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Author Topic: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav  (Read 10557 times)

whistler

  • Warrant Officer
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  • we out-maneuver most fortifications
Administrative Offices, The Hiring Hall
Harlech, Outreach
Tikonov Free Republic
10 September 3037


   Sitting at his desk, David York worked on what was probably his tenth paper airplane of the day.  He had salvaged the paper he was now so carefully folding from the recycling bin, and was preparing to return it in grand style.  As he held the plane up and checked it's wings, he looked at the clock on the wall and sighed.  Lunch was still
an hour away.
   The endless glories of pushing paper...
   Satisfied with his work, he swiveled his chair and aimed at the blue bin some fifteen feet away.  With a practiced hand he pushed the miniature aircraft through the air and released it, watching as the plane glided towards it's final resting place.  As he tracked it, the plane slowly drifted out of focus.  The plane hit the wall a full half a second later than it should have, at least by his eye.  After a quick blink the plane was back in focus, and it fell straight down into the bin.
   York turned back to his desk and wondered what he should do with himself.  He unconsciously rubbed his left eye, slowly running his fingers over the open chasm hidden beneath his black leather patch.  The grizzled AeroSpace jock had lost his wings when he'd lost his eye, and now his life seemed as empty as the hole in his skull.  It had been almost two months since the accident, but he still had trouble wearing his glass eye.  Despite being the exact size and weight as his remaining eye, it still felt like a foreign object it was inside his body.  Besides, even he had to admit that the patch looked kinda cool. 
   A knock on his office door pulled David back to reality.  Standing in the doorway was his old friend and new boss, Oliver Webster.  The lanky old man gave York as disapproving look, then tossed a thick folder on the ex-pilot's desk.
   “What's this?” York asked, straightening up in his chair.
   “I could kill you right now.” Webster spat, slamming the door behind him.  York was puzzled, but knew he really had to have screwed up for Web to be this pissed.  “It's the registration paperwork that you were supposed to pick up twenty minutes ago.  Do you realize who I got this from?  The Wolf.  The fracking Wolf.  He came all the way down here to make sure it was submitted into the system you didn't show up.  He wasted twenty minutes on a single signature.”  All York could do was sit there, dumbstruck.
   Holy shit.
   “Web, I am s--”
   “Now because he is such a swell guy, he turned the trip into an impromptu courtesy visit.  So you aren't fired.  But I am still going to get chewed about because I had to cover for you.”  His anger spent, Webster took a deep breath and tried to relax.  “Look, I know you're having a hard time.  Luckily Wolf understands, and despite everything told me to give you his best.  But... come on man.  I know you don't want to be here, but it was either this or early retirement.”
   “I understand, bu--”
   “I don't want to hear it!” Webster roared, practically rattling the small office's windows. “Review the file.  Make sure all the 't's are crossed and that the 'i's dotted.  Since the old man signed off on it I bet they are, but double check.  Finalize everything, activate the unit profile, and secure all the hard copy papers in the vault.  Think you can handle that?”
   “Aff—ermative, sir.”
   Without another word Webster stormed out of the office.  York let out the breath he had been holding since the file dropped on his desk, then pulled out his trusty rubber stamper and red ink.  As he opened his computer terminal's data entry program he looked up at the clock one more time.
   Forty-five minutes minutes 'till lunch.  Dammit.


Unit Overview:

     

     




Nikita’s Heavy Cavalry: Die Another Day

BattleMech forces (The Heavy Cav)
Command Lance (Mustang):
Thunderbolt - Major Justin Radcliffe [V] / whistler
Hunchback - Sgt Major Carlos Monkfish [V] / GM
Archer - Sergeant Monica Donnelson [R] / Captain Vlad
Battlemaster - Sergeant Vincent Sicorsky [R] / NPC

Battle Lance (Viper):
Grand Dragon - Captain Ken Takeda [V] / Warclaw
Wolverine - Staff Sergeant Valentin Davideko [V] / GreyJaeger
Warhammer - Sergeant Lissette Kim [R] / NPC
Cronus - Sergeant Aaron Erickson [R] / NPC

Strike Lance (Firefly):
Wolverine - Lieutennant Guy "G" Vicelli [V] / Daryk
Gladiator - Staff Sergeant James Horvath [V] / GM
Griffin - Sergeant Eli Voss [R] / NPC
Phoenix Hawk - Sergeant Kate Parks [R] / NPC


Vehicular forces (The Armored Cav)
Fast-Attack Lance (Blitz):
Drillson - Lt Commander Tan Hong Yu [V] / Black Panzer (1 man crew)
Drillson - Staff Sergeant Grayson Pakes [V] / NPC
Drillson - Staff Sergeant George Wildman [V] / NPC
Drillson - Sergeant Wyatt Vines [R] / NPC

Recon Lance (Slider):
Pegasus - Staff Sergeant Thomas Murphy [V] / GM (3 man crew)
Pegasus - Sergeant Normandue Christie [V] / NPC
Saracen - Sergeant Andreas von Breunig [R] / NPC (3 man crew)
Saracen - Sergeant Wyatt Vines [R] / NPC

Assault Lance (Crusher):
Demolisher - Lieutennant Mo Franks [V] / GM (6 man crew)
Demolisher - Staff Sergeant Rebecca Wampole [V] / NPC
Demolisher - Sergeant Beth Varisco[V] / NPC
Demolisher - Sergeant Gloria Bishop[R] / NPC

Airborne Forces (The Air Cav)
Aero lance (Angel):
Chippewa - Lieutennant Minori "Spitfire" Kushieda [V] / GM
Chippewa - Sergeant Taiga "Palmtop Tiger" Aisaka [V] / GM

Airborne Transport / Bomb Group (Downpour):
Torrent Heavy Bomber - Staff Sergeant Greg Albin [R] / NPC (10 man crew)
Torrent Heavy Bomber- Staff Sergeant Miles O'Leary [R] / NPC (10 man crew)

VTOL Lance (Hog):
Warrior - Staff Sergeant Mira Calliston [V] / NPC (2 man crew)
Warrior - Sergeant Granville Montage / NPC
Warrior - Sergeant Alvina Karla / NPC
Warrior - Sergeant Yale Mustapha / NPC

