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Title: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 31 August 2020, 07:01:36
This is a split off story of my Alternate Timeline with Thanks it explains a bit of backstory behind one of the ongoing conflicts in my AU and perhaps will indicate how things will change in the future...  I hope you enjoy.


Khan’s office
Crofton, Nova Cat’s Den
1st September 3114

Khan Canin Rosse was sitting in the former StarCorps office on Crofton which he’d taken as his own after the Nova Cat conquest of the world.  He was reading combat reports on the Nova Cats Den’s successful defence against the recent Federated Suns invasion of three worlds as the Federated Suns tried to put his Clan on the defensive.  His people had repulsed attack with the assistance of capital missile carrying Verne submarines a weapon that the Federated Suns had not known his Clan had at its availability his Clan had utilised naval vessels since their colonisation of New Barcella but these craft were new and had been sent to many worlds since their first production.  He sat back in the overstuffed StarCorps CEO's chair and remembered how it all started and how it had led the Nova Cats to Crofton and where it would lead them in the future.

Training Yard, Clan Watch Command
Tortuga Prime, Nova Cat’s Den
3rd March 3099

Over 15 years before he had been on Tortuga Prime and had met the warrior who had brought this new tool into the Nova Cats hands.  That warrior was Star Captain Anna Devalis she was a member of the Nova Cat Watch and while she held a rank and a Bloodname she'd fallen out of favour after a defeat to Taurian forces.  Her resulting Circle of Equals loss against survivors from her own unit had seen her relegated her to the Watch.  As someone who had "suffered" a similar fate early in his career Canin Rosse had seen someone he could use.

Anna Devalis was thirty-two she had a lean frame with close cropped red hair when he’d first met her in person as she and the others of the Watch practiced small arms and knife combat.  Each member moving intricately as they danced and sparred across the training mats.  Rosse stood off to the side with Star Colonel Matias Winters a towering Elemental and the commander of the Watch.  "She is not our most skilled fighter or the most honourable."

"She will not have to be either for this operation."  Khan Rosse said watching as she spun away from her opponents continuing her spin, she rose her left leg and smacked the other warrior in the face knocking him away.

"In her unit she is the only Trueborn" he said as the freeborn warrior counter attacked against Devalis she used the warriors momentum against him pulling him towards her and flipping him onto his back with a heavy thud.  To his credit the warrior rolled over and came at her again not allowing Anna Devalis to pin him.

"Again, that will not hurt this operation.  And they are all Nova Cat freeborns not local born warriors Quiaff?"  He asked as the warrior this time knocked Anna Devalis to the ground.

Winters nodded he’d specifically checked that all the warriors Rosse wished to send on this mission had been born and bred in the Nova Cat system.  "And should she die?"  Winters asked Rosse looked at him surprised the big elemental would ask such a question.

"We are Clan warriors" Rosse said simply "it is a risk that we live our life by.  I would expect one of the others to take up the mantle of leadership and continue the mission.  It will be up to Anna Devalis to instil this in her people if she has not already.  We need these warriors to conduct operations that will break their own personal honour and serve our Clan like the Wolves Dragoons did for so long."

"Until Wolf turned"

"Aff, but the damage was done, his people opened the door and allowed the Clans to peak into the Inner Sphere.  The Clans still use information they provided us with and their responders still answer to our calls and continue to collect information after all these years, Jamie Wolf knew what he was doing when he came to the Inner Sphere and the damage that would be done, his attempt at helping the Inner Sphere stop our invasion was his attempt at personal repentance.  The Dragoons that left the transceivers are dead not even WolfNet has been able to track them all down."  He said watching Anna Devalis strip the weapon from her opponent then turn it on them, there was no guarantee that Devalis wouldn’t find freedom in the Inner Sphere as alluring as the Dragoons did but even if they sent the Nova Cats information over a short period it would help his Clan.  "Do you doubt her?"

"Neg, she can carry out this task and she is loyal, but isolation can do terrible things."

“Aff, it can” Rosse said watching the warriors end their drill.  “But so, can Clan life.”


An hour later Rosse was in Winters’ office as Star Captain Anne Devalis entered.  On seeing her Khan, she saluted him and Winters out of respect.  “At ease” Winters said in his deep voice “Khan Rosse has a mission for you, you will listen to him and decide.”  The Elemental said looking down at Khan Rosse nodding to him before leaving.  Anne Devalis watched as he exited then turned her attention back to the old Nova Cat Khan, she’d never met him in person he was clearly of Rosse stock with the handsome look they all shared despite his age his hair was still mostly dark in coloured instead of grey which other warriors had with age, she’d always found those of the Rosse line a bit full of themselves but then this man had a right to be he was her Khan.

“Star Captain, I have a mission for you.”  He said stepping around Winters spartan office leaning back on Winters raised table, as he was an Elemental just about everything in Winters office was a size bigger than in most offices.  “It will likely break your own personal honour but it is necessary for our Clan’s future.”

“Aff, Khan Rosse” she replied

“You will take your people beyond the borders and into the Federated Suns and collect information that will help our Clan.”  He explained “There is a conflict coming in the future between the Nova Cats and their neighbours, I can see it and I’m sure that they can see it too.  Your people will be the first step in the Nova Cats preparations that will help us mount a defence or take the offence to them.   Your unit will act like a mercenary command as the Wolf’s Dragoons once did, sending us back information on their troop deployments and collecting information for the Nova Cats.”

“I understand” she said her expression not changing.

“You will be given complete freedom in the missions you take.  Should they take you into combat against us you will conduct the mission like the Nova Cats are your enemy for appearances sake.  We will use these occasions to covertly keep in contact with your unit.”  He explained he knew that meant some of his own people may be killed fighting her people but it was a necessary evil.  “You are to send us back any information you find on weapons Clan Nova Cat could use to attack our enemies or defend our territory.”

“Aff, Khan Rosse.” She replied “do I have any particular target worlds.”

“Production sites would be good targets but it is unlikely you will be masters of your own travels as mercenaries you will go where your employers command, quiaff?”

“Aff, so we take advantage of their choices in our deployments” she said understanding his meaning.

“We will make you appear more attractive to production sites by littering your units with Clan technology, which you will allow them to study if they ask.”  He said he’d already ordered the techs on Tortuga to prepare the unit’s twelve BattleMechs and two aerospace fighters for this operation each was of Star League vintage but each was modified with a piece of Clan tech which the unit could call battlefield salvage.

“We will be giving them access to advanced technology, quineg?”  She asked surprised that the Khan was suggesting the idea.

“It is only technology they’ve seen for the last fifty years.” He said he noticed her eyes widen at his use of a contraction in his speak “you’d better get used to hearing them far more often, the Inner Sphere seems to have a particular fondness of them.”  He said doing it again his marriage to Yvonne had taught him long ago to be more tolerant of deviations in speech than some clansmen.  “Our technology has been studied by the Inner Sphere for years since the first salvage was taken by their people, the fact your people will have perfectly integrated it into your units will be of curiosity to the Inner Sphere but any good tech will be able to do the same.”

“Aff, Khan Rosse” she replied again.

“Good luck, Star Captain, our Clan trusts its future to you and to your people’s success.  We will use what you give us and take it to our enemies.”

