.

Not perfunctory, not 'going through the motions', these were prized possessions, lovingly kept.

"Faith.  I need a Cloud Cobra." she muttered, and stepped away from the desk.  "I need someone who understands, I need someone who understands Faith."  a name popped up in her mind, a Warrior in the Aerospace Trinary, a Cloud Cobra who chose to leave his Cloister in the Harvest Trials.

"Gabriel will know the answer."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #25 on: 07 September 2013, 03:24:06 »
[[Posted 20-10-2006, 09:23:03]]

00:04 Hours, 26 March, 3075...

CWO Anh Doc drew back on the stick, and banked port as the lock-alarms buzzed.  Bluish-green light passed her canopy from behind.  "Okay, Hello..."  She muttered, and applied thrusters at the nose of her Slayer while firing the manuevering thrusters at the rear, and shoving starboard on the stick while her pedals shoved port.  The result twisted the heavy fighter into a nose-up 'Twist" that momentarily had her flying backward.

The Clan Visigoth lined up in her sights for a moment, and she triggered the autocannon in her nose, and all four wing-mount medium lasers.

Whoever it was, saw the manuever, but failed to react in time- the 'goths velocity dragged it right into the heavy slug round-which punched into the left wing at the wing-root.  The lasers slapped into  his aelerons and flaps.

The 'goths pilot hammered away with LRMs and his nose-mount PPC.  Armour flaked off in sheets from Anh Doc's Slayer, but she held control as she fired the main thrusters up to over-the-red.

In a moment, the Clan fighter passed overhead, twisting violently and shedding structural support in the wing.

Below them, the clouds of a sea-borne storm made a 'floor' for the arena.

She rolled down into the cloud-deck itself, and for a moment, the fog was lit by something passing through, the clear-spot revealing the plunge of the enemy fighter.

She banked left, and saw, lit by flashes from either combat, or weather, a lone parasail canopy drifting downward through the cloud-deck.

"Splash one." she reported, "Slice that, splash two."

Her wingman rose through the clouds as something burst more than two kilometers away.

The engagement took less than five seconds from detection to completion.

"Roger that, Icefisher six, SAR is standing by."  was the reply.

"No visibility on the pilots, it's pretty nasty down there, Sea Dog, I think you'll have to wait for the weather to clear before you go looking for a pickup, over."

"Negative Icefisher, those seas are plus four Centigrade, those pilots won't survive a day out there and the weather's supposed to be choppy for the next week.  SAR Three is already en-route with divers."

"Good luck to them-I'm seeing whitecaps from 30 Angels, over."

Her fuel alarm went off.  "I'm Bingo, Icefisher is RTB."

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #26 on: 07 September 2013, 03:24:33 »
[[Posted 20-10-2006, 23:26:19]]

41 Km offshore, east coast of Tenessee continent, Mississauga, 0600 hours time, 26 March, 3075...

Star Captain Jans Anu was having what could easily be called "A BAD, bad day".  His survival suit held his head above the water-barely, most of the time, but everything-from the heavy winds, to the flashes of hail, was telling him that sooner or later, his luck was running out... and his knowledge of proper Search-And-Rescue technique told him that no SAR teams would be out this far, in this kind of weather.

The water itself caused actual pain where it hit his exposed face-his wrist chrony's thermometer showed it to be a mere four degrees above the freezing point.  The violent churning had swallowed the raft and other survival gear on his ejection seat quickly after he punched-out.

Lightning flashed, and through the hail, he saw something coming...

Cutter Fourteen-Four, Helicopter, KCGM Volunteer detatchment, 41 km offshore, same time...

"Got a isn't one of ours, sir-that makes four hours looking for two pilots."  Petty Officer Lisa Huskind turned and looked at the able-seaman.  "Fine, we'll go get the floater we can find-what's range to the signal?"

"We're almost on top of him, in this weather, bearing three five west, about ninety meters."

She hefted an Oxy breather, pulled on her tanks, and signaled to the other two divers.  "One, could be conscious, EPW treatment, Probably in the water for six hours or so, Corpsman Franks, stand by with a frostbite kit."

