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Author Topic: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed  (Read 6951 times)


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #30 on: 12 April 2018, 15:09:30 »
Back to my regular decently written fiction, man I've come a long way in two years.  Amusing that half of the 260 pages I have on record were written in the last six months of this game


02/21/3062 06:11 Location - Voodoo Casino, Goldenrod, Herotitus

The sun rose over Goldenrod on Herotitus the dawn rays shone through wisp of spicy incense smoke illuminating the ruins of a hotel room.  The bed was broken, chairs were damaged, and the floor length mirror Felicity Grey was looking into was spider webbed with cracks.  She pulled another piece of ice out of the overturned champagne bucket wrapping it in a sheet as she nursed a black eye and numerous cuts and bruises that covered her body. Butterfly bandages had been applied to the larger injuries and she stretched out her injured arm gingerly to pick up the phone, dialing the elegant and retro rotary dial.

"André, I am going to need this room cleaned, it’s become a bit of a mess"

"Sure thing Felicity, I'll send Antonio and Lily to deal with it"

"Thanks André"

Moments later Antonio and Lily arrived at the door to the Voodoo Queen's Suite.  Felicity opened the door she had not even bothering to dress, Lily looked over her "Girl you are a mess, busy night?"

"Good morning to you as well, if you don't mind I could use some help I think there are a few shards in my back.  Antonio the mess is in the bathroom."

"Got it maam"

Lily shouldered her medical kit and Felicity guided Antonio to the even more ruined bathroom, fixtures and mirrors were broken water was everywhere and the sunken tub had overflown, an easy thing to do when there was a naked woman's body in it.

"I take it your friend here didn't appreciate your hospitality"

"Oh please its not like this is the first dead body you've had to clean out of my room"

Felicity laid down on the towel covered bench in the palatial bath, Lily started tending to her injuries pulling out splinters and shards of glass and porcelain from her back and shoulder.  Antonio pulled the black haired mystery girl out of the tub, she was a looker for sure but now she was quite dead. 

"She seemed like fun when we met in the club, the fun continued into the room.  We were at it all night but an hour ago she tried to kill me but I got her first.  Ouch!"  Lily had started stitching up Felicity's larger cuts.

"Well stop moving and it won't hurt as much, this is what you get when you wake me up early"

Antonio looked back into the main room and started to speak

"Before you ask that mess in the room was before she tried to kill me, it was quite intense."

"Well I'll make sure André takes out the trash when no one is looking"
  Antonio zipped up the mystery woman's body into a blue body bag, "So any idea who she might have been?"

"For me, god I'm not sure Ordo Vigilis, SAFE, TMI, ROM, The Mafia the list goes on.  I'm a bad girl after all, ruining everyone's plans every chance I get.  A lot of people want me dead but this girl was a professional.  Do make sure to get her fully checked out before disposal.  I already checked her purse she didn't have a real ID or anything substantial inside."


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #31 on: 24 April 2018, 15:54:34 »
02/16/3065 Location - MIM Central Tower "The Hall of Mirrors", Crimson City, Canopus IV

The mirrored sheen and lack of windowed offices and insignia at MIM Central Tower belied the fact that many dark secrets hid within it.  Now Major Grey had been reassigned to Tower detail after going AWOL for a year.  She was almost liquidated but the Director found her knowledge and contacts in the Hegemony to useful however she would be under close watch forever.  While they didn't know what she did over that year (she had been trained to resist their "persuasion") it probably wasn't harmful to the Magistracy.

Recent reports in the Hegemony had reached the Director and were quite concerning.  There were rumors of foreigners with strange accents and advanced tech arriving on Alphard and Pompey with meetings all the way up to Caesar Julius.  Reports had also come in from League contacts that the ore ships of Lothario and Illyria stopped arriving.  That was concerning enough but what really vexed the Director is why the MHAF had started fielding newer looking Commandos and Centurions on their occupied worlds.

Major Grey had no explanation for this but reports from the New Colony Region and Aurigan Coalition were equally vexing.  The Oasis Incident (the theft of a Mammoth Colony Support Dropship) was clearly well planned as was the death of Protector Jeffrey and subsequent internal problems within the Concordat.  These were likely related and there was only one power that could orchestrate these events.


02/17/3065 Location - Nadir Jump point Dainmar Majoris

The Invader class Jumpship OAFT Helena Vanwai popped out of the void with a pair of dropships the MIM Diana Nanae (A Leopard) and MIM Andromeda's Chain (A Fury) attached.  The Leopard detached and burned toward Dainmar Majoris, it landed in the badlands a short distance from the Mercs Unleashed base.  A Weijing 8x8 armored car departed towards the remote base, arriving with a team of six MIM agents on covert orders.

None of them were Commander Grey though which was surprising, In her place was a very serious looking and relatively short but fit woman and well equipped, grim faced commandos.

Greetings Mercenaries I am Commander Arachne of ARC Team HELLCAT, Unfortunately Commander Grey and her WILDCATs have been removed from the field but I trust we can establish a good working relationship.  May we move to a more private location I bear a classified mission for you.

The Mercs Unleased Command Room was still rough their new residency in Dainmar Majoris following the marriage of one of their officers to the Countess' daughter had allowed them an unprecedented opportunity.

I understand there are a lot of new faces in your command and this mission is intensely covert and off the books.  What is said in this room has to stay here.  Corporal Evans please hand me the briefcase.

She opened the briefcase and keyed in the holo-display

Your targets are located on the Hegemony world of Marius' Tears, MIM has actionable intelligence that a foreign mercenary unit is training the MHAF's Third Legio.  Sources indicate that the Hegemony has begun work on several new industrial complexes as well they have tried to keep this quiet with extreme prejudice which means they don't want us to find out so we must act now.

Our targets include the training area, at least two widely separated industrial complexes, and likely more once we make contact with our agents on the ground.  We need to shut down their operations and deal a blow to the MHAF in order to protect Canopian worlds and stall their expansionism.

I need your unit to provide most of the forces to accomplish this mission, Lieutenant Commander Diana or I will act as Liaisons to your force in our Battlemechs.  The HELLCATs will provide quick strike forces and battle armored infantry to sabotage and hamper MHAF forces.

Mercenaries I need a dozen mechs that move, iii Legio and this mercenary group are equipped with fast forces and you need to keep pace or risk being surrounded.

Commander Marcus Brandt looked at the woman closely, there was something off about her but he had received a message from the now Major Grey on Canopus that said she was trustworthy.  He looked over to his young hotshot XO Joe Leeson standing next to his girlfriend and the unit's Intel Officer Jasmina Ilonka, "Joe it's up to you.  She wants your mechs for this assignment."

Joe looked her in the eyes, "When do we leave?" 


07/14/3064, MIM Black Site "Gorgon Pit", Gamilon, Magistracy of Canopus

Force Sergeant Tendaji broke the piece of rebar that was being swung at him by an ARC special operative while dodging the chains that threatened to entangle him by the other two.  His Prowler PAL was largely immune to any human powered trauma that he would ever face.  A dozen other soldiers formed a circle around the fight equally ready to jump at a chance to try their skills against the rookie.

"Alright Break it up" Commander Arachne shouted, she was a striking figure in her PAL suit, it was very different than the Prowlers that had begun filtering in to the Special Ops divisions.  Rumors say it was a piece of experimental tech from her Maskirovka contacts but no one was certain.  All the ARC operatives dropped their weapons and snapped salutes her way before returning to ready rest.

"Sergeant you have really taken to the Prowler suit, it is good that The Ebon Magistrate decided to recruit you out of the Gendearme.  We have greater need of your skills than you realize"

"Yes Maim, I am pleased to serve"

"Good that's it for today everyone.  Meet me in the Briefing room in twenty minutes we have been given a high priority assignment to start working towards."

Twenty minutes later

"Alright HELLCATs this is our new assignment, The Hall wants us to initiate a raid on the planet of Marius' Tears.  Analysis of reports in the Hegemony shows that the Federated Commonwealth has sent representatives to the Hegemony no doubt to keep a front on the League open in the event of war. 

There have been sightings of newer Commando and Centurion BattleMechs and an increase in Jump Traffic entering Hegemony space.  We also have unconfirmed reports of foreign trade agents with Germanic accents arriving and making contact with Hegemony companies.

This is an evolving situation but it is clear that we will be called to initiate a raid on the Hegemony in the near future.  Next month we will be receiving our shipment of Prowler PAL suits, until then Sergeant Tendaji and Corporals Jaco and Bastiaan will be serving as your opponents and provide the basic training in the operation and care of the suits.  The suits will arrive with a technical support team from Paradiso Armor Works to go over them in greater detail.

I have added additional training in survival and raiding tactics to the current schedule to ensure that when we are called to act we may do so immediately. 

