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Author Topic: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II  (Read 16215 times)


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #60 on: 30 May 2018, 07:16:04 »

There slight change in the way universe ended up.  I don't get where the Wolf Empire would come up in?  That was not a thing a Trueborn Clanner would have come up with.

AlphaMirage, are you warming up a new story? Third Transfer, Katherine pt III?

That was actually a direct re-post of my previous story.  The Wolves changed it from Occupation Zone to Empire after moving out of the homeworlds much like the Ghost Bear OZ became their Dominion after they left.

This story is actually a sequel to Wrangler, it makes more sense there.

As for a part III no the end of the Third Transfer is where I am going to stop for this story at least.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #61 on: 02 June 2018, 01:52:19 »
01/18/3068 08:00 Location – Mariah’s Pinnacle, Barcelona, Jade Falcon OZ

The Conquistador dropship FCDS Somerset Striker landed on the broken plains of Mariah's Pinnacle, a rugged steppe region and the site of many battles fought during the Amaris Crisis and Operation Revival.  It was located in the shadow of one of the Usurper's broken fortresses destroyed by some Terran Hegemony Warship ages ago but never reclaimed by nature.  The blackened remains may have hardly changed in centuries but the two men facing one another had in the past two decades. 

Lyran General of the Armies/Margrave Adam Steiner disembarked from the drop-ship inside his Blue-Grey Dire Wolf, ONI Obersh Rachel Specter seated behind and slightly above him manning the command console in the second armored cockpit.  Sigma Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus was in his Dark Green Jupiter, a binary of the unproven but well tested Battlemechs had been rushed from Erewhon after Khan Pryde saw the Fourth Whitting Conference video of Katherine and Vladimir.  The massive Mech easily visible in contrast to the blackened ruin.  The assault Mechs cracked the sun baked clay with each step, quickly followed by the rest of their forces.

The 1st Somerset Strikers as a Grenadier Pattern Unit unloaded four battalions of Armor from their Triumph and Hercules drop-ships as well as the nearly five battalions of Battlemechs and two of Battle Armor from Union and Overlord-Xes.  Their two wings of Aerospace Fighters under the command of Hauptmann Katiara Kylie waited in low orbit along with the Zodiac Warship Leo, the FCS Yggdrasil having been diverted due to the appearance of the CJF Emerald Talon above Roadside.  Malthus had bid away his own Aerospace Trinary and granted Safcon to the Strikers.  Sigma Galaxy and the 217th Falcon PGC were standing in a staggered line while the Strikers were formed into a Delta wedge.

Both sides were par with Clan tech Mechs and Vehicles, the Sigma Galaxy suffering heavily at the hands of the Steel Vipers two years ago forcing them to use Freeborn Battlemech pilots and clan-teched versions of Lyran Mech and Tank designs to augment their ranks of proper Clan equipment.  The fact that the lesser vehicles were permanently assigned to his unit galled Timur but he was in no position to argue with Khan Marthe Pryde.  After their exile from the Homeworlds they needed every weapon they could get to hold back Lyran, Horse, and Wolf aggression.

“General Steiner, we have been expecting you.  It has been what sixteen years since you or I have last fought on this world.  I have been robbed of Glory to many times in my life.  It shall not happen again.  This time you will be defeated and I will haul you before Khan Pryde herself to redeem my Bloodhouse.  The only way you are going to make it to Somerset is with a bondcord, Freeborn.”

“You know I would refuse the bond Malthus, I might use it to strangle you if given half a chance.  You will have to kill me to stop me from going home and sending you all to Hell in the process.  The Jade Falcons are finished, they just haven't stopped preening themselves yet.  We have a batchall, let's get on with it.”

The Galaxy Commander looked at the status updates from his hidden Huitzilopochtli ("Huey") artillery vehicles, "Nothing would please me greater General."


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #62 on: 02 June 2018, 08:25:39 »
Fight's on!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #63 on: 02 June 2018, 10:04:10 »
What a Jade Turkey who is fighting smart...  Against an Inner Sphere warrior already beat them???
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #64 on: 03 June 2018, 00:17:04 »
Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus' Jupiter stepped back but the hands of his mech moved forward, one of them caught the Lyran Nightsky's hatchet in his massive fist holding back even the increased strength from the unit's TSM that might have cut through his depleted torso armor.  An Uziel and two of the Stooping Hawk clones, Changeling Omnimechs as they called them, were burned out cored by the one hundred tonner's heavy firepower but his ammo and armor was running low or absent.  The Headhunter Lance had ambushed him on the way back to the refit area under cover of ECM and those roaches of Savannah Masters that were tougher than an Ironhold Beetle to kill.

The Jupiter's fist tightened bending armor plates on his opponent's arm. The Assault's foot came down with force snapping the titanium bones of the Lyran assassin mech at the knees.  It was un-clanlike of course but Timur did feel a certain satisfaction as the enemy mech fell to the ground after he released it before ending the threat with a stream of high energy particles from his remaining ERPPC.  The rest of his Command Star was already ahead as they piloted smaller and speedier mechs than his lumbering Jupiter.

Making it back to the designated spot where technicians were hard at work already replacing armor and ammunition for the Warriors.  Timur grabbed his Bright Green Neurohelmet detaching it from the cockpit's data-port and stepped out onto a mobile elevated walkway taking the stairs down to the Nova that awaited him.  Malthus secured himself and powered the fast and deadly mech up, ready to fight again.  The squat wide postured Omnimech having found a second life as a second line Jade Falcon Battlemech in it's primary configuration as the Falcons lost many factories in their flight from the Homeworlds chased away by the Steel Vipers and their Star Adder allies. 

Two of his lasers had been swapped out for TAGs, his Second-Line Galaxy wasn't going to be able to hold their position on this world long enough to stop the Strikers.  Still he endeavored to make it very costly for them in order to slow them down and force them to resupply and repair before continuing to Erewhon and potentially seize the factory there.  Already Falcon jumpships were en route to ferry Sigma back, they just needed to keep them here for a week. The CJF Emerald Talon's Task Force having pulled the FCS Yggdrasil battlecruiser's task force away on a wild goose chase.  Still the lesser Warship in polar orbit would make things difficult, timing would have to be perfect.

Marthe Pryde needed time to deal with the Wolf Whelp Khan Ward whose Galaxies were now biting deep into their border worlds aided by forces under the command of the Hell Horse's SaKhan James Cobb.  She should have killed Vlad years ago after the Refusal War, now his treachery and unchecked ambition endangered the Falcon's very survival and with it the True Way of the Clans.  "Marrying" a Freeborn Princess, disgusting, the man had no shame and was unworthy of his Trueborn genes.  Both Falcon Khans and Loremaster Pershaw were currently fighting off a steady and well coordinated invasion of the Jade Falcons territory on five different fronts across sixteen worlds. 

He keyed in the encrypted channel to the Artillery units scattered in the Falcon's back lines, 20 Arrow IVs were waiting for his order to power up, “Get ready for my signal.”

On the other side General Adam Steiner's Dire Wolf limped to the rear lines, it's armor was heavily damaged and a couple of lucky shots had damaged the actuators in his left leg.  More importantly the Gauss Rifles had run out of ammo taking away a lot of his firepower, The mobile field refit station was just ahead along with a pair of Powerman LoaderMechs and a Squire Repairmech.  The Dire Wolf backed into the repair zone and Adam opened up his cockpit.  His secondary Zeus X didn't have a second cockpit for Rachel to ride along but the Command Console was still operational in the current mech and she had plenty to do coordinating the vast front.

“Rachel make sure the rest of the force continues on course.  I'll have to leave you here while I head back into the fight.”

“Adam I don't know about this, they were too well-prepared for us.  I'm afraid the Falcons are up to something sneaky.”

“When has a Malthus ever been able to rub enough brain cells together to do something underhanded?  I issued the batchall Timur accepted it.  We confirmed all the forces he claimed.”

“Just be careful, he has it out for you in particular.  He could lose everything but if he gets you he still wins.  Do it for me please.”
  Adam couldn't see her face but knew she was worried to death for his safety.  She always was, and he loved her for it but right now he didn't need the distraction.  Rachel saw Adam wave to her through the transparent FerroGlaz of the cockpit, “I'll be fine, see you in an hour or so.”

Outside Adam saw the armored cowling of the cockpit close, he walked across the gantry past a Tech, killing the mic that hung just under his chin, “Take good care of her Sergeant”

“The Mech or The Woman.”

  Adam looked back at the armored cockpit where Rachel likely remained afraid for his safety instead of her own, “I'll need both if I'm going to win this fight and all the ones after.”

“Yes General!”

“So I heard there were so problems with the Heavy Laser's cooling on this run.”

“We managed to fix them sir, testing confirms everything works according to specifications now.  You should see the cooling system it's a thing of beauty.”

“I'd prefer to not see the inside of my Mechs Sergeant, I'll try not to make a mess of it.”

The pair walked toward the Zeus X, the Lyran version of the Wolf's Gargoyle/Man o War Omnimech redesigned to be built in Lyran Space just like his Dire Wolf.  It was faster, just as tough, and hit twice as hard as the normal model.  Adam didn't know which planet it was built on, another of Katherine's many secrets, just like her Wolf Khan husband, likely vat-born children, the fact that she was a Clan Loremaster, and certainly more things he preferred to not dwell on. 

It couldn't be helped at the moment, the Jade Falcons were an existential threat to the Lyran Commonwealth worlds just like the Hellions might prove to be in the Federated Suns.  Those two combined with their regular enemies meant Katherine had to take full advantage of the opportunities presented to her and Adam understood, but that didn't mean he liked it.  He certainly wasn't going to be sending Christmas cards to Tharkad after he reclaimed the soon to be Somerset March.  The Archon-Princess was causing him to go gray with stress and he wasn't even in his mid-40s yet.

The grey-blue Zeus X was a thing of beauty, exact same engine as the Gargoyle, Clan Ferro Armor, IS Endo Steel bones, the weapons looked exactly the same but were Clan Tech as well.  The six fins in the back were used to radiate waste heat but folded into the mech's back when in battle.  Mostly he thought the engineers at Defiance got a little to creative but it worked well in his test runs and limited raids earlier in the year.  The speed and firepower of the unit were terrifying for someone used to the less agile Zeus 9Ses (which is why this chassis is called X), the only thing it didn't do was jump, which was just fine for him, that was for the Falconers that made up nearly a quarter of his Strikers.

Sergeant Michaels held onto Adam's Orange Neurohelmet as he ascended the recessed ladder built into the Zeus' side.  Passing it along to the man after he was at the top he snapped one last salute, “Fry some wings General.”

Adam cradled the Neurohelmet in the crook of his elbow returning the salute, “I will Sergeant, I'm the Hero of Barcelona after all.”

He attached the datacord into it's port and put his Neurohelmet on, sitting down before closing and sealing the cockpit around him.  The armored cowling sliding into position over the transparent Ferroglaz before the display screens built into his cockpit glass booted up.  He always dreaded that moment of darkness while the reactor reached start up power, “Time for some Heroics.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #65 on: 03 June 2018, 01:28:57 »
Now that's an ominous line to end the section.

