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Author Topic: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)  (Read 2195 times)

croaker

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I have several old stories archived away from this series.
I believe this particular one is from "v2" Kowloon series, as it isn't in Trace Coburn's list of the v3 stories (of which I also have several that haven't been posted), but I'd appreciate confirmation from Cannonshop.

As always, this is reposted exactly as he posted it to the forums lo these many years ago, with his permission.



October 11, 3067...


"...yes, it's very impressive, you can burn a farm and slaughter the farmers all in one shot."  Elizabeth Ngo said it tartly, "What good is it for anything else? Unless I'm very mistaken, you can't use it in a boarding action, and the incendiary effects will burn whatever city you're using it in-and the needles don't exactly impress battle-armoured troops, do they?"  her hands were clasped politely behind her back. 

The Mauser & Grey representative looked confused, "But...the LAAF is buying it for-"

she rounded on him, "Krazy Katherine's buying it to slaughter ill-armed protestors, Mister Klein, that's all it's good for-that, and roasting farmhouses.  When I need a support-grade weapon for killing large numbers of pistol-armed, ill-organized, unarmoured people, I will officially deserve a cell in the darkest hole in the Alliance.  I want weapons that will work on Armoured infantry, not short-ranged people-slaying incendiary toys.  Unlike our precious Archon, I see the Clans as a greater threat than some unarmed farmers."

She stood up, and gathered her papers, underscoring her disdain, "I'm sorry we can't do business today-the Kowloon Miliitia needs REAL weapons, not this...trash.  Do you think your incendiary heavy needler is going to save even one of my people when 'king' Hopper Morrison comes calling?  or when another Jade Falcon 'deep raid' tears through downtown Nha Trang?  I don't.  Come calling when you have something useful to sell."

Klein had come a long, long way to get here-and he'd been wiser than most in his research.

"What about a rifle?" he asked cannily.

She stopped.  "Rifle?" she asked, "It's not another Flechette-spewing toy, is it?"

He shook his head, "No ma'am... you might say that the Firedrake was what my boss was pushing-it's a high-profit item...but now that you've quite officially turned it down..."  He raised his eyebrows and trailed off.

She sat back down.  "I'm listening. Please don't waste my time..."


North Fenceline, Vin Drin Lap Naval Station, South Continent, Kowloon, Point Echo...

"...comms check complete."  Lance Corporal Cham Duk sighed and sat back in his seat.  The Clanner enclave across the DMZ was being quiet.  He could see a few Jade Falcon garrison troops wandering around on 'their' side of the river, checking civvie passes and such.

"This is boring." Private Li Hut was  a total newb-he hadn't even been on a Cruise yet. 

Duk shrugged, "Boring is good.  Routine is good.  Excitement is bad.  Excitement means we get shooting, and shooting means paperwork if you're Lucky.  finished that circuit check on the minefield yet?"  Daily checks on the command-detonated field were part of delightful routine-as long as something didn't read as "Missing".

"I'm getting some problems in the Delta row-segments nine through twelve are intermittent." Li replied, fiddling with the control board.

"Rust."  It was not an observation, as much as a word that was gaining credit as a universal curse.  Duk set his field glasses down and examined the balky detonation-controller.

Batteries...good.  Connection to the control unit...good.  The problem wasn't on their end.

"Shit, this means we have to go out there and check it." he said, frowning-going out into the field on an inspection/repair meant more paperwork, including coordination with the Falcon Enclave's garrison.

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #1 on: 22 October 2015, 10:50:25 »
Southwest fenceline, Jade Falcon enclave, Kowloon, 2KM north of Point Echo checkpoint....

Even in the Clans, there are missions that must be done, can't be done by full Solahma, yet seem to spell career-death for a Warrior unlucky enough to recieve them.  The short conflict in 3064 that netted the Clan its enclave on Kowloon (one of a certain Star Captain-turned Star-Colonel's acts of initiative before pulling out) created the need for a permanent garrison.  Naturally enough, that need resulted in Star Captain Yeshua's being in charge of 30,000 kilometers of mostly-underdeveloped land on a Lyran planet isolated from the rest of the Jade Falcon Liberated Zone* by several jumps.   One of the small benefits of the Enclave, however, was a direct-line connection to his opposite number across the river-a situation that made administering the conquered territory a much, much, simpler process.
(Yeshua was not short of common-sense, even with technological and training superiority, his garrison of two Trinaries and one Binary were outnumbered and outgunned by the planet's Militia by several hundered to one.  Kowloonese light infantrymen were good enough that even second-line 'mechs were retrofitted with Antipersonnel pods, and machinegun armament was mandatory.  The fact that the Kowloonese and their Lyran masters had not already driven the Enclave offworld had more to do with Clever Nathan's cease-fire agreement than anything like the actual military situation on-planet.)

The direct-line was, conveniently enough, encased in a red plastic box, making it very simple to identify.  It was also equipped with what, in Yeshua's opinion, was an alarm-ring tone scientifically designed to maximum annoyance-factor. (no doubt an effort to insure that the Garrison Commander did, indeed, pick the damn phone up instead of letting it ring.)

"What?" he demanded, secretly proud that he'd let the thing squawk for over a minute...without throwing the impact-resistant device against a wall (an act he'd already discovered was almost an allegory of futility-he'd speculated a few times about what being stepped on by a 'mech would do to the device...but it was Clan property.)

Binary were outnumbered and outgunned by the planet's Militia by several hundered to one.  Kowloonese light infantrymen were good enough that even second-line 'mechs were retrofitted with Antipersonnel pods, and machinegun armament was mandatory.  The fact that the Kowloonese and their Lyran masters had not already driven the Enclave offworld had more to do with Clever Nathan's cease-fire agreement than anything like the actual military situation on-planet.)

