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Author Topic: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]  (Read 12525 times)

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #30 on: 06 October 2019, 10:55:02 »
Astrokaszy
75 km NNW of WSDS Mondez's intended landing point (and 8 km N of MIKE FOUR's former position)
1315-1335 Local Time
21 July, 2024

The Vulcan's presence seemed to be enough to deter the locals, at least after a lucky hit at near maximum range got their attention.  The Flea and jeeps turned east.

Ten minutes later, the MASH and APC linked up with MIKE FIVE and the two 'mechs standing guard over it.  The MASH hastily debarked both Flight Deck Crew and several other passengers, then sped off toward MIKE FOUR and their critical casualty with an ETA of 1350.

At 1300, the group collecting rations reported they were complete and initially heading for MIKE FIVE to link up with the forces there, but WHISKEY ROMEO FOUR reported the beacon they were using to home in on MIKE THREE abruptly shut down.

Five minutes after that, ROMEO FOUR reported they were at the position the beacon had been broadcasting from, but MIKE THREE was not there.  What was there was evidence of two 'mechs and two vehicles loading up MIKE THREE and heading east...

Occasional sightings of the patrol groups from the west were reported over this time, but those forces did not engage any more than they already had.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #31 on: 14 October 2019, 19:12:04 »
Astrokaszy
75 km NNW of WSDS Mondez's intended landing point (and 8 km N of MIKE FOUR's former position)
1400 Local Time
21 July, 2024

The Drillson settled on its skirts as the Doc hit the button to extend the MASH unit's operating theater to full size.  The critical casualty was starting to wheeze despite the two units of blood that had been pumped into them since they'd been recovered.  At least they were better off than the stacked body bags further aft in the hover tank.  Stability achieved, the Doc finished scrubbing up and donned surgical gloves as the lights came to full power.  First order of business was removing the body armor the patient's rib had penetrated from the INSIDE.  The Doc could only imagine the forces that had caused that, though the two other (wounded) survivors had said the trooper had ALMOST managed to dodge the onrushing jeep.  Probably a corner of the bumper or hood had caught the unfortunate JUST right, leaving them with a broken rib protruding in a way that made even the veteran Doc shudder.  It was going to be HOURS before they could be called "stable".

While the Doc was working on the wounded, Captain Skinner was trying to sort out everything else.  The Centurion and Whitworth were just arriving with an Escape Pod 6 cradled in the Centurion's arms, while the Whitworth had a tangle of parachutes in its own.  The infantry in the pod stumbled free once the pod was set down, and several of them threw up one last time.

The S-3 was leading a rag tag group toward Pod 5 and it's APC escort, while the Rifleman and JagerMech stood guard.  The Stinger and Mirage had just reported rendezvous, after confirming Pod 3 was NOT where it landed, and that quite a few 'mech footprints and tire tracks were all that was where it had been.  That trail led East.  The enemy Hermes and Flea, along with their jeeps, had been sighted several times, but had declined to engage any more than they already had.  Overall, it looked like things were finally starting to come together.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #32 on: 20 October 2019, 12:51:37 »
Astrokaszy
75 km NNW of WSDS Mondez's intended landing point
1630 Local Time
21 July, 2024

The Javelin, Mirage, and Stinger led the APC back into the temporary bivouac around Pod 1.  The MASH still stood with its walls and roof expanded to provide room for the Doc to conduct surgery.  The Vulcan, their lance leader, was missing.  It took very little time to determine that SOMEONE had to guard the Major's Marauder, or the locals who had already destroyed two escape pods would be giving it some attention.  Apparently Captain Skinner had determined the Vulcan was best suited for the job.

The Major's heir apparent was discussing matters with Lieutenant Harris (the S-3) and Captain Lindeman (the infantry company commander).  A medic was also present, and seemingly explaining something other than good news.  Pod 1 was lashed to the deck of the Recovery Vehicle, along with the other two pods still in the unit's possession.  Everybody knew the pods contained the water purification equipment that would mean the unit's survival on Astrokaszy's inhospitable surface, hence the shock at the wanton destruction of two of the pods, and concern over the apparent theft of the third.

