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Author Topic: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale  (Read 57323 times)


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #420 on: 09 October 2021, 22:33:17 »
Honestly, the seven years of war on New Circe, and hitting the limits on logistics should be hitting New Circe with shipping disruptions just like what we are experiencing IRL. With the massive increase in material needing to be moved, they are probably going to be forced to either invest more heavily in rail, water or road transport, or really use cargo dropships for planetary hops to move more massive quantities of goods and materials. And they are going to have to create larger orbital or system based transhipment points.
The former ships of the rag tag fleet are probably picking up the slack. It's not like they're still carrying people.
The Gemenon Traveller and her sisters are each about the size of a Leopard with a far larger internal volume set aside for cargo.
Bulk transports like the Prometheus are essentially flying warehouses. One can park at a point in space and act as a transshipment point.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #421 on: 09 October 2021, 23:18:29 »
Added to the rag tag fleet would be all the other ships that have been recovered over the years. After spending so much time on them the crew might want to stay on board but they would still need to make money and shipping would be one way to do it.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #422 on: 13 October 2021, 18:02:47 »
I was doing a re-read, I was wondering, have the SLiE been able to salvage any basestar or dreadstar jumpdrives? Those have to be pretty top of the line, right? Perfect size for a corncob super-transport.

EDIT: Found it. One went into the Rickenbacker- chapter 36. I still like the thought of Potemkin Super-transports, though.
« Last Edit: 15 October 2021, 10:27:25 by Kyryst »


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #423 on: 15 October 2021, 18:43:30 »
I was doing a re-read, I was wondering, have the SLiE been able to salvage any basestar or dreadstar jumpdrives? Those have to be pretty top of the line, right? Perfect size for a corncob super-transport.

EDIT: Found it. One went into the Rickenbacker- chapter 36. I still like the thought of Potemkin Super-transports, though.

one also was put into the Lyssa. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #424 on: 16 October 2021, 11:02:20 »
Well i had a long weekend and one with very few honey dos

Chapter 66

By Cliff
Beta and Clean up:  Not done
Reviewed by Hotpoint and Cannonshop

27 July 3051
Ltzehoe system

The Styx did not come in at the normal jump point for this target system when it popped back into “real” space.  On Roberts’s last visit to the Ltzehoe system, Duke Terry had given Robert and Jess the needed details of a dozen different pirate points that she knew of.  She also gave them the date windows that were best to use each of them.  That sacred data had also come along with the grey times that those pirate points were useable but more dangerous than even was normal for a pirate point.  With the last data Robert could have been able to start looking for other pirate points that Terry had not given them. 

The idea for using one of those pirate points on this trip had not been taken lightly, but it was a lot less risky of a move thanks to the colonial drive.  But the key reason to choose this location was that it would shorten the travel time to the planet, the next time that Copeland Supply and Resale paid this out of the way system a little visit.  Jess and Robert had not promised that they would be coming back or when.  They had only said that it looked like they would be coming back in the future.  That was the public story that the bridge crew of the Styx knew about and had told the debriefers back on New Circe.  Robert, Jules, and Jess also had other ideas that this information would be useful a lot sooner than anyone in the crew knew about. 

This freely given data was an unusual show of trust between a local government and an interstellar trader of any kind.  It was the kind of data that could lead to a world falling into new leadership or the loss of key infrastructure to a surprise attack.  It was just too bad that Robert and Terry were not the only ones who knew about some of the local pirate points.  These were things that could be found out, if someone had enough telescopes, time, and computer power.  That was how Duke Terry was able to get the data in the first place.  Only self-preservation kept her putting the time, effort, money and influence into digging for that data. 

As soon as the Styx’s systems stabilized, reports started coming into the command center in a frantic rate.  If they had been using the old-style jump engines?  It would have taken 2 to 3 minutes for all of the delicate systems to come back online before they could even start receiving any meaningful data at range.  Some of the more primitive systems could come online a lot faster but they were less capable than their higher tech sisters.  Then there was the light hours distance between the jump point and the planet.  Even using this pirate point, which the Styx didn’t need to in the first place.  This was all window dressing as part of keeping the secret of the Colonial made jump drive concealed from all of the people within the Inner Sphere. 

And in a secondary effort to keep the Colonial drive secret from the rest of the Inner Sphere.  The ship’s hull mounted HPG had sent the special burst of energy that looked to mimic the old-style E wave of a jump drive.  To anyone that might have been looking at the wrong part of space at just the right time the Styx was just another Tramp class ship.  Many with in SLIC wondered how long this tactic would continue to work in the Inner Sphere.  SLIC and the engineers were always working on updating how the mobile HPG “burst” looked to make sure it gave a variation of the E-wave, just like what was “normal” for Inner Sphere or Clan tech jump drives. 

When the Colonial made drive dropped the modified Tramp into space where the math had told it to?  The systems were working only maybe a few seconds after arriving at this star system, just like they would have done on the Battlestar Galactica.  This quick return to working order of the crew and support systems fed the data they were collecting to their organic counterparts on the Bridge to leverage and to get them within someone else’s decision-making loop.  This data told the operators that something was wrong in this system.  Something was very wrong.  Wrong enough that it was a risk to the mission, all of the missions that the Styx was to support on this run.  This fell into the category of “OH FRAK!!” 


“Sir, we are receiving an invasion warning coming from the planet.  It’s on a repeating cycle that has a time stamp that said it started three days ago.”  Before anyone could respond to the communication stations alert, another voice was added to the growing bedlam of the command center of the specially modified one-time Civilian ship. 

From the tactical station along one wall of the bridge, a strong voice called out in the perfect tune of a trained singer.  “Starting to get radar returns!!  There is an Invader class JumpShip at another pirate jump point!!  She is 500,000 miles away on a heading of 34 degrees up 170 degrees.  Looks like she might have used a pirate point and her sail is deployed.  She is empty of dropships and looks to be trying to hide by going cold on their active systems.”  Thanks to the speed of light the Radar waves had been able to reach that far and back in less than five seconds. 

Robert was quick off the mark as the information came in.  “Launch the Hobgoblin!  Keep the Bad Kitty’s pair of Sabers for close support on the Styx.”  Not for the first time did Robert wish that the Colonials would have just given them pilots that could fly something with a lot more teeth than a Royal grade light fighter like the Saber.  But a Royal design was a Royal designed and on top of that, being connected to the old Star League military could add something to getting into the heads of any enemy attack craft pilot or commander. 

If they were about to lose the Styx?  Robert would have ordered the use of the Colonial jump drive, even if the HPG was not ready to try to camouflage the uses of the new drive.  They can always claim that the ship had just used the newly recovered technology called LF battery had failed in some way that didn’t kill them.  It would depend on what they could find out about this attack on Duke Terry in the next few minutes to half an hour.  If they could be here for another 7 minutes?  They would be able to use the HPG E-Wave trick when they left this star system. 

As it turned out.  These rash actions were not needed, but the safeties were off on their activation just in case something else went sideways.  Robert knew that you could not predict what was going to happen in a shooting war.  And like any good commander Robert and his crew were ready to ”jump” in many different directions at the same time.  The nearby jumpship was unarmed and did not have any dropships or fighters to defend itself with.  There was no way that a bare Invader class ship wanted to tangle with an empty Tramp class.  Much less did they want to tangle with one that had just dumped a small carrier, and she still had another combat dropship of some kind attached to her hull.  There was brave, and then there was foolish or very foolish. 

There were very few foolish jumpship’s captains and crews in the Inner Sphere that got above green levels or crazy.  And only a few crews were that new, would want to be tangled up in a jumpship vs JumpShip battle like that.  Most crews knew where that could lead to.  Okay then there was the Word of Blake and the games they liked to play around the Inner Sphere.  But that would be many years in the future and in a different universe than the one that Robert and his people lived in. 

While Robert was working out what to do with his ships and his missions.  Did he attack the other JumpShip, leave, hold, or make his way to the planet’s surface?  Right now, Robert thought the best move was to wait until more information was available for him to work with.  The main Radio operator for the Styx had some additional information coming in now that they were in system for a whole ten minutes.  In that time Robert was thinking more about the idea of taking over the other JumpShip.  He pushed that idea off to the side one more time and waited.  They could take care of the JumpShip later if they needed to.  So, he was still working out what was the best next step to take, and he knew that he was running out of time. 

“Sir!!  We have a message from the Duke!  She says that they have a Fortress, Union and a Seeker on the ground.  The pirates have broken into many small combat groups and are attacking different targets around the local area.  They are holding the attackers off, but not for much longer.  She also reports that her compound is under siege, again.” 

Robert nodded and gave an evil smile that he didn’t know had come to his face.  Those three lines of a message had just changed the whole dynamic of his thinking.  It would seem that these attackers were trying the same tactics as before.  Only that they were using a lot more firepower this time to try to change the equation to their favor.  It might have worked, if Robert had not just happened to come along to play the white knight for the defenders.  He was also wondering where the enemy’s reinforcements might come from. 

Oh, and let’s not forget.  That he had eight fighters and a dozen mechs, and he was not afraid to use them to help out a dear friend in need.  Robert knew the capabilities of those three dropships that had been reported to be supporting the attackers on this planet.  Part of his mind had already moved about who might be behind this attack, into the column marked ComStar at its top.  The attacker might or might not “only” be the trigger pullers, but ComStar were the owners of the bank accounts behind the attackers………at least.  Now Robert knew what he was going to do.  His eyes unfocused for a few seconds and then suddenly everything clicked into place. 

“Pass that information to Captain Defoe on the Hobgoblin.  I want them to help out the Duke with defending her compound.  It is her call, but I want them to provide what air support that she can to the Duke.”  Robert was hoping that four updated Ironsides and two hundred ton mostly upgraded Stuka’s would be a lot of firepower to be dropping on someone out of the blue… well black If you wanted to get technical about it.  Robert also knew that Defoe would know how to best use the fighters under her command to get the job done. 

Robert knew that he was about to make some of his staff a little upset with him, but that was why he was the mission commander.  “I’m going to the Bad Kitty.  She will be making a landing before letting out our ground forces.  Pass along as logged orders that she is not to do a hover drop, that would be just a little too out of character for a merchant security force.  Jules, you have the Hercules and the Styx.  I will keep you in the loop.” 

Robert rose from his chair and almost ran towards the open hatch on the side of the bridge.  He did not even think about the Colonial made artificial gravity plates that allowed this action to take place, he had become that used to them.  He needed to be on the dropship before it launched without him under the guise of protecting the convoy commander from his own actions. 

Jess was looking at both Jules and Robert’s back as he started moving toward the hatch, and then she just had to ask.  “Sir, what are you planning on doing?”  She was thinking that she needed to be behind Robert, but she also had a mission to perform on the JumpShip in this type of situation.  Now Jess’s youth betrayed her. 

Robert stopped mid step, and he did a slight turn to look back to the head of the mission’s intelligence section.  He gave her a sly grin that he knew made both Jess and Jules sweat bullets, when he had used it before.  “Oh, I don’t know.  Something dumb, perhaps.” 

With a wink he was out of the hatch and out of sight going down the jumpship’s corridor.  That wink was as good as an order to stay on the JumpShip, until things had settled down.  As it turned out Robert need not have run.  After he had arrived on the Lion’s bridge, he spent some time in contact with Duke Terry and the captain of the combat dropship.  He still was going to do something dumb, but maybe it was going to be less dumb if he waited for just the right time to make his next move.  The last thing we wanted to do was spook the enemy while he was making all of those mistakes. 


Captain Defoe was not surprised at the orders that she had been given from the radio operator.  And in truth?  She was very happy to get them from the convoy commander.  Running from a battle with pirates or anyone else for that matter?  That was not a natural thing, for her or the pilots under her command to do.  They were clan Wolverine after all, and somethings might have been done to their genes about charging into battle.  Captain Defoe was a combat officer, a combat tested commander, and she loved her trade as well as her being very good at it.  With a few orders that came quickly to her mind, she put the directive the convoy commander had wanted into action. 

Captain Defoe had her modified Dropship, and six fighters moving towards the planet at a steady pace.  She did not want to spread out her command to far, without any reason this early in the battle.  While they were still in formation a few hours later, she orders a change of mission to the fighters and then to her own helmsman.  They were all soon moving at 2.9gs, but with the Colonial made plates on her dropship?  It felt like they were just standing on New Circe with its 1g pull instead of feeling almost like three times their weight.  The modified Leopard class jump/dropship could have gone faster, but Captain Defoe thought that something like that was a criminal waste of fuel this far from her supply bases.  The six fighters were not so lucky, and they had to deal with the huge stress load that this higher speed put on them. 

Captain Defoe was looking around the different screens spread out around the bridge of her little command.  “Okay people!  I need someone to contact local traffic control and tell them we are on our way to help them and give them an estimate of how many hours until we reach orbit.  Make sure you let them know our company name, just in case they forgot about it.  Next, I need our little birds brought back in a pair at a time.” 

She looked over to her XO.  “Empty out the bomb lockers and load them up but be careful not to load on them to many bombs, that it will interfere with their atmospheric entry.  They should only have two fighters down there that the Union has bays for.  I need to know where they are at.  When you find them?  Then alert the nearest of our fighters where those frakkers are flying.  They are the primary target, after they are done with the bombing run.  Our fighters will just have to take what they give, for that first bombing run.”  She didn’t want to give the enemy aero fighters a free shot at “her” people.  But the last thing you wanted was to have your fighters chasing off other fighters with bombs still on their hulls. 

The Bridge crew of the small carrier went into hyper drive, working on a long list of things that had to be done before the craft could add her weight to the battle taking place on the ground.  All of the fighters quickly came back to the mothership when they were ordered in by the fighter control or CAG.  The cargo space on a Leopard CV was not that great, but that was why Captain Defoe stored excess spare parts and ammunition on the other two dropships and on the Styx at the start of the mission.  By now she had a good idea what she would need for supplies and other items after these last few missions. 

Defoe had run short on ammunition once.  And it would not happen at the beginning of the mission or if ever again, if she had her way.  This let her have a variety of weapons, which she could give a short fight without any issues.  After the battle?  They could pull more stores from those other cargo focused spacecraft.  Still, it would not take long to empty the “bomb lockers” on the Leopard, and it still would not fully outfit all of her six fighters with a maximum load of bombs.  But there were enough of these weapons on hand, at least to put some of the unguided explosive devices on each of the six deadly craft. 


One hour later, four upgraded Ironsides were loaded with almost all of the bombs that the small carrier had brought with her from New Circe.  The two Stukas or Sleds as they were called relaunched with only a few of the lightest weapons that had been left in the bomb lockers when they had landed.  This delay in getting the fighters loaded with the bombs had let Captain Defoe work out an outline of a better battle plan, than she had been working on as she thought on the fly.  Captain Defoe’s carrier’s systems provided more and more data, all to go along with the flow of reports coming up from Traffic Control and the command center on the planet. 

Defoe had found out that the three different dropships were spread out to support different avenues of attacks on the locals, and they were not at the drop port.  The forty attacking light and medium vehicles and four infantry platoons from the Seeker, had split up into three different attack points after the landing of the dropship.  The Union had also split the dozen heavy and medium mechs into lance sized units, and each of the three lances were attacking different points and out of supporting range of the Seeker’s deployed tanks. 

The ancient, 6,000-ton Fortress class dropship had split its attack force into only currently two different lines of attack.  But they looked to have one large target in mind.  A dozen heavy mechs were supported by an assault lance of heavy and assault tanks, and the built in Long Tom cannon on the dropship.  Most of this was being used in taking Duke Terry’s compound under fire and isolated it from any reinforcements from the rest of the planet.  The other two lances of heavy and assault tanks and some infantry support were going after what looked to be a mining site not far from the Duke’s Compound.  Both groups were within support of each other, like they had spent a lot of time training together.  If she would have asked Commodore Copeland?  She would have been told that those mines were key providers of gold and other like metals at a thin but steady rate to fill Duke Terry’s coffers.  But that information was not that important to what Captain Defoe needed to do her job. 

Duke Terry’s pair of Vulcans had been working in the higher parts of the Planet’s atmosphere, and they were keeping a lance of SL-15 Slayers out of the picture of the rest of the battle for the planet.  So far like in the air, neither group had been able to gain a decisive advantage on the other for the battle of the planet.  Things were balanced on a knife’s edge. 

Captain Defoe quickly had to work out what would get the most bang out of the six fighters under her command.  She could only do one bombing run with her fighters, before she was out of those powerful but unguided weapons.  Then she would be only able to make a few strafing runs on the ground forces with her aerospace fighters.  There was only so much fuel that each of the craft can carry and then those fighters would have to return to the carrier for resupply. 

The Sleds would make very deadly ground strike weapons with their six large 8cm bore lasers in that attack mode, compared to the smaller Ironsides.  Still when they would make those strafing runs, it would bring her fighter craft into gun range of the enemy.  It had been known that even a small weapons fire hit could cause a ground attacking fighter to crash into the ground.  She was not scared about losing craft and pilots, if that was what it took to win the battle or the war against the Cylons.  That was just part of the job, but she was not going to throw those craft and hard to replace pilots away.  Cost benefit didn’t even come close to explaining the difference. 

The Hobgoblin was still burning at a good clip, but her fighters were in overdrive as they closed the last few hundreds of miles to the planet’s orbit.  Captain Defoe was trying to work out when the enemy ground force commander would know that the odds were about to shift against them.  It might not be the dozen mechs and maybe dozen tanks on the Lion for the ground battles.  It was that they were also going to be losing the battle for the skies at the same time.  She was hoping that the enemy commander would only realize this after her fighters had made there bombing run, and a few of the follow-on gun runs on anything that might be worth their time. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #425 on: 16 October 2021, 11:04:11 »
That timetable she had been working on for the last hour went out the window, when a screen showed the Bad Kitty, and its pair of escorting colonial piloted fighters were leaving the pirate point that held the Styx.  Now there was nothing defending the JumpShip but for her built-in long ranged weapons.  Granted any JumpShip that could pack more than a pair of small weapons was very rare in this part of space. 

Defoe stifles a curse aloud at thinking that the Convoy commander was about to land in the combat zone where they were so outnumbered.  It was a good thing that she had held her tongue, because soon a green line was on the display for the room to see.  It now showed the current and projected course of the modified Lion class dropship.  The three ships, one dropship and two aerospace fighters were not heading toward the planet, but they were making their way towards the Invader Class Jumpship in its own pirate point.  Until now Robert had been letting the other jumpship’s master think that they were successfully hiding from the Styx.  Defoe and the others should have just been glad that Robert had waited this long before becoming more….. active. 

It took only a few seconds for the carrier dropship’s commander to know what was going on and what the Convoy commander might be planning.  She could not help but let a little smile come to her face as she worked out what Copeland might be trying to do.  She was seeing what this was, and it was a squeeze play.  Soon the enemy commander was going to have to decide something very important.  Did they want to lose your ground forces or lose your ride home?  It was a high-risk play, but she also knew that sometimes it even worked when dealing with Inner Sphere forces connected ground forces.  Then again sometimes it only made the ground forces fight harder when they felt like they had been abandoned by their JumpShips. 

Early in 3051
Ltzehoe system
The Grind

Machelle made a sour face that was nearly covered by her huge neurohelmet, as it felt like her nose hairs seem to crinkle up and burn in her sinuses.  She smelled bad to even her own nose, and that took a lot of stink.  She pulled out a damp towelette and wiped the open face part of her neurohelmet and used her fingertips to get under the beveled edges of the face cut out.  She wanted to reach as much of her skin as she possibly could, but without removing the big honking device off her head, shoulders, and upper back. 

This action both took the sweat off her face and cleared her nose with a sharp fresh mint smell at the same time.  When she was done, she put the cloth back in its sealed container for later use.  With that operation done, she took the active controls of her machine one more time.  She had gotten a lot of “stick” time after that last attack that had almost killed her in Oldman Wilcox’s 50ton tank.  She had made sure that any free time that she had, and maybe just a little more that she could sneak in also, was dedicated to mech training. 

Machelle had needed a week of bed rest after the battle due to her head trauma and other injuries to her body.  She should have been in a hospital, but all of the beds in the Clinics and hospitals were filled with those that really needed them or the occupants had a good chance that they would die.  Thankfully on a planet like Ltzehoe, every few houses would have someone that had some healing skills and training even if they had not officially gone to a school to learn them.  Sometimes that was the only way to get a bone set or cut stitched up before permanent damage or death was done to the patient.  Then there was the whole child berthing issues on this edge of space. 

After the fourth or fifth stranger that had come by her parent’s home to “check in” on her.  Machelle was ready to either go to the hospital or shoot the next person that asked how she was doing and then go into detail about how proud they were of her.  The good news from those visitors was that Machelle had found out her crewmate had been returned to duty, and he would be given the commanders spot of the still under repair Vedette tank.  Machelle was both happy and sad when she had received this news.  Machelle knew that she would never be able to get more time at the controls of the tank again.  Well at least not without dipping down into a bag of very dirty tricks.  She didn’t think that she would dip that low, so that was going to negatively affect her ability to keep to her long term plans. 

The first shock after being cleared by her mother to go to work, had been when she was told that she no longer worked there.  Instead, she was directed to the town’s workshop where they maintained the local areas workmechs and other heavy equipment.  She had applied to work there a number of times, like anytime that rumors started going around town that they might have an opening.  But others with more experience had always been picked over her, and that had not stopped her from applying. 

The Shop as it was called in the whole county, only had a single working “mech bay” for as long as anyone could remember.  What was not so well known was that they had another three other repair bays that they had used for parts or storage for so long most people had forgotten about them.  A few years ago, the owner had taken out a loan from the Duke to repair, rebuild, and refurbish all four Mech repair bays to bring them back on line.  This was mainly done to support the growing number of workmechs in the county.  That loan had not been paid for yet by the increased workload in the local area, but the workload had proven that all four bays were needed. 

Machelle only knew this in passing because she was a battlemech fangirl, and she had wanted to see something that she had only read about.  You could have knocked her over with a feather, when she walked into the garage to see that two of the mech bays now held the Quasit security mechs she had fought against.  A Flea Class Mech was in a third bay and a workmech was in the last bay.  That one looked to be undergoing major repair work in its center torso and legs.  There also was a second Flea class mech and a pair of light tanks spread around the flat ground level work area of the garage.  Then the wall of sound hit her like a physical hammer, and she had to look away from the bright points of light of welders and alternately the shower of thick fat sparks of cutters and grinders. 

Machelle had never seen this shop so filled with work that was needing to be done, and with so many hands doing the work.  In Machelle’s mind’s eye, this was how a “real” mech factory should have looked like.  And her heart skipped a beat as she looked around at all of the people working and the shear level of noise.  She had no idea how long she stood by the huge open sliding metal doors that both allowed access, air ventilation and sound mitigation that a closed box would have subjugated the workers to.  Those huge sliding barn doors also just happen to allow the workmech owners to check on the status of their huge investment without bothering the workers or management. 

Machelle was thrown right into her new job when someone had noticed her standing at the main service entrance to the shop.  By now she was one of the most famous people within a few hundred Kilometers of this shop.  She first went to work helping to strip one of the pair of light tanks of damaged items.  Then they took out the items that looked functional, but they didn’t have the testing equipment at this location to know for sure.  They were almost done with that work when she was pulled off the light tank.  That had not made her happy, she was the type of person that once she started something she “needed” to finish the project. 