Infantry forces (The Mechanized Cav)
Infantry Division (Stonewall):
Heavy Mechanized Infantry (Stonewall 1-1) - Lieutenant Ron Buggerman [V] / GM
Heavy Mechanized Infantry (Stonewall 1-2) - Sergeant Kathy Parks [V] / NPC
Heavy Mechanized Infantry (Stonewall 1-3) - Sergeant Johnson Higgins [R] / NPC
Heavy Mechanized Infantry (Stonewall 1-4) - Sergeant Nils Varnana [R] / NPC
Jump Infantry (Stonewall 2-1) - Staff Sergeant Karl Lopiz [R] / GM
Jump Infantry (Stonewall 2-2) - Sergeant Jack Foster [R] / NPC

Rank Structure
248 combat personnel
40 techs / quartermaster personnel

Combat Personnel:
Private / PFC - infantry and vehicle crew only.  basic infantryman and crewmen ranks.
Corporal - infantry and vehicle crew only.  infantry squad leaders.
Sergeant - infantry platoon leaders and vehicle crew commanders.  basic MechWarrior rank.
Staff Sergeant - senior conventional leaders and experienced MechWarriors.
SGT Major - senior enlisted MechWarrior.
Lieutennant - lance / company leaders
Lt Commander - second officer / vehicle company commander [Tan Hong Yu / BlackPanzer]
Captain - executive officer / mech company commander [Ken Takeda / Warclaw]
Major - commanding officer / battalion commander [Justin Radcliffe / whistler]

Support Personnel:
Technician - regular mech / vehicles / aero tech. (generally one tech assigned to each vehicle.  may be selected by players)
Senior Technician - technician detail leader. (senior techs are assigned to lance leaders.)
Master Technician - lead technician. [Paul Ryan]
Captain Technician - unit quartermaster and chief requisition officer. [Jillian Albin]

Personel Overview:







« Last Edit: 13 November 2011, 23:59:04 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

whistler

  • Warrant Officer
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  • Posts: 724
  • we out-maneuver most fortifications
Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #1 on: 12 November 2011, 19:42:46 »
Player Characters:


Name: Justin Radcliffe
   Played By: whistler

Age: 35
Place of birth: New Dallas, Loxley, Lyran Commonwealth
Languages: English, German, moderate Japanese
Family:
- Mother: Kaiko Radcliffe
- Father: Major Kevin Radcliffe (Chief of Logistics and Maintenance, Storm's Metal Thunder)
- Brother: Logan Radcliffe (Kommandant, Sixth Lyran Guard 2nd mech battalion)
- Cousin: Ethan Radcliffe (Captain, Gray Death Legion Infantry)
Height: 6'4
Weight: 200lbs

Physical description:
Tall and lean, Major Radcliffe can be an imposing figure.  His Lyran-style officer's training has taught him to exploit his height and use personal space to subconsciously put
others in their place, though his warm personally is generally enough to win people over.  His most notable physical feature is a vertical scar covering his left eye, though
he otherwise considers himself unremarkable.  He is just handsome enough to make a favorable impression on those around him, but not enough to be threatening.

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
During the Combine raid on Hesperus II an autocannon round struck then-Hauptmann Radcliffe's cockpit, showering him with with shrapnel.  One large piece went right through the
visor of his neurohelmet, and would have taken his eye had it not been stopped by the orbital bones of his eye socket.  His eye sustained minor damage, though his vision has
not been affected.  His right cornea has since turned a light grey, though doctors cannot explain why.

Justin meticulously maintains several family artifacts, the most precious of which is his Thunderbolt.  The mech has been upgraded countless times over the centuries,
including to 'Royal refit' specifications in the 2700s.  While the mech's frame, armor, and weapons have been replaced countless times, the mech's cockpit has remained intact
and in full working order.  A set of waldo units are hard-wired into the cockpit, and give Justin incredible dexterity and precision during physical attacks.  According to his
father, the waldos are the reason for the family's reputation for proficiency in close combat.

Something of a family secret, the mech is equipped with an extremely advanced version of the standard BattleMech AI.  Justin has opted to keep the voice command system active,
and “Grace” (his AI's monicker) has become a kind copilot in combat.  While the system retains hundreds of years of experience and battle ROMs, the system does not give him
any kind of tangible advantage in battle.

- Lyran neurohelmet
- Vintage MechWarrior Combat Suit.  Proudly bears the unit patches of all who have lived and died in it, including the original patch from the 11th Royal Heavy Assault
Regiment (The New Dallas Rangers).
- 1911 frame pistol, also a family treasure.  Almost certainly a replica produced in the 2700s.
- Personally owned Thunderbolt-5S.  Rebuilt after near-total destruction on Tanguray.

Current Rank and Position:
Major, Commanding Officer of Nikita's Heavy Cavalry mercenary unit.

Pilots:
Thunderbolt-5S

Education:
Sanglamore of Skye.  (One of the first graduating classes utilizing NAIS 'advisers' and professors.)

Notable Skills:
- Officer's Training / Protocol
- Reputation: Loxley +1 /  LCAF -2
- Tech Empathy

Previous Military Experience (number of years):
House Steiner / 14+

Personal History:
Born to Kevin and Kaiko Radcliffe (natives of Loxley and New Kyoto, respectively) in 3001, Justin enjoyed a privileged upbringing.  He wanted to follow in footsteps of his
father and grandfather when he was child, and studied diligently throughout his school years.  He showed remarkable aptitude for BattleMech operation at a young age, and was
piloting the family mechs while his friends were driving hovercars.  He attended a private military prep school instead of high-school, and between his grades and family name
managed to secure a spot at the prestigious Sanglamore Academy on Skye.  He did well at the academy, graduating in the top 20% of his class.  However, he and his fellow
graduates were somewhat controversial.  Dubbed the “The New Order” by a skeptical Lyran High Command, the cadets had been the first to graduate from a revamped program
following Operation Thor. Trained in maneuver warfare and combined-arms tactics, many Lyran hardliners saw the new curriculum as an attempted takeover by the Davion military
and decried the use of “Davion Tactics” at every opportunity.  Despite the hardships, Justin remained a staunch supporter of the Federated Commonwealth and it's tactical
doctrine. 