That is all gentleman you are dismissed."   

02/24/3065 Location - Camp Rawhide, Dainmar Majoris, Magistracy of Canopus

Report from CSS Intelligence Agent Illonka to Mercs Unleashed Command Team

Tech Chiefs Edwin and Mulwai completed their pre-mission checks.  The final thing they needed to do was load the Savior Support and Undertaker Salvage vehicles onto the Leopard class MIM Diana Nanae. 

The Chiefs didn't expect to actually board our guest's vessel, however the guards were absent and the doors were open for them when they arrived.  Surprised they cautiously rolled the vehicles onto the loading ramps and into the bay guided by the crew to the balanced positions the vehicles were then secured for transit.

When they dismounted they noticed the contents of the bay, there were crates of material bearing the Ceres Arms logo several of which were marked M-PPR with generic alphanumeric markings. 


AI Add - M-PPR does not match any currently manufactured Ceres Arms weapons personal or heavy.  However we do expect to be informed of its nature when operations begin.


What caught their eyes were the pair of matte black BattleMechs hooked up to the gantries, one was a Raven but the other looked like a cross between a Phoenix Hawk and Mongoose, certainly something that they hadn't seen before. 


AI Add - We have identified this mech as a Beowulf, a COMSTAR mech manufactured in the Free Rasalhague Republic and have no idea how the Magistracy came upon the unit.  The Matte Black armor is likely stealth grade armor, it is the hottest accessory in the CCAF so the MAF could get their hands on some especially considering MIMs standing. 


They then noticed the techs were composed of staff with different company and academy logos on their jumpsuits Ceres Metals , Shengli Arms , and Victoria Academy were all represented.  Noticing their distraction one of the ship's crew and an ARC commando moved to push them off-board.


AI Add - If the Magistracy is testing out a new weapons system there is probably no better opponent than the Hegemony especially if there is FEDCOM support for them.  Ceres' small arms, Shengli manufactured components, and Victoria Academy technicians would all stand to benefit from this operation.  While their lack of transparency is understandable if frustrating I don't suspect they mean to intentionally undermine the core contract mission, we of the Intel and Analysis team will continue to discern their motives and inform the Command Team if we suspect trouble.


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #32 on: 19 June 2018, 09:22:19 »
July 3059, Huntress

Watch Commander Ash Smoke Jaguar walks through the bare halls of Fort Szabo in Lootera, a single lock of her dark brown hair escaped from the scarf to frame her intense hazel eyes.  Her outfit was sleeveless and tighter fitting than normally issued to Clan Warriors, a custom job that allowed her greater freedom of movement, her boots were soft heeled and moved without sound across the gray concrete floor. 

She walked with the drive of a fierce warrior plainly showing her resentment to the Clan that had pushed into the Watch rather than allow her to serve in its Touman, the fact that she still survived despite their best efforts was a source of pride.  She touched the paired karambit daggers on her belt while passing a group of armored Elementals but they continued on their heavy footfalls echoing off the rough-hewn walls before she relaxed again. 

There was no insignia on her uniform, it had been carved into her arm just another of her many other scars but her body language clearly broadcast to lesser warriors that she was on a mission and not to be disturbed lest bad things happen.  Her job was killing people from the shadows, an honor-less Assassin among proper Warriors and she was very good.

She passed a large corridor of columns that led to a beam of light coming from a skylight installed in a dome overhead.  Loremaster Erin Kotare stepped out from the shadows, an equally vital warrior she walked circles around Ash sizing up her best agent as she always did. The Loremaster removed her scarf which revealed Ash’s heavily scarred face.  “Loremaster”
“Watch Commander”

She stopped and the two women faced one another.  “I have a very important mission for you”
“As usual”

Erin attempted to gut punch the insolent Warrior that she kept trying to kill but Ash dodged the blow
“You are good Ash, too good in fact.  It is a fortunate but frustrating at times.  Take this”
The woman threw a data chip at Ash who snatched it out of the air easily
“In simple terms, I need you and a team to infiltrate the Jade Falcon’s Inner Sphere bound Jumpships.  Take lower caste or the few other Watch operatives you wish to work with and cause havoc and humble the Falcons.  Things are about to change here in the Home Worlds, we will have to take the fight to the forward edge.  If the Smoke Jaguars are to survive we must continue the fight.”

08/12/3061 Location - Anywhere, Jade Falcon OZ

It had been a long trip from Ironhold to Anywhere but this was the best time for them to spring the trap.  Disguised as Laborers or Technicians they had smuggled themselves to the Inner Sphere aboard a Jade Falcon resupply trip.  Laying low till they could seize a Broadsword and get a Merchant Jumpship to escape the system that time was now.

The disguised Elementals managed to get their work detail in the Mech Bays while the Warrior/Technicians stayed far away lest the Falcon Warriors notice them.

In Mech Bay 4,

"Dezgra," the Jade Falcon Mechwarrior didn't stand a chance before the unsuited Elemental crushed his throat then discarded the corpse into a mass of hoses.  His solace was that their whole clan was Dezgra, All the Jaguars, it still hadn't sunk in yet but there was fighting to do. 

The rest of his point arrived from their assignment and took up positions rounding up the other Technicians and Laborer castes with stolen weapons to ensure they didn't inform the Warriors in this particular zone.

"We have secured the area Captain, the Warriors have been slain"
"Fine Work Jan, we will arrive shortly, Vaska is securing her objective first"

A flash of light from the command tower signaled that Vaska had completed her objective as well.

"Jan we are coming in, hold your fire"

A ME-18 6x6 Truck pulled up to the lonely mech hanger with headlights off, three men and two women stepped out dressed in blood stained fatigues.  Before them were a portion of the Jade Falcon Provisional Garrison Cluster Mechs based on Anywhere.  They were pleased that their sources were correct.  The Falcons here did have a Linebacker no doubt won in a Trial against the Wolves.

The Technicians activated and slaved the Mechs to the Jaguar pilots, while they may have not been good enough in their Trials to die with the Touman they were still Clan Warriors dishonorable, good as dead Warriors. 

The Ash Pirates had been in such deep cover they did not even know the Clan had been Annihilated till they reached Anywhere but it changed nothing.  The Elementals seized suits assigned to the Cluster and gathered up supplies with the actual Technicians assigned to the unit, universally washed up or disobedient but they could fly the Broadsword and fix mechs.  The Captain had seen that one of the Broadswords was being prepared to lift off with Mech Bay 4's inhabitants as its cargo.  Time to take their act on tour. 

February 3062

Ash sat quietly with the rest of the Falcon Undercaste as the CJFM Wandering Roost Buccaneer drop-ship landed on the windswept world of Wotan.  She walked off with the rest of them but evaded the Falcon Patrol and boarded a train to the city of Oslo.  The city was partially underground built into the remains of mines that dated back to the Rim Worlds Republic.  Ash and Vaska had made contact with the Dark Caste on-planet through the pirates they had co-opted so they knew where they needed to go.

Upon reaching Oslo's main train station the Jaguar Watch operatives evaded the large Falcon Patrol and Watch security cordon and eventually made their way into Oslo city proper.  While heading through the labyrinth of poorly lit tunnels one of the Spheroid under-caste separates herself from the crowd.  She begins trailing the Jaguars and others join in, Ash notices them and tries to shake them fearing the Falcons had one of their brief moments of competence to discover her.

Ash and Vaska turns a corner and immediately beset upon by four armed figures, Ash and Vaska both draw knives and went back to back to defend themselves.  One of the the figures steps forward hands open, "You are not from around here, who do you work for?  Combine, Bears, Nova Cats..." 

Ash flashed a snarl at the mention of the Nova Cats betraying more than she intended. 
The speaker stopped for a moment shocked as she processed it, Ash saw a perfect opportunity to strike but chose not to.  Regaining composure the speaker dropped into a defensive stance suddenly very wary.

"Jaguars...What are Jaguars doing in Falcon Territory?  Your clan was destroyed on Huntress!"

Ash grew weary of this Spheroid's questioning preferring to know the stranger's purpose and get it over with she had important work to do

"Well we were not there.  Perhaps we should start with some introductions before I kill you stranger. Yes we are Smoke Jaguar.  Who are you?"
"My name is Amna, we wish to bring down the Falcons for the Commonwealth"
"Very well I am Ash, we share common cause for we seek to ground the Falcons."

The stranger told her fellows to lower their weapons but the Jaguar blades remained bared, "Is that so, perhaps we might be of assistance then if you would accept it."
"It would be of assistance if you leave us, we have much work to do here before we rejoin the others"
"Very well Ash Smoke Jaguar, we will find you when ready"

The Loki operatives scattered and disappeared into the crowds as did the Jaguar's Claws


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #33 on: 03 July 2018, 14:09:50 »
04/04/3064 02:17 Location - Orbit of Derf V, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

The Merchant jumpship Smoke and Mirrors emerged at a non-standard jump point in the orbit of Derf V.  It has two drop-ships attached a Broadsword and Confederate both of which quietly boosted away from their jumper as its solar sail unfurled to capture the light of the G7 yellow dwarf.