For the next two days she was doing paperwork about the work she had done after getting released “from the hospital”.  After she had turned in this not thin set of paperwork to the foreman, the next day at work was a major change.  Machelle had been sent to start working on the Quasit security mech.  The same mech that had fallen onto the top of the tank that she had been fighting out of, at the time he had done an imitation of a metal tree. 

Much to Machelle’s surprise, they were not stripping the security mech for any maybe useable spare parts.  Sure, they had taken all of the visibly damage parts and armor off the Quasit with as much attention and skill that they had, as not to do even more damage to the glorified workmech.  The shop and town rumor mill had it that when they got one security mech working, that she was going to be the one to get to pilot it.  She had her doubts about this rumor, but she kept those to herself.  She even tried to keep that idea out of her head out of fear of losing what limited sleep she was already able to get each night. 


Over the next few months, she found that she was really getting into the slowly rebuilding security mech, but that all changed when one day a mech coffin was brought to the shop.  You did not normally just walk a mech onto a cargo ship, and then walk it to its new owners when the dropship had just landed on a new planet.  A coffin held a mech so that any large enough truck could carry it in a way that it could clear under bridges and threw tunnels that might be between the drop port and the new battlemech’s owners.  Those coffins also were as rare as hen’s teeth on a planet that was this far from major worlds of the Inner Sphere.  If there were two on the whole planet of Ltzehoe?  It would be a surprise to any interstellar shipper worth his or her salt. 

So Machelle would notice something like this arriving at her workplace.  A pink submarine wrapped in a halo of fireworks would have been more subtle than a truck pulling a trailer with a mech coffin on it.  She could not take her eyes off the trailer after the towing truck had left her line of sight in the mech repair bay.  She and more than a few others got very little done that morning on the almost ready for testing security mech. 

When she had come back to work, after a quick meal at a local deli that had an agreement with the workshop.  She was met at the huge sliding door of the garage by Oldman Wilcox himself.  The old man looked, well old to her young eyes.  He was even wearing his “uniform” of clean coveralls and a long sleeved white collared shirt.  He passed her a huge box that could only hold a mech’s control helmet and a sheet of Verigraph paper.  She had no idea what to do and she missed most of what the Oldman was saying, but she did catch the end. 

“Make your family proud, girl.  You will be working with the Sheriff getting trained on how to use her, at least until the Duke calls you to her flag for the militia.  And try not to break her.  I don’t think we will be able to get another one like her anytime soon.” 

Machelle had no idea what to do next, and she was frozen in place with her jaw swinging in the wind.  The leader of her extended and powerful family lightly patted her on the shoulder, and he walked away from the garage.  She had no idea how long she just stood there with the helmet box at her feet and the Verigraph page in her hands.  Sometime later someone had picked up the case with her “new” neurohelmet and pulled her by the arm deeper into the workshop.  It was sometime later that she would remember that while Mr. Wilcox had been talking to her, the garage had been very abnormally quiet.  The reason was that they wanted to know what was going to happen, and now that it was over.  They had a party at the foot of the now standing 40ton Clint class battlemech.  It was the first time that anyone in this area of the planet had been assigned to pilot a real mech. 

Only a handful of years ago, having a 50ton tank was something odd, and the locals were thankful to have that one tank.  That had slowly changed with the increase of wealth flowing to the planet.  Still, it was within living memory that the whole planet only had less than a mixed lance of mechs and tanks to call on for its defense against pirates, but those were all located near the planetary leader’s home and the planets sole drop port.  When that Vedette tank had rolled down the street, most had known about the hulk, and it had been the subject of many jokes.  But seeing it moving and then in action had changed the outlook of those people that had been making those jokes.  Then more and more of the locals had been able to buy SRM packing hover, wheeled, or tracked vehicles.  Still very few heavy tanks were available much less walking mechs.  Even adding weapons to workmechs was very rare. 

The huge “new” mech and the newly rebuilt security mech would be used just for local defense, and that was a huge improvement for an area that was so far from the center of political power and the drop port.  This was seen to be a sign that they are growing in wealth even this far from those two centers of power.  As anyone on this edge of occupied space knew, that those with wealth would be attacked by others that wanted it or just to keep you from enjoying it.  At least the local leaders and power players were investing in the powerful weapons needed to defend the people that were far from them, and not just the people living near the drop port. 

Machelle had always wanted to pilot a mech, but she had expected and dreamed that her first mech was going to be an old and maybe half wrecked Wasp or Stinger, and that would be at best.  That was also assuming that she would be given the chance to pilot one in the first place.  What was normal for the Inner Sphere would have had them learning how to pilot a mech by spending a lot of time working with whatever type of workmech or herding mech that might be handy.  Unless you were a Noble with a huge bank account you might be able to skip that step, but those were exceptions to that rule. 

After the battle and while Machelle had still been recovering from her long list of injuries.  She had dreamed that someday she would be able to take controls of the 45ton Quasit security mech that she thought might be repairable by the Duke.  She had not told a soul about those daydreams, even when the rumors had been racing around town or when she was asked pointed questions by her co-workers, family, or strangers in town. 

Machelle knew that the Quasit was not a “real” mech.  But it would be a lot better than a fully functional bug mech, much less one only good enough to train new pilots and be a working ready supply of spare parts.  She had goals, and if the local defenders that was not part of the active militia would keep the security mech?  Then the Duke would have more and larger machines that she could be called on to defend the whole planet.  If Machelle was good enough of a pilot or gunner?  Then the Duke would call her up, and maybe she could be able to pilot one of those real mechs.  The Clint was a new wrinkle in those plans and machinations for Machelle.  Now Machelle had no idea what she was going to do, and it was now going to take a lot to get her to want to give up the pilot’s slot for this mech. 


While Machelle worked up on how to transition between the bad habits that she had picked up in the cheap mech simulations she had been using, and the real thing that was now at her command over the coming months.  During that training time, she had been told about how she had gotten this mech to pilot in the first place.  This was not some Tri vid show or cheap novel were the local leader “gives” a street rat a few million C-Bills worth of mechs for doing something great.  That would be like a glass slipper kind of thing.  She was the assigned pilot, and not the owner of the Clint. 

She had done so well in the running battle using that upgraded tank against the two security mechs, that her records were checked, and interviews conducted.  They had started after the pirates/rebels were taken care of in the legal fashion common in this part of space after a failed overthrow attempt of the local leader.  That would be for them to take a long walk off a short pier, with a rope around the neck.  Then the question was what to do next with Machelle.  That was a harder question to work out, than you think at first looking at the issue. 

Oldman Wilcox had his own ideas about what to do with someone like Machelle.  Besides he already had control over the two Security mechs and the pair of light tanks that had been attacking a neighbor until he had explained the errors of their ways.  Those two tanks had given up after only a handful of LRM hits to let them know that they were now facing real weapons and a bunch of very angry locals.  One of the tanks had thrown a track before reinforcements had arrived to help the defenders, and it had been the first one to give up the fight. 

A high level plan had been made, and it had started as soon as the recovered heavy weapons were collected from the spread out battlefields of the attempted rebellion.  Anything that was not needed to repair the one Quasit was sold or traded for capital to buy what was needed to return it back to service.  Besides armor plate, there was remarkably little that could not be fixed on this planet.  The bank accounts started to fill, and the patriarch went shopping as soon as he had an idea of the amounts he might be dealing with. 

First Oldman Wilcox went looking for a light mech that would not be a suicide machine for the new pride of the family.  What was working in his favor, was that they were making more mechs all over the place.   The downside was that the war with the clans was drawing off anything that was worth the money and more than a few that were not worth the investment.  If it was a weapon packing mech it was being snapped up to be sent to the war zones. 

A few years ago, the MoC had earmarked that a certain percentage of weapons produced in their realm had to be sold to locals.  The idea was that it would boost local defenses.  But what happened to the mech after it went to its new home was sometimes a lot different than the government of the MoC might have wanted.  But that was why you had law enforcement and the Inner Sphere was at its heart was a feudal society and all that those two words entailed. 

That was when fate stepped in, and things changed for the patriarch and secondarily Machelle.  It was in the form of MMM making another pick up of a huge load of ammunition from Duke Terry’s caches.  It was another very large load, and they traded this modified Clint to Duke Terry for most of it and just enough cash to pay for the base cost of manufacture and supplies. 

The Duke had an idea of where this newish battlemech would fit into her order of battle.  The Clint was a nice light scout hunter, and the light mechs classes were the most numerous mech found in this part of space.  The light mech class also were well loved by the pirate bands in this area due to their low cost.  Bug mechs were also preferred by them due to the speed of the mech, and they had at least one hand to help carry off any loot that they might have collected in those raids.  The Clint class of mech had some downside but MMM seemed to have worked out more than a few of the major ones. 

The traded mech to Duke Terry was not a new battlemech that MMM was turning out for the MoC and open market.  It might have been that this one had been found in the many salvage yards around the local stellar area, or it could have just been used as a trade in for something more capable.  MMM was not in the habit of selling wrecked machines to anyone without a lot of paperwork being done and without many lawyers having been involved in the deal.  It was cheaper and the profits would be huge, but the damage to the reputation of MMM would have cost a lot more.  And word would get around that the mechs and other combat equipment coming from MMM were not perfect or worth the money.  The last thing the board of directors wanted was for MMM to be used in the same sentences as Quickscell. 

This Clint had been inspected and rebuilt with any new parts that might be needed provided by the shops on MMM’s grounds.  Most of the time these parts had come from MMM’s stockpiles to make those repairs.  These were some very old parts that were used, but the ones with the known unique issues were replaced with ones more easily to find and use.  Still MMM didn’t want to compete with the new Clints that were coming off the production line, but any Clint bought from MMM would be looked at the same at some level.  That and they didn’t want to divert too many of the supplies needed to make those newer, more capable, and more profitable battlemechs.  It was a very tight rope they would have to walk to keep the PR department, stockholders, board of directors, and their customer’s happy little campers. 

After the inspection had been done on this mech, a plan was drawn up by the head techs.  The workers at MMM had first ripped out the autocannon and it was to be replaced by a refurbished Kreuss PPC that was just lying around in a side shop waiting for a new owner.  The saved weight of the lighter weapon and replacement of the ammunition feed systems had let them add two 5cm Magna MK II lasers into the right torso of the mech.  To handle the heat generated by all of these energy weapons.  They had needed a new heat management system fitted to the machine, and again using only what was not needed on the active production line.  The number of double heat sinks coming off the lines was truly impressive, but MMM was not in the habit of selling a lot of spare parts on the side markets.  The old PPC had an issue when an enemy got to close to the firing unit.  That was where the 5cm lasers came into play for the jock to use.  Those four 5cm lasers combined could do twice the amount of damage that the PPC could do, and thanks to the updated heat sinks wrapped about the old tech engines.  They could be used very liberally along with the PPC. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #426 on: 16 October 2021, 11:05:48 »
It now was a nice little raider as well as long ranged scout hunter, one that would not need pesky little things like supply lines for it to do it’s designed missions.  The Duke would have preferred that those two tons used to add the “new” 5cm lasers had been directed at adding more armor to the outer hull of the 40ton mech.  But she had not been asked about mech designs before the MMM dropships had landed.   And sometimes you get, what you can get, or you do totally without.  Terry was just happy that it was not a Stinger class mech they had wanted to trade with. 

Then one of the people that the Duke had trusted was pointed in Wilcox’s direction.  He had been looking for a mech for a promising young one in his family and that young one was known to both the Duke and her staff.  Quickly a few plans were drawn up by other people that Duke Terry trusted, and Mr. Wilcox and his wife were asked to have a dinner at the Duke’s home.  This was not that out of place even before the actions of Chairman Eric Hale. 

Patriarch Wilcox had not been able to pay the full listed price of the rebuilt mech, but he had almost all of the funds in a local bank.  Duke Terry had handed him the codes when the money was sent to the right accounts, and thus she had given him a mech on credit for the remaining balance without even dealing with interest on the loan.  But she wanted the mech and pilot to work with the rest of the militia to make sure that it was not a waist of a good mech.  That last part was just something that she could use as cover if anyone else worked up the funds to buy a mech.  She was not going to let anyone surprise her like last time with the number of mechs that were on the planet. 


That is how Machelle found herself out in the deep woods taking orders from Mechwarrior Kevin Williams in his fully repaired Javelin.  This was going to be his last mission in that light mech.  There had been rumors and then a militia wide announcement that he was going to be getting a larger Shadow Hawk class mech in the next few weeks.  It was the Duke’s way of letting anyone with the skill, talent and drive to pilot a mech to come forward for evaluation.  Very few things said that, like saying you have a fully functional light mech that is currently without a pilot, and it was not a bug mech or some kind of wreck. 

Also in this temporary lance was the Sheriff who was in the Quasit security mech that Machelle had worked so hard in getting back into combatish shape…. for a security mech.  The backup Wasp pilot that had saved the Duke from the Vindicator was piloting the newly repaired Crab.  It was not a well-rounded lance, but it would do to get some training with.  And even Machelle could see that she had the least piloting skills of the bunch.  She now had her mental eyes set on being the next pilot of that Crab, when she was called up to the planetary militia.  There was just something about the low slung mech with odd arms that spoke to her. 

The repair of the Crab’s cockpit had turned out to be not a major issue for the locals to deal with and get the medium class mech moving again.  The end state looked like crap, but it worked for the most part.  Plus, the support team learned a lot and every few weeks they would bring it back into the shop to fix issues.  And it always seemed to come out looking a little more finished.  There also were some rumors that a heart transplant was coming for the Crab in the near future. 

It was “just” another Magna 250 engine, but this one was refitted with a factory installed updated heat management system.  They also said that a MMM made Royal Flush copy of the H class ER PPC was going to be coming for it.  That is if the Duke had the money and the pilots lived long enough to see the parts.  There were a lot of rumors like that updating of the Crab for any mech that was seen to be fighting under the Duke’s colors. 

In the little civil war, the militia had lost almost 20 percent of its people.  Not all of them had been killed, but many were hurt too badly to be “active” defenders.  There were a lot of green replacements to fill those holes.  The Duke was more than willing to spend money on training of those green trainees.  She would not approve of anyone that she didn’t feel was ready to be moved to “active” service.  The current young pilot of the Crab was not expected to take a front-line assignment for some time.  She was still very green as a pilot and only little better with her gunnery.   But just like the other green troopers, anyone would be expected to grab a gun if there was another attack. 


This medium “training” Lance had been in the field for three days “on patrol”.  They had no idea what was happening around the planet at any given time while they were “on patrol”.  Then the alert had been passed to Williams from the Duke’s command center.  The lance was ordered to go to ground until the command center had found out where the pirates were going to land.  The last thing command wanted was for a green lance to be run over by the attackers and be defeated in detail.  Attacking without a plan was a good way to lose your mechs.  They could hide and the threat of a medium weight mech lance could be a nice distraction for your average pirate raiders. 

That had been a long six hours as the lance waited hidden powered down in the deep woods with their own eyes to see what was going on, and the occasional update that was sent to the lance leader.  The rest of the lance had tried to get some rest at the direction of Kevin after the first few hours.  He had warned them that they were going to need that sleep, that is if they wanted to fight these pirates.  Machelle knew the truth of this advice after the battles against the councilmen’s forces, but still she had problems resting in this mech’s cockpit. 

When the pirate dropships were down on the ground, and it seemed like they were out of the danger zone of being overrun by pirates with dropships support.  When the command center passed along that they were “out of the woods.”  The lance was at the run heading towards the nearest threat less than ten minutes later.  They were moving as a unit and they had blood in their eyes as they made their way towards the attackers. 

Machelle would have preferred to support countering the attacks that were going to be going into her family’s valley.  But they were on the other side of the battlefield, and they would have to make it through the nearest Fortress and Union class dropships.  Oh, and let’s not forget about fighting threw the forces that the dropships had deployed all before they could get to the Seeker dropship that had supply the pirate forces in that area that her family lived in.  This was not an all downside issue, because this lance was the closest to the Duke’s home and planetary command center.  Well, that and a few mines that were also in the local area. 

They spent the rest of the day running as fast as the lance could as a unit towards the sound of battle.  They were slowed down by the Crab, but not by that much thanks to the thick woods and rough terrain.  It would have surprised many a mech warrior, but the 45ton security mech Quasit was the fastest member of the lance with a flank speed of 86 kp/h and that was a dozen kilometers faster than anyone else. 

That 50ton mech, with all of its firepower could not be left behind by the lighter Clint and Javelin.  They would need all of that firepower, and any other firepower that might be lying around.  Besides the PPC in the Clint’s arm, the Crab held all of the long ranged firepower that the lance possessed.  The Quasit packed a small LRM, but it would need back up so it would only range so far ahead of the Javelin and Clint.  Many times, the point would be taken by the slightly slower Calvary mechs to give the Sheriff a break from that stressful job.  They were moving just like they had been training to do before these party crashers had shown up. 

They pushed as hard as they could, but they had been at the outer edge of the “patrol zone”.  They had been near the firing range that they would have used to get some weapons time firing at painted targets on the rocks that made up the bones of the mountain range.  The range was in an old and now abandoned open pit mine.  At least all of the mechs had full loads of SRM/LRMs with live warheads along with machine gun rounds for the Quasit.  They had been loaded for war as well as to get some training in. 

Paint rounds for the missiles were made on this planet, but they were not used by any of the forces that reported to Duke Terry.  No, on this planet there were too many rocks that needed to be made into easier to move sizes.  Two birds, one stone.  The mech jocks got gunnery training, rocks got reduced, that lowered the cost of moving them, different lots of missiles got quality controlled tested, and the Duke didn’t have to pay for non-lethal warheads. 

Now that ammunition would not be used against those marked stones.  They would be used against live targets.  Still there was nothing that this lance could do for the first full day of the pirate attack on their planet.  They were just too far from the attackers to do anything, much less anything useful.  Still, they were coming, and Mechwarrior Kevin Williams would keep the command center informed of their progress going cross country to the sounds of combat.  They were going to be a surprise flank attack when they finally arrived.  Or they would work a counter scouting mission against the pirates.  Well, those were the two plans that the mechwarriors pictured in their heads.  The command center had other ideas. 


Captain Wilma Thatch stood exposed from the stomach up as she watched down the road leading to the planetary command center.  The pirates had not landed on the drop port on this attack, and this move had left everyone scrambling to get into alternate locations, on top of the short notice of the attack.  A lot of time, effort, and money had been spent on those defenses around that expected attack coming from the drop port.  It was already noted that the attackers might have known about those and other defenses before launching the attack against the planet.  This idea was reinforced when it was identified that it was a rare Fortress command dropship that had landed in the deep woods to the west of Duke Terry’s home and command base.  There was only one way something like that would happen.  These attackers had a lot of inside information. 

Captain Wilma Thatch’s right hand moved and touched a dozen light splotches that spotted her right cheek and that ran further down that side of her face.  She had gotten those spotted scars in a firebomb attack on her home.  Her young son had been hurt worse…….a lot worse, and the scars she carried about that was equally a lot deeper than the burns.  She had not been able to get into the fight that had scarred her and ended up killing her son after weeks of excruciating pain.  That was not going to be the case today. 

Wilma had not been able to get her whole tank company online with such short notice of the attack.  Most of her combat company was still with Duke Terry at her command center waiting for their crews to report in.  This lance was just acting as a trip wire and hopefully act as a spoiler attacker.  The Captain needed to bleed and delay this arm of the enemy attack. 

Wilma smiled and reached down to pat the top of the Hovertec Quad pack of SRM launcher fixed to that part of her tank’s turret.  Where most tankers would have shyed away using anything but HE warheads for those SRMs the Hovertec system used.  But Wilma and her lance had filled their SRMs ammunition bins with inferno rounds.  Wilma was going to rain fire on the attackers, like she could not have done before.  Now she just needed to find a target for them to rain that inferno jell on. 

From below Wilma’s feet, a voice floated up to her uncovered ears.  “Captain!!  That farmer just called in.  We have a “bunch” of tanks heading our way.”  You could hear the air quotes in the young voice over the word bunch. 

Wilma didn’t say anything as she dropped into the full protection of the armored hull of her Bulldog tank.  She thought that they would not have to wait that long for the enemy to show up in her tanks weapon’s sites.  And she was dead right on with her last guess.  Still when the first enemy tank came around the dirt road to her front, she could not help but take in a breath as she saw her first target.  She had wanted a target that was worth her and her unit’s time and ammunition.  She had unknowingly tempted Murphy, and he had accepted her challenge.  Then the demon Murphy raised her challenges by about 40tons. 


The Behemoth class tank was a terror on the battlefield.  It was a tank that even most battlemechs would try to avoid, if they could.  100tons of slow moving death was coming towards her 4 lighter Bulldog tanks without seeming to care that she and her lance were there.  She got on the radio, but before she could say anything another assault class tank could be seen from their hidden position.  She needed a few seconds to change what she was going to say to the rest of her lance.  Something half rotten, smelly, and could be used for fertilizer had just hit the rotary impeller. 

“Okay people, aim low if you’re not sure.  I want you to go for turrets or track hits.  We don’t need to kill them.  We just need to delay them………. but killing them would be just fine with me.  Fire them up!!”  Wilma had a feral grin on her face with images of flame-soaked assault tanks filling her mind and heart. 

That was all she needed to say, and when the huge twin autocannon carrying tank crossed a line.  The line for all four of the hiding tanks to open fire with their 8cm lasers.  Duke Terry’s forces had been growing at a steady rate, but she had been losing people during every attack that had been beaten back.  To keep the skills levels up and to even gain some ground for her crews.  The Duke had made sure that every gunner had spent enough time on the gun range, that most of the other Inner Sphere powers would have blanched at the cost.  The crews might be green in tactics and other areas for a military.  But their tank’s gunnery was good enough that any line unit within the Inner Sphere would have loved to have poached them for their own use. 

All four of the 8cm lasers hit the huge and slow moving tank.  A pair of lasers hit the turret and nearly a ton of ArcShield Maxi II armor was blasted off of the tank in between eye blinks.  One of the lasers had hit the thickly armored front and bow plate, and it did little more than burn off the paint and seemed like little else to the gunners on the Bulldogs.  The last shot had hit on the right side suspension of the Behemoth tank.  That energy beam had slipped in between the long and thick armored skirt on the tank and the ground.  It was a very nice shot.  The thick metal track links and pads were blasted apart, and the track went sliding across the returned rollers and slammed onto the ground like a giant’s finger wide tie flopping on the ground.  It was just like if the tank had thrown its track due to some unwise maneuver commanded by the driver.  Only this time it was just with a little help from an 8cm laser, and a whole lot more catastrophic of a failure than just a thrown track. 

The Behemoth tank was now out of the mobile battle, at least until a support team and the tank’s crew could fix the “thrown” track.  Now it was just a pill box, but it was a pill box with a pair of very long range autocannons, 20 LRM tubes, 16 SRM tubes and a quad set of miniguns.  The twin SaLon MaxiCannon 10 autocannons bellowed back at her attackers and a twin pair of huge earth fountains erupted within the tree line.  Then the Long fire light LRMs started to fall in the same area, but that firing line was no longer occupied by the Bulldog tanks.  With current fire control systems, the 100ton tank had no problem of knowing where the Behemoth’s attackers fire had come from. 