As the trio of mechwarriors watched, a decision was apparently made, and the officers scattered to get things moving.  The radio crackled to life shortly thereafter with orders.  A security detail was to be left with the MASH until surgery was over, and the rest of the unit would move to recover the Major's Marauder, and find the best place to camp close to the crash site.  Captain Skinner had pointed out dropship impacts could bring water to the surface, and that long term survival counted on that fact.  Neither Harris nor Lindeman had argued.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #33 on: 12 January 2020, 07:18:51 »
Astrokaszy
75 km NNW of WSDS Mondez's intended landing point
0200 Local Time
22 July, 2024

The surgery took a grueling 12 hours, and even then, Doc Ozora knew the patient would require further surgery.  But that would have to wait until they were stronger, maybe in a few weeks.  For one tense moment two hours in, the patient's heart had stopped, requiring extreme measures to keep them alive.  Fortunately, they were resting in post-op now.  The Doc recommended at least six more hours before moving the MASH.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #34 on: 09 June 2020, 19:30:43 »
Astrokaszy
WSDS Mondez's impact site, 36 km SW of its intended landing point
1000 Local Time
22 July, 2024

The Recovery Vehicle and its escort were just bringing in the salvaged enemy jeep when the radio blared to life.

"Any WHISKEY unit, this is MIKE THREE on IDF, over."

"MIKE THREE, CHARLIE MIKE copies, report your position, over."

"CHARLIE MIKE, our position is our original landing site... looks like you came looking for us... bring a truck and the Major, we're not alone, but they're friendlies, over."

"Copy that MIKE THREE... ETA three hours... sit tight, over."

"MIKE THREE copies, out."

One hastily convened council of war later, Captain Skinner was wearing his dead brother's rank, and Lieutenant Harris was now a Captain organizing an escort for the Recovery Vehicle while the salvaged jeep was hastily unloaded from it.  It was agreed Captain Lindeman would stay behind with the bivouac and the balance of forces not recovering MIKE THREE.

Artifex

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #35 on: 10 June 2020, 16:38:16 »
I honestly like this AAR scheme of posting the story. :) :thumbsup:

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #36 on: 10 June 2020, 16:40:10 »
Thanks!  I appreciate the feedback!  :thumbsup:

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #37 on: 11 June 2020, 18:17:44 »
Astrokaszy
en route MIKE THREE
1015-1300 Local Time
22 July, 2024

Major Skinner was still sorting through his feelings about wearing his brother's rank, but Captain Harris was all in.  Harris, of course, had most of his attention focused on piloting his Hunchback across Astrokaszy's less than even terrain, while Skinner was simply strapped into one of the spare seats in the Recovery Vehicle's spacious cab.  The rest of the Fire Lance, plus the Recon Lance's Mirage, were spread out in echelon ahead of the heavy truck, while the unit's APC trailed behind with a full platoon of infantry embarked along with one of Doc Ozora's medics.

By the time the ad hoc force approached where MIKE THREE had originally come down, Skinner was half asleep.  Harris' insistent voice snapped him to full awareness though:

"WHISKEY ACTUAL, this is WHISKEY FOXTROT... ROMEO TWO reports a full lance of 'mechs and two vehicles with MIKE THREE.  Recommend a cautious approach, over."

"Roger FOXTROT, proceed," Skinner replied, his voice steady while he blinked to full awareness.  Commanding a DropShip was similar to this operation, with hours of boredom punctuated by activity.

The Recovery Vehicle pulled up near MIKE THREE, and the Major climbed down to first meet his S-6, newest Lieutenant, and his brother's 'mech tech.  While he made sure they were all right, another man climbed down from a Thunderbolt 'mech.

"You must be Major Skinner, sir!  I'm Captain Luca Renzi, commanding Renzi's Renegades, formerly of the First Ducal Guard.  Your people tell me you were with the 4th Regulans back in the day..."

Major Skinner hadn't quite had time to explain the change in command of his unit to his formerly isolated personnel, who looked a bit uncomfortable, to put it mildly.

"Nice to meet you Captain.  I'm Major Skinner, commander of the Wolf Skinners, but yes, formerly of the 4th Regulan Hussars.  Thank you for returning our personnel to us, and our escape pod.  Hopefully it's intact?"

"Oh, yes sir.  But I'll say we traded a few things to your people for those three duffels full of rations.  It's been almost ten years since my people have had anything but local food, and I couldn't deny them."

Skinner shot a hard look at his S-6 and newest Lieutenant, and asked, "Oh, really?"

While the heavy-set senior tech and ex-Capellan liaison officer grimaced, Renzi continued, "Certainly!  We're giving you enough seed and local livestock to set yourselves up quite well, along with all the lessons we've learned over the years about the particulars of the water table and farming techniques around here.  I look forward to having friendly neighbors for a change!  Hopefully you do too?"