There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #66 on: 03 June 2018, 18:54:21 »
D+03:17, Battle of Barcelona

The Zeus X's missile arm's fist smashed through a Cougar's armored cowling, the impact broke the ruined concrete where its PPC arm held the smaller mech in place.  The combatant crumbled clearly KOed but not likely dead.  Adam tagged it for retrieval by friendly infantry as soon as he got clear of the Comm dead zone.  An artillery shell impacted above their canyon like fortress ruins barely scratching the ancient LosTech Ferrocrete.  Clumps of clay and gravel, fell their tinkling sounds audible through his armored canopy. 

The Strikers had pushed Sigma back into the ruins of Mariah's Pinnacle, one of the “hedgehog” forts that the former Rim Worlds Republic used to stymie the SLDF. Built nearly as sturdily as the Star Leagues Castle Brians it had withstood many battles, though each left a tangible mark on the walls that might last millenia more before nature reclaimed them.  The fact that the Falcons intended to batter his Strikers against it as well had to be cruel irony to their descendants. 

The assault mech was heavily battle scarred but still had ammo and plenty of fight left in it.  Adam's command lance pressed forward keeping a wary eye for Falcons it consisted of a fellow Zeus X, Falconer, and Barghest .  His lance had pressed further into enemy territory than any other and Adam couldn't shake the feeling that he was being pulled in by Timur.  “Regroup on my position Gauntlet”

They provided their reports and headed toward his position from their respective fights.  “Gauntlet we're pulling back a bit I need an LOS connection to Control.”

Meanwhile within the Dire Wolf back at the Refit Yard, Rachel nervously watched the status reports from the various sub-commands of the Strikers.  Adam was not responding to her comms although she knew roughly where he was she couldn't find his mech on any spectra it having gone deeper into the Fortress and the many Falcon Lokis on the field plus the Pinnacle's massive grounding effect were creating an electronic fog that was screwing with the Striker's sensor and telemetry feeds, even the Zodiac Warship FCS Leo orbiting overhead was having difficulty tracking the targets over the vast battlefield.  It was like they were pulling the Strikers into many different directions at the same time, away from Adam and their supporting units.  She had tasked a Lightning Company to rush there and reestablish connection but hadn't heard back from them yet so she prayed they made it in time.

Twenty thermal blooms marked the start up of a Binary of heavy vehicles, vehicles that were not part of the bid.  Zooming in from one of the Recon Satellites she saw a Star of Huey Artillery Vehicles turning their turrets toward Adam's location guarded by a Star consisting of Hachiman, Oro, and Mars Tanks.  “No!  Control to Banshee Leader!”

Hauptmann Katiara Kylie and her 2nd Somerset Aerospace Wing were still cockpit down watching Barcelona from the Thermosphere.  She was thinking about what a waste it was that she just had her nails done but no one could see them under her vacuum suit not that she had a co-pilot anyway.  Her Jagatai D was one of the most advanced fighters in the Strikers and her wing had a full squad of them for dog-fighting purposes as well as a squad for Ground Attack, Recon, and Heavy Strike.  A panicked call from Rachel broke her daydreaming putting her back into the zen mode she needed to pilot this tin rocket through space, “Control to Banshee Leader!”

“Banshee Leader here, proceed.”

“Dive fast and hard on these vehicles. Immediately! With everyone!”

The coordinates came in and her Omnifighter calculated the proper reentry instructions and her engine went to full power, the cockpit's armor shield slid into place brought down by her Neurohelmet.  “Banshee Leader confirms.  All Callsigns we're in this fight now.  Hot Entry; All Weapons Free; Burn in Thirty seconds toward these coordinates”

All forty eight Aerospace fighters winged over and dove steep plunging like darts through Barcelona's atmosphere

Back at the Fortress Adam and his Lance worked their way back to the surface, the Castle Brian was still interfering with his comms.  He caught part of a message from Rachel but there was to much static and his signal scrubbers couldn't clear it up.  A point to point channel opened up and his sensors picked up a Star of Falcon mechs closing quick on his Lance, a Grand Summoner, 2 Conjurers, Nova, and Lupus.



The rest of Gauntlet lance formed up facing the Falcon's both Zeus X's shedding their waste head via the back fin radiators during the brief pause.  The Barghest and Falconer's guns were leveled against the hostile mechs both ready to fire as soon as they were given the order.  Both commands showed recent signs of battle Adam's lance having thrashed a Falcon Binary in these man-made canyons while the Falcons blasted a Lightning Company with assistance from another Star which had taken the worst of the damage.

“It's over Timur, you can't hold this world.”

“I don't need to hold Adam, all I need to do is buy time that is victory enough for the Clan.  The Falcons will stop your assault in its tracks and reclaim anything within a fortnight.  Your Archon-Princess has to many other foes to fight, the Falcons will survive as we always have.  Clawing for everything is what gives us purpose but our eyes always remain toward Terra.  Perhaps we'll take a trip to Tharkad along the way.” 

Timur Malthus saw the status updates from his artillery, Arrows would be on the way soon and they would plunge right into the heart of his enemy.  His Nova stepped around the crater made by the ranging shot earlier.  Seems the fortress had been compromised in this area but the full damage had been covered over by nature.  Good thing he brought mostly lighter mechs, the Lyran's heavier machines might even punch through the damaged superstructure by accident.  That would make them easier targets.

“Are we going to sit here and talk all day, that doesn't seem very clanlike.  I have other Falcon Warriors to kill, I'd hate to deny them their rightful Glory.”  Adam's Zeus-X pointed his Artemis V enhanced LRM-20 wrapped around a fist toward the Nova and launched a volley.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #67 on: 05 June 2018, 00:01:35 »
All twenty missiles from Adam's launcher struck various parts of Timur's Nova, he laughed in his cockpit, “We shall see who has the bigger missiles Adam.”  The rest of his Command Star was already in motion one of the Conjurers got chewed up by the Barghest and Falconer's guns but the other was bounding toward the other Zeus X in Adam's lance.  The Lupus and Grand Summoner responded with their missiles impacting the Barghest following the Summoner's Ultra cannon shells. 

The ancient Lupus, one of the first omnimechs during the Clan's Golden Age centuries ago, looked comical now with it's shoulder mounted missile racks but was still packing similar firepower to the Mad Dog, a rightfully feared Omnimech found in all Clan Toumans.  Many older model mechs, Omni and enhanced Star League, had been taken from old Diamond Shark stores the Sharks sold them to everyone, Horses, Wolves, Bears, there were even reports of the Abjured Nova Cats, now a pet to the Draconis Combine, or Exiled Wolves, leashed by the Archon-Princess for a now apparent reason, getting their hands on the advanced Clan Tech they could no longer make themselves.  The Merchant Clan was now growing into a major power throughout the Exodus Road providing support to all the Clans in the Inner Sphere in exchange for vast resources compared to the Home Worlds.

Timur's Nova flew across the broken plains he was trying to draw his foe out from his supporting Mechs.  The Zeus X could easily pace his Nova on the ground, Timur was surprised by that having never encountered the new Battlemech in the field before.  It had been seen in battle but acted like a normal Zeus during that time apparently intentionally to confound the Falcons.  Falcon Watch had dismissed it as a mere cosmetic change by the Archon-Princess who had a reputation for adjusting her appearance frequently. Why should her armies be any different?  However they had underestimated the depth of the Lyran industrial reforms brought about by Clan Tech, it made him hate the Wolf Khan more than he thought possible and he was a Falcon there was no end to their enmity for their perennial rivals.

A static filled radio transmission reached Timur's Nova as he fired his six arm mounted lasers cutting deep and ugly burns into Adam's mech.  The Nova just managed to dodge the PPC but took a major hit to it's leg which now flashed red on the status display indicating the internal structure was now exposed.  The last of it's armor having been cut through from the Zeus' Heavy Laser.  The radiator fins were glowing white hot as the chilling oil attempted to flush the heat from the heavy weapon.  “Galaxy Commander we have hostile Aerospace closing fast, we will hold them off for as long as possible but you had better be in position.”

“I am in position Star Captain, ripple fire now.”

20 Arrow IVs were launched from the Hueys as the 2nd Somerset and 373rd Donegal Guards Aerospace Wings cleared the atmosphere.  Their reentry shields still cherry hot, each of the Wings formed up led by the Ground Attack Squadrons as they were best capable of dealing with the swarm of missiles and cluster shells that were now beginning to erupt from the Anti-Air Vehicles.  Katiara saw one of the wide winged Chippewas get brought down from a concentrated volley of missiles from the Mars and Hachiman tanks. 

Her own Jagatai took several hits from LB-X cluster rounds she could tell because they made a distinctive sound against armor but she maintained control her Aerospace fighter was built for space combat the only thing that kept her in the air now was her thrust.  Zeroing in on one of the odd looking Hachiman tanks whose 40 missile tubes hugged a narrow profile turret, the Falcons even put it hull-down under camouflage netting the bastards. 

She let her 24 HE ATMs and a Gauss slug fly, before the missile impacted the laser pods in her wings flashed white bright on the tank carving deep holes in the tank's turret which the missiles and Gauss slug finished off.  Several Flak vehicles went down, Clan vehicles had such thin armor it was a joke among the Lyran Tank Corps, known for their durability just like their mechs, they now inherited the moniker Wall of Steel since Katherine made so many Clan like Lyran designs standard across the AFFC. Two of the Hueys were also disabled but there was still time for them to fire again before she could vector her wing back even as the 373rd was coming in.  She hoped they bought Adam enough time.

The Lupus had a massive hole in it's torso, part of one of the arms had fallen off the tortured steel that had been sheared by a Heavy Gauss slug and ammo explosion that killed the pilot from Neuro-feedback.  The Barghest was burned out it limped weakly on three legs past the crashed remains of a Conjurer brought down in mid-air by the Falconer that lay in a crater created by the first round of Arrow IV saturation.  The Grand Summoner had been subjected to friendly fire having been to close to the Falconer during the Arrow storm, it's back had blown through the front.  Half a Zeus X weakly limped before falling down, it's tortured Gyro finally giving up with a mechanical whine and impact heard for tens of meters.  The Nova was blasted through having never gotten a chance to use it's TAG lasers before the Zeus' weapons burned out the cockpit and killed the Solahma Dezgra Galaxy Commander Timur Malthus.

A massive breach in the fortress made by the missiles directed toward him had swallowed Adam's Zeus whole.  In the half-light that filtered through the hole the Zeus X was in bad shape having been impaled on a reinforced Ferrocrete pillar that punched clean through the fusion reactor.  It's head shifted lazily on the ground, the armored cowling that protected it remaining mostly intact. 

A Falcon Anhur landed nearby letting two Points of Falcon Elementals out of it's side doors.  Star Commander Ekrin pointed one of his Elemental suit's clawed arms toward the Mechs and one Point went to recover the pilots from those Mechs.  The other point jump jetted down the dozen meter gap that Adam's Zeus X had fallen through. The Mech was easily identifiable even through the battle damage.  “This is the one we are looking for, you two open it up, we will cover you.” 

One Elemental watched their back through his multispectral sensors in case someone attempted to attack them while they were recovering the Lyran General, two had their machine guns trained on the cockpit, and another two clawed back the cockpit armor to see if the pilot was dead or not.  Except there was no pilot inside.

