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Author Topic: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale  (Read 37781 times)

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #330 on: 11 January 2021, 20:20:57 »
This trip had the feeling that it was being rushed after so many roadblocks had been dropped on it in the recent past.  The last major revision of the original plan didn’t have them leaving until closer to the end of the year.  Robert was not that thrilled to be rushed, but then again.  This would get him on the road faster.  He liked the money and being active keeping an eye on how his investments were doing, but deep down.  He was thinking that it was someone he was looking forward to seeing, and not the money that he might be making driving him to get this show on the road. 

The short turn around and a few other issues, were going to cut into the experience level of the crews.  This trip was going to see almost twenty percent of the total crews being made up of Colonials.  Everyone had passed the test on the protocols, twice.  In theory, Robert was okay with that change in demographics.  The average age of the crew on the mission was going to be going down by about fifteen years of age compared to the last run.  Robert was hoping that youngsters would not be adding to more grey he was sporting in his hair.  He was to spend a lot of time over the next two weeks fine tuning his plans, before they launched on this run. 

#############

18 April 3050
New Circe launch of mission three


It was 0800 on the ship’s clock and the metal room was quiet.  It was as if all eyes were not on the mission commander, but they were on their instruments.  Robert was looking around the bridge of the SLS Styx with his eyes and mind.  He was using all of his years of experience to understand what was going on around him. 

Jules was walking around the bridge and doing his own final checks before they started this mission.  This was going to be a hard trip with all the cargo mass and mixed crews.  This was the third time he had ordered checks.  All of the previous systems checks had come back good to go, but both men were not taking any chances.  While the crew on the core ship were doing those final re-checks.  They were being watched by hundreds if not thousands of eyes, and all of them were not on these ships, but around the local areas. 

One last message came from “The Station” that went directly to Commander Copeland’s private coms station.  Then on the tick of the clock, the mass of three JumpShips and three dropships flashed out of the system.  They were starting the run at 15 light years a jump and doing at least fifteen jumps a day.  The crews and ships were going to be pushed on this first leg of the mission.  Then again, they all had volunteered to take the mission, and it was better to break down close to home.  They had almost one hundred and twenty volunteers for every single position in the convoy.  The Office of Personnel had been picky, and no-one was safe from replacement.  Not Robert, not Jules, not anyone.  It was with that in mind, that the mass of metal and people started on their way to the Inner Sphere.  The people on this mission were the best for the job, and they knew it. 

############

7 June 3050 Mission Three
The Split system.


The mass of metal flashed into what was called the Split system in certain navigational systems.  It had been carried there by the Colonial built interstellar drive that was feeling the abuse that it had been put under for the last few months.  They were not on that tight of a schedule, but they had taken four travel days longer to make it here, than had been planned for by Robert and Jules.  They had to deal with a lot more interstellar traffic, than on any other mission the SLiE had seen in this area before.  And it was the nature of that shipping, that was strange to the travelers than just the raw numbers.  Anything that was straying this far from the “normal” travel routes, could be accepted as being dangerous to Copeland’s command. 

ComStar and the Explore Corps were known to be out this far from the birth world, but their ships were well maintained.  They looked and acted with a high level of, for lack of a better word arrogance in their dealings with others out this way.  That was something that could be picked up on the stray radio waves that were limited to the speed of light.  That was not a hard and fast rule for them, but it was the “normal” idea, outside of ROM run ships.  What they had been seeing and hearing, without being seen or heard by the other JumpShips, looked like they were more like pirate groups or groups in hiding from others. 

This was different and different was worrying to not only Robert, but to the rest of the small command staff for this mission.  To make sure that they were still safe, this fleet spent more time in the space between the stars, than on any previous run and that was saying something.  That had been very wearing on the crew, but not the modified Tramp and Leopard CV.  It was something that could not be trained for, but thanks to fighting the Cylons.  They had more experience in the deep black than any group connected to the Inner sphere. 

The mass of human occupied metal, once it arrived at this hard to reach system, stopped moving in any way that could be measured.  That took about ten minutes to accomplish after arriving at the Nadir jump point.  Then the ugly mass started to move in very find details, and then in more gross maneuvers.  First to move were two of the three dropship-based craft assigned to this mission.  They needed to clear that area of the hull, so that the two smaller JumpShips could be safely released from the larger Tramp. 

Still, it took four hours to separate the three interstellar capable ships from each other and get them to a safe distance from each other.  By the time the current work shift was over.  The large interstellar ships were doing final check outs of the “normal” K-F drives on two of the three of the newly separated JumpShips.  While the engineering crews were doing their jobs, the fleet command and staff were doing theirs. 