As soon as Wilma had fired the 8cm laser on her Bulldog, her whole lance had started to pull back out of the holes that they had been hiding in for the last two hours.  That one volley of laser fire had not only disabled one enemy tank, but it had delayed the encirclement of Duke Terrys command center for over ten minutes.  At least it was almost ten more minutes before the attackers could make it to check out the firing line Wilma had just evacuated after three seconds of combat.  They had been surprised that they had not found any evidence of the locals still in those long ago emplaced firing positions.  The Behemoth’s crew had claimed to have killed one tank and they had damaged another enemy tank with their return fire. 

The remaining pirate tanks were even slower making it further down the road than the heavy tanks top speed would account for.  This time leading the attack line was a slightly smaller tank at 80tons.  This tank had a cruising speed that was about the same as the flank speed from the Behemoth class.  They had no idea what had shot at them, other than they had used 8cm lasers, and they were mounted on tracks.  The road got a little wider not far from the ambush point, or at least now it was wide enough that the assault tanks could push through two at a time instead of being forced to move single file. 

Wilma smiled at seeing the two massive tanks.  One was a real killer at short range with a twin set of 185mm ChemJet Guns.  The other thing was a long shooter packing three HellStars PPCs, it was a good team, but Wilma smiled.  She selected her target and passed it to the other tank commanders.  When the range was right, four more 8cm lasers lashed out, and again all four lasers hit their assigned targets.  The enemy tanks were only at medium range for those weapons, and these tanks were very good gunners. 

All of the 8cm lasers hit the left side of the long shooting but handicapped at short range Schrek PPC Carrier.  The heavy laser hits ran down from near the turret ring going down to the lower road wheels on the track.  The pirates had thought that this was just another hit and run attack and fired their weapons accordingly.  That was a very bad call by the commander of this part of the attack force.  They had just stopped their tanks and fired were someone had been hiding. 

Instead, the bulldogs had attacked.  You would be surprised how fast the 60ton Bulldog tanks could move, and surprise had given them just that much more time to act against the pirates with weapons fire.  Captain Wilma Thatch’s tank’s gunnery skills were just as good on the move as they had been while sitting and waiting.  This had come as bad news for the pirate tanks. 


Captain Mathew Milly was standing and riding high in his company command tank as he passed four burning or otherwise disabled tanks that didn’t belong to his command.  He had been expecting the enemy tank commander to pull back towards the command post or stay and fight in an open field battle or other simple tactics.  Instead, they had fired the heavy energy weapons, then ran, then fired from hiding, and then charged into his unit like madmen.  The local tank’s crews had been firing like mad and damn the heat or living to see the sunset one more time.  They had not been even trying to take out one of his heavier tanks that they were attacking.  They just seemed to be shooting at whoever they could see and pull the triggers.  The really bad part had been that the locals were hitting more than his people had been able to do, even with the limited range time he had arranged for the gunners. 

Then he passed the Demolisher and Schrek PPC carrier that had belonged to his command.  Both of them were in flames thanks to the SRM filled with inferno jell the crazy locals had loaded into their own tanks.  If they had enough time, the support crew should be able to get one of those two tanks back in operation or at least recovered back to the dropship.  The same was true of the Behemoth class tank that had been immobilized in the first attack of this series. 

Mathew Milly had been briefed that these locals were not like the rest of the sheep out this way, and he had not believed them.  Now he was glad they had brought all of this heavy firepower to this planet, like his “new” Grumman Amalgamated made Ontos class monster that was carrying his very large frame.  Now his pair of lances was down all of those tanks plus a pair of Pikes support tanks that were burning or immobilized behind what remained of his unit.  That only left him with his Ontos, a damaged Partisan, and his remaining damage Demolisher to attack those mines and close the back door to the Duke’s base.  That still was a lot of firepower to be used on a backwater planet, but it was now so much less than what he had landed with. 

This upgrade had not cost him or his commander any money to trade in their lighter tanks like the Vedette, Scorpion, and Hetzer classes to get these heavier ones.  Those lighter tanks were supposed to have been sold to anyone with the money to have them, and then the money given to “the contract holders”.  But “Captain” Milly knew that they were only sitting in storage for replacements, this was in case their employers proved to be less than truthful with the gifts and other things that had been promised.  You had to make sure all of your bases were covered as a mercenary, and that held even more true as a pirate. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #427 on: 16 October 2021, 11:07:19 »
Captain Milly sent a message back to the command dropship that he wanted a support team to be drawn up.  They were to come back and check out those enemy bulldog tanks as well as the ones damaged that had belong to his command.  He knew that it would suck having to clean out what remained of the bulldog’s crews, but a 60ton tank on the edge of this part of space were worth the effort.  Besides there always were slaves and others that could do the job or not eat.  Manpower was cheap, they were called slaves after all.  But losing the Behemoth, one of his two Demolishers, a Schrek, and 2 Pikes for a lance of Bulldog tanks was not a good showing and it could come back to haunt him.  If he didn’t pull a rabbit out of a hat, he might not be a captain after this mission. 


On the other side of the most populated area of the planet another ground battle was forming up, it was happening along much the same way that the other battles had settled out.  The top of a Union class dropship could be seen just above the treetops of the old growth forest.  Lieutenant Jenifer Zufelt now knew what the old people meant, when they said something about sweating bullets.  She had always thought that it was just a way for the old salts to get a wink on the younger generation. 

Now she was not so sure of that assumption.  She used her off hand to wipe some of her own sweat out of her eyes, even with the vent pumping cold air at max right into her face and it was not so hot outside.  Sweat just seemed to be pouring out of her body from places that seemed impossible and in amounts that made her feel like she had just gotten out of a saltwater shower. 

She was under a huge amount of stress, and she knew that this was not like the training she had been doing.  For one she knew that this was not training but real life and death, and she was in charge without anyone watching over her shoulder in case if things went wrong.  She had a lance under her command along with all of the “local” forces that might be within radio range of the alert that had been sent out about the surprise attack coming in. 

It sounded great, on paper.  It also sounds great, until you saw a Union that would be packing a dozen kings of the battlefield for the last few hundred years.  Oh, and it was your job to stop them, but you didn’t have a dozen mechs to do it.  She didn’t have even one mech or a over a dozen heavy and assault tanks that the books said that she should have.  Then again if she had that kind of firepower, her, as a young Lieutenant would not have her name on the blame line when things went wrong. 

Jenifer had two bulldog tanks, a LRM carrier, and that was backed up by a single SRM carrier.  She was wishing that the local sheriff and his back up were not a quarter of the way around the planet from where they were supposed to be.  That was a medium mech and a 45ton security mech that was not with her that the plan had called for.  Still, she had a 50ton Vedette tank fitted with a Star a League age autocannon and a dozen trucks armed with small SRM or LRM launchers that the plan had not counted on.  That would not make up for the one and a half mechs that she was missing.  But it did give her something to fall back on. 

That number of gun trucks would grow in fits and spurts, but she thought of them as little more than death traps no matter how many they had.  The locals thought differently, but the young Lt knew that there was a big difference between taking on a Security mech or some light tanks, and a real battlemech with a hand full of those modified work trucks.  Oh, and let’s not forget.  It had only been one security mech they had fought against and now they had a dozen battlemechs they were going to have to deal with. 

Lt Zufelt bites her lower lip and she thought about one of the classes that she had sat in as a young recruit.  Her leadership and base knowledge training had been heavily stented to watching classes on tri-vid recordings from some university deeper in the Inner Sphere.  Then there was some training from a few old salts.  One of the stories that she had heard on those videos and resaid by one of the old salts was.  “You fight with what you have, and not what you want.” 

That same video instructor had told another old saw that she said was still true today.  “If frogs had wings?  They would not bump their butts when they jumped.  Your job as a leader, is to use what you got to win the battle.  This is not about being fare.  It is all about protecting the people of this planet from being taken as slaves or having their homes and businesses burned to the ground by some jerk with an attitude.” 

With those words ringing in her mind Jenifer settled down and waited for the enemy to make his first move.  She would not have to wait for long.  Soon her systems picked up the sound of a mech moving through the thin trees that acted as wing breaks for the fields of grain and other food crops that would be her chosen battlefield for today.  Jenifer activates the radio and gives an order that she knew was not needed, but she needed to do something, or she was going to start hyperventilating.  “Archer and Knife, hold your fire.  Baker don’t fire until I give the command, or you take a close hit.” 

Jenifer knew that if she lived through this battle, her NCO was going to have a talk with her behind the motor pool.  But Jenifer felt better after giving those orders, and she would deal with the command lessons later.  Jenifer kept her eyes on the weapons sites of her tanks, and she identified the target before her fire control computer could tell her.  She knew from a local who had more guts than sense, that she was facing a mech company made up of medium and heavy designs.  They were in three lances, but they were not spreading out that far as so not to be able to support each other. 

The pirates were fighting smart, very smart.  Jenifer was hoping that this would change as time went on.  There was nothing that she knew about that was worth needing a full battlemech company’s attention anywhere close to this area.  She could think of a few things that would draw attention of a mech or team…maybe a lance if this was not a resource raid but a raid of vengeance. 

Still when the 40ton Hermes II came into view, she felt her stomach drop to her toes.  Jenifer had been working with the local mech pilots, and her tankers knew that as long as they kept their power low and didn’t move.  Then enemy Mechs would find the tanks very hard to find, but that advantage would all go out the window as soon as the tanks fired.  And they would have to fire at the pirates.  You didn’t want pirates to think that they had all the time in the world to do what they wished.  Civilians tended to come out the worse for wear when you let something like that happen. 

She could feel her underwear starting to gain as the scout mech slowly moved more into view and it seemed to be checking out the local area pretty closely.  The tank turrets could move, but they had to do it very slowly and use the backup battery power to do it.  She had ordered the Bulldog 240 class ICE to be shut down after the batteries and power amplifier for their Bulldog 8cm lasers were fully charged.  This might slow them down getting a second shot off, if the drivers were slow to crank the engines back up when the battle started. 

Jenifer knows that this was the price you needed to pay.  At least if you wanted to get the first shot off and, on a target, that you needed to quickly put down.  You know like the number one killer of tanks, the battlemech.  She was glued to the main gun’s site and when the battlemech crossed the dry stream bed in the middle of the field that was within medium range of the tanks main gun.  Jenifer gripped the controls and she made one final adjustment to the 8cm laser before she activated the radio to her gunner and to the other tank.  “Fire!!” 

Two beams of energy reached out from the hidden firing position that looked like just two small hillettes on the other edge of the field.  One hit slammed into the center torso and almost half a ton of Rieses 456 armor was blasted and melted off the mech’s frame as the laser played across the mech.  Jenifer’s last second adjustment meant that her 8cm laser cut a line of destruction right above the Oriente 5 Autocannon.  It was a pair of solid hits.  But the heavy scout was made to take a few of these types of hits, and it was not out of the fight.  If this had been a Wasp or a Stinger? Those two hits would have put the mech down or close to it. 

The pilot was also not new to this game, and it went to full speed after the speed of light weapons had hit him.  In just a few seconds the 40ton mech was up to 97kph and closing on his mostly hidden attackers.  Red and orange flames shot out from the right torso as the Orient 5 autocannon fired one of the twenty rounds it carried in its left torso.  In the pirate world, a battlemech didn’t run from a pair of tanks this small.  It was taken as a fact of life that battlemechs killed tanks in the open fields or light urban areas.  The pilot of the Hermes was willing to see if he could write this check and his butt could cover it. 

Jenifer flinched away as the enemy round fired towards her that blew up most of the living cover that her tank had been hiding behind away in a shower of dirt, biomatter, and greenery.  The shell only had enough energy left, after it had passed through the cover to dent the front slope of her tank, but little else.  Jenifer was able to quickly get back into position behind the sites of her main weapon and fire it again.  She didn’t need to give the order to fire again to the other tank.  As soon as she could see the target in her sites, she fired the 8cm lasers one more time.  She missed, but her wingwoman was able to hit the right arm armor on the charging mech.  That hit had stripped most of the armor on that location with the single hit of focused energy.  Only a small part of her mind suggested that she should have fired some of the SRMs to go along with her 8cm laser, but only part. 

She could not see the sparks flying away from the I.W.W (Irian Weapons Works) 5cm laser fixed on the right arm of the Hermes II.  If she had noticed?  She would have been able to tell that the weapon was now out of action until someone could pop open the covering plates and check out the guts of the laser.  Still the mech kept charging into closer range of the pair of tanks.  Maybe the mech jock was wanting to bring his flamers into battle against the pair of tanks.  He also could have been thinking that the flamer could be added in with some physical attacks, and that would break the local defenders.  Terror was a well-known weapon for pirates to use, and flames and mech fist were terrors to anyone else including more than a handful of other mechs. 

When Jenifer looked back into the gun sites for the third time, she had to elevate the device to see anything above the waist of the Mech.  Before she could think, the red light on her display went on.  That was the tank’s systems telling her and the gunners that the tank was in close range to the enemy.  Without needing to give a command, both tanks fired their 8cm lasers and this time four Hovertech Quad SRM launchers fired almost as one weapon system.  The front of the two tanks was temporarily covered by the smoke of these launchers mounted on both sides of the 8cm laser were going to work.  You would have thought that this smoke and flame would help hide the tanks from the enemy mechs.  But this was the 31st Century and even with the fall of so much tech within the Inner Sphere, battlemech sensors was not one of them. 

The mech had fired at the same time as the two tanks.  Where two 8cm lasers and sixteen SRMs had come towards the scout hunter.  The Hermes II had replied with a single 50mm round to that mass of incoming fire from the Oriente 5 Autocannon and its Olympian Flamer.  The shell hit squarely on Jenifer’s tank front plate and the flamer mostly missed her tank.  A huge wall of near plasma hot flame marched across the firing point of the Bulldog tank. 

When the flames lowered and became “only” supported by the local plant life instead of the mech’s oversized fusion engine.  The young officer could see again, but she could not say anything for a few seconds.  Threw the smoke and slowly lowering wall of flames the Hermes was pulling back as fast as it could.  The mech was now a lot lighter, than when it had tried to assault the two tanks.  It was leaving both arms and most of its armor plate on the battlefield behind it.  When it was able to get back to the tree line on the “safe” side of the field.  The Hermes pilot turned and went to a stumbling run from the sight of the two tanks that had both brutalized the mech and the pilot’s mental image of what the cult of the Mech warrior was. 

When the mech had started today, it held 7.5 tons of Riese 456 armor spread over its hull, a 50mm autocannon, 5cm laser, and a powerful flamer powered by the fusion engine.  When the mech had made it back to his lines?  He was down to just 2 tons of armor, a damaged autocannon, a few heatsinks, cockpit, and a Hermes 240 class engine that was leaking too much heat and radiation at an alarming rate for anyone not in a specialized protective suit.  The pilot was only lucky that the remaining autocannon rounds had not gone into unfriendly mode under the pounding the mech had just lived through.  That ammunition interaction with hostile intent would have removed the whole mech from this planet as anything other than metal confetti. 

With the scout gone back to the Union, Jenifer went to work on the second part of her plan to slowly bleed these pirates and keep them looking in her direction.  She had pulled the pair of tanks out of the now exposed firing point as fast as the two tanks could move.  Then two old trucks with thin sheets of mostly rusty metal that makes the trucks look blocky and somewhat militaryish moved forward from their hiding points.  Before the four man team left each of the pair of now refilled firing points.  One of them would pause and light a clean burning fuel pot in the back of the firing point.  They would only have time to make it to a hidden creek behind the combat units before the pirates reappeared. 


The 60ton OTL-4D Ostsol came charging through the trees.  He was looking for a “lance” of assault tanks that the scout had found and then had been brutalized by.  There not supposed to be any assault tanks on this whole planet.  They had some Bulldog tanks and some support vehicles that could be used to provide some LRM cover for the defenders.  The Hermes driver had at least provided the location of the attack of this assault tank lance.  But besides from the damage, there was little else in the way of information proved by the “scout”. 

The scans of the local area showed the heavy mech jock where the battle had taken place.  It was standing out on the IR detectors in front of the pilot’s face like a light house for those with the right equipment could see.  With an evil grin the mech pilot dropped his mech’s head and charged across the small stream like a good mech driver should.  He was a firm believer in shock tactics, and one of the best shock attacks was a heavy mech making an attack at speed.  He was firing into the glowing IR images of damaged tanks with his pair of Tronell III heavy 8cm lasers as fast as he could pull the primary trigger.  He took the lack of returning fire as proof that his tactics were working, and he kept closing on the enemy defensive line. 

His smile dropped as fast as it had formed on his dirty and yellow teeth smiling face.  He scanned the local area and all he could see was a pair of warm…somethings.  He was working hard to see what he had killed with his heavy lasers, and he slowed to a walk as he diverted some of his two few neurons to multitasking.  He knew that he had killed something, but they were not a pair of Bulldog class tanks. 

That was when the hidden Knife spoke for the first time in anger.  The weapons on this track did not need the electrical power of a laser or any other energy weapon for that matter.  All the Knife really needed was enough power to run the fire control system and to send some energy to start the weapons to fire.  Even the huge turret could be used without power thanks to being fitted with gears and levers a tanker or artilleryman in WW 2 would have recognized.  The Knife could have used a pair of old car batteries to do the job that was needing to be done. 

The Knife was a SRM carrier, and she had been carefully placed and equally carefully hidden until she opened fire on the enemy for the first time.  It had not taken long for the ten Holly 6 systems knock offs to each fire six fat short ranged missiles.  In less than two heartbeats one of the ten reloads that the 60ton tank carried was expended in anger.  At this range?  About a third of these heavy missiles missed their target.  But that left 40 of the deadly fat little missiles that did find their target and find their target they did. 

The Ostsol pilot was just lucky that he was not carrying any weapons that needed ammunition to make them operate.  That would have killed him, instead of “only” being sent to ride a rocket strapped to his butt high into the air when the auto ejection mechanism fired off.  The Kong Interstellar made battlemech had been turned into smoke scarred spare parts so fast, that the only thing that had saved his life was his auto ejection systems and a good tech to keep the device working.  It was the fastest time to take down a heavy mech on this planet, and yes there were groups that keep track of those sorts of things. 


While the pilot was still in the air, Lieutenant Jenifer Zufelt moved all of her units forward one more time.  She was betting on that this was the last time just one mech would be sent against them.  The easy part was over for this lance, and it was now time to earn their bountiful paychecks.  The next time the pirates came this way.  They would fall under a rain of LRMs fired from the LRM carrier called Archer.  They would rain down long ranged fire, and then they would slowly pull back as the enemy mechs came to punish this lance that had dared to stand up to them.  Jenifer knew that from now on, they would start to bleed and lose tanks along with their crews. 

She was right, the next attack had been by a lance of two heavies in the form of a Dragon and a Quickdraw supported by two medium battlemechs.  Granted one of the mediums was just an Assassin class but the other was a swayback variant of the deadly Hunchback.  She had only been able to push them back thanks to the LRM carrier and the long range of the 8cm lasers on her two Bulldogs.  It had only cost her all of the LRMs that she had on the LRM Carrier, and it’s now seemingly to small ammo bins.  Before she had thought that 8 full volleys from that 60ton vehicle would have turned any battle that she might be in.  Oh, how combat experience changed that outlook. 

She had pulled out the now empty LRM carrier for the locals to hand load the single LRMs into the huge and now bone-dry ammunition bay one LRM at a time.  They had been lucky that the pirates had been light on LRMs and other long ranged weapons in the attack.  They had taken down the Assassin and now the Hunchback was more of a skeleton than a war machine, but the rest of the mech lance had been able to pull back.  All of those mechs had been shown a lot of….LRM 20 love, before they had pulled back so far that they were hidden by the terrain and trees. 

While the LRM carrier had been slowly soaking up every LRM in the local area, the reduced lance had been attacked again.  The attack had been another full lance with two re enforcements that had already seen combat on this planet.  This attack had forced Zufelt off her main defensive line.  Besides losing that great position.  The attack had also cost her the SRM carrier before it could draw another enemy mech into range of her huge bank of SRM launchers.  Her other two tanks had also taken heavy damage along the way, but they had been able to withdraw without any complication caused by the pirate battlemech attack force.  The pirate lance had lost one more mech, and more mechs had taken a lot of damage. 

Their next ambush would have support provided by the KWI armed Vedette tank.  She also would be able to use some ground teams with SRM filled with inferno jell.  That and it would be the first time that she would be able to use some of the small one shot LRM launchers that some of the locals had showed up with.  The Lt and her “team” would keep bleeding the attacks, and at the same time they were keeping them from raiding the local farmhouses and mining complexes. 


Machelle was tired but wide awake at the same time.  The only sleep they could get was in the cockpit.  Their only “entertainment” had been when they could pick up information coming from the command center at random times.  She had been surprised when the other communication channels were checked, and there was not anyone claiming to be behind this mess or the pirates demanding that the local defense force surrender.  It was very odd, and she didn’t know how to take this fact as it was kicked around in her sleep starved mind.  That type of announcement had been normal in other pirate attacks and when the councilmen had tried to replace Duke Terry. 

In front of Machelle was a line of thick trees that ran as far as her eyes could see going off to her left and to her right.  She could have forced her way through those tall and thick trees without any damage to her mech, but it would take time, and lots of it.  Machelle knew that she had to be careful with only getting a few hours of sleep over the last 24 hours.  She had to think about her options at least twice before she went with her guts.  She hit the Andoran Model JJII jump jets and her Clint cleared 180m of ground and thick trees.  And that was when things went sideways for the young and up and coming mech driver. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #428 on: 16 October 2021, 11:08:46 »

Machelle should have been looking toward her pre-mapped landing spot and not the trees running by underneath her flying machine.  While she was on her way down, she could see something that made her blood run cold.  Standing on the other side of that line of trees and looking towards the main planetary command center was some kind of Crusader class battlemech.  That was a mech that was almost double her mass with more room for armor, weapons, and other equipment than her little jumping Clint.  In place of jump jets there was heavier mass on that mech available that could hold even more weapons, ammunition, and armor. 

Machelle’s eyes went so wide that their corners were hidden by the sides of her heavy helmet.  She didn’t remember hitting the transmit button, but she had, and she alerted her “lance”.  “Oh crap!!  Look out guys!!  We have a heavy on this side.” 

Her mech hit the ground hard, and as the knees flexed and the mech came back to being fully upright.  She brought up her arm mounted PPC, and she snapped off a shot of purple lightening at the heavier and still not moving enemy machine.  She didn’t know that she had hit the mech standing side on to her, and the hit was scored on the right leg just below the knee.  A single PPC hit would not take out a heavy mech, about all it did was get the mechwarrior’s undivided attention.  That might not be what a sane low end medium class mech driver might wanted to have done.  At this range her 40ton mech would have been taken apart by the Crusader without too much of an issue…for the heavy machine.  That is if the Clint driver was dumb or scared enough not to keep moving. 

The pilot of the CRD-3K had only turned in time to see the Clint go flying up into the air one more time.  His alarms showed him that his right leg had just lost almost half of the armor on that location, but nothing critical had been damage beside the thick armored skin of his mech’s leg.  The pilot had no idea how their employer had gotten their hands on a Combine modified mech that he was currently piloting.  Losing the machine guns would hurt him in a battle with any infantry.  He had been a Crusader pilot before, but he had lost it.  For the last decade he had been using an Urbanmech instead of being dumped into the infantry or repair teams.  But he had remembered about the heat issues common to this class of mech. 