Landing Site, Berkshire Spaceport
Warren, Warren PDZ
Capellan March, Federated Suns
8th May 3099

As the gasses vented from the battered Union-class DropShip Captain Anna Devalis stepped her Marauder C from the DropShip and walked onto the Warren Spaceport.  She checked the weapons both of the Clan-tech pulse lasers and the autocannon fitted to the ancient Marauder were perfectly aligned, not that she expected to need them today.  Ahead of her WorkerMechs and cargo vehicles moved things around the spaceport.  A Darter-class Scout Car approached her position “this is Harbour Master Sybil Glover please identify yourself and your business on Warren.”  The driver of the vehicle demanded in a strange accent Anna kept her Mech’s targeting reticule off the little vehicle.

“We’re Devalis’ Devils, I’m Captain Anna Devalis, we’ve spent the last few years helping the Taurians fend off Clan raids but now we’re here to work.”  She responded she’d chosen to keep her Bloodname it would raise questions but she’d be able to cover for it there were after all still Kerensky’s in the Inner Sphere who didn’t serve the Clans.  They had arrived on a JumpShip from the Taurian Concordat which had already left the system, the Nova Cat Watch had been for the last few months leaving mentions of her unit’s activities in the Taurian Concordat.  The Federated Suns and Taurian Concordat were neighbours that didn’t get on well enough for them to share detailed intelligence on mercenary units that served their nations and went on to serve their neighbour.

“Understood Devalis’ Devils, we’ll put you in hanger four while you are on planet if you’ll follow me?”  The driver said with the small Darter turning on its six wheels into the spaceport Anna throttled her Marauder forwards following the small vehicle “local commanders will be in touch should you wish to discuss contacts?”

“Af… Aye, we’ll be looking to speak to people who are ready to pay the right price.”  She said stumbling over the response for a moment she knew the background static of the communications channel would hide her mistake this time but she’d have to remember in the future.  She followed the Darter at a ponderous speed before arriving at the hanger which would be large enough to accommodate about half her twelve Mech at any one time.

“This will be home for a bit; payment is due at the front desk when you’re settled.  Welcome to Warren.”  The driver said cheerfully before driving off into the spaceport and just like that the Devalis’ Devils had arrived.

Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: MarikMilitaMan on 31 August 2020, 08:01:12
Interesting start, got to say i'm kind of surprised the clans that moved to the inner sphere don't have small watch units doing this.
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: David CGB on 31 August 2020, 18:20:14
Interesting start, got to say i'm kind of surprised the clans that moved to the inner sphere don't have small watch units doing this.
It would be stupid not to....
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Wrangler on 31 August 2020, 20:05:16
Interesting.  Curious what this is about!
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: DOC_Agren on 31 August 2020, 23:02:25
Interesting start, got to say i'm kind of surprised the clans that moved to the inner sphere don't have small watch units doing this.
Yeah but that would require the Warriors to trust the Watch
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 01 September 2020, 04:28:51
Small whoops from me, they land on Warren in 3099 not 3114 which I wrote, this whole story takes place before the current year of the story (I got a bit used to writing 3114  ;D)

Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 01 September 2020, 06:45:59
Hanger 9, The Devalis’ Devils
Warren, Warren PDZ
Capellan March, Federated Suns
13th June 3099

The cup flew through the air and smashed against the far wall of their small office as Captain Anna Devalis entered the room.  Lieutenant Eric Storm was sat behind one of the desks and looked up “your meeting went well, quiaff?”  He asked as she slammed the door closed, they were the only two present so it would be good to maintain some speech discipline.

“Same as the last two!”  She stormed grabbing a chair she spun the seat around and sat on it leaning on the back the chair gave out an audible creak but held firm.  “Your name sounds like its from Clan Nova Cat, a few of your Mechs look very well maintained for being based in the periphery.”  She continued on her rant “I felt like saying yes I’m an ex-pat Nova Cat, I’ll happily shoot them for you you honourless bastard!  As far as he is concerned, we are an operational risk and he won’t let us leave Warren.”

“I had to sell a large laser this morning to pay for the rent on this place and the docking fees.  If we are stuck here for any length of time, we’ll have to call for evacuation.”  He said she glanced at him with the contraction but it was an acceptable slip, they had been encouraged to use them.

“I am aware, that will not happen however” she said without elaborating suddenly there was a knock on the door the two of them exchanged a glance then Anna called out “Enter!”  The door creaked open to reveal a visitor in AFFS duty uniform he was in his mid-forties there was a slight greying to his blonde hair but his uniform was impeccably kept.  Anna cursed under her breath firstly he’d gotten this deep into their base without being stopped and passed to her.  Anna rose from her chair “I am Anna Devalis, the commander of Devalis’ Devils, welcome to out hanger.”

“Thank you, I’m sorry to interrupt” he said in a particularly strong accent “I wish to hire your unit for a raid, if you are willing?”

“We’d be more than willing to listen but my unit is currently on a no-fly list thanks to local intelligence.”  Anna replied wary of this new stranger and wondering how much he’d heard.

“I have some pull with them” he said confidently taking that as permission to enter and grab a seat.  Anna did not stop him as he spun it and sat on it like she had her chair leaning on the back, like Anna’s chair it creaked but it did not give way.  “Allow me to introduce myself I am Duke Michel Arnaund of the system of Molino.  Clan Nova Cat are becoming more adventurous against Federated Suns worlds with what they call honour trials.  I assume you are aware of such events from your time in the Taurian Concordat, yes?”

“We are we faced a few of them before.”  She admitted having their first mission as a raid against her own people was not part of the plan.

“Then perhaps you will accept this contact?  We’ve learned that the Nova Cats have inhabited an empty system between their space and the Federated Suns we wish to make them rethink their plan with a raid.  My command lance will join you to ensure completion of the raid while your third lance will train with my militia on Molino.  On completion we’ll pay you at a competitive rate, you’ll be entitled to some of the salvage and I’ll send word to the MRBC of your successful completion of the objective which will help shut the intelligence pukes up for a bit.”

“We’re interested” Devalis replied looking at the Duke “if you can clear it with local intelligence my people can complete this type of mission.  We’ve fought the Clans before, we’ve lost people before, we can do it again.  One question why turn to us?”

“The Nova Cats raided my world several months ago killing my son, I want a piece of revenge.  You will be compensated handsomely for your efforts.  I will have you cleared to fly by tomorrow morning at the latest.  I look forward to working with you.”  He said raising from his chair Devalis did the same as he reached out with his hand, she did the same and shook their agreement.  “I’ll have my office forward paperwork this afternoon for you to sign off on?”

“We’ll be ready” she promised him as they broke off the handshake without further words, he turned to leave exiting the office carefully closing the door behind him.  “First shot at doing something in a month I’ll take it.”

“Against the Clan” Storm said looking up at her from his chair “will not sit well with all our people.”

“It is part of the job Eric” she said formally reminding him of who was in charge “the Khan said as much we need to accept that some of our people may die to forward the goals of our Clan.”  She said meaning that warriors on both sides could die.  “Ensure the beacon is safely buried.”

“It was last week” he said seeing her look “I’ll have Recon take their run through the area tonight make sure nothing is disturbed.”

“Thank you” she said finally sitting back down “finally a mission.”