Skinner kept his face as neutral as possible while he thought it over.  Obviously, these weren't the people who'd destroyed two of the other escape pods, and the unit certainly couldn't afford TWO hostile neighbors.

"One friendly neighbor is better than none, Captain.  Thank you for your generosity.  I assume this will be our usual meeting place going forward?"

Renzi made a show of looking around, then replied, "I think it's as good as any on this godforsaken rock, sir.  I'll have my techs arrange a frequency other than IDF for communications going forward."  That said, Renzi stuck out his hand to shake Skinner's.

"Sounds like as good a plan as any, Captain," Skinner said, shaking the weather worn hand.  His own lacked the callouses of the other.

"I know you have a lot to do, sir, so I'll get my people out of your way.  Call us when you're ready.  Please.  If there's any way off this rock, I think we might be able to make it work better together."  Renzi looked more than a little desperate as he reluctantly let go of Skinner's hand.

Skinner could only think, "Will we be this desperate in ten years?" but did his best to hide it behind a reassuring smile and nod.

EAGLE 7

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #38 on: 13 June 2020, 05:46:48 »
“I honestly like this AAR scheme of posting the story. :) :thumbsup:
I agree I like the way this flows.
“ My Clan honor is bigger than your Dragon honor, and comes in 18 clan flavors.”

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #39 on: 13 June 2020, 17:00:27 »
Astrokaszy
en route WSDS Mondez's impact site
1330-1630 Local Time
22 July, 2024

Major Skinner took the opportunity to debrief his personnel while the escape pod was loaded on the Recovery Vehicle.

"Renzi was being modest, sir... he also gave us enough food to get through to the first harvest," the senior tech was saying.

The ex-Capellan added, "He struck me as honest, sir.  His people are very loyal, indicating he treats them well.  I believe he will be a strong ally.  He has two lances of 'mechs under his command, along with at least four vehicles that we saw.  The two you didn't see were a Manticore and a Schreck.  I don't believe he would have let us see them if he meant to attack us.  He also has at least a company of infantry with laser weapons, and...  there were children."

"What?  Kids?"

"Yes sir!  All under 10, I think.  Renzi himself is married to one of the Lance Commanders.  She was the one who scooped us up initially," the senior tech replied.

The former Major Skinner's tech just nodded along at everything her officers were saying.

The current Major Skinner just shook his head, the likely future beginning to dawn on him in detail.

The senior tech continued, "It's not ALL bad news, sir.  Renzi's guys mentioned there's a settlement on the other side of the bandits.  'Ar-Rabigh' they called it.  DropShips occasionally land there, but not very big ones.  Seems they don't like the bandits any more than we do, but it's close to a thousand kilometers to go around.  That's why Renzi modified several of his 'mechs to carry cargo.  It strikes me we could haul a LOT more with our Recovery Vehicle here."

"Good point, Warrant.  That's one bargaining chip in our favor.  We have a lot to do before we're ready to pull that trigger, though.  Even with the extra food, it's going to be close run getting things set up.  And who knows when the bandits will be back, in force?  I don't think they saw enough of us to be deterred."

"If it comes to it, sir, we could do worse than moving in with Renzi and his crew.  We outnumber them, and they've had a decade of figuring out how to live around here."

The ex-Capellan frowned.  "That's true, but there would be inevitable friction.  I take Renzi at his word that what he wants are friendly neighbors, not additional room mates.  They had to make arrangements for just the three of us for a single day."

The Warrant nodded and said, "L-T's not wrong, Major.  They were glad to see us, and even happier to see us leave."

The junior tech spoke up at this point.  "Sir, those people are scared.  They've been here ten years and are STILL scared."

The Warrant and Lieutenant exchanged shadowed looks.  Skinner just shook his head.

The drive back to the Mondez's impact crater was tense silence as the Major seemed to age before their eyes, his furrowed brow never relaxing.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #40 on: 20 June 2020, 08:47:58 »
300 km west of WSDS Mondez's impact site...

Astrokaszy
Al Mazrea
22 July, 2024

Lieutenant Commander Marion Fury was grinding her teeth.  It had been a decade since the FWLDS Eagle's Claw and her embarked squadron had been shot down chasing the Condottieri.  Fury, the XO, had just been promoted, and had orders to command her own DropShip when the Eagle's Claw had been diverted to chase the fleeing rebels.  The two surviving aerospace pilots were laboring out in the fields under guard.  The third had been shot years ago trying to escape.  She herself had been incorporated into the Emir's harem, and had a daughter to worry about.  Yesterday, a young tech had been brought in with a patch bearing the unmistakable kukri of Regulus on her uniform.  Marion knew the bruises on her face would keep the Emir away for a few days until they healed.  And this morning, yet another abductee from Ar-Rabigh had arrived.  She too had apparently resisted capture.  Enough was enough.  Now that there were potential friendlies to run TO, Fury felt something she hadn't felt in a long time: hope.

