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Author Topic: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)  (Read 27102 times)

WarGod

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 7-19-11)
« Reply #60 on: 23 July 2011, 04:32:47 »
excellent man.  Really enjoying reading it
A knight in shining armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested
You're falling through the air in a Grenadier. Style went out the window long before you did.

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 7-19-11)
« Reply #61 on: 24 July 2011, 04:31:08 »
For those interested, I've started a thread with the specs of the refits/custom designs I've been using in my campaign.

Thread can be found here:

http://www.classicbattletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,8189.0.html

Thanks for reading,

Davout
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 7-19-11)
« Reply #62 on: 05 August 2011, 12:00:41 »
Dec 29th, 3028

Brian McEuen:  Hi, this is Brian McEuen, recording  December 29th, 3028.  You understand this is just an interview, right?
Angus McRory:  Sure.  Just be aware that I'm not going to answer all your questions though.
BM:  Not a problem.  Hows the Arm?
AMcR: Healing, thank you very much.
BM: So, Can you give me a little bit of background on yourself?
AMcR:  I suspect you know most of it already.  I was born and raised on Summer, then my family moved to Rahne.  My family has had a history of serving in the Commonwealth going back almost 600 years.  I'm the youngest of four sons, raised by an absentee father and then a grieving mother. My father was a Infantryman in the Skye Rangers, invalided out.  I went to Sanglamore.  I left my sophomore year, joined Barrett’s Fusiliers.  That was 3015.
BM:  Can you tell me why you left Sanglamore?
AMcR: <Pauses>.  It just wasn't for me.  You can say I was having a crisis at the time.
BM:  What sort of crisis?
AMcR:  Faith.  Conscience.  Belief.  My  father was involved in quite a few things, things I found myself disagreeing with over time, much to his regret. Growing up certain things were expected, certain things were to be taken as gospel, certain things were fact.  The problem was he was hardly ever around  to reinforce those statements.  I finally went to Sanglamore, and I just found myself...not in step with what was going on.  And after the first year I couldn't pretend I enjoyed it either.  I was encouraged to leave after that.
BM:  Encouraged how?
AMcR:  Fists mostly.  A Couple of feet. 
BM: What did your family have to say about that?
AMcR:  I wouldn't know, he was killed when I was 14, hence the grieving mother.
McEuen Coughs.
BM:  So how did you end up with the Highlanders?
AMcR:  I ended up in the Fusiliers as a tech, it was the only slot they had open, and after about 18 months moved up to an Enforcer that was captured from Kurita on a raid.  I spent 5 years in that, then moved to the Archer.
BM:  How did that happen?
AMcR:  It belonged to a friend of mine in the Fusiliers.  He was killed in action, left the mech to me.  Not sure why.  We worked on it together, we were friends, but he had family it could have gone to as well.  That was in '23.  By then  I had topped out.  Was a Lance commander, and a good one.  I wanted more, there just wasn't anywhere for me to go in the Fusilier's.  I cashed out, took a ride to Galatea, hung out my shingle so to speak.  Colonel Fitzhume apparently knew some of my extended family, asked me to join up.  He had money, he had infrastructure, he had a company command for me.  I jumped at the chance.
BM:  Hows your experience with the Highlanders been?
AMcR:  It's had its moments, which is normal.  For most units, life is ninety to ninety five percent sitting around, and the rest is filled with the sheer terror of combat.  Our first contract was with Steiner, garrisoning some periphery world for a year.  Uneventful, boring, a lot of training.  It was what it was.
After that ended we went to Marik, a little more action. Pirate Hunting mostly, tangled with some Canopians on accident once, chasing after Pirates, that was interesting.  A Raid against Liao, a raid against the LC.
BM:  Any issues with that?
AMcR: Fighting Lyrans?  Not at all.  After what happened with my father and at Sanglamore, I can honestly say I've never cared one way or the other. 
BM:  Seems a bit odd.
AMcR:  Why?
BM:  <pauses> Well, it just does.
AMcR: The whole brother against brother thing?  Forget it.  Once your allegiance is to the paycheck, that goes out the window.  Well, that's not a hundred percent true.  You don't do what we do solely for the money, if you do you aren't long for the business as it were.
BM:  So why then?  Camaraderie, Band of Brotherhood?
AMcR: That's what I believe.  I care about my men, I care about my command.  When your the guy in charge you have to be a decision maker, and sometimes that means you have to be willing to do things maybe you weren't prepared to do. 
BM:  Like ordering a lance to stay behind to cover the retreat of the rest of the company?
AMcR:  Well, seeing as how I have a philosophy of never ordering my men to do what I wouldn't do myself...<He smiles grimly and tries to raise his arm, but the cast and straps prevent him from doing so.>
BM:  So what can you tell me about Colonel Fitzhume?
AMcR : Other than he's dead?  <a grim laugh> Ach, that hurts.  Broken arm, cracked ribs...word of advice, always make sure the hatch it fully open before you eject.
BM:  Well, what was your measure of the man?
AMcR : Measure of the man?  Interesting choice of cliches there.  <Pauses>  He was a solid commander.  Look, the guy came from money and privilege, and got tossed out of the LCAF for doing what other officers have been doing since time immemorial, because he got caught.  He owned up to it, and moved on.  A year later he's got two plus battalions of mechs and he's sitting on Jerangle, training and garrisoning, and he gave me a company command.  Did he inspire me to be better than myself, to do great things?  No.  But did he stay out of the way, and by that did  he give me an order and allow me to execute it to the best of my ability?  Yes.  He was a decent guy and a decent CO.  Now, would I charge the gates of hell for the man?  No.  But I'd fight as far as the entrance.
BM:  What do you know of the history between the Highlanders and the Angels?
McRory snorts, then grimaces in pain again.
AMcR : Dammit.  Sorry.  I know that starts, stops and will end with Russ McNab and Andrew Davout.  How much of their history do you know?
BM:  A lot, but it's all one sided.
AMcR : Yeah, so's McNab's version.  Put the two together and you'll get the truth, or at least most of it.
BM:  So whats McNab's truth?
There is a definite lull in the conversation here.
AMcR : That Davout isn't the fair haired guy he projects himself to be.  He set McNab up on Cavanaugh, well, he and Louis Berthier did.  McNab says Davout wanted a bigger cut, but I don't believe that, otherwise Berthier would have worked it out so that most of what McNab and the rest of the guys were doing ended up in his account.  Instead, he took just his share and disbursed the rest to the other three guys, then somehow leveraged McNab's Zeus into it as well.  Did McNab bet on the fights?  Sure.  Did he bet everything that he ended up betting?  No. That was Davout and Berthier.
BM:  Why?
AMcR : Best guess?  Davout realized what he was getting into, and couldn't get out of it cleanly.  So he and Berthier rigged it so they could get away as clean as possible.  Which, I have to admit, takes a big pair of brass ones and some serious chutzpah.  There's sneaky, there's sneaky and devious, and then there's I'm stabbing you in the chest sneaky.  This was definitely the latter.  Then there was that incident on Galatea, at the bar.  I wasn't there, but one of my lance mates at the time, MacCrory, he was there.  And McNab was two sheets to the wind...talking crap....and then Davout and the others walked in....
Pauses.
I used to be reasonably sure that if McNab knew Jed Gudin had died and they had just come from his funeral he would have left well enough alone.  Hell, I would have.  But apparently McNab sees Davout walk in, builds up the liquid courage, and goes over and starts mouthing off...and then he decides to pick a fight with a former House Fujita soldier.