After several years of lance command and pirate hunting in the 15th Arcturan Guards, Justin was transferred to the unit his family was known for serving, the 6th Lyran Guard. 
He was promoted to Hauptmann and given command of a company, and quickly adjusted to garrison duty on the vital world of Hesperus II.  However, as happy as Justin was with his
career, things were about to take a turn for the worst.  While on patrol with his company, Radcliffe received an emergency transmission from the commander of his sector.  A
vessel masquerading as a merchant DropShip had slipped through orbital defenses and was radically changing course towards his position.  Since the Kommondant had been fooled
by the hostile's approach, he and his fighters would not be able to intercept the DropShip.  It was up to Justin and his men to defend the Defiance Vehicle Production lines,
without support.

As it turned out, the Kommondant was even more incompetent than Radcliffe had thought.  There were not one, but three DropShips bearing down on him.  They had been
flying in tight formation to confused ground-based LIDAR.  In all likelihood he was about to be seriously outnumbered.  As the enemy mechs came, now identified as belonging to
House Kurita, Justin worked out a plan with his men.  They would stall the enemy for as long as possible, meeting the Kuritan mechs as far out as possible.  They would trade
distance for time, making the Kuritans pay for every inch while the promised support was on it's way.  Unfortunately, there was no relief force.  Even as Radcliffe and his men
sold themselves dearly, outnumbered three to one, the Kommondant refused to act.  As it turned out, he had realized that nothing he could do now would keep Defiance Industries
from sustaining serious damage, and in an effort to distance himself from his own mistake he laid everything on Radcliffe's shoulders.  He cut comms and hoped that the
Kuritans would kill the only man who could kill his career.

By the time the Combine troops were in range of the Defiance line, Justin's command had been reduced to a single lance.  Despite the fact that he was bleeding out inside his
cockpit, Radcliffe held on.  By this point the Kuritans had lost almost all taste for battle, and once they got several long-range shots off at the production lines they
retreated to their DropShips while AeroSpace fighters made a pass at Justin's battered command.   Lyran AeroSpace forces arrived thirty minutes later to harass the loading
Kuritan DropShips, but they managed to escape the system.

After recuperating, Justin was sent to Donegal for trial by court martial.  He was accused of gross negligence and dereliction of duty.  The Kommondant's report claimed that
Justin's “Davion tactics” were to blame for the damage to the factory lines, and that his AeroSpace forces were responsible for driving off the Combine mechs and saving
Justin's life.  Though eventually exonerated of all charges, the stigma of the trail cloaked Justin.  Apon learning he was to be transferred to the Loxley Militia, Justin
resigned with an honorable discharge.  He was so enraged by the Kommondant's actions, the High Command's attitude, and the deaths of his men that he seriously considered
hanging up his neurohelmet for good.  He decided to take a vacation on his way home, and took a long detour to Solaris VII.  Though he had truly had no plans to compete in the
games, before he knew it he found himself venting his anger in the amateur circuit.  Before long he was picked up by a stable and was literally tearing his way through the
heavy circuit when he was contacted by a ComStar recruiter.  A close friend of the Order was in desperate need of a MechWarrior who could serve as a scout, strategic
commander, and body guard.  Still feeling lost, Justin accepted the job and soon found himself in the employ of Princess Nikita Pavlov and on his way to a middle-of-nowhere
planet called Tanguray.





Name:  Takeda Kenjiro, "Ken"
   Played By: Warclaw

Age: 38
Place of birth:  Agematsu, Galedon Military District, Draconis Combine
Languages:  Japanese, English, Lyran Dialect High German, Swedenese, broken Hindi Patois
Family:
- Mother:  Takeda Michiko
- Father:   Takeda Satoshi
Height: 5' 9"
Weight:  171 lbs

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
- Very high quality personal gear. 
- Body armor styled as Ancient Samurai Armor.
- Heirloom Katana + Wakizashi
- Vibro-Katana
- Personally Owned DRG-1G Grand Dragon

Current Rank and Position
Tai-i (Captain).  XO of the Heavy Cavalry.  Personal Retainer to House Pavlov, Princess Nikita's personal representative

Pilots
DRG-1G Grand Dragon

Education
Sun Zhang Military Academy

Notable Skills:
- Expert Swordsman, (Includes study of Iaido, “Quickdraw”)
- Artist (Airbrush)
- Martial Artist (Aikido + Karate)
- Poor Pistol Shot

Previous Military Experience (number of years):
House Kurita / 18+

Personal History:
Raised from birth as a Samurai, Takeda Kenjiro's life has always been one of duty, honor, and a strict code of conduct.

After an early entrance to a preparatory school, followed by the Sun Zhang Martial Academy, young Kenjiro's career appeared to be well laid out ahead of him.  Service to the
Dragon, followed by taking up his family's traditional retainer status to the Lord of Agematsu, and Governance of one of the planetary districts, just as his father and his
Grandfather had done before him.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Political enemies of the Lord of Agematsu chose to strike at the man through his retainers, framing Kenjiro's father for treasonous activities and financial improprieties,
while simultaneously arranging for Satoshi and Michiko's deaths in an unfortunate ground car “Accident”, thereby preventing them from effectively defending themselves, and
tainting their Lord with their perceived shame.

Also tainted by the scandal,  and unable to offer any proof of his parent's innocence, Kenjiro was summarily dismissed from the DCMS and declared Ronin.

With his name and family reputation in tatters, Kenjiro knew he would have no chance of finding a new Lord-Patron, and so committed himself to the path of the Ronin.

Three years later, he finds himself forced to become a mercenary in order to survive, but still he clings to his Samurai roots.  In those years he has been able to discover
the identity of some of the plotters who cost him his family.  Someday, he hopes to discover the rest.  On that day, there will be a reckoning.




NameTan Hong Yu
   Played By: blackpanzer

Age: 24
Place of birth: New Earth
Languages: English, Mandarin and assorted other Chinese dialects.
Family:
- Mother: Sim Siang Fern (Technician, 12th Star Guards.  Deceased.)
- Father:  Tan Xing Li (Technician, 12th Star Guards.  Deceased.)
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 143 lbs

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
- Ambidextrous.
- Special neurohelmet modified for custom vehicular interface

Current Rank and Position:
Lt Commander, Second Officer in Nikita's Heavy Cavalry, commander of Armored Cav tank company.