The pilot gave a curse, and he adjusted his aim towards the Clint.  He had expected the scout hunter to flee back over the trees the way it had come.  Instead, it had jump down the open field.  And now it was picking up speed as it ran away from the heavy mech at what had to be full speed.  The delay in tracking the running mech made the range long for the heavy mech.  But long range was why you had LRM launchers. 

The pilot raised both arms up and forward in one smooth motion that showed the years that the pilot had been at the controls of a mech.  A pair of Magna Longbow 10 LRM launchers spit smoke, flames, and rocket bodies leaped away from the shock still 65ton mech.  All of those years at the controls of a CRD-3R now worked against him.  Not only did he lose those machine guns but on the Combine version.  The LRMs were also smaller, and this was all done to help with the heat issue so well known for this type of mech. 

The heavy mech had not moved from where it had been planted in the shadow of the trees, and while two sets of ten LRMs flew towards the running Clint.  Five smoke trailing rockets fell from the sky and landed around the Crusader.  The long ranged missiles had come from the Quasit with targeting data supplied by the Clint.  It had used the full power of his Vox 225 fusion engine to get up to 86 kph to close in and support the Clint. 

Only three of the five missiles hit the hulking shoulders of the Kurita modified mech in bright puffs of red and orange.  That was very good shooting being done by the Sheriff, and it was only partly thanks to the “advanced fire control system” the security mech was fitted with.  In the real world, the Quasit “only” had the same fire control system of a battlemech.  To compare to the Crusader jock that had fired a total of twenty missiles but only ten of them had found the running Clint. 

The Crusader pilot would not get a second shot off at the Clint, as soon as his LRMs had hit the fleeing machine.  The Clint had fired off its jump jets to both make it harder to hit and to increase the distance between the two machines.  But the Quasit did fire its LRMs again, and it even scored a single hit out of five missiles in the second wave of weapons fire.  It might have “only” been a single hit, but it was a cockpit hit that rung the bell of the heavy mech’s pilot.  After the pilot realized that he was still alive and that he needed to clean out his mech style shorts.  He was a little on the angry side and went looking for the Clint pilot and whoever had been shooting small batches of LRMs at him. 

This would be how for the next two days and nights that this battle went for the Lance.  The way that the lance would fight the heavier but slower mechs that belonged to the attackers was a mix of bait and switch, and punch then move like crazy.  They would not get a clean kill on any of the larger Pirate mechs, but they damaged almost every mech that was laying siege to the Duke’s home.  It was the perfect way to use a lighter and faster unit to fight a heavier one.  But only if the target was nice enough to keep the heavy unit focused on it.  Oh, and the target had to live long enough for the local raiders to give a death by a thousand cuts to the heavier units. 

All of that would change without notice.  It had happened when it was Kevin’s turn to be the hammer, and when he had fired off all the dozen SRMs on his Javelin into the back of a Warhammer.  But instead of giving chase of the smaller mech only to fall into another ambush laid in by the Crab and Machelle’s own Clint.  This time the lightly damaged mech pulled back to the rest of its heavy lance, and it was soon joined by the rest of the mech and tank company of the pirate forces.  Every so slowly they were pulling away from the Duke’s home. 



Training lance:  Machelle in an updated Clint from MMM (ppc. 4ml, 10 dhs), Mechwarrior Kevin Williams in Javelin. A Sheriff in a Quasit, newly repaired one-time wasp pilot that pummeled vindicator in Crab (rumor had it a heart replacement Magna 250 with DHS and erppcs is coming in). 

Why did they work on the most damage security mech first? They needed money and getting the parts off the back shot security mech would be fastest so that they could go mech shopping.  They had the time and the skills to get the one that took so many missiles hit in the back and fell on top of the tank.  Yea the power of plot, and I needed them to burn time. 

Pirate forces:  Under pay of ComStar to undermine if not kill Duke Terry.  Fortress (updated but ancient) (12 heavy mechs 12 heavy/assault tanks 3 inf platoons).  Union 12 mechs medium/heavy lances 2 Slayers.  Seeker not updated but packing a reinforced Battalion, 40 light and medium tanks. 

Chapter length.  I cut part of this chapter and moved it to the start of the next one.  This was due to the length (yea 50 pages was enough).  Then even before I got to the spacing needed before posting.  I had to cut it again when this chapter ran to over 30 pages, and I still had a dozen pages to go just working the spacing.  Good news is that now this story will be at least 71 chapters long. 

Mechs in this chapter.  I used TRO 3039 and 3075 for the info on the units seen in this chapter. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #429 on: 16 October 2021, 15:55:44 »
One point for the good guys, is that Union will have to pull out of the woods to be able to service the fighters. The seeker with ground troops should be taking an airfield for the fighters, them or the Fortress.

I bet the Wolverines could be coming down on top of them being the reason of the pullback. Some AP bombs dropping into the droppers could cause a bad day. That and telling the pirates that there ride is under new management, might cause some issue.

Then again, Copeland could just offer them twice what Comstar offered for them to surrender, then hang them.
"Constructive critism is never a bad comment"

"By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."
- Socrates


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #430 on: 16 October 2021, 19:09:11 »
bomb their dropships
Land your forces

then let it be known the ride home is under new management

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


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #431 on: 16 October 2021, 20:22:53 »
Excellent as always.  :thumbsup:


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  • And so there I was...
Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #432 on: 17 October 2021, 02:14:46 »
Excellent fight Cawest.  :thumbsup:


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #433 on: 17 October 2021, 20:39:14 »
Wow. Finished the reread. This chapter is really illustrating the desperation of the periphery life, especially when someone has it out for you. The armor company captain went down hard.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #434 on: 19 October 2021, 15:05:51 »
  Like the combat, nice personal touch to the combat. Show not tell is in effect.
“ My Clan honor is bigger than your Dragon honor, and comes in 18 clan flavors.”


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #435 on: 20 October 2021, 22:28:38 »
Wow. Finished the reread. This chapter is really illustrating the desperation of the periphery life, especially when someone has it out for you. The armor company captain went down hard.

got your email.  will check it out, just a little under the weather.  i just wanted to let you know i was not blowing you off


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #436 on: 07 November 2021, 11:13:14 »
Chapter 67
By Cliff
Beta and Clean up:  Not done
Reviewed by Hotpoint and Cannonshop

Late 27 or Early 28 July 3051
Ltzehoe system
Near orbit

By the time that Captain Defoe and her fighters made high orbit over the planet, the situation on the ground had noticeably changed.  Reports were coming up from the ground force commanders, threw the planet’s space traffic control, which said that the attackers were starting to pull back on all attack points.  The “pirates” were not running, but they were falling back in good order.  It was almost un-pirate like.  When pirates pulled back, under pressure, they tended to turn it into a rout.  To see one doing a very good fighting retreat was very odd. 

The pirate’s mech forces were acting as a rear guard, and their overall larger machines were taking a toll on the lighter machines and tanks that Duke Terry could field to defend her people.  What was missing on the battlefield were the forces under the Com Guards control.  Duke Terry was making some political hay at ComStar being missing from the battles with radio broadcast directed at them but not encrypted and over many open frequencies so that the locals could hear it. 

While this all was going on the Long Tom Cannon mounted on the Fortress class dropship was still dropping huge rounds into Duke Terry’s main compound at what had to be at its maximum fire rate.  All while the huge dropship sat safely behind a set of high hills between the two locations.  That long range and powerful weapon held the locals at a decisive disadvantage.  For once Defoe thought she understood why the clans thought that artillery was a dishonorable way to fight a war.  Then again so was using air support to pound on your enemy when the defenders didn’t have any fighters to stand against her. 

The new information caused Captain Defoe to change her attack plans, again.  She had planned on her fighters to first bomb, and then they would make gun runs focused on the Seeker class dropship.  That should have caused the bulk of the pirates to start pulling back from Duke Terry’s forces at a faster rate.  Then it would force the pirates into going towards the two remaining dropships.  Pirates tended not to last long when they could not get off of a planet they had been attacking.  Now that plan was not going to work for Captain Defoe and support in the defense of the locals. 

Defoe needed to make the pirate commander nervous, or more to the point.  She needs to make him more nervous than what he already was with the current situation crumbling around his ears.  She looked around the display that showed, at a near real time data flow.  She and her staff could see what was going on with the attackers of the planet like they were gods on high.  Her eyes come to rest one more time, and on one particular area of the planet below them.  They could see what was going on, but she didn’t know why they were acting like that.  She needed to shake the enemy commander to his core, and then she smiled. 

The Fortress class dropship was a well-known command ship going on now for hundreds of years.  With an evil grin, Captain Defoe had an idea on how to get the little Frakkers on the ground their full and undivided attention.  It would not pin a large force of tanks on the planet, but it still would ring one frakker of a large bell for all of the Pirates on and off the planet to hear. 

A few minutes later, as the six fighters from the Hobgoblin were starting to go down into a lower orbit an updated attack plan was sent to their pilots.  Nothing much was said at the last-minute change of attack plans as it was reviewed by six sets of eyes and brains.  This group of pilots was older, on average, for both of the SLDF Navy and Colonial Navy.  Both of those organizations were well known about changing missions and tasks on the fly.  If you were not mentally flexible?  Then you might want to find a new job, or the odds were good that you were going to be shot out of the sky by a more mentally flexible enemy. 

The four smaller of the fighters were going to attack a target from higher altitude, and the pair of Sleds were going to be a little closer to the ground.  The Stuka’s would be releasing their deadly payload of the few light bombs that they were carrying at lower altitude.  This was to increase their chances of scoring a hit or a near enough miss that the light bombs would still cause worthwhile damage to their target.  They also would come in on the target only after the lighter and at one time faster Ironsides fighters had completed their first bombing run on the target. 


The four borderline overloaded Ironsides class fighters lined up, and they made their bombing runs in pairs.  Each craft dropped eight medium sized bombes with one pull of a trigger fitted to the pilot’s control sticks.  When the bombs fell, the now lighter fighters were able to add more power and conduct more radical maneuvers to avoid the returning fire.  Behind them PPCs, Lasers, Autocannon shells, and LRMs crisscrossed the sky as the defenders tried to remove the attacking fighters from the sky.  This was a combat dropship and one that had been in production going all the way back to the 2600s.  That it had been made for over a hundred years before the fall of the Star League was impressive, and that was a testament to this class of ship’s capabilities on the battlefield. 

Most of the bombs hit the stationary target that was tens of meters wide as well as not moving, but not all of the bombs had found their target.  Not even Clan tech level targeting systems and pilots were that good, even with all of the years of combat and flying experience that could be added in.  None the less, the heavy dropship was rocking under the impact and near misses from almost two dozen weapons that had been brought all the way from New Circe to be used in anger.  This rocking motion was felt by the crew of the old ship as each metal egg detonated on or very close by.  The smell of fear was ripe within the metal corridors of the great ship like a spicy fart in a car with the windows locked closed.  After so many years of fighting, the crew had come to think of their dropship as indestructible with its thick armor and powerful weapons to protect them. 

The bombs that had been dropped were not the right type of bombs to be able to take out something the size and heavily armored as the Fortress class ship was.  The Star League in Exile had specially made armor piercing bombs, which had been developed for that kind of mission.  But none of those specialized weapons had been loaded onto the Hobgoblin or any of the other ships in the convoy before they had left New Circe.  The weapon was not covered under the protocols about high tech weapons going to the Inner Sphere.  It was just that they had not been needed and very little time had been spent looking around to see if anyone in the Inner Sphere had AP bombs. 

That Robert had carried any bombs at all was only done out of old habit and long forgotten rules for the SLDF Navy.  All of the combat that Copeland had faced on his missions had been space based and against other aerospace fighters or the odd JumpShip and dropships.  That those standard bombs were carried was almost a testament to the inertia of the planners on New Circe.  The standard blast warhead equipped bombs worked better against fortifications, troops, tanks, and mechs.  Those had been the expected targets on the old supply runs that had been made before the coming of the Colonials to New Circe. 

While the dropship was still rocking and with armor and hull plates still sliding off the great egg-shaped hull in a rainstorm of melted and shattered metal and ceramics.  In a blink of an eye, more armor was blasted off the enemy dropship.  The Fortress class ship had lost, more armor than the largest of the attacking combatant had massed.  Not a soul on this craft knew that this was only the start of their troubles with the new arrivals into this star system.  One or two of those crewmembers would wonder about how the mission had gone so wrong, so fast. 

The two 100ton modified Stukas class fighters came back around in as one unit to add their own weapons fire to the damage that their squadron mates had already done to the Fortress.  The Stukas volley fired all of their 8cm lasers into one side of the grounded dropship before disappearing over a ridge line.  That was while the dust and smoke was still rising from the light bombs, that they had dropped on that location.  Behind the speeding (well speeding for a Stuka) pair of Stukas was a lone dropship crisscrossed with great red and orange lines of melted armor caused by the strike of 8cm lasers.  All of that laser damage was all on one side of the dropship. 

It was like some toddler had used a set of God sized colored pens to mark great arcs of hot death over one side of the ship.  The High and then Low level air attacks had thrown off the gunners in the dropship.  But the dropship’s gunners still were able to score a few hits on the slower moving Stukas all before they were able to put a ridge line between them and the dropship’s weapons.  It was hard to hit a target if you couldn’t see them. 


The SLDF could have replaced those old age of war tech 8cm lasers with more powerful, and longer ranged ones, but then each of the fighter craft would have carried less weapons.  As Robert had said when asked if he wanted these two fighter craft replaced or their weapons updated to at least old Star League tech.  He had replied that quantity had a quality all of its own.  When he had to clarify that statement?  He had told them to leave the Stukas alone until the age of war weapons were no longer supportable by his team. 

Right now, Robert and Defoe thought that they were good enough for their needs.  But Robert had told the ground base staff to please come up with a plan on updating those craft in the future.  Robert knew that at some point they would run out of spare parts for those old weapons, and he would have to spend more and more time looking for replacements on his runs to the Inner Sphere.  At some point it would just be better to replace the weapons or the Stuka spaceframes.  Robert made a note to start looking for a pair of replacement dropper choppers on this supply run.  Robert had not asked, but he was betting that he was not going to be able to tap the SLDF stocks on New Circe for one.  But you never knew what his people’s leadership might give up, if he asked in just the right way.  He could always just pick some space frames up in the Inner sphere and have the ground support people on New Circe or his people to update them. 


As soon as the Stukas were out of range and out of line of sight from the combat dropship.  The dropship’s gunners turned what remained of their weapon’s turrets back skyward and started looking around for any other threats above them.  They were expecting another air attack, and this one should have been at a higher altitude than the last attack.  Too bad for those gunners, it was not.  Two of the updated Ironsides fighters came in low enough that the tops of the trees barely passed under their wings.  The Ironsides fired their Long Range Extended Ranged PPC at “Bear Slayer” levels of damage and range. 

And as the pair of fighters came into closer range, a wall of SRMs was launched by ten Yeager-6 SRM delivery systems coming from the two attacking craft.  It would take a lot of hits from those very fat short-range missiles to eat threw the thick armored hull of the command dropship.  Then again a few of those missiles were bound to have found craters left from the other attacks, that might have happened today or on some other recent combat the dropship had survived.  It would not take that many hits like that to ruin your day, even if you were in a dropship with the reputation of the Fortress class.  And sometimes you are a victim of your own reputation. 

Those were the only four of Robert’s craft that made gun runs on the recently upgraded Fortress class dropship.  They had not done enough damage to ground the hard to kill military ship, but it did ring the bells of everyone that lived through the attack runs as well as shake their morale to the bone.  Sometimes that can be enough, and sometimes it just made the target fight that much harder.  The remaining aerospace fighters did not even try to kill the dropship, which was not their mission in the first place.  You have to leave an enemy a way out of the battle, or they would fight to the death.  That had been a fact of war going all the way back to Sun Tzu in 500 BC on old Terra. 


The six fighters quickly reformed so high overhead that no one on the ground could hear them as they passed over head much less target them.  The fighter squadron had a good bit of distance to travel to reach their next target and mission on the list that they had been given to support.  Now that the primary reason for the assault was done, they were in a fuel saving orbit high overhead.  They would mainly now be keeping an eye on things from this location. 

The attack on what was most likely the command dropship of the Pirates, had been for a set reason.  Defoe and Copeland both thought that the attack commander was in the Fortress, but it was also a good bet that the leader of the Pirates was on a different dropship.  He or she also could be in one of the mechs or heavy tanks doing battle on the surface of the planet.  This was the Inner Sphere and commanders were known to lead from the front in battle, even when it would have been better to command a battle from a command center. 

It took some time for the data to be worked out that would allow the staff on the Hobgoblin to do some of what was called battle damage assessment.  After the six craft were brought in for refueling and a quick reloading of the limited ammunition that had been authorized for them to use and the all-important medical check.  It was now time for those six fighters to have some more direct effect on today’s battles. 

Captain Defoe was watching the reports coming in from the ground, and from her ship’s own systems like she was one of the old Colonial Gods.  The attack on the Fortress did not affect the battle going on below the high flying carrier, at first.  A little while after the attack on the Fortress by the aero fighters, the rate of the pirate retreat picked up, but not by much or even close to the expected amount.  Then she gave orders for the attack to go in on the 6,700ton Seeker class dropship two hours after the attackers of the Fortress had reached orbit.  This close ground attack would be by all six of the convoy’s heaviest fighters.  They would “only” be using their built-in weapons, but that was not a small amount of firepower. 

The other change from the attack on the Fortress was going to be the number of attacks the fighters were cleared for.  They were to make repeated attack runs on the grounded combat vehicle transport using energy weapons or the clouds of deadly SRMs/LRMs.  The Seeker was almost twice as big as the undamaged Union, but it had weaker armor and weapons.  This was done so that the Seeker could carry more of the light vehicle bays so that it could now support a reinforce battalion of pirate tanks.

On top of that known fact, it was the only dropship that had not been upgraded in the weapons area by someone before this attack had been launched.  The knowledge of the lack of upgraded weapons was quickly passed between the aerospace pilots and to the command center on the dropships.  From Robert’s dropships it was quickly passed to the planet’s command center.  They would not be able to use this data, but Defoe didn’t know that, and she had no way to know that kind of information about the locals. 


The six SLiE fighters attacked the Seeker in pairs.  This was dangerous after the dropship was alerted that it was under attack.  But it gave the attacking fighters time to review the results after each pair of attackers.  At least the gunners on the dropship had 120 seconds between each attack pair.  Each of the attacking pairs had gone after a different side of the dropship to test its defenses and to keep the gunners on all sides on their toes.  This made it very dangerous for the last set of fighters, but a 100ton fighter was a lot better able to take those hits.  That is as long as no one caught a golden BB.  Still the pair of Stukas were the last to attack and put the final nail on the information gap for Duke Terry and Commadore Copeland. 

Now the fighters could see the blood in the water, and they were looking forward to adding a dropship kill to their squadron’s kill sheets.  It still took a total of six attack runs made by all of Defoe’s fighters to visibly disable the Seeker class ship.  All of the fighters were empty of missile reloads and were running very hot as they pulled away from the coordinated attack.  That was when the long jets of multicolor flames shoot out of the nose and portside forward hull of the grounded dropship.  The dropship looked like an egg that had been dropped from the top of a building without any impact protection provided by the students.  Huge parts of the hull were blasted high into the air and littered the open field in wreckage. 

With the “real” primary target out of the picture, in a permanent way and now spread out in a wreckage and flame covered field.  The fighters had once again return to the Hobgoblin for repairs, refuel, and reloading of their weapons.  The Seeker had fewer weapons than most combat dropships, but it held more weapons than most aerospace fighters carried.  They also were old tech weapons, but there were a huge number of them.  It was just a matter of math before some had to hit the attacking aerospace fighters. 

That was when Defoe and her staff were told that the pair of Vulcans were out of the fight until someone could go recover them in deep space.  They had not only delayed the enemy aerospace fighters, but they had also removed them from the local battle space as any future issue.  It had taken the pilots some time, but the local fighters had been able to “kill” the better trained pair of enemy fighters.  That had taken a lot of luck and gunnery skills, but it had cost the locals. 

While Defoe’s fighters were being recovered on the dropship, the situation on the ground collapsed, from the pirate’s point of view.  All of the mechs, heavy tanks and infantry made for a least time path for the two remaining dropships as fast as they could.  It was like someone had turned the lights on and the cockroaches were running for whatever cover they thought that they could find.  Sometimes that shadow was not cover, but the shoe coming down to kill them.  Such is the life of pirates… well they were also a type of a carrion insect. 

The light and medium combat vehicles that the Seeker had carried now had a different problem to deal with.  They now had no way to get home, and there was a bunch of very upset and heavily armed locals close by to those pirates.  The same locals, which they had been killing for the better part of the last three days.  The other dropships were not in a mutual supporting configuration due to the need to attack so many different targets spread over half a planet in such a short amount of time.  The person that had been the “Liaison Commander” had been thinking that spreading out would be better to take out their assigned targets.  They had forgotten the old rules, that were there to stop defeat in detail.  Something that was now a very real possibility for the pirates. 


The mercenaries that were really pirates in everything, but official name had been tasked to kill the militia, take out the local leadership, damage any local industry they could find, and steal whatever they could grab while they were doing the above jobs.  The pirates had not been expecting the locals to be able to get any reinforcements, much less this quickly and this powerful.  That was not true for the paymaster, he had just not told the “hired help” every bit of intelligence that the paymaster had at their fingertips.  It was just to ingrained into ROM to give out any information, much less all that might be useful for people that were within ComStar much less outsiders. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #437 on: 07 November 2021, 11:15:09 »
They should have had at least two weeks before anyone could arrive to help the locals, but only after a message had been sent from the local HPG.  The paymaster had a very good idea how long it would take for an HPG message to be sent out.  That should have been close to the second Tuesday of next week.  The Pirate’s “normal” command staff also had not believed that the locals would be anywhere near this stubborn in the face of so much firepower.  Only a few years ago a single lance of light or medium mechs would be enough to take a whole world, much less a short but very heavy regiment.  The possibility of this level of reinforcements had not been in the very complete data files that even the company level commanders had been given.  There were more than a few angry pirates trying to get back to their dropships to find out why they had been surprised this way. 

That did not mean that those light and medium tanks didn’t try to get away from the overly armed and overly aggressive locals.  The start of the pullback had caused a lot of damage to the local defenders.  The locals now were attacking and falling into ambushes and kill sacks set up by the slowly pulling back pirates.  When the retreat turned into a rout?  The advantage on the battlefield fell to the locals once more.  The tracked vehicles had no chance to make it to the cover of the remaining dropships, but the hover ones and maybe some of the faster wheeled ones might be able to pull it off.  That was if they were just a little lucky.  It was every pirate for themselves or at least it looked that way to the people following them. 


It took only between a few seconds to a full minute for the local defenders to react to the shifting tactical situation.  But when they did realize what might be going on?  They again went after the rapidly withdrawing pirates with just a little too much zeal than might have been safe or even legal under MoC laws.  This mainly served to drive the retreating enemy harder to get to their pair of remaining transport so that they could get away from the blood mad locals. 

One of the things was not noticed until a lot later about this group of pirates.  It was that no one noted that this pirate group had not fielded VTOLs in this raid.  VTOLS were fragile, but fast and cheap.  But they were lightly armed and armored when compared to a ground vehicle of the same mass.  Fast and cheap would have been a good fit for a pirate force, but they also needed more man hours to keep working.  Due to the light weapons and increased support, they were not hallmarks of this attacking pirate force. 