04/09/3064 05:42 Location - In orbit around Derf II, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

Ash stood in the center of the Broadsword Ember Mech bay looking over the latest reports, the drop-ships sensors detected the Falcon's supply depot.  The Spheroid Watch had given her good intelligence but that didn't mean the Falcons would go down easy.  Her force was becoming more patchwork by the day this raid would keep the fight going.

Vaska inform the Vanguard, we drop in ten minutes

The Ember and Vanguard burned out of the grey clouds in the night sky.  The two drop-ships touched down at separate points landing in the soft grassy plains around Homestead Station.  Ash's Linebacker walked off first covered with Jan's Elemental point followed by the rest of her Star.

While advancing the radio blared
I am Star Commander Kayin of Clan Jade Falcon, Identify yourself and your forces so that you may face our steel talons with honor

Ash was tempted to respond but silenced the radio
All forces this is Ash, The Falcons seek an honorable fight don't give them one.  Leave nothing but corpses, understood, we take everything

Nine status lights blinked green, satisfied she ordered Jan and his elemental point off her mech to support the Confederate's infantry group for the final approach.

Ash's Linebacker advanced rapidly engaging an Incubus and Howler, laser fire and missiles bridged the gap.  Amman's Scarecrow crippled a Conjurer before curb stomping it.  The Pirates lost an Ice Ferret and Vapor Eagle but claimed a Phoenix Hawk C and a Crusader C as isorla.  The Conjurer was salvageable but needed a new head.

Ten minutes later the Falcons had been routed.  Jan's Elementals tore through the lesser solahma infantry clearing the route for the technicians to access the depot.  Vaska accessed the facility, took inventory and reported that it wasn't the huge haul they were expecting.  They cleared it out in two trips and then moved to salvage the Falcon's mechs.  The Pirates' infantry had gathered up the Falcon Mechwarriors for Ash to deal with.

04/07/3064 Derf Zenith Jump Point

Captain Thomas Brekard and the Titanfellers were on the hunt, the Triumph "Hardball" and Fury "Fastball" were burning toward the location of a Jade Falcon supply depot.  LIC had informed them that the Falcons were utilizing the low profile system to avoid "pirates".  These pirates must be something if they needed to move emergency caches to a mostly abandoned system but the Titanfellers were up to the challenge.

The two dropships departed toward Derf II at 1.2g's trying to make good speed toward the target, they were in enemy territory after all.

04/09/3064 06:18 Location - Outside Homestead Station, Derf, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

The three Freeborn in front of her were a despicable lot, their Star Captain was now goo in the Conjurer after its head was smashed.  The Trueborn Solahma Warriors refused capture and needed to be shot.  As she walked in front of them the Freeborn's eyes were fixated on her karambit as it whirled around her finger, worried expressions on their faces.

I am looking for recruits, loyalty is top priority.  We are one unit there can be no deviation.
So I am going to ask you some questions privately if you answer correctly and I trust you all will be well, otherwise

Each one of the Freeborn is taken aside and interrogated by Ash before being returned to the holding area.

You all did well, I believe you are sincere however, you violated the Loyalty clause.  That is inexcusable so prepare to defend yourselves

Ash gripped her blade and quickly dispatched the three Freeborn.  They were so easily cowed by her that they would revoke their Falcon loyalty, such timidity would not be tolerated.

Vaska broke in through her radio,

Commander we are detecting a pair of drop ships in-bound, looks like Spheroid raiders, they have refused to identify themselves and will be here in three days

Vaska get the Techs to bring the salvaged Battlemechs back online.  These raiders should supplement the meager cache the Falcons left for us.  This might yet be a successful venture.

04/11/3064 08:18 Location - Homestead Station, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

Vaska and Ash had occupied the Falcon's supply station.  He monitored the deep space sensor feed that once belong to the Falcons.  Using it he identifying the raider's dropships, a Triumph and Fury.

Vaska, What are these vessels capable of?
Likely a Trinary equivalent Commander
Good perhaps we have finally found a worthwhile combatant, make preparations

04/11/3064 14:22 Location - Titanfeller Drop Zone Upsilon 75km NNW from Homestead

Captain Brekard's Battlemaster was the first to step off the Hardball into the misty rain that had just begun.  A Thug and Zeus followed behind as the fifteen Battlemechs of the Titanfellers disembarked and organized themselves leaving muddy footprints in the sparse grass near the landing zone before gathering into their Triads.   Lieutenant Yao's hover strike team had landed on the other side of the station about 72 kilometers away.

CB:  Alright Titanfellers move to engage, Vicki you take point, Yao circle and provide support as needed 

Vicki's Phoenix Hawk and its partner Wolfhound and Javelin rushed ahead followed by the rest of the company quickly disappearing into the mist.

35 minutes later, halfway to Objective 2-4

Vicki looked over her sensor readouts as her mech continued to walk through the wilderness. They were approaching a large pond surrounded by a temperate forest, this was the most direct route, the surrounding area was very hilly, not a problem for her and Holm but Henrick's Wolfhound was not a mobile as its lancemates. 

She called for a pause using her mech's hands rather than the radio, signaling her lance-mates to envelop the area.  This was an obvious ambush point and her experience in the Chaos March gave her a sense Deja Vu, this seemed like ambush country. 

She switched the Beagle Active Probe to its high power mode, as the readouts came in it reported a magnetic anomaly consistent with a high powered fusion engine powering up under the water's surface.

LCV: Point Triad Scatter!  Captain we have an Assault mech
CB: What!  Ambush, clearly these are not Falcons.  All units stay vigilant, watch for ambushes and traps

The Phoenix Hawk, Javelin, and Wolfhound moved away as a Stalker emerged from the pond, water cascading off the ovoid body of the Assault Battlemech.  A pair of scintillating blue-white pulses cut through the rain leaving a trail of steam aimed at the Wolfhound.  The lasers cut its left arm straight off before the torso was impacted by two dozen missiles.  The Wolfhound was thrown into the muddy ground like an angry child would throw a rag-doll. 

Before being dropped he fired his own laser but it only boiled water, Vicki's two lasers impacted the Stalker in the head and left arm, boiling off the surface water on the whole mech and burning off its armored canopy but only scorching the arm's thick plates.

The Point Triad moved to disengage and kept a healthy distance, Vicki's P-Hawk took several hits but nothing that can't be fixed.  They were ordered to shadow the Stalker keeping out of range to ensure it stayed in that area rather than engaging the main force. 

Captain Brekard made a call to split the other 12 mechs toward alternate flat lands but felt that was what the enemy commander wanted.


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #34 on: 03 July 2018, 14:14:38 »
Vaska crouched in the undergrowth dressed in his camouflage poncho, the constant drizzle was shrouding the Shadowleaf Pass currently visible in his Rangefinding Binoculars graying everything out.  The rest of his combat group were out of their battlemechs as well.  Their Mechs were powered down in a glade on the other side of this forest under camouflaged nets. 

He checked his remote sensor feed, the enemy Mechs had taken the long way around the Stalker, a wise move on their part but according to plan.  Vaska signaled to return to the Battlemechs and prepare for battle.  They crept back through the forest and toward their mechs utilizing the chain link ladders to get back in the cockpit and power up.

Vaska climbed into the Crusader's cockpit, taking his charcoal grey neurohelmet from its rack it had been freshly painted with Red jaguar's claws across the crown of his head, just like his 12 years as a Warrior before being put in the Watch.  The old warrior felt the familiar sensation of interface and powered the Crusader up.  All systems were green.

Ash we have visual on the hostiles, Sabre Star stands ready to attack
Aff, Vaska, All Jaguars, Claws Out! Destroy the enemy!

Vaska's Crusader walked out of the forest taking position on a ridge with a good firing line.  His star advanced on the Titanfellers in the valley below. 

The mechs broke off running to engage the enemy with missile and laser fire.  The Titanfellers dropped into their Triad supporting formations anchored by a Zeus, 7 on 5 was poor odds for the Spheroids even with their heavily upgraded machines. 

The Crusader, Crab, and Rifleman laid down heavy fire of all kinds while their Battle Hawk and Commando star-mates got in close.  The Titanfellers held strong quickly disabling the lights with an abundance of pulse lasers before advancing on the the heavier Battlemechs.

The Titanfeller's Crossbow, Lancelot, and Dragon advanced shedding armor and trading ammo to bring down the clanners.  The Zeus supported with its long range weapons and suffered massive damage in the process.  The Phoenix Hawk, Javelin, and Wolfhound from the Point Triad moved into flanking position aiming particularly for the Crab. 