BM:  Enbo is a former Warrior House member?
AMcR : That's the RUMINT.  Supposedly there's a few people in Rubinsky's who know more, but he apparently was cashiered out and forced to the Confed Cav as a punishment of some sort...I heard that from a fellow in Rubinsky's, and I trust him...
BM:  So whats going on now is some sort of, well, would vendetta be the right word?
AMcR :  To be honest, I am not sure.  McNab came in and Fitzhume gave him a BC slot, passed over a good officer and friend to do it.  Personally, he used to be an OK sort of guy, but then Morand joined the unit, and it pushed him over the edge.  I  think he saw the Highlanders as his way to exact some revenge on Davout, but Fitzhume held that in check. Then this damned War started.
McRory stops talking for a minute and stares out the window.
We call it Target Fixation.  Or Tunnel Vision.  You get so focused on one thing, you forget whats going around you.  McNab has this idea of what Davout is as a person and a commander, and it fits his worldview, but I'll be honest with you, as sneaky and as underhanded as Davout can be, you don't build a unit this fast, this well, with this reputation without having some very good redeeming qualities.  And you don't go out and beat the type of units he's beaten without being very, very good at your profession.  McNab always insisted it was luck...
BM:  Not a believer in luck?
AMcR : I've had enough close calls in my time to say that its a factor and it exists, but if you notice, throughout history, luck seems to favor the prepared more. 
BM:  True.
AMcR : So, Johnson leaves, and Fitzhume makes McNab XO.  McNab starts agitating to go after the Angels.  And why not?  We're bigger, had better support, better people, or so we thought.  But the Colonel holds off, has a garrison contract, doesn't want to breach it.  But Hanse decides one planet isn't a good enough wedding gift, he has to take out a whole house, and Marik decides to strike while Steiner is busy throttling the Snakes.  Rumor says McNab had to bribe someone in Marik command to get us here.  And that was one thing that bothered me.  I'm not to into blood oaths or someone elses revenge.  Davout and the Angels had never done anything to me.
BM: What else bothered you?
AMcR : There was that whole business with Morand.  McNab brings him in as a Lance commander, a few months later he's senior company commander.  That was supposed to be my slot, and yes, that's me whinging, but I worked long and hard for that.  So I took some leave, told Fitzhume I was going to Solaris to watch the matches, went to Galatea instead, see what else was out there, and ran into a couple of guys from the 21st.  We had an interesting conversation.  They were quite complimentary.  I was looking at joining them, was on my way back to the Highlanders when the Fourth broke out.
BM:  So what happened then?
AMcR : McNab wanted to load up and jump here faster than he could think, which now that I think about it was pretty damned fast.  But Fitzhume did the right thing, waited until he had the authority to do it, then came here.  And promptly stuck it into the Meatgrinder.  McNab as XO was the chief filter for the Intel we had.  He discounted the new units, he discounted the aerospace fighters, and then the SOB decided to fire on those ASF's that took a peek at us.  Threw away any chance of surprise we had, and then the Jelsie's Revenge was shot out of the sky, there went a lot of our consumables.  McNab didn't care, he thought it was going to be a walkover.
BM: And Fitzhume?
Pause.
AMcR : I'm not sure.  If I had to guess I suspect he wanted to keep the lid on McNab as long as he could.  And for the most part it worked.  Then came the Kristonos battle.
BM:  I watched that in real time.
AmcR: Not quite the same as living it...That was supposed to be a walkover.  And I got suckered good.
BM: You did a good job recovering.
McRory smiles, albeit a bit sadly. 
AMcR : True enough.  A mobile ambush is a tough thing to pull off, but if you have good troops you can do it.  And I have good troops.
Pause
Had good troops.
Another lengthy pause.
The problem is though, I can count on one hand the number of guys in the Highlanders I would give myself for.  And two of them died at Kristonos.  And for damned sure neither McNab or Morand is among the remaining three.  And Morand swore he could have done better, so he took his company out and went chasing after A Squadron for three weeks, got ambushed four times, lost six mechs and two pilots, and then most of his conventional when the Arcadia Militia hit him.  He came back to base with his tail between his legs, I have to admit, I was pretty happy to see that.  And what were his claims?  Says he destroyed a lance plus of Angels Mechs, and a bunch of the militia units.  And at best he took out one mech for sure, and maybe half of what he claims from the militia.  Bastard.
BM:  So, what happened after that?
AMcR :  Stalemate.  Then we got suckered, but good.  Davout and A Squadron show up at the base of the Peninsula, broadcast who they are and why they're there.  McNab, Morand and their battalion go haring off after them, meanwhile Fitzy, that's Major Fitzgerald,  is hours away on a raid of his own.  Nothing left at base but the dropships, technical support crews, what was left of my unit and the command company, and the rest of the groundpounders.
Pause.  We didn't look at the meteorological, didn't know it was going to be calm on the Ionic Sea.  2AM in the morning, I hear incoming Arty.  Next thing I know half the damned depot is exploding sky high, there's hovertanks I've never seen before coming in off the waves firing on anything and everything, and some damned ship is beaching itself and mechs are crawling out of the damned thing then jumping up the cliff face and landing in our LZ  I'm trying to make my way to the laager, when BOOM!, next thing I know I'm flying through the air.  I wake up just as Tolbhukin, it was Tolbhukin, right?
BM:  Pauses.  Yeah.
AMcR : Right.  He marches his way onto the Bonnie Prince Fitz and then BOOM!  What sort of madmen walks an  mech with a failing reactor onto a dropship?
BM:  Well, if it helps, he was a Tikonov Russian.
AMcR : Ah, well, that's explains some of it...Pauses.  And it turned the battle.  Killed Fitzhume, killed what cohesion we had left.  We lost what, a Battalions worth of Armor, the rest of my company, a dropship, and most of the Infantry that night?  And then I find out Davout got away from McNab and Morand.
BM: Lucky you think?
There is a very pregnant pause here.
AMcR : We lost our CO, our numerical edge, and the guy in charge now can't see straight because he is so consumed with hatred he doesn't know up from down.  That's not luck.  Putting most of your jump capable mechs in an ore carrier and timing it's arrival to within a few minutes of your hovertanks arriving after a 200 kilometer journey across open calm in the middle of storm season isn't luck.  That's being damned well prepared.  That's planning and preparation.   And maybe a little lucky with Fitzhume being killed, but still...
McCrory pauses, looking out the window again. 
Tolbhukin marching into the Bonnie Prince was luck, but we'd have lost anyways.  Takahito wasn't a fool, he probably saw which was they battle was going and would have surrendered.  But him dying means he didn't get the chance.  Mallory surrendered what was left, I can't blame him for that, and the Scabbard got away, so if he wants to, McNab could meet up with it and get away.
BM:  You think he will?
AMcR :  No.  Davout taunted him, drew him away, then managed to kill the one guy who might have kept him in check.  Bastard stabbed him in the chest just so he could see the look in his eyes, so he could draw him out into a battle of his own time and choosing.  McNab's outnumbered, running out of supplies, and his only hope of this damned planet is to clear the cobwebs and hatred out of his head and realize he's been beaten. Pause  That won't happen though. 