Artifex

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #41 on: 20 June 2020, 10:51:39 »
Oho, the adversaries to the pirates are piling up here. Their reckoning will probably be a blast! :D

Tinyozora

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #42 on: 20 June 2020, 17:02:40 »
fancy meta knowledge to meta with.
Mackie Ozora
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Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #43 on: 27 June 2020, 13:50:18 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0703 Local Time
24 July, 2024

Sergeant Novak was maybe a third of the way through his second cup of coffee at the communications intercept position aboard the Doc's MASH.  He was taking a sip when the Interstellar Distress Frequency crackled to life with a broken signal:

"...lf Skinners, this is... -der Fury... inbound... -AVO MIKEs, at least eight VIC-..."

Keying the mic, Novak said, "This is CHARLIE MIKE, station calling say again, over."

Unfortunately, the response was a solid wash of static through two more attempts.

Reaching for his tactical head set, he said, "Duty Officer, Comms… I think we got something, sir.  You might want to come listen to the playback, over."

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #44 on: 05 February 2022, 22:08:08 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0709 Local Time
24 July, 3024

A few minutes later, the frequency arranged with Renzi's Renegades crackled to life.

"Wolf Skinners, this is Renegade Actual.  We copied some radio traffic a few minutes ago trying to reach you on IDF before it was jammed.  Ah, if that really is Lieutenant Commander Fury inbound on your position, we would appreciate it if you didn't mention us to her.  Over."

Sergeant Novak looked up at the duty officer, who just nodded.  Keying the mic, Novak replied, "Wolf Skinners copy.  Thanks, out."

A few minutes after that, Major Skinner and Captain Harris were in the vehicle, and fully briefed.  Harris proposed taking The Fire and Recon lances along with the APC and the sniper platoon for personnel recovery.  Skinner quickly approved, setting in motion a beehive of activity as the units staying behind took up defensive positions and stowed the chutes that were being used as tents.  The enemy had already demonstrated their preference for destroying what they couldn't carry away.

Harris' idea was to rendezvous with the incoming unit well away from the encampment.  He put the Fire Lance in the center of the formation, spread out line abreast to make spotting the incoming vehicles easier.  The Recon Lance was split up further out on the flanks, making the sweep over a kilometer across.  The APC followed in the center, picking its way through the rough terrain the 'mechs could just jump over or around. Overall, they were managing a speed of advance of roughly 50kph.
« Last Edit: 12 July 2022, 11:47:44 by Daryk »

cawest

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #45 on: 06 February 2022, 00:42:19 »
that loader mech is going to be handy setting up a defensive line around that camp. 

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #46 on: 12 July 2022, 12:23:13 »
Astrokaszy
~100 km NW of the Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0856 Local Time
24 July, 3024

The intervening two hours had been nail biting for all involved.  The Wolf Skinners weren't sure exactly what they were getting into.  Lieutenant Commander Fury's crew was constantly looking over their shoulders.  And the Al Mazrea units were plunging after the only certainty in their universe at the moment: the murderer of their Emir was somewhere ahead.  Al Mazrea itself had gone radio silent not long after ordering the on-duty patrol units to pursue the escaping jeep.

The only logical conclusion for the pursuing units was that the inevitable struggle for succession was playing out well behind them.  As long as they followed their last orders, it didn't matter who won.  They would be blameless.  That was cold comfort for the few who had families.  Of course, they were the ones with responsibility for the more junior troops.  The MechWarriors had less doubt.  They were the junior scions of what passed for nobility on Astrokaszy.  Their family interests extended beyond wives and children (not that either had any yet), and were almost unknowable to them.  But not quite.  It was certain that whoever could bring the Emir's murderer to justice would be held in high regard.  But it was also just as certain that coming home without the family's most prized heirloom was death.

Among Fury's crew, all but two knew it was freedom or death.  Athena was simply too young to grasp the implications of the chaos around her, but she put all her faith in her mother.  And her mother was SO certain "this was it".  What else could there be?  Aliyah Ar-Rabigh, on the other hand, only knew that her options were the unknown future, or certain slavery to the now dead Emir of Al Mazrea.  For her part, she was all in with the unknown.  Life on the streets of Ar-Rabigh wasn't exactly great, but it was better than being beholden to the mortal enemy of her Emir, who according to her abductors "would be pleased with her looks".