The slower of the damaged tracked vehicles of the pirates were the first to fall to the local now attackers.  The first none motive damaged units to fall behind were Scorpion light tanks, but then heavier Hetzer assault guns and Goblin medium tanks would soon follow them.  For the locals, sometimes it was a case of the dog catching the car.  A 200mm Crusher SH autocannon would make life hard on anyone that got to close to them. 

Then the slower wheeled combat vehicles started to falter in what was now without a doubt a rout.  Battle damage also started to cause some of the faster pirates to lose the foot race they had found themselves in.  Of their own accord, the pirates started to break up into smaller and smaller groups as some tried to stay together in mutual support.  But still as motive hits by LRMs, SRMs and even lucky strikes by machine guns could cause a track or lifting skirt to be thrown or to lose effectiveness.  And those groups of pirates would get smaller and smaller. 

As these new damaged ones started to fall behind.  They were soon to be swarmed over, and they would be taken out by hand thrown firebombs that had been made in kitchens and bathrooms.  But these numbers of lame units started to increase as the few local’s missile armed light hover tanks and cars slashed in and put in only enough damage to slow the fleeing pirates.  Then the locals would work on the next nearest enemy with their weapons fire.  Those few local hover missile carriers did not get away Scot-free, and many of them were also taken out of the battle due to battle damage and dead crews. 

The people of Ltzehoe also knew the local area a lot better than the pirates, and they were able to get some of their Bulldog tanks in position to ambush the fleeing enemy on a few occasions.  Most of the time those ambushers would only get one or two hits on the pirates, before the speeding enemy vehicles cleared the improvised kill zone.  But with each 8cm laser or SRM that the tanks were able to hit with, would help the rest of the local forces “catch” a few more pirates.  The Bulldogs were to slow moving cross country to keep up with the fastest of the pirates, and then they would take up the mission of working on any damaged knots of pirates still working together.  Sometimes the lighter armed local would give the heavy tanks enough notice to pull out of sight and ambush a faster group of wounded pirates coming up behind them. 

Only six light hover vehicles made it to the nearest dropship, the Union.  One of those was a light APC that was painted all white, it was escorted by a light scout that was of a design that no one on the planet had seen before.  The other four hover warcraft were a mix of Saracens and Scimitars.  If anyone had been able to take an image of that light and very fast hover machine and then they had shown it to the reinforcements coming to their aid.  Copeland’s people would have been able to identify it as a very well-maintained ex SLDF Gabriel class scout. 

That hover scout was something that had not been seen within the Inner Sphere until the Com Guards had started to be rolled out to “defend” HPGs around the Inner Sphere.  Still, they were very few known to have been seen over the width and breath of the Inner sphere, and they had rarely been seen by none ComStar eyes.  The hard part would be how to tell the locals what it was, all without breaking cover as knowing a little too much about the equipment from the fall of the Star League or those used by the Com Guards a long way from this area of the Inner Sphere.  But no one had been able to get an image of the scout or even get a shot into it.  It would always seem to know where the ambushes were going to happen and avoid them. 

With the loss of eight mechs to the locals, and about half of them had been lost before the destruction of the Seeker class dropship.  So, there was plenty of room on the Union to take the fast hover craft and their crews on board when they were ready to start lifting off and away from this area of the planet.  Outside on both the remaining dropships a defensive line was formed with the fleeing ground forces stopping just under the guns of the combat dropships.  They did not have a JumpShip to flee to so they could not light off their huge plasma engines to leave this planet.  Those tanks and mechs would be the QRF to help defend the remaining dropships. 

With all of the firepower located in one spot, Defoe did not want to risk any more air attacks on those to knots of heavy firepower.  Even if she wanted to and she had the bombs to do so in the first place.  She had been ordered to stay in orbit above the planet with her full fighter compliment.  It was just in case things went sideways for the locals, and Robert’s ground team that was about to enter the battle.  Airpower is a very powerful weapon, if you use it correctly.  But it had been known for dozens and dozens of generations that airpower does not win wars.  It can only help with battles, if you were willing to pay the price.  And like any weapon, airpower could be broken if it was used the wrong way or by someone who didn’t understand the limitations of any weapon. 


The Bad Kitty was on her way to the planet at very high G’s.  The attempt to take the enemy jump ship had failed, if that had been the plan in the first place.  As soon as it was clear that the dropship and twin fighters were heading for the second pirate point.  The jumpship had left the system, to who knows where before the Bad Kitty could bring it under her guns.  The Commander of that ship had risked a fast charge to top off the power needed to leave this system almost three days before she should have been able.  Well…….she did a fast charge or some way the Invader class dropship had been fitted with a LF battery, but she had not lost one of her three drop collars. 

Near as anyone in the Intel section on the Styx knew, the pirate JumpShip had not sent any warning to the ground units that they were leaving Ltzehoe.  One second, they were there and the next it was jumping away.  Without a “target” for the modified Lion, her pair of fighters, and her battle armor to be occupied by?  Robert turned his sights onto the nearby planet to get some satisfaction.  That satisfaction would be taken from the grounded pirate forces.  Robert had not said anything, but he was more than a little surprised that the JumpShip had just left the forces on the ground without so much as a “by your leave or go frakk yourself”. 

With it confirmed that a Lion class ship along with enough air support to make a mech regiment commander happy was on the way down to them, and with the loss of one dropship already?  This mission now was going to be hard pressed to break even for the pirates, even ones that had major outside support willing to pay for this level of mayhem.  Unlike the new JumpShip that had popped into a different pirate point than the attacking pirates had used.  The mission leader of the pirates knew where the ride had gone, and more importantly he knew when it would be coming back to this system.  Sometimes it was good to be the one that had come up with most of the contingency plans for this goat screw of a mission. 

Defoe and Robert had been right about one key item with the limited Intel they had been able to gather on the command and control of these pirates.  The mission commander for this attack was in the Fortress class dropship, but he was a ComStar Senior Adept and not just your run of the mill mercenary or pirate.  The pirate commander had been on the Seeker class dropship when they had landed to start ransacking this planet.  It had only been by chance that the ground unit commander was on the Fortress for a meeting when the Tramp had arrived over their heads.  The ground force commander was not a happy man, even before he had lost his “home” to reinforcements that were not supposed to be there. 

The loss of the dropship and the damage to the command dropship was too much even for the ComStar commander to have to deal with.  He orders all of the land forces to board their ships at the load master’s discretion, just as the enemy combat dropship entered the upper most layers of the atmosphere.  Maybe the ComStar Adept thought that the landing dropship would give him some cover to launch his dropships out of this fiasco he had found himself in. 

Too bad for the hidden ComStar Adept, it did not work out that way.  It didn’t even work a little bit like the way he thought it would.  He had been a graduate of Sandhurst and he had thought that he was prepared for battle.  He had even graduated at the top of his class and any other classes on tactics that he had sat through.  He had never realized that book learning and combat experience were two very different animals.  The Hobgoblin was on the other side of the planet, and the ComStar Senior Adept had taken this as a sign from Blake that the Carrier was out of line of sight of the ground forces.  He had passed the orders that were given to the two different helms crewmembers.  And his desperate plan was started into motion with a few flips of switches and pushes of buttons. 


For the last few hours, the combined might of the local defense was pounding the slowly vanishing light and medium vehicles that had been carried by the Seeker but that had not been able to reach the safety of the dropship.  With the two knots of defenders around the dropships now getting thinner, a lot of the locals shifted their attention to those targets without being order to by Duke Terry.  There was no way for the command center on the planet to know where all of the local defenders were located, much less know that they were doing at any given time.  It was not like they had a chain of command more than just a few friends deep, and those friends were armed with they had from granddad or what they had picked up from dead pirates. 

Seeing what was going on with the attackers seeming to be getting ready to leave the planet’s surface.  Defoe even released the two fighters that she had kept for self-defense incase the pirates had reinforcements coming in and had coasted into the battle area without being spotted.  Defoe’s command had not just been waiting in orbit sitting and spinning on their thumbs while people died on the planet below them.  Two of the Ironsides were able to pull in the pair of militia Vulcans back to the small carrier in time before the pilots ran out of air. 

The pair of local fighters just needed some fuel for their engines and a few cans of LOX before they were ready to join the battle once more.  The pilots on the Vulcan had not even noticed that the crews on the small dropship were a little more awkward in how they moved in Zero G than was normal for a company that spent so many months if not years in zero gravity.  The pair of Vulcan pilots were a planet base fighter unit, and they didn’t have any dropships to work off of, so they didn’t know the difference. 

After topping off with fuel and air, the two militia heavy fighters were on their way to the planet’s surface and their still hidden bases somewhere down on the planet below.  Defoe had her teams keep a close eye on them just so that they would have an idea of where at least one of Duke Terry’s hidden airbases might be.  After they landed, the pair of 80ton fighters were not seen back in the air for some time after they landed.  Defoe was about to ask the Planet’s command center about how the Vulcan crews were doing.  Then she changed her mind after thinking that the locals might considered this restricted data. 

What she did do was let the command center know what her plans might be, and she kept them in the loop on any information that the small dropship had detected.  So, Copeland’s fighters returned to the battle after those crews had some much needed rest.  Defoe’s six fighters were joined by the surviving local aerospace fighters, and as the two dropships started to lift off from their locations.  They were some small fishes attacking a pair of large sharks.  Only these sharks had most of their teeth pulled, but not even close to all of the teeth had been pulled.  It was just another day ending in Y for the crews on those aerospace fighters. 

The Fortress was the first dropship to fall from the sky when the twin Vulcan aerospace fighters were able to put hard hits from there many heavy autocannons into the now exposed engines of the damaged command dropship.  The Anacon B500 engines on the command ship flared brightly, before most of them went cold like a light switch had been thrown or the fuel supply was cut off.  The Fortress had always been known for having systems that needed more care, and they still broke down more frequently than on other classes of dropships.  Even from high orbit, flashes of flames could be seen coming from the aft of the dropship.  Soon they were followed by huge showers of sparks between the tongues of long flames that were the bright red of unburned fuel. 

The old dropship fell over thirteen thousand feet to hit the ground with a crash, which was both heard and felt all the way to Duke Terry’s underground headquarters.  The crash site of the 6,000ton dropship was swarmed over by the nearest locals, like ants on a hotdog at a picnic.  They might not have been official members of the militia, but they had weapons and they were angry …….very, very angry.  Anything after that was more or less academic for the old Fortress class dropship.  Not one of the surviving crew of the dropship lived to see the sky again, even if they had lived through the crash.  Never punch out over the people that you have just bombed; they might not like you. 

The enemy Union dropship made it to almost to the edge of space before it to was falling back under the pull of the planet’s gravity due to battle damage to the Star League V250 engines.  Between the pull of gravity and the damage done by the six upgraded fighters under Defoe’s command that ship was dead.  When the dropship hit the ground after its near escape, it burst opened like an over full water balloon dropped from your high school’s roof.  The impact was so hard that the fuel, air, and other things flew away from the crash site before it ignited like a huge fuel air bomb. 

There was not any need for a salvage team to be immediately sent to that location to check on that crash site.  The forest fire alone was enough to keep any ground-based units out of the area for a week.  The crash area was marked by the over flying fighters and the location data was passed along to Duke Terry at the command center.  No matter what happened to that wreck, some things would be recovered from that Union that would be useful for the locals.  It was not likely to be weapons, but you never know, and someone would get the idea to check it out from ground level over the next few years.  There had been too many Tri-vids of someone finding a crashed dropship and then being set up for life with what they had found for this not to happen. 


When the Bad Kitty cleared the plasma fireball made by her shedding speed into the upper atmosphere of the planet.  There were not any major formed enemy units left to do battle with, but that didn’t mean the pirate attack was over.  With a few quick bursts of thrust and some gimbaling of the engines the falling dropship adjusted her landing spot.  This was something that a combat dropship could do better than a civilian design.  Both types of dropships could still do it, but the military ones could do it easier and they were a lot more accurate in hitting the last second landing zone than a civilian ship could. 

The Bad Kitty had not been aimed at the drop port as she came down from orbit.  Robert was planning on putting his few ground forces against the heavy mech and tank force nearest to Duke Terry’s home.  But with that force now gone from the planet.  The new target area was the last reported location of the massed pirate task force of tanks.  Robert was not sure that all of the enemy units were that out of the fight as some on the ground might think.  He had read too many reports about Cylons from Colonials and about Colonials made by the Cylons.  One thing had been common, and that was that they would not give up. 

The cargo conversion Union did not have mech bays or drop chutes that was normal for a ship of that class.  The Lion that Robert was now using didn’t have that problem.  But using the Mech drop chutes took a lot of training, and that training had not been done by his current crop of mech pilots in a very long time.  Even his ship’s crew had not run the required maintenance checks on the drop chutes and tubes on the way to the Inner Sphere.  Right now, the only safe other way to exit combat mechs from the dropship was for the ship to land and let them walk out of one of the bay doors and down the ramps. 

The great ship called Bad Kitty had barely shut down her engines and the flames were still licking at the sides of the craft as the first of the great war machines exited the warcraft ready for battle.  Only one cargo door was open and out of it “ran” a Black Knight that “quickly” was followed by an 80ton Awesome class battlemech.  The massive combat machines took up positions to cover the ramp with their heavy weapons. 

About 90 seconds after the pair of great war machines came to a stop.  They were quickly followed by the lighter Sentinel and the 55ton ex-Wolf’s Dragoons Hoplite that had been updated by a team back on New Circe.  The now fully deployed mech lance took up positions further out to cover the exit for the rest of the company of mechs to follow.  The lance was there to draw in any one dumb enough to fire at them instead of the dropship. 

When nothing happened for about 5 minutes after the lance was emplaced outside of the Bad Kitty.  The rest of the mech company followed the lead lance out into the open air one at a time.  There could have been more Black Knights and Lancelots class mechs that the SLiE had in great numbers on the Lion class ship, but that was not Robert’s style. 

Beside SLIC might have had issues with this idea, they thought of it as the difference between a cargo mission and one finding a lost SLDF base.  Sometimes people in the Intel business could not change fast enough after they had gotten used to working a certain way.  The Black Knight and Lancelot class machines were the most popular and produced mech in the SLDF ground forces, before the Mercury III Omni took that title only a few years before the Colonials had found them.  It would be some time before another mech would reach those numbers anytime soon.  Before the Colonials had come, the new Pulverizer was the odds-on favorite to reach those numbers. 

Robert knew that getting alot of those old Star League based design mechs would have caused issues with Intel or just news groups in the Inner Sphere, so he had not even tried.  So, he had asked for the Wolfhound, Axman, Challenger mech and the rest of the mechs that he had brought back from the Inner Sphere.  All of the mechs that any Intel agencies in the Inner Sphere would know that Robert had been able to acquire in his travels.  Again, two birds and one stone. 

That had not been enough mechs to fill out the full mech company that higher command thought was needed to make sure the mission was successful.  Those last slots had been filled by a pair of Black Knights that Admiral Xi had used along with two of the oldest Wolverine mechs on New Circe.  They were called Wolverine II in all of the paperwork that the SLiE had access to, and they had survived fleeing Clan space as well as the first operation against the Combine to free slaves and gathered supplies. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #438 on: 07 November 2021, 11:16:37 »
They and their pilots had been used on other supply runs over the years.  By all rights both of those machines should have been put in museums, but that was not the Clan Wolverine’s way.  They did have museums, and they held mechs from around that time.  But these Wolverines also had not been put into caches, so that they could be called back to war like a lot of their sisters.  These two had been “gifted” to the families of the original pilots.  The current pilots for those two Wolverine class mechs were older than Robert, and they were even too old to be called up to fight the Cylons unless New Circe was invaded. 

These two Wolverine class mechs had started life as WVR-7Hs that had been in common use within the Royal Brigades before the SLDF had fled the Inner Sphere.  They were very good machines and were filled with late Star League weapons technology that had been added by their current pilots.  Those non active duty pilots had not had access to third generation or what was called Clan tech weapons in the Inner sphere.  That kind of weapons tech was just to expensive for people on a fixed income. 

They also looked just like any of the hundreds of the other Wolverine class mechs still being made and used within the Inner Sphere.  The one update that separated them from the rest of the mechs of their class that had been done, was the replacing of the old Ultra class autocannon with an artificially down rated LR PPC to a Bear Slayer level of power.  That was a nice updating to weapons that now could cut almost a ton of armor off a target, all without the issue of the autocannon jamming, or ammunition exhaustion, and the ammunition exploding due to enemy action.  It was a very impressive upgrade for the 55ton mech. 


Robert’s company of mechs did not stay as one group for long or even near the grounded combat dropship.  They broke up into combat pairs or teams, and then they went hunting for enemy tanks or other pirates that they might find.  It did not take long for each of the mech teams to get into contact with the nearest local commander.  The Mech pilots merely asked to see where the nearest enemy tanks might be.  For the most part the locals were happy to see mechs that they were told belong to a name that had become famous as the harbinger of good luck. 

The data was passed to the mech pilots and then almost Clan grade weapons or better reached out and they took lives like a sickle to ripe wheat.  Copeland’s mechs did not get all of the remaining pirates that day, but anytime a local reported that they saw a pirate tank.  A pair of his mechs would head that way at their best speed to check out the report.  Most of the time it was a false alarm, but not always.  And when Robert’s mechs found pirates they would cut them down and leave again for the next reported location. 

A mix lance of smarter or maybe just luckier badly damaged Pegasus and Scimitar medium hover tanks lasted for a full month, before they were captured by a group of local militia members that found them late one night.  That lance did not put up a fight when the firing had awoken them from their sleeping bags.  The whole lance had run out of food three days ago, and they were trying to work out how to give up without being shot on sight by the locals.  That was not a small problem for the group, or a group like them.  They had not even put out a night guard to alert them of anyone nearby or walking up on them while they had slept.  They were just ready to end this mission and try to get home as best they could. 


Robert was in contact with the traffic control for the rest of the day as his mech company fanned out around the local area looking for any surviving pirates.  When things looked to have turned the corner and the fires have seemed to be burning themselves out.  He gave orders to launch the dropship up into the air and to re-land at the space port near sunset.  He and the local traffic control did not designate a landing area for the Bad Kitty.  The dropship’s pilot just picked a spot on the ground and gave a short prayer that he did not damage the ship on landing.  What he did to the ground and the rest of the local area was less of amental issue for him to have to worry about. 

Once Copeland and his crews were back to the “real” drop port, Robert stayed in contact with the rest of the command thanks to the command facilities on this larger dropship.  He had no idea that the facilities at his command were better, by size than what this or most planets in the Inner Sphere had access to.  Only Duke Terry had a lot more people to handle the workload, which the computers on the Bad Kitty let the smaller crew do the same job. 

There was not much else that Robert could do to affect the ever smaller battles going on around about a quarter of this planet.  All he could do was count the maybe wildfires that he could see from the top of the Bad Kitty, and he wonders about the number of dead that each one of those fires represented.  Every few minutes his eyes would go to one of the side displays on the command deck.  This one showed the location and status of the ComStar compound on the other side of the capital city.  It now looks to him to be more like a prison instead of something that was bright and the perfect model of the future it was supposed to represent. 

That compound was not dark, but it was not glowing with all of the excess white and multicolored lights like it had been during his other visits to this planet.  This ComStar compound had looked like any of the others of this size.  SLIC said that ComStar only had about a dozen different designs of a compound in all of the Inner Sphere.  Robert had a good idea on how they had come up with this data point. 

With every third time he looked towards that compound?  Robert would have mental images of those Black Knights and Wolverines kicking down that main gate.  Then he was mentally seeing them put a torch to that small part of this planet.  He had no proof about them being behind the attack, and any attack on that location would cut off a planet or a whole realm from the rest of human space for who knew how long.  That was not an issue for Robert, but it would have a major negative impact on Duke Terry and her people for a very long time. 

Nothing happened all night, at least nothing happened that was a threat to Robert’s command.  It was just as the sun was raising again that his company of battlemechs started to come trickling back home to the drop port.  Only a few of them had burnt paint or pitted armor plates, none of them were damaged in any way that would have affected their combat power.  At least nothing was damaged that could not be fixed with his on ship supplies.  Those mech bays and their specialized personnel were already going to prove their worth on this mission. 

Now that he had some mobile defenses, even if they were made up of very tired pilots.  Well other than the well-hidden platoon of light battle armored troopers, that were on high alert all through the night while the mechs were away.  After the mech jocks got some sleep, they would relieve their smaller friends on guard duty standing outside of the Bad Kitty.  No matter what, the gun crews on the Lion would keep everyone covered with their clan tech weapons spread around the hull of the combat dropship. 

The Axman under Copeland’s command was the last mech to make it back to the drop port.  It was quite a sight to be seen by the city and anyone in the drop port.  It was slowly dragging a damaged Hetzer and a damage Vedette tank out of the nearby forest.  They were “pulled” threw part of the town between the forest and the drop port.  It was like a hunter showing off his hunting skills to the rest of the village.  So, the 65ton mech had the cannon barrels in each of its hands and it used them to leverage up the 40 and 50ton tanks.  The front wheels of the Hetzer were a blasted ruin and would not have allowed “traditional movement”.  The angle of the mechs arm kept a lot of the mass on the remaining back wheels of the assault gun type tank. 

The Vedette class tank was a “true” tank with tracks in place of thick wheels that limited the terrain it could traverse at any real speed. The tracks on this tank seemed to be okay, and they were rolling over the drive wheels and return rollers with ease as it was also dragged through town in the right hand of the hulking mech.  It was easy to see by everyone that both tanks were damaged to even the untrained eye. 

The Vedette class tank still had the Axman’s 7-ton axe lodged into the top of the bread box like turret, all the way to the eye and shoulder of the head.  It was in impressive display, no matter how you cut it.  The battlemech did a little show and it “dropped” the two damaged tanks at the main gate of the drop port, all before making its way the rest of the distance to the grounded dropship.  Just before the mech entered the dropship, it turned and gave a slight wave to the crowd that had gathered at the main gate.  A few hours later a cargo truck and crane arrived at the main gate.  It took the pair of heavy trucks over an hour to retrieve the jammed axe out of the top of the 50ton tank and bring it back to the Bad Kitty. 


Robert was relieved when a certain heavy armored hover car made its way to the landing field while the sun was still not directly overhead.  It was being escorted by a pair of battle-damaged Wasp class mechs at the run.  When the hover car came to a stop outside of the Bad Kitty.  The light mechs formed a line between the armored heavy hover car and the rest of the drop port.  The escorting machines looked like they were about to fall over.  If they had been humans, it would have looked like they had just run a marathon.  And more or less they had done just that to keep up with the armored VIP mover.  It was just another sign about how close it had been about dealing with the huge pirate attack on this planet. 

Before Terry could make it all the way to the top of the loading ramp, she was met and wrapped up in Robert’s arms in a powerful hug.  They didn’t move for what seemed like a long time, just holding each other on the ramp of the combat dropship.  Slowly the world leaked back into the awareness of the pair and then they slowly separated.  The pair withdrew to his cabin, so that they would spend the next few hours in private while getting to know each other again.  The crew of the dropship made sure that no one interrupted the two people without needed to be asked by Robert or anyone else.  Besides the command crew knew some of what the future was going to hold for her and maybe some of the other locals that supported Duke Terry. 


Terry was laying in the crook of Robert’s arm as they laid in his bunk, and she looked around the cabin from this point of view for the first time.  “Well, Robert.  I have to say that I like your new upgrade of living space.” 