Pilots:
Drillson hover tank

Education:
Born, bred and trained in the 12th Star Guards before being kicked out of the unit for the engagement of overwhelming enemy forces that cost the life of his crew.

Notable Skills:
- Extreem reflexes.
- Expert mechanic and vehicle technician.

Previous Military Experience (number of years):
2-3 years as technician with the 12th Star Guards, another 3 years at least as a combat tanker.

Personal History:
Born into the 12th Star Guards to parents who had been lifelong technicians, Hong Yu had known only life as a mercenary. Starting off under the tutelage of his parents, he was
trained and tested as a vehicular technician by the age of 15. However, his fetish for hovertanks and his natural ability to manoeuvre them had many Star Guards tankers
requesting for his induction into their ranks as a combat crew. Within 3 years, Hong Yu rose from driver to vehicle commander, to eventually commanding his own lance. However,
his reckless streak resulted in the death of his crew when he and his lance fought against an overwhelming number of enemy forces when they could have used their speed to
disengage in the last combat campaign he clocked with the 12th Star Guards.

Hong Yu was exiled from the Guards, and settled down under the care of another retired former 12th Stars Guards technician on Tanguray.  Recruited to provide additional tech
support for the Heavy Cav, Hong Yu was offered the chance once again to take control of a combat hover tank, and has never looked back since.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2011, 16:05:00 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

whistler

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 724
  • we out-maneuver most fortifications
Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #2 on: 12 November 2011, 19:48:24 »

Name:  Guy "G" Vicelli
   Played By: Daryk

Age: 29
Place of birth: Bernardo, Free Worlds League
Languages:  English, Italian, Japanese
Family:
- Mother: Lucia Vicelli
- Father:  Henry Vicelli
Henry "Boom Boom" Vicelli was a dispossesed mechwarrior in 3014, having been blown out of his Rifleman by an ammunition explosion.  When Anton Marik offered 'mechs for loyalty, Henry and many others from Bernardo leapt at the chance.  Fighting as part of Anton's Third Marik Militia, Henry blazed a trail through the Zion province, taking full advantage of the chaos to loot as much as possible.  These ill-gotten gains served him well when Janos Marik's forces seized Bernardo the following year.  Henry was able to smuggle his family and 'mech off world independent of his doomed unit's retreat and eventual destruction on Park Place.  The following three years were spent escaping the Free Worlds League.  When Henry and his family finally surfaced on Galatea in 3018, he quickly found employment with a small mercenary unit willing to overlook his unsavory past.  During this time, Henry bought his son's way into the infamous Blackjack School of Combat, while his wife worked her way into the unit's finance section.  By the time his son was able to join the unit in 3028, it had replaced the Light Davion Guards RCT on Groveld III on the border with the Draconis Combine.  While Guy was en route to Groveld, a raid on Delacruz was slapped together in an effort to ease the pressure elsewhere on the border.  The raid was a complete disaster, and Henry took a Kuritan PPC to the cockpit.  His Wolverine was repaired in time for Guy to take his father's place, but the Kuritan response to the raid ultimately resulted in the loss of Groveld III and the destruction of the unit.  Through her access to the unit's books, Guy and his mother actually benefited from the unit's dissolution and began another multi-year journey away from the defeat, starting with the final disposition of the unit's remnants in 3031 after a lengthy court battle and ending on Solaris in early 3037.
Height: 183 cm (6')
Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
Guy is unremarkable physically, but his father gained notoreity during Anton's Revolt, and some mercenaries look askance at his seemingly coming through the destruction of his
last unit unscathed.  His father's legacies are his Wolverine (still wanted back by the family Anton seized it from, now ruling Bernardo) and his FWL-
- Personally owned Wolverine-6M
- Blazer Rifle.

Current Rank and Position:
Lieutenant, leader of Firefly lance

Pilots
Wolverine-6M

Education:  Blackjack School of Combat, class of '28.

Notable Skills:
- Perception
- Career / Soldier
- Interest / Gambling

Guy grew up speaking English and Italian, and picked up Japanese during his last tour fighting the Combine on Groveld III.  Having spent most of his formative years on the run, he possesses a healthy paranoia that allows him to notice when things are amiss.  He's also something of a barracks lawyer and gambler.  The hard fighting on Groveld III formed him into a competent mechwarrior.

Previous Military Experience (number of years):
Independent / 7

Personal History:
Guy made a number of good friends while at Blackjack, who have since scattered to the winds.  His mother parted ways with Guy on Solaris, continuing her "grand tour" on toward Tharkad, having seen Atreus as a young girl and New Avalon en route to Solaris.  While his mother insisted they had enough money to continue on together, Guy caught a glimpse of the true state of accounts and realized his mother intended to sell the 'mech his father had sacrificed so much to gain and maintain over the years.  So he spun her a story about needing to "saddle up" again.  She probably saw through it, but let it pass.  Without the cost of shipping a 'mech, the money she'd accumulated would last for years.  Guy was able to hire on with the Heavy Cav after making a favorable first impression.  The fact he was bringing his own 'mech didn't hurt either.



Name: Valentin Ilya Davideko
   Played By: GreyJaeger

Age: 29
Place of birth: Aldebaran, Tikonov Commonality, Capellan Confederation; Raised on Warlock, St. Ives Commonality
Languages: Russian (M), Mandarin(F), English(M) 
Family:
- Mother: Illyana (Mikhalyvo) Davideko
- Father:  Gregori Davideko
- Siblings: Dmitri (1st), Oxana (3rd)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 200 lbs

Physical description:
Valentin is handsome by most standards, having a strong jaw, high cheekbones and and deep set brown eyes, matching his dark brown hair. He does have a faint scar above his left eye, as well as a disjointed nose, courtesy of his time spent as an amateur boxer. As he does like to spend as much time out-doors as possible, his complexion tends towards tanned. Not a sedentary man, Valentin tends to spend as much time being active; whether this means being in the gym, assigned tasks, or even just "busy work." Valentin is extremely fit, and works very hard at maintaining his health. It would not be unfair to call him a health nut. 

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
- Attractive  (When not on duty, or working out, Valentin tends to dress to the occasion. He is equally as comfortable wearing shorts and t-shirts, as he is wearing a suit and
tie.)