The direct-line was, conveniently enough, encased in a red plastic box, making it very simple to identify.  It was also equipped with what, in Yeshua's opinion, was an alarm-ring tone scientifically designed to maximum annoyance-factor. (no doubt an effort to insure that the Garrison Commander did, indeed, pick the damn phone up instead of letting it ring.)

"What?" he demanded, secretly proud that he'd let the thing squawk for over a minute...without throwing the impact-resistant device against a wall (an act he'd already discovered was almost an allegory of futility-he'd speculated a few times about what being stepped on by a 'mech would do to the device...but it was Clan property.)

"Echo Company, First Kowloon Marines are going to be conducting a maintenance excercise in the Demilitarized area.  It was deemed prudent to let you know." He recognized the voice on the other end as Marine Major Frances Huang, a person his every instinct told him he should scorn-but mission comes first.

"I see, we will monitor your activities.  Is that all?" he kept the sneer in his voice more out of habit than anything else. 

"Yes. Unless you have something?" was the reply.  Huang was irritatingly polite without being obsequious.

He thumbed through some Watch reports on his desk-mainly to stall, before answering, "I understand your Lyran Alliance is having a small civil war-I wonder, which side would this world come down on..?"  One of the small benefits of being stationed here, was that he'd learned that the locals could be mildly provoked by bringing up certain political discussions. 

Huang's reply, was oddly prompt.  "Neither. Both. the outcome of what goes on between Tharkad and New Avalon is none of my concern-either way, we will end up paying taxes to the winner, though I am given to understand your Clan recieved a Spanking of sorts from Adam Steiner-who declared for the current Archon.  I'm sure you're rooting for the runt?"  it was also leavened with a mildly mocking tone.  The Incursion in '64 had not gone as well as had been hoped-the outcome, and the Blair Atholl accords being one reason that Kowloon was so far from the Invasion corridor's Liberated zone, and one reason that more significant foirces were not dedicated to taking this world in the first place.

"A mild setback." Yeshua allowed, adding, "Soon to be Rectified."

"If that's all, then, Echo will be moving forward at Eleven Hundered tomorrow. We expect they'll be finished around Twenty-hundered Local. Good day to you sir." [clik]

Do Ha Village, 0930, 12 October, 3066...

"RUN!!!"  Jerianne Murphy dashed out of the rear of the meeting hall, as hissing supersonic cracks echoed from the street on the other side. Something hot nicked her arms, and a wave of heat bellowed out.
She held two-year-old nicholaus closer to her chest as her feet carried her to the river's edge and the small boats.

thumpty-thumpty-thump!!

Too late.

The four-legged machine had a greyhound's build expressed in metal and myomers, and the main weapon mount along its spine licked smoke in the morning air.  It wasn't a Battlemech, it was too small.  It wasn't any kind of Clanner suit she'd heard of or seen on the Television-in fact, the LAAF markings on its bullet-invulnerable skin made it clear that this was not a Jade Falcon's machine.

"Oh god." she slid to a halt as the machine stepped forward. "Please...."  there was nothing to do now, but beg.

Hisss-crack!

Do Ha village burned in silence.

1400 Hours, same place...[

The Coast Guard got the call four hours ago, it took that long to move from VDL's slips up Tributary 14 to Do Ha when the local Coast Guard station didn't respond.  "mein gott..."  Leutnant Karl Meinke was born on Arcturus.  He'd come to Kowloon with his parents looking for work after Ngo Industries moved into the area, and he'd found his 'place in the world' in the Coast Guard, eventually rising to command of Patrol B, Fifth Squadron Riverine.

The Clans hadn't done this kind of brutal slaughter in '64, and his 'little voice' said they hadn't done  it here.  For one thing, Elementals don't use needlers in surface actions.

They also don't chase down fleeing civilians.  The ruin of a charred body by the riverside was attatched to tracks leading from the main village hall's burning shell.

"Spread out, look for survivors first, then for evidence.  I want to know where the swine who did this came from, and where they are going." he ordered.

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #2 on: 22 October 2015, 10:54:53 »
Coast Guard Station 11, Tributary 14, 8 KM west of Falcon DMZ...

Diesel burns with a reddish tinge and dumps thick, black smoke.  "Cannonpowder", the explosive propellant used in most Autocannon ammunition, burns at a higher temperature, much more swiftly.  The colour is closer to white than yellow.  C-12, the common "impact end" material in both LRM warheads and Autocannon shells,  burns bluish, with very little smoke.  The solid fuel from LRM ammunition, of course, leaves a white-hot contrail, while the fumes from burning Neo-Kevlar, the material used by the old LCAF, and modern LCAF for helmets, ballistic vests, and web-gear releases toxic fumes when its threshold is passed.

Coast Guard Station 11 was visible as a pillar of smoke for tens of miles.  Black, toxic, smoke, drifting into the Clan 'observation post' eight-point-six Kilometers east-northeast of the Coast Guard station.

The smoke carried the stink of something besides the man-made materials of the base's stores.  It stank of sweet pork.  The smell of flesh burning.

Point Commander Lera held a filter mask over her nose and mouth as she stared at the wrecked outpost from the hatch of her Odin scout-tank.
"When did you pick up the transmissions?" she asked the tank's sole non-warrior passenger, a Technician attatched to the Falcon Watch  and assigned to monitoring local frequencies for Electronic Intelligence.

"Zero-three thirty this morning we picked up a jamming signal and some local-band chatter from the outpost." he informed her, "They mentioned unknown forces using Battle-armour."