The Dragon's gyro was damaged by the Rifleman's autocannons and it collapsed into the muddy grass out of control and cracking the cockpit, ringing Mechwarrior Holm's bell. The Lancelot was destroyed by the Crusader's close range weapons its bullet ridden wreckage was still steaming and leaking coolant, the Phoenix Hawk lost its main gun and a leg, Vicki managed to get it to stand again but just barely.  The Javelin lost its left leg to the Crab's ERPPCs, and the Wolfhound was destroyed by the same Crab.  The Crossbow suffered an ammo explosion, the feedback knocked Mechwarrior Harper out and blew off the Mech's right arm removing its final weapons.  The now "unarmed" mech crashed into the muddy ground and didn't rise.

The Zeus managed to bring down the Rifleman with a kick but suffered catastrophic damage in the process.  The Crusader lost arms and ran out of ammo before being legged by the Dragon's overcharged PPC.  The Crab was outright destroyed by the combined might of the Point Triad's lasers its steaming remains rested awkwardly on a small rise in the valley.

20 klicks North a different battle was going on, Ash's Star was engaging the rest of the Titanfellers Mechs and Captain Brekard.

04/11/3064 15:38 Location - White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

The Titanfellers moved cautiously through the broken terrain.  This whole encounter was unlike anything experienced fighting the Jade Falcons, normally they were eager to issue challenges and fight it out.  However it was eerily comparable to the time they had spent in the Chaos March fighting Capellans and that was worrying.

Captain Brekard's Battlemaster had just cleared a rise and was looking through the gray haze of drizzle on the valley below.  He was followed by the rest of the Alpha Group as they worked their way around the restrictive terrain. 

Commander Weber of Bravo Group broke in over the Battlenet. Her force was under attack by a star of Clan Battlemechs with grey and red markings, definitely not Falcons. 

Another star of similarly painted mechs appeared out of the forest on the opposite end of the valley and radio message came through.

I am Ash, Who dares to stand within striking range of the Jaguars Claws?
Captain Brekard and the Titanfellers are here to claim the Falcon's cache and oppose any who would stop us, if you wish battle then you have it

Alpha Group (Battlemaster, Thug, Warhammer, Archer, Starslayer, Griffin, and Shadow Hawk) advanced across the muddy river valley toward Smoke Star (Linebacker Prime, Kit Fox B, Conjurer, Phoenix Hawk C, Stormcrow D).

Missiles streaked across the open plains followed swiftly by energy weapons and auto-cannon shells.  Missed shots erupted in explosions and steam clouds as the forces exchanged fire.

Lieutenant Yao's strike team reached the objective, it was an eerily undefended warehouse but there were signs of battle on the walls.

04/11/3064 16:11 Location - Homestead Station, Derf

Lieutenant Yao of the Titanfellers Auxiliary Star had arrived at their objective, the facility was located on the shores of a large lake which his unit's hovercraft had just crossed.  There were signs of combat but they were several days old.  Laser burns and bullet holes were clearly visible on the faded green and weather-beaten warehouses.  The Jade Falcon Ensign had been cast down and trampled, clearly the garrison had lost as they would never allow that if Warriors were around.

Their battle armored troops split up into teams of five, tucked within the wedge were regular infantry also in five man squads.  Yao had been ordered to dispatch his heavy hovertanks to harass the hostile Stalker threatening the main mech forces.  From the reports over the Battlenet they were in for a serious fight, he dispatched skirmish tanks to aid Bravo Squad, Alpha Squad would have to wait for their limited Aerospace assets for assistance.

His troop's reports came in over the command unit, there were plenty of supplies but none of it was worth salvaging.  Some ammo, a crate of small lasers, a few crates of clan laser rifles were all that was found.  Even the command room didn't have any useful intelligence. 

Sergeant Reel came in over his suit's radio, "Lieutenant we have motion in the facility moving to investigate," Yao saw through his Command Screen the POV from the IS Battle Armor suit.  He opened the door with his suit's massive claws but then an explosion and the feed went dark.

His subordinate radioed in, "Sir they've booby trapped the facility.  Bravo squad is moving to evac."  Multiple explosions were heard over their feed which went dark.  Clouds of black smoke rose from the facility into the rain laden grey clouds above. 

Alpha and Charlie squads were being ambushed by conventional infantry with heavy weapons.  Their suit's machine guns chewed through them while their heavy armor shielded the standard infantry who were performing watching their backs.  The Titanfellers' technical staff picked up the loot to get it clear of the facility. 

When everyone was clear Yao's Maxim launched incendiary missiles into Homestead Station burning it up and occupying any remaining clan forces.  The Maxim, Maultier, and Aurouchs quietly powered back across the lake to regroup with their dropship Fastball.

04/11/3064 16:02 Location - White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

Captain Brekard and his unit engaged the Jaguar's Claws across the field, The Archer and Griffin engaged the Storm Crow and Linebacker.  Artificial lighting shot across the gap and invisible laser fire impacted on the rain soaked war machines creating large quantities of steam adding to the already degraded visibility.

The Starslayer and Phoenix Hawk C engaged each other along the flanks exchanging laser fire. The pilots engaged in a deadly spiral around a copse of evergreens.  The trees around them blackened from the missed energy weapons.

The Griffin and Shadow Hawk engaged the Kit Fox and Conjurer on the other side of the pass each maneuvering aggressively to hold their position and protect their unit's centers.  The Shadow Hawk's Binary Laser cut deep furrows into the Kit Fox's armor plating, a beating that the smaller mech couldn't withstand for long.  It responded with its rapidly firing autocannon the report ripped across the valley.  Its barrel glowed cherry hot and steamed as it cycled another 105mm round. 

The Griffin kept pummeling the Conjurer trading its armor for time while its lance-mate dealt with his opponent.  The Conjurer was not at one hundred percent having been brought online just a short time ago but its lasers and missiles exacted a heavy toll.

The Center line was a massive scrum with the Thug and Battlemaster attempting to box in the agile Linebacker piloted by Ash, The Warhammer and Archer moved to deal with the Storm Crow. 

Brekard's Battlemaster fired its Gauss Rifle at the Linebacker, the shell created fierce whorls in the fog and a few rounds struck home nearly bowing the clan mech over. Ash responded by firing on the Thug before kicking its legs out. 

The Thug unable to bring both of its Binary Lasers to bear fired one as it spiraled down which missed, vaporizing a patch of mud sixty meters away before falling with a massive splash and the horrific sound of bending metal.

Nearby the Warhammer trudged through the growing mud flat in a vain effort to catch the more mobile Storm Crow which backpedaled furiously as to maintain advantageous range.  While the Warhammer was heavily armored the forty missiles each cycle's cumulative effect were visible in the heavily pockmarked armor. 

Its partner Archer attempted to corral the Storm Crow with mines but there was always a way out or they failed to engage in the soft terrain.  Eventually he gave up on that tactic and they were forced to get more creative to deal with their agile opponent, that or outlast his ammunition reserves.

04/11/3064 16:08 Location - White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

Ash ran along the mud flats cutting the firing lines of her foes, this Captain Brekard was an able Mechwarrior but she was Smoke Jaguar.  The inferior Thug could never get a clean shot at her, he was not the real target anyhow. She moved the targeting reticle over the Battlemaster until it turned scarlet and pressed the firing stud. 

Her lasers cut through the thick armor plates of the assault mech's center of mass.  His shot was more accurate it sheared the right arm of her mech clean off, the now useless hunk of metal landed sixteen meters behind her, her omni's gyro compensated and she continued her attack.

Mechwarrior Dolven piloted his Phoenix Hawk C which rapidly closed in a death spiral with the Titanfeller Starslayer.  Several fortunate shots had removed his main gun but he was still a threat especially to the heavily damaged spheroid.  The two pressed ever closer bringing even the smallest lasers into the fight.  Both of them strained their Battlemechs to their limits, eventually they both gave out and that portion of the fight was concluded.

Mechwarriors Hendriks and Lorn engaged the spheroid Griffin and Shadow Hawk.  Hendrik's Kit Fox was brought down by a Binary laser cracking the engine shell but he extracted a heavy toll.  Lorn's Conjurer was pressed on two sides by spheroids as she backpedaled along the mud flat, the Griffin was downed but the Shadow Hawk finished the job and her Conjurer ended up lying in a shallow pool as her gyro failed.

Mechwarrior Logan piloted his Storm Crow expertly keeping his much slower opponents at a comfortable distance.  A PPC from the Warhammer eventually connected with his cockpit and he was vaporized, his mech hung slack and switched back to maintenance mode without direction.  The Archer's bins had run dry and the Warhammer was in no condition to continue the fight so they stood by while the center scrum resolved itself.