Objective raid
Unnamed world, Periphery
21st June 3099

Things were going just how Anna Devalis had expected two of her Mechs were down possibly destroyed fighting the Nova Cat defences on this unnamed rock it wasn’t a particularly nice planet with heavy rain and a thin atmosphere.  Three of Michel Arnauld’s Mechs had also been destroyed with two of the warriors confirmed killed in action but they were holding the line.  “Cut to the right, bring down that Clint IIC!”  She called out making her two remaining lancemates combine fire on the Clint with herself to bring down the forty-ton BattleMech.  Pulse lasers, autocannons and missiles tore into the Clint IIC ending its fight rapidly.  From the otherside she saw Michel Arnauld’s Thanatos BattleMech step closer to an enemy Shadow Hawk IIC the Duke was pouring missiles and lasers into the smaller BattleMech as he closed on it the warrior stood up to the fire returning fire with short range missiles of its own but could not stop the heavy Mech as the Duke slammed its left arm through the cockpit without its pilot the Mech crumpled, another Nova Cat had died.  “They are withdrawing Duke Arnauld” she transmitted hoping to end the battle now as her Marauder C traded fire with a retreating Nova Cat Matador, probably the only example of the Steel Viper BattleMech in their touman, the ugly boxy BattleMech took her autocannon shells high in the chest before returning fire with a small cluster of long range missiles as it retreated the missiles flew over her Marauder C landing on the black rocks behind her.  “I have fought these people before, push them and they will hunt us down.  We’ve done what we wanted and we hold the battlefield I would suggest we take what we have won and leave.”

“Negative, we must push them further.”  He said stepping forwards putting a long range laser shot into the enemy Matador that she’d targeted hitting the sixty ton Mech on the left arm.  “Constant push forwards!”  He said firing again as soon as the weapon was recharged this time he missed his mark and noticed that the Devalis’ Devils had stopped moving.

“Captain, you said you would support this raid, I am this raid’s commander and I am calling for you to push forwards.”

“Negative, you are this contracts owner.  Your lance was here as a liaison force and one that would ensure we completed the mission.  Your mission criteria stated you wished to raid Nova Cat territory not claim their real-estate for your own.”  She responded as the Duke targeted the Matador again this time the Mech sidestepped his fire jumping closer it retaliated with missiles and a laser of its own causing damage to the Duke’s Mech with one missile slamming into the top of the Thanatos armoured head.  From her Marauder C she could imagine the Duke being thrown about the cockpit of his Mech from the impact a few feet above his own head.  Anna switched to her company’s channel “all units hold fire” she commanded them stepping forwards she raised her Marauder C’s arms and fired both pulse lasers into the enemy Mech both cut down the Matador’s right leg buckling one of the actuators there which forced the sixty ton Mech into retreat now with a new limp.  “Duke Arnauld are you ok?”

“Yes, I’m fine, you crippled him we can kill him!”  He said stepping forwards again this time Anna made her own move cutting over his line of sight.  “What are you doing!  I could have shot you in the back!”

“I had confidence you were skilled enough to stop doing that.”  She replied firing again at the Matador with the Duke’s view blocked she intentionally missed her target but knew that he would see the heat rise in her Mech, one thing she did plan to do was replace the Mech’s heat sinks with upgraded ones the Marauder C was a refit of an Inner Sphere design but she wanted more out of it.

“Very good, we’ve taught them a lesson” Arnauld replied “I’ll retain your contract after this raid we can do more together Devalis, mark my words.”  Sitting listening to his words Anna Devalis felt a little sick her unit had killed Nova Cat warriors today and all because an Inner Sphere Duke wanted a little revenge and a little personal glory.

“Affirmative Duke Arnauld, I’m sure we could.” She replied switching over to the join frequency “Devils we’ve taught these Clansmen a lesson today, our Duke has decided enough is enough.  Maintain security positions while recovery and salvage operations are conducted.”  She said shutting down the communication frequency “DAMNED STAVAGS!”  She cursed in her cockpit angrily, she’d made the Duke sound like he’d had enough she knew he didn’t, she’d make sure the transmitter they put on Molino was very well hidden.
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 04 September 2020, 17:41:59
Training Range, Devalis’ Devils Private Range
Molino, Minette Operational Area
Crucis March, Federated Suns
12th December 3099

The Marauder C plodded across the training range at a slow walk as it’s pilot Anna Devalis tested its new systems.  As part of the upgrade from single to double heat sinks, she’d requested the techs to reduce number of heat sinks and for them to fit two machine guns which were mounted along the Mech’s central line under its forward leaning nose giving her some heat free anti-infantry weapons.  Now after weeks of refit the Marauder C was ready for operations again and she was on the range.  As the Marauder C moved, she twisted the torso from left to right feeling a hitch in its turn when it twisted to the left “Box, this is Lucifer One, I have still got a hitch in the twist to the left.  Leave a note for the techs.”  She ordered

As the Marauder C continued along the route, she smirked at the callsign it was the same as a model of aerospace fighter if anyone ever cracked their communications, they could mistake her unit for aerospace units.  The Devil’s had two aircraft but neither were of the Lucifer model instead the Khan had allowed them to take two primitive tech Star Dagger Aerospace fighters which had been modified with standard armour and with a pair of extended range medium lasers which constantly threatened to overwhelm the aircraft’s heat capacity.  Anna had asked her Techs why they couldn’t upgrade the aircraft with double heat sinks like they had her Marauder their response in between the expletives was that “they were not miracle workers” or aerospace engineers after which she chose to leave them alone.  The pilots would just have to get used to the aircraft how they were until she could find a way to trade them for something better.

Twisting the torso of the Marauder C again to the left she felt the hitch in the twist but also saw on her sensors another contact.  “Box, I have something else on the range.”

“It’s not one of ours, Lucifer.”

“I know that!”  She snapped angrily she wasn’t sure if she was angrier at the non-professional response or the continued use of contractions.  They were Clan warriors in private they should act as such. “I am investigating, understood?”  She asked each of them had been briefed if you were asked if you “understood” something from a superior in this unit then it was the equivalent of a “quiaff?” interrogative and your response should be formal.

“Affirmative, Captain” Box responded as she turned the Marauder C to the right and throttled up to a full speed walk.  She reached the other contact within only a couple of minutes seeing it was a factory new Warhammer WHM-9D definitely not a local Mech.  On its chest on top of its standard urban camouflage was an orange starburst bisected by a sword with two stylized letters – StarCorps Incorporated insignia.

“This is Captain Devalis of The Devalis’ Devils please identify yourself.”  She said standing the Marauder C square to the Warhammer, if the pilot decided to do anything they would be in for a fight.

“I am Naren Shankar lead negotiator for StarCorps Industries” the pilot said identifying herself as the seventy-ton Mech stopped at just over one hundred metres her accent was thick and full of flavour like she was from a world far different from the one that Devalis was used to. “Are you enjoying your time here on Molino?”

“The cadre duty is a different pace than my people have been used to in the past” she said diplomatically, truthfully, she hated it as did the others in the unit.  To make matters worse the local duke was constantly trying to give them land grants to entice them to stay on the planet longer and make their time on the world permanent.

“I can imagine” he said his Mech circling around the Marauder C “an interesting modification you have made to your Mech, machine guns on a Marauder, well it was about time someone did it.”  Shankar said looking over the Mech “the ammunition feed must be causing some issues.”