The Falcon hovercraft slid over the surprisingly intact boat-ramp and up onto the small stretch of paved street near the helipad.

Lera called a halt and the Falcon reconaissance team disembarked at the burnt out shell of the Coast Guard barracks.

"Interesting pattern." she noted, looking at a series of blackened pock-marks in the 'crete structure.  "Looks like needler fire, but scorched, like a flamer..."  the stink of charred flesh was strongest here-the attackers had caught the station crew in bed.

a drum of Diesel exploded in the distance, with a "Whump!".

Most of the heavy equipment was exactly where it had been when the outpost was still 'alive'.  For the Point Commander, it was a creepy scene-the attack had taken nothing, but lives.

This had been no mere raid, it was murder.

"Point Commander, I am picking up Coast Guard transmissions of increasing strength-they are coming." Her driver said.
She sighed, "We should not be here when they arrive."

Who did this? WHY?

Minefield, 1.5KM west of Point Echo...

The runs had been cut.  Cham Duk examined the fibre, and looked at the large tracks around it again.  "Nothing native..." he muttered.  The foot-patrol spread out.  The tracks came from a stand of trees near the Falcon side of the DMZ.  "Liu, Harris, you're with me, the rest of the squad will hold here."  the engineers followed.

On the far ridgeline, Jade Falcon 'observers', a star composed of an Incubus, a Spirit, two points of Elementals and a pair of Svantovit APC's, saw the Kowloonese troops splitting off, a small detatchment headed for a copse of trees and low brush.

There was some kind of...discontinuity.  "That rise shouldn't be there." Cham said quietly, and reached for his radio.

His hand never made it that far.

From the Clan force's perspective, the foot-patrol simply burst into flames, and a few of the Warriors wondered if some of the mines hadn't gone off.

Then, the attack commenced.

The mines were deactivated for the patrol, so the four armoured shapes bursting out of their 'hide' had free running over the mostly-clear terrain.

Riflemen fired, first singly, then as fast as they could pour ammunition through their weapons.

Against battlearmour, the rifles might as well have been firing spit-balls.

Star Commander Brett watched coldly, "Identify." he locked his reticle on one of the speeding quad-suits, and fed its information into his battle-computer.

"Type unknown. Analysis indicates possible Fenrir modification optimized for anti-infantry role."  it replied after a few moments, adding, "ECM emissions detected in the Class IV scale.  Targeting systems may be hampered."

Some of the infantrymen were doing the smartest thing they could, grabbing LAWS rockets and firing in groups.  Most of the LAWS shots were missing.

"Star Commander, should we continue to watch this?"
Point commander Norris asked.  The Elemental was older, Solahma-called-back, and experienced.

"Neg. Second point is authorized to engage these...unknowns." The decision was a snap judgement-there were a handfull of Kowloonese still trying to fight, but they were disappearing as spit on a PPC coil would.

The Elementals bounded out of their observation point, as the incredibly fast quad-armour began mopping up the survivors down below.

It became rapidly obvious that these quads were well-armed to deal with light infantry-but hopelessly out-classed by Clan Battlearmour's protection.  2Point closed to claw range and tore them apart in seconds, negating their 'stealth' advantage.

a 'flash' notification showed up on his cockpit datascreen.  he read it, and looked at the battle again.  "Bring one of those Stravag suit-pilots in alive, for questioning and possible disposal. acknowledge."  He ordered the commander of 2Point.

"Acknowledged."

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #3 on: 22 October 2015, 10:59:11 »
Government House, Nha Tran, 14 October, 3066...

Kowloon's "Defense Ministry" was a new department-less than a decade old, it mainly consisted of the top officers in the Coast Guard and the 'recognized' LAAF Planetary Militia, plus the Planetary Reserves (the force that, during the incursion, bore most of the fighting.)
This morning, the sleepy little administrative group was in a flurry.  For three days, unknown battle-armoured troops using some form of advanced antipersonnel weapon had slaughtered three villages, a Coast Guard station, and a company of combat engineers.

"...not the Clan that did this."  Kommandant Morgan Icaza, head of Training for Infantry operations, said firmly.  Nils Grierson, the chief of Domestic, disagreed.  "Who else would? Surely you are not claiming these are isolated incidents?"

Morgan shook his huge head.  "No. I am saying that Clan Jade Falcon did not conduct these operations-it would be more than a violation of Honour, it would serve no purpose-the acts would be useless, and it would make conquest of this world more difficult in the long run to open with these kind of atrocities."

Nils snorted.  "Who would you suggest? Victor loyalists?? Maybe some of those renegades out of the Federated Suns?? the Armours were invisible to military grade sensors..."

Morgan shrugged his huge shoulders,  Miss Shel, the Planetary Intelligence attache and Diplomatic coordinator, spoke up.  "Wreckage from the DMZ fight indicates the Armours were quads-my sources inside the Falcon watch have indicated that Clan Jade Falcon does not have such a chassis under development-it's not versatile enough, and the termination of the Protomech programmes..." she shook her head.  "Neg, we are looking at Spheroid, or possibly a Periphery-based splinter group."

the door into the staff conference opened, and everyone fell silent.

Elizabeth Ngo walked in, her prosthetic hand (more like a claw, three fingers evenly spaced in the manner of a Battlesuit manipulator) and her facial prosthetic (replacing both her right eye, and part of her upper jaw) glittered in unrefined defiance of fashion. the lensing on the false eye focused.  "They are Lyran." she said, and put a briefcase on the table.