Back in the center, Ash dropped the Thug once more, it flailed as it's gyro failed to stabilize and didn't rise again as Lieutenant Carmen hitting her head on the control console and blacked out.  Ash's Linebacker had been seriously damaged but it continued the fight, she took out the Battlemaster's Right Arm as a hit to the Gauss Rifle caused a capacitor overload. 

A volley of missile sliced through the Linebacker's armor damaging the mech's engine shielding and pushing Ash to the operational limits of her machine.  She could not be beaten by Spheroids, she had fought Jade Falcons and survived the Annihilation of her clan, she would rather die.

She got back on the radio,

Captain Brekard. I challenge you to a melee Trial to settle this battle right now.  The winner shall claim the field and the losers shall withdraw with no further hostilities.

Captain Brekard sat in his Battlemaster cockpit contemplating the challenge, his mechs were torn up and there was a Stalker approaching, his Aerospace fighters might be able to bring it down but it would be risky. 

There was no way they would be able to withdraw safely to the dropship without pushing it to far.  From what he had heard Clan Mechwarriors weren't keen on martial arts preferring their mechs to their bodies so this might be a simple challenge.

Ash, I accept your Trial, we will fight it right here on this battlefield in ten minutes


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #35 on: 03 August 2018, 07:47:29 »
04/11/3064 16:18 Location - White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

Captain Brekard had dismounted his Battlemaster and discarded his cooling vest and neurohelmet.  His black shirt was drenched with sweat and the continual drizzle and fog that had enveloped the valley.  His grey pants and boots were covered in the slick brown mud that coated the valley floor.

Ash had dismounted her Linebacker discarding her cooling vest and neurohelmet along the way.  She wore a red vest and short charcoal pants with black boots that added to her androgynous build and exposed numerous scars she acquired.  Captain Brekard had never actually seen a clan mechwarrior up close despite raiding Falcon facilities over the past year, he had certainly never seen a Smoke Jaguar.

The two stood face to face for a short while before Ash broke the silence

Titanfeller, I declare a Trial of Blades for the possession for the Falcon's cache and the salvage from this battle.

Watch Operative Ash Smoke Jaguar, I will answer your challenge.  We shall fight till incapacitated and if either of us dies so be it.

The two dropped into combat stances neither wanted to draw first, to do so would have been seen as weakness despite the fact that this was a Trial of Blades.  The pair circled one another for minutes while they felt out the battlefield and their opponent rather than engage in a flurry of blows and lose their footing, there was no margin for error in this fight.

Ash opened the fight with a fearsome series of strikes aiming at the Thomas' vitals, she missed but he took a few hits.  He answered with a sharp combination of punches and low kicks which Ash parried and rolled with.  They continued to feel each other out; expert blows were thrown, dodged,, and parried in rapid succession.

The pair broke for a breather

You're good, it has been a long time since I've had a challenge to test my mettle in personal combat.  The last time was when I killed a Saurimat on Hyner, since then it’s been lowborn mercenaries and pirates.

I am honestly surprised Ash I figured you vatborn preferred to fight it out in Mechs rather than get your hands dirty for real.

Vatborn!  I am an operative of the Smoke Jaguar Watch, my hands have been covered in blood my whole life.  My first kill was when I was twelve, three more before I was sixteen, dozens since then. I even killed my former Watch Commander for being a fool.  You would be wise to still that wretched tongue.

Too close to home then.  There is no more Clan Smoke Jaguar Ash, you are delusional to cling to the past.  To me you are no better than a pirate, I've killed hundreds of them from Antallos to Astrokaszy.  You are all the same; parasites.

At that Ash attacked with unbridled fury, Thomas drew his combat knife to parry and dodge the razor sharp blades.

Ash was pressing the insolent spheroid hard, her strikes found their marks frequently although he skillfully dodged the worse of it. The Captain scored a few hits but was dealing with a whirlwind of fury from a fierce knife fighter.  Too focused on his knife hand; Ash didn't see the uppercut to her gut and turned into a throw.  Instinct took over and she landed in the mud with a splash but rolled back to her feet.

Captain Brekard bled from multiple knife wounds the blood rolled off his limbs and into the grey mud of Derf instantly.  This fight was rapidly taxing his stamina he would need to finish this fight soon or she might outlast him.  His thick boots got stuck in the mud giving her time to recover and costing him the initiative.  She remained crouched where he had thrown her not moving but was holding one of her legs.

Ash feigned injury to conceal one of her hands from her foe, she reached into her pockets till she felt cold steel.  There were legitimate injuries of course but she was a Trueborn Smoke Jaguar Warrior; injury and pain were constant companions and of no consequence. 

This was Watch Training she figured this man would hesitate to finish off an injured woman, they always did; an unfortunate socialization of Spheroids that she was willing to take advantage of.  She re-gripped her blades, he would hesitate but he was still a mercenary soldier with a mission on his mind.

Thomas paused shifting the grip on his combat knife and catching his breath before pressing the attack again.  As he approached Ash wound out of her crouch and he felt needle sharp points hit him in the torso. The flat steel throwing knives were poorly thrown, rain had fortunately slicked her hands during the fight otherwise they would have caused critical injury.  Pushing through the pain he slashed, jabbed, and stabbed at her putting her on the defensive with pure adrenaline and brute strength.

Both of them dropped their knives Ash had cut Thomas' hand and had been forced to drop her knife to protect herself from the hammer of his gauntlet.  They were equally worn out Thomas put her into a clinch kneed fiercely causing an injury to her ribs.  Ash escaped with a solid kick to his diaphragm but both were slow to rise.  Thomas had multiple lacerations and Ash probably had at least one broken rib and an equal number of lacerations.

Tom rose to his feet holding his side and covered in blood, it looked really bad, Ash was still on her back holding her chest equally injured.
Ash, you are defeated don't make me kill you, call off your force.

Stravag, you had better kill me, this fight is not over yet.

You are a sad and pathetic woman; you don't even have a clan left to die for; why fight at all.  No one will remember your sacrifice.  Call off your forces and we'll do the same.  You can die on someone else's time.

Thomas called in a MedEvac VTOL on himself, it was already in the area, he was transported into it and a replacement took over piloting his Battlemaster.

Ash was left there for long minutes mulling over her situation she could just order her forces to fight to the death.  They might win but there would be nothing left and she couldn't bear to be taken as isorla by the Falcons when they returned.  She was infuriated that the Stravag Mercenary had taken her knives before he left.  It was like he had chopped off her hands but she didn't have many options.

Jaguar's Claws cease fire, release any prisoners, and salvage our fallen.  This battle has concluded

04/12/3064 Location - JC Ember MedBay, Derf System

Ash woke with a start, sharp pain and the smell of antiseptic assaulted her senses and she could feel the bandages that covered most of her body.  The unit's Medic Larz pushed her back down,

"Watch Captain, please move slowly or you will hurt yourself more."
"Larz, what happened?"
"Jan and his Star picked you up in the mud where you last fought the Titanfeller Captain."
"Your wounds were severe, yet you fought the Elementals until they dosed you."
"Stravag Mercenary!  Any other casualties."
"Just the Dark Caste Infantry, the Spheroid's battle armor killed the whole Star but they blew up a Star of them so they died honorably.  Some of your Mechwarriors have minor injuries, nothing out of the ordinary for a pitched battle."
"Very well, I am going to speak with Vaska"
"Please don't move too much yet Watch Captain, the Med-Gel is still working I will find him"

Ash sat impatient, without much to do but examine her injuries. She definitely had a broken rib and tried to keep her breaths shallow.  The knife wounds were customary it was not the first time she had fought with a knife and wouldn't be the last.

Vaska walked in, a surprising old warrior for the Jaguars he was old enough to have graying hair.  He had several bruises but seemed none worse for wear.

"Yes Watch Captain"
"Give me a detailed report, I want to know what we have"

He explained their current situation the Titanfellers had seriously damaged most of their mechs, there is no way they can win against the Falcons in their damaged state. They could continue and die on the battlefield or run into the Sphere. 

Ash strained with the burden over several days of transit till the Ember regrouped with its Jumpship.  She certainly didn't want to die even with Glory against the Falcons and completely destroy the Jaguar's Legacy but running galled at her Clan Indoctrination.  Her unit was loyal to her they felt equally conflicted.

"Jump Captain Erin plot a course to Port Moseby include our Cache location en route"
"Aff Watch Captain"

The JC Smoke and Mirror's disappeared into K-F space bound for the Free Planet

05/18/3064 Location - Suk II, Nadir Jump Point, Wolf Empite

The JC Smoke and Mirrors had managed to evade Jade Falcon patrols during its transit to Port Moseby but their luck had run out.  The Vincent Mk 42 CWS Trailblazer had been patrolling the System and flagged their transits as unusual due to a change in operating procedure.  All hands were on deck as the infantry suited up to repel boarders should it come to that rather than be taken by Vlad's Wolves.  The Trailblazer hailed the Jaguar jump craft.