The HPG mounted on the Styx was able to start soaking up and copying data from the faster than light transmitted messages coming near it.  They were able to take codes from all of the other missions to both start the decoding effort, and to slip in a few of their own messages into ComStar data streams.  Over 90% of the data they now had access to was not valuable to the Star League in Exile, much less to support this mission.  That didn’t mean that the data was dumped or deleted.  It was stored in the Styx’s data bases, for the return to New Circe. 

They would need a week to get everything ready for the next part of the mission.  That had not been planned for by the big brains of the Fleet level Staff who had come up with this part of the plan.  Robert and Jules on the other hand had seen this train wreck coming long before they had left on this mission.  Even when their concerns were blown off by certain staff members on New Circe?  They tried to have at least an idea of a plan after they were far away from the flagpole. 

The holdup was the Surveyor class JumpShip.  The SLDF didn’t have a deep well of experience to draw on to crew her, much less trying to safely maintain that type of Scout sized ship.  That meant that some mistakes were made, and they had to be fixed before they could safely start the next step.  This all had to be done by the small crew that had left New Circe, without the vast support provided by “The Station” and other parts of the SLiE.  While they were working on those jump ships, other things were afoot. 

###########

What Commander Copeland did not know?  It was that a month before, this system had been visited.  It “only” had been by a small pirate band.  It had been made up of a Merchant class JumpShip, a Leopard, and a Mule class cargo ship.  They had left looking to take something worth taking, and this location “had been found” by a contact in ComStar.  This system had been a bust, and they had moved on to the next star system on the list they were working down.  They had no way of knowing how important this system was to another group of travelers.  When this ship reported back to their contact, a ROM Agent.  This location was removed from the list of possible useful systems and moved to the bottom of the list for possible revisits. 

###########

One of the reasons that the Mammoth class SLS Trish Edion, from the slowly growing number of that class the SLiE could use, was chosen for this mission.  It was that two of her many cargo doors were almost three times the size of what was normally found on a ship of her class.  In fact, they were the largest set of cargo doors in any of the dropships in the rest of the SLDF Navy’s supporting fleet.  And the Edion had been that way going all the way back to when they had run from Clan space.  They had also proven very useful many times afterwards for her owners.  They just were not so useful, that any other ship had been modified to mount them. 

Out of one of those huge cargo doors floated a pair of somethings that anyone not knowing what they were beforehand would not know what they were.  They had not been seen anywhere close to this part of space, since before the Star League fell.  As far as anyone knew, and a lot of effort had been spent looking for information about the old Star League military.  They were just another item that had been lost to the sands of time.  In the whole Inner Sphere, there was only one of these things left and it was sitting in a little visited room in a museum in the Galax orbital MegaPlex.  The base of the long cylinders was a Conestoga Payload Satellite, but that was only what they were based on. 

Inside of the pair of payload satellites were a small fusion engine.  Normal solar panels reflect too much radar energy, and that was not good for this mission.  The pair of modified Conestoga Payload Satellites were now decked out with spy or surveillance equipment that was well known within certain circles of the old Star League.  They were very high tech, but still not bleeding or even cutting edge for what the SLDF could have put into their thin metal hulls.  They were almost two generations behind what the SLiE used on other spy or surveillance missions. 

They would move out away from the system’s jump point at a very slow speed, compared to an Aerospace fighter or dropship.  They were not moving towards the star but farther out, so that they would not be stumbled across without someone spending a lot of time looking for something like them in the first place.  The next time a SLDF ship came to this system, that was so important to them.  That ship would be able to download the recorded data from the hidden satellites, like they did on each of the Pilgrimage missions. 

This data would help the leadership of the SLDF, so that they could work out if they wanted to put a manned and armed station here.  But that just was not going to be allowed if this system had too much unwanted traffic traveling through it.  The SLDF had a list, a short list, but a list of stars that might be useful for any future missions.  This particular star system was just at the top of the list, for many reasons. 

With the two satellites deployed and their systems saying that they were good to go.  The three JumpShips left the system that they were sitting in.  Two of them were going to the capital of this local political power, without any escorting dropships.  That would be where they were going to be put up for sale on the local market.  The other SLDF crewed modified JumpShip was going somewhere else.  The larger one was going on its own preplanned route, so that it could start to fill the massive cargo bays in her hull and the huge dropship attached to her spine. 