* * * * * *

Andrew Davout walks in, still dressed in his mechwarrior garb.  He's dirty, there's dried blood on his forehead, and there's a distinct limp.  But he's also smiling.
Angus McRory sits up in his hospital bed, not looking nearly as happy as Davout, who sits down on the chair.
“Good evening Captain.  Hows the Arm?”  Davout's voice is concerned.
'“Hurts.  Which doesn't help when your allergic to morpha products.”
Davout slouches down in the chair a little.  It's obvious to McCrory that he's tired.
“Can you tell me whats going on Colonel?” McRory's voice is soft.
“Can't hurt.  McNab's Battalion is marching its way back to where your third dropship landed.  I've got his unit shadowed, if he chooses to march straight there it will take him five days, then he can boost.  But he won't do that, will he Captain?”
McRory is silent, but his frown tells Davout enough.
“Look let me ask you something Captain.  How well do you like McNab.  Or Morand?  Are they officers you would choose to serve with?”
“You haven't listened to my interview with Mr. McEuen, have you.”
Davout stands up and goes over to a small sink, where he washes his hands, then wets a towel.  He sits down, rubbing his face with it. 
“No, I've been busy.  Besides, best information comes from the source, right?”
McRory looks at Davout for a minute, then looks away.
“McNab's Command Lance and Morands company are the hardcore ones.  They'll follow him, and I'm not sure why.  Colonel Fitzhume was worried that McNab might leave with them and go after you on his own, split the unit.  I didn't know about that until recently though.  I was looking for my own way out before we even came here.”
Davout nods, then slouches down again.
“And the rest of the companies.”
“As trite as it sounds, they're following orders.  McNab is Senior officer left.  Major Fitzgerald can't stand him, which is why they were so far apart.”
“Right, makes sense.  I think you should know, Fitzgerald surrendered to the Militia today.  Once this is over we're going to ship his men back to the jumpship.”
McRory closed his eyes and laid back.  It was a good thing his arm was killing him, because the pounding in his head had increased by a magnitude of at least five.  With Fitzgerald surrendering, McNab was the only sizeable Highander force with any sense of cohesion left.
“What about Fitzgeralds mechs?”
Davout paused.  No mechwarrior wanted to be dispossessed.  To some it was worth than death.
“I won't lie to you captain.  Mallory had four mechs destroyed, and three severely damaged.  The Militia claimed the severely damaged and destroyed mechs for their own, parts most likely, although there may be a couple of Wolverines that can be salvaged.  I've put no claim on any mechs, and those pilots with mechs will be allowed off planet with them.  Fitzgeralds Orion lost a Leg and an Arm, and he's keeping it.  There was a Quickdraw that lost its head to an AC10 round and has superficial damage everywhere else, but he's leaving with that as well.  The militia wanted it, but I told them no.”
McRory was silent.  The terms Mallory had gotten were pretty good.  No, they were very good.
Davout sighed, then sat up.
“Look, I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.  I know McNab and Morand will never give up, but what about the others with them?  If given the opportunity would they surrender?”
McRory didn't answer right away, obviously playing out a conversation out in his head.
Davout stood up.  “Look, I'll make the same deal with anyone who surrenders as I gave to Fitzgerald.  They get to keep their mechs, and they get a ride of this planet uncontested and back to the Jumpship.”
McRory couldn't help it, his jaw dropped and he stared.  Davout laughed.
“Doesn't fit your worldview of me, Captain?  That's OK, I get that, I really do.  But I'll be honest, my beef is with McNab and Morand.  If I can keep others out of that, it's better in the long run.  If I get you in contact with the other company commanders, you think you can convince them to take the offer?”
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

Khan Jade Wolf

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 8-5-11)
« Reply #63 on: 05 August 2011, 17:54:18 »
an den?
 ;D
Semper paratus !
Praesto Novastar defendere!

Motsognir

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 8-5-11)
« Reply #64 on: 25 August 2011, 23:16:57 »
I have to say, I really enjoyed reading through all of this. Keep up the good work.

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 8-5-11)
« Reply #65 on: 05 October 2011, 14:40:07 »
January 7th, 3029

Author's Note:  The New Year has not started well for what remains of Fitzhumes Highlanders.  Captain MacRory's call has split what remains of McNab's Battalion.  Almost two companies worth of Mechs walked into captivity, leaving McNab to retreat towards his dropship.  The Angels pursuit has been steady, and not overly aggressive.  For all intents and purposes they are herding what remains of the Highlanders. 


"You did what?"
"I challenged him to a duel.  One on One."
"Why?"
"Because I Know its the one thing he will go for.  He hates me, and he'll want to show off.  I told him when, I told him where, and I said I'll be waiting for him."
"And you did this without asking any of us?"
"Why Louis, did you want to fight him?"
"That's not what he's saying, Andrew..."
"Then what are you saying?"
"How could you make that decision?"
"Look, we know the terrain there.  He can't have picked a better place to dig in and hold us off.  While we own the air that dropship isn't going anywhere, and I'm not willing to spend the lives we'd need to dig him out.  And until supply gets the artillery problems sorted out, its either this or a full frontal assault.  Now, I know deep down we're Lyrans...."
"But a duel?  Why?"
"Because it will distract him while the real fight is going on..."