Stunned looks passed around the room-with the exception of two Ngo Industries 'advisors' and the two former Clanners.

her human-hand opened the case, and tossed flimsies on to the table.  "Rottweiler suits, under development for gods only know what reasons before the war broke out, probably as Sloth-replacements, limited production items dear to our current Archon's heart.  Main gun's about the most useless piece of crap I have ever had to sit through the demonstration of...unless you're using it to chop a bunch of civilians and lightly armed rifle-troops up, then cook it like tartare."

She sat down under the LAAF-required "No Smoking" sign, and lit a butt.  "Based on that readout, which I had to bribe godonlyknows how many people to get, we've got minimum of a Company of those things running in the backcountry between tribs 12 and 15."

Nils looked at the readout, then looked up, "Why?" his question was plaintive, his face was filled with deep hurt.

Elizabeth shrugged, "I don't have a proper answer for that-I can make some guesses... Kowloon's been 'neutral' in our Archon's little spat with her brother, for one-since we don't have a major unit on-the-ground here, but we do have a Clanner enclave near that neighbourhood, someone at LIC might have decided we needed a 'reminder' from Loki of the price for switching flags.  Rotts are practically custom-builds for wetwork and counterinsurgency.  Fast, almost undetectable, and optimized to hit rear-area personnel, they're tough enough that once they're in, say, a command area, they can pretty much do as they please to any conventional grunts...or they can chew through a village in ten minutes or less."

Kommodore Hu spoke up, "I've been charting their moves-they're staying clear of the rivers now."

Elizabeth nodded, "Can't swim.  Can't swim, can't jump, and I don't think they're dumb enough to hijack a civilian boat, they weren't smart enough to leave the hydros at the Trib 12 station in one piece... and a Maxim would make all kinds of the wrong noise for these boys." her claw folded, mirroring the move of her good hand.  "I want one alive.  According to the writeup, these guys light fires, but they aren't fireproof.  Give me a plan to hunt down, and remove these pests from my planet.  Meet again tomorrow, after you've had a chance to digest that Tech Writeup and look at the map.  These ain't ghosts...at least, not yet."

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #4 on: 22 October 2015, 11:01:59 »
Jade Falcon Field Hospital 2, Falcon Enclave Bin Hoa, Southern Continent, Kowloon, 14 October, 3066...

Private Harold Chiu began to realize he was still alive when the "Light" he was going towards turned out to be a white-plastered ceiling.  A woman in a lab coat was standing over him. 
"whu-?" he mumbled.

"What is the last thing you remember?" the woman asked him.  She was making notes on some kind of expensive, obviously imported, personal data assistant.

he strained.  "We were checking the runs in the minefield, an' the Corporal said they'd been cut.  Then he went nosing out..."  the young man began shaking, "There was fire an'...an'..." His memory blanked.

"Do you know where you are, Private?" she asked.

He shook his head, "No ma'am."  He heard footsteps, and low voices.

The woman came back, "Rest." she injected something into the IV in his arm, and Harry's world went gray again.

Outside the room...


Dr. Kelle made her report.  "Post Traumatic Shock Amnesia.  There's also some rather odd damage to his nervous system, as if he were exposed to certain frequencies of Electromagnetic Pulse."  she was keeping the report simplified for the Warriors. 

The Star Commander folded his arms.  "Neural damage?" he asked, "From EMP?"

The Scientist-Caste opened an appropriate file in her noteputer.  "Twentieth century tests demonstrated that certain frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, at a given range and frequency, can disrupt the nervous system of a human subject.  Most of those tests were associated with early ECM and Nuclear Testing experiments."

the Star Commander frowned, "The mystery armours were definitely using ECM, and I noticed that the infantrymen were missing shots we know from experience, they should have been able to make."  He sighed, "So the soldier remembers nothing, quiaff?"

Kelle frowned, "He may remember in time, with the right therapies."

Brett sighed heavily.  "What about the Battlesuit trooper? can he be questioned?"

Dr. Kelle shook her head, "You brought me a sack of cooling meat, Star Commander, our medical technologies are the pinnacle of human achievement in the field, but even I can not overcome that kind of damage.  He died in O.R."  Her tone was neither defiant, nor wheedling.  It was merely a statement of facts.

Brett rubbed his temples.  "See what you can get out of the survivor, do what you have to to overcome this amnesia.  I want all the information-even secondhand, you can extract."

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #5 on: 22 October 2015, 11:08:37 »
"...nothing of consequence happened on Kowloon in October of 3066."
-Elizabeth Ngo, answering questions before the Archon's Intelligence Oversight board, January, 3068

Giap Island Coast Guard Air Station, October 15, 3066...

Worlds located too near the edge of 'civilized' space tend to have more than their share of raids when compared with what you might term the "National Average".
Kowloon's "Raid Problem" necessitated a more dispersed defense plan, one that had only been implemented recently, though the problem had been a persistent one for centuries beforehand.
Hence, Giap Island was one of the first major constructions put into place when Ngo Industries formally took ownership and title in the Foreclosure conflict of 3061.

Home to a full two companies of Aerospace fighters, Giap Island also hosted a number of somewhat slower aircraft-including "Airborne Array" sensor-toting birds originally intended for ground-force coordination in the Giap Delta area, a number of airborne refueling birds, and a "Flying control tower" aircraft meant to coordinate the others.

This morning, the AWACS and the refuelers were lined up on the tarmac, to join the search, their powerful "Look Down" sensors keyed to sweep the ground looking for, of all things, footprints.
In particular, footprints left behind by moving objects that don't show up on sensors.

Behind the AWACS birds, were the Fighters, loaded with airdrop ordinance to bomb the hell out of anything that leaves the right footprint, but can't be directly targeted.

David Horstein Medical Centre, Dak-To, Kowloon, 14 October, 3066...