VHF radio contact had been established around 30 minutes before, HF being completely useless at the moment.  Captain Harris had hastily chosen a rendezvous point, and gave Fury a bearing to it.  With luck, the pursuing units would be drawn into a trap that would see none of them return to their homes.

Motsognir

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #47 on: 15 July 2022, 06:14:57 »
Great to see this still ticking along. I am certainly looking forward to what happens next, hopefully, a successful ambush.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #48 on: 15 July 2022, 20:34:21 »
Astrokaszy
~100 km NW of the Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0909 Local Time
24 July, 3024

It had been the best plan that could be thrown together under the circumstances.  Or at least that's what Captain Harris told himself.  If the Wolf Skinners' gunnery had managed to score even half the shots they took in the opening salvo, things would be rather different right now.

As it was, the enemy Flea was loose behind them, still chasing Fury's jeep, and who knew where the eight jeeps that ran the other way were right now?  Only one of them had even been scratched.  The Flea had used its Flamer to annihilate the infantry squad that managed to scratch its paint, but missed the APC that had followed up with a Medium Laser 10 seconds later to the same location on its chest.  It was in the wind after that.

All the Wolf Skinners had to show for it was a legless, headless Hermes with damage to both its engine and gyro.  Ironically, all the significant damage to the Hermes prior to Harris ripping its head off with the Blazer Cannon had been inflicted by the Vulcan pilot.  Perhaps he was making up for the bad judgment that had resulted in his tech being kidnapped by the pirates.  Regardless, her safety was now completely in his hands.  Harris had detailed the entire Recon Lance to rendezvous with Commander Fury before the Flea found her.  He also ordered the Blackjack to the highest peak within a kilometer to ensure VHF comms were maintained.  This was far from over.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #49 on: 16 July 2022, 08:00:58 »
Astrokaszy
~115 km NW of the Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0927 Local Time
24 July, 3024

The second rendezvous with Commander Fury didn't go much better.  At the end of it, the Flea was a smoking ruin along with one of the pirate jeeps, but the other three managed to escape with the ejected MechWarrior.  Fury's jeep had taken a Medium Laser to the turtleback, and it unfortunately penetrated, killing one of the ASF pilots and destroying the seeds and tools the escapees had brought with them.  The fire wasn't actually out yet, and smoke was pouring from the open windows.  It took a minute to get Fury to bring the jeep to a halt, and even then the Wolf Skinner MechWarriors remained buttoned up in case the pirate jeeps returned.

By the time the APC arrived with the surviving four squads of the platoon, the fire was out.  Fury was in no way pleased to be subject to standard personnel recovery procedures, but submitted anyway.  Once the weapons were secured, the survivors were moved into the APC's air conditioning for initial debriefing.

Three hours after that, the Recovery Vehicle arrived with the remains of the Hermes strapped to its bed and the Fire Lance as an escort.  Another hour of work managed to recover the left side of the Flea, the remaining internal structure of the right torso, and the Medium Laser from the right arm.  It took another three hours to return to camp, the Recon Lance doing its best to obscure their trail.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #50 on: 23 July 2022, 12:55:32 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
1913 Local Time
24 July, 3024

Doc Ozora was relieved only one of the recovered personnel was still on oxygen.  Smoke inhalation had affected all the occupants of the unfortunate jeep, but only the pilot who had been closest to the burning material in the back got the worst of it.  His fellow pilot had absorbed most of the laser energy that had penetrated the jeep's armor, killing him instantly, but sparing everyone else at least.  Funeral services for him and the entire squad that had been roasted by the Flea's Flamer were scheduled for tomorrow.  The presence of a child in the jeep had forced the Doc to look up pediatric differences for treatment, but the girl actually seemed to be in the best shape.  She'd been crammed into the front of the jeep, on the floor, and received the least exposure to the smoke.

While the Doc was tending to his remaining patient, Lieutenant Commander Fury and Major Skinner were in deep conversation.  Both had come to the conclusion that their mutual tales of woe, while roughly comparable, were significantly worse in result for Fury.  Skinner had been able to withold the identity of the "friendly neighbors" on the other side of the crash site while still conveying the relative security of their position.  He had let Fury assume they were simply less hostile pirates of local origin.