“Damn, where did he disappear to?”  Ekrin turned his head taking in the space around him, it was veritable maze and they didn't have a map but neither did he, “We will find you.  You're just making it harder on yourself when we do.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #68 on: 06 June 2018, 05:23:23 »
Hide and Seek, hope they have some active probes
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #69 on: 06 June 2018, 16:31:15 »

Adam Steiner crouched in a small utility shaft, probably once home to some drone that swept floors or something like that when this fortress was still operational, more importantly far too small for Elementals.  The hatch the little robot used was well hidden, recessed in a small alcove below the sight line of an Elemental. He heard the heavy footfalls of the Falcons as they passed hunting for him.  He counted ten, two full Points, he was in so much trouble, even if he got back Rachel might kill him but he had to get back first.  These Falcons weren’t messing around they wanted him dead or as a hostage to use against the rest of the Lyran forces.  He shouldn’t have gone back out, he was getting to old for this but here he was.

Looking down at his Mauser III carbine positioned on the floor.  This grey-green rifle was different from the first round of new Mausers made and deployed during the Battle of New Avalon.  It was compact with no stock, nor grenade launcher attachment.  The full bulk was reduced courtesy of the refined optical engineering and material science in just the past few years.  The stock was unnecessary anyhow considering it was a laser, the battery moved from the stock to a pouch on his belt where a tightly curled power cord connected to the grip.

Adam waited until he could no longer hear the heavy boots of the Elementals, it’s not like they were sneaky or attempting to be.  This place, this Rim Fortress, would help hide them from any advanced sensors the battle suits had and they were too large to fit in smaller places but any doors could easily be bypassed with their weapons. 

He took a moment recalling his situation, the Strikers knew roughly where he would be, they would send a team.  He just needed to last long enough for them to reach him.  The giant crater that his mech had fallen through and which had given him a splitting headache was visible from satellite recon.  He tried to remember how fast the 8th Armored or 55th Jump Infantry had executed a Force Retrieval mission but couldn’t his head was still to fuzzy.  Not that his watch would help either having been crushed in the fall along with his left arm and hip both of which were heavily bruised and his comms were dead

The moment of panic past Adam looked up and saw the slot above his little maintenance passage had fresh cable laid through it.
‘Hold on a second, Fresh Cable in an Ancient Fort’

Adam risked turning on his low power red wrist light at the cabling.  It was new, post-REVIVAL certainly, possibly in the past few years. The LIC reported there were no Falcons based in this blasted area so where could it have come from.

He was torn between curiosity and caution.  He chose curiosity there was potential new information nearby, information that might save some of his people’s lives.  Army crawling was horrendously painful and Adam had to frequently stop and rest while trying to be quiet. Sharp pains emanated from his bruised side almost causing him to cry out several times but he would work through it.  The cable ran in tight bunches, professionals not some pirate jerry rig, it made several turns before ending at an elevated grate.

The room on the other side was illuminated in pools by mobile task lights two vehicles, Clan heavy ground transports, were parked nearby.  One of the lights illuminated the distinctive form of a Self-Propelled PPC its skeleton form rising from a small tracked platform with an operator lazily hanging on to it.  The device was obviously drawing power off one of the truck’s auxiliary generators and was currently surrounded by a group of men who were not paying a lot of attention to anything but themselves  Adam was glad that at least it wasn’t pointed his way. ‘Pirates’ he couldn’t really tell they didn’t wear anything uniform and he couldn’t recognize their accent but it was obvious they were just muscle. 

Another group of maybe a dozen people was standing around something different, almost 3 meters tall with great cannons mounted on its shoulders.  Something that looked like a bull’s head was being attached to the bulky chassis held by an overhead winch built into the ceiling.

‘A Protomech,’ no Protomechs had been deployed in the Inner Sphere yet except the ones that the Hellions attacked the Pirate worlds with but these people weren’t Hellions.  They wore dark green coveralls with a Jade Falcon insignia on them but when Adam looked through the rifle scope he saw that the Falcon was wearing a blinding hood.  He tried hard to remember if that insignia had ever passed his desk, some Pirate or Partisan group supported by the LIC to harass Falcons but he couldn’t think of one.  Certainly they wouldn’t have access to Protomechs unless Katherine or Director Savinson were really holding out on him.

He wished this rifle had a memory chip so he could snap some pictures, this was clearly something new and dangerous.  Rachel and his other MI people would want evidence not that they wouldn’t believe him but it would be tough to convince others and determine the true nature of the threat with his limited knowledge.  Four others walked out of one of the transports, two men and two women, to a man monitoring a computer terminal.  Adam was not good at reading lips but he could see they knew each other and these four were different than the others.

Scientist First Grade Nico (Brahe) exited the transport he had been resting in having driven the truck all the previous night from their shuttle drop point.  He wanted to see the final assembly and power up of the first Minotaur his cell had received, there were parts for four more in the transports just arrived from Erewhon with the Jupiters that now fought against the Strikers.  They had been marked “Scientific Instrumentation, Fragile” Warriors and Merchants didn’t care to look and wouldn’t have seen anything unusual in those crates anyway they couldn’t understand what he did. 

He called over one of the Dark Caste grunts responsible for site security, “There’s been a breach in this sector.  Our sensors are picking up motion nearby, Ten Elementals, they might find us.”  He pointed toward the PPC, “Get your people on that gun in case they do!  At least until we power this beast up.”
The man did as ordered the PPC was armed and ready for action while the rest of the platoon waited behind the waist high cover wall with their laser rifles and grenade launchers.  Nico continued on to the Chief Tech, “Max how much longer?”

“Two minutes sir, we’re almost finished connecting the final feeds.”

“Good, I will prep the pilot then.”

Adam watched as a small woman was led out of the transport by one of the other newcomers, she wore a tight fitting bodysuit and was bald.  He could see her EI tattoos in his scope, metallic green streaks running along visible skin.  She looked eager, overeager perhaps at the Protomech and attempted to get closer while the Techs were still working on it but was held back.  She looked at the man that held her upset at his barring her way, he grabbed something from his lab coat, A Scientist Adam figured, and jabbed it into her neck.  One of the Techs working on the Proto gave the thumbs up and pulled the winch away before returning to that console.

The woman was led to a pod like thing that emerged from the Proto’s chest it looked like a cryopod to Adam but then she got in.  The scientists hooked some things up to her and pressed a button that drew the pod back into the mech.  Moments later the Proto started up and all the Techs and Scientists got out of the way while the thing moved toward the door. 

The Elementals showed up then demanding to know what was going on, Adam could hear their speakers clearly from his position.  Then the rogue faction fired on them the Elementals fired back and a short brutal battle ended with the deaths of many infantry and the Elementals but the Proto was in excellent shape.  Adam was wide-eyed at the carnage before him but couldn't pull back, he saw everything, things he had never seen on a battlefield before, things he would never forget.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #70 on: 07 June 2018, 08:52:52 »
Nice, and that's when things got complicated...
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #71 on: 07 June 2018, 11:38:17 »

Sergeant Rulmen of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 55th Donegal Jump Infantry looked down again at the giant hole illuminated in the midday sun.  “I feel really bad for the salvage guys on this one.”  His team left their jump packs in the Karnov 15 meters distant, currently under the watchful eyes of their 2nd Platoon.  The other broken mechs here were clear, no living pilots, no dead ones either.  An Anhur had departed shortly before they arrived and he really hoped that VTOL didn’t have General Steiner inside, Colonel Specter scared him more than the Falcons did. 

The rest of his platoon was setting up the rappel rig, their packs were for short hops over broken terrain they couldn’t scale a 12 meter vertical distance in a single bound.  It was nice to not have the heavy pack on but he never liked trusting a rope either.

Looking back at his lieutenant he got the thumbs up and clipped himself in with the other six troopers in his squad.  Securing his weapon and putting his hands on the rappel rig he backed up to the gap, “Remember drop down, land soft, unclip, spread then over-watch.  3, 2, 1”

Three lines had been strung down and the squad dropped hard at first friction breaking with their legs and the harness each of them wore.  They dropped down, landing was solid, un-clipped and had their rifles out while the rest of the platoon followed.  With everyone down his squad checked the mech, it was a gruesome sight Adam could have easily broken his back during that fall which is why a litter was being dropped down behind.  The PFC he assigned to the cockpit looked his way, “Sarge, claw marks”

He looked closer at the armor that covered the FerroGlaz those were claw marks all right, “Elementals, El Tee we’re going to need the heavy weapons.”

LT Volgrin called it in and a crate was lowered down carrying LAWs every trooper grabbed a missile tube and squads began to fan out keeping visual contact with at least one other squad as comms were poor here.  Their white rifle lights picking up motes of dust in the creepy, cramped corridors of the fortress even the noise of their boots seemed to be absorbed into the inky blackness.  Lights looked up, down, left, and right regularly rotating to watch their rear and ensure the other squad was following.

Rulmen stopped at a recessed alcove, something caught his attention.  The dust here had been disturbed recently and majorly but not by an elemental.  He raised his fist to call a halt, the second squad stopped as well but remained quiet watching and waiting.  “Abrams, get the hatch.  Everyone else stay clear”

PFC Abrams did as ordered opening the heavy metal hatch which was still whisper quiet no creaking clearly maintained which was rather suspicious.  The tunnel behind was empty and small but a man could fit in it, “Friendlies! Fifty-Fifth”

“No go away!  Monsters will get you too.”

Rulmen knew Adam Steiner’s voice, very few people in the Commonwealth wouldn’t actually because he was so popular though he didn’t like it.  He had served under this man for years but it sounded different, clearly he was in pain and something awful had happened to him if he was talking about monsters.  There were no blood so the Elementals hadn’t gotten to him, they certainly wouldn’t have left if they had found him.  This was something different.

Rulmen looked over to his squad, “Ready a stretcher,” addressing his Corporal directly, “Get the Medic here right away.”  The man ran back the way they had come to get the LT and Platoon Medic.

The other Squad moved forward to ensure nothing snuck up on them while they were rescuing the General but they hadn’t heard anything he said.  Rulmen passed his rifle to one of the squaddies and entered the corridor, he’d have to pull Steiner out himself it seemed.

Rulmen crouched and walked his way toward the bend where Steiner was sitting, his head was down due to the height of the tunnel but he looked blanched except on his left side which was covered in bruises.  “General, we have to go.  There are Falcon Elementals nearby.”

He looked over at the Sergeant his eyes were wide in terror, “No, all dead”

Sarge hadn’t been expecting that, “What do you mean all dead?  Who killed them?”

His voice was tinged in fear and panic, no Clanner ever scared Adam like that before and he had fought and killed plenty of them, “All dead. Ripped to pieces by a monster.  I saw it, I saw it all.  Have you ever seen a man ripped in half?


“I saw a Minotaur do it.  It was real.  Looked just like the legends. So much blood.  I didn’t know a body had so much blood.”

‘Minotaurs? I really hope he doesn’t have the Steiner madness too.  We already have enough mad Steiners’

Volgrin had arrived, “Come on Sarge! Let’s go! Grab Steiner and pull his ass out so we can go home.  I don’t like being exposed like this.”

“Come on Adam, you have to get moving.  Rachel wants you back before dark.”

He appeared to come back to his senses ‘Thank God’ he had a hell of contusion on his head, that was going to be painful it might even slow down the invasion while he healed up, “Rachel?”

“Yes Rachel, come on.  We’ll give you a ride back.  Just a little bit further and we can treat those injuries of yours.”

“But the Minotaur?”