"...malignant.  We can control the spread of the tumours with the right combination of drugs, but I can't guarantee more than maybe five years."  Dr. Bernhard Lefkowitz explained, showing his patient the scans.  "We could maybe do something if we had the kind of resources that the University  on New Kyoto has, or if you were to let me contact the Clanners..."

Elizabeth Ngo shook her head, "Never.  We do with what we have, or we develop the ability ourselves-but we don't go into debt with anyone-especially not the Clanners."

The doctor sighed, "I can put you on a chemotherapy regimen, but there may be side-effects if you get pregnant again-"

Elizabeth laughed harshly, "Hardly going to happen, and you know it... I'll take the Chemo, and dump a grant for researching a more effective treatment, but we're not going to Katherine's stooge, or Victor's stooge, and we're not going to go begging the space-nazi Clanners-that's final."

She stood up, and began dressing,  "You will not share those test results with anyone, am I clear?" she added.

Dr. Lefkowitz nodded, "Understood."

Crow Farms, South Continent, Kowloon, October 14, 3066...

Hans followed Diedrich along the gully to their next target, and mused to himself how different this mission was turning out to be.   The reactionary elements and Victor-Lovers weren't putting up much of a fight yet-the nearest being their brother squad's unfortunate encounter with a Jade Falcon patrol.

"Sargeant?" Hans asked, using the tight-beam comms.

"Ja? what is it?" Diedrich replied.

"Why are we messing around in the back-country, wouldn't it make more sense to strike at the Ngo bitch directly in their capital, sir?" he asked, adding, "All we've seen so far are poorly armed villagers..."

The line went quiet for a few minutes, then, "Assume we did as you suggest, does it occur to you that her popularity would make her a martyr?  first, we must erode the support in the outlying areas, then, we can kill her and the people will come running to the Archon's side for protection, see?"

Hans understood the idea-Leutnant Holzur had been very...verbose, explaining the strategy.

"I do not think it is working, sir." Hans said.
 
His suit's sensors sounded a warning tone-something was overflying their route-something pounding at the ground with millimeter wave radar.

His stealth systems easily blocked it, but it was the third time today that something had passed over their route, banging away with  active sensors.

An LED lit in his faceplate, and Hans activated the switch, listening.

"Ice Dragon, this is Gator two one, coordinates 3145Bravo, Grid 6622, Fire mission, saturation-repeat along the gully, over."

Hans felt a stab of something in his gut.  an icy pain.

"Roger Gator Two One, Mission Away."

"INCOMING!!!" Hans shouted on the squad freqency-breaking radio discipline.

Gator Two One...

"I've got a suspicion.  Jerry, I'm going to send in the clear."  Warrant Officer Cho Vuc said, keying his mic.  "Ice Dragon, this is Gator-Two One, coordinates 3145Bravo, Grid 6622, Fire mission, Saturation-Repeat, along the gully, over."

The "Fire Mission" lacked two key elements in being real-first, the fact that Ice Dragon was up the wrong tributary, on a different Frequency, and second, that he hadn't bothered to authenticate first.

Jerriane "Jerry" Huk grinned, and keyed the same freq.  "Gator two one, this is Ice Dragon, Mission Away, over." she said.

They listened on broadband.

"Incoming!!!!"

WO Vuc grinned at his second seater.  "Let's not disappoint the boys.  Open bomb-bay doors, lay infernoes across that fuzzy zone."


The modified Planetlifter's rear clamshell doors opened, and the load-masters began shoving the timer-delayed pallets of Inferno ammo out the back.
Twenty tonnes of lift carries a lot of ammo, most of which was modified, in this case, to act as drop-****** bomblets.  For this particular drop, they chose to release three pallets worth, collecting the "Lanyards" as the bombs were released.

Estate Dumond, Nha Tranh, Kowloon...

Elliott Dumond, an "embarassment" bastard son of a minor Steiner family member, sat with a half-forgotten snifter of brandy as the local news-channel's anchorwoman yammered on about the day's events.
"...Bomb damage analysis released by Coast Guard sources indicate that the bandits in question were in possession of Sloth battle-armour, a type initially deployed more than ten years ago.  Kapitan Mai Huyn, of the Coast Guard command had this to say about the recent efforts to locate these criminals, and today's fortunate action on the South Continent..."

he grunted as the cameraman panned across a burnt gully, showing four ruined shapes under KCGM tarpaulins.
"Sloths my ass... still, a good, if not great, cover story." he muttered.  The strike teams had already lost almost half their number-one squad annihilated in the DMZ, one clearly roasted by napalm-in the field, far from witnesses...  How DID they find them, though?  The questions were serious, and the obvious answers were troubling.  The 'Stealth' armours should have been invisible to air-borne search, and their advanced sensors would have picked up a surface-borne spotter...

Unless, unless the Ngos or the Clans are using some kind of secret weapon.  If it were the Clans, it would show collaboration and that could be used to remove the Ngo bitch and place Kowloon into properly loyal hands.  If it were the Ngos, they could be dealt with-and the technology would be useful in turning Victor’s current string of minor victories on its head.

Falcon Command Centre, Bin Hoa, South Continent, Kowloon...

Star Captain Yeshua looked over the morning's paperwork, a task the Warrior always looked upon with distaste, when he came across the summary of local military actions.  The summary, gathered by the Watch-officer, was dry, boring reading.  He smiled to himself, and popped the datarecord into his desktop player. The actual Airstrike was much, much, more entertaining viewing, rather than the long, dry discussion of how the local militia used basic tracking techniques and improvised munitions to destroy four battlesuits.
The plane's course was tracked by a "Golfball" sattellite placed in orbit when the current Falcon Watch officer assumed his duties.
It passed over the gully once, turned, and passed over again, and a stream of whitish-yellow-and-red fire, like a dragon's tail, erupted in a trail some 40 meters by one hundered and fifty.