###############

14 June 3050 Mission Three
The Ltzehoe system
.

Robert was keeping his face still as the computer systems return to normal, after the jump of almost 30ly from the Split system.  Not for the hundredth time he was thankful for the Colonial made drive.  When he looked over to Jess, she was giving him a knowing look and then a quick covered eye wink.  Robert just raised one eyebrow and didn’t say a word to the third in command of this mission.  Jules might have noticed the by play, but he was too busy working to be the commander of his ship.  Even if he did notice?  He would not have said anything, in public.  When Robert was off the bridge?  Then all bets were off.  Jules knew as much as Jess did about the woman in this system his best friend had a relationship with. 

Not long after arriving and sending the light speed limited radio message to the local system traffic control.  The reply came back to them, traveling just as fast from the planet.  It was not a voice message, but a data burst of text.  It was not unlike the very secure Tac Fax next to the HPG hidden in the hull of the Styx.  That old method was the best use of the limited bandwidth, to get the most information to the ship at the jump point as fast as possible.  When it was announced the message was coming in and what the format the contact was in, both Robert and Jules made eye contact with each other.  Jules gave a nod, and the data was sent to the private screen of the convoy commander and the jumpship’s captain.  Something was up, and now both men would have to decide if this was a mission killer or not. 

Robert looked at Jules, after he had read threw the data at least twice.  “Jules, I think I only want to take the White Rabbit and her two fighters down to the planet.  I don’t like the tone of these texted messages from Duke Terry.  And without her coming on and sending a verbal message to us?  This could be a risk to the rest of the mission.”  The White Rabbit 2 was a cargo conversion Union that was armed to the teeth, and that was not counting the pair of fighters she still packed. 

Jules was nodding his head in agreement, and he had a tight-lipped look on his face.  He didn’t know Duke Terry firsthand, but the message just sounded a bit off somehow even to his reading.  The pair of men were still making plans, when the second set of personal messages comes to the jump point from the planet.  Robert had not wanted to rush to the planet and land right into an ambush of some kind., but only because he was a SLDF professional. 

By this time Jess had come up from the HPG lab, she quickly read both messages and someone from her intel section had run them threw the computers.  She was also watching the faces of the two men as they worked through an outline of a plan.  They had already read the few lines of text a few times.  She felt like it was now time to add her observations about the messages. 

“So, Terry wants to meet and have dinner on the dropships.  I like the bit about having a catering truck come out for the rest of the crew, and that we need to bring the wine.” 

She stopped talking for a second, and then bites her lower lip and re-reads the first message.  When she looked up, her face had the “I am serious and now I am going official on you.”  “As the head of the intelligence section.  I am concerned.  I would bet that she has had more pirate raids, and she is still having problems with ComStar.  I don’t think we have a direct threat, currently.  But there could be a short-term issue that she is hinting at.  Still, I don’t see where we have a level of risk that says we should leave without making ground contact.” 

##########

The White Rabbit 2 and its pair of Colonial manned upgraded Royal Tomahawks left the jump point, an hour later.  When the dropship was four days out from the planet, the fighters launched and would spend five hours every day out as CAP.  Just before the cargo carrier modified Union landed on the cloud covered green world.  The 45ton fighters landed back into their bays, but the pilots were never more than a hundred steps from the cockpit.  They would be ready to launch off the catapults, needing only a pilot at the controls for them to be effective.  The trip down to the planet’s surface was without issues from outside sources.  The data from the two aerospace fighters had not identified any major potential threats to the dropship in space. 

On the way down, they ran into the first issue.  Due to thick high-level clouds, it was hard to “see” on the way down to the drop port.  But as soon as the Union touched down?  That quickly changed.  The space port did not look the same, as it had on their last visit back in Oct. of 48.  There were two other dropships on the massive expanse of fire hardened dirt not that far from the White Rabbit.  There was a third dropship, which looked like a Seeker class already on the ground.  But it was off to one side of the city and off the main drop port property.  In fact, it looked to be very close if not in the ComStar compound. 

That was not the only difference that could be seen from the bridge perched on top of the 81m tall ship.  There were no new buildings within line of sight of the dropship.  But the ones they had seen before and were still there, all had visible damage of one kind or another.  Most of the damage looked have been repaired on those buildings, but not all of it.  There also were even small pits blown into the drop port landing area that had not been fixed yet.  They were small divots or potholes, but there were a lot of them that needed some attention of repair crews.  Robert was betting that any close to the marked landing areas would have been fixed first.  A drop port was the life blood of a planet, and the smart leader would make sure that her drop port was ready for the task. 