“Minotaur’s can’t fly or come out of the Maze.  We can do both you’ll be fine, trust me.”
Rulmen grabbed his shoulder in a reassuring manner and Adam followed.

D+07:48 - FCS Somerset Striker, 1st Somerset Striker Drop Base

Obersh Rachel Specter was watching over Adam now resting quietly after a harrowing ordeal in the field.  Sergeant Patrick Rulmen was beside her continuing his debrief, "Minotaur?"

"That is what he said Colonel.  I don't know if he was delirious in pain and imagining it or if it was indeed real but he looked awful scared in that tunnel.  It could have been shock I'm not a Medic.  I'm sorry i can't help more." 

"You've done quite enough Sergeant.  I can't verify anything and we can't send a team looking from the Eighth on monster hunting duty in that old fortress.  I'd get a Section Eight for sure.  We'll keep this off the official record."


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #72 on: 07 June 2018, 15:57:50 »
Jaguars Adrift

04/23/3067 01:28 Aboard Potemkin CSJ Osis’ Pride, in orbit around Hellmouth, Devil’s Breath system, Outworlds Wastes

The massive Potemkin transport Warship Osis’ Pride came into a parking orbit around Hellmouth, an inner planet of the Devil’s Breath system, it had no other recongized name in the charts but it seemed appropriate to the inhabitants.  It was a Venus like planet brutal but stable, their Warship would always been nearby but never close enough that it could be a problem. 

The inside of the ship was a mess, everything was in poor condition, the systems, soldiers, and supplies what few remained were already trash but not even worth throwing out into space.  Star Colonel Olvin Rippon looked out from his command screen at the planet before him. It was a broken ugly place but it was near the now home of the once proud Smoke Jaguars turned space pirates, Devil’s Breath.  Their former base on Antallos had been glassed by a Warship last year leaving him scrambling to rebuild.  The Clan needed to survive and he would ensure it did till his dying breath. 

They were fortunate that the Alliance merchant vessel they had captured during their initial trip had decent star charts of The Wastes, to many dead planets with dark secrets to risk exposure too.  The Pride settled on Devil’s Breath where no one would bother them and the nearby Outworlds Alliance and Waste’s planets were weak, easy prey even for his reduced 304th Battle Cluster now barely three Trinaries.  The Pride would eventually fail and strand his people in space so capturing Alliance and Combine jumpships was his priority and the Pride was merely backup. 

Olvin was still confused as he thought back on the interrogation of his new isorla Merchant captain captured in the raid three weeks ago who thought his was a different group, The Hellions. 

Ice Hellions in the Inner Sphere? Utter nonsense.  They could barely work together on their meager planets in the Homeworlds to think they could even make it here was ridiculous.  Where would they get the charts?  The Home Clans would surely notice them before they could depart at least and destroy them in detail unless they were planning a renewed invasion.  Such a thought was very satisfying, he secretly wished it were true as he took great pleasure in raiding Combine worlds.  Their Warriors were at least a challenge even if he couldn’t fight them like he used to.

Going hand over hand down the corridors of the Pride he couldn’t help but feel some as he passed the Technicians conducting the mothballing taking anything that could be of use to the colony or other jumpships with them from the ancient troop cruiser.  This ship was worn out and the Jaguars couldn’t fix it, not without going back to the Home Worlds or maybe the Bears, and it might not even make that trip.  It had served his clan well, even past their own near annihilation. 

Seven years had passed since Huntress; and Tranquil, his Cluster almost made it to Tranquil at the call of Corbett to rebuild the Jaguars or at least all die like Warriors.  Perhaps they would have changed history but what was done is.  They were too late and instead they invaded Deep Periphery colonies and Exodus Road waystations and jumpships for supplies before coming back to the Inner Sphere picking up and sometimes shedding various detritus along the way arriving at Antallos with fourteen of the Potemkin’s twenty-five collars filled. 

It was never enough but the Jaguars were used to deprivation and raiding for survival so were some of the fiercest Pirates in the Inner Sphere even though they were Dark Caste, dishonored and unworthy of being called a Clan anymore.  Vinton and the Band of the Damned respected them enough to not bother their dome city Enclave.

After nearly 250 meters Olivin arrived at collar 7, on the other side was his Confederate-C Dropship CSJ Raking Pounce, the last still docked to the vessel, the Techs would head homeward aboard the ship’s shuttles when the job was done.  An alert broke his maudlin mood and he switched back to the Star Colonel he was.  His communicator went live from the dropship, “Star Colonel, we are picking up a KF-bloom near the Zenith point.”

The Zenith point was were all of his regular jumpships were, the Jaguars didn’t have an Aerospace fighters remaining and the Warship’s weapons were mothballed first to save power and extend its reactor life instead.  “How long till we know who it is Star Captain?”
“Five minutes maybe ten”
“I will be right there, just in the linkage tunnel now.”

Colonel Rippon took uncontrolled leaps down the relatively spacious corridors of the Confederate, a far cry from the normal Clan dropships which were far narrower to pack more firepower and cargo into them.  This old SLDF transport had been built with some concern for crew comfort and his Techs took great pride in its upkeep an odd trait but one he encouraged rather than beret as he might have once done.

That way took him through the Tech Bay where his Mech, a dark gray-blue painted Mad Dog Prime with thicker IS Ferro armor than it once had and four machine guns instead of the mediums lasers, the Omni stood alongside a Panther-LAG, Original Grand Dragon, a partially repaired Daikyu, and Mist Lynx Prime also with IS Ferro instead of the superior clan material that they had been long depleted.

The Confederate’s command room was lit with red task lighting as multiple displays showed everything the pilots needed to know to operate the ship.  “How big of an emergence wave, Captain?”
“Moderate, maybe a Cruiser.”
“Let’s see what comes out before we make any decisions.”

They waited a few more minutes before an Aegis cruiser slipped in, transponder off.  It took no immediate action at the Jumpships clustered around the Zenith point but that didn’t mean it was friendly.  A wide band microwave broadcast finally traversed the distance to Hellmouth. A chiseled pale man with dirty blonde hair, blue-green eyes, and steady commanding tone was on the video screen, “This is Khan Xander Drake of the Hellions, currently aboard the Aegis cruiser Chaos Sailor.  I demand to speak with your leader.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #73 on: 08 June 2018, 02:03:05 »
One minute ridiculing the thought of the Hellions in the inner sphere.
Next minute facing off against a Hellion Aegis in a Confederate DS.
Poetic justice. >:D
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #74 on: 08 June 2018, 06:26:14 »
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #75 on: 10 June 2018, 23:34:10 »
01/17/3066 07:58 “Gorgon's Pit”, Gambilon, Magistracy of Canopus

The black and teal K-1 spheroid shuttle descended toward the grey-green badlands of the Gorgon's Pit, a MIM black site on this frontier Canopian planet.  Two brown RR-87 trucks and a RR-19 armored transport worked their way toward the drop zone shortly after giving time for the charred terrain to cool before approaching the bulbous transport.  The three vehicles pulled up the armored transporter backing itself up to the ramp to receive cargo and ten armed soldiers exited the smaller trucks.

Two women stepped down from the ramp, one of the soldiers met her halfway, “Careful men this woman is dangerous.”

“You're such a flatterer Sergeant Palon.  Are you gunning for another round with me?  You'd think you'd learn your lesson after last night unless you really liked it.”

“Felicity, I wasn't talking about you.  Have you declawed your Jaguar?”

She looked at the man for a long moment, stretching her arm slightly, “Have you ever tried to disarm a Clan Warrior Michael?  I just finished rehab for my arm less than a month ago and it still hurts like hell.  I'm not going to try to take Watch Captain Ash's weapons from her.  She's on our side.”

“You say that but she seems to have quite the independent streak about her for a Clan Warrior. Jaguar Watch Assassin, according to your debrief she killed a Saurimat Brother sent by the Azami in a knife fight.

Then she was retained as a Lyran Privateer with a reputation so brutal that she struck fear into the hearts of no less than the Jade Falcons. 

And most recently she's was a Pirate Queen on Astrokaszy, a very messy one.  Whose band of Pirates held a Commonwealth Merc Regiment at bay with less than a battalion. 

The only reason she's here now is because your pet Mercs brought her low at great cost.  You can't expect me to just think she will behave.”

“Have any of your Jaguars tried to kill you yet Michael?”
“They aren't Warriors.” 

“Well let's just ask her then.”
  Gray turned and looked at the woman still clad in her desert scavenger outfit tan and gray with a sleeveless top that showed off a lifetime of scars and recent still colorful tattoos on her dusky skin.  Her head was covered in scarf that blew freely in the wind that swept across the badlands.  “Ash do you intend to kill this man or his people?”

She dropped the scarf and showed off a very scarred face.  “Neg, Major Gray.  Unless they give me cause for grievance,” she drew a Karambit knife from her back sheath spun it on the rear ring before holding onto it's skeleton grip, and panning the blade across the squad, “like pointing a gun at me for instance.”  Ash returned the knife in one fluid motion, “On my honor I will try to...behave.”

“See Sergeant, don't give her a reason and everything will be just fine.  Maybe you'll even learn something.”
“Like I can trust a Dark Caste Jaguar.  If it were anyone else there is no way this would be green-lit but it comes right from the top.  So”

He sighed and breathed deep, “Welcome to Gambilon. I am at your service Majors Gray and Canto.”
“Ah so the commission did come through!”
“Yes it did Felicity,”
  The sergeant warily came within striking range of Ash before handing her a richly finished wooden box, “here you are former Watch Captain Ash Smoke Jaguar.  Her Radiance Magestrix Emma Centrella is pleased that you have accepted her offer.  You are now a Major in the Magistracy Armed Forces commissioned as Ashley Canto currently assigned to 'Gorgon's Pit' Special Operations Group LUCID.”

Ash accepted the box and opened it pinning the gold horizontal diamond to her belt for now, “Thank you Sergeant.  Now I believe I have much work to do before the rest of my unit arrives on world.  I hope for your sake it is engaging.”

“We will have to wait I cannot depart until the Magistrate personnel recover their objective from the cargo bay.  You're not the only valuable person on that shuttle.”

Four stasis tubes each one monitored by a pair of MedTechs were rolled down the ramp and into the transporter followed by Ashley, Felicity, and Michael.  Each of the tubes was secured in the cargo bay and their tenders were seated nearby. The other three say together on the uncomfortable webbing bench.  Michael looked toward the two Majors, “So what happened on Astrokaszy, I heard many things but none were verified.”

“I'll give you three questions Micheal but you know you can't know everything.”
“Did you really crash that prototype drop-ship you stole into the grounded Commonwealth Mercs Dropships?”
“Yes, it made for a spectacular fireball.  I do not think anyone will top that in the MIM's book of records.”
“You saw the bloody hand? Those cybernetic monsters in Shervanis.”

Felicity shook slightly as she recalled that terrifying memory where the Manei Domini trooper was consumed by Plasma but was smiling.  “Yes, never ask about them again or else.”
“You killed the Station Chief?”
“Yes, double dealing bastard.  No matter how much a man tries he can't please two very demanding women at the same time.  It was either Katherine or Emma and he made the wrong choice.” 
“So how much trouble are you in?”
“I only allowed three questions but I'll give you an extra.  I am in so much trouble that they put me in charge of training and won't let me out for a long while.”
“Really?  You in charge of training?  I feel terrible for your future students.”
“Me too.”  Ash added, “You are worse than any Kitmaster I ever trained under and my Sibko was one of the toughest in recent Jaguar history.”