Her eyes went over to the small cooler and hot plate built into the far wall of the cabin.  She felt Robert stiffened and not in a good way, and for a few seconds she thought that she might have asked something wrong.  To say that their relationship was complicated was an understatement to the word complicated. 

Robert had to force himself to relax again and keep his breathing as steady as possible.  He knows that she had “felt” him react to her loaded question.  “Thank you.  My Boss used it on her trips when the risks were….elevated.  And with how things were going the way they were?  I asked to have it for the room for the mechs and the added firepower she was packing.  Oh, and the updated commander’s cabin is nice.” 

Terry got up from the bed and she started getting dressed, and Robert took it as a sign that play time was over, for now.  After getting to his cabin, they had maybe said four words to each other before she had “jumped his bones”.  Not that Robert minded one bit.  But now it was time to find out what the frak had been going on since he left to go back to New Circe.  He had two reasons to find this out and only one of them was for the reports that he would need to fill out for SLIC and the SLDF military even before he got back home. 

Robert went to the icebox and pulled out a juice box that he knew Terry liked, and then hit the auto coffee pot fix mounted on the wall.  “So, it was as close as it looked?  I take it that ComStar didn’t come out to help defend against the pirates again.” 

Terry made a face that said she was about to spit on the floor, but at the last second remembered that she was on a spaceship and that action was not acceptable.  Instead, she put her thumb nail under her two front teeth and flicked it in the general direction of the ComStar Compound outside of his dropship. 

Her tone was as icy as deep space when she spoke.  “That for ComStar and their contracts.  They even sent that waste of skin councilman off the planet instead of handing him over to the local courts.  Not that it did him any good.”  She let an evil smile come to her face. 

She had an evil smile and that twinkle in her eye as she continued.  “MIM picked him up over in League space, and he has been in their care ever since.  I offered to pay for the ammunition they need to use to shoot him.  MIM has yet to take me up on that offer, but I’m patiently waiting and hoping that they will.  Still, ComStar flat out lied to us!!  When that Invader class JumpShip showed up at the pirate point?  They would not contact traffic control, but ComStar said that they had been contacted by them.  And that this ship was only here to get supplies before making a counter pirate patrol further out in uncharted space.” 

She looked like she was almost about to punch one of the metal walls of his cabin, and Robert kept his mouth shut until she was ready to talk some more.  “We were almost caught flat footed, because of those lies.  When they were about 6 hours from orbit?  I knew something was wrong, and I put my people on alert.  When my ready craft made an inspection pass on those three dropships?  They blew all four of my Sabres out of space.  The Slayers got two of them and the dropship’s guns took out the others in a surprise attack.  Then they were able to put in an attack on my airbases after they took out my ready fighters.  Even hit the ones that I thought were hidden from anyone before the dropships landed.” 

Robert stopped what he was doing and looked over to the woman.  “I saw the two Vulcans and then six of your light fighters help my pilots.  You were able to recover them, but how did you do that if you lost your airbases?” 

Terry had an odd little smile, and then she raised her eyebrows.  Her voice was so low and husky that it made the smaller of his two heads to start doing the thinking for Robert.  “Now, Now Robert.  A Lady needs to keep a few secrets are you might lose interest in her.  But yes, “we” were able to recover from the surprise attack.” 

Now Robert smiled and went back to making them something quick to eat.  It was only eggs and toast, and the eggs were far from fresh and out of a can.  But it was good, and it gave them something to talk over that allowed for breaks in talking without being uncomfortable.  When it seemed like Terry was okay, he took the first step into what might be a minefield.  “It looked like they learned a few things from the last attack on you.” 

Terry took another bite of the eggs on her plate and washed them down with some juice.  She loved the odd spices that Robert had to add to his concoction.  “Yes and no.  They had a lot more firepower, and they did not spread it out as much as the last time someone tried to throw me out of my chair.  They also had that damn Long Tom cannon of theirs on this try at the prize.  That was a new wrinkle, and I can tell you that I will want to get a few of those things.  After living under them dropping shells on my head for three solid days, I can see why the militia wanted a few of them.  I will find the money, from somewhere to pay for them.“ 

Robert took his own bite of fried canned lime stored eggs, and he waited but nothing was said for a while as both took slow bites of the food.  Terry started talking again out of the blue.  “It was just too bad that someone kept their mouth shut on this attack, so I can’t pin this attack on him or them.  They brought more and heavier stuff with them, but this time most of my armor crews were not taken out in their homes before we knew the attack was coming in.  Still those heavy and assault tanks backed up with medium and heavy Mechs and artillery was brutal.  My people were able to pull more than a few rabbits out of the hat, and most of the pirates were on the overconfident side.  Still, we were one bad battle from losing it all.  I’m just glad that we were able to rebuild and expand after that last attack someone paid for and then we rolled box cars when it came to the execution.” 


She would leave the dropship at nightfall, and this time she made a more sedate trip back to the planet’s command center.  It was dawn on the next day when the Mammoth class ship called Hercules made its own landing at the drop port.  Her massive side mounted Bally Tech Super 40’s cut a huge blood colored flame streak in the early morning sky.  Duke Terry had wanted Robert to show that things were going to get back to normal, and she had asked for him to bring her down.  The sooner people did think that they had survived this attack.  The sooner that they could both start and finish rebuilding from this latest attack and get ready for the next one. 

And there were few better ways to show that, then have the second largest class of dropship ever made making a landing at the local drop port to do some trading with the local leaders.  Robert had made sure that he published the shopping list for this planet as soon as they could and before the Hercules had started her landing approach.  Then Robert took a few extra steps to make sure that people knew that he was there, and who he was supporting by doing business with her.  It mostly was a political game, but right now that game was very important to his mission. 

Robert did have a pair of his mechs sent over and standing at the main gate of the ComStar compound.  They were not right outside the gate of the phone company’s compound.  No, Robert had them standing across the road from the main entrance of the compound.  They just happened to be looking like they were ready to bum rush the gate of the ComStar compound at any second.  Every few hours the mechs would change from standing near the compound to keep both groups on their toes.  The pilots of the Assault weight Awesome and the lighter but just as intimidating Axman tended to want more of the shifts than any of the other mech drivers.  There might have been a game or three of dice to decide who and what mech got to put the fear of mech combat into the robed wonders behind their walls. 

This action taken by Robert had not gone without protest from the leader of ComStar on this planet.  This protest had been issued on a live video message, which Robert had taken even though he knew it was a risky call to accept in his current mood.  Robert knew that it was going to be a hard test to keep from saying something that might come back and bite him and his mission square on his fourth point of contact.  But this was like watching a car sliding down an icy hill, he just could not help himself but to watch what was about to happen. 

Robert had surprised himself when he realized that He had not said a word while he “listened” to the tongue lashing being given to him.  The same could not be said of the staff that were watching this “person” ramble on.  Robert was just glad that they had muted the mic pickups at their stations.  And when the ComStar Adept had stopped talking to take a breath, and it seemed to Robert that he was about to start repeating himself.  Robert had given the person on the image a hand jester he had copied from the Colonials.  That had been his only communication to the ComStar Adept so far, well after he had accepted the video link. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #439 on: 07 November 2021, 11:18:47 »
The Colonials referred to it as a single finger salute……in civil company that is.  Surprisingly it had a direct analog that had only dropped in popularity during the later parts of the Age of War.  It had been replaced with other gestures that conveyed the same basic intent.  Robert had cut the line as soon as he had seen the jaw swing open at noticing his hand jester and the look of understanding crossed the ComStar representative’s face.  Robert had left the bridge after cutting the line to ComStar to get some fresh air and just to feel clean after dealing with that slime ball. 

Robert stayed in the background as his two ship’s Captains went about selling and buying what was needed at the base of the two dropships.  Besides the drop port and the outside of the ComStar compound, the crews were sticking close to the dropship.  Robert was even keeping his people out of the recovery of any battle sites, even the ones that they had help make on this part of the planet.  Robert and his people were not laying claim to any of the pirate mechs or tanks that had been taken out by their weapons or actions.  Not even the two tanks that the Axman had dropped off at the main gate of the drop port would be claimed by Copeland Supply Salvage and Resale. 

His people didn’t need the age of war level weapons and these people, his friends, could very much use every last bit of it.  Copeland’s staff were not picking up that much on this stop, but they were doing more than a little selling of cargos to the locals for funds.  Things like high efficiency or double heatsinks were soon flying off the ships by the gross lots.  This soon after the battle, everyone thought that the damage that had been done was the worst case.  And if they had the money?  They were buying up spare parts or replacement weapons, and more than a few had made at least base inquiries on buying one of the mechs that Robert had at his command.  Even if they could come up with the money, Robert would not be agreeing to sell one of his dozen mechs carried by the Bad Kitty. 


Terry was keeping Robert updated, as there were any changes going on around outside of the areas that he could not keep a physical eye on.  During one of her updates, that she gave in person and in Robert’s private cabin.  She told him that they had taken an amazing amount of damage in the many day’s battles.  It was a long list of damage and Robert was betting that it was not complete, he could only hope that some of it was not going to be as bad as it currently looked.  But Robert knew that forever one time that it was not as bad, there were half a dozen times that it turns out a lot worse than first thought.  All you had to do was take your car to the repair shop after a wreck to know this little fact of life. 

It was going to cost her people a lot, and not just in money, to put everything to right after this attack.  Duke Terry’s people told her that they should be able to put enough captured equipment back into operation to add two more companies of light and medium vehicles to what the militia had before the battle.  Even the hulks of most of the pirate tanks would donate parts to get other tanks and weapons back in operation.  Or the parts would be found on the hulks that could be traded to others for the right parts they needed to support the planet’s militias rebuilding. 

They even were able to pick up some, not many, but some parts of the wrecks of the Seeker and the Fortress dropships.  It was just too bad that only metal was going to be recovered from the crashed site of the updated Union.  Still the hard metal would find some uses or it would be smelted down to make something that the locals can use.  Very little would go to waste, not out here on the edge of commonly traveled space.  The locals had paid a huge price for this small windfall of high-tech resources, it would be a waste not to use them. 

That was a letdown about the wrecked dropship, but the combat forces from the Fortress was going to let them pull maybe six heavy tanks and four heavy and one assault mech back into operation for the locals.  And that did not count the upgraded weapons from the command dropship that were repairable.  It was not going to be cheap, and it was not going to be fast.  But in a few months, if things worked out.  The local militia would be adding some huge firepower for the local defense units.  If they could find the right pilots and crew?  It was going to make it harder for any other attacker to push Duke Terry out of her job. 

It was just too bad, that when the Invader class JumpShip showed back up into this system.  That there were not any fighters or combat dropships that could make the trip to the zenith jump point in time before it could quick charge his engine and then leave again.  It did not even send a message to the planet after arriving.  It had just arrived and sat in that jump point like it was waiting for someone to meet it.  Only there were not any drive plumes that could be seen in that area of the star system while the JumpShip waited. 

Robert had been able to confirm to Terry that this lack of radio communication was true and not ComStar playing games again with her.  That didn’t mean that a few messages were not aimed at the JumpShip so far away from the planet.  One was sent from Duke Terry threw the Traffic Control Center at her home.  It was a little on the colorful side, and the rumor of it went around the locals faster than an HPG message crossing a light year. 

Her first message basically told them thank you for the spare parts, and next time she might just add a JumpShip to her military.  This little message had been off the cuff, and she had only been able to get it out because she had been in the Center after three glasses of wine on an empty stomach.  The second message was a little over half an hour after the first and after some more wine ingestion.  It was a bit more descriptive of what she was going to do to them and their paymasters the next time they meet.  It did not take long for a copy of that message to make the local news.  Someone had even made sure that it was even sent to Duniansire on the next transmission bundle from the ComStar HPG.  Terry and Robert would claim that they had no idea how that happened, and they were not lying.  Neither one of them had planned on that happening. 

Robert used the attack to bring up a subject that Terry had mentioned on his last trip to this planet.  Now that Jess was on the ground after catching a ride down on the Hercules.  They could start working on some plans that were based on facts and not thin air and wishful thinking on members of the SLiE’s part.  It had been a quiet meeting between the three of them, and they brought Terry in on a few more details that she needed to know to make her decision.  One of them was NOT that Robert’s people knew about the clans, they had left them in 2800s, and had been hiding ever since.  That would have to be covered at a later time, and in a location that would protect New Circe a lot better than a dropship’s meeting room. 

What did they cover in that meeting?  Well Jess went into some detail that their people were in a war and that they still could lose it against a powerful enemy.  That enemy that Robert’s people were fighting was the reason for the supply runs that Copeland and these ships were making.  Jess went into detail that the enemy they were fighting didn’t care what flag you followed.  They would just drop an over large number of nuclear weapons on you until you were blasted into ash.  And they would do this without a second of hesitation on their part. 

The main problem in the meeting had been when Robert had handed over an official looking document.  It had been the one that SLIC had drawn up for him to officially pass over to Duke Terry.  He had been told not to say anything about it before he passed it to the Duke, and he was to have witnesses for the passing of the documents.  It was one of the many hints to Robert that SLIC and other parts of the SLiE were not sure about Robert and his interactions with this person from the inner sphere.  Robert had no problem going along with these orders, only because he would later be able to use their over reaction against the people who had come up with them in the first place. 

The document went over all of the rules that she and any of her people that wanted to leave with her would have to live by.  That is if they still wanted to leave and have a place to run to.  If she or the others did not want to live by those rules?  She and they could stay on this planet, and Robert and his company would still trade with them.  But they would not be able to leave to come to Robert and Jess’s world.  It would be an all or nothing deal on the rules.  The rules had been written in such a way that it was very brutal and without any legalize or colorful language to “lighten” or offer loopholes of any kind. 

Robert made a personal plea, that she just could not tell anyone about what she knew about them, even if they stayed behind.  Terry had been very quiet throughout the whole meeting, and she did not give them an answer right away.  This turn of events was a disappointment for Robert, as he had expected to get a positive or a negative answer right then from Duke Terry.  It was a major concern for Jess, when Terry had refused an answer in any way when the meeting was concluded.  She did not want to have to kill Terry.  Jess had orders that said that she would need to do just that, if Terry backed out of the plan in any way.  Sometimes those in SLIC had to do jobs that they didn’t like, and then she would have to keep this act and information from Robert.  That was not something she was looking forward to having to do also. 


Duke Terry spent the next two days thinking about what she had learned in that meeting with Robert and Jess.  She was about to decide something that was going to have a major impact not only for her, but for any of her people that joined her in fleeing this planet.  Would she be jumping out of the frying pan only to fall into the bonfire?  What was the turning point that made her jump one way or the other?  The turning point was in her version of a staff meeting with her command group.  That was when things changed, and they cast the dice that might divert more than one major river that was the human race. 

They were not tired of all the fighting, but they were more worried that it was only a matter of time before they were overrun by someone.  They did not mind the fighting, but it was just that they were so outnumbered every time they were attacked by forces that seem to grow in number and size of the weapons that they could use against them.  Right now, they were down to a under strength tank battalion and a whole six mechs.  The Security mech and Javelin would be the next mechs to come back online to give them two fully repaired lances.  What if someone attacked them before they were ready?  Yes, they could rebuild, and they would be stronger, but would they be given that time to rebuild.  And then there was the needed time to train people on the new weapons or bring up people to replace the ones that had been hurt too badly to still be active defenders. 

That last part had been the key, and it struck a chord with Duke Terry.  That was when she brought the rest of her council in on her Exodus plan.  She did not go into the details that she had been told by Jess and Robert, only that she had been working on these plans.  To a person, they all agreed to the rough outline of her plan, and to a person they wanted to join her on her Exodus.  And when this meeting was over at the planetary command center.  They went about all of the tasks that they would need for Operation Exodus to be successful.  All of the communication used by this group would not say the word or the idea they were working on a mass plan to leave this planet.  It would be using the code name “The long ranged rebuilding plan” when they were updated anyone in “the know” about Exodus.  It was not a false name, just one that had a different meaning for who might have been using it and any ears that might be hearing them. 

That night after her staff had returned with their first update to the planetary leader on Exodus, Terry invited Robert and Jess to come to her place for dinner.  It was two days before Robert and Jess were scheduled to leave for their next stop of this supply run.  When Jess, Robert and one escort were brought into the home/command center for Duke Terry.  They were quickly brought into the large dining room that they had rarely used before on other visits.  The pair of them had seen it a few times, but they had been told it was for official meetings and dinners.  Only this time the room was not empty when Robert and Jess were shown it.  Robert could feel their guard get very tense at seeing all of the other faces around the room when the huge doors were opened. 

Terry had started making introductions as soon as she saw the look in Jess’s and Robert’s faces.  She also was going into a lot more detailed than was normal, as she went around the room before they all could settle down and have a meal together.  It was during this meal that Duke Terry announced that she was going forward with her Exodus plan, and everyone in this room had agreed to Copeland’s terms as pointed out in the document he had given her. 

You could have knocked over Jess with a feather, but all Robert did was give a grin to first Duke Terry and then to Jess.  They spent the rest of the mealtime eating and working out a few more details that only Jess and Robert could help the locals with.  Jess was almost as happy as Robert was at this turn of events.  Robert was going to be able to see his girlfriend on a more regular basis, and it also opened the door for Jess to pull out Don from the Inner Sphere using the same reason that they could get Terry out.  Then there were the other things, which would help the people of New Circe thanks to the clearing of this first hurdle.  From the looks around this room, it would seem that these locals were just as happy as Robert and Jess were that they would have a place to run towards that would welcome them with open arms. 


The day before the time that Robert and his two dropships were to lift off from the space port.  An MMM operated and expected jumpship with more than the two dropships it should have been carrying arrived in system at the very close pirate jump point.  The Invader class jumpship was coming in with some reinforcements that Duke Terry had worked out as a side deal with MMM and the MoC in case they were attacked again.  It was going to cost her some ammunition and other political points down the road, but they would be on planet for a few months doing training and helping the locals recover from the latest pirate attack. 

Robert hoped that they were also bringing some extra repair parts along with more mechs and tanks.  He had over seen the sale of a dozen different weapon types to Terry and her militia during their stay and with the new arrivals of the MoC/MMM mercenary unit.  The only people Robert did not sell to while on the planet.  They were groups that Terry did not like or was suspect of not being loyal to her in some form or the other.  You know, kind of like ComStar. 

Robert had been surprised to learn that the 5cm Pulse Laser like the very detailed knock off of the Type 2 Blankenburg and the Raker-IV sold better than any other weapons he had for sale.  Well, that and the Double heatsinks that they had “sold out of” on the first full day of opening sales on this planet.  But Robert did not have any standard armor plates or the other normal things that a battle damaged mech or tank needed to get back into operation.  Robert made a note to send back that any supply of old tech armor that might be in storage and was not needed, might have an open market out this way.  This note would be sent out Via TacFax along with all of the other reports that needed to be sent back to New Circe.  Who knows when someone might act on it, at least not without Robert getting hip deep in the issue when he gets back home?  Now that was anyone’s guess. 

Robert exchanged a final radio message to Terry, as they had become accustomed to doing.  Robert found that he was happy with leaving her this time.  He did not say anything to anyone about these feelings, but he did get a few sidelong looks from Jules while he had walked around the command center of the JumpShip.  Robert waited until the last fighter was recovered onto the carrier before clearing the convoy to jump.  Robert wanted to leave the bridge with that last message, but he knew that it was not a good idea.  He had not waited to read the hard copy notes Terry had passed to him just before they had lifted off from the planet.  Between those notes and the final message, Robert felt pretty good about what was going to happen in the next few months. 



Machelle’s lance:  Machelle is in an updated Clint from MMM (ppc, 4x ML, and dhs), Mechwarrior Kevin Williams in Javelin.  Shariff in Quasit, newly repaired one-time wasp pilot that pummeled vindicator in Crab (rumor has it that a heart replacement Magna 250 with DHS and one erppcs is on the way.  This factory mod to the Clint has to be fast and cheap in manhours and parts to be worth the effort of MMM. 

Chapter length.  I cut part of this chapter and moved it to the start of the next one due to the length, even before I got to the spacing needed before posting.  It just kept growing and I needed to find a way to get this posted more quickly and I ended up moving more and it bumped again. 

Copeland’s mech company.  Axman, Hoplite, Wolfhound, Awesome, Challenger, Cataphract, 2 Black Nights, 2 modified Wolverines IIs, and 2 Crabs. 

Chairman Eric Hale see chapter 60. 

Personal note.  About halfway through this chapter is where I started adding new skeleton and major muscle movements to this story.  That was after Feb 2019 and this story was “only” 670 pages long.  We are now at 1700 pages posted.  It is hard for me to believe that this has lasted this long and seems to still be going strong in my mind.  Thank you all for joining me on this epic and I hope that this has proven to be worth your time. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #440 on: 07 November 2021, 12:17:47 »
Wow. I am glad this is going strong. I enjoy reading it and the characters you write.  I am looking forward to seeing what comes in the future.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #441 on: 07 November 2021, 16:56:05 »
Its a fun story and you've kept the characters & characterization going strongly.  Thanks for sharing.
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.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #442 on: 07 November 2021, 17:05:21 »
Are we going to be seeing everyone on the planet get lifted off in one huge lift? The star league can use the manpower back home for sure. Nice update and can not wait for the next update. Love this story and thanks for sharing this bad boy over the last few years.

idea weenie

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #443 on: 08 November 2021, 01:27:41 »
Are we going to be seeing everyone on the planet get lifted off in one huge lift? The star league can use the manpower back home for sure. Nice update and can not wait for the next update. Love this story and thanks for sharing this bad boy over the last few years.

Let alone Comstar's reaction at their primary political opponent on-planet just up and leaving.  MoC might be asking why Comstar drove them off, the treasonous councilman might be brought back to pretend to be in charge (as Comstar's puppet), and the local pirates will have to look elsewhere for prey.

Will the space-based operation nearby will get the next request for 'long range rebuilding'?

Of course this could bite the SLiE forces as they will not have as many Inner Sphere-based contacts or infrastructure in the future.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #444 on: 08 November 2021, 21:42:38 »
I'm still glad to see this still going forward
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #445 on: 08 November 2021, 22:02:52 »
I'm looking forward to seeing how the SLiE will settle Duke Terry and her people. Whether they will get a city state deal or something more original like settling them in a new star system that has tylium reserves they want to mine.
Edit: As a local supply of food and shelter that would allow more experienced miners to remain in the area long term without having to spend nearly as much time in going back and forth.
« Last Edit: 08 November 2021, 22:14:09 by Orangeduke38 »


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #446 on: 08 November 2021, 22:07:56 »
I'm looking forward to seeing how the SLiE will settle Duke Terry and her people. Whether they will get a city state deal or something more original like settling them in a new star system that has tylium reserves they want to mine.
They wouldn't have the knowhow for Tylium mining, and frankly settling them on a planet by themselves leaves them vulnerable to a Cylon attack.


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #447 on: 02 December 2021, 20:24:06 »
Chapter 68

By Cliff
Beta and Clean up:  Not done
Reviewed by Hotpoint and Cannonshop

7 Aug 3051
Helios Beta
Planet Leonis
City of Hedo
Hedon Grand Casino. 

Wade “Jeff” Sitar looked over one shoulder to make sure the soldier was still there where they were supposed to be.  He had to fight down a chuckle at the thought of someone from the government helping him do this kind of work.  All as he went about his work that in the past had gotten him in a set of silver bracelets that soo were not a fashion statement.  Wade had been on the Astral Queen when the Cylons had attacked and blasted the Colonies of Kobal into ash. 