"Unidentified vessel you are to declare everything right now and accept boarders, do not resist or you will be annihilated"

Ash was tense but she remembered something, she turned to one of the Jump Technicians

"Quick, grab the yellow book from my quarters! (Muttering) Those spheroids better not have been lying"

He returned with the book huffing from exertion

"CWS Trailblazer, we are Skulldiggers hunting Viridescent Pheasants"

There was a short pause before the Wolf Captain responded

"Come Again"
"CWS Trailblazer, we are Skulldiggers hunting Viridescent Pheasants"

Another short pause but it seemed like forever for the Jaguars

"Skulldiggers, carry on, silence the screechers, CWS Trailblazer vectoring off"

Ash was surprised that worked, everyone was surprised actually.  After confirming that the CWS Trailblazer was indeed leaving.  A collective sigh of relief was had on the Bridge.

"All units stand down, Alert Condition 4, Carry on normal duties"

The fact that a Loki code-phrase actually worked to disengage a Clan Wolf Warship was curious, very curious.  Perhaps even Vlad's Wolves had distanced themselves from the clan ways despite his hard-line attitude.  Or maybe they just appreciated anyone who was an enemy of the Falcons.

06/10/3064 Location - Morningside Zenith Jump Point, Federated Commonwealth

Watch Captain Ash called another meeting in the Lion JC Vanguard Cargo Bay.

"We have cleared most of the Commonwealth's patrol areas.  You have all done an excellent job learning how to be Nova Cats.  We will need to put your skills to the test in ten days when we burn toward Port Moseby.

We will have five days there before we have to leave lest we draw suspicion from the Dragon's Eyes.  Quartermaster Norwood has compiled a list of our salable assets.  I will require everyone to be a Merchant on this mission, we are too small to specialize and the Watch is adaptable.  Leave the signs we have standardized on, if any Jaguars still prowl the space-lanes they will eventually come into Port Moseby.  They will need to know that Smoke Jaguars still live."


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #36 on: 21 November 2018, 13:58:57 »
03/15/3063 Location - "Dreamland", Selene Station in orbit around Boreal (Niops VII), Niops Association

Eight young women sat in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) their yellow and orange clothing a contrast to the white room whose walls were adorned with a series of organic looking patterns they were sitting in.  The complete circle showed no sign of entry, exit, or ventilation in the dim light of the room, all of them breathed in perfect coordination. 

The whole group wouldn't have looked out of place in a trendy yoga study on Crimson except each of them has the short hair of a Mechwarrior, unit tattoos from elite military or police units, and cybernetic components.  One of their number stopped and banged a pair of wooden blocks together which snapped the whole group out of their patterns.  They reorganized themselves into loose lines and faced the speaker.

Ladies we move back to explaining Interface to our newest members.  Electra, you begin explain the history of the program so they may be.

Yes, Callisto.  Nearly twenty years ago Burke Kale of the NAIS developed a neural implant that would allow him to control a Battlemech with his mind.  Ten years ago he did it successfully but the Federated Commonwealth chose not to pursue that path.  COMSTAR's ROM did copy the technology en route back to New Avalon but put it aside to focus their efforts on building the COMGUARDs.

When the Word of Blake seized Terra; ROM reactivated the program eager to seize an advantage over the more mainstream and supported COMGUARDs.  While they had access to fine medical minds on Terra they chose instead to partner with Precision Instruments of Luxen to advance portions of the technology, eager to find some kind of holistic process that would alleviate the crippling problems inherent to the technology.  Needless to say we did good work but couldn't fix all their problems.

Sabrina, go over the details of Project: Aether for the others

Project: Aether was commissioned by the Magestrix as part of the Ebon Magistrate Initiative shortly after PIL connected the dots. An ARC team grabbed a copy of the DNI from a ROM double unfortunately costing that agent their life rather than risk exposure. MIM Agents sent with BULLDOG grabbed several copies of Clan Smoke Jaguar's Protomech interfaces and captured three members of their scientist caste and some techs right under the Star League's noses, truly an incredible operation and testament to our ingenuity

Our partnership with the Niops Association made here the best place to conduct research and fine tune the hardware.  The Aether PAL was one of the missing components it acts as a bridge between your mind and the Battlemech's computers. Magistracy medical knowledge, Niopian technologists, and Jaguar scientists we have finally fixed most of the problems we know the Word are still dealing with.  You figuratively sleepwalk your way to victory

Psh, I didn't sign up to fight a war on my back

Arachne you are a MIM operative we have won more battles on our backs than any other nation in the Inner Sphere


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #37 on: 21 November 2018, 14:05:23 »
01/2/3063 15:42 Location - Plum Shore Villa, Outside Harlech, Outreach

The Command Team of Mercs Unleashed answered a mysterious note left in their old COMSTAR message account from Westerhand.  It was suitably cryptic and thus could only come from two people in the whole Sphere.

"We would be honored it you would meet us a Plum Shore Villa on Outreach for tea and to celebrate new beginnings."

The team drove up in the WM-800 Armored Mobility Vehicle, a souvenir from Nashuar and the only comfortable ride they owned.  Surprisingly the parking lot was full with vehicles for such an exclusive venue, a well-dressed valet parked their car and a Hostess invited them in escorting them to a private room where a tough looking Capellan man stood before leaving them.

"Greetings we are pleased that you decided to accept our invitation.  Do come in."

The man opened the door and as they passed through closed it behind them, before them was a large low table set up for a large dinner and a group of familiar faces.  Kiang Shi Fang sat while her advisers stood around the table all immaculately dressed in fitting with this upscale establishment, and likely a group of Capellan Secret Police were hiding somewhere nearby.

"Greetings Mercenaries, please sit; I have a proposal to offer you."

The Capellans gesture to a spot along the table for you but there are more place settings than people at the moment. "Don't worry we have more company coming"

Shortly after she said that Felicity Grey and her WILDCAT sub-commanders arrived from another door that was almost invisibly set into the fine woodwork of this room.

"Is everything good Ms Grey, I believe you have met the Mercs Unleashed team as well"

"Yes we checked the building and road, no one followed them here.  I am happy to see them again we had a great time last we worked together."

"That is well, please sit."
  Felicity and her team took their spots filling up the table.

"We have a joint proposal for you but it is improper to discuss business while eating, surely you are in no hurry."

In a bid to be polite and not get shot in the back you continue the curious and uncomfortable dinner, being extra sure to taste your food and make sure they didn't decide to poison you for some reason.  Drinks and plates of fine cuisine were served until all had eaten their fill and some.

"Alright now for business, Ms Grey and I have been working a delicate issue.  We are looking for an Arms Smuggler.  This man assisted the Thuggee in the Black May attacks and has been responsible for arming hostile factions in the Chaos March.  However we have not been able to track his movements or find his base of operations.  We do know that he will be on Paradiso during the Arms Expo, Ms Grey will you continue."

"As mentioned this Arms Smuggler, named Rodrigo Sullivan Bane has been responsible for arming various hostile militias and governments and has personally tried to kill me.  I seek to return the favor, we know that he will on Paradiso because we have managed to tie him to Enrique San Marco's Paradiso Armor Works and Utilitech Limited. 

However, due to political reasons neither I nor the Shonsa have been granted proper clearance for this operation.  Because of that we need a convincing cover story and you might be able to provide it to us.  As a relatively large mercenary unit with money in the bank you would naturally be inclined to accept the El Presidente's invitation to the Expo."

Chen Jun sets up a small holographic projector on the table as Kiang Shi-Fang stands up to present it, "This is our target", a 3d render of Sullivan takes up the screen as do a series of video captures of his operations taken by Zhangzeng de Guang, ARC Team WILDCAT, and Magistracy/Cappellan Armed Forces units, "He has a substantial bounty on his head from the Confederation and the Magistracy due to his history with the Thuggees, Marians, and Toyama Faction. 

However, he is a Taurian and the Director has not given me a proper kill order to deal with him as he serves a useful purpose to the Concordat government as an Anti-FedSuns terrorist, however we still have a problem with him.  You have no such limitations though, past experience has shown that if given a target you can deal with it promptly. 

So this is the deal, our group shall join your command temporarily, we can fabricate the necessary papers and then we shall take you to Paradiso where you may do whatever you wish while we work.  Once we have a lead on Sullivan's base we will attack it to draw him out and then destroy him.  It will not completely cripple those he works with but we believe the potential intelligence he has on our enemies is worth this operation. 

You may keep whatever you salvage from the field and I can ensure that the CCAF will find a use and pay for it.  There is nothing up front and we cannot offer you any additional combat support other than ourselves."