They pulled up to the facility, a drab series of single story concrete buildings with three large Mech Bays, temporary tent quarters in one corner, the facility had a lot of construction equipment on-site.  “What's with all the construction Sergeant?”

“Well Dr Selaj and her people from Selene Station and the Niops Center for Human Enhancement need somewhere to stay.  This is now the main base of the Ebon Magistrate's LUCID group and we couldn't have done it without the Jaguars.”

Ash perked up, “Why?”

“Have you ever seen a Protomech Major?”

The Jaguar was confused for a moment before she realized he was referring to her, “I have heard of them but never seen one.  I went undercover on Ironhold during their creation and that eventually led me to the Inner Sphere.”

"The scientists here helped design them and they continue to push the limits of the Clan Enhanced Imagoc and the Direct Neural Interface developed in the Inner Sphere.  Ultimately trying to make Man and Machine move as a one.  Those girls were just the first batch there are others"

They walked over to one of the larger buildings that was filled with people the three of them stopping at the balcony while others went pass them.  Major Gray paused and pointed Ash towards something a hall filled with hundreds of people wearing charcoal gray clothes.

Gbilon has the largest collection of Smoke Jaguars in the Inner Sphere."  Ash looked at the new Smoke Jaguar banner hanging in the mess hall,  “You will feel right at home Ashley Canto.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #76 on: 29 June 2018, 09:29:40 »
02/08/3068 Location – Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius, Alyina Zenith Point, Jade Falcon OZ

Generals Archer Christifori, Reinholdt Steiner, and Paul Zardetto along with Colonel Katya Chafee, ONI Colonel Kylie Zola, and eight other Senior Colonels from the 10th and 3rd Lyran Guards in charge of the elements of TASK FORCE:  AVENGER sat in the briefing room of the Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius.  The ready screen showed the miniaturized figures of the forces available, 2 Regiments of Battlemechs, 6 each of Supporting Ground Arms and Aerospace Fighters, twelve Assault dropships, and four Warships including the Sagittarius.

General Christifori still wore the original green AFFC uniform in defiance of Katherine’s changes years ago. No one above him cared to bust him on insubordination he was too talented a commander, “Colonel Zola would you like to begin?”

“Yes General, latest reports are positive. Both Generals Adam and Sarah Steiner were wounded in battle but they are still capable of command and their task forces mostly on track for their objectives.  Adam’s task force is held up over Bone-Norman, Sarah’s over La Grave.  saKhan James Cobb and Khan Vladimir Ward both report similar progress, the Wolves say it will be at least the end of March till they can make it to Sudetan as the Falcons have counterattacked their worlds.

Most of the Falcon’s fleet remains at large but the White Aerie, Blue Aerie, Lightning Strike, and Emerald Tornado are currently above Alyina as the Falcon’s saKhan Samantha Clees is planet-side.  They have issued a batchall, Delta, Epsilon, and Vau Galaxies against us.  They await a response General Christifori.”

Kylie had lingered on Vladimir Ward’s name, the surprise on Tharkad of his marriage to their Archon-Princess months ago still haunted some of the Command Staff.  The fact that the Tamar Wolves were fighting on the Commonwealth’s behalf while the Arc-Royal Wolves were not had damaged some of the trust that Grand Duke Kell had garnered in the years since he claimed the Arc Royal Defense Cordon as his personal fief.  His silence on the matter was deafening and drowned out his calls for Katherine to be arrested on Treason charges.  Those calls were secretly echoed within Archer’s heart though clearly the LIC was unaware of his intentions or he had enough friends on the inside to cover for him.

Archer had taken the young General Reinholdt Steiner under his wing.  His father, Caesar Steiner, was a skilled military commander and well respected throughout the Commonwealth, his apparent lack of political ambition had spared him of Katherine's purges.  Archer could respect Adam Steiner, the current heir-apparent until of course Katherine had revealed her vile brood with her Clan Khan husband which knocked him down the line of succession.  However, the man was not independently minded enough to take down Katherine who clearly had him under her thumb.  Sarah was similar to Adam, Katherine had finally given her the chance for vengeance against the Falcons after all these years.  Thus Reinholdt would have to do. 

Christifori was a proud patriot for the Lyran Commonwealth, had served alongside Victor Steiner-Davion all the way to Huntress and earned a medal for his heroism but he came back with Victor’s body and no lasting victory, demoted to a militia command before quitting and going mercenary.  Then his sister died in the Battle of New Avalon that saw Katherine complete her rise to power over the whole of the Federated Commonwealth.  Just collateral damage they said, regrettable but inevitable, he received an apology and compensation, as if blood money could buy his forgiveness for the loss of his only remaining family.

He found out about it while fighting alongside the Arcadians in the St Ives Compact.  He almost joined her during the Black May attacks perpetrated by Kali Liao’s thuggees.

 Then the war was lost and the Jade banner of the Confederation once more flies over St Ives.  The veterans displaced by the loss and Katherine’s purging of disloyal elements in the AFFC joined up with George Hasek’s forces, took up Magestrix Centrella's generous offer, or went back to their Homeworlds dispirited.  If Katherine had shown even an ounce of support for The St Ives Compact it would be free but she handed it over to Sun-Tzu for his support to her own ambitions just like she handed him the Sarna March.

Reinholdt though, he was good, Katherine had foolishly put him in charge of the 10th Lyran Guards traditionally commanded by the Archon’s successor or the Archon himself.  The 10th was still intensely loyal to the memory of Victor Steiner-Davion and embittered to Katherine’s sometimes callousness but she still provided them with some of the best equipment due to political pressure.  Most of their command had been rebuilt from other BULLDOG veterans with their captured Clan tech or whole salvaged Clan mechs.  The RCT was one of the most potent fighting forces in the Inner Sphere and the loss of their former commander had not dulled their edge.  In fact it made them more determined to never let something like that happen again. 

With some coaxing Archer could get his revenge on the White Witch and her treasonous intentions.  Reinholdt would return a War Hero and Archer already was one, there were enough commanders and nobles that would turn against her if there was a valid option for First Prince for which Reinholdt was quite qualified.  All he needed to do was ensure that the other Steiners with better claims didn’t make it back and the two of them did.  Archer could get the support of Dukes Hasek and Sandoval though Yvonne and Katherine’s puppet Countess-Regent in the Crucis March would oppose such a move.

Reinholdt looked toward him followed by Paul, “General are you okay?”

“Of course, I heard everything.  We have a week to prepare and the Two-Hundred Eighty-Eighth and Eleventh Donegal are proceeding as anticipated against Loremaster Pershaw.

I want plenty of sim time assigned for a combat drop, we haven’t done one from a Zodiac in combat conditions yet.  Admiral Richards can your people run some drills with the Skye to ensure we can get all the wings out in a timely manner?  I want to give the Sag enough room so that we don’t scatter our forces too much during a hot drop.”

Rear Admiral Lisa Mae Richard’s the Task Force’s Senior Aerospace pilot confirmed that it would be done.  Archer looked toward Colonel Zola, “Colonel are you certain that BLACK MAGIC will work as promised?”
“We have tested it on the target vessel types before.  Assuming that General Hawkins’ men have installed it correctly we have a high probability of success.”
“How high?”
“Eighty percent.”
“Well at least we have a one hundred percent solution in the tubes as well.”
“Yes General.  Though rules of engagement prohibit us from using them until we are truly desperate.  We do not want to invite reprisals from the Falcon’s Warships against undefended Commonwealth planets.”
“Not if we destroy the Jade Falcons first.”
“Sounds good, everyone return to your Commands we will meet again in five days to go over the final plan.”

The briefing room was emptied leaving only Archer standing and looking at a live feed from the expansive drop bays on the video screen. Rows and rows of Battlemechs and heavily upgraded Myrmidon IIs, Hunters, Hetzer IIs, Goblin IFVs, Striker, and Vali Tanks.

All capable of being deployed directly from this warship (or its attached small craft). Technicians flitted between units checking vital systems while crews and infantry troopers were exercising in the rows between some even in their armor. 

Archer opened a gold locket with his sister’s picture in it.  Back when she was young and vital, a gift given to him before he went off to BULLDOG expecting that he might not come back to remind him why he went, “I didn’t forget about you Andrea.  This just took longer than expected.  You will be avenged, I swear it ”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #77 on: 01 July 2018, 10:11:52 »
Loving it.
« Last Edit: 02 July 2018, 16:00:03 by Kasaga »


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #78 on: 02 July 2018, 07:25:59 »
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #79 on: 03 July 2018, 23:49:49 »
02/14/3068 04:28 Location – Zodiac Cruiser FCWS Sagittarius, Above Alyina, Jade Falcon OZ

Admiral Dieter Lange was seated securely before the holotank in the Strategic Command Center sweat dripped from his brow, past his headset, falling onto the red illuminated floor. He wiped it away with a handkerchief pulled from the coveralls under his blue and gold vacuum suit.  The hood that would be used in the event of a hull breach was clipped to the harness.  The rest of the command staff was seated in three dimensions throughout the armored cube.  Multiple consoles crunching data from many different sources from outside and inside the ship to keep the Admiral informed. 

“Bring the holo-tank online Ensign Pola”

One of the Ensign's seated above him shouted out, “Aye Sir, channeling all sensors feeds to the holo-tank.”

Before him motes of light popped into existence in the holotank's gain fluid across the black followed by velocity arrows and finally tags marking every point. Blue or Green Aerospace fighters danced through the void like fireflies, drop-ships will'o'wisps, and warships bright orbs; and there was a lot of green in front of them just beyond the engagement arc and before the curvature of the planet.

The light show represented a massive space operation only dwarfed by the defense of Irece against Clan Ghost Bear, even the recent and epic Battle of Tharkad was smaller in scale.  The pressure on him was immense but he would bear it with pride. The Admiralty knew the Falcons would use their Warships when pushed against the wall which meant that the offensive was working.

“Lieutenant Bianchi inform the Dark Wing to activate BLACK MAGIC.  Commander Valic, ready Santa Ana missiles in case that doesn't work.  These ships aren't designed for dancing with Clan Warships.”
“Aye Sir, missiles are in the tubes.  All gunnery and drop crews are ready, damage control on standby.”

Several minutes passed while their engagement arc neared that of the Falcons, “Dark Wing confirms that the packets have been sent.”
“How will we know if it works?”
“Colonel Zola says you'll just have to find out.  The program proved inconsistent regardless of how much effort ONI put into it's deployment.”
“Tell her that Falcons better get her Claymore first if it all goes wrong or the Sag will.”

The Lieutenant took a moment and hesitantly said, “Her response is very unprofessional Admiral.  I'll forward it to your console.”

Dieter looked at his left hand side console and swiped the message away, he keyed in the Command Frequency.  “All call-signs final report, we are to engage the enemy as planned.  Fighters protect the drop-ships until they clear the fighter screen and standby for close air patrols for the shuttle-craft when we get into range.”