Then, he perused the summary again, and read comintercepts of the action.

"Excellent bluff." he sighed.  The Kowloonese were almost as dishonourable in their cunning as the Wolves.  Almost.

After all, they were not Clan, not as skilled, or as refined.

Outside Hanh Binh, District 11, South Continent, October 18, 3066...


Unteroffizer  Michael Wittmann wiped his sweaty face and sighed.  The remaining two squads of his Loki unit were likewise taking a break, while LIC specialists pulled maintenance on the suits.  "Two squads..."  He'd seen the reports, thanks to a plant inside the Kowloonese defense establishment.  He remembered the pistol, and holstered it.  Karl Heiss glanced over.  "You do realize that removing Herr Franden leaves us one battlearmour short."  the older veteran commented.  Wittmann shrugged, "I realize that the bastard had us pissing our strength away hitting villagers."  Wittmann replied, adding, "His assessment of the local population was grossly in error, and this political terrorism strategy is not working."

The LIC tech-team worked on in silence-like Wittmann and the other 'professionals', they had a growing contempt for the mission's commander, a politically appointed officer with no field experience.

"So, Herr Wittmann, what is your alternate plan, then?"  Heiss asked.  "Leutnant" Franden had been full of 'plans'.

Wittmann folded his handkerchief after a final wipe, inserted it into his pocket, and said, "First, we are going to eat something besides that reprocessed crap in the suits, then, we are going to get some sleep tonight, after we do a quick overview of our mission objectives, with discussion.  We need a new plan, one that will accomplish our mission without compromising our...integrity further than it has already been."


croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #6 on: 22 October 2015, 11:13:01 »
Coast Guard NS Vin Drin Lap, 15 October, 3066...

The bodies from the DMZ were shipped here, to the Coast Guard run Regional Forensics Centre, for examination.  Not that the Elementals that killed the quad-pilots left a lot of doubt as to how the men died, but rather, that the remains might tell the examiners where the men had been...and who the men were when they were breathing.

The Clanners had insisted on keeping the wrecked machinery, naturally.

"October 15, year of our lord 3066.  Subject number three of three.  Cause of death appears to be a massive trauma to the chest and lower neck..."  Dr. Evelyn Thanh looked at the mangled corpse, and continued her examination.  "Subject appears to be between the ages of twenty four and thirty.  Blood alcohol tests proved negative, though there are traces of 'spazz', a form of super-amphetemine...oh, what is this?" she reached for a probe, and gently prodded the skin.  "translucent, almost undetectable... subject has an implant just behind the skin of his...hello. Suicide tab, unused..." she carefully removed the implant and dropped it into a scanner.  "Prussic acid.  old-school, but still effective.  This fits with the dental work noted in this morning's preliminary."

Nha Tranh, the office of the Defense Department/ministry...

Elizabeth Ngo looked over the final after-action reports, the autopsies, and gingerly placed the display back on the conference table.
"Two squads.  there are probably four, plus at least a company of support personnel."  She said after letting the silence linger for a moment.
"Find them.  Find them, and the ones providing assistance-somehow they managed to land, and either unload at the 'port, or they've got a package-drop in the bush-but either way, they have someone running support down here, find that someone, you find the rest."  The two people in the room with her nodded.  Evelyn Mosovich, and "Shel", a Clan Watcher whose defection had been managed by Elizabeth's late Intelligence Chief, Joe Martinez (Himself a veteran of the Cappellan intelligence service known as the Maskirovka, one who'd managed to escape Romano's purges in the 3040's-barely.)

Colonel Mosovich's facial reconstruction wasn't finished, the myomer-and-skull look was, however, "fleshed out" enough that she no longer looked entirely inhuman.

"I take it you suspect someone on the main Defense Staff?" Mosovich asked bluntly.

Elizabeth nodded, "I do.  I'm not sure who, but they've got an inside man."

Mosovich said something foul, then added, "I thought you purged the bulk of the old-guard..?"

Elizabeth shrugged, "Had to keep some, It would have been impractical during the last Falcon raid to be absent that many people in key positions..."

Shel, an ELINT expert, bit her lip for a moment, then spoke.  "Ma'am, we can manage a couple of traps if we can figure out their objectives-and eliminate the suspects quietly..."

Elizabeth smiled, "Excellent idea.  No reason to bother with messy trials and public scandals. do it that way."

...with the top stories, this is ABN, the Alliance Broadcast Network... In today's top story, General Nondi Steiner's forces on Tharkad surrendered this morning after the Archon's young brother Peter defeated Nondi Steiner in what some are calling the last great duel.  By an estates general quorum roll call vote, Peter's challenge to 'Archon Princess' Katrina Steiner's claim to the throne was confirmed, and tonight, the new Archon is set to be installed..."
-ABN Broadcast News, October 30, 3066*

"Wittmann must have known ahead of time what was going on, we were kept in the dark about non-mission-essential developments... How were we supposed to know the orders were no longer Legitimate?"

Oberschutz(Loki) Pietr Kimmell, Testimony before a closed board of inquiry, Giap Island CGAS, January 3067. Kimmell's body was later returned to his family on Inarcs by anonymous mailing, arriving in small packages between September 21st of 3067, and December 24th, the final package containing his head.

Records recovered by LAAF Authorities during the transition period regency of Patrick Ngo indicate that Kimmell was found guilty of crimes committed against civilians in the villages of Dak-tho, Han-sen, Ira's Crossing, and Joseph Smithville...