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #38 on: 21 November 2018, 14:07:24 »
03/27/3063 08:38 Location - Presidential Palace, Amarillo Island, Paradiso

Enrique San Marco, Word of Blake Precentor Aidyn Wiskol, Weher Haus, and others held a meeting prior to the Arms Expo, the Precentor had been sent from Gibson to advise their partners in adjacent provinces on actions that would please the word.  The men sat in the President's office overlooking the beaches.  The Expo would start soon and attendees were trickling in. 

Representatives from the Taurian Concordat, Magistracy of Canopus, Marian Hegemony, and agents from various arms brokers or merc headhunters were attending.  That was good, operatives from ROM would also be in attendance undercover to recruit new blood for the organization.

Precentor Wiskol opened the meeting, "Greetings all, may the blessings of Blake be upon us all.  The Word continues to spread to all corners of the Inner Sphere but it needs force of arms to get past some of the unbelievers.  The militia is growing but we have much work to do still.  How goes things on your end?"

Enrique responded speaking in his usual calm and suave tone "Honored Precentor, Paradiso Armor Works has worked out production deals with the Taurian Concordat and Arcturan Arms.   I have begun assembling my portion of the components for the Fallen Stars enclave, when Mr. Fischer arrives we will finalize the plans."

Wehner Haus of Wagner-Klein Capital had his own presentation for the Precentor "Honored Precentor, W.K.C. has been working on your ambitions toward Skye, our operatives have a target list of infrastructure and lynch-pin opinion leaders that would be of interest. 

Additionally we continue to support the separatist groups that weaken the Confederation and influence people in the greater Commonwealth to be more receptive to the Word.  Your analysts have proven invaluable and we are honored to continue serving Blake's Vision."

"Excellent work all, I am afraid I have much to do but we will meet frequently as this Expo continues.  I have several new organizations that we seek to influence, have a good day gentleman."


04/11/3063 08:15 Location - San Marco Studios, Isle de Azul, Paradiso

Rodrigo Cortez looked over the shot lists for this week, three scenes and they needed to be tight.  The Paradiso Defense Force and various visiting commands were very heavily using the Proving Grounds during the Arms Expo for training, demonstration, and simulation.  It was quite impressive he had never seen the island as booked as it was and of course he would be under the gun to get these scenes down on the first take.

"Marisol, please get me the list of visiting combat commands especially Mercs and Arena fighters."
"Certainly señor"

She returned with the printed out list of visiting commands that he might tap for his productions.

"Oh Julio Esteban Arrigos is here, didn't he place in the Noisel Martial Olympiad three years ago.  Then if I remember he did a stint on Solaris as a Class 4."

"Yes that is correct, his group is currently being represented by the Golden Warrior Co-Op out of Westerhand.  A curious choice considering he could have gotten into any stable he wanted and didn't need to become a real mercenary.  El Presidente invited him personally, apparently he is a fan and I guess might want to offer him a contract."

"That would be a waste of such a talent, see if you can get him to film a scene with me.  He's perfect for one of the shoots I need to make. 

Try these guys too, Mercs Unleashed, what a terrible name.  What are they unleashed from? 
Doesn't matter see if you can get me their agent; they have just the right kinds of equipment I need. It would save me a trip to Colonel Gutierrez asking for some more of his Proving Ground Cadre, I swear the man has it out for me."

"Ok? so, ah... how should I phrase this message?"

"Come on girl, tell them I want them to be in the MOVIES!  Everyone wants to be famous and they probably want to get paid.  If they are good I might just offer them a retainer.  If they stick around that name is going to have to change though. I'll get Pedro from marketing on it later.  So figure it out and get me another coffee, this one has gotten cold."

"But Sir, you ordered an iced coffee."

"Well then get me a hot coffee."

Marisol walked out of the room towards Craft Services figuring out how she was going to ask two group of battle hardened mercenaries if they would want to be movie stuntmen. 

This was starting to become one of the strangest internships and it had only just started.  She was wondering how her friend Camila was doing in the El Presidente's office, surely that would be better than some crackpot movie producer's office


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #39 on: 21 November 2018, 14:08:25 »
04/13/3063 14:05 Location - Convention Village, Isle de Sol, Paradiso

Felicity Grey and Kiang Shi Fang had changed their appearance upon arriving on planet two weeks ago in order to move about unnoticed.  Felicity changed her hair and eyes to brown while Kiang Shi Fang changed hers to blond but kept her brown eyes.  They moved along the Expo floor dodging ROM and other intelligence operatives.  Their support teams were hard at work chatting people up for intel and just doing research on the various firms present.

So far the convention was uneventful although the Cal-Boeing and Michealson sales teams had come to blows and needed to be separated for security purposes.  A pair of Khaki clad Paradiso Defense Force troops stood nearby their booths to make sure the problem didn't escalate. 

All sales and purchases were being held in escrow till after the Expo to allow the various vendors to properly demonstrate their product to everyone who attended before leaving with C-bills and new contracts to bring to their bosses.  Seung Chu-Yi was passing out business cards to prospective mercenaries and vendors to work under Hi-Power Executive Services taking the initiative in a way her boss would surely appreciate and reward.

The ARC team and Black Fan operatives had yet to turn up any intel on Sullivan Bane but their prior intelligence placed him on the planet during the Expo.  That was a two month window though so they were really trying to preserve their cover throughout the event.    That would not be simple.

04/15/3063 Location - Pearl Island, Paradiso

Arun, Rafael, and Li along with Sergeants Cooper, Loys, and Smith were walking the Expo. Their Mechwarrior bosses had left the support assets to look over the expo with all its shiny new small arms   One that caught their attention was Flame Tech booth with their new First-Start flamethrower and Backfire Incendiary Launcher, the video was especially well made and they noted that for testing at the Proving Ground. 

The Small Arms portion of the Expo was quite extensive and took most of two days but they found all kinds of interesting but probably terrible weapons.  They did find a uniform and equipment distributor that was rather reasonable though so they ordered new uniforms and environmental gear to replace their mismatched and worn clothing.  Even Felicity and Shi Fang found some things of interest and noted them for testing and possible acquisition by their respective agencies.


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #40 on: 21 November 2018, 14:11:34 »
05/11/3063 Location - Isle de Sol Convention Village, Paradiso

Felicity Grey and Kiang Shi Fang's teams were still casing the convention their hard work of preparing the field was rewarded as their "friends" reported all kinds of things back to the two intelligence officers.  [[:sullivan-rodrigo-bane | Sullivan]] was still at large though until midway through the expo, the Starskipper arrived at the Nadir jump point and was poised to land at a remote star-port.  ARC Team WILDCAT's contacts in the PDF informed them that something suspicious was going on there.

Meanwhile back at the Pearl Island Holding Area Mechwarrior Lily and Donovan Law were working with Arun's team, he was starting them off with routine inspections and light duty but they were happy to learn.

05/14/3063 01:52 Location - Isle de Blanco, Paradiso

The Starskipper burned out of the atmosphere landing on a concrete landing pad, several barges were docked and being unloaded at a nearby seaport.  The Black Fan had managed to smuggle themselves aboard the PDF Sustaining Wind while it was being loaded on Moon Island two days ago.  The team leader Dimitri Semonov waited for the longshoreman to leave before they crossed over.  They had seen the Danais-class dropship burn down a few hours ago but couldn't see more from their current position, Signalling for the team to disembark the Black Fan walked off the ship in disguise.

Dimitri directed them to a damaged warehouse where they set up an observation post deploying various cameras, microphones, and communications gear at the dropship.  It was in fact the Starskipper so their intelligence had been correct.  The manifest for Sustaining Wind had included a variety of industrial equipment it was however to abstract for the secret policeman to understand.  They would have to wait for technical analysis from the mercenary techs or another contact at the expo to make sense of it.  What was important though was that this equipment was being loaded onto the Starskipper.

Important Notes to Kiang Shi Fang
Mistress we have confirmed that our intelligence was accurate, Arcturan Arms and Paradiso Armor Works are transferring some manner of industrial equipment to the Starskipper.

We have picked up several intercepts and have managed to identify several of Rodrigo's crew for further investigation.  They are apparently here for the pickup and a meeting with an unknown party. 


05/15/3063 16:22 Location - Isle de Blanco, Paradiso

Sullivan Rodrigo Bane and crew walked up to the presidential palace, he and multiple other businessman had been invited by the president for dinner.  His ship was not alone on that old starport several other vessels of various makes and nationalities had joined him.  As they boarded the yacht there was hushed conversation, most of his current company were fellow pirates, smugglers, or facilitators to their profession and seeing them in suits was an amusing experience.  The staff on the yacht brought out beverages and they began to converse with one another, everyone present had been summoned but they still didn't know what they were to do.