Aboard the Black Lion CFJ White Aerie Star Admiral Gregory Qwabe floated in free-fall in the cramped command room.  He was wearing a bright green and yellow vacuum suit as the vessel was under General Quarters.  The red lights reflecting on his bald head and putting all of his features in brutal shadow.  His four Warships and Cluster of Aerospace fighters stood before the Lyran attack force. It was a rare chance for victory and honor for a Clan Warship Commander.  The two heavy Black Lion Cruisers' guns were in front of the Whirlwind Destroyer and Vincent Corvette in a firing line, the enemy would come right into his broadsides. “All Callsigns report in.”

All of his Star Captain's reported in and he watched as the engagement arc came closer just itching to give the order to fire the guns.  The Lyrans crossed the arc, then multiple alerts flashed on his command console.  “What is going on!”

His technical crew was frantically attempting to address the multiplying problems as they arose, “We have multiple system failures throughout the ship Star Admiral.  Targeting and Tracking systems are filling with false targets, multiple systems are stuck in diagnostics mode, and our power supply has fallen below the minimum needed for full combat operations.”

“Dezgra Commonwealth Surats!  Get me the saKhan!”
“Comm's are among the systems offline Star Admiral.”

Aboard the Whirlwind CJF Emerald Tornado Star Commodore Tanya watched as the rest of the Jade Falcon Warships just sat there.  Her warship's long range lasers were firing at the Cruiser Sagittarius which was firing back.  Jade Falcon Fighters were engaging the Lyran escort fighters to prevent the hostile dropships from making landfall, “Why aren't the other's firing?”

Her XO, Star Captain Aisho currently in the secondary command center came in over the line, “Commodore, Admiral Lange aboard the Sagittarius has ordered us to cease firing or face annihilation.  They claim to have already disabled our other Warships.'”
“They must have done so with some Dezgra trickery. Have you been able to raise them on the secondary channels?”
“Neg Star Commodore, they are adrift and the Commonwealth fighters and Warships are not engaging them.”

Tanya keyed in the encrypted microwave down-link to the Falcon's Field Base where the saKhan was managing the defense.  Her mannish face was topped with a very short bob of brown hair, “Star Commodore, how goes the orbital operations?”
“SaKhan the Spheroids have disabled the Aeries and Lightning Strike.  We cannot stop any of the Lyran forces without losing the Emerald Tornado.  Please advise.”
“Losing a Warship would be a major loss for the clan. We cannot replace them now that we have been cut off from the Homeworlds.  Let them come, I'll deal with them on the ground.  If they engage in any more trickery, well they already think you have given up.  Do what needs to be done.”

Tanya nodded, “Aff SaKhan.”

She switched channels to the Sagittarius where a handsome light haired man equally bathed in blood red hazard lights looked at her, “Admiral Lange, the Emerald Tornado will keep our weapons powered up but will stand by for this battle.  You make one move toward the other Falcon warships however and we will fire.  You haven't won this battle yet Stravag!”

Back on the Sagittarius Admiral Lange ensured the feed was off before relaxing, “I suppose I owe Colonel Zola an apology.  She may have saved hundreds of lives this day. 

I don't know if I can stand to give her the satisfaction though.”

05:28 "Falcon Flats", Alyina

A dozen Battlemechs fell out of the sky on blazing hot columns of air from their Jump Jets.  The heat from the jets scorched the grass underneath, each of the mechs landed with a crunch on the baked earth.  A small fire burned out from the blackened spots in the field consuming the lively stalks of tall green grass that reached to an Assault Mech's knees.

General Reinholdt Steiner of the 10th Lyran Guards spit out his mouth piece now that the shock of landing had passed.  He looked out from his Victor's cockpit at the Falcon Binary arrayed before him just beyond the thin smoke of the rapidly expanding fire his unit had created. 

His weapons systems readied themselves for battle, the Gauss capacitors humming with stored energy and he could hear the mechanical sound of ATM missiles being racked into the six pack on his Mech's left pectoral plate.  His three lasers were rapidly calibrating themselves to the local atmosphere.  A timer popped up on his HUD marking the time from drop.   

“Rhino is on the ground, moving to secure landing zone.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #80 on: 04 July 2018, 02:12:08 »
Nicely written.  :thumbsup:  Love the threat to Zola.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #81 on: 04 July 2018, 13:17:51 »
Nice up date! Star Commodore Tanya reminds me of Tanya the Evil.  >:D
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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #82 on: 11 July 2018, 16:04:24 »
02/19/3068 08:00 Location – Sanctum, Etienne’s Sanctuary (aka Sentarus), The Barrens

Commander Omar Wimmer stood in the elevator as it headed up The Spire.  It was a grand building thirty stories of darkened glass and steel, completely filled with offices and equipment.  He reached the top floor and looked out over Sanctum, an organized grid city with small factories, housing blocks, greenhouses, laboratories, and everything else you would need for a Clan colony.

A Dark Caste colony enabled by a chalcas cabal of Jade Falcon Merchants and Scientists building upon a former Rim Worlds Republic city.  A Free Port not under the Jade Falcon Warrior Caste’s control, a safe place to plan the overthrow of the Warrior Caste.  The planet’s HPG dish and the cooling towers for the cities nuclear fission power plant were visible near the horizon.  A Mule Dropship was lifting off from the drop-port nearby on a plume of white fire toward the black.   

The hard soles of his boots left marks in the plush carpet as he walked up to the cute blonde secretary that sat behind a glass and metal desk.  “Good Morning Commander, the Scientist-General is expecting you. Go right in.”

He walked toward the double doors that parted for him.  A high backed chair was faced away from him as he stepped forward past the glass and steel furniture and toward a large polished metal desk.  The chair rotated back and a balding, fat, older man with glasses attached to a gold chain and wearing a white suit with a mandarin collar faced him.

“Commander Wimmer, have a seat please.  I have some things to discuss about your very disturbing recent reports.”

The Commander removed his black and gold cover, sitting down on one of the three heavily cushioned chairs in front of the desk.  He smoothed his corn-rowed brown hair before putting the cover on the chair’s arm.  “Aff Scientist-General Etienne, the Falcon Warriors are being pressed hard on multiple fronts.  I am not certain they can hold much longer.”

Etienne grabbed a tablet computer and activated the miniature holoprojector built into his desk, the windows darkened and the lights lowered only illuminating the two participants.  A 3D representation of the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone floated in mid-air.  There were multiple blue (Lyran), gray (Wolf), and red (Hell’s Horses) thrusts stabbing into the Jade Green area.  The Scientist-General made a triangle with his hands and elbows toward his chin.  “Yes that is very problematic, I am going to conference in our allies Commander.  We must come up with a plan to deal with this unexpected assault.  The Commonwealth will become unstoppable unless we can support its enemies in some fashion.”

Two individuals materialized in hologram form in the chairs next to him, one was deeply shadowed and wearing a face mask speaking in a synthesized voice, the other was a man with heavy burn scars and patchy hair wearing a white lab coat. “Gentlemen, we have a problem, the Commonwealth and Allies stand a very real chance to take the Jade Falcon OZ in the coming months.  The loss of our cover Clan will prove very difficult to deal with, the Lyrans are far more likely to notice our activities and perhaps take action against us.”

The Faceless One spoke first, “At the same time though Scientist-General, the Commonwealth is vastly more powerful than the Jade Falcons.  Perhaps we can utilize them to forward our mission.”

The Burned Man spoke next, “Too dangerous, Kael Pershaw is the best Clan Watch Commander that is not a Spheroid.” 

His distain was evident as he was referring to Katherine Steiner (-Davion-Ward?) and Minoru Kurita, both Clan Loremasters and Freeborn Spheroids, “However, his talents are no match for Director Savinson or her Loki operatives.  We would be uncovered and at best kept as captive pets to forward their own ambitions just like the timid bitches of Tamar.”

“We could always consult with The Priestess again.  Though her fee was steep,” said Omar

Etienne made a dismissive gesture, “Too steep Commander, it is bad enough that we are Dark Caste. Now you would have us require more assistance from Spheroids that seek to subjugate us as the Warriors did.  No we will not speak of The Priestess again no matter how attractive her offers might be.

The Blinding Eye will have to be more hands on if we are continue to exist. I will forward a plan of action to you by day’s end.”

“Aff Scientist-General, signing off.”

The Two Holograms disappeared and the lights came back on.  “Commander, you are itching for battle. Quiaff?”

“Aff, for years Scientist-General.”
“Good I want you to take your best two Trinaries and help the Khan put down the Alpha Wolf.  The loss of Vladimir Ward will be a two-fold win for us in this battle.  You will likely die even if you are victorious upon Falcon’s claws but such a Warrior’s death it will be.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to earn the place in the remembrance that was denied me on Huntress.”
“Pity the Jade Falcon Warriors felt it fit to banish you to a Dark Wing cluster.  They lack vision in the true worth of a Warrior.  May you find an excellent battle waiting for you on Sudeten.”

“I am eager to meet it.  I will leave tomorrow.”
“You are dismissed Commander Wimmer.”

The Jaguar picked up his cover and placed it back on before saluting and walked out the doors.  The next day two Unions and one Danais dropship broke orbit burning toward a Tramp jumpship heading toward Sudetan.  Their mission, to face the Wolves in the battle that might decide the fate of the Jade Falcons.


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #83 on: 12 July 2018, 10:12:02 »
02/04/3068 15:11 Location – Kirishima Cruiser DCS Takashi, Orestes Zenith Point, Rasalhague Republic Remnant

Theodore Kurita was bound to an infirmary bed with multiple leads attached to him.  The man had suffered a stroke last week leaving the Draconis Combine a nation at war with itself was now without its leader.  His son Hohiro was now Coordinator but was filled with uncertainty at the proper course of action.  At the moment he was praying that his unconscious father would awaken and provide the firm hand necessary to wield the Draconis Combine as he had done for 24 years one more.  The fact that Theodore was incapacitated was kept secret to prevent any from taking advantage of the situation.

Hohiro’s family was still safe on New Samarkland so that seemed an obvious new destination but it was on the other side of the Combine and he wasn’t sure who he could trust.  The seizure of Luthien by the Black Dragon Society and the apparent death of his half-brother as well as reports of attacks on Irece against his actual brother filled him with dread.  The Black Dragons had already killed his sister and even though his father had engaged in brutal purges against their ranks they still swelled.

A voice interrupted Hohiro’s prayers, “Coordinator-sama, urgent message from Dieron addressed to you only”
He looked over to see one of the dark green jumpsuit wearing DCA Junior Officers hanging onto one of the many multi-purpose loops that lined every corridor.  “I shall return.”

Hohiro followed the man to the nearest secure Comm Station and went in, engaging the proper security protocols and using his cypher to decrypt the message, “Coordinator Kurita, this is Precentor Gina Kuruso of the 8th Word of Blake Militia Divison, Dieron is now under the protective ward of The Word of Blake.  We urge you to come and see what we have to offer.  Send a response and we can speed you along faster if you desire.  Blake’s Blessings be upon you and the Combine.”

“The Word of Blake is occupying Dieron?  What happened to the Regulars?  Where they compromised by the Black Dragons too?  This Precentor didn’t even mention them.”