“I was just working those out.”  She admitted the ammunition from the autocannon fed into its weapon perfectly her people would figure out the machine gun feeds.  She twisted the Marauder C’s torso to track the other Mech which walked with the confidence of a well-seasoned MechWarriors at the helm.

“We could possibly help you with that?” Shankar suggested “as you may have guessed my purpose here is to buy your contract from Molino and bring you to the world of Crofton.”  She explained Crofton was familiar to Anna Devalis she’d heard that it was a manufacturing world for the Federated Suns.  “You will serve as part of the defence of Crofton and you will allow us access to your unit’s impressive cache of Clan technology.”

“All taken as salvage it won’t be perfect.”  Devalis said trying to make sure they didn’t get too close attention other than the Shadow Hawk IIC all of their Mechs were refurbished Inner Sphere Mechs.

“The integration of Clan and Inner Sphere technology is important to my people as we move forwards and have access to more Clan technology.  We have gifted four Warhammer BattleMechs to the defence of this world to secure your contract, your unit will do great things for our company.”  Shankar explained as the Warhammer stopped Infront of the Marauder C “your unit could be very important to my company.”

Manufacturing Line, StarCorps of Crofton
Crofton, Anjin Muerto Operational Area
Crucis March, Federated Suns
3rd June 3100

Following their time on Molino and now here on Crofton the Devalis’ Devils had now been out of combat for more than a year and Anna Devalis was beginning to question her unit’s purpose they were not forwarding the goals of their Clan.  They had buried a transmitter here on Crofton as they had on Molino and on Brockton where they had stopped off briefly in each case it stated what the Devils had encountered on the world and where they had headed next should the Nova Cats lose contact with the unit.

Today was an important day as after nearly six months of training and research with the StarCorps Industries she had finally been given access to the StarCorps manufacturing line and been given a tour of the facilities there.  As she walked along the lines of Warhammer BattleMechs which were under construction there she thought back to the negotiators words when the Devils signed on with StarCorps your unit could be very important to my company.”  As she walked past the newly completed BattleMechs she spied a new model of Marauder which was in one of the Mech cradles it had lasers in its arms and an autocannon over its shoulder like traditional versions of that type of Mech but under its nose were a pair of machine guns like her own Marauder C.  She stopped as her guide continued to speak about the production line and where these Mechs would be going and all she could think of was “This place would be very important to her Clan” as she looked at the Mech that mimicked her own BattleMech.
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Rainbow 6 on 05 September 2020, 07:37:32
I have always liked your side stories from the AU DC, looks like another winner.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: marauder648 on 05 September 2020, 09:18:36
Aye! This is a goodun! But will they 'go native' and how will living amongst the Spheroids affect them?
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 05 September 2020, 09:26:42
There's a few more parts I plan to tell for this story I'm not going to tell every mission they go on but you'll get snapshots along the way

This break from the main story is intentional firstly it expands on why things develop like they do, second its allowing me to expand on future events in the timeline as I'm finding the 3120s are a bit threadbare and third it allows Vition2 to work on a new storyline too

I'm glad you're enjoying more to come
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 05 September 2020, 17:15:11
Next bit a specter from the timeline's past returns.  Also the Flagstaff III Hovertank at the end is from Fan TRO 3063

Combat Training Centre Supply Run, Sjardijin
Woodbine, Woodbine PDZ
Draconis March, Federated Suns
2nd September 3100

Still under contract with StarCorps The Devalis’ Devils had been given a combat mission following a near demand by Anna Devalis.  She’d stated rightly that her company could not be expected to continue to preform well in a combat situation without facing off against real enemies.  As a result of her argument StarCorps on Crofton had allowed her company to accompany a weapons shipment to the Woodbine Combat Training Centre which the Federated Suns used to train units in cohesive battle techniques.  Recently the region had been plagued by a pirate band which the Federated Suns believed was based on the planet but so far had been unable to track down.  The Devalis’ Devils had been accompanied by four Warhammers from StarCorps which the company was “showing off” to the AFFS hoping to encourage the state to buy more of the Mechs.

Trudging across the desert the augmented unit was arrayed around the supply convoy of eight Heavy Supply vehicles.  While it was a far cry from combat duty it was better than defending a factory deep within the Federated Suns Crucis March.  Anna Devalis sat in her Marauder C’s cockpit and thought about her plan of action the unit needed to find a way to break off from the convoy and deploy another of the Nova Cat’s transmitters she found it strange that was all her unit was doing, they weren’t running raiding operations behind the Federated Suns borders or leaving supplies for the Clan only leaving behind transmitters which held the information that her unit had collected to date and whatever the devices small sensor suite picked up.

“Sensor contact!”  Gerald called out from his modified Excalibur BattleMech while the long extension which protruded from the right arm looked like the Mech’s original gauss rifle in fact it as just an extended casing which covered the Mech’s extended range particle cannon.  Because her Clan warriors had no real need for money other than day to day living when they were on Crofton Anna had spent some of the unit’s money on upgrading the Mechs heat sinks to double strength as she’d done with her own Marauder C making the Excalibur, like her Mech, a far more potent fighter.

Anna turned her BattleMech towards the contact seeing the unmistakable silhouette of a Thunderbolt BattleMech the gauss slug that followed the image and slammed into Gerald’s Excalibur was again a signature intro from the enemy Mech.  Gerald returned fire with his particle cannon which missed the sixty-five ton BattleMech immediately both Mechs traded long range missile fire with Gerald’s larger twenty-rack causing more damage to the enemy Mech as more enemy units appeared into view a pair of eighty ton Awesome BattleMechs, what her sensors believed as a modified Black Knight and a huge Atlas II.

“Lucifer One to base, confirm contact with aggressor lance” she transmitted swapping to the shared StarCorps and Devils channel “alright Star Lance you stay beside the package we’ll fan out and take these guys on.”

“Captain, Lieutenant Dawson here our Hammers would be a good match against those assault units.”  The commander of the StarCorps security lance suggested.

“Negative!”  She snapped “the prize is the transports; you need to defend them.”

“Affirmative Captain, good hunting.”  Dawson replied almost cheerfully like he’d offered just to have her refuse him permission.

“Devils, Chevron Four formation let’s take hit.”  She said Chevron Four broke the company’s normal lancers into four groups of three they’d then arrange themselves in waves with each hitting the enemy one after the other.  Anna Devalis Marauder C, the unit’s own Awesome and Thunderbolt lined up first, followed by Gerald in his Excalibur, Eric Storm’s Shadow Hawk and the captured Shadow Hawk IIC lined up next.  Everardo Gout’s Hatchetman centred the third and was flanked by a Marshal and Valkyrie while the unit’s remaining three bug light Mechs a Wasp, Stinger and Locust lined up last.  Anna Devalis didn’t know who had come up with the formation of Mechs but apparently it was made up of Mechs readily available in the Taurian Concordat and Federated Suns periphery either way Chevron Four would protect her lightest Mechs from the heaviest damage of the initial encounters.  “Remember, no challenges we hit them hard and together.”