January 8th

Brian McEuen:  Have a moment?
Andrew Davout:  Sure.  Maybe.  Well, depends on what your going to ask.
BM:  Just a couple of questions before you head out, but if you think this is distracting I can always come back.
AD:  I admire your faith in me Brian.
BM:  How so?
AD:  You think I'm coming back <smiles>
BM:  Well, I've seen quite a bit these past four years, nothing would surprise me anymore.
AD:  It has been a strange and interesting trip.
BM:  In our first interview you had mentioned that you wanted to study history.  Do you think you could ever go back to that life?
AD:  Well, that's an interesting question.  What brought that up?
BM:  Well, if there's one thing I've found since I started these interviews, it's that almost everybody here is doing what they want to do.  But I get the impression from you that being a mechwarrior, being a commander, it hasn't been your calling.  It's something you do because you are good at it.
AD:  Have you been talking to Doc Adler again, haven't you?  (Doctor Avram Adler is the units Psychologist.  He does not do interviews.)
BM:  No, just an observation.
AD:  It's a good one.  <Sighs>.  I....I wish I could explain it so that it made sense.  Then again, I have a hard to explaining it to myself, and if I can't explain it to myself, how on earth am I going to explain it to you?  You know whats crazy?  <Pauses> All my life, there's always been someone better than me, no matter what I attempted to do.  But I've always been near the top.
BM:  I'm not sure I understand?
AD:  I got that scholarship to Tharkad, but only because the person ahead of me on the list chose to go to New Avalon instead.  I graduated from Coventry Top Five, but I was fifth, there were four better than me.  I've always managed to excel, but its taken quite a bit of hard work and studying.  Except in one thing.
BM:  Whats that?
AD:  This.  <Davout waves his hands around his office, which are filled with the remnants and mementos of the past years.>  For reasons I cannot explain, being a soldier, being a leader, it's like breathing to me.  It's second nature, and I'm good at it.  And that causes me a serious amount of personal grief.
BM:  I'm not sure I understand.
AD:  How do you tell people your one talent in the universe is killing them efficiently and effectively?  That when your looking at a photo or a vid your assessing the terrain and figuring out how your going to deploy your troops.  That when planning I can see in my mind whats happening...sad thing is I'm not even the best in the unit at that.  Nicholai, Leftenant Orlov, he's become my sounding board on many operational details, and he can just glance at what I want to do and tell me the potential pitfalls and mistakes waiting to happen.  Course, he's been playing Grandmaster level chess since he was 12 as well, so maybe that has a lot to do with it...
BM:  So why does that cause your so much trouble?
AD:  It's purely in my head, I assure you.  Laughs slightly.  I don't know.  I wish I could explain it but I really can't.  It's not the idea of killing, I am OK with that.  Least I think I am.  Well, maybe not.  I don't know.  <Silence>
AD:  We used to hunt on Coventry.  Deer and Elk, go spearfishing on vacation.  But fighting...I remember Will sending me vids from time to time, talking about his training, and his first skirmishes, how he was scared sh....well, scared.  It becomes less about the fight and more about survival...about knowing what you would do to win, about knowing when to cut out so you could fight another day.  I remember the tone of Will's vids changing over time, but I didn't pay attention to it.  Didn't really hit me until he died on Severn.
BM:  So when did it first start bothering you? 
AD:  Hesperus, against the Dragoons.  That was an on the job training situation.  I literally landed, got my mech, was introduced to my lance, my Sergeant, and my CO, Two weeks later I'm in the field and two weeks after that the Dragoons are at the drop point.
BM: Did you come close there?
AD: Pauses.  My 'hammer got hipped the first week of skirmishing, so I moved to a different Warhammer.  My company was in the Kawnee Valley, when  Epsilon Regiment hit us.  We get a contact, move to investigate it, next thing I know, I'm lying on my back, the cockpit glass is gone, I'm showered with what remains of it and cuts...apparently I caught an autocannon shell from an Orion with my mechs face. 
BM:  Ariel mentioned a similar incident on one of his combat patrols when he first started flying...
AD:  Yeah, we shared a few drinks over that one night.
BM:  So what did you do?
AD:  In short?  I got mad.  Stood up, rejoined the fight.  Three hours later about the only armor I had left was on my rear torsos.  The gyro was dinged, the SRM launcher had been shot clean off, I was missing an arm, left leg was fused at the knew, worst shape I'd ever been in, second hardest fight of my mechwarrior life.
BM:  Lot of casualties?
AD:  I had two pilots punch out but they both lived.  I got the Orion that hit me early one, PPC blast hit the LRM ammo, pilot never punched out.
BM:  Did you think about if afterwards?
AD:  That battle?  In a clinical sort of way.  What did I do wrong, what could I have done better.  Some people, they go all introverted on the job, wonder why them and not the other person, or vice versa.  Me, I figured it was him or me.  I never really dwelled on that part of it.  I never really gave any attention to the fact I had killed another person.  Part of me says they knew the risks, just like I do.  The other part, it didn't really bother me to much...
BM:  Till Dalcour?
AD:  No, that was different.  First time it really hit me was on Pencader, when we came across Kommandant von Hausings remains.  He put up a hell of a fight, and for that he was executed about as blatantly as you can imagine.  I remember coming across the battlefield, being able to see in my mind what had happened, who got knocked out when and where...But the thing that turned me cynical was McNab's award ceremony afterwards on Cavanaugh.  I'd just sent my sergeants remains back to his wife on Thorin, my company was decimated, and he got a medal, and he didn't do a verdamnt thing.  And that night I started figuring out ways to kill him.  Easy ways, hard ways, hidden ways...and that's when I realized it:  here I am talking about taking someone else's life, and it's like I'm ordering breakfast at the canteen.  Dalcour was, well, cathartic in a way.  Both times we were there.
BM:  Do you think this feeling is pathological?
AD:  The only thing pathological about me is my hate for Russ McNab.  I'll be honest, that hate used to keep me warm at night.  Its dissociative, that's for sure.  That's when I realized that killing wasn't hard, and neither was living with it.
BM:  And that bothers you?
AD:  What can I say, I'm weird like that.  But then again you have places like Marinius House on Zaniah...
BM:  So do you see yourself as a Cincinnatus then?
AD:  Pauses, thinking for a moment. I'll admit the idea of settling down and leaving this all behind has it's merits,  but to quote another famous military man, I could never leave this life.  God help me I love it.
BM:  You've never been a particularly religious man though.
AD:  I know, I'd hate to think what sort of mental contortions I'd be doing if I did have some sort of religious bent.
BM:  So do you believe in a God?
AD:  I believe in a higher power.  Is it the Christian God, the Jewish God, Allah, or some unknown deity?  I'm not sure.  I'm pretty sure a higher power helped me on Hesperus, and guided us to that Mennonite village on Dalcour, and saved me on Engadin...
BM:  You've never mentioned Engadin before-
AD:  <Interrupting> Forget I ever said that. 
BM:  So there are some things about this life that bother you then?
AD:  Yes, but to me, they're minor.  And part of me says they should affect me more.  And part of me often wonders if what I do feel is the right thing.  The only thing I know I do feel on a constant basis is grief when one of the members passes away, but I suspect that's universal.
BM:  So is there a difference to you when say, Jed Gudin or Gouvion Bessieres gets killed as opposed to say-
AD:  Greg Wolcott?  I'd be lying if I said no.  Losing someone like Jed was like losing a part of me.  We served together, he was in a sense my second brother.  Govuion, I didn't know too well.  He was a private person with a history he didn't want to share, and I respected that.  I knew what happened with him, and felt he needed a chance to redeem himself.  I'd like to think that if I were in the same situation I'd be able to do as well as he did.  Wolcott was a training accident, and those happen.  Does the manner of his death means it affects me or the other members of the unit less.  Would his death have somehow been “Better” if it was in combat, or in sacrificing himself like Gouvion or Mikhail or Jason?  I don't know.  His deathbothered me, maybe more because of the way it happened.  But then death is a part of this job.  Top says he didn't join the military to die old and in bed, I think if you asked around you find that's a universal truism for those of us in any uniform.
BM:  So you don't expect to grow old and die in bed?
AD:  Oh, I plan to <laughing>. And so does Top, believe me. But no plan survives contact with the enemy.  Given the nature of my chosen profession, I need to do what I can to make those odds more in my favor.  Pauses.  See, you think after all this talk about death and feelings and emotions I'd be all melancholy...
BM:  True.  Let me ask you this, and feel free to not answer.
AD:  Well, that's a loaded statement.
BM:  Is Russ McNab better than you?
<Pause>  Andrew sits still for a few moments, and I begin to wonder if I did indeed cross the line.
AD:  He's a good pilot, a good gunner.  And as anyone can tell you, the weird and improbable can always happen on the battlefield, the one shell or laser with “Your name on it” will always find you. If I die today, I die doing what I love doing.  And that to me is not a wasted life.


Atala Forestry had a contract to remove a few hundred acres of certain old growth on the Konstantin Peninsula.  From the air it looks like a patchwork quilt, a sea of green broken by a couple of square acres of recent harvesting.  About a third of the way up the Peninsula the remaining mechs of Fitzhume's Highlanders have dug in, and they've chosen their ground well.  Hilly terrain with limited approaches, limited line of sight.  The cost of digging them out would be too high.  A few kilometers away from the Highlanders defensive line is one of the harvested areas, maybe a kilometer squared  of cleared trees, bisected by a small river.  Other than the stumps and underbrush, there's no other terrain.

“Roughrider Six, Red Cloud Six, have eyes on 4 mechs, say again eyes on 4 mechs, heading towards the north end of the clear zone.”
“Copy that Red Cloud.”
“I still say this is a dumb idea.”
“I understand Top, but this is also the easiest way to get the job done.  And you know it.”
“Do you trust him?”
“Of course not, Tang that's why I have you all here with me.”
“Roughrider Six, Red Cloud Six.  I have visual on one Orion, one Crusader, one Phoenix Hawk and one Wolverine.  Estimate arrival at North treeline in two minutes.”
“Thank You Red Cloud.  Pull back to Point RENO and await further instructions.”
“On the way Sir.  And Good Hunting Roughrider.”
“Thank You.”
It didn't take to long, you could see the tops of the trees move as mechs brushed against them, birds and other species taking to the air.  Davout stepped his Warhammer out into the clearing about 50 meters past the southern part of the tree line, and opened a clear channel.
“Took you long enough Russ.”
“Go to hell you piece of-”
“Temper, temper Kommandant.  Or is it Colonel now?”
“Like you care, Davout.  Besides, in a few minutes it's not going to matter.”  At the North end of the cleared zone, the Orion stepped through, and also came about 50 meters in.  It's armor was a patchwork of repairs, but it looked fully operational.
“I didn't think you'd be serious about this Andy.”
“Russ, have you ever known me not to keep my word?  After all, I told you on Pencader I'd do what I could to get back at you, I told you on Cavanaugh I'd have fun spending your ill gotten gains, and I told you on Galatea that that the next time we'd meet it would be face to face and in a mech.”
McNab didn't answer, but if a mech could shake with anger the way it's pilot was, the Orion was going to fall apart.
“As I said over the radio Russ, if you win, you get to retreat unmolested to your dropship and get to jump back to wherever you came from.”
“You mean when I win.”
“Whatever makes you feel better at night Russ.”
“But the flip side remains true as well.  I win, and the rest of the Highlanders surrender to the militia.”
“You think your winning, how cute.”
“Russ, I did give you my word, right?  And as you know, I always keep it.” 
“I'm going to enjoy killing you Andy.  You've been a pain for nine years, and I'm going to die a happy man knowing I killed you and there's nothing you can do about it.”  As the exchange has gone on McNab has slowly been moving his Orion forward.
“You've obviously not heard the good news then.” replied Davout.
“And whats that?” McNab's tone was as derisive as he could make that.
“I'm going to be a dad.  It's going to be a boy.  And if I die here today, his mom will make sure he kills you, sometime, someday, somewhere.  So you had better give it your best shot.”
McNab screams, and triggers his LRM's, but they fly wide.  Davout doesn't even move his mech, but twists at the torso to watch them fly by tens of meters away.
“Russ, if that's the best you can do, you are well and truly screwed.”  Twisting back around, Davout steps forward, raises his Warhammer's PPC's, and fires.
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

sandstorm

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #66 on: 06 October 2011, 01:47:31 »
Not bad... And plenty deep in the philosophical.
Ex Dubio, Obscura
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"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."

snakespinner

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #67 on: 06 October 2011, 02:13:27 »
A bit of philosophy before the important part. Killing Mcnab. }:)
Good write up.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Dave Talley

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #68 on: 06 October 2011, 09:37:31 »
A bit of philosophy before the important part. Killing Mcnab. }:)
Good write up.

yep and step one is really piss him off so he doesnt think straight :-P
Resident Smartass since 1998
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Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
JA Baker

Matti

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 6-28-11)
« Reply #69 on: 16 October 2011, 14:47:42 »
On the other hand, this is 3028, the start of Big 4th, there weren't, really, the uttloads of Mechs, unless you buy into the retconned cookiecutter factory mentality...
As far as I know, there is no Fourth Succession War in universe where Hesperus II has nothing better than undermountain warehouses and Wolf's Dragoons is single regiment.
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #70 on: 12 January 2012, 14:32:19 »
Just a placeholder.  Still working on this my personal gaming time has taken a bit of a hit, and I'll have something up.....soon.