Wade had been a second story man since he was in his early twenties, and he had spent a half decade in prison in that youth.  By now that had been a few decades ago, and he had only been caught by the police only twice in his whole life with enough evidence to get him sent to prison.  It was not lost on him that getting caught that last time doing a crime had saved his life.  It was just too bad that his mentor Luther Whitney had not survived the Cylon attack.  At least no one with that name and face had made it to New Circe.  But with someone like Luther you never would know for sure, and Wade was okay with this.  That was because sometimes he would swear that he saw Luther out of the corner of his eyes around the Colonial City State. 

After being released into the “normal” populace of New Circe.  Wade had been tempted to return to his old life using his memories of Luther, to try to guide him to stay under the DRADIS of the local law enforcement officers.  That had been until the public trial of the syndicate enforcer and his Ha’la’tha boss after running some scams against a group of the Wolverines.  He was too old for hard labor for the next two or three decades of his life if he got caught again.  So, he had tried his hand at an honest trade.  He had even started going by his real first name of Jeff, and after a few false starts, he was at least starting to make it in the light of a legal job. 

Going by his real first name was a nice way of dividing the type of work he had done.  Wade was a second story man that could get into any safe made in the Colonies, and Jeff was just someone you called when you needed to open something that you forgot the lock code.  There were jobs that needed to be done all over the Colonial city-state as more and more people settled into a new life being off of those frakking ships.  All you needed was some brains, common sense, could do work, work alone, and could work with small tools without breaking them.  Well, he had 4 out of 5 of those traits on his bad days and 5 for 5 when he was having a good day.  Still, this gave him a leg up on over a third of the Colonial survivors that would be lucky to have 2 out of 5 of those skills on any given day of the average week. 

Wade knew that Colonial law enforcement knew about him, and that they kept an eye on what he was up to after being released from the Astral Queen to start a new life on New Circe.  After the Colonial fleet had returned from its first run to the Cyrannus system.  He had been “asked” and then escorted to the Main military space field that the Colonials were still setting up with a lot of help from the SLiE.  They hadn’t told him why he was needed and then “helped” into the transport.  Sitting in the back of the military truck as it bumped down the still dirt roads of the growing city, he had time to think about all kinds of bad things that might happen to him in the next few hours. 

After he had been brought into one of the bases few permanent buildings.  Wade had been asked to “unlock” half a dozen recovered small safes that looked to have been ripped out of walls or floors with powered equipment of some kind.  As his eyes went around the metal boxes, he felt professionally offended at the heavy-handed tactics used to get these items to this location.  Each of the safes would have been child’s play for him to open, if he had the right tools to do the work.  He had not had his tools returned to him when he had been let out of his cell on that prison ship.  It was not like the prison ship would have kept them for his trial, and the evidence lockers were nuked from space or under Cylon control. 

Wade had taken the job, but he had demanded a set wage for the work he was to undertake.  Another condition for the job, was that he would have access to a support team that could make the tools he would need.  Making the criminal tools had been an issue, but they had worked it out so that any tools Wade had made for this job would be left under control of the Colonial Military or Government.  They would review this agreement after they had a better idea of what he wanted them to make.  Wade had flatly turned down a share in the recovered items from the safes for the flat wage.  He knew enough about his old line of work, that most of the time.  Safes were empty wells, even after all of your research of the target before you committed to your larceny. 

With the agreement in place, and the paperwork drawn up and signed by both parties.  Wade had gone to work on what should have been the easiest of the safes to open.  Without his old tools, what should have taken only a few minutes.  It had taken the safe cracker two hours to get it opened and that was after setting up his workspace for his audience.  Wade had one person keeping an eye on him while he worked in the hyper quiet room of what he thought of as an interrogation room.  After the thick metal door had opened to his fingers, he had just stepped out of the way of the 40cm long hatch.  And just as he had thought, it had been filled with paper that was now useless to those living on New Circe.  About the only thing he had seen that was of value in that safe was a loaded military side arm and a few old gold coins someone had kept as an investment for a rainy day.  With his skills proven, he had gone home for the night. 

The start of the first full day of working had been spent in a workshop getting the tools of his trade rebuilt.  Wade had spent the night getting some of the more common tools together on his own.  But having access to all of the goodies in a machine shop, and the well-trained hands to make better tools was too much to pass up.  It had taken him only three days to get all of those recovered safes opened.  When he left that office at the end of the last day of work?  He was able to keep the tools that had been made to do the job.  He even was able to add “lock smithing, repair, and recovery specialist approved by the Colonial military and government” to his company business cards.  That was not an unimportant addition to someone like him. 

Every so often, Wade would be called back to that military base to open a freshly recovered safe for a set pay rate.  Twice he had been lifted off the planet to handle a “found” safe on one of the civilian ships of the Rag Tag Fleet.  With each new “job” he would have made new or better tools to do his old job all at the expense of the Colonial Government and the military.  That had not gone over very well with some members of both of those groups. 

Some of the Colonial military had tried to do the job, so that they would not have to call him in.  They might have had the tools, but they didn’t have the years of the skills needed to use them or the raw base talent that he had.  After a few tries, they had just given up and called him when they had to open lock boxes and the like.  He was even making a good enough living just with these commissions from the Military to cover his living expenses.  On top of that he had been even able to work on some of the safes in Wolverine areas, after word of his skill got around outside of the City State.  Then his world had come crashing down around his ears like a dropship with blown out engines.  Sometimes it was not good to be known at being the best in a rare skill set. 


Wade had been called to the military base and asked to bring all of his tools for a mix of jobs that could take some time for even him to complete.  He had assumed that they had another round of safes or lock boxes recovered from one of the military bases from the old Colonial planets for him to open.  So, you can imagine the surprise he had felt, when he was escorted into an unmarked room on the base.  He pulled up some of his other old skills when he was left alone in a room that looked not unlike the room you would see in a law enforcement office.  When he tried the door, it was locked.  Without anything to do and no books to read to help pass the time.  Wade had thought about “opening” the door and then changed his mind.  Instead, he had taken a seat and then taken a nap in the quiet room. 

Most of the time that he was in that room, he didn’t sleep, it only looked that way on the outside.  All he could do was wait and wonder how many people were watching him while he cooled his heals in that soundproof room.  While he waited, he went down the list of possible laws he might have broken while he had been on this planet.  For the first time in years, he could not think of a law that he might have broken without being on contract with the military or local government.  Oh, he knew that he had bent more than a few laws, but still most of that had been while he was working for the Colonial Military.  Those should not have been things that landed him in a room like this. 

When the door opened to this holding room again?  Wade was expecting to see someone with a gold badge on and a military uniform to enter the room to take him to see the magistrate.  The two people who entered the room were in uniform, so he was half right in his guesses that he had been thinking about while he had been faking sleeping.  He remembers every second that passed for the next half hour, like they were cut into his forebrain with the galaxy’s sharpest knife. 

Wade was informed that he was being drafted into the Colonial Military, effective immediately.  The Colonial City State had passed a law that said you had to serve at least 3 years of military service.  This was really only a reinforcement and a light modification of an older law that had never been removed from the legal books that the Colony of Kobal used.  The modification was that this Draft would only end when the war with the Cylons had been finished.  And after a “thorough records check” it was found that neither a Wade Sitar nor a Jeff Sitar had served their draft time, before the coming of the new war with the Cylons.  That was going to change now, and unlike in Kobal space.  There was not an option of doing jail time or “public service” instead of going into the military.  There was only the question of what type of military unit and what job you would do during your service. 

Due to his age and his proven skill in a rare field.  The Colonial Military was not going to be sending him to “basic training”, but he would have to attend the Physical training group to get him ready “for the rigors of military service”.  The effective start date of his draft was today, and he was now in the Military as of first light this morning.  The pair of uniforms had read to him a lot of rules, and they made him sign on the line that said he understood what he had just been briefed about.  When he had asked for a lawyer and started falling back on old skills?  He had been told that he could find one, but only after he finished with the quarantine period that all “new” recruits had to undergo. 

With not being able to see a lawyer and all of the paperwork done.  One of the pair had escorted him from the room.  Jeff Sitar now became Wade Sitar for the time and length of his draft.  Wade had seen enough behind him to know that the remaining uniform was entering another room next to the one Wade had been held in.  All before they made a turn into a different hallway.  Wade was betting someone was about to have their day ruined, like he had.  He was taken by his escort out of the building and for what seemed like a few kilometers of walking before they entered another new built building on this military base. 

When Wade was brought into the two man room, he had found one of the beds was already occupied.  He was not surprised to find that his clothes and few personal items had been brought from his modest home and placed in the room by the time he arrived.  For the next few weeks, he had found out that anyone with some skills at things that might have been on the grey side of the law to outright being against the law were all called up.  Then they were put into one large class of “People with specialized skills”. 

At first Wade had no idea why he had been called to duty for the Colonial Military.  After that first day, he had some idea of why they might need a person of his age and skill sets for the current war with the Cylons.  They had given up a long time ago to get him to train some younger troopers in his line of work.  There was just no way that he could give them years of his experience and natural talent in just a few months of training, now they had circumvented that issue.  Then he had been “introduced” to the rest of his unit, then many of the other blocks started falling into place one after the other.  The trainers had even started off the first full day with an Immortal Warriors episode centered around a group of criminals helping with the war effort back in the Inner Sphere.  The episode was called something like “the dirty tank company.” 

They had spent months working on his physical condition by instructors supplied from the Wolverines.  These were not the much feared drill sergeants, but people trained in physical therapy and repairing the body after major trauma or just old age.  That didn’t mean that they did not do their fair share of sweating, they just spent many more hours at a lower level of stress of physical training than the younger generations.  Wade had laughed at the idea of doing Yoga, that is until they were in their fourth straight hour of it after a 5km “walk” around the airfield.  If it was not for the heart and other monitors, that they all were wearing.  They would have thought that they were going to die of heart attacks or strokes and not under Cylon guns. 


When they had been brought up to the Zephyr and assigned rooms on the great liner, the rumors had it that they were going to the edge of the map called the Inner Sphere.  Some had even said that they were going to Earth to steal copies of the original scrolls from a group of religious heretics called ComStar.  You could have knocked him over with a feather when Wade and others were brought into a small briefing room of the old liner and the rumors were dispelled in a few short words.  They were not going to the Earth, or Terra, or anywhere close to the Inner Sphere for that matter.  They were going back to the Cyrannus system. 

During the rest of that meeting, the special unit was broken into smaller groups.  Each of them was given a list of targets and items that needed to be recovered from the cinders of their people’s worlds.  The list was a total disaster.  Whoever had come up with the list and then assigned the people to do them, had been watching way too many entertainment shows or had been hitting the pharmaceuticals way too hard for their own good.  They had no problem with the targeted items, it was where they were located that was an issue for the teams.  The briefer was about to leave the front of the room, when one of the people that had closer contacts with the still active parts of the Ha’la’tha on New Circe almost yelled his lungs out in protest. 

After about half a minute of unintelligible babbling from so many throats that the SLS Nike would not have been able to figure out who said what.  The problem was finally intelligibly brought up, and the look on the young captain’s eyes went as wide as Viper thrusters.  The meeting broke into even a higher level of bedlam, and it took some more yelling to get the room back under control.  For the next few hours, the list was changed, and the teams shuffled around to make them better suited to the missions that they were given.  And that was how Wade the safe cracker was on the planet Leonis with his armed and armored escort. 


Leonis had always been a major center of education and small specialized industry for the Colonies.  With almost no axial tilt, the planet had a mild and extremely predictable climate, at least compared to some of the other planets in the Cyrannus system.  It was known for its spectacular beaches, ski slopes and “other” recreational areas.  It was also filled with Casinos for all levels of income and risk levels someone was willing to entertain. 

The City of Hedo had the Hedon Grand Casino as one of its many center pieces for local and the tourist to use.  That casino was where all the rich, famous, or those that wanted to be in one or both of those categories would throw their money and time away while being able to see or being seen by others.  It was a massive 8000 room hotel and casino spread over three city blocks that was a thief’s dream.  And more than a dozen movies had been made about people like Wade trying to break into this one or one like it. 

Now knowing what was expected of him, and what his targets might be, as supplied by people who were amateurs at best in knowing what to look for.  He had spent most of his “free” time in the liners machine shop, and with one of the human form Cylons that was making the trip with the special skills unit.  At first, he had to fight down the revolttion at seeing the Cylon, but that had only been his first response.  Then he had to fight down the urges to ask her on a date, but Wade had a mission to do.  Wade was a planner, and he had felt like he didn’t have that much time to plan, and he could not waste his remaining time with other distractions. 

As he had expected, the local recon unit leader had wanted to check every one of those rooms of the huge hotel/casino.  That had not been part of the plan as Wade had been briefed, but he suspected that he had not been told everything.  This was both to check for survivors and find any “cultural items” that might have been left behind from “that day” by the visitors of the casino.  As soon as Wade was on the ground, he had been taken by the local recon team and some of the found survivors from outside of the local area to the huge and ornate building. 

Wade had called for a meeting to help explain what he could do, and what was just something they saw on an entertainment show or maybe what someone had told them was true.  After about ten minutes of talking and seeing that much of what he was saying was going over their heads.  Wade had just stopped talking.  Then Wade had handed out some very detailed “how to guides” that he had printed out while he had been on the Zephyr.  The documents were mainly on how to open each of the hotel room’s safes.  It had started with a list of “default” manufacture codes, and then it showed them where the Hotel default code was listed for any emergencies at certain staff areas near the room.  After all you didn’t want a guess not to be able to spend their money because they could not access the room safe. 

It took him an hour to walk each of the mixed groups threw on how to open those small devices of false hope that would be in each of the hotel rooms and suites.  Wade then handed off the training to a woman who knew a thing are three about where people tended to hide items in hotel rooms.  He had no idea how long that would take, and he didn’t care.  Wade had a date with the hotel’s public safe, high roller safe, and the management safe on the main levels of the building.  He knew that the last one was going to be a problem, but it was a problem he was looking forward to having to solve.  One of the requirements to be a safe cracker was the desire to solve really hard problems. 

The reason that the mission had been launched into looking into these safes, it was because data had been found by someone.  It had said that important artwork and other items that the people back on New Circe wanted to collect might be there.  So, Wade and four others left the training area on the first hotel floor that also just happened to hold the cheapest rooms in the whole place.  The higher up they went in the casino, the more expensive the rooms would be and the better chances of finding something…..interesting, but that was not a guarantee only a guide line. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #448 on: 02 December 2021, 20:26:09 »
Gold was gold, and silver was silver as the old saying went, and the government of the Colonial city state could use every gram of those metals that they could find.  They could always use the paper notes of Colonial cubits as butt cleaning paper, that stuff was always in very short supply on these planets.  Thankfully that was not so much of an issue on New Circe.  It was that, or the bills would be used for fire-starting supplies for the dinner fire.  The Colonial city state used what the SLiE called Star League script or Colonial made precious metal coins to pay the bills and not the old Colonial paper notes.  The rest of the economy ran on digital money, but most Colonials still kept jars full of silver, gold, or copper cubits in their homes. 


The public safe for the hotel had been about half full with “stuff”.  Wade had not even helped to empty it after he had gotten the rusty beast opened for the team to deal with.  He might have been tempted to take a few items out of habit, and he just didn’t want to look in to be tempted.  Part of his briefing had been what would happen to him, if he or any of the others got sticky fingers on this mission.  Mining on an Ice moon at the edge of the star system was not something he wanted to experience in person.  The rumors about what that was like was enough for him.  The third person on his “team” had taken the almost filled rucksack and his own escort to the main collecting point.  It was in an area of the hotel that the ground recon team had made secure or at least secureish before Wade had landed on this wreck of a planet. 

While they were still emptying the safe near the check in counter, Wade headed towards the next target on his little list.  The high roller safe had taken him four hours to get open, even with all of the equipment that he had with him.  His only breaks had been when his escort had tapped him on the shoulder in an agreed upon warning sign.  His “personal” escort was a thickly built woman from the SLDF with thick and heavy arms that held a Colonial made battle rifle like it was a twig.  She also had a handgun on her hip that look like she had been born with it fitted there. 

They were worried about Cylons, humans, wild daggits, and the many animals that had been released from the many small and even medium sized zoos that each of the casinos on the planet seemed to have managed before the war.  That first time he had gotten that hard tap on the shoulder, it had turned out only to have been when the rest of “his team” had rejoined them.  Thinking that they had been found by the Cylons and then not, had taken Wade some time to get his heart rate back under control.  Then he could continue breaking into a safe that cost as much as an average house in the capital city of Caprica.  Or in other words it cost as much as one of the MK II’s three engines.  It cost a lot of money to protect things that were worth a lot. 

The second time that he had to stop due to that hard slap on the shoulder.  It had been when a pack of “wild” daggits had followed their noses to the colonials working in this building.  There had been some issues with wild daggits had by the recon team at the start of their mission, but this group had just wanted some food and attention before mostly moving away from the working team.  That could have gone worse, from the stories that had been told by their briefs back on Ragnar Station, and Wade went back to work when they were given the “all clear” sign.  There were a few more stops of his work, but that had been expected if not optimal for Wade’s work. 

Each time Wade had to stop what he was doing with cutting into the hard metal.  This would let the cutting hole cool, and this would delay the finishing of the cutting of the thick outer skin by a very measurable amount each time.  At least with this set up he didn’t have to worry that much about noise his supporting equipment might be making while he worked.  That was not a small issue to not have to worry about in his line of work.  But the equipment was bulkier and about a third as heavy as what he might have been using.  But it also was faster, a lot faster than anything that would have been based on purely Colonial tech. 

The high roller safe was a huge safe to see and the recon lance had taken some time to find it, and they had only found it after they had been sent a message with a list of suggested offices or rooms that had certain words on the door.  The recon unit had been very impressed with what they found, and if you were not in the business Wade would have been also.  Still Wade had seen way larger one’s dozens of times, and he had even heard about way larger safes from fellow people in his line of work.  Most of this information was something he had not talked about with others, not even when he had been held on the Astral Queen waiting for his next legal hearing. 

This safe had a heavy metal door that was almost five feet tall, about four feet wide, and a little over three inches thick sticking out from the wall.  It was not like in the movies with a huge wheel that you turned to unlock and then pulled on to open the hatch.  The colonials were way past that safe locking technology, if you had enough money.  There was a digital keypad mounted on the center of the door that would do all of the work, if you had the right codes.  It was a very good system, unless you had a cutting laser bit, very small wire snips, thin wires, and an external power supply.  Oh, and knowledge on how to get around any locking codes held under the hard outer skin without tripping any traps the builders had installed to stop people like Wade. 

There was no way to know how deep into the wall that safe went, only how wide and tall it was on the access point.  It was not like he could have pop down to the public records office and drop off a few bribes to find that kind of information out.  Besides the Colonial military would not have known were to look for this kind of data in the first place.  So, Wade was on his own.  He would open the safe and they would find what they could find.  Wade just hoped that it was not a totally dry hole and he put the odds about 70/30 that it would have something useful for his current pay masters.  The odds would have been higher if there had been an event or holiday close to the day of the attack.  More people in the hotel would mean a higher chance of valuables being here. 

When the power laser drill and material excavator jumped forward?  Wade had to react very quickly, or the powerful device would damage the specially designed to be fragile gears, electronics, and any anti-tampering devices that should be between the thick metal halves of the vault door.  There was no way that Wade could have finished opening the safe after the special laser drill and cutting bits had done their jobs. 

It would take steady hands and a sharp mind to work the gears to drive each of the locking pins back into the door, and one wrong move would make all of his hard work useless.  Then there were the wires he would need to cut, hooking up his own wires, and then working the digital code holder.  Wade already had a full day fueled by New Circe coffee, and high stress.  It was the rare thief that would try to open two high end safes on the same day.  That was not how you got to his level of skill, not by taking risks like that.  He lived by the old thief rule about never pulling the same gag on the same mark.  That was a good way to get those not so nice locking twin silver bracelets.  The whole team minus a number of guards would spend the night in the nearby office to the safe that Wade had just been working on.  They now could get some sleep without the sound of the cooling fans or the drill cutting through metal, which had started life on a Battlestar as her hard armored outer skin. 


To finish the work the next day had only taken less than an hour of Wade’s full attention to find the right gears and wires to be spliced and hotwired.  When the heavy door opened a low mumble went around Wade’s escorts that had been waiting for this minute in anticipation.  Wade was too busy finding something to hold the heavy safe door open to look at what the vault hatch had been protecting until just now.  When he looked up again, bags of items were already being pulled out of the now opened hole in the wall. 

Then a glass fronted wooden case comes out of the safe and Wade about fell over.  Wade had heard of the Bident of Hades, and he had seen more than a few images of the artifact.  There were very few people in his line of work that had not heard of it, at least in passing.  It had been missing since the start of the First Cylon war, along with tens of thousands of other artifacts large and small that were of high value.  Wade walked up to the woman carrying the case like it was nothing more than a fancy looking two headed metal headed spear out of a costume shop.  The soldier had no idea that the wooden case alone cost more than what the trooper would have made in a year at her old job before the new war.  What that case carried within was worth more than many lifetimes of work. 

Wade could not take his eyes off of the Bident as he walked over to the recon group leader standing off to one side.  The officer saw Wade heading his way, and that Wade was eye locked on what one of the survivors his team had found in the newly opened safe.  At first, he thought that he was going to have a problem with those two.  It was not unknown for two people to have a “relationship” in this new war, but it still was a major no go while they were still in the field.  Then there were the issues that one of them was a person with a criminal history longer than his arm. 

When Wade was about six steps from the officer.  The officer’s-tired voice seemed to break out the thief from his stumbling through the wreckage of the office.  “What’s on your mind warrant officer?  Are you ready to set up on the big Frakking vault?” 

Wade was watching the case with his whole head, and it seemed like he was trying to break his own neck watching it move across the room under the arm of one of the troopers.  His head does not turn to look at the officer who had just talked to him.  Then Wade throws a thumb towards the trooper’s back carrying the long wooden case.  “You might want to make sure that case gets sent back to the President as soon as you can.  It’s been missing for a frakking long time, and she will know what to do with it a lot better than anyone below her rank would.” 

Wade’s head snaps over to the hole going deep into the wall, and he has to get up on his toes to see over some of the other people grabbing items out of the open safe.  “There should have been a name card near it.  She or the Admiral will want to know who was storing it here.  You also might want to make sure any records are recovered and kept with the objects.  It could lead to more clues that they were looking for when they authorized this mission.” 

“Really?’  The tone the officer used held more meaning than what you should get from just one word, and the officer made sure to see where the other trooper was going.  He had to admit that the thief had a good point about knowing who or what group held valuable items in these safes.  And it was not to return the artifacts. 

Wade had to smile as the officer in charge of the local recon team stopped talking and headed towards the open safe.  He was just in time to catch a thick old looking book that one of the troopers had tossed aside like it was a dime store novel.  The officer opened the book and ran his hand down what could only have been high quality Vellum.  That was the final nail for the officer to take what the thief had said to heart.  The rate of emptying the large safe slowed down as the officer took control of the operation. 