Marching forwards together the Devils came across a sand dune into a maelstrom of fire as the pirates responded with the Devil’s approach with the expected combined fire approach.  Fortunately, the modifications done to the Devil’s Mechs helped immeasurably with heavier hitting fire against the enemy targets.  As they moved in the first three Mechs of the formation concentrated fire on one of the two Awesomes punching through its torso armour severing one of its arms.  The second formation targeted the enemy Atlas with the same approach while the third struck the second Awesome while the last group of three light Mechs swarm attacked the damaged enemy Thunderbolt.

The effect of this wave approach was two-fold first as her Command group had taken a volley of fire from the enemy units the second missed out on the initial hit which allowed them to heavily damage both the first Awesome and the Atlas while also minimising the damage.  Unfortunately, when the third group of three moved into position they bore the brunt of another volley of fire and the Marshal took most of the damage with the Mech exploding into a thousand pieces as it was hit by almost every type of Mech made weapon ever devised.  Particle cannons, lasers, autocannons and missiles tore into the medium BattleMech ending its battle and its pilot’s life.

The Marshals sacrifice did allow Everardo Gout’s Hatchetman to close on the enemy units and swing its massive Hatchet striking the enemy Black Knight high on the chest.  Out of the corner of her eye Anna watched as the Black Knight’s right hand seemed to disappear revealing a blade which immediately plunged into the Hatchetman’s chest.  Everardo triggered his Mech’s torso mounted autocannon tearing into the Black Knight’s torso knocking the bigger Mech back off the forty-five-ton Mech unfortunately all that did was expose the Hatchetman to the Black Knight’s long range weapons.

Anna’s initial target was destroyed she twisted the Marauder’s torso and hit the Black Knight with a pair of pulse laser blasts but it wasn’t enough almost in slow motion the Black Knight seemed to look at her before hitting the Hatchetman with a particle cannon, autocannon and an assortment of lasers.  Anna could imagine the heat build up would be massive onboard the Black Knight but right now she couldn’t care about the effect it was having on the pilot instead all she could see was the destruction it wrought on the Hatchetman.  In almost a carbon copy as the Marshal’s death the medium Mech was torn to pieces by the assortment of weapons fire that tore into its chassis she did see Everardo eject from his Mech so there was hope they could recover him in the future.

“They are pulling back!”  Eric storm called out as Anna put another salvo of weapons fire into the enemy Black Knight as it turned fully towards her, she could see the unmistakable opal and sword insignia of the Word of Blake on the Mech’s thigh.

“I thought we were done with your kind!”  She shouted angrily not realizing she was transmitting over an open channel.”  Surprisingly the Black Knight stood upright at her words.

“There will always be Whispers of our order” a reply came almost as a whisper as Anna’s Marauder C was struck by an assault autocannon that came from the right of the Mech.  The autocannon bore into her Mech’s left knee actuator causing it to explode under the stream of weapons fire.  She fought the seventy-five-ton BattleMech as it stumbled then fell forwards.  Moments seemed to pass in slow motion as Anna continued to try and fight the fall, but it was a losing battle, moments later the Marauder C slammed into the ground.  She heard metal smash as her Mech impacted on the sands of Woodbine.

Vulnerable on the ground she scrambled to recover her footing which was a labourous task with a smashed knee actuator.  She watched on her screens and sensors as the Black Knight stepped closer oblivious to the fighting occurring around them, Anna triggered the overhead autocannon in a vain attempt to strike the enemy Mech but from a prone position the shot missed overhead.  The Black Knight stopped above her and used its blade to swipe the autocannon cleanly off her Mech with a single blow Anna was thrown around the cockpit as seven of her Mech’s seventy-five tons were ripped from its hull.  She then felt the thud of the blade touch her cockpit; she knew the Black Knight could kill her from this position but the pilot had kept his transmission line open.  “Not today MechWarrior.”  He said again almost in a whisper before withdrawing as Anna struggled to get her crippled BattleMech back onto its feet even as the remaining three enemy Mechs continued to fire on her unit from long range.

Surveying the battlefield, she saw that they had destroyed one of the Awesomes and the Thunderbolt but had lost the Hatchetman, Marshal, Locust and Valkyrie with three of the Mechs looking like they had burnt out cockpits meaning she’d lost people today.  Pulling their people back together the Devils turned back towards the convoy to find she’d been right to leave the Warhammers in position a lance of Flagstaff III Hovertanks had engaged the convoy in the Devil’s absence.  While all four light vehicles had been destroyed, they’d caused damage to each of the Warhammers with inferno munitions and damaged two of the transport vehicles before being destroyed leaving the convoy stranded in position for several hours before relief could attend.  She didn’t know who had attacked them but vowed to one day track them down and kill them.
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 22 September 2020, 07:05:24
Trial of Possession
Minette, Minette Operational Area
Crucis March, Federated Suns
8th November 3100

Anna Devalis screamed in anger and in pain as the short-range missile exploded just above her head as it slammed into the Marauder C’s head.  Despite the armour put onto a BattleMech’s head damage caused to it always had the tendency to throw a pilot around.  Devalis’ Devils had been busy over the last few months after the operation on Woodbine they had been officially hired by the Federated Suns as a pirate hunting unit.  They’d been shipped to Savonburg where they’d squared off against a raiding party there, they’d destroyed a small pirate unit capturing one of their Hammerhands BattleMechs along with several vehicles.  Not having the crews for the vehicles, the Devils had sold them back to the Federated Suns making a little extra cash while Tech Connie Neilson had been promoted to MechWarrior status to pilot the salvaged Mech.  “Ed, cut to the right!”  She commanded “rip into these Clanners!”  She said angrily she knew her transmission would be picked up by the employer but she wasn’t only playing for them the Nova Cats were causing her unit some serious damage.  As she spoke Everardo Gout in his brand-new Argus AGS-3H stepped past her Mech heading off to the right-hand flank of the Nova Cat star they were facing.

The Devalis Devils had been recalled to Minette following the action on Savonburg initially for some rest and refit but now they were facing off against their fellow Clansmen in battle in a surprise Trial of Possession launched by the Clan.  The Nova Cats often raided the Federated Suns and vice-versa the two sides had fallen into a routine of raid and retreat rarely exchanging large numbers of worlds.  Gout brought down a Nova Cat Hankyu with a heavy salvo of long-range missiles from its two arm launchers.  The thirty-ton OmniMech quickly picked itself up and began to retreat.  “We’re turning them around” Anna Devalis communicated to her troops seeing Nova Cats begin to retreat “push now!”  She ordered and her short company of Mechs stepped forward with militia forces either side of her unit, as the Marauder C moved forwards she activated a relay on her targeting system which would send information to the Nova Cats as she marched forwards ensuring at least some of their findings made it back to their Clan.  As she did another laser blast savaged the right-hand torso armour on her Mech Anna spun her Mech’s torso to the left seeing a Black Hawk BattleMech.  The recently produced fifty-ton BattleMech was built by Clan Hell’s Horses as a “cheap” version of the Nova OmniMech Anna hadn’t been aware of any in Nova Cat service but was read to answer the threat it possessed immediately letting rip with both pulse lasers and her Mech’s over shoulder autocannon.  She felt the familiar vibration as it unleashed fire on the enemy Mech, then the wave of heat rising through her cockpit followed by the satisfying impacts on the Black Hawk seeing both pulse lasers cut into the left leg while the autocannon cut across the Mech’s torso.