As soon as the ground was cool from the abuse of the plasma-based thrusters, and the ship refueled.  Three different transports started toward the newly arrived dropship.  From the logos, on two of the slab-sided vans the bridge had a good idea that they were maybe not threats.  The two trucks were the food trucks Duke Terry had arranged for dinner in a few hours.  The lead transport was a brightly painted hover car.  Well, there was no doubt who that one belongs to.  The three vehicles made their way to the shadow side of the dropship but always staying on the marked path.  Robert and Jess were waiting for them on the access port nearest that area.  What the people on the ground could not see were energy and projectile weapon turrets making slight moves to keep them lined up.  Robert was not taking any chances. 

Terry hopped out of her hover car and quickly walked up the ramp and gave a huge bear hug to Robert, and she did not care who saw her doing this.  After holding that hug for long seconds, long enough that Jess was starting to feel a little uncomfortable with the display of affection.  Without any warning, Terry released Robert and took the younger woman into her arms for another hug, but thankfully this one was shorter than what she had given to Robert if not less powerful. 

The two vans had doors swinging open by the time that Jess had been allowed to breathe without some level of pain.  What the people in those two Vans didn’t know was that the Unions weapons turrets had tracked them, just in case unwanted visitors had come rushing out of the vans and not tables and chairs.  That is until one of them saw a pair of medium class lasers make a small adjustment at the movement.  Robert saw one man freeze and then his head slowly turned to face the man on the ramp.  Robert gave him a hand wave and a very fake smile. 

With the friendly greetings done, Robert started talking in a voice that would not carry one meter further than he wanted it to.  “So, Terry.  It looks like you had some unwelcome visitors not too long ago.  We took from your message, that the drop port might not be the safest place around.  We left our main cargo hauler and Leopard out at the point to keep an eye on everything.” 

Terry turned to look at the damage visible from that slightly elevated location.  “That is one of the reasons that I’m so glad to see you.  Things have been going crazy for the last few months.  The news we are getting, is that the FedCom, DC, Free Rasalhague Republic and the League all have been invaded by aliens.  Over a hundred planets have been stormed and taken over by these aliens!!  So far nothing has been able to stop them from taking over any planet they want.  Whole units have been wiped out by them, and they even have full-fledged warships to take over the rest of a star system.  I was worried that they hit your planet!  Where is it already?  The notes you sent me were from all over the place, so I could not track where you were going.” 

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #331 on: 11 January 2021, 20:22:34 »

She took a step and a half back and looked at the two people.  “You’re all here, so I take it your people are okay.  Or did I get something wrong?” 

Robert and Jess froze, and they didn’t say anything for a few long seconds.  Both were thinking about if these attackers were the Cylons attacking the Inner Sphere.  But how could they have gotten all the way around to that edge of human space?  As they were working through the news, it clicked that she used the word stormed and wiped-out military units.  Not nuked from orbit or walking AI robots, both would be what you would expect if Cylons were attacking humans.  She had used the same terms that were associated with an invasion and not genocide.  The fact that she referenced messages that Robert had been sending her had been mentally glossed over by Jess. 

Jess’s mind worked threw it faster, then Robert.  “Invasion?  Aliens?  Terry what are you talking about?  And no, we have not heard anything about this.  That is until just now, so our clients are safe.  At least they were, when we last left them on our way here.”  Everything she had just said was the absolute truth. 

Jess looked up and over to Robert who had his “salesman poker face” fully emplaced by now.  There had not been any hint about this from the last mission to Cate’s Hold produced reports.  Jess was looking around taking anything in that might help her understand what was going on.  There was no doubt that something had been going on, and it was major. 

Robert used an even tone and kept eye contact with the planetary Duke.  “Terry?  What are you talking about Aliens?  Is someone playing some kind of a practical joke on you, or something, or are you playing a game with us?  There have never been any Aliens found in all of the years we have been sailing the black sea.”  Robert kept is tone in a mix of light and serious as he spoke. 

Terry was visibly a little deflated, that they did not believe her.  Then again, she was happy at the same time that “their clients” were still safe.  In her experience, being safe was hard to come by on a day-to-day basses on the edge of house controlled space.  At least they had not outright laughed in her face. 