Soonish.

Thanks for reading,

Davout
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

snakespinner

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #71 on: 13 January 2012, 02:29:59 »
Real life is hitting everybody hard nowadays.
I'll be patient. O:-)
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #72 on: 19 March 2012, 14:36:32 »
Pierre Villenueve is one of the original members of the Furious Angels, a small man whose glasses made him look more the Academic than mechwarrior.  I have to admit, I have not spent a great deal of time with him while with the Angels.  He just sort of, blends in, does his duty, and doesn't get noticed to much.  While we've spent a great time on our journey talking, he's evaded my questions about his background with a small dismissive wave and a "Later...after..."
If the city or bar had a name, I didn't know it.  Frankly, I didn't care.  The last eight weeks had been uneventful after the jump, and for the umpteenth time I caught myself wondering why I had volunteered to come. 
It was quiet when we arrived, a couple of out of towners looking for a drink to pass the time.  We hadn't spent to long at the space port, the transfer had already been arranged.
A couple hours passed by, spent mostly in silence.  We both nursed our drink and food, watched the farm reports on the trid above the bar.
The doors to the bar slam open, and a rabble of men pour in.  Loud, boisterous, yelling at the bartender their drinks while sidling up.  One of them seems to be the leader of the group, a large man whose gone to seed.  His voice, like his manners, are rough. He looks familiar to me, but I can't place him. I notice Pierre has finished his drink and is watching the group of men intently.
"Damn what a day," says the large man after a drink.  "Days like these I wish I was back in the Hawk, nothing like a few machine gun bursts to keep the beefalo in order..."
"Speaking of which, you heard from Brian lately?" asks the bartender.  "Hows he getting on?"
The large man finishes he beer in one long pull, the gestures for another. 
"Got hisself a company in the Highlanders, says he's in line for battalion command once McNab takes over.  Course that information is a few months old, what with the war and all going on.  Said he's going to get himself some revenge in short order."  The last sentence was supposed to be a whisper, in a conspiratorial sort of way.  Then it hits me.  This man is Brian Morands father.  I start to say something to Pierre, but he silences me with a small hand wave.
"Dammit Bill, turn this farm report crap off, put the games on," Morand gestures at the trid.  The bartender complies, and soon were watching six month old games from Solaris.  A few minutes into them Morand is regaling his friends about the mistakes the other pilots are making, how he or Brian would be doing so much better.  Pierre grabs his mug, stands up, and walks to the bar.  I sit up a bit straighter.
Wedging his way to the bar behind Morand.  Pierre gets his mug refilled.  As he turns back towards me, I see him wink at me, then his face goes impassive  Then he spills about half of his beer on the floor.  He taps Morand on a shoulder.
"Excuse me," he says.
"What?" Morand turns around, and see's who he's talking to.  "What the hell do you-"
"You bumped into me and spilled my drink, you owe me a refill."
"Say what?"  Morands face is ruddy, whether from sun or drink (or both), but there's a momentary look of confusion on his face, replaced by a look that's meant to intimidate.  It rolls off Pierre.  The men behind Pierre however, pick up their drinks and start to back up
"You heard me you half drunk braggart.  You spilled my beer.  Now get me another one or I'll drop you like Justin Allard Liao dropped Phillip Capet."  Villinueves voice is hard.  The bar began to quiet down as Morand's men heard what was happening and stood up.  There was one one behind Pierre, he took a step back and looked to Morand.
"You tell your friend back there he makes one more move and I'll break both his arms before you can form a full sentence."
Morand blinks. 
"Is your hearing defective?  I said you owe me a beer."  Pierres voice is hard.
Morand smiles.  "If your looking for trouble you just found it."
"Actually what I'm looking for is a half assed, half drunk former mechwarrior forced to resign in disgrace from the LCAF, a braggart who can't back up what he says.  You know anyone here like that?"
Morand's face grows even redder.  The bar is now deathly quiet. 
"You got a big mouth for someone so small," he whispers.  While he doesn't exactly tower over Pierre, Morand is bigger.
"It's the law of Inverse Proportions.  The corollary is that bigger men usually have smaller brains and are therefore slower on the tick.  Like yourself."  Pierre gestures a little to flamboyantly with his mug, spilling more beer, this time on Morand's boots.
"Dammit, you made me spill my beer again," said Pierre.
Morand punches Pierre.  Even I could see it telegraphed, a looping right fist that started near Morands waist.  Pierre saw it coming, turned his head as it connected.  Morand almost falls over, his own punch and the alcohol having  unbalanced him, spinning him around 180 degrees.  He's got an idiot grin on his face as he stands back up.  The look on his friends faces, one of awe and horror as they glance behind him, make him turn around.  The shock is evident as he see Pierre still standing, rubbing his face with his free hand, straightening his glasses.
"You hit like a Canopian pleasure boy.  My turn."
Savate is a hard martial art form, and having watched Pierre give Leftenant Enbo a run for his money on the sparring mats, what follows next is shockingly violent and short.  In less than a minute four of Morand's friends are on the bar floor, screaming with broken knees and legs.  The fifth one is out cold. Morand is upright, but barely, his nose a flattened mess of blood and cartilage.  Pierre has him bent over the bar, Morand's arm in a hold that's as painful as it looks.  The bartender has a look on his face that tells me his mind is still trying to figure out what to do.
"Your name," said Pierre, leaning in close, "Is Eric Morand."  His voice is loud, the men on the floor are making enough noise that Pierre is almost shouting.  "You are the son of Senior Sergeant Major James Morand.  You went to the Somerset Military Academy, and graduated in the bottom of your class, then spent seven years in the 15th Lyran.  After innumerable non judicial punishments you were finally courtmartialed out of service, having never reached any rank above Private First Class.  You spent eight months on Solaris, where you fought two matches in the D Class, and lost both."
The bar is quiet now, even the men on the floor have quieted down enough.
"Your son Brian graduated from New Capetown, served in the 6th Lyran, and left to join the Furious Angels, rising to the command of Captain.  Two years he was drummed out of the unit on charges relating to theft, and he joined Fitzhumes Highlanders.  Am I lying about anything I just said?"  Pierres question goes unanswered, until he tightens the arm bar he has on Morand.
"NO!" Morands cry is almost defiant.
"Your son was a liar and a thief, which means the apple didn't fall to far from the tree.  I want you to watch something."  He motions at me with his head.  My hands are clammy as I walk through the carnage to the bar, handing over a disk to the bartender.
"Put it in." says Pierre.  Just the the door opens, and a group of men stop at the entrance.
"Get. Out."  Pierres voice is flat.  The man in front see's Morand in Pierres grasp and his eyes widen.
"Bars closed guys, lets go down the street." he says, turning around and chivvying his group away.
The recording starts, and I am back on the Konstantin Peninsula.  Arcadia.  Watching that damn duel again.  Pierre asks for the remote, and the bartender puts it in front of him.