Current Rank and Position:
Staff Sergeant, Viper lance

Pilots:
Wolverine WVR-6M

Education:
Capella War College

Notable Skills:
- Training: Medic
- Training: Survival
- Hand to Hand combat expert
- Extreme physical fitness

Valentin carried certifications for Physical Therapist and Physical Trainer, and filled that role within his company in the Lancers. He was at one point a Golden Gloves Boxing champion as a teen, and had the opportunity of Olympic-level competition. He works on maintaining his proficiency, as well as studying Goju Ryu Karate and Jiu Jitsu. Valentin has extensive knowledge of various sports, and is an avid outdoors-man.

Previous Military Experience (number of years):
6.  Valentin has seen a moderate amount of combat, mainly in the avenue of defending against raids, though he has seen some offensive experience in the form of raiding.

Personal History:
Valentin was born in the Tikonov Commonality, but moved to Warlock in the St. Ives Commonality when he was seven. His father being a BattleMech engineer, while his mother was an analyst for the Maskirovka, predicated a transfer for both to work on a new project, and protect it. With both parents being Citizens of the Confederation, they instilled that same desire in Valentin, which he used as soon as opportunity presented itself. Being a gifted athlete from a young age, and with good looks, he became a poster child for various Capellan youth programs after winning several amateur contests. He also starred in short films made by the Social Education and Military Ministries. Throughout the St. Ives Commonality, and even reaching into neighboring provinces, both friend and foe, Valentin's face could be seen on posters and fliers, as well in commercials and movies extolling Capellan virtues.

By way as a reward for his work, Valentin was offered a position at the Capella War College. Although the curriculum was tough, Valentin threw himself into it with vigor.  Although his fitness suffered due to lack of time for physical training, his mental fitness grew sharper. With the outbreak of the Fourth Succession War, Valentin awaited his chance to face the Davion war machine. Even though he knew the war was going very badly for the Confederation, he kept up the belief that the Sun's military could be stopped. That is, until the loss of Tikonov. If the Davions could capture Tikonov, a provincial capital, could they be stopped? But Valentin knew such thoughts could be dangerous, so he kept them to himself. Graduating in June of 3029 near the top of his class, Valentin awaited a posting, which he received in August in the Blackwind Lancers. Valentin had been with his unit for a little over two months after arriving in October before Duchess Candace Liao seceded from the Confederation and forming the St. Ives Compact. The war also cost Valentin in another matter. Valentin had plans to become an actor after the war. He had contacts within the Capellan entertainment industry from his youth. His plans were completely scuttled by the St. Ives situation. Since he stayed with the Compact, their would be nothing from the Capellans, and since he starred in Capellan propaganda, no one in the Compact, or her allies wanted to talk to him.  Torn between his divided loyalties, Valentin chose to stay with the Lancers, serving two tours before setting out on his own.




Name: Monica Donnelson
   Played By: Captain Vlad


[FILE UPDATED 5 JUNE 3036.  ORIGINAL RECORDS LOST TO DESTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT CENTER, 3036.  RECORD RE-ENTERED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 22587-J, SOCIAL
SECURITY REVIEW INITIATIVE.  AUTHROIZED BY BARONESS NIKITA.
]

Age: 23
Place of birth: [REDACTED]
Languages:  English, Spanish.
Family:
- Mother:  Erica Donnelson (formerly Hernandez).  Paralegal worker for a law firm on Tanguray.
- Father:   Master Sgt. T.J. Donnelson, Tanguray March Militia.  Deceased due to unexpected illness in 3031.
- Sister:  Kelly Donnelson (13)
- Brother: Brian Donnelson (16)
Height:  5'9
Weight:  155 lbs.

Physical description
Monica is a lean, almost lanky woman with reddish brown hair.  She's not without some feminine curves, and these aspects of her figure are probably more substantial after months on a DropShip with limited room to exercise.  When in 'fighting trim', she tends to boast some visible, though not bulky muscle, much like a track runner who doesn't forget to do some weight training.  Her skin tone is medium, with a tendency to tan without burning too much, thanks to some genes from her mother.  Eyes are deep brown, another trait from her mother.  She has a tendency to slouch, though whether that's just her posture or the result of a little alienation is currently unknown to her squad mates.  Usually wears her hair, which reaches to just below her shoulders, in a pony tail, but is noticeable fastidious about keeping it brushed.

She tends to dress in tank tops or T-shirts and fatigue pants when not in uniform, though this is partially because she recovered few of her personal effects following the conflict on Tanguray.  She did somehow retain her Mechwarrior's flight jacket, which she is also fond of.  The patches of her former unit have been removed, though she retains the AFFC Sunburst and more generic insignia.

Unique physical attributes and personal gear:
- Attractive

Has the tattoo of some sort of colorful, blooming vine around her left wrist and similar ones on her lower back and right ankle. 

As few of her personal effects were recovered after her defection in the previous campaign, she has few personal belongings, but she has held on to her sidearm, a 10mm Tanguary-produced copy of a popular Lyran sidearm that served as standard issue in a local militia unit.  The weapon belonged to her father, and was given to her prior to her leaving for basic training.

Current Rank and Position
Mechwarrior Sergeant, Mustang lance.

Pilots:
ARC-2S Archer.  The 'Mech was assigned to her when she transferred to the Heavy Cav, and after repairs from that campaign has been repainted in NHC colors.  The mech bears no particular adornments.

Education
Donnelson is a high-school graduate.  She has some college education, having attended a Tanguary university part-time following her enlistment into the local militia at the age of 17.  She had not selected a major, dabbling in several elective courses to hopefully discover a field of interest.  She took some technical courses in the hopes that it would add to her ability to get promoted in the militia, where she served on the crew of an LRM Carrier.  It was her technical knowledge, physical condition and experience with heavy weapon systems that got her a coveted Mechwarrior training billet.  She has enough credits to qualify for an associate's degree, had she focused on any one field, but as it is, her education is a bit 'scattered'.

Notable Skills:
- Hawkeye
- Extreme physical fitness

Donnelson has a significantly better than average ability to judge ranges, distances, windage, velocities, etc. that has served her very well as a vehicle crewman, Mechwarrior and basketball player.  She seems to have an instinctive knack for getting relatively slow moving objects to intersect with other objects and can use this ability with almost any weapon that fits this category....be it a bow and arrow or an LRM launcher.