“That’s just it!!  All we are getting is word of mouth from people passing through on their way somewhere else.  Not even ComStar is saying much on the subject, but the FedCom boys are a little better and that is about what I know.”  She almost spit on the ground, when she said the name of the interstellar communication company, and her eyes had some fire at the name of the Federated Commonwealth.  She had developed that habit over the last couple of years when she had referenced the interstellar communication company, and now she was having to break it.  At least in public she was trying to break it. 

Jess also picked up on the tone and quickly decided to change her tack.  “So, was the damage done by one of your visitors?”  She waved her hand in the general direction of some of the damaged warehouses on the edge of the drop port.  It was an open enough question to get the other woman to talk some more. 

Terry locked eyes with the other woman.  “Yes, and no.  The amount of raiding has gone through the roof, across the whole area over the last year.  We have been getting hit every few months, by someone.  And they are not the same someone’s each time.  That deal I worked out with ComStar?  It was not worth the wine, that I went through having them sign it.  The only time they helped beat off an attack.  It is the rare times when it looks like their compound is about to be hit by the attackers.  We are losing people on every raid!  Even when we stop them?!  We lose people.”   She was making fists with both hands, like she wanted to pound someone into very fine dust. 

After a few rounds of her clenching and unclenching her fists.  Duke Terry threw her hands down to her side after a few seconds.  “The last group that made a run at us.  We think that they were a group of mercenaries, that broke their contract from the Combine.  They hit us hard, but they were only a dozen mostly light Mechs with a few low end medium mechs in their force.  They all had unrepaired damage visible on them and that helped us push them back.” 

Terry got her temper back under something like control.  “We took out two of the lances, before the command lance pulled out with their dropship.  The one good thing?  That has come from all of the attacks going in all over the place, is the sale of ammunition going off planet.  We are now supplying the stuff to every system with in a hundred and fifty light years of us.  MMM is even making bulk orders for us to fill.  They are even willing to pay at almost full retail prices if we will bump them to the front of the shipping list.  We have been running three full shifts in all of our ammunition production plants.  We sometimes even have a fourth shift when we can, as long as we are not wearing out the machines.  Those sales have been the only way, that I can keep getting replacement tanks or parts for our mechs and things after the attacks.” 

Her voice got a little sweeter and she pitched it a little lower.  ‘You don’t have some of those cannons, still for sale, do you?”  Terry shot Robert a smile, that did not reach her eyes.  She really wanted weapons, and if Robert had them?  She would use whatever she had at her disposal, to buy any replacement weapons or parts that she thought her people needed.  She was not even caring if it was older tech or the higher tech double rate firing Cannons.  She had a mental list of things that she “needed” to buy. 

Robert gave a sly grin to the local leader.  “We do and we have some older weapons of different types, and a few of the ultras in our cargo holds.  We pulled most of the other stuff off an old space station we found after we last saw you.  There not high tech, but they all work and most of them you are already making the ammunition for.” 

The higher tech weapons were bringing in the bigger money.  But this far out?  Even most older tech weapons still could be sold at a good price.  If those weapons were not put into a larger weapons system, like mechs or aerospace fighters within a week?  They would just go into the always to small spare parts container.  There were very few mercenary or militia units that would have them resting there too long.  With the increased action in the local area this was truer than ever. 

Terry was now beaming with delight.  She had been hoping that Robert had more weapons for sale.  To find out that he had more of a selection was also nice for her to hear.  She could not stop the look of relief showing on her body language.  Besides having the product, Robert had been known for being very easy to work with on payments. 

“That is some good news.  Will you be around for another week?  The reason is, that there is a anti pirate unit hired by the MC due back any day now.  I would bet that they would love to do some business with you, and they might have deeper pockets than I have.”   

Robert looked at Jess, but he was the convoy commander.  “We will be on the ground for seven more days.  But at the end of the seventh day?  We have to be lifting off to keep on our schedule.  We can set up a shop in your showroom, while we wait.  I was thinking that if we can set out one of each type of weapon we have on board?  Then they can check them out and pick the ones, that they want.  You know me, I’m always worried about security.  I’m a merchant, so packing a lot of firepower cuts into my cargo cubage.”  Robert was selling it very well, and he could tell Terry was buying it.  Or she looked like she was buying it, anyway. 

###########

Terry didn’t make it to her home that night.  The catering trucks feeds all of the crew, and while they were enjoying a few hot meals with lots of red meat and fresh greens.  Robert, Jess, and Terry were working on deals as the wine flowed in the office set up on New Circe for them to use on this dropship.  During the night, the bridge crew of the White Rabbit 2 kept an eye out on everything that was going on around them.  They made sure to contact each of the patrolling mechs or Bulldog tank lance when they passed by the dropship.  The command deck was also contacted several times in the afternoon and evening about possible trades, by a few different groups that already were on the planet.  It quickly got to the point, that the number of contacts was about what they had on a major world.  It was still below what a world like Duniashire had given them, but it was a surprisingly high number. 