Ira's Crossing, South continent, Kowloon, October 27, 3066...

The second squad headed into the village at a lope.  With their "Leutnant" executed-in-the-field, discipline had become a problem, and Oberschutz Kimmell let the man know in no uncertain terms that his squad was going to stick with the plan.

it never even occurred to him, that the Rottweiler suit, in addition to having an excellent ECM/Stealth system, also contained one of the better Communications arrays of any battlearmour design, one rivalling even the extensive suites used by some modern 'mech designs.

Unteroffizer Wittmann simply made a telephone call, and the rogue squad wandered straight into the waiting arms of two Riverine Squadrons of Coast Guard, hot for vengeance.

Quadrupedal suits can't jump, and Ira's crossing, being one of the older "Town" villages, had a fairly modern sewer system.

The Battlearmours rushed into the village from the west, firing and flailing with their weapons in an orgy of destruction aimed mainly at what they percieved to be civilians.

That perception was...wrong.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Sara Wang waited for it, and waited...  The suits reached roughly the centre of the chosen ground just as the tip-off call had stated they would.

She raised the 'clicker', and squeezed.


Small charges in the old water-tower went off, drenching the area in stored water drawn from an aquifer with lots of metals pollution.  The advanced sensors on the suits weren't designed for that-just as the suits themselves weren't designed to go toe-to-toe with Clan-built Elemental Battle-Armour, a 'legacy' from the last Jade Falcon raid, (as were the Elementals piloting them.  Like hte Clans, Kowloonese don't throw away tools they might need, and Kolonel Icaza's Elemental Squad fit the 'bill' as it were.)

As the drenching "Rain" finished, the Rottweilers found themselves bracketed in neatly.  Being Loki-Trianed, naturally, they tried to fight their way out.

Naturally.

"Marin, Put a round in...that one." the Lieutenant pointed out one Rottweiler who'd managed to squirm its way through a temporary gap in coverage and was making for the hills.

"Right o."  Lester Marin was almost as big as the 'genefreek' cadre pressing in on the quad-suits.  The apparatus he was shifting was locally-designed, and unbeknownst to a certain Mauser and Gray rep, the tool against which M&G's proposed Anti Materiel rifle would be compared.

The achievement of hypersonic performance in ballistic weapons is an old achievement-many of the pre-Diaspora rifles used on Old Earth fired heavier bullets at vastly higher velocities than most modern weapons could achieve.  the trade-off being, that one winds up carrying fewer rounds, which given the nature of most infantry in the Human Sphere, means a decided weakness, since even the Federated Suns' infantry spends more time in Political Indoctrination than it does on Combat marksmanship.  not being "officially" under the direction of any Interstellar House, the Kowloon Coast Guard's Marksmanship unit spends a bit....more time... on making difficult shots against moving targets without electromechanical aids.

the Groves mk.1 rifle is a hybrid design incorporating both explosive propellants, and electromagnetic accelleration, to drive its projectile, a 6mm diameter, 40mm long flechette at speeds in excess of Mach 4.
Of course, the recoil is...significant at full power, as the projectile itself, in firearms terminology, is a 220 gr. object with a sectional density somewhat greater than ten times that of standard "AP" heavy machinegun ammunition.

Rifle is really the wrong word, since the flechette itself is iridium/tungsten/Depleted uranium, self-sharpening, and exceeds 50 on the rockwell scale.

For purposes of making small holes in a plate of relatively light winds up carrying fewer rounds, which given the nature of most infantry in the Human Sphere, means a decided weakness, since even the Federated Suns' infantry spends more time in Political Indoctrination than it does on Combat marksmanship.  not being "officially" under the direction of any Interstellar House, the Kowloon Coast Guard's Marksmanship unit spends a bit....more time... on making difficult shots against moving targets without electromechanical aids.

the Groves mk.1 rifle is a hybrid design incorporating both explosive propellants, and electromagnetic accelleration, to drive its projectile, a 6mm diameter, 40mm long flechette at speeds in excess of Mach 4.
Of course, the recoil is...significant at full power, as the projectile itself, in firearms terminology, is a 220 gr. object with a sectional density somewhat greater than ten times that of standard "AP" heavy machinegun ammunition.

Rifle is really the wrong word, since the flechette itself is iridium/tungsten/Depleted uranium, self-sharpening, and exceeds 50 on the rockwell scale.

For purposes of making small holes in a plate of relatively light Battlearmour composite, it's more than sufficient.  Penetration tests on heavier armours being spotty-but against the thinner armour of a Rottweiler suit...

The hit passed through the ammunition magazine for the heavy needler, igniting the hypergolics and setting the feed mechanism, weapon, and mount aflame.
It continued through the power and targeting feeds, ricocheted off the interior of the suit's "Shoulder", crossed through the suit's pilot at a downward angle between ribs 3 and 4, out the sternum (missing the heart by three CM and destroying the left lung), bounced and deformed again against the rottweiler's "Chest", deflecting upward through the man's collarbone and right shoulder (missing two arteries, the right lung, and severing a number of volunary nerves leading from the spine and neck to the right arm.) smacked back into the padded area behind the man's head, bounced, and finally embedded itself in the suit's right-leg-servoes.
The hit and ricochets took less than a second.

Marin recocked, checked the power-leads, and waited.  "Get that one-nail it in the rear legs if you can, I want live prisoners."  The Leutenant said.

Marin nodded, and shifted his aim for one of the light suits that had managed to give the slower medium-weight suits the slip.

The Rottweiler turned, banking up an alley in flames.  He wasn't even looking at the riverside, simply assuming that nobody would be there as he dashed out into the open.