This does not, of course, lend her the ability to use any projectile weapon at expert level;  it simply means that she picks up such skills more easily when it comes to the 'making the bullet/missle/rock hit the target part, and she can get all kinds of free prizes at those 'toss the ball in the hole' games at a local fair.  This ability, combined with her experience and accuracy with LRM launchers are why she landed a spot driving an Archer in her old unit, though her good looks may have also had something to
do with that, given the unpleasant experiences that followed.

She has also trained sufficiently with handguns to be close to an expert shot with one.  She does not, oddly, have similar skills with rifles as she has difficulty keeping shoulder arms stable, something her weapons trainers have tried in vain to correct.  She is, therefore, only an average shot with an assault rifle or similar weapon.  She is aware of this weakness and plans to replace the small game rifle traditionally bundled with her issued survival gear with a shotgun at the earliest opportunity.

She is an avid runner and played basketball in high school and had the talent for college-level sports, though she did not pursue that avenue.  She's more of a long-runner than a sprinter, which has frustrated at least one drill sergeant to no end.  Donnelson has decent technical skills; though she would need additional training to reach the level of a full-time Battlemech technician, she is capable of performing minor or moderate repair tasks without assistance.

Her pistol marksmanship is due to target shooting being a bonding activity between her, her father, and her siblings.  For her same reason, she's also a decent dirt-bike/ATV rider.

Previous Military Experience (number of years): 
Member of the Tanguary People's Miltia for four years where she served as a driver, then gunner, on an LRM carrier.  Promoted to Sgt. due to some college credits, seniority, etc, before being inducted into the unit that later went rogue.  Was selected for in-house Mechwarrior training and instructed by unit personnel.  Assigned to her own Battlemech after approximately one year of training.

Personal History:
Monica spent most of her pre-adult life living a downright normal existence on Tanguary, attending grade school, then high school, and generally assuming that she'd spend the rest of her life on the planet, probably in a decent, if boring job that let her afford a decent house and some fun toys like the dirt bikes she, her father, and her two siblings regularly went roaring through the mountains on, much to her mother's horror.

Her father died before she left high school, however, and though provided a veteran's scholarship by the militia she spent much of her late teens trying to save up enough money to get the education she'd need for a decent but boring job.  Joining the militia herself was a logical move that got her what she was after, but she ended up being thrown a curve when she, almost on a whim, took a Mechwarrior aptitude test and was accepted for an in-unit apprentice training program for the AFFC Battlemech regiment that was forming on the planet.

She ended up being assigned to an Archer, and had a few weeks of dreaming of an exciting career as a Mechwarrior and the potential for pricey salvage and other rewards that could possibly lead to. Such dreams went down the toilet when the unit went rogue, killed more people than she could really wrap her head around (though she was not directly involved in that) and otherwise torpedoed her hopes of an exciting soldiering career.

As Monica is not the type of person to indulge in such activity, she experienced a great deal of friction with other members of the unit, and may only still be alive because she's...fairly hot.  Her CO had made his interest in her very clear right from the start, and his never-subtle advances grew into borderline assault as the unit became more and more a lawless group of pirates.  She had actually considered killing him and running off, and even made a couple of early-stage plans before she realized there was nowhere to run.  Her level of physical fitness and her eagerly demonstrated marksmanship (she made sure and never went without her sidearm and that everyone knew how precise she could be with it) kept his pushiness from becoming physical, however.

By the time the NHC rolled into town, she was in a state of near-depression due to her situation, and her being shot down in battle versus the Mercenaries (which almost resulted in her death) almost seemed like a welcome fate.  She was saved by surprising actions on the part of Major Radcliffe, however, and woke up in a hospital bed where she eagerly relayed anything and everything she could about her former unit...partially out of the idea that it was the right thing to do, partially out of the earnest hope that a lot of her former companions would die horribly.  She went along with the NHC during the final scrap, and though she ended up bailing out of her 'Mech, the fight did help her attain some closure and assuage some guilt.


She was offered a chance to join up with the unit by Major Radcliffe after the battle, which she accepted due to her kind treatment at the hands of the unit and the unwillingness to stay on a planet that had inspired a lot of bad memories.  She's spent the last six months trying to get to know her fellow cavalrymen, some of whom remain standoffish due to the nature of their first meeting.

[Sully, you gotta scrub these files more carefully.  This file needs to not only look authentic, but it needs to read like she's actually a fellow native.  These files could end up going to the MRBC or any number of other places, and god only knows what would happen if they found her out.  If not for her sake, think of it as a favor for Captain Takeda.  These are people's lives we're dealing with here, and "Monica Donnelson" is one of the good ones.  Try to remember that.  - GL]
« Last Edit: 13 November 2011, 00:36:25 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #3 on: 12 November 2011, 22:48:30 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadiar Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037
   