Before the sun was even cresting the horizon overlooking the drop port.  Robert was escorting Duke Terry down to her hover car.  He didn’t go back to bed, but just started his day a little earlier than was normal even for him.  Weapons samples were off loaded and again moved by trucks supplied by the locals to the warehouse turned showroom.  This time Robert and Jess didn’t feel like they had to be the first on the ground.  They had a crew that could do the set up and look after the products for awhile before they made an appearance in the warehouse like building. 

When the showroom opened at 0900 local?  It was soon flooded with people as soon as the doors were opened.  The last time Robert had been here.  There had been groups walking through, now it was more like a shopping center than a boutique shop.  Now if someone was interested in what was on display?  They would just randomly walk up and make an appointment with someone on his staff.  Then they would come out to the White Rabbit, at the agreed upon time.  A tax van was already parked near the dropship before the showroom had opened.  By lunch time?  Robert’s weapons were selling, as fast as they could be brought out of the dropship’s cargo bay. 

This place had been the first time, that Colonial made ballistic weapons had been used in combat.  Duke Terry was now making a local knock off of the smaller side arms.  It was copied from the few that she had bought, and she now sold them at a rate of a few every week along with a few different ammunition types to use in them.  They all had seen the reports on how the Colonial made rifles and ammunition performed against the body armed invaders on half a dozen different planets.  By all of those reports, it had out preformed most of the other and more expensive man portable weapons.  It might have had a slight impact on the number of sales of those weapons this week.  Robert did not care if he sold weapons one at a time or by the case, just as long as they sold.  It was not like they were going to be used back on New Circe. 

As expected, the big players bought most of the big-ticket items over the next few days.  The two dropships had been carrying mercenary units, and they were very happy that each had been able to buy a pair of high-tech cannons this far from a factory.  Their side talk about the deal was now recorded evidenced that these types of weapons were being sold across the Inner Sphere by now.  The problem the Mercenaries were having in getting them, was that almost all of them were being sent to active military house units or mercenary units with very close ties to any given house and had deeper pockets.  Everyone else was only able to pick up one on the battlefield, and then have to try to keep it from the House that they had been working for. 

Word was passed along to Robert, that word of his company had spread, and smaller mercenary bands were keeping a larger than normal cash bank near any system he was known to visit.  It was just on the off chance that they might cross paths.  It didn’t take long for this information to be passed along to Robert and then to be beamed out to the jump ship.  This was information that would have a direct impact on the planned route they were going to make.  No one wanted to be ambushed along their trading routes. 

#########

On the fourth day that Robert and the White Rabbit 2 had been on planet.  The planet went on full alert, when the local traffic control picked up a Merchant class jumpship come in at a pirate point near to the planet.  That location was currently only a one day burn from the planet.  That alert lasted for about an hour, and in that time the whole planetary defense force rolled out.  There also were some that nearly had heart attacks at the alert.  This gave Robert an idea of what else had changed with the forces that Duke Terry had at her disposal. 

Robert had his Hoplite deploy out of the cargo bay, and it took a position near the main space port passenger building.  Mike was quickly joined by a mixed lance of Wasp and Stinger light mechs from the local defenders.  On the other side of the drop port, there were two full lances of Bulldogs and a single lance of LRM carriers.  They all could be seen going into premade defense points that had good fields of fire but also had very good cover and concealment.  On the modified Union, the communication department was able to work out that a second light Mech lance was going to the ammunition plants to back up another mix lance of tanks and LRM carriers.  Their heavy Mech lance was stationed at Duke Terry’s home.  It didn’t take long for the updated sensors on the Union to also pick up the pair of Vulcans burning for orbit from a hidden airbase. 

Robert and Jess were impressed at how much firepower Duke Terry, had been able to put and keep together this far out.  In the local area she had a full mech company, it was a bit on the light side, but still a dozen combat machines from her start of two mechs was an impressive achievement.  She now also had a very nice tank battalion unit that was trained to a good enough level, to have them deploy over half of their units in a few hours’ notice or alert.  It made him and Jess wonder how much firepower might be on this planet if it fully mobilized. 