The Black Hawk pilot returned fire with both torso lasers hitting the Marauder with one weapon as the lighter Mech lit off jump jets to jump past her Mech only to be caught mid-jump by a huge volley of long-range missiles fired by her militia allies.  The missiles impacted all across the Black Hawk blowing through the right leg armour severing the leg below the knee and collapsing the torso armour.  Even as the Mech rose the sudden loss of so much armour and one limb threw off the jump causing it to lose control the pilot quite rightly ejected from the out of control BattleMech exiting the Mech as it rose into the air Anna could see the pilot eject clearly from the Mech and travel across the militia’s lines.  Should they survive, and be captured, she’d make a point at speaking to him the pilot had courage to engage a larger Mech even as his forces retreated.  For now, she had a raiding party to drive off.


Hours later Anna Devalis was in the militia base visiting the stockade to “gloat” over the pilot who stood up to her she was a young woman with long blonde hair which was tied back into a ponytail her Nova Cat issue black jumpsuit looked like it was in good condition while she had some small cuts on her knuckles where it looked like she’d been in a fight.  Her militia guard had escorted the victorious mercenary into the prison cells without issue and now she stood across from a Nova Cat MechWarrior who had been captured following the battle.  “MechWarrior, I am Anna Devalis, the commander of Devalis’ Devils you piloted the Black Hawk that engaged me in combat?”  She said Anna saw the confusion from the MechWarrior in her name.  “Answer me.”

“Yes, I did” she answered still looking confused.

“Very good, you will be taken as my prisoner” she said seeing the militia guard’s surprise “their culture has a right that allows a victorious MechWarrior to take their opponent as a prisoner.  I intent on personally dealing with this MechWarrior and I could use her expertise in maintaining her Mech which we have also taken as salvage.”  She explained

“You did not defeat me in honourable combat, you had assistance from the surat armour…” the MechWarrior began but Anna Devalis struck out with a punch catching her across the side of the face knocking her down.

“I have defeated you in combat.  You will serve my mercenary command now.”  Anna Devalis said forcefully

“Seyla” the young woman replied as she began to get back up, the guard looked confused at her response but Anna Devalis did not, stepping forwards she kicked the MechWarrior in the stomach as she began to rise knocking her down again.

“Its Clan speak, we’ll knock that out of her trust me she’ll learn how to speak properly.”  Devalis sneered looking down at the downed MechWarrior as she coughed trying to grasp breath.  Devalis leaned down so she was close to her “trust me, stay down, we will make sure you understand how things work from now on.”  She said before standing down “my people will come over this afternoon after they have picked up the Black Hawk and collect her, if that is ok?”

“Affirmative, Captain, we look forward to seeing you again.  Personally, I’m glad you know how to deal with these Clanners, if you’re looking for recruits, I’m sure we could find you some on Minette.”  The guard said enthusiastically he was young and no doubt was born and bred on Minette and full of pride that he served his home planet.

“That may be something we look at.”  Anna Devalis said stepping out of the cell trying to hide her disgust at the young man’s disdain for her people and at how she’d had to deal with a fellow Clan warrior.


Hours later Anna Devalis was at her desk with Lieutenant Eric Storm at the other desk adjacent to the door when the office door opened and in entered the newly captured MechWarrior her right eye was turning black as a bruise formed from the punch Anna had inflicted.  “Welcome to Devalis’ Devils camp tech…” Anna Devalis said standing up and around the table to greet the newcomer.

“Kathryn” she answered glancing at Eric “I assume since I have been left unshackled or escorted since I entered this base and treated with more respect than I have been shown all day, we are all Nova Cats here quiaff?”

“Aff, tech, I am Anna Devalis Nova Cat Watch.”  Devalis explained “we are on a mission from the Khan to scout the Federated Suns for future operations.  You have been taken as a Bondsman to this command you will officially serve as the Tech on your Black Hawk however as we are short on qualified MechWarriors I would expect you to fit into this command quickly, quiaff?”

“Aff, Captain, I will do what I can.  Tell me do we observe any Clan customs within this unit?”

“Only when in private otherwise we act like the mercenaries the Federated Suns expect us to be.”  Anna Devalis explained “which means our entire time here on Minette is as mercenaries which is why I treated you as I did…” Devalis began to explain only to be interrupted as Kathryn swung and punched her back, Devalis had half expected the punch and did not lose her footing but Eric did rise from his chair ready to react but Anna waved him off.

“I owed you that, Captain.”

“Aff, you did, next time I’ll deal with you in our way.”  Anna promised her Kathryn nodded her understanding they were even for now.  “Your Black Hawk needs rebuilt, we have parts to rebuild the leg, the cockpit should be repairable and fortunately the engine was not destroyed.  Do you understand?”  Kathryn nodded “very good, get to it tech” she said dismissing the young woman Eric smirked as she left.

“She should be fun” he said watching her go.

“She has not been trained in the ways of the Watch, she is a Clan warrior, much of our behaviour will be alien to her.  We need to mould her into our ways.”  She explained understanding the behaviour.

“She’s our Clankin” Eric said looking at Anna Devalis after a moment of thought “if she reacts to us like this how will the rest of our Clan react to us when we return?”

“That will be up to the Khan, when in private we must remind each of our people where we came from.”  She said Eric nodded in agreement “we need to perform a Chronicle of Battles once we are able, it will bind our people together and to our beliefs.”
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 25 September 2020, 07:53:58
Strike Lance Deployment, West Sopron
Metter, Minette Operational Area
Crucis March, Federated Suns
3rd February 3101

Piloting his Shadow Hawk Eric still felt his hangover from the Chronicle of Battles three nights before.  The reintroduction of the ceremony had helped bind the Devils together more than ever unlike a traditional Chronicle which told stories of Clan Nova Cat’s history and had the occasion of Nova Cats sacrificing their vineers over the ceremonial fire Anna Devalis had instructed that it be a party and that locals were invited in by the unit.  She’d ordered that the only stories told were those that fit the Devils cover story of being a unit that had served in the periphery for years if Davion intelligence ever infiltrated one of these parties they’d be able to cross check the Devils information against those that would match a unit that served in Taurian service and had helped defend against Clan Nova Cat attacks, a unit of Battalion strength that was still serving in the region and had been implanted into the Taurian region years before.  Why the Devils were now a separate outfit was up to anyone else to decide but it was an entirely plausible explanation.  The Chronicles were also happening on a different scale and pace than traditional events with Anna Devails ordering the unit to hold one with each deployment bringing their unique party to each place they landed and alloying hundreds of civilians into each event.

Some of the unit had joked that the Devalis Devils should become a party tour operation bringing joy to the Inner Sphere one settlement at a time.  Now however they were doing their regular job patrolling searching for the pirates who had arrived the day before and begun operations the Devils’ aerospace fighters had located their DropShips now it was down to Eric and his lance mates to locate the ground forces.