   Standing aboard the bridge of the DropShip Wayward Son, Major Justin Radcliffe felt out of place.  Procedures that he didn’t fully understand were being carried out by a crew he was incapable of leading, all in an environment that was fundamentally different from what he was used to.  Still, awkward as he felt, Justin was glad he had accepted the Captain’s invitation to witness their last jump.  He watched as the crew went about their business, totally focused on their own assignments, but kept an eye on the primary bridge monitor.
   Standing in the center of the Wayward Son’s bridge was Captain Edward Churchill, a man Justin had come to admire and respect during the trip.  Though only a couple years older than the Major, Churchill seemed to have the experience and knowledge of a man three times his age.  The Heavy Cav’s entire command staff had taken to eating dinner together during the trip, and during those late ‘night’ conversations Edward always stole the show with his rapier wit and seemingly boundless intelligence.  Now, in his element, however, he was a different man.  Like his crew, he was completely focused on his duty.  His expression only softened when the captain of the Wanderer, his wife Melanie, reported her DropShip’s readiness over the comm.
   “Major, I would appreciate it if you’d have a seat and buckle in.” Churchill stated aloud while working on a computer console.
   Somewhat surprised, Justin looked around the bridge for a seat but couldn’t find one.  Before he could ask the Captain, the veteran spacer was thumbing over his shoulder at the captain’s chair.
   “Edward, I can’t sit there.  That’d be like letting someone else pilot my mech.”
   The Captain turned and smiled.  “It’s not like it makes you the captain... it’s just a chair, Justin.”
   Without another word of protest, Radcliffe stomped over with his magnetic boots and took a seat.  Just as he was buckling himself in, Captain Churchill gave the JumpShip the all clear.  In exactly 61 seconds, the Heavy Cav would arrive in their final destination: the Loxley system.
   “Now, Major, if you’d be so kind as to punch that large red button near your right pinky...”  Naturally Justin looked down, and his digit was indeed resting on a large rectangular button.  Not wanting to question the ship’s master, depressed the button.  The sound of the ship’s jump alarm nearly scared Justin to death.  A knot began to form in his stomach as he watched the countdown on the main display.  It wasn’t nervousness or fear of the jump, but excitement.  After six long months in space he was leading his unit down to the surface of his homeworld.  It was an indescribable feeling, one that he thought he’d never experience after his departure from the LCAF.
   As the timer reached zero, everyone on the ship began to feel an indescribable pull.  It felt to Justin like the universe itself was reaching inside him and grasping his soul, then throwing it 30 light years.  As reality reformed and the vertigo cleared, Captain Churchill ordered his men into action.  The Wayward Son and the Wanderer broke free from the JumpShip and began their burn towards Loxley, a trip that would take several days.  Slowly gravity began to return as the ship’s speed increased, and when the gravity stabilized Justin released his five-point restraint and stood.
   “Excellent work, Captain,” he said, extending a hand to Churchill.  “I quite enjoyed making your acquaintance on the journey.”
   “Likewise, Major.  After we drop you off we’re going to be doing a few cargo runs, but we’ll be back in a couple weeks to start taking on local jobs.  It’s unfortunate, but the only way to cover our operating costs.”
   “True, but they’re just jobs.  Leaving to run cargo for a bit doesn’t mean you’re no longer a Cavalier, right?”
   Edward gave Justin a broad smile.  “Yes indeed.  Now, get outta' here.  Be sure your land-lovers are ready to get off my ship the moment we land.  We’ve got our own work to do up here.”
   With a laugh Justin called the service lift and descended down into the depths of the old Fortress-class DropShip.  The lift unexpectidly stopped on C-Deck; crew quarters.  When the doors opened Justin was surprised to see Lieutenant Minori Kushieda and Sergeant Taiga Aisaka, his AeroSpace jocks, waiting to board the lift.  They were obviously more surprised to see him, however, and jumped back like kids who’s hands had been caught in a cookie jar.  When Justin noticed that they were wearing their flight gear he understood why.  He remained in the lift, crossing his arms over his chest.
   “I don’t seem to recall ordering a CAP, Spitfire.” Justin said evenly, waiting to hear what the pair was up to. 
   “Well, ah, we were just trying to be…” Lt. Kushieda started, her voice light and almost playful.
   “Proactive.” Sgt. Aisaka finished, he tone borderline insolent.  All Justin could do was shake his head and try not to laugh.
   Of all the new warriors in the unit, Minori and Aisaka were by far the most colorful, and popular.  He had to admit that the two were a fascinating pair.  Though they claimed to be sisters, the young women were polar opposites in almost every way.  Minori Kushieda, the older sister, was a tall Caucasian red-head brimming with energy.  She was sweet, kind, and athletic, and her “Spitfire” callsign suited her perfectly.  Taiga Aisaka, on the other hand, was as petite as she was fiery, with more traditional Asian features and long brown hair.  The men had taken to calling her “The Palm-Top Tiger”, a reference not only to her name but also her ferocious attitude.   She was snappy, sarcastic, and aggressive, but Minori kept her in line.  Where Minori got along with everyone, Aisaka was guarded and only showed her (considerable) affection for Minori.  The male Cavaliers (and a few female as well) stumbled all over themselves around both women, and the entire unit was seemingly divided into two groups: Minori fans and Aisaka fans. 
   However, their prowess in combat made up for any personnel idiosyncrasies.  They had come from the DCMS and were remarkably skilled for their age, but their Dispossessed status had kept any unit from hiring them.  Justin had picked them up on a favorable long-term contract, and he was extremely happy to have AeroSpace support for his unit.  He knew that some of the men joked about his hiring two exceptionally attractive young women, but he was willing to bear the jokes if it got skilled pilots in the Chippewas.
   “Loxley is a Lyran core-world, only a jump from Coventry.  I think we’ll be okay.” Justin replied, cocking his head to the side.
   “Well if that’s the case, then why are we here in the first place?” Taiga asked, smirking at her CO.  Minori quickly nudged her with her hip, knocking the tiny pilot off balance slightly.
   “Sir, we just want to make a grand entrance into the system.  Shake the dust off our wings, ya’know?” Minori said sweetly, obviously eager to get back into the cockpit.
   He tried not to show it, but despite himself Radcliffe smiled and unfolded his arms, stepping to the side so the pair could get into the lift.  Both women smiled and ran into the lift, and Justin got an idea of how excited is crew was to get back to work.  Justin restarted the lift to the combat bays while Lt. Minori bounced up and down happily, rewarding Justin with a blinding smile.
   “Thanks skipper, yer’ the best!” Minori chirped, then kissed Justin on the cheek. 
   When the lift’s doors opened at the combat bay a second later, Minori skipped out happily, with most of the bay looking on.  Taiga snickered as she stepped out of the lift, the closest she ever gotten to giving Justin a smile, then followed her sister.  The Major simply stood in place, shocked, blushing, and hoping that no one was looking his way.  After rubbing his cheek he proceeded out of the lift, laughing to himself.
   Such is the mercenary life, I suppose.  No wonder all the best Lyran soldiers go into private contract work.
   As it so happened, the personnel lifts were in the central regions of the bay, where most of the unit’s tanks were parked.  It was a standard feature of most DropShips, as vehicles didn’t make use of drop shoots.  Many of the tankers were already at their machines, working to free them from half a year of lockdown.  The tank crews were able to remove the extra chains and straps on the tanks themselves, while each machine’s tech was responsible for removing thick vines of fiber-optic cables.  The cables were part of the DropShip’s simulator systems, allowing warriors to train in their actual vehicles against all the other machines on the network.  The network itself was fragile, given the state of it’s LostTech server, but it was generally stable enough for a company to train all at once.  Despite the advanced simulator systems, Justin’s first priority dirtside would be setting up a full-unit exercise, not only to knock the rust off his machines but help his unit reintegrate. 
   As he was making his way towards the Mech cubicles, Justin walked past the cubicle containing two of his Armored Cav’s Pegasus hovercraft.  He heard muffled talking on the other side of the tank but didn’t see anyone, so out of curiosity he walked around to the other side.  No one there either.  Then he noticed that the tank’s entry ramp was down, and that the voices were coming from inside the hovercraft.  Walking to the rear of the vehicle, he knocked on the hull before stepping in.  Lt. Commander Tan Hong Yu and Staff Sergeant Thomas Murphy were sitting before a bank of computer screens and consoles.
   “Gentlemen” Justin said easily, trying not to interrupt too abruptly, “how goes the unpacking?”
   “Hey, boss.” Hong Yu replied, turning his chair to face Justin.  “We really just started, but so far so good.”
   Behind him, the other man backed up, turned, and rolled his wheelchair forward.  The chair still threw Justin a bit, but Murphy had thus far proven to be an excellent addition to the unit.  His knowledge of the Pegasus' sensor technology was boosting the entire unit's effectinveness, and he also brought a unique new weapon to the Heavy Cav’s arsenal.  His hovercraft, the one the men were in now, was equipped to command two Darkstar Unmanned Arial Vehicles, UAVs that flew high over the battlefield and relayed precious information back to the hovertank.  The Son’s simulator system couldn’t handle the drones, but Justin knew that they would be major assets in real battle.
   “If anything was going to get shaken up in transit it would have been this custom gear.” Murphy explained as he rolled forward, “Obviously it’s not a factory option, so it’s not perfectly integrated into the vehicle.  Still, all the controls and relays look fully operation, and the Darkstar’s themselves are reading as ready for action.”
   After chatting for a few minutes, Justin made his was back out of the tank and continued towards the section of Mech cubicles assigned to Viper lance.  A handful of warriors and techs were milling about, so Justin decided to simply ask aloud and hope that someone could point him in the right direction.
   “Has anyone seen Captain Takeda?” Justin asked, yelling to be heard over the sounds of powered machinery and excited conversation.
   “He’s down on the E-Deck , skipper.” called Lieutenant Guy Vicelli, who was half hanging out of his Wolverine's cockpit twenty feet over Radcliffe's head.  “He’s running his ‘extended training’ with Buggerman and the leathernecks.  It's tuesday.”
   “Right.  Thanks, G.  Everything looking alright up there?”
   The young man gave the Major a wide grin.  Guy was the Heavy Cav's latest acquisition, and so far was fitting into the unit quite nicely.  He'd hired him months ago to fill a gap in the unit's Strike lance, and had finally managed to pick him up when they made their way through the Solaris system.  Justin would have been happy with the man's superlative piloting skills, but he quickly realized G's leadership potential.  It was fourtinate too, as he'd been forced to place Ethan on 'injured reserve' due to nerve damage.  While he was looking good in simulator exercises, the Major was still looking forward to seeing how he would handle the lance on the ground.   “Yes sir.  I could hear her calling to me from my bunk.” he bellowed, patting the hull of his Mech with his hand. 
   “I know what you mean.” Radcliffe mumbled.  “Grace actually did call my comm yesterday...”
   “What was that, sir?”
   Justin laughed and waved his hand in front of his face.  “Nothin' G, just talkin' to myself.”
   Two two chatted for a bit longer, and soon Radcliffe was back on his way.