That did not count the dozen of the Holly 6 pack short ranged missile launchers, pair of KWI’s and two each PPCs and 20 tube long ranged missile turrets that she had just bought from him.  She had paid for all of this in cash and some small bank transfer notes she had been paid with for ammunition shipments.  Even the Com Guards had sent a two-person team out to the drop port to look at what Robert had for sale.  One was looking for computers, that Robert did not have, and the other one picked up four of the ultra-class 5 autocannons. 

That was not the big surprise that the Com Guards representative had dropped on Robert’s people.  They had also wanted a pair of Defiance B3l Large Bore lasers, now that was a surprise.  Robert was thinking that with access to all of the Star League tech, that they would be only fielding higher tech extended ranged versions of the Large Bore 8cm lasers.  This was noted in the daily intel report to be filed when they returned to New Circe, but those had also proven useful during the mission.  Someone else could try to figure out why the outlying ComStar stations were still using old tech weapons in an area that was turning hot.  There had to be something there, Robert could feel it. 

Jess now owed Robert another 100 Star league script or a very nice bottle of something of equal value.  Jess had bet him that they would only have about a million in c-bills of sales on this planet.  They had passed that number and that did not take into account the mercenary Union and Fortress coming in from the pirate point.  They were the groups that Terry had been waiting for, and it was for more than one reason.  It was just by the stroke of luck that Robert had shown up. 

The jump to the pirate point by them, had been planned out and paid for by Duke Terry.  It was so that she could have a surprise alert for her forces.  It had worked, but Robert was wishing that he had known about it.  That would have let him keep the Hoplite hidden and a surprise a little longer for any would be attackers.  He was just glad that they did not have two dropships on the ground, and he sent both mechs out to help with the local defense.  He still had one or two cards under cover, for any future surprise need. 

The two mercenary units that had been out hunting some of the growing number of pirate bands in the area landed without any more surprises for Robert to have to deal with.  According to Duke Terry, they had been hired by the MC, but the MC was not able or not that willing to help them get upgrades at this point in time.  The two commanders were very happy to make it back to restock their ammunition supplies.  They almost gave Terry her money back, when they found out that Copeland and his company were on the planet selling weapons to anyone who had the C-Bills.  Instead, they just used that money to add to their bank. 

Robert and Jess were even able to swing a guided tour of the rare Fortress class dropship, from top to bottom, after they had completed the sales of weapons.  Robert and Jess both had only read about this class of dropship, to see one inside and out was very enjoyable for both of them.  They did not mind even the detailed field report they would have to make on the experience.  After the tour, incidentally, Robert and Jess thought that they would get behind the idea of the SLDF making an updated version of this type of craft for their own uses. 

#############

The only issue had been when word had gotten around, to the wrong ears, that the Union had more mech weapons on hand than most major depots.  This data had come from a local police report about an issue between Roberts’ command and some locals with sticky fingers.  It was not a very well-planned operation, as those things should be done.  The two dozen thugs were taken down before they even made it to the part of the drop port that was close to his grounded ship.  The other group had not made it out of the warehouse before the hammer was dropped on them. 

After that development.  Robert became worried that one of the mercenary units might try a small objective raid on the White Rabbit, and he had planned accordingly.  He thought that the lance of Star league aero fighters and a very rare Star League Hoplite, that looked enough different from the books to be noted by experts.  That it had to make them wonder what other Star League rated equipment they might have.  It was a lot like two big dogs circling each other. 

In the end it didn’t matter, because at sunset on the seventh day, the White Rabbit was rising into orbit on a long pillar of flames.  Robert and Terry had compared some notes, and they think that the small “raid” or group of criminals might have been paid for by a well-known third party that both of them had issues with in the past.  It would be up to Duke Terry to look at the thugs with her law enforcement personnel. 

##########

On their way to the jump point all the information that they could find out about this “invasion” was put together in one report.  As Terry had said.  There was very little in the way of hard facts, so the briefing folder was very thin when it was all compiled.  None of this information was sent to the Styx before the dropship arrived, just in case, someone might be able to listen in. 

A dozen hours before the White Rabbit was going to dock on the larger ship, Robert sent a short message to Jules.  He wanted a full staff meeting before they jumped to the next system.  Jess took two hours to brief the rest of the staff and the other two dropship commanders in that meeting.  Most of that time was spent arguing that the invasion was faked, or it was Cylons.  When the meeting broke up.  Jules stayed behind to have a private talk with the convoy commander. 