It is clear McNab is rattled, his first few shots go wide, and Andrews PPC's score hits on the Orions legs and Torsos.  McNabb begins to close, and in a volley that is almost to good to be true, his AC/10 and LRMs blanket the Warhammer's left side.  When the smoke dissipated the torso is a pockmarked mess, the PPC arm hangs limply.  Andrew recovers quickly, twisting his right side to protect his left, and McNab charges in.  One of Andrews lasers scores a hit over a weakspot in the Orions center torso armor, and the Orion shudders as the gyro is hit.  Pierre has started a commentary on the action.
"The Warhammer is Andrew Davout.  The Orion is Russ McNab.  So, what would you do here, Morand?  Jock like you, all that time in the Solaris Pits.  Would you fake right here and go left?"  Pierre has paused the video.  "Lets see..Oh look, thats what McNab did, and he caught a full spread to the chest...threw his aim off...what would you do here...feint and hop to the right?"  Again he has paused the trid.  "Lets see.."
And then it happens.  McNabs Autocannon hits, and it staggers the Warhammer, which falls to one knee.  Before he can recover, McNab charges and hits, and both mechs fall down.
With some effort, the Orion stands upright first, McNab places one of his feet on the Warhammers good arm, preventing Davout from moving.  The audio kicks in.
"I've got you know you smug son of a bitch."  McNabs voice is raw.  "Any last words?"
Davout is laughing with pain.  The fall cracked a couple of his ribs.
"Your still an ignorant ass Russ.  Did you forget how to count?"
"What the hell are you going on about Davout."
"Your out of SRM's and LRMs' Russ.  You've got one medium laser left, and you just fired your last AC round.  You saw what you wanted to see, and have ignored everything else going on."  There's a pause. This is when McNab is getting the news that  while he and Davout have been fighting, B Troop has infiltrated and attacked the Highlander defensive position, overrunning it and interposing themselves between McNab and the dropship.  There is a guttural cry as McNab alpha fires everything he has.  Davout was right, only the two Hellion medium laser fire, the SRM launcher and AC both click on empty ammo cassettes.
"Goodbye Russ.  See you in the next life." 
The Warhammers left PPC raises until the barrel is in line with the Orions head, and it fires.
Decapitated, the Orion shudders back a couple of steps, and falls without grace to the deforested ground.  It's clear Andrew has been hurt and shaken, it takes a moment for him to get the Saint Demetrius to one knee.
"Now this, this is where its gets interesting." says Pierre, his voice low.
Just as he gets to his feet and turns around, a shadow enters the field of view, and a second later a Phoenix Hawk, it's jumps jets blazing, lands on top of the Warhammer.  Davout never saw it coming.  The 45 ton mech lands with enough force to drive the Warhammer to its knees, and then it pitches face down.  Brian Morand somehow manages to keep his mech on his feet, fires a desultory medium laser into the Warhammers back, and then takes off.
"That was your son, in the family Phoenix Hawk, ambushing Major Davout as he was leaving the field.  Do you want to know what happened next?"
It was a bloodbath.  The remaining Highlander mechs were caught unawares by Morand's maneuver, and the volley of incoming fire from the Angels who were present.  A few of the Highlanders shut down almost immediately, a couple of punched out.  Those that tried to fight went down quickly, no quarter given.
"Now, you may be asking youself, where was your son in all of this?  Lets find out."  The trid changes again, a cockpit view.  Large trees, dense undergrowth, rays of sunlight..a glimpse of metal here and there.
"He ran, a gutless backstabber and coward.  And I chased him.  For three days I chased him.  He ran out of room, and I caught up to him."  The trees give way to a rocky clearing.  A cliff, the blue of the Arcadian ocean curves away in the background.
The audio changes.  It's clear Morand is a desperate man, pleading for his life.  You can hear the tears and anguish in his voice.
"Your son was a coward.  What few redeeming qualities he had went away when his greed got the better of him, and his actions got my two best friends killed.  He essentially stabs our commanding officer in the back, and then when trapped like a rat in a corner he begs for his life, calls on a friendship long dead, of a bond long broken.  Do you want to know what I did?"  Pierre leans in close, and whispers in the elder Morands ear.  A few seconds later an inarticulate cry, followed by wracking sobs, is all that is coming from Eric Morand.  Pierre lets the arm bar go, and Morand slides off the bar, landing on the floor, still sobbing.
"Uhm excuse me?"  There is a small voice at the door.  "I got a delivery here for Eric Morand?"  The look on the mans face as he takes in the scene in front of him is priceless.
"Right there," said Pierre, gesturing to the crying man on the floor.  "You can drop it off out front."  He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a credit chit.  "For our bills and damages."  He hands it to the bartender, who stands in shocked silence.
He holds the door open for me as we leave, just as the heavy hauler stops in front of the bar.  There is a crowd gathering under the night sky, wondering whats going on
In the passenger seat, Brian Morand stares straight ahead, both his legs still in casts.  I barely glance at him, Pierre ignores him.  On the bed of the hauler is what remains of the Phoenix Hawk, thirty or so tons of scrap that can never be put back together or reassembled.  As we walk down the street I hear another anguished cry, Eric Morand has come out and seen what has happened.
"What did you tell him?" I asked.
"I told him the truth," Pierre replied.  "That his son ejected, broke both his legs landing on the rocks, and then watched as I took the family mech apart piece by piece until it was no longer recognizable as an instrument of war.  There will never be another Morand in a mech seat again."
We walk in silence for a few minutes, there are a ton of unanswered questions between us.
"My father served with him in the Fifteenth." said Pierre, quietly.  Just then, a series of gunshots ripped through the night sky.  We both stop.  None came near us, and they were quickly followed by cheering and honking.  Behind us lights came on and people came streaming out of buildings.  More gunshots echoed into the night sky.
"Celebratory Fire," says Pierre, smiling as he takes me by the arm, leads me away from the growing crowd.  "Usually harmless when it falls back to earth, but why risk it?"
He hails a cab, which pulls over.  We climb in, and the driver is almost bouncing up and down.  He's got the radio going on full volume.
"Did you guys here the news?" he says, giddy with happiness.  "The War's over!"  It takes Pierre a few attempts to get him to listen to where we want to go, and the promise of a huge tip if we get there fast.  Finally we take off, detouring to avoid the crowd.
The War was over. 
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

From the journal of Brian McEuen.
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

snakespinner

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #73 on: 20 March 2012, 03:58:50 »
Hit like a Canopian Pleasure Boy. Now that would hurt. ;D
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

sandstorm

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #74 on: 20 March 2012, 04:12:51 »
Yea, that is gonna leave a mark.

And I know what savate does... OUCH.

But then, it's pity that the backstabbr apparently succeeded. :/
Ex Dubio, Obscura
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"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #75 on: 08 October 2012, 04:34:18 »
I've received more than a few inquiries as to whether or not I am going to keep this going, and I am.  The problem is a lot of my time and energy is invested in work and my Alt-U thread, see link below, and I'm working quite a bit.

As a side note, there is a Arcadia summary in my Kiiro no Tori book.

Anyways, I've got a rough outline of what I want to do, but here's something to tide you over, I hope:


From Twenty Years Later, a Retrospective, by Brian McEuen.

People have often asked me if the members of the Furious Angels sought me out.  Truth of the matter is, I didn't.  I was drinking at a bar when I heard Louis Berthier give his recruitment pitch to another patron, and I thought that this could be the beginnings of a good story, new mercenary unit, trying to make it in the Inner Sphere.  I expected a couple of columns, maybe a series or two, but then Five years of interviews and vids made the Angels pretty popular, made me popular.  Readership across the sphere started booming after Galatea News Network did a profile on them, pretty soon the releases were being read by millions of readers. 

After the Fourth Succession War ended, the Angel rebuilt on Arcadia.  Almost two companies of Highlanders joined them, and almost a regiments worth of Arcadia militia joined up as well when their contracts were up.  The governor yelled and screamed about that, bt whatever enmity the people of Arcadia felt towards the Angels had died down, especially after Von Jungers and Osgoode ended up serving hard time after they were convicted.