Hohiro thought about it for a moment he had a Warship and 3 Invader Jumpships currently under his command.  Dieron was several weeks away he could probably increase the force along the way with reasonably loyal DCMS troops.  He opened up a comm-line to the Captain, “Captain Yamushi, set a course for Dieron.”
“Hai Coordinator”

02/07/3068 19:17 Location - New Barcella, Irece, Nova Cat Dominion

Khan Santin West was resting after another bout with the remnants of 6th Benjamin Regulars.  His charcoal gray Elemental armor was pitted with bullet holes and roughly patched in places it was still functional just not as pretty since the Nova Cat’s Abjuration only the continued trade with Clan Diamond Shark allowed his Touman to retain the clan technological edge it once had.  An edge that was rapidly eroding as the Wolves and Commonwealth now boasted the largest collection of Clan Tech weapons due to Katherine’s relationship with the Wolf Khan. 

The rest of his Vision Keshik were repairing their equipment as best they could while the 1st Irece Militia Trinary kept an eye out for more DCMS Battlemechs.  There were fewer enemies every day but the Regulars continued to engage in hit and run attacks and evade his Alpha Galaxy.

The surprise attack of the 6th and 15th Benjamin Regulars, reborn 3rd Amphigean Light Assault Group, and three Warships (Galedon Explorer, Winds of Heaven, and Urizen II) had disrupted the entire Dominion.  Nova Cat SaKhan Karl Devalis and Loremaster Minoru (Kurita) had been engaged on different worlds each targeted for effect.  Khan West hadn’t received any other reports of activity from either over the past week which was reassuring.

A brief tone came over the communicator built into his head-covering, “Khan West here, go ahead.”
“Khan West, we just received an HPG from Wolcott.  General Brett-Marik is calling for a rescue operation for the remaining expeditionary force.  He was betrayed by the DCMS as well but fought his way to the HPG.”
“What forces do we have in the area?  I will lead the mission personally.  That man saved me once I shall return the favor.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #84 on: 13 July 2018, 14:34:13 »
04/27/3068 08:17 Location – CWDS Golden Fleece, En route to Sudetan, Jade Falcon OZ
The Corridors within the massive Golden Fleece were filled with regimented activity, Technicians and Warriors in olive drab jumpsuits were moving between frames of the Dropship.  Various odors mixed together to form a pungent aroma that took about ten days to adjust to but afterwards just smelled like home.

Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward climbed the ladder toward the Command Deck with a toothpick between his teeth.  He had grown accustomed to the native Tamar cuisine (North African, Middle Eastern, Indian food) so much so that the normal rations that he had grown up on were now bland in comparison.  He never would have thought that it was possible before living there for the past ten years, the last decade had seen him rise from a Star Captain bested by a freeborn to a Khan married to one.

Upon clearing the hatch and continuing his trip to the Deck he fingered the wedding band that hung on a chain necklace both given to him by Katherine.  He had only worn the ring twice, once during the ceremony and the night after.  The second time was at the Final Whitting Conference when he showed up as a surprise guest on Tharkad.  The look on the other Spheroids faces was burned into his mind. It was priceless and among his fondest memories, right next to killing Elias Crichell in front of the Grand Council and in the process founding Clan Wolf all over again, his Wolves not Kerensky's but worthy of the legacy.  Just thinking about it brought a smile to his face.

The Command Deck was relatively empty only the Star Captain responsible for the ship and five technicians manning various system consoles.  Telltales calmly beeped and the status lights were all green and flickering gently.  Everyone was at ease carrying out their duties during wartime, such was the way of the Clans. 

Vlad Ward spit the toothpick out into a waste bag, "Hail Khan Pryde."
"Aye sir"

The Jade Falcon's Khan Marthe Pryde appeared on the screen before him, she was smiling, her tanned face slightly shaded under the beret that she wore, "Vladimir it has been too long since we have seen each other.  Quiaff?"
"Aff Marthe, yet we find ourselves on the wrong side of history once more.  I want you to know that I honor the Falcons in the coming fight, that is why the Wolves will handle it."
Her mood darkened, "As opposed to letting your Stravag Commonwealth Allies continue the Annihilation of my Clan!"
Vlad was undisturbed, "The Commonwealth forces are following Zellbrigen as I requested they do.  They hide nothing and are attempting to reduce needless battle.  I have heard more reports of the Falcons engaging in Dezgra behavior then otherwise.  They bring dishonor to Clan Jade Falcon and reflect poorly on their Khan.  If I wanted to Annihilate the Falcons I would have allowed them to use the Warships."
"You have betrayed the Clans with your Chalcas behavior Vlad.  Marrying a Freeborn!"

She spit on the words, "giving the strongest State in the Inner Sphere our advanced technology.  This is why Kerensky left the Inner Sphere in the first place.  You will bring nothing but ruin to the Clans and Inner Sphere."
"Perhaps but that might be what is necessary Khan Pryde.  Once we began REVIVAL the clock started, things were never going to be the same.  Tukayyid has given the Inner Sphere enough time to bring the clans down if they reunite, they already killed the Smoke Jaguars, the Nova Cats fled the Homeworlds and already share Tech with the Draconis Combine.  Most of the Commonwealth forces currently biting into your Occupation Zone are doing so with standard Battlemechs unaided by Clan Tech.  I am continuing the mission all the way to Terra as intended.  The Falcons will join me or be my enemy.  And you know what I do to my enemies."

Khan Ward grabbed another toothpick from his jumpsuit's breast pocket, relishing the minty coating.  He inserted a disk into the Command Deck's transmission console, "I am transmitting my batchall Khan Pryde.  A Trial of Absorption for Clan Jade Falcon.  How do you respond?"

Khan Vladimir Ward’s Alpha, Kappa, and Epsilon Galaxies, Warships CWS Dire Wolf, Blood Drinker, Stealthy Kill
Khan Marthe Pryde’s Turkina Keshik as well as Iota, Omega, and Zeta Galaxies plus Commander Omar Wimmer’s Black Flag Force (Two Society Trinaries), Warships CJF Hawker, Turkina's Pride, Green Lantern, and Kerensky's Blues

05/01/3068 14:27 Location – Jarho Island, Sudeten, Jade Falcon OZ

Khan Vladimir Ward kept the cockpit of his Mech open while disembarking on Jarho Island from the Golden Fleece.  He breathed deeply of the hot fetid jungle air, Marthe had bid him down to the Golden Keshik versus the Turkina Keshik the Wolf's Elite versus the Falcon's Best.  Wolf Elementals clung to every mech in his Command Nova from the camouflaged Timber Wolf E, a Shadow Cat, and Ice Ferret, already in motion pushing their way into the jungle, a Gargoyle and Linebacker rounded out the Star.

The vast rain-forest and mangrove swamps of this island would put his Wolves at a disadvantage compared to the slightly more mobile Falcon mechs.  The emerald green paint scheme the Falcon's favored would also provide greater camouflage against the bright leaves of the massive banyon analog trees.  He heard a screech and looked up to see a large Jade Falcon taking flight from one of the trees.  The emerald green bird had traveled all the way from the Homeworlds to find a new home in the Inner Sphere and it had adapted just as it's Totem Clan had.  He couldn't help but stop and admire the creature in mid-flight as much as he was tempted to fire one of his lasers it's way. 

“Well bid Marthe, I will find you in that jungle.  Then the Falcons will be mine as well.”

Khan Ward closed and sealed his cockpit returning to the sterile clean cold air that he was accustomed to.  “Golden Keshik move out.  Engage at will.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #85 on: 19 July 2018, 09:25:15 »
04/15/3068 Location – Parakoila system Nadir Point, Federated Commonwealth

The inside of a matte gray ST-46C small craft was lit with a faint red light, the two pilot’s display screens confirmed that their escort of Jagatai Aerospace Fighters were still following them.  A Du Shi Wang was taking up much of the forward view screen.  A pair of Comitatus Jump Carriers, a Congress Frigate, and Fox Corvette rounded out the battlegroup.

The co-pilot keyed in the Comms as they entered the battleship’s weapon range, “Blood Moon this is Scorpio-Six, awaiting docking permissions for prisoner transfer.”

“Scorpio-Six transmitting flight path and permissions now.”

The pilot received the packet, “Scorpio-Six confirms Blood Moon.  10 minutes to docking”

Inside the isolated crew compartment of the vessel sat three Jade Falcons still in their dark green combat uniforms and six armed Alptraum Commandos in black vacuum armor, their mirrored visors reflecting the faces of their restrained prisoners.  “Fifteen minutes, then you are the Wolves’ problem.”

The younger man of the trio spoke, an older trueborn warrior with black hair, “Like there is any difference now.”

“Wolf problems don’t tend to bother us.”

The older man gray and frail except for his many cybernetic augmentations looked at them with the most condescending gaze that he could muster with only one good eye, “Wolf problems have a way of being both catastrophic and contagious.  I would not be so sure of safety.”
“Regardless, I will be happy to not be responsible for you three anymore.”
“It wounds me that you find my company so distasteful.”
“You want wounds! I’ll find a place that still has natural nerves to make you feel pain for real.  You alone cost me three troopers already.”
“Eye for an Eye etcetera.  I will miss our time together Captain Tetra.”

Fifteen minutes later Scorpio-Six was in docking unit 4C, the space was pressurized with cold sterile air and the ramp lowered to the gunmetal steel. A Point of Marines and a dozen other Wolves occupied most of the floor space.  The prisoners were marched out to stand before a woman with a lithe frame, pale skin, short white hair and icy blue eyes wearing a winter camouflage uniform.

The Old Falcon stood tall almost eye to eye with the woman, “You must be Loremaster Katherine.  I missed you at the meetings.” 
The last comment brought a smile to the woman’s face, “I was otherwise engaged Loremaster Pershaw, or rather former Loremaster.  Your Falcons have long been a problem to the Wolves and Lyran state both so I am doubly glad to see them brought low.  I trust you found our accommodations to your liking.”

“Quite satisfactory in fact, reminds me of my time on Glory, the rats are not quite as vicious however.  It took three Clans to bring us down Katherine but we are unbowed, the Falcons will rise again.”
“I expect there will not be time for that.  Your absorption is merely part of a greater plan.  Vladimir Ward and I are going to take Terra and you are going to help us.”

The other two had a surprised look on themselves especially the woman that looked near Katherine’s age and build but with dark hair.  Kael Pershaw let out a rare laugh but it was dark and inspired fear more than levity, “You should have led with that.  Ah, if only we could see the look on Perigard Zalman’s face Diana if he were to have heard that.  He might die all over again.”

Katherine stepped a few paces toward Star Captain Diana Pryde both women eyed the other up, “So this is Diana Pryde in the flesh.  I like you, you cause problems, and find solutions just like me.” 
Katherine winked at the woman, “You are very cute too.”
Diana smiled slightly, “Katherine, I saw your fight with Katya in the Arena. I am impressed though I think you got lucky.  It is unfortunate that I did not get a chance to capture your handsome brother on Coventry.  I would have looked forward to being his bondholder and showing him the ways of the Jade Falcons.  As well as your eventual challenge to get him back.”
“We can fight each other at a later time if you desire Diana.  My Shadow Cat vs your Nova?”
“I think I might take you up on that offer Katherine.  At a later time, of course.”

Katherine went over the other Warrior, “Brian Pryde, I hear good things about you.  Chief among them that you are a dangerous foe.  I almost did not want you to make it for I am a little jealous that you are the designated successor to Kael Pershaw’s legacy.”
“You can always challenge me for it.  I think I would make quick work of a chalcas freeborn hussy like you.”
“I think you would be surprised at what I am capable of Star Colonel.  On and off the battlefield.”