Simultaneously, the S-2 was talking to Aliyah, trying to find out as much as possible about Rabigh without making any binding promises.  More than once, the intelligence professional was glad he was the one talking to the slippery local.  Practically anyone else would have fallen for her wiles.  For her part, Aliyah was energized in a way she'd never been.  She knew things these people wanted to know, and they were willing to feed her without forcing her to share it!  An entire universe of possibility was opening before her.  She still loved her Emir, but he was FAR away, and these "Wolf Skinners" seemed interested in meeting him.  If she could arrange that meeting, she might become Vizier someday!  Or... or maybe she could leave Astrokaszy and see the wider universe!  The possibilities were ENDLESS!

Sergeant Johansen was just glad to be back among her unit.  Her assigned MechWarrior had nearly broken down in tears when he saw her in person.  She wasn't sure how to take that, but it was light years better than where she'd spent the previous days.  Her friends in the unit simply welcomed her back, and relayed the trials of the last few days from their perspective.  Setting up the bivouac was challenging and not done yet ("Boy, are we glad to have you back!").  The skirmishes with the pirates would of course require maintenance on the 'mechs, but that was slightly lower in priority compared to making sure drinking water supplies were secure.  And farming needed to get going too.  Johansen was comforted to know one of the pilots that had been laboring in Al Mazrea's fields for a decade survived, even if the Doc had confined him to bed rest.

Athena was just bored.  The trip had been exciting, and scary at the end.  But things were just BORING now.  All the grown ups were worried and rushing around doing boring things.  Some were just SAD and didn't want to talk about it.  Her mother was busy with somebody important, but that left her to her own devices, at least until someone else important noticed.  Sergeant Major Shaan seemed grumpy at first, but when he realized the girl was unsupervised, quickly transformed.  After a deep breath or two, he asked her to come with him very nicely, and they proceeded to talk to a number of other slightly less important people until she found herself in the company of one Sergeant "call me Andy" Ludak.  Andy thought her toys were really cool, and then showed her his toys, starting with his industrial exoskeleton.  She was almost tall enough to reach the controls, and Andy said he'd work on that, if she wanted him to.  She enthusiastically agreed.
« Last Edit: 23 July 2022, 17:56:59 by Daryk »

DOC_Agren

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #51 on: 23 July 2022, 16:12:38 »
They left a child unsupervised???   What were they thinking, do you know how many dangerous things there are just lying around.

good thing Sergeant Major Shaan saw her before someone reported them to ACPS..  Because then there really be trouble.   ::)

"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!"

cklammer

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #52 on: 24 July 2022, 06:11:01 »
"ACPS" equals to "your friendly full-service Astrokazy Slave Trader's Association Affiliate"?

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #53 on: 24 July 2022, 06:44:41 »
In this neighborhood, at any rate...  ::)

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #54 on: 24 July 2022, 14:29:28 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0047 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Major Skinner stared at the reports on his makeshift desk.  This DAMNED rock had cost them 16 lives in the last 3 days, plus one of their rescuees mere hours ago.  At this rate, they were going to need a proper cemetary. The only upside was that it meant their meager food supplies would last that much longer, and thinking about that made him feel guilty.  To distract himself, he shuffled to the personnel reports.

Captain Harris was a sound commander in the field, but he seemed so... unlucky.  Lieutenant Stevenson in the Vulcan had definitely shown bad judgment the first day, but seemed to have gotten himself together in the interim.  Only time would tell.  Lieutenant Novak had admirably held her platoon together after losing a squad to a lucky pirate hit with a Flamer.  It hadn't been pretty, but the platoon continued to function in the face of the enemy, and after.

Warrant Cantrell's report on the local rescuee was a mixed bag.  "Aliyah" had been grabbed from the next community over for her looks, but she was definitely cannier than she let on.  Her motives were unclear at best, but Max had chalked that up to indecision.  She was in a whole new world, as he put it.  Weren't they all?

His own conversation with Lieutenant Commander Fury had been similarly mixed.  She at least hadn't asked after Renzi's people.  But getting her off world was going to be a challenge.  It was at least possible the pirates considered her dead, given the fire in her jeep.  That would be almost too much to hope for.  At the very least, the pirates were down two 'mechs and a jeep from trying to kill her.  More likely, they were going to take a few days to settle the transfer of power, then take another crack at the unit.  To say the Wolf Skinners' hold on their territory was tenuous was an understatement.  Had it been this dicey for Renzi's crew in their first few days?