Elsewhere, The Black Fan and ARC team WILDCAT canvassed the area for the people identified as part of Bane's crew.  They found a few of them and managed to stick bugs on them that would transmit to the receiver station on Isle de Blanco by The Black Fan.  They made sure that enough of the crew were wired for sound before slipping back into the festivities.

05/15/3063 18:58 Location - Presidential Palace, Amarillo Island, Paradiso

Sullvian Bane and his dangerous company arrived at Amarillo Island and were taken on a quick tour of the area.  It was a spectacular compound and allowed ROM to make sure that everyone present would not be a threat to the operation.  Only after they were cleared were they guided to the presidential palace where Presidente Enrique San Marco and Precentor Wiskol and executives from the expo were standing in the parlor.  The groups intermingled for a little while before setting down for a lavish dinner.

After dinner the executives went with Enrique while the Precentor took over with the pirates.  He started with introductions and then got to the heart of the issue.

"I have summoned you all here because I have plenty of work for all of you, you will of course be well compensated for the risks involved and will be rewarded on your loyalty and results.  If you are interested I will send the objectives and facilitate you in any way I can to achieve those objectives.  I know that you have a large following in your community and if your bring others on-board you will be rewarded.  The Word of Blake is the future of the Inner Sphere and you are privileged to make it so."

05/20/3063 Location - Isle de Blanco, Paradiso

Sullivan Bane and the others had received their orders from the Precentor, he was to deliver industrial components to a small periphery faction at the behest of the Word.  It seemed like an easy enough assignment and he would back to his home base in no time having been away for nearly a year. 

A shipment of weapons from Free Worlds Defense Industries arrived at Hell's Paradise for later transfer to Free Skye so he would have to stop by there on the way back into the Alliance.  With Katrina Steiner-Davion idling the Commonwealth's military-industrial complex and the trouble with the Black Dragon Society in the Combine's those weapons would fetch a healthy price anywhere.

The components were loaded onto the Starskipper but they were not authorized to lift-off until the expo attendees had left which was about two months from now.  Until then he would have to entertain himself fishing, sunbathing, and boating which would be a nice break for everyone.

One of the bugged crewmen had heard about the delivery to Hell's Paradise and the fact that they would be in the periphery delivering something to a small faction there.  This was transmitted to Kiang Shi Fang who forwarded it to the mercenaries.

"We have our target mercenaries, gather everyone up, we are headed to Hell's Paradise"     


06/01/3063 En Route to Hell's Paradise

Commander Felicity Grey looked up Hell's Paradise in the star-com, not a lot was there but MIM had a good amount of data on most Free Worlds planets.  There was a short remark in the archive about increased volcanic activity caused the colony to become non-viable.

True History

In 2832 the geologically active planet known as Hell's Paradise began a period of increased volcanism starting with the stratovolcano GHY-87963 blowing its caldera.  The Free Worlds League colony on that planet was evacuated and put to work elsewhere by Charles Marik. 

The planet's ecosystem had became non-viable for human habitation and the League had more pressing concerns against COMSTAR, the Alliance and Confederation.  Fourteen other large volcanoes erupted over a twenty year period before settling down but the devastation caused problems for about a hundred years until it returned to baseline habitable levels.

In 2941 a jumpship carrying passengers and equipment from Cavanaugh II to Tamarind (or was it the other way records are unreliable) mis-jumped into the system and their jump core was damaged.  Stranded in the system but fortunate that it was at least habitable, the initial population was around 11,000 but they discovered and repaired a large quantity of the abandoned colonist's equipment in addition to having their own supplies.  The colonists establishing a groundside city (Unity City) and dismantled their derelict Invader-class jumpship utilizing as much of it as they could and abandoning it. 

Their three dropships and small craft were dismantled to provide infrastructure The Revenants, as they call themselves now, expanded their population and maintained a high standard of living.  The planet had been utilized as a smuggler's base before Sullivan Rodrigo Bane or "Deathbringer" found himself there.  He jumped in-system based on old coordinates he found while searching a periphery datacache.  Finding a willing and trainable population in the League to form the base of his operations was a boon.

Using discarded weapons from his business contact Bane has armed a sizable contingent of the natives.


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #41 on: 21 November 2018, 14:13:29 »
08/16/3063 15:38 Location - Star LT283910A, Three Jumps Rimward of Modesto, "Canopian Ruins"

Sullivan Bane had been to some unusual places in stressful conditions but this one topped the list.  WOBS Seeking Darkness had jumped the OAFT Starskipper to an abandoned but still quite functional Star League era space station.  The space station was located at the Nadir of this uncharted Star System orbiting a Red Dwarf of no real importance, there was a Neptunian Gas Giant with small moons in orbit around it but that was all. 

These were the coordinates he received from Precentor Wiskol however and he had been given explicit orders to not leave until his cargo was picked up by its customer; not that Adept Delta III Cornalis would let him anyhow.  The Adept was charged with making sure he completed his task.

A task that would finally pull him out of the Word's shit-house.  They apparently had taken offense to him losing a large shipment of League weapons to the Hegemony due to sabotage on behalf of the Magistracy.  Those bitches would pay, he had been working for room and board non-stop for four years paying back the Hegemony for that shipment.  It had become quite personal.

Their jumpship had reached this area several days ago and he was getting a bad feeling about this.  Adept Cornalis could easily just leave his dropship here abandoning him on this tiny star, they could always come back after he starved to death and recover their property. 

He sat in front of the view screen displaying various datapoints about the system as it was the most interesting thing about the station.  A jump alert blared as an emergence wave was detected the sensors zoomed in on the signal and resolved the image of a non-standard jumpship smaller than a scout class vessel with large cargo bay doors and bristling with weapons.  A pair of small craft exited the jump-vessel and started towards the space station.     

His crew of smugglers were on guard for tricks but the small craft docked with the space station and eight people walked off clad in Dark Blue Spacesuits with Orange mirrored visors.  They had no insignia on their uniforms and were armed with Mauser 960 Laser Rifles that appeared to be new.  The one in command by body language walked forward and asked to speak with the Captain of the dropship.

Sullivan walked up to him and introduced himself, the stranger declined to introduce himself and presented Sullivan with a datacube.

"What your Master desires is there, I trust you have brought us what we requested"
"Yes it is on-board the dropship right now"
"Good unload it to the station's cargo bays and leave"

The transaction was complete and Sullivan's crew unloaded the containers into the space stations cargo bay while the stranger's jumpship opened its shuttle bay releasing another non-standard dropship which burned toward the station.

Sullivan couldn't undock the Starskipper fast enough and burn towards the Seeking Darkness this whole episode was strange.  He gave the datacube to Adept Cornalis who checked it to ensure the strangers held up their end of the bargain and gave the order to jump Coreward back to the Inner Sphere.

"Fine work Rodrigo we will take you back to Canopian space, you will meet your charter there.  We look forward to doing business with you again in the future."


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Re: The Tales of Mercs Unleashed
« Reply #42 on: 21 November 2018, 14:14:18 »
Greetings Citizens of the Concordat, I am Bryan Ayers of the Concordat Broadcast Network with a special report on the Aurigan Reach.

As many of you know the Reach has been shaky since the twenties but we have a long history with its citizens.  Many were former Concordat colonies that were left behind after the Taurian-Magistracy War and while the Protector worked a deal with the Canopians to jointly develop the Fronc Reach we never forgot about the Aurigonians.  They were doing relatively well for a while and produced an abundance of trade with Capellan and Taurian border worlds especially Paf, Girondas, and Larsha.

The Aurigan Defense Force and Aurigan Information Ministry under House Arano worked with Taurian and Canopian forces to clear the area of pirates although some remain and still threaten planets in the area.  The more pressing concern however is the economic collapse of the Reach, many of their planets were marginal and recent years have been tough. 

Pirates damaged water purification plants on Guldra, Artru, and Panzyr, the biodomes of Bringdam and Enkra have begun failing despite their maintainers best efforts, poor harvests on Coromodir and mismanagement of Mechdur's mineral resources have brought hard times to the Reach. 

The growing insecurity of the Aurigan Reach has forced the Taurian Border Force and Confederation Frontier Police to begin evacuating expatriates from the Reach.  The Consulates recommend that you leave but have not instituted a mandatory evacuation order.  The Border Force is offering limited aid but they have a five month operating budget right now so if you are going to leave they insist that you do it soon. 

The Canopian Consulates are to be used for any other Inner Sphere or Magistracy expatriates seeking return to their home regions and have been reinforced with Magistracy Gendearmes.  The Word of Blake will continue to operate the Class B HPG on Coromodir and Class C HPGs on Itrom, Guldra, and Mechdur until told otherwise although they have reinforced their garrisons.