Katherine stepped back to her starting position, “Well since introductions are complete Captain Tetra please release the prisoners and continue on.”
Captain Tetra retracted the mirrored visor, “But Archon-Princess.  These Jade Falcons are extremely dangerous.”
“I gave you an order Captain.”
“Yes Archon-Princess.”
  The Loki commandos undid the cuffs and neck restraints from the Falcons, Diana and Brian massaged the feeling back into their wrists.  Katherine turned around toward the airlock and everyone followed except Captain Tetra’s commandoes who boarded their ST-46C and returned to the Scorpio.

The three Falcons and Katherine all settled into her suite of quarters aboard the Blood Moon, the Tamar Cage Works having added first class accommodations for Katherine, family, and “guests” (or a group of Flag Officers) as part of the upgrades to the ancient Battleship.  The four of them were currently in the Mess portion of the suite which was clan utilitarian but not cramped even though there were six other Tau Galaxy wolves currently sitting with them.  Kael Pershaw asked the question the others were thinking, “So Loremaster, where are we headed?”

Katherine finished her cup of tea and returned the magnetic cup to the table, “Two weeks to Sudeten.  I have not seen my husband in months and would like to congratulate him on his impending victory.”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #86 on: 19 July 2018, 12:32:31 »
Wasn't Vlad already dead? Or is this me catching up with republishing.  xp
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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #87 on: 19 July 2018, 12:36:25 »
Part I of the Battle of Jarho Island, Showdown on Sudeten


Jarho Island, the largest island on Sudetan was isolated from the main landmasses in the planet's vast ocean.  Unsettled and kept as a massive wildlife preserve its fetid jungles and mangroves existed in the shadow of foggy mountains.  A Great Reef off its western coast was home to innumerable ocean life that still were not fully cataloged even after centuries of habitation due to its remote and hostile location. 

No Sudetanese ever went there willingly, to many exotic insect and waterborne diseases that even the Star League's Colonial Era genetic improvements were unable to combat.  An LIC black site was rumored to be located somewhere nearby but the Jade Falcons never found any evidence of such a location.  The Clan forces had arrayed themselves on the North and South portions of the island, Turkina Keshik on the north side and Golden Keshik on the south.  Hundreds of hectares of difficult terrain lay between them.

Vladimir Ward's Timber Wolf's foot crashed down on a jungle palm knocking the tree down and into a fetid grove of Jarho Island on Sudetan.  Foot prints like some ancient dinosaur on Terra were pressed into the soft waterlogged soil in its wake.  A mixed Star of Ares and Carnivore tanks followed behind his command Nova their treads climbing over fallen trees.  His Elementals were picking their way along the flanks their movements graceful, unimpeded, and cloaked by the undergrowth. 

The sound of the Carnivores splintering tree trunks under their treads echoed across the grove.  Vladimir felt nostalgic for the awful terrain that reminded him so much of the Kerensky Cluster.  The Inner Sphere worlds were just not dangerous or interesting enough for him, “This place reminds me of Huntress.”

Mechwarrior Jorge Kline, an abtakha Ice Hellion and one of the scouts currently piloting a “Wolf Hunter” twenty klicks ahead came in over the BattleNet, “Aff Khan Ward, dreadful and desolate, a place filled with predators.”

The other advance scout, a Warrior formerly of Clan Nova Cat came in over the Battlenet, “Still no sign of the Jade Falcons Khan Ward.  There are only a few Mech prints and no residual heat despite the satellite's readings.”

The grove ended at a tributary to the Jarho River whose width was almost completely covered from aerial observation by the vast canopy. The Star Commander in charge of the tanks came in over the radio, “The water is too deep my Khan.  We will cover you for as long as possible from this bank before regrouping with Star Captain Torc upstream.”

“Jorge, how deep is this river?”
The Ice Ferret/Wolf Hunter entered the river slowly snapping branches along the way.  The medium mech was waist deep in the water. “To deep for tanks, the flow is slow however so the Elementals should be able to hold on.”
“Aff Jorge, the Falcon’s trail leads us to the other side of this river.  All Elementals return to your host Mech.  We will ford the river and fight whomever is on the other side.”

The Wolf Elementals boarded the omnis clinging to them like ticks as they crossed the River.  An extra Point of Elementals was dispersed between the other mechs completely filling all the available positions on the Mech’s torsos.  The 30 suits disembarked upon clearing the river blending into the environment and keeping a wary eye out for hostiles.  The five mechs of Khan Ward’s command headed deeper into the jungle while the armor headed upstream to rejoin the rest of the cluster.

Commander Omar Wimmer had hacked the feed from the Wolf’s recon satellites from his Hades Omnimech, an advanced version of the long serving Hellbringer designed primarily for electronic warfare.  He watched as the Wolf Khan's IFF beacon flashed showing that his Mech passed into the Smoke Jaguar's hunting grounds.  The other units in his command (2 Mixed Bnaries {1 Hades (2 cERPPC, 2 cAMS, 2 cMPL, 4t Comms), 2 Stooping Hawks (cERPPC, ATM9, Nova CEWS), 6 Corvii (2 ATM 6, Nova CEWS), Point of Clan Assault Infantry}, one of Roc Protomechs, and one of Undine Battle Armor) were barely visible under the Mangroves, sheltered as they were under the electronic fog of their Electronic Warfare gear compounded by the thick canopy and shallow water that obfuscated thermal and visual ID. 

His Sub-Commander had already hacked the communications of both sides transferring the ciphers to their base though it took time and effort as the Wolf’s communications were more heavily encrypted due to ONI's influence.  They could remote control the battle by subtly manipulating what the Warriors saw and heard just like they had done for more than a decade.

The Blinding Eye had long used an underwater LIC Black Site found during the conquest of Sudeten for their own purposes.  Intentionally spreading virulent diseases and rumors that kept people away from this location while utilizing the world’s position as the Jade Falcon’s capital and the apathy of its Warrior Caste to gather information and technology. 

Now it was time for their preparations to pay off, Khan Ward was the first target and with Khan Pryde in the field as well the future was looking up for their conspiracy.  Omar put his fist under his chin in contemplation, “Now the real question is do I kill him myself or let the Falcons do it?”


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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #88 on: 20 July 2018, 09:33:57 »
Battle of Jarho Island, Showdown on Sudeten II

Commander Omar Wimmer pushed through the swamp, each step of his heavy Omnimech causing waves in the green water as he picked his way between sprawling Mangrove trees.  The waves rose and broke against the trunks like the tide before immediately dropping their energy and returning to stillness.  Thick vines were chopped down by bayonets on the Roc Protomech’s main gun rather than risk aerial observation of fallen trees pulled down by Omnimechs snapping them.  The 50 assault infantry followed on rubber craft doing what they could to maintain stability in the wake of the 18 strong Omnimech unit.  Undine battle armor clung to their host Mechs to keep pace.

The Blinding Eye unit kept moving upstream while Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward moved across the terrain guided by navigation satellites and landmarks.

Vladimir Ward looked out at the terrain in front of him, relatively firm ground with good forest cover beside a wide river.  The Jarho River continued its course west to break up into a delta from this location.  “This place reeks of danger, keep your eyes peeled.  We had sensor contacts out here minutes ago.”

He pulled up the overview map reported from this GPS location something didn’t match up a terrain feature was off.  Vlad cycled back to a historical survey map from the Commonwealth that he had put into his BattleROM prior to deployment at the reported location.  There was a subtle but distinct difference between the two.  The hairs on his forearms stood up, something was wrong.  “Alpha Wolf to Torc Light.”

Star Captain Xavier Torc was the closest of his sub-commanders he should be just Northeast of this location.  However, there was only silence on the radio except for his Star members.

A foreboding voice came in over his BattleNet, “No one can hear your cry Wolf.”
Every one of Vlad’s Mechs shifted up to full combat power in that instant, readying for the impending fight, “Show yourself.”

2 Hellbringers (Hades but identical on the outside), 4 Stooping Hawks, and 12 Corvis Mechs (each with a dozen missiles positioned around their hands like a Nova's lasers) as well as 25 Roc Protomechs revealed themselves from the surrounding jungle, their gray and green camouflage pattern perfectly optimized for the terrain.  The Omnimechs were gathered into threes while the Protos maintained the standard five unit Point.  Vlad’s Command Nova only had 5 Mechs and 30 Elementals they were horribly outnumbered and outgunned by the enemy force.

Vlad wasn't afraid, he was a Clan Warrior they were always outnumbered until fact he missed those times, “You are not Falcons.”

“Neg not Falcons Khan Ward, I am Commander Omar Wimmer, the last of the Smoke Jaguar’s Nineteenth Striker Cluster.  I was the one that killed Hang Mehta in her cowardice on Huntress during our dark times.  I was denied the opportunity to fight again on Tranquil for Brendon Corbett as the Jade Falcons harvested me en route.  But I am no Jade Falcon, I will always be Smoke Jaguar.”

Vlad noticed that his overlay map and communications had been restored to their normal settings he didn’t know why that was but didn’t care either.  He sent a silent alert to the CWS Dire Wolf currently orbiting the planet, transmitting the signal by piggybacking it on the telemetry backchannel.  This fight couldn’t be won alone and since it wasn’t part of Marthe’s bid he wasn’t going to face dishonor for calling in help either. 

All he needed to do was buy time for reinforcements and fight for his life.
It was going to be thrilling.

Aboard the Union-X IWS Avalanche, Loremaster Katherine and Star Colonel Diana Pryde were monitoring the progress of the Trial.  Kael Pershaw and Brian Pryde were both secure on the Blood Moon under the vigilant eye of Star Admiral Edgar Reinhold’s Marines.  The Galaxy Commanders of the other Wolf and Falcon units present were still aboard their dropships ready to get into the fight at any moment if the call came. 

There were currently a dozen warships and dozens more dropships from both Clans and the Commonwealth orbiting Sudeten all filled with Warriors who had itchy trigger fingers.  The heavy hitters of both fleets were constantly on alert in case something interfered with the honorable combat below.  If shooting broke out between the Texas CWS Nicholas Kerensky, Du Shih Wang CWS Blood Moon, and Mjolnir FCS Yggdrasil’s Battle Group, against the Nightlord CJF Emerald Talon and Texas CFJ Falcon’s Nest plus their escorts, such a battle could wipe everyone currently in space out within minutes.

The two women held themselves in freefall in the dropship’s lounge watching and waiting as battle reports came in.  Both had someone they cared about in the field, for Katherine her husband Vladimir and for Diana her “Aunt” Marthe both engaged in a Trial fated to be worth more than a few lines in the Remembrance of their respective Clans.  The Captain chimed in on the overhead, “Loremaster, the Khan has sent a distress call.  The Avalanche is the next dropship to come into alignment on his position.”

“The Dire Wolf just reported it in, unregistered combatants in the Circle of Equals not Falcons.  He wants to keep it low key.  We will be in position in five minutes, I’ve already ordered the Techs to prepare for a hot drop of all jumping mechs.  The Sunrise Sailor will be right behind us.”

Katherine looked over at the other Freeborn with an icy gaze, “I’ll be there in three,” she killed the microphone, “and you are coming with me.”

Dave Talley

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Re: The Third Transfer, Katherine pt II
« Reply #89 on: 20 July 2018, 12:14:47 »
a Katherine I actually like
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Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
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