Sleep was going to be a challenge, and not just because of the heat, though that was definitely a factor.  All the techs and ship's engineers were racking their brains for an air conditioning solution that could keep as many people as possible cool.  The consensus so far was "dig".  Without a crashed ship like the Renegades had managed, they were living in makeshift tents made from various dropchutes.  That was less than ideal in a LOT of ways.  Sergeant Ludak had proposed manufacturing a shovel he could use with his exoskeleton to expedite excavation, and that seemed to be the leading contender at the moment.  The shock of the Mondez's crash had unsettled the local geology though, so it was possible that would lead to more trouble.  The Warrants owed him a recommendation tomorrow, so he'd see what they had to say.

Skinner still wasn't at a point where he felt he could share why he and his brother had decided to come to Astrokaszy in the first place.  If the unit could build a safe base to explore from, they might be able to suss out that old family legend.  If they couldn't, the legendary Star League facility might be their only hope.  Even outlying landing fields had been concealed by the SLDF back in the days of the Reunification War, and those minimal facilities would be a far cry from what they had right now.

EDIT: Math... :P
« Last Edit: 29 July 2022, 18:52:14 by Daryk »

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #55 on: 28 July 2022, 19:18:06 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0412 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Marion Fury woke with a start.  As her breathing returned to normal, she could feel the rocks through the camping pad that kept her borrowed sleeping bag off the ground.  The aches those rocks were causing started to fade as she realized she was FREE.  For the first time in a decade, she didn't have to worry about HIM entering her quarters at any hour.  The susurrus of the others (the MANY others) in the makeshift tent was both unsettling and reassuring.  Everyone here was in the same situation she was: stuck on Astrokaszy, but FREE!  The emotion was overwhelming, and she was glad she didn't have to force the tears starting to flow to stop, though she stifled a sob out of courtesy rather than fear.  Athena, in the next sleeping bag over, didn't even twitch while her mother was having a moment.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #56 on: 30 July 2022, 12:17:59 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
0920 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Major Skinner heaved a sigh of relief.  The memorial service for the 17 dead (so far) had gone relatively smoothly.  Though not particularly religious himself, he'd been a DropShip Captain long enough to know what parts of the holy texts to refer to.  He'd almost lost it when he said "ashes to ashes".  The six incinerated troopers had left little other than ash to bury, and the unfortunate pilot struck by the pirate laser in Fury's jeep wasn't in much better shape.

Fury had requested to say a few words about the dead man.  He'd been one of her embarked pilots on the Eagle's Claw a decade ago.  Lieutenant Senior Grade Barry Levenson had been liked by all the crew of that ship, and he had endured a decade of slavery in the fields of Al Mazrea without giving up, or giving in.  Astrokaszy had NOT beaten him.  His luck simply ran out.  Fury managed not to cry, but the other pilot, still wearing an oxygen mask on Doc Ozora's orders, had broken down right there.  The Doc and one of his medics got the sobbing mess onto a stretcher, and the memorial concluded shortly thereafter.  More than one of the Wolf Skinners was in a similar, if somewhat more controlled, state.

Skinner recognized the emotional release as necessary, even while he denied it to himself.  His brother was one of the 17, after all.  But he had 142 other people he was responsible for, and breaking down in front of them would do more damage to them.  The math said "no".  Fury had just demonstrated why she'd been selected for her own command before fate had intervened.  He was glad his next meeting wasn't scheduled until 1000.  He needed to clear his head, and focus.  Air conditioning, food supplies, security and all the rest were on the docket today.  And maybe, just maybe, sharing that family secret with a select few...

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #57 on: 13 August 2022, 19:50:10 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
1000 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Major Skinner looked over his assembled engineers and senior technicians.  Their mood was subdued, to say the least.  Skinner was feeling no better himself, but put on a brave face.

"All right team, what have you got for me?" he asked as cheerfully as he could.

Looking left and right, Sergeant Andy Ludak spoke up: "Well sir, the tents aren't exactly doing much aside from keeping the sun off us, so we need to either build or dig more substantial shelter.  With the 'mechs and my exoskeleton, we could probably get something resembling durable shelter dug in a week or two.  That will mean water consumption at the current rate for the duration, but with what the impact has brought to the surface and what we can reclaim from waste processing, we should be all right.  The Renegades' irrigation data will help mitigate the need for the first crops, so it'll be doable if close."

There were general nods all around, and Skinner couldn't disagree.  "I assume you've identified the best place to dig, then?" he asked.

"Yes sir," Warrant Laura Bowman, his former Chief Engineer, said.  "We figure digging North to South will minimize our exposure to the sun, and thus our cooling requirements.  She pointed to the rough drawing of the site drawn in the sand and continued, "The basic survey we've conducted points to this site here, on the south side of the crater.  We think it will be the easiest to access and dig, given the slope."