   After another brief ride down the personnel lift Justin was on E-Deck, the largest deck on the ship.  E-Deck housed the infantry barracks, as well as vessel's large gymnasium and training center.  Unlike the Mechs and tanks, troopers needed firing ranges and open space to hone and maintain their skills.  Luckily Fortress-class DropShip’s training areas were well equipped, utilizing modular panels to produce an almost infinite variety of training environments.  Well, any kind of urban environment at least. 
   Sure enough, Ken and Lieutenant Ron Buggerman were working with a platoon of Cavalier infantry.  However, instead of being on the gun range the troopers were doing close combat training.  Ken had insisted that the troops be versed in CQC given the possibility of Combine attack, and as he correctly pointed out it was one of the only things they could learn aboard a DropShip.  While Ken and some of his star kendo students had their full sparing gear on, complete with bamboo swords, the Heavy Cav troops wore their combat garb and carried nightsticks.  The tonfa were small, light weight, and easy to carry, and left one hand free for grappling or using a sidearm.  The idea behind Ken’s training was to teach the men how to fend off a sword attack long enough to ready a pistol or retreat.  There was just no way to train the soldiers in true swordsmanship in such a short time, and most of them were not suited for the training anyway.  The results were quite excellent… the men had become far more confident in close quarters and had an extra, unexpected weapon to use against the enemy.
   While Ken was leading the training secession, Lt. Buggerman was off to the side with Staff Sergeant Valentin Davideko.  Despite the fact that he was wearing a set of focus gloves and sparring with the younger MechWarrior, Buggerman noticed the Major's arrival.  He stopped Davideko's flurry of punches and nodded, pointing out the reason for pausing the exercise.  While Valentin quickly removed his gloves, Buggerman waved Justin over with his still-padded hand instead of trying yell over the racket of slapping bamboo swords.
   “Hey boss.” the LT and SSG said in unison.
   “How goes it, gentlemen?”
   “Not too bad.” Valentin replied with an easy smile. 
   If Minori and Taiga were the men's favorite addition, Valentin Davideko was without a doubt ladies new favorite.  A skilled MechWarrior with TriVid-star good looks, Justin had found him in the still-turbulent St. Ives Compact.  The man was a physical specimen and a champion boxer, though having him around had definitely made Justin more conscious of his reflection in the mirror.  He had no idea how Valentin stayed so fit in microgravity, but the Major had tried to keep pace nonetheless.
   “Not bad my ass, my hands hurt like hell.” Buggerman sneered, his now-free hands fishing a cigar out of his jumpsuit.  He put the cigar