Jedidiah Allen Joachim Davout, who was known as JJ before he was out of the womb, was born shortly after his father had fully recovered from his duel with McNab.  From 3030 until 3035, the Furious Angels stayed on Arcadia, occasionally raiding across the Marik border.  On one occasion they were contracted to go after a particularly brutal band of pirates in 3034, a six month campaign that was as tough as any series of battles they had fought.  John Friant, Jacob Lannes, Liam Suchet, original member of the Angels, died on that campaign.  Pierre Villenueve lost both legs and retired.  Oscar Grouchy came back, said he had enough, and went to Zaniah House, no ones heard from him since.

The Angels sat out the War of 3039, instead they spent that war doing what they did in the Fourth Succession War, watching the Marik border, driving back the one incursion Kingston's Commando's had launched.  After that war ended, the Angels stayed on Arcadia until 3042, when they moved to Accrington.  By this time the Angels were a Regiment of Battlemechs, a regiment of Armor, a regiment of Infantry, with Artillery and Aerospace support, with a solid reputation and excellent rating.

In 3045 my editor had this bright idea, a new book on the Furious Angels, twenty years later.  A followup on who was doing what, who had retired, what the unit was up to.  I said sure, why not, went to Accrington and ended up dodgong Kuritan Aerospace Fighters on the way in for my troubles...

But I will admit, it was good to see Davout and them men and women I wrote about again.  We were all a little bit older, a little bit slower.  We would sit and talk about the old days, then raise a glass (or three) in their name, then reminisce some more.    Andrew talked about retiring, moving back to Coventry, maybe teaching, or something, but that seemed like a fantasy more than anything else.  As conflicted as he was before his duel with McNab, he seemed to have made peace with himself.

In late 3048 The Angels accepted an offer from the Pinnacle Planetary government in the FRR, to help train the local militia up and act as a deterrent to local pirate attacks.  With the LCAF's blessing, Kampfgruppe Geronimo, consisting of the Angels 2nd Mech Battalion, 3rd Armored Battalion, and 3rd Infantry Battalion made it's way to Pinnacle, with Colonel Angus MacRory in command. On a whim I went with them, ostensibly to interview many of the newer members of the Angels, but also to follow JJ around.  Having grown up in the unit, he had been living and breathing mechs and the mercenary life since he was born.  An accomplished pilot at a young age, he decided to forgo attending any of the academies, instead he joined the Angels as a trooper, started out in an Infantry Platoon when he was 17, and when KG Geronimo went the Pinnacle, he went with them as part of the tech support group.

Pinnacle was...different.   The population was divided.  Half of them like the Angels, the other half wanted them gone as soon as possible.  The KG spent most of its time at Fort Chacey when it wasn't on maneuver's, it kept the disturbances to a minimum.  There was a brwal that broke out on New Years Eve of 3049, some drunk fools tried to take on a platoon of Infantry that was in town augmenting the local civilian police force, it was a short fight, but the local press was soon screaming about our presence on planet.  The Angels contract was up at the end of March, by the middle of it almost all of the unit was packed up and ready to get off planet.  They knew when they were not wanted.

I remember JJ shaking me awake. 
"Brian.  Brian!  Come quick, you need to hear this."  His voice was earnest, in the dim light his profile looked more and more like his fathers.
"What is it?" I asked, stumbling out of bed, trying to find something more than a bathrobe to wear.
"Something jumped in system a couple of hours ago.  We just started receiving a communication from whoever they are, and we need your help."
Shaking the fog out of my head, I followed him to the communication shack, which was much to crowded for the time of morning.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Chuffed if I know," replied MacRory, "does this make any sense to you?"  He tapped the commo tech on the shoulder, and she leaned forward and keyed something in.
There was a a brief moment of static, and then a voice, powerful, confident.
"This is Star Colonel Boris Jorgensson of Delta Galaxy, Clan Ghost Bear.  With what forces do you choose to defend Pinnacle with?"

Hard to imagine, looking back, that my old nightmares could be replaced by new ones, and all it took was a simple statement from an unknown enemy to stat them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Its going to be a few before I can pick this up again, but I'll do what I can to keep it moving, most likely monthly updates

Dav
Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

sandstorm

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #76 on: 08 October 2012, 05:09:14 »
Angels versus Clans, now this is going to be interesting.

Especially with so much of the Angels' hardware in the proverbial crates now?
Ex Dubio, Obscura
--------------------
"Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."

Davout73

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #77 on: 05 April 2013, 16:37:37 »
From the journal of Brian McEuen.