"All right, I see no reason to say no.  Get to it ladies and gentlemen.  I expect daily progress reports," Skinner said as decisively as he could muster.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #58 on: 17 August 2022, 22:14:23 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
1400 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Major Skinner took a seat in one of the escape pod's launch couches and nodded.  Lieutenant Stevenson, the junior among the four in the pod, moved to close the hatch.  Once it sealed Skinner said, "You three are the only ones I'm entrusting this to without my express permission, understood?"

Captain Harris, the still recently promoted 'Mech Company Commander, and Lieutenant Summers, Skinner's former Navigator and Executive Officer aboard the Mondez exchanged uncertain glances and nodded.  Stevenson, the Recon Lance Commander, said "Yes sir!" as he took his own seat.

Skinner took a deep breath and said, "OK, the reason my brother and I decided to come to Astrokaszy was that one of our ancestors commanded an SLDF Outlying Landing Field here.  That was our planned landing site.  We're over 50 kilometers from there.  The techs think they can excavate sufficient living spaces here next to the impact.  We can NOT afford to let them think otherwise.  But I believe the OLF may have better accommodations, and thus think it's worth looking for.  Harris, you and Summers are in charge of the watch rotation and mapping the surrounding terrain.  Stevenson, you're the one who will be personally looking for the OLF.  Over the next couple of weeks, I need the scouting to overlap our planned landing site.  Do NOT make it obvious this is what you're doing.  I don't know what we'll find there, and it may not be better than what we're building here, but the last thing we can afford is a fraction of our strength heading that way without a plan or idea of what's actually there.  Clear?"

The next hour or so was filled with questions and reassurances in both directions.  Skinner only hoped these three could be trusted with the secret.  Their survival not only as a unit, but as individuals, counted on it.

Daryk

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Re: This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners [3024]
« Reply #59 on: 20 August 2022, 19:31:17 »
Astrokaszy
Wolf Skinner bivouac around WSDS Mondez's impact site
1753 Local Time
25 July, 3024

Sergeant Andy Ludak was sweating despite being a good three meters in the shade at the end of his shift.  He was alone in the short tunnel.  Digging had been his idea, and he wasn't willing to let anyone else share the risk.  Just like his insane free fall from the crashing Mondez with a literal ton of food tethered to his exoskeleton.  THAT had been rather more exciting than excavating shelter for the survivors of that crash.  His thought was interrupted by a loud crack from the stone above him.  His reflexes kicked in, and he jerked back as fast as the exoskeleton allowed him.  Unfortunately, it wasn't fast enough.  After a brief space, Andy blinked his eyes open to find himself flat on his back with rather a lot of loose rock pinning his legs.

"Ah, a little help here, please!?" he called back toward the light.  His makeshift digging tool was mostly free, and the exoskeleton still had power, but he was hesitant to move.  The stone had already proved less stable than predicted, and the last thing he wanted was another ton of looser than expected rock on the upper half of his body.

"Don't move!" came the call from the opening of the tunnel.

"No shit!" he shouted back, maybe a little more vehemently than he intended.  He could feel his heart beat in his legs, and he decided that wasn't a good sign.

Not long after, he could hear chains being dragged, and Doc Ozora was by his side wearing a helmet.  "Just keep talking, Sergeant.  We'll get you out of here," he said, attaching a monitor patch to Andy's arm.

"Roger that, ssir..." Andy slurred.  His breathing was starting to get hard.

Salvaged cargo doors appeared to Andy's left and right, with bracing made from who knew what.  Someone attached hooks to his suit's shoulders.  "Ohh good..." he breathed, fighting to keep his eyes open.

"Sergeant!  Andy!  It's just shock... stay with me, son..." he heard the Doc say just before the chains took the strain.

He was thankfully out cold as he was dragged from the mess in the tunnel by the 'mech with the other end of the chains in its hands.

His eyes fluttered open to the Doc lightly slapping his cheeks.  "Say something, Sergeant!"

"Ow..." he managed through the haze of pain.

Doc Ozora gritted his teeth.  His assistants were slipping two of their dwindling supply of preserving sleeves on to Ludak's legs as he was gently lifted out of the exoskeleton's frame by a team of troopers.  The blood loss wasn't as bad as it could have been, but that didn't mean it was "good".  Damn this planet!  Seventeen dead and now THREE critical care cases.

Athena Fury was as close as she could get to the scene, whispering under her breath, "Please be ok, please be ok, please be ok..."