Robert could tell something was on his friend’s mind, and now that they were alone.  He could find out what was wrong.  “Okay, Jules.  What’s on your mind?  You were quiet during the whole meeting.  Not once did you weigh in on if it was the Cylons attacking or not.” 

Jules was rocking back and forth in the overstuff chair.  He would not make eye contact with the Convoy commander, and he kept a formal tone in his voice when he started talking.  “Commander.  What if it’s not the Cylon Empire, or aliens, but its THEM?  You know that the clans are moving around a lot farther out from the cluster, than any time after we left.  What if they were moving forces and supplies forward to take Earth?  I know that you have seen some of the data on “The cutter”, but I don’t know exactly what.  You also know that it has not been found to be 100% on the ground truth side, but it is a solid 85.  So how are you going to carry forward?” 

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #332 on: 11 January 2021, 20:23:20 »

Robert didn’t say anything for a few minutes.  He was not that surprise that the father of the current leader of their people knew this level of information.  But who else knew about this?  He started his own rocking in the overstuffed office chair.  After a few minutes as he mentally reviewed all of the information his second in command had alluded to.  When he was ready, he stopped moving and looked at his friend. 

“The official policy for the crew is, we have been so focused on the Cylons.  That we seem to have overlooked why we were hiding in the first place.”  Robert made a sour face.  “Between us, I hope it is them.  Maybe it is just because we are older, and we cannot let go of our fear of the Clan finding us.  Not after what they did to us.” 

The two friends sat in the briefing room on the Styx talking about personal things for a few hours more.  They should have been doing other things, and both men knew it.  They stayed in that private room until it was only about an hour before the jump was planned to happen, it was rare for the two men to have this amount of privacy while on a mission.  Then both men went to the bridge of the flagship. 

Both men had put on their calm faces for the rest of the crews benefit.  It was a safe bet that word of the “invasion” had reached every ear in the convoy, by now.  It was the commander’s responsibility to make it look like they were not concerned, or that it was a very low threat, or risk to their lives and families.  That was one of the reasons that they got paid the big bucks. 

############

Note:

Duke terry passes rumors:  No, the FWL was not attacked, but the rumors sometimes don’t get everything right.  And it is not like ComStar is going to be putting anything out to correct some of the wildest rumors. 

Current mission support for Copland.  He has the Styx, Hobgoblin (four Royal Ironsides with some higher tech, two Modified and upgraded Stukas), White Rabbit 2 (Tomahawks with colonial pilots) Mammoth class SLS Trish Edion.  They also have 8 Tornado PA(L) that forensically match some of the suits ComStar lost when they attacked Copeland with them.   


mikecj

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #333 on: 12 January 2021, 00:24:37 »
Thanks for not rushing the storyline.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

georgiaboy

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #334 on: 12 January 2021, 18:28:54 »
I wonder what changes to operating procedures have been put forward since the last supply run.
My suggestions would be that a status report is sent by the Convoy CO and the Intelligence officer, (and the SLieIC intelligence lead in the communication and listening unit).
Then if needed Home can send changes to orders if needed to act on local intelligence finds.


The Fax machines allow communications with New Circe.
Also can send messages to other "In Country" detachments.


On that note, I wonder what is the thoughts of the FedCom and possible Kurita intelligence operatives that also have Fax machines. I would assume that both sides of the InnerSphere are listening to each other due to they knowing now that each side has the machines. And due to that, they would be able to see who is who (sides) due to machine formatting capability.
and suddenly
The third formatting starts showing up around '48, Who is this they wonder?
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idea weenie

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #335 on: 13 January 2021, 00:45:47 »
Robert's little trip with more DHS will definitely go well, as DHS are one of the best upgrades to a Mech.  Comstar might grumble about it, but after the Clans reveal that they are interested in taking Terra, Comstar might not grumble as much since every Mech fighting the Clans is not under Comstar's control but still serving Comstar's purposes.  The better that Mech is, the better.

The Bivouac system has a problem, and it will look strange if the trip fleet will trade advanced weaponry in exchange for cargo vehicles.  What dos the Bivouac system produce (besides the industrial systems) that can be used for trade?  This can be used as a second trading fleet, going to/from Bivouac as needed.  Given the demand for DHS, perhaps Bivouac should shift one of their facilities to producing them, so they can trade DHS in exchange for civilian vehicles?  They key is finding something sufficiently expensive to bring back, as DHS are 20,000 C-B per ton.  Off-hand, I'd recommend buying up ICE-engined cargo trucks that are easy to maintain (such as the Bulldog or Pit Bull)