Losing is not something the Furious Angels are accustomed too.  While they have lost a battle from time to time, they have never lost a campaign, but this new unit, this Clan Ghost Bear, has beaten them thoroughly, “From Pillar to Post” as Colonel MacRory put it.  At the time Colonel Davout bought the new weapons packs, the first and thus far only time the Angels have gone into debt, there was a question of how well they would do, how they could enhance the unit.  The heat sinks weren’t new to us, but the longer ranged lasers, missiles, more powerful communications and countermeasure systems, they gave the Angels an edge they ruthlessly exploited in their Periphery campaigns.   It was a rude awakening when they were on the receiving end of superior weaponry.
Ten mechs, a make I’d never seen before, faster, more powerful. Ten mechs obliterated KG Geronimo’s Dagger Troop in less than thirty minutes of battle.  That was not the only shock.  The Armor guys ran into a new type of unit, a powered armor infantry that literally tore their vehicles apart around them.  RUMINT said the snakes and AFFC had something similar in the works, but these.  The Angel Infantry scattered after a brief firefight, when crew served weapons can’t slow an enemy down, discretion is the better part of valor.
The Pinnacle militia lasted less than three days, and the Angels were getting ready to boost off.
Furious Angels Command Center.  Present are Major Agnes Dupree, the KG’s Ops Officer, Captain Horace Markham, Echo Troop commander, injured in a previous fight with Clan Ghost Bear, and several technicians. Outside, the space port is humming with activity.  The Angels will be boosting off planet soon.  Captain Mosley has calculated a trajectory that will keep them away from the warships.  Colonel MacRory and the remaining mech units are in Grieg’s Pass, waiting for the Ghost Bears to show up.
“Contact, Sensor 4.”  MacRory has deployed several seismic sensors throughout the pass.  He used the same tactic against the Red Hand in 3034 with great success.
“Contact, Sensor 5.” another tech calls out.  “Contact, Sensor 7.”
“Too Fast.” Said Dupree, looking at her readout.  “Mjolnir two six, this is Geronimo three six.  Fire Mission, Point Charlie, TOT in twenty seconds on my mark.  MARK!”
“Copy that Geronimo Three Six.”  A Pause.  The clocks third hand moves slow. “Shot.”
“Contact, Fencer four six has contact, grid coordinates 3282357.  Roaches and Light mechs.”
Dupree frowns, looking at her readout. 
“Flanking attack?” ventures Captain Markham.
“Has to be,” replied Dupree.  “Fencer Four Six, roger your contact, evade and exfiltrate back to point CAESAR.
“Contact!  Contact front, 1500 meters and approaching.  Enemy mechs and Roaches, I count nine.”
“Can’t be, we destroyed three in that ambush a day ago.” Came another voice.
“Verifying….Geronimo six, these are not the same mech’s we’ve been fighting; I’ve got a new emblem over the six armed bear.  Have at least one enemy mech heavily damaged, two medium damage.  Arty did some good.”
“Mjolnir, Target Point Tripwire, fire on my mark….MARK!”
“Shot.”
The Clan troops opened fire just as the next wave of artillery shells landed among them.  One mech toppled over, its spindly legs snapped in half by a shell that landed less than five meters behind it.  They recovered quickly though, spread out, and began firing long range missiles at the heat traps MacRory had set up as decoys.  However, almost as soon as it started, the firing stopped.
“Damn,” muttered Dupree.  “They sniffed that out way to quick.”
“CONTACT!” a desperate voice broke through the air.  “Contact at Point OXALIC, multiple mechs and-“the radio squealed.
“OXALIC is ten kilometers away, how did they get there without being noticed?” asked Dupree.
The world heaved.  One minute I was sitting in my corner, watching the room, the next a wave of sound and light crashed through me.  When I came to I was no longer in the tent.  Rather, the tent was no longer standing.  The air was filled with screaming and explosions.  I pulled myself to my hands and knees, trying to cough dust out of my mouth.  When I looked over and saw the disemboweled remains of Major Dupree, the vomit took care of the dust. 
A Ghost Bear light Mech went thundering by, firing small lasers and machine guns.  An autocannon round from one of Bludgeon Troops Manstein MBT’s rocked it, it turned and fired and moved away at speed.  Wiping my mouth, I staggered upright, looked around and ran for the closest building I could find. 
Inside it was bedlam.   Wounded Troops, screaming doctors and nurses, the sound of battle around us.  I made my way to the back, where I found another tech team huddled about a radio.  Captain Zacharias, the commanding officer of Bludgeon Troops, was alternating between screaming orders and listening.  He was wearing a headset, which meant he was the only one who could hear what was going on.
“Yes Sir.  No Sir.  No Sir.  Yes Sir.  CLICK  Tell Charlie Lance to pull back to the bridge and cover it.  Tell Major Dewitt I want that bridge ready to blow on a 30 second delay, now! CLICK.  No Sir.  No Sir.”
Another explosion rocked the building we were in, throwing many of us to the ground.  The headset became unplugged, and a cacophony of voices came through.
“Fall Back! Fall Back!”
“On your ten o’clock, ten o’clock.”
“Geronimo Six Actual is down!  MacRory is down!”  We had pulled ourselves to our feet when that call came over the net.  There was a pause, then too many voices filled the airwaves.  Finally Captain Zacharias, looking unsteady, leaned on the desk and keyed his microphone.
“This is Bludgeon Six Actual.  Dunkirk Dunkirk Dunkirk.  I say again, Dunkirk Dunkirk Dunkirk.  HOME PLATE in three zero mikes, say again HOME PLATE in three zero mikes.”  The nets were silent for a moment, and then the acknowledgements came in.  A tech hazarded a glance outside the window.
“Excuse me, Sir, Sergeant Gough is in the infirmary, right?”
“Yes Corporal, why?”
“Well Sir, if he’s in the Infirmary, whose that in his Thunderbolt?”  I moved to another window, watched as the Thunderbolt swatted a Roach out of the air, then turned and fired at a streaking Ghost Bear Mech, toppling it over.  Then my eyes went over to a Manstein MBT less than fifty meters away.  As it fired its main gun three Roaches landed near then swarmed over it.  Claws raked of armor, small lasers fired.  A few seconds later a sheet of fire shot out through the crew hatches as the Roaches lifted away on small jump jets.  One landed, only to be crushed by the foot of a Centurion, its mates turned and launched themselves at the 50 ton mech.
“Thunderbolt, this is Bludgeon Six actual, Identify yourself!”
“Bludgeon Six, erm, don’t have a callsign.  It’s JJ.  Erm, Angel Six Actual, erm, Junior?  Damn-“ I watched as the Thunderbolt twisted away from an LRM volley and fired back with its own LRM’s and Large Laser.  “Enemy Force was five mechs and fifteen roaches, that number is now three mechs and nine roaches.  Wait, make that eight, Holloway just snatched the one crawling all over him.”
“JJ, you are not supposed to be in that mech!” Captain Zacharias’s voice grew higher pitched as he spoke.
“Sir, are you ordering me to abandon this unit?”
“No.  Dammit JJ, now is not the time to do this sort of thing-“
“Sir, with all due respect, were getting hammered.  MacRory is down, you’ve called a Dunkirk, and we’ve got enemy troops inside the wire.  There were three good mechs sitting in the repair bay, and three of us techs willing to get in them and help out.  I couldn’t stand by and do nothing.  I couldn’t stand by and hide.”
The panic on the Captains face was evident. 
“All right JJ, you coordinate with Leftenant Cooley-“
“He’s Dead sir, tank brewed up as we came out of the hanger bays.”
“The Leftenant Holmes-“
“Also KIA sir.  Sir, it looks as if they hit the tanks with the command antenna’s first.  As far as I can tell-“ there was a pause as JJ was distracted.  “Sir, with respect, the situation is FUBAR’d.  With your permission, I will coordinate with whose left while you manage the Dunkirk.  Six Junior out.”
The Captains grip on the handset was white knuckle tight, but another nearby explosion shook him into action.  Outside, the battle raged.

*  *  *  *  *
There wasn’t an undamaged vehicle or mech left in the unit.  Several were missing limbs, several were held together by a prayer.  The storm had slowed the Bears pursuit, and when it was evident the Angels were retreating,  they did very little in the way of offensive action.
Colonel  MacRory, nursing his broken arms and ribs, sat in an accel couch, the remaining senior officer of the Kampfgruppe arrayed around him. 
“Any word from JJ yet?” he asked.
“No Sir.”  Replied Leftenant MacGinnis.  “Last he was seen with Sergeant Fawkes day before yesterday at Borloshoi Bridge.  It’s possible his comms were shot out.  Frankly, anything’s possible.”
“OK, he knows the drill.  If he’s not here in thirty, we boost without him.”
“But Sir-“
“As you were Leftenant.”  MacRory winced, then adjusted himself.  “OK, we know we weren’t the only planet these Ghost Bears hit.  We also know we can’t go to the ALPHA rendezvous, but as our contract is going to be up before we hit ALPHA, were going back to Accrington and rejoining the rest of the unit.  We have to stop at Tamar, I assume we’ll hear something yelling us otherwise to go somewhere else.  In the meantime, our priority is going to be rest and repair.  I don’t care what your skill set is, if you can turn a wrench, your fixing something.  Wherever we end up next, we’ll be fighting these guys again, and we’re not going to make the same mistakes again.”  Another wince.
“Sir, I’ve the first reports from Senior Tech Jarulski.”
“And?” 
“It’s on your tablet sir, but putting it mildly, they’re faster, tougher, and have a longer reach than we do.  Their ferro fibrous is less dense, as is their endo steel, so they take up less internal structure, their lasing lenses are more powerful, their engines are less bulky.  Their heavier weapons use some alloy we’ve never seen, but it’s lighter than what we’ve got in stock.  The only place we seem to be the same is heat dispersion, our new ones are just as efficient and almost as small as theirs.”
A few decks down, Senior Tech Jarulski and his team were taking apart the one enemy mech the Angels  had managed to salvage, a 75 ton Marauder/Catapault hybrid whose pilot had ejected after getting hit in the head area.  Jarulski thought that may have been a malfunction of some sort.  Keeping it was out of the question,  Mercenary Relations would demand it as soon as they found out about it, but that gave the Angels time to learn from it.
“Who are they?” someone asked.
“Don’t know.  Don’t Care.” Replied MacRory.  “The enemy.  Hell, I haven’t had my ass kicked this hard since ’29.”
“Are they even human?” asked another voice.  It was a valid question.  Their commo, the messages we were able to intercept, was a pidgin Univeral Standard of some sort.  And we had not seen our enemy face to face.  The Roaches vision plate was mirrored, their mechs cockpit glass tinted.  The one mech that had any good scans of the clan pilot ejecting had been destroyed in action trying to retrieve the mech.  Guessing the nature of our opponent had become the unspoken game of the day.
“Yeah,” said a voice from the doorway.  “They’re human.  Mostly.”
JJ was covered in dirt, grime and blood.  Cradling one arm close to his chest, he had another body slung over his other shoulder.  Stepping into the room, he put his cargo down.
Unconscious, well toned, blonde haired, female.
“I present you the enemy.  Meet Warrior Athene of the Clan Ghost Bear.”



Kiiro no Torii, a Battletech AU, found here:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,7316.0.html
Interview with a Mercenary, found here: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,319.0.html
So, You Want a Map for Your Game:
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=51565
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent, because the competent use it when it could do some good."

jpdt19

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Re: Interview with a Mercenary (Update 10-5-11)
« Reply #78 on: 05 April 2013, 21:08:29 »
OK........that will be interesting.

Excellent stuff. So essentially a tech beats a warrior.

Admitedly the Bear's are moderately less fanatical than some others, but even so....

Delighted to see this carried on with!

 

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