From his sniper position on the weather mast of a fishing smack, Marin let off his next shot.

The effect was immediate.  The sniper had examined the burnt wreckage of one of these suits already, and his experience with large animals placed the bones, based on how the suit moved, in the only order they could be in to allow the suit to move as fast as it did.

The rear hips went out, and the Rottweiler's fifty-kph dash became a tumble-and jumble of limbs, as half its body was no longer supported.

The "Suit Squad" took care of the other two, securing two live prisoners whose "Poison piills" and hollow-cavity teeth were removed by Coastie Corpsmen operating without benefit of aenesthesia.

Final total being three out of four captured alive.  One successful suicide.


croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #7 on: 22 October 2015, 11:14:24 »
Mt. Asgard Command Centre, Tharkad, 3066/10/29...

Peter Steiner-Davion did not look Happy this fine morning.  The idea that 'Dear Kate" had put a man like the self-styled 'Oberst' Gary Childs in charge of any subdivision of LIC operations was sickening.  The use of Loki assets for domestic terrorism was bad enough, but allowing a self-styled Historian fascinated with one of the darker chapters of human history to form his own 'special' units for the task was beyond the pale.

Khan Kell was standing behind, and to the right, of the very-un-happy, yet-to-be-crowned, Archon-Designate.  Gary Childs was standing in front of him, hands bound, and stripped of uniform, ranks, and any potential suicide implants.

"Mister Childs, you're done.  If putting you on public trial wasn't a sure way to generate riots and weird conspiracy theories, I would do it in a heartbeat.  If outright killing you didn't mean losing track of your little private Schutzstaffel, I'd do that in preference.  If  you hadn't been trained to resist interrogation techniques and conditioned to handle drugs, this meeting would be un-necessary.  I would simply hand you over to the right people, and you would be disposed of."  His tone was neutral, without feeling, as he addressed the man.

"However, it is necessary, for the time being, to keep you alive, and your identity a secret, until such time as you feel some cause to discuss what you have ordered done, and what you yourself have done."  Peter folded his hands behind his back, stepped forward, somehow making it seem that he towered over the larger man.

"Since I can't let you out-god only knows what you might do on your own... You will remain in solitary confinement until such time as you feel you can confide your secrets with someone else-that is to say, in sensory deprivation, fed by a tube and kept awake indefinitely, with nothing to see, or touch, or taste, or feel... or hear."  He glanced up at the MP's holding the prisoner in place.  "Take him."

Nha Tranh, 30 October, 3066...

"...informant revealed the location of the last of the stolen battlesuits this morning.  Four bodies were found at the scene, apparent victims of suicide.  They left a confession stating that the suits had been stolen from an arms shipment bound for the Clan front..."  Chara Walker Ng continued reading the press release to an excited crowd of reporters.  Elizabeth closed the office window, yawned, and stretched her small frame.  "Well, officially, Mister Wittmann, you're no longer among the living." she said, regarding the Loki man with an almost genteel courtesy, "Who needs to know the official version isn't the truth?" she asked, and sat down.

Wittmann sighed, glancing nervously at the woman's bodyguards.  "I am sure that my, ah...former boss will know that those bodies are not my team, ma'am..." he said.

she waved his objection aside, "This is the periphery edge of the Lyran commonwealth, Master Wittmann, according to those weenies on Tharkad, we're still some time from having indoor plumbing and refrigeration.  As the bodies were decomposing quite rapidly, and posed a significant health risk, they were cremated, we did autopsies of course, took gene samples and made dental casts, but we just couldn't keep them around for three to six months while someone came to look them over.  Unsanitary, you know.  LCAF will collect the suits before then, but we can't have rotting bodies lying about." she said it airily-Wittmann had seen a similar kind of behaviour from Archon Katrina while he served on her protective detail-right before she ordered someone's death.

a cold hand gripped his bladder, and he unconsciously measured the distance to the small, troublesome, woman's neck.

"You'll be given a new face, and new prints, I can't do anything about Loki's DNA records, but with over a Trillion people in the Commonwealth, one more false-positive is going to likely go un-noticed unless you make some kind of trouble and have a miraculous resurrection-that being the case, your own testimony will damn you when they come here."  she gave him a cat-like smile, "In which case, how long will a Loki Commando survive when it is known that he purposefully ratted out his subordinates and his local contacts to save his own skin?  You work for me, mister Wittmann, or you don't work for anyone."

croaker

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #8 on: 22 October 2015, 11:16:30 »
This completes the reposting of Cannonshop's Standing Against The Tide. Thank you for enjoying.

Cannonshop

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #9 on: 22 October 2015, 14:26:51 »
This is, indeed one of the earlier stories, written shortly after the release of Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, but before the testing phase for the first printing of Total Warfare, putting the date in the early part of the first decade of this century, and I believe I wrote it as a sort-of-answer to an argument on the old message boards.  (namely, pointing out that a weapon with an effective range of 2, that lights things on fire, but not hot enough fire to damage armored units, was a waste of resources unless you're planning to use it on civilians...)

naturally, it DOES predate several generations of errata in the game's rules, as well as predating Total Warfare's rules, including the method of integration used with air-to-mud. (back in those old days, if you wanted to drop bombs, you needed Aerotech 2.)

The repeats in the posting are most likely artifacts-at the time, comment strings between posts happened and got quite long, sometimes requiring a 'double' to keep the flow going.  (though it could be just a problem with the copy/paste method used, I'm not sure which here.)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Standing Against The Tide (Ngoverse v2, original by Cannonshop)
« Reply #10 on: 23 October 2015, 13:35:28 »
Still interesting

"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!"