Glancing out of the ferroglass cockpit window he saw MechWarrior Kathryn Nova Cat’s Black Hawk move alongside his own the hunched over BattleMech showing none of the damage which had left it crippled on the battlefield and in the Devils’ hands.  Kathryn had served as the Mech’s tech for several months and now was officially the pilot of the Mech in his lance.  While they were all Nova Cats by birth due to the Devils cover story only Kathryn was allowed to keep her Nova Cat name the others, except for Anna Devails who still held her Bloodname, lived each day with a fake surname which had been picked out of a hat.  Eric classed himself as a lucky man Storm was simple a couple of the others like Inokashira or Gunnarsdóttir were mouthfuls to get used to as Anna Devails’ XO Eric had to file fake pay records for each of them to show where the Devils were spending their pay checks should they ever be audited by their employers, it was a part of the job he hated but a necessary part of it and one the Nova Cat Watch had planned for and included in the unit’s extra training.

Crossing over a small fenced area the Shadow Hawk’s sensors suddenly pinged into life “Angel to Lucifer One, contact with eastern elements enemy forces” he communicated seeing an Anubis light BattleMech run into range launching long range missiles at its maximum range one of the missiles striking his Shadow Hawk’s torso while the others slammed into the fence they’d just crossed through smashing it to pieces. Eric returned fire with his own long-range missiles which completely missed the fast moving enemy target he saw Kathryn was also in position to fire but had not fired.  “Angel to Novacat, let him have it” he commanded.

“Aff” Kathryn replied she was reluctant to engage multiple targets as willingly as other members of the unit were.  Unlike them her training had been along Clan lines where combining fire was frowned on and seen as dishonourable, now in the Inner Sphere she needed to learn that it was all or nothing.  The Black Hawk dropped its crosshairs over the Anubis and let rip with both torso mounted large lasers both of which hit the Anubis squarely in the chest Eric combined with her to hit the target with more long range missiles and this time adding in his ultra-autocannon.  The excessive a damage was too much for the light Mech which staggered and fell to the ground just as Everardo Gout’s long-range missiles also slammed into and around the light Mech the pilot ejected from the stricken BattleMech and was out of the fight.

Next came a pair of heavier Mechs a Catapult and an Uziel “Angel to Novacat, take the Uziel, Tabbycat we take the Catapult!”  He commanded smirking as he did he knew Evarardo hated the callsign even more than his fake surname.

“Confirmed” Gout responded triggering his paired long-range missile launchers at the target showering the Catapult with thirty missiles even as the Catapult targeted them with its own paired long-range missiles and paired autocannons the majority of the Catapult’s thirty missiles slammed into Eric’s Shadow Hawk quickly followed by the autocannons.  Armour all across his Shadow Hawk was shredded by the assault while the autocannons pinked further away causing Eric to stumble and almost fall under the assault glancing at his systems, he saw his own long-range missile system was destroyed as was one of his medium lasers in the attack.  Triggering the ammunition dump for the long-range missile launcher he glanced back at the Catapult again seeing that Everardo had hit the Catapult again with long range missile fire adding in his large laser causing the Catapult to re-evaluate targets and launch an attack against the heavier target.

“Tabbycat, keep him busy!”  Eric ordered running his Mech around the targets avoiding the long-range slugging match between the Uziel and Kathryn’s Black Hawk he ran quickly towards the rear of the Catapult which was distracted by the assaults by the Argus.  The two Mechs matched each other in size and speed with the autocannons of the Catapult bringing the Mech close to matching the Argus in raw firepower as well but Eric’s Shadow Hawk shout tip the balance even in its damaged state.  Continuing his run, he got behind the larger Catapult and aligned his remaining weapons triggering the short-range missiles, autocannon and remaining laser into the back of the Catapult.  “Should watch your back!”  He called out triumphantly seeing the damage wrought on the heavy Mech’s internal systems only to feel the tap of a heavy strike on his Shadow Hawk’s back as the fourth Mech of the enemy lance revealed itself the stealth armoured Snake BattleMech which had stayed out of sight until Eric’s attack on the Catapult.  The assault on the thin rear armour of the Shadow Hawk was devastating penetrating the armour and ripping through the internal structure blowing through ammunition bins in the process.  The Shadow Hawk’s CASE system activated saving the Mech but also catapulting Eric clear of his Mech as the BattleMech’s systems made it clear the Shadow Hawk was dead as he flew across the battlefield he left his two lance mates to the battle they were outnumbered but before they left his view Eric saw Kathryn defeat the Uziel which would even the odds significantly.


Hours later Eric was in the medical bay of their DropShip when Everardo and Kathryn entered “my victorious lancemates, well done” he greeted them.

“How is the leg?”  Everardo asked glancing at his encased leg.

“Broken from the landing, I was never very good at landing those damned things” Eric answered “it will heal but the old-fashioned way no short cuts.”  He said refering to Clan medical techniques which would have cut his healing time to only a few days instead of the weeks he’d now have to go through.

“Plenty time to do paperwork then” Everardo teased him “I am glad it will heal”

“Aff, it will give us time to repair your new Mech.”

“New Mech?”  Eric asked looking at them confused he knew his Shadow Hawk had been destroyed even the CASE systems were not enough to stop the extra damage done by the Snake’s attack.

“Affirmative” Kathryn answered “it will take us weeks to repair it but we believe we should be able with the other salvage we took today.”

“What other Mech?”  Eric asked frustrated by their non-answers.

“The Snake, combined with salvage taken from your Shadow Hawk and the Anubis we believe we can come up with something for you.”  Everardo answered finally ending the game “what you did not think we would leave you dispossessed, Quineg?”  Everardo asked in Clan speak Kathryn could get away with such at any time and in the confines of their own DropShip so could they “remember Eric we are not any other mercenary unit.”

“Aff, thank you Tabbycat” Eric said deciding to tease the other man equally a scowl played on his face for a moment and he faked a swing of a punch at Eric but stopped.

“Watch your mouth or once your healed we’ll have to sort it like old.”  He joked Everardo and Eric had worked together for years the teasing and threats would never come to anything and they both knew it; Kathryn would learn their ways whether she liked it or not they were Nova Cats but they were also Devils.
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: marauder648 on 25 September 2020, 10:19:15
Excellent stuff as always, it seems they might be going a bit native too!
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Wrangler on 25 September 2020, 10:43:56
Always love your writing!
Title: Re: Foresight (AU with Thanks)
Post by: Dragon Cat on 06 October 2020, 06:40:20
Transport Link, SS Vintage Russian Soul (Verne-class Submarine)
Hahira, Anjin Muerto Operational Area
Crucis March, Federated Suns
9th March 3101

The Devalis Devils had been deployed to the backwater world of Hahira in the Anjin Muerto Operational Area helping local militia forces prepare their defences as part of their deployment the unit had taken advantage of one of the militia’s Verne-class Submarines which was a ten-thousand-ton submarine capable of transporting more than three thousand tons of cargo.  Standing at the foot of her Marauder C Captain Anna Devalis stood on the cargo deck of the Verne’s massive cargo bay, it felt strange to be underwater inside such a large vessel the Goliath Scorpions deployed submarines like this in the Clan Homeworlds but she wasn’t a great fan.  She knew vessels like this had been around since humanity was restricted to Terra but hadn’t spent too much time onboard them, here on Hahira with its extensive waterways and large polar ice caps she saw the utility of them for this particular deployment they were travelling under the northern cap.

As she leaned against the foot of her Mech Eric approached “an old ship but capable one” he reported “speaking with members of the crew apparently House Davion has modified some of these in the past as artillery batteries sitting off the coast of a battle and pounding the enemy.”