It took Wade a day and a half to open the main safe for this casino.  And that was only after they spent half a day ripping off the false cover keeping the vault and the locking devices hidden from the average person that worked at the casino.  There had been a few times while he worked that Wade, or the mission leader had wanted to just use some explosives to open the vault and be done with it.  They had not, but that was mostly out of fear that the Cylons would hear it detonate.  The idea was shelved because it was thought that the damage that the explosives might induce on whatever was behind that first hard layer of the car sized metal door might induce. 

The door to this car sized vault hatch was massive, but Wade in his group had no idea that it could have survived a near hit from a tactical nuclear weapon.  The shockwave most likely would have buried the vault, and that kind of event would have damaged some of the stored items but that was what glue and insurance was for.  Shock damage was a lot easier to repair than fire or radiation damage.  It was not perfect, but it was better than nothing and the safe would keep anyone with sticky fingers from removing some hard to replace or things that were going to be hard to explain to the press or the local law enforcement agencies.  It was the old saying that a lock will only keep an honest person or the law out, and make a thief work harder to get. 

If the size of the vault door was an indicator of how deep this vault went into the bones of the building?  This should be a huge haul for anyone who could get the frakking thing opened without losing their minds or being caught by the law.  With the coming of the Cylon attackers, worrying about the Law was less of an issue.  But in most ways being caught by the Cylon Empire would be so much worse.  For the first time, after going straight and crime free.  Wade wanted to see what was behind this one-time locked door. 

As the vault door was almost fully open, the special batteries activated the emergency lights inside the vault room.  The vault door had been made so balanced, that only one person should have been needed to move it while opening or closing.  With over seven years of age and the elements working on those hinges and pistons, had made it hard work for four strong people to open the huge mass of metal and now dead electronics. 

Slowly the lights grew brighter in the dark room, and a 4,000 square foot room was put under at least some light.  Near the hatch that a Battlestar would have loved to have mounted within her hull were racks after man high racks filled with all kinds of poker chips.  Most of those chips were not worth the effort to take them in any numbers by the people that had just broken into this vault.  They were only made of a special high-density plastic with some equally special ink to keep counterfeiters at bay.  Both of those things were not needed in any numbers back on New Circe.  Well, there was some value that might be had on the collector’s market, but that was not a guaranty. 

It was only when you got to the high roller chips that what they were made of changed to something that might be worth the time, effort, and space to take them off planet in an official capacity.  Those chips were made of more valuable materials, and those would be collected by the tray full by this crew.  The stacks and stacks of those lower “value” chips that the casino needed to keep on hand to cover all active betting would be left behind.  Thanks to some data that was found by someone that had made it to New Circe was going to be very valuable.  They knew what the different casinos used to make their “high cubit” chips.  Who knew that a book called gambling for Dummies would turn out to be so valuable for the Colonials now living on New Circe? 

The Recon team had no idea why they were told to make sure that they separated certain chips, by name, from the rest.  Gold and silver were common metals, but there were others that were stamped with names of Rhodium, Osmium, and Palladium that most of these troopers didn’t recognize.  This casino started using aluminum cores for 75-cubit chips and they went for rarer metals at higher levels.  The 500-cubit poker chips had a half ounce of near pure Germanium displayed at the chips center.  It was not called that name by the Colonials, but atomic number of 32 was number 32 no matter where you were in the universe.  Renierite had been “only” 1000 cubits per Kilogram when the Cylons had attacked.  Germanium, much less the highly refined metal used in these chips was worth a lot more than that back on New Circe. 

Wade was looking around at all of those gambling chips when he ran into the man in front of him.  He had suddenly stopped moving while Wade was seeing more paper money than he had known could exist outside of numbers referred in government budget announcements.  And every note of those cubits was not worth the time of picking up much less carrying around for the next few weeks.  There just was something wrong with the world that the Cylons had left him when 100-cubit notes were not worth picking up off the sidewalk. 

Wade’s head turned to see what had stopped the other man in his tracks, like he had hit a parked Battlestar.  Wade could not breathe much less say anything as his eyes fell on to something out of a little boy’s dream, but not connected to sex.  But in a voice of wonder that carried in the metal vault the size of a very large house, horse words floated light as a feather from Wade.  “The Throne of Zeus.  Can you frakking believe it!”  His light words seemed to break the shock of the man that Wade had just run into. 

The still slightly stunned man didn’t even look over at the thief with legal papers standing beside him.  “How the frakk did they get it in here?” 

Wade had to admit it was a good question.  He spends some time trying to come up with an answer and came up blank.  “I will raise you, with.  How the frakk are we going to get it out?  Then I will raise you again, how are we going to get it to New Circe.” 

It was said that anyone who sat on this Throne would be given the God’s approval to command all of the people.  Well, it said command the people of the colonies, and until New Circe it had been just assumed that the tail referred to “all people” not just the ones that had fled Kobal.  The last three dictators that the people of the Colonies had to deal with, all had their images taken while sitting on this small SUV sized golden and jeweled Throne.  A Throne whose image that also just happened to grace the back of the 1,000 cubits Colonial note.  It also had not been physically seen by anyone since some time in the 1st Cylon War, and it had not been seen on this planet or any other planet going around Helieos Beta before it was lost. 


While the team was gob smacked like hinds caught in the head lights of your fully loaded cargo truck.  The leader of this part of the recon mission was filled with dread as he looked around the huge mass of gold and jewels.  All he could see were item after item that should have been in the largest museum and not hidden in an underground vault under a big Frakking casino were no one could see them.  He was one of the few people outside of Ragnar station, which knew that this part of the mission was a test run. 

They were using Leonis as a proving ground for what had seemed like frakking crazy ideas to those when they were briefed.  He had thought that the orders were some kind of joke, and he had even sent a note back to Ragnar Station to make sure they were real orders.  Even when he got confirmation of those orders.  He had not been happy about them, and he had thought it was going to be a waste of both his time and the time of his scouts.  He also worried about the risk that his people would have to endure during this joke of a mission. 

Now they would have to search each and every one of these frakking hotels across the whole of the Cyrannus system, along with the list of other places that was longer than his arm.  What was found, in what the thief had called “the management safe”.  That alone would have caused this effect that was about to ruin the days of a lot of the scout teams.  All even without finding the Throne of Zeus under the Frakking building would guarantee that more homes and other buildings would have to be searched from top to the lowest basement in some close detail.  His job had just become that much harder, and they would have to pull all of these “high value items” out from under the Cylon’s noses.  And then they would “only” have the slight problem of getting it back to New Circe.  At least that last part of the mission was not his job to have to plan for. 

The Recon commander made a sour face at thinking about the problems with just his part of the mission.  Dealing with the one-time members of the Ha’la’tha was bad enough, but it was not the worst part of his mission.  There was always the other team that was working with one of the “friendly” Cylons somewhere else in this city.  If they found anything near as good as what this part of the mission had found already.  His life was going to get very hard for him for however long it was going to take, to do what had been expected of him and his unit.  The suck value of his life had been high on this mission, and it was now shooting up like a Viper on turbos and might even start to climb even faster.  He was starting to think that things were going to get even more interesting, like the demon murphy loved so much. 


The Human Form Number Three had her eyes closed, and a wire went from her tanned and colorful stitched leather covering over her left wrist.  That thin wire went through the leather and into a connector that she had brought in her backpack that she was currently using to lean against the damp wall and not get her back wet.  That thicker cable was connected into a server that was drawing power from a SLDF made solar power generator/battery sitting about 4 meters from her knees.  One of the nice things about this type of generating device was that it barely gave off a hum as it did its job.  It had been once used to recharge power packs for Laser Rifles and other DEWs that the SLDF issued to their combat personnel.  Now it was being used in other ways that the original designers had never ever would have thought about would be needed by a field team. 


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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #449 on: 02 December 2021, 20:27:43 »
The Number Three had a name at one time in her life.  But it had belonged to someone that she didn’t want to be anymore.  That name had belonged to a steward on a large passenger transport that had been what the SLDF would have called a saboteur.  When she had been told on a certain day to do something that was not normal for her.  She had opened her digital mail with a special code while on duty.  Then she had casually walked over to the main hatch of the liner, and she had pushed a button that should not have worked, but for her making a few changes without being noticed or remembered by the Number Three. 

She had been the first one on that ship to have been sucked out into space when that hatch had opened without even sounding the alarm in the cockpit.  She had lived long enough to see the other bodies following her out into the death pressure zone.  Those had been very small bodies that had followed her out into the black of space.  Bodies that had belong to an 8th grade school field trip class to what was considered to be the capital of the Colony as part of their government class.  She had “died” while the small bodies were still being sucked out into the death pressure zone of space. 

Her memories ended right there, but she was told that they put her in a new body after that mission.  That “new” body had died of unknown means before she knew about Adama’s new allies.  Then she had been pulled out of the data banks for yet another new body, but this new body would change her life.  She had wanted to die as soon as her head had come up out of the goo.  It was only threw the intervention of the Final Five, that kept her sane or at least more saneish compared to others of her line. 

They had then shown her the memory blocks that the One’s had put in her and what those blocks and special coding had made her do without knowing that she had been doing those actions.  That had made her want to die again, but she had worked mostly threw it.  Then had come the briefings on the Cylon rebellion and the information about these human forms and other Cylons working with the Colonials and the rest of the humans to fight against the Cylon Empire. 

She had worked with one of the Number Sixs to study the memory blocks and other coding that she had loaded into her mind without her consent.  Her past actions had been carefully hidden from leaking to the Colonial public.  This was done under an agreement between the leaders of the Cylons, Final Five, and the colonial government.  It was hoped that this would protect the other human forms from repercussions of their actions during the war, but only if they did not have full control of themselves at the time.  If those human forms had done those actions without those blocks being in place?  Well, the Final Five had a way to deal with those that would make sure that they didn’t interact with other humans ever again.  Well outside of one of the prison islands that the SLDF ran.  If they messed up again, well there was always the prison on the Ice moon. 

After coming to grips with what had been done to her and what it had forced her to do in turn.  She had thrown herself into working on how to break those mental blocks, and she had worked on helping with other coding issues.  Not long afterwards, she had started working with SLIC and the SLDF military.  They had her working on computers, coding, and dealing with the mass data that was coming in from the Cylon Rebels and Copeland. 

Now she was back in Colonial space, and she was working with groups made up of both the Colonials and Star Leaguers.  She was officially a member of the SLDF as part of the mission of the short-term reinforcements of the recon units currently on Leonis.  She had been asked by the people she had worked with in SLIC, and she had agreed to come along.  She had been very skillful in the application of her new skills that she was picking up from SLIC and the Final Five. 

She had to learn to do something else with her life, because working as staff on a space passenger liner was not needed on New Circe.  Her next line supervisor in SLIC had said that she was one of only a hand full of people that had the skills that SLIC thought this mission might need.  She could go or she could stay on New Circe, it would be up to her.  Nothing would be said if she declined the job, but the members of Clan Wolverine were not known to avoid the threat of combat or discomfort if that was what the mission required. 

The Colony of Leonis had maintained its own distinctive language and culture even after it was unified with the other planets of the Colonies.  Those two things had a huge impact on how someone wrote computer code or managed their files within that type of working environment.  She had been dealing with computer codes written in dozens of different languages coming out of the Inner Sphere.  She should be able to “access” any data storage and servers that the recon team might find.  Besides Leonis had a very well-developed high-tech industry, and they had used the local education system to support their R and D departments for both military and civilian uses.  The term was called “a brain trust” and this time it was not meant to be a derogatory term. 


So, that was how a Number Three human form Cylon had come to be sitting in the low light with a wire running from her arm into this server stack.  They were currently high in this office building and her two far escorts were armed with SLDF weapons were watching out for her.  The Number Three was armed with a Colonial design handgun along with the two close escorts and “helpers” for this mission.  She knew that her far escorts would make sure she was safe, and that their weapons would never fall into Cylon hands.  She had not asked how they would do that to weapons that were known to last hundreds of years of use in field conditions.  There just were some things that you felt better just not knowing about, and the Number Three moved this firmly into that mental category. 

They had a list of places to check on this mission, and this was the first one after they had landed on this planet and had joined forces with the recon team already on the planet.  This team had started in the basement looking for the data server rooms, but all they had found was water and other things that she could wish that she could forget the smell of.  The water they had found had come in through wrecked walls, cracked ceilings, missing doors, and shattered windows of the thirty-story building.  There was nothing that they could do with that junk, not after over a half a decade of soaking in water and trash.  That was where the data from the recon team that had been on this planet for months had come into play.  They had found data racks on other floors for companies like this, so this team had started looking higher in the building. 

With this information they had started walking up many flights of concrete and steel stairs, but they were stopping on each floor looking for computer servers.  Most high-tech companies had gone to what they called Cloud computing over the last few years before the new war.  That was just a new name for the old style Main frame computers from before the 1st Cylon war, so they didn’t have to look for computer towers on every desk.  It was a sign that the Colonials were starting to come out of the computer tech malaise caused by the 1st Cylon war. 

They still had to check every frakking room and door on each of the floors of this assault on the eyes and noses.  They were looking for supplies, signs of survivors, and any hiding Cylons of both Rebel and Empire varieties.  They had not found anything useful besides some stale snack foods and some signs of gun battles done sometime between months and years ago.  They had found this room on the fifteenth floor, and it looked to be filled with computer servers and other support equipment needed to run the building. 

Now it was her job to find anything useful that the R and D department of this company might have been working on before the Cylon bombs had started to fall.  So far, she had found a lot of porn, office gossip, and little else that would be worth writing home about.  There was no way to take all of the individual data files that this company might have with them off planet, not even with the technology that the SLDF had let her bring on this mission.  Still, they could pack down a lot of data, but it would take longer to get this data off planet.  They would take what they could and work on taking out data on less capable devices that the Colonials used.  At least Ragnar station had the equipment and the additional people needed to deal with that old crap. 

But besides the official R and D files she might find.  She was also copying any music, entertainment shows of all kinds that had been illegally copied to the storage devices in this company by someone long dead.  Back on New Circe, the Colonial city state had one whole building set aside just for collecting books, movies, shows, music, and anything else about the home planets that could be collected and collated.  It was something to just to be able to listen to music from your childhood or watch your favorite show from high school.  It was not complete, not by a long shot.  But they were growing and looking for more data from anyone that was willing to provide it.  This mission might just turn out to be another source of data. 

So, any data she could find while on this mission would be very welcome at that collection point of Colonial culture.  That type of data she was finding would go into one of the SLDF supplied data storage devices that had been supplied for this mission.  Any data that was technology based would go into a second device for the SLDF to first see.  She had no doubt that SLIC would be looking at every file that she brought or sent back to New Circe.  But the SLDF was “paying” for this part of the mission, so they got to have first look at any data that “their” team found.  It would be shared later with the Colonials, there was little doubt about that, but the SLDF would see all of the technical data first.  Then it would be up to them to decide when to release it to the Colonial City State. 


The Three’s eyes shot open when she heard an odd slapping sound and something warm and wet was splattered all over her face.  All she could see was the barrel of the weapon pointed towards her head, and she felt her heart stop and her stomach fall to her toes.  For just a second, she thought that the SLDF trooper, a human trooper, was going to kill her.  it was just like she had expected to happen every time she saw a Colonial.  The shooter must have seen the look of worry on her face and worked out what she had just thought.  The shooter let a small smile come to his face and then pointed to her feet with his trigger hand. 

The Three looked down and the largest rat she had ever seen was laying there dead at her feet.  It had nearly been cut in half by the shooter with the sound suppressed weapon.  It was an impressively sized animal that was nearly the size of a small dog, if it had not lost a lot of that mass taking the bullet to its main body.  She had to force her mind not to think about what that thing had been eating to grow to such a size or how many others like it might be around her hiding in the low light.  The Three used her right foot to push the now dead animal away from her and then the smell hit her and she almost gagged.  If she had eaten in the last few hours?  It would have come up to join the smell of the internal organs of the now dead rodent. 

The shooter saw the second look on the human form Cylons face and decided that he needed to act on the orders that he had been given in private.  The smell didn’t even register to him, after so many years of war.  By now he had smelled worse, a lot worse.  “Did you find anything?” 

The Three snorted and she was distracted from the smell and her stomach settled down.  “Just that a bunch of sick people worked here, and that their taste in music and entertainment shows frakking sucks.  Other than that?  Nothing to write home about.” 

The armed escort tilted his head to one side a little, and he gives the woman a level look.  “Need a break?  You have been going for a few hours looking at that thing, and it took a while to get to this floor the old fashion way.  This is only the first day, and we might have a long way to go.” 

The Three looked over to the SLDF power supply near her feet, and she didn’t say anything as she took in the data on its display.  Her Cylon brain worked quickly, and she worked out the numbers in her head.  “Not yet.  I might need another hour or so for this one.  Can you get the next one ready to put power to it?  That way I just have to plug in and start shifting the data.  After that?  We will need to stop anyway and set the power supply in the sun to recharge.” 

The shooter of the rat gave a short nod of his head and went about doing what the Number Three had asked.  Admiral Adama passed a long a warning before this mission to the assigned Cylon escorts.  He had said that the well-known drive of the Human Forms could make them work longer than was effective for the war against the Cylon Empire.  And that it would be a good idea to have a third party keeping an eye on them to manage their workload, for the betterment of the overall mission.  The hard part would be to manage the human forms so that it did not look like they were being managed by the SLDF personnel.  Bill Adama had made a funny face and he wished them luck on this work, and not to take it personal when the human forms got mad at them. 

The Three’s eyebrows shot up as the back of the soldier was turned towards her.  She had just more or less ordered a human to do her bidding, and they had done so without so much as a complaint about her words.  It took the Three almost five full minutes to get fully back in the data flow of the old server blade at her feet.  Still, she had to fight to keep from being distracted at the changes in the world around her.  For the first time.  She truly felt like a member of a team, and that she had value as being a part of it and maybe as a leader of one. 


The 10kg Generator and battery had more than enough power for the second server blade to be searched of data, and for anything to be pulled out of it.  Compared to what a laser rifle needed to power up.  The power needed to access a computer server blade was almost nothing.  The sun was just about to come up when the second blade was done with her attention.  The Number Three helped move the generator/battery system to a nearby window so that the collector cells, that were an updated version of the ones that a Jumpship Sail was made to be used to charge her jump drive could do its job.  They were going to need that power in the morning and not just for data mining on half wrecked Colonial made servers. 

With the work done, the team broke down into shifts for guard duty.  The Number Three was not put on a guard shift, and this was explained to her before the mission had left Ragnar Station.  She had her job to manage, and the escorts had theirs.  Oh, and she only had what the SLDF ground forces command would have called barely basic weapons training.  Her assigned escort had a lot more than just basic weapons and field craft skills to call on.  They had not come right out and said that the ground team thought that she was more of a threat to them, due to those lower military focused skills. 

She took some time to clean up after the generator was set up to get sunlight to recharge the device.  The dried rat’s blood on her face and neck was starting to itch, and then she got some food.  You didn’t want to think about why you were itching while you were eating a Field ration, much less what might be falling into it between bites.  The SLDF field rations were bad enough tasting as it was, in the Number Three’s opinion.  It was six hours later, and she was gently being awakened to start her next day. 

She was not even surprised that the rest of the computer server blades had been collected and then moved over to be closer to the charging generator while she had been sleeping.  All she would have to do was connect the wire on the leather brace around her wrist to the converter cable, and then to the blade at the top of the pile.  While the generator supplied power to the blade, it would be recharging in the slowly growing light of a new day.  She could even eat and drink while she worked on sifting the data.  When she needed a break, she would just open her eyes and turn her head to check the power on the generator still converting solar energy into power. 

That little movement was all that was needed, and one of her team would come over and say a few words to her.  After this check in, they would stay and try some “small talk” with her and then move the checked blades out of her “workspace”.  Now that she was “used” to the computer’s data flow, the job of sorting the files went quicker after each blade she reviewed.  Sometimes she would just stop and mark the blades with a code using a pen she had been given before the mission started. 

Some of the server blades were just broken, and they would be marked and moved to a small pile on the other side of the room.  This could have happened before the war or due to just wasting away in this shell of a building.  The end state was that any data that might have been on them was as gone as if it had never been there.  There was no way to recover the data with Colonial, Cylon, or the limited software that the SLDF had released.  Any of the server blades with a lot of data that was useful was marked to show what it might be useful for with a T for tech and a E for entertainment being the most common marks of the code that she used.  The same markings were put on the SLDF supplied data storage devices she was filling up with her work. 

That load of computer equipment would be split between the whole team to carry to spread out the weight.  The sun was almost halfway into the sky when she had finished checking out the stack of computer equipment found on this floor of the building.  She helped break down the generator and put it in a specially designed rucksack that she would be carrying up more flights of stairs. 

The one good thing about the break was that after the night guard shift had wakened up, and they had gotten some food and water into their bodies.  The pair of them had already checked out the next two floors while the rest of the team had finished working this floor.  They had found nothing, so the Number Three and her close escort would have to climb up three flights of stairs to catch up to them.  All while packing all of their field gear. The sooner they reached the top of this building, the sooner they could walk back down and find the next building on their list and repeat the whole process all over again. 

She would spend most of the next night working on shifting more data from more found computer server blades.  But they would only have to spend another full day and night cycle in this building after that first night.  That is if that first night, was a gage for the rest of this building.  They even found a pair of wall safes on each of the top three floors of the building that they could not open.  Well, they could open them, but it would be a “loud event” and that was not recommended for this team.  The offices on those top three floors were huge and belonged to the top leaders and their close staff of this company.  Most of the team thought that it would hold data that they were tasked to recover, and probably would be a better fit for the other team to deal with. 

They had tried to open the safes, but when that failed and as per orders they were just marked and mapped out.  Then that data would be physically handed over to the leader of the recon team the next time they crossed paths.  Any locked door, drawer, or cabinet was opened by pry bar, knife, or boot.  But most of the time it was done by the expedient way of ripping the covers off their hinges with bare hands thanks to the SLDF and Cylon strength.  What might have been found was not listed, if it was not directly related to military matters.  Yea, they found some good ambrosia and other “exotic” but stale food items.  The Number Three thought that only she knew about the team breaking into the safes scattered around town.  Oh, how wrong she was, but it was noted that she had not talked about it to the rest of “her” team if the subject came up during meals or breaks. 


Wanda looked down and threw her scope fixed mounted on her FNF-J12.  This type of weapon was called many things, but Wanda called her’s Juliet.  The weapon was older than her, it even was a lot older than her parents or even grandparents.  It had been fitted with a very hard to find James, Airmore, and Fiat made JAF-05 Flash suppressor before she was born.  It had been modified from an old grenade launcher that had been found while their unit had been doing an inventory of a cache site.  They had been granted permission and the miss marked item had been removed.  It had taken a lot of work to get the device back into working order again, but now it was the best 50 grams on her rucksack.  The nice thing was that she could move this device to any of the laser rifles on this mission.  It would take a lot of work, but she knew how to do it.  It was one of the best kept secrets that this could be done and that she knew how to do it.  As was said, it was the best 50g in her whole rucksack. 

She enjoyed the view this thirty story tall building currently gave her, but she had hated walking up all of those Frakking stairs to get to this view.  To compound the issue was that she was taller than most SLDF personnel, much less the average Colonial as noted in the local building codes.  This had caused her to have to adjust her “natural” step length every time she moved.  The stairs were short on each step that she had taken, but they were still just a little too long for her to be able to take two steps at a time comfortably.  Then there was the stress of being in the dark vertical tunnel while not knowing when they would run into Cylons or just hostile half wild colonials.  The last part she had loved, it really got her blood pumping.