The pilot, WO Christine Kuranov, brought the chopper around, and the search-light found the floater.  he was apparently still moving, at least..

"Let's go!"  Out the side-door, and down  into the churning, predawn sea.

Jans couldn't believe what he was seeing-the VTOL craft was hovering against heavy winds-the boom it deployed was almost forty-five degrees from it, a trail indicating wind-speed.

Whoever was flying that thing-if it was real- had to be both incredibly good, and insane.

Two bodies dropped off, falling about ten meters away into the water.  They swam to him, as the sea lifted all of them almost up to the floor of the VTOL, before sliding downward again. 

"...Ride, or Swim, it's forty kliks to shore, and you're on an off-shore current!" the first diver asked him, holding on to his suit.

"RIDE!!!" he replied.  Jans Anu was no idiot.


seeing no other alternative, Jans accepted the help.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #27 on: 07 September 2013, 03:25:01 »
[[Posted 20-10-2006, 23:49:30]]

Cutter Fourteen-Four, 22 KM offshore...

Star Captain Jans Anu was treated for hypothermia and frostbite on the flight in.  That flight told him everything he never wanted to about the kind of 'school' the pilots that downed his Sabutai had to graduate.  The ICE machine made two more detections, and one pickup.  The other was "DOA" and left to the Sea.

The fact that both times, divers went into churning water and lashing hail was not lost on him, nor was it lost on him that the pilot of the VTOL that rescued him managed to keep the bird in position with the light on the target area in weather that would have grounded most Clan flyers.

His worries had compounded when the Corpsman cheerfully informed him that the bird was "overloaded"...

Which, given its small size, he fervently believed himself. 

The "Cutter" was a small vessel-barely larger than a Hovertank, the VTOL was fastened to the "Deck" with metal clamps and a canvas weather-cover was pulled over it shortly after landing. 

Cramped conditions. he noted.  The boat had one, large, combination common-room and bunkroom, and most of the bunks were filled with either sleeping crewmen, or injured people.  No sick bay.  No brig, either. he looked around.

The diver stripped off her drysuit, and changed into a tan-drab uniform in front of him.  "If you try to escape, we break your legs, and toss you in the ocean.  If you make trouble, I'll lash you to the bow, and let the weather beat on you.  Kill someone or hurt someone while you're making trouble, and it'll be on the lower-hull.  Clear?" she asked.

Jans nodded. 

She pointed at an empty bunk.  "That's mine, yours now, until we meet up with the UnRep ship and can transfer you to a shore-base.  You stay there, keep your hands to yourself, and mealtime is in two hours.  If I have to handcuff you, you'll regret it."

"I...understand the rules." he said.

She nodded professionally, "Good.  You be a good boy, you don't get handcuffs, you're under our Juridiction, which means in turn that we don't abuse, mistreat, torture, or kill you without a damned good reason.  This is a sixty-five ton coastal patrol boat, there are a LOT of good reasons available, if you want to play it stupid.  You play smart, you go home in good condition and alive at the end of this.  Dumb, and the sea gets to eat you."

Sixty Tons!! the small size of the vessel really had not soaked in.  Such craft were, of course, technically feasable, but no military he had ever even heard of would build such...

much less have them out in what he'd seen in the dawn's light as the middle of nowhere.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #28 on: 07 September 2013, 03:25:20 »
[[Posted 21-10-2006, 09:35:47]]

22 Km South of Oxford, near Ridge 139, western edge of Happy Valley.  26 March, 3075...

The Orange groves were laid out in geometrically straight lines, creating a series of straight-lines arrowed at the low saddle that marked the entry into the valley beyond.  Over the last ten days, the Lyran fighters had inflicted high casualties on Clan Aerospace assets, and they were flying out of Happy Valley.

To allow the Invasion force to achieve its primary objective, the Valley's airfields would have to be shut down.  To reach those airfields, the Jade Falcons would have to assault into the targeted valley, either by airmobile means using Dropships, or slogging across the ground the old-fashioned way.

Attempts by each of the front-line clusters to use smaller, "Headhunter" units inserted by smaller dropships had failed- two crashed broadsword and one destroyed-in-flight Confederate-C dropships showed the potency of Kowloon's artillery gunners and the effectiveness of aerospace fighters.

So, Overland it would have to be.    The mission would begin here, among the orange groves of Oxford County.

Oxford County was Clan territory-the local leaders had cooperated several times with elements of the Jade Falcon occupation, providing intelligence on Enemy movements and positions nearby.

Quote from: Axeman89 21-10-2006, 09:39:15
Ah. I had been wondering why Happy Valley was so important.

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Re: For the Liberty of Others (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)
« Reply #29 on: 07 September 2013, 03:25:46 »
[[Posted 23-10-2006, 13:46:18]]

Oxford, Mississauga, 3075/03/29...

The Clanner officials were talking to the Mayor's people.   Jeremy could see that, through his scope.  He could even imagine what they were talking about.  Mayor Renault had been "More than Eager" to help the invaders-and everyone knew why, at least, anyone who'd grown up in Oxford County and thereabouts. 
"Range, four-zero-zero meters."  His spotter, Charlie Jones, was from Fannington.  "wind drift looks like maybe two and a half Kph.  You gonna take the shot?"

"Yeah."  Jeremy said, "I just wanna be sure that the wall behind 'em backstops."

The Mayor was smiling, and bobbing his head like a puppet.

Jeremy centred the post on his head, and, like the foreign advisor had taught them, squeezed the trigger on the buck-rifle.  It broke like a glass rod, releasing the striker.

The 6.5mm bullet outed the bore at 1200 meters/second with a flat "Bang".

Downtown Oxford...

"Yes, Yes, the Lyrans are just over the pass! they've been arming malcontents, we need your help-last night, some-"  Whatever Mayor Renault had to say further, was ended as his skull ruptured in the form of an exit-wound the size of Jagit Buhallin's fist.
a flat, distant 'crack!' sound echoed.

"SNIPER!!! SNIPER!!!" The star of Warriors that had come to establish a forward base in preparation for the offensive, spread out, and the Elementals began sweeping for the shooter.

Jagit reached into the dead man's breast pocket, pulled out the handkerchief contained within, and wiped the mans brains and blood off his uniform jacket, momentarily glad that he had decided not to wear the ceremonial cloak of feathers he was entitled to wear.

"Establish a perimeter,  get the recon-star pointed northeast, that is where the shot came from.  I suspect they are not moving in large groups."  He ordered calmly, as he walked back to his own 'mech.  I dare you.  try it. his whole posture said-he would not display panic or fear.

500 meters northeast...

"You got the ****** mayor, stupid!" Jones snarled.

Jeremy shook his head, "whoops." he said without much enthusiasm, "****** Collabo son of a bitch got what he deserved.  we gotta shift-and-get, they'll triangulate this spot in a sec."

Jones huffed, and stowed his binoculars.  "****** idiot!" he muttered.

Jeremy smiled a little smile, and put the bolt-action rifle gently back into its soft-case.  His movements were what Chief Bui taught him-slow, careful, deliberate.  no rush, no hurry, no errors.

"Why didn't you ace the ****** Officer?" Charlie asked as they made their way back through the tomlin's blackberry bushes.

"Because, numb-nuts, it wouldn't have got Renault off'a people's backs.  That son-of-a bitch owns half the county and does a fine job of squeezing his tenants.  He goes down, his buddys gotta worry that they are goin' down..."  he slid down the inner retaining wall of a drainage ditch, and helped Charlie  down. "Besides, the six-five won't do jack or shit to those helmets at that range, and the ****** clanners never looked up.  I took the shot I had."

"Bud, you got's to get over your own issues, now they know we're around..." Charlie snarled.

Jeremy shrugged, "Would've anyway, besides-it sends a message to anyone thinks the Clanners'll make 'em a 'big boss' that goin' Collabo is BAD."