“Before they disappear beneath the seas when a counter attack arrives.”  Anna Devalis commented it was not an honourable method of combat but it wasn’t a surprising tactical option given the methods she’d seen the Inner Sphere use before.

“Affirmative, they’ve also weather proofed it for the colder than normal oceans here on Hahira so there is a little over-engineering in this ship to protect it further from the elements.  They have a construction facility for them on the southern continent.”  He explained “it’s based on a Star League-era base which originally served the Star League as the wet navy’s construction and maintenance facility for the region.  House Davion only use it locally” he said glancing around them to see if anyone else was nearby “but from what a few of the techs said the facility is capable of servicing any navy vessel currently constructed on Hahira and then some.”  He said joining her leaning on the foot of the Marauder glancing up at the roof of the vessel almost picturing the water and ice above them the additional construction capabilities which were on Hahira suddenly made the world sound interesting and useful.  His words trailed off as one of the crew of the submarine moved past pulling a pallet truck with supplies built up on it.  “I personally wouldn’t want to spend time in them, with the water above, not a nice feeling.”

“Agreed, even though we spend much of our lives on DropShips, I’d much rather the fast-cold death of space than the slow water grave you’d face on this thing.”  She said “I was speaking to the Captain he has agreed with my plan to surprise the militia have everyone check their environmental sealing before deployment.”


Hours later the Verne arrived in the port of Franzika which served host to a large shipping port and was home to part of the planetary militia with multiple blue water naval vessels, large hovercraft and smaller water-based vessels calling the port home.  For this three-month deployment the Devils had been tasked with learning how these integrated into the militia and helping local forces, who lacked BattleMechs of their own, track down a group of raiding BattleMechs which had caused issues recently.

The main cargo bay doors of the SS Vintage Russian Soul opened and Captain Anna Devalis took charge of the BattleMech moving it from its position in the cargo bay towards the doors behind her three other Mechs followed.  They stepped out of the cargo bay onto Franzika’s primary harbour pier, when Devalis said primary she noted there were half a dozen piers with various types of vessel in the harbour including a large military dreadnaught covered in artillery cannons.  The ship looked like it was straight out of an ancient war film and that it belonged in a museum but also looked deadly.  Turning down the pier she marched her Marauder C towards the collection of militia vehicles while sending an encrypted message to Eric Storm as per Devalis’ agreement with the submarine’s captain seven of the Devils had been deployed off the ship before they’d arrived in port and circled around the militia.  Now with her message sent Anna Devalis approached the militia battalion that was arrayed waiting for them she didn’t understand why the full battalion of armour and infantry were here waiting for them it was a critical defensive error in her mind.  Reaching the militia force the three Mechs with Anna deployed on her flanks her own Marauder C and the Awesome on one side the Hammerhands and Thunderbolt on the other.

“Welcome to Franzika Devalis’ Devils” the militia commander transmitted “I am Major Megan Brands, we expected more BattleMechs?  Still what you have brought will be enough to counter the enemy forces we have had trouble with.”

“And we did not expect to be met by your full Battalion given recent pirate activity I deployed Mechs before arriving here, as an enemy force could do if they had a DropShip.”  Devalis explained “now as you are arrayed here your territory is left undefended.”

“We have had no reports of pirate activity today…”  She began as the other seven Devalis’ Devils BattleMechs arrived around the militia force surrounding them.

“BattleMechs allow you to deploy anywhere, in any environment, each of our Mechs are capable of traversing various hazards to get to a target’s location.  Major today you have placed your forces at my mercy, fortunately we are friendly but your people must be careful.”

“As should your own, check your back Captain” Brands suggested from her transmission Anna Devalis believed the woman was smiling, given that she’d just surprised them that shouldn’t be the case.  Turning her Marauder C she saw the dreadnaught’s turrets were turned towards her four Mechs with enough firepower on them to wipe out her lance the firepower would heavily damage the port as well but it made attacks against the port very costly for any opponent.

“Impressive display” Devalis accepted turning her Marauder back towards the militia forces “hopefully they are ready for some action, let’s hunt some pirates.”  She made a mental note that the naval forces on Hahira were not just for show and transport.


Hours later Anna Devalis was heavily engaged with at least a company of enemy BattleMechs of various size and capabilities.  Even with the militia forces in support they were being pressed to destroy the enemy forces they were fighting so far, she’d only lost MechWarrior Hattie in her Wasp which had been caved in when it encountered an enemy Enforcer the larger Mech demolishing the Wasp with its autocannon, but it was only a matter of time before she lost more.  “Lucifer One, Major Brands we need artillery assistance to break their line!”  Devalis called out glancing over at the Major’s Demolisher Tank.

“We do not have artillery ready.”  Brands replied Anna Devalis quickly glanced at her range to the harbour it was less than three kilometres well within the range of the cannons on the dreadnaught still parked there.

“What about that damned Warship of yours?”

“We don’t generally use it…” she began to explain before Devalis interrupted.

“Do the guns work?”  She asked as a particle cannon slammed against her Marauder’s armour Eric Storm stepped his recently salvaged Snake between her and her targeted enemy giving her time to talk to Brands.

“Affirmative, but the crew are inexperienced in fire support missions.”  Brands reported which infuriated Anna Devalis having such a resource available it would make plenty sense to use it in all situations it was needed not just as an intimidating force in port.

“Time to rectify that, send them the coordinates of the enemy’s lines and those trees on the eastern flank.  I want a volley of fire on that line then we’ll adjust their fire accordingly.”  Anna Devalis ordered.  Within a few minutes Anna Devalis was closer to the enemy’s lines than she’d have probably liked as the artillery barrage began slamming into the ground all around the enemy BattleMechs the fire was inaccurate but they made up for it with firepower.  “Lucifer to Brands, have them vary fire between that range and five degrees upwards and fire for effect along the same line as previously requested, we’ll hold them in place with the artillery as we drive home the attack.”

Within a couple of moments, a near continuous barrage of fire began landing between where they’d tested their fire and across the enemy lines.  Some of the shots appeared to cause more of an explosion than others but they all did enough to keep the enemy forces uncomfortable.  With an obvious and determined force against them the pirates kept trying to disengage but the artillery was holding them in place.  Between a rock and a hard place several of the pirate Mechs were disengaging their targeting systems giving up on the battle walking through friendly lines under the guns of the militia.  As soon as pirates began to surrender the battle was over in the end it came down to the pirate leader and one of his lieutenants who fought to the end before their Mechs were completely destroyed by the massed firepower of the militia and the Devils.

Following the battle Anna Devalis claimed one of the pirates’ Mechs for the Devils, as per their contract agreement with the Federated Suns, a Bushwacker BattleMech.  The Devils didn’t have a MechWarrior for the Mech with the death of Hattie in her Wasp but Devalis would find a way to use the Mech.  As they had additional time on Hahira the Devils spent time rotating through the various facilities and settlements on the world including the submarine production and maintenance facility.  Eric Storm’s findings during their trip on the SS Russian Vintage Soul were correct the facility was capable of maintaining several water vessels at the same time and during their visit a new submarine was under construction for civilian use on another of the Federated Suns worlds.  Anna Devalis could see both a civilian and military use for the vessels and for the facility on several of the Nova Cat worlds there were bodies of water which could be used for transport by her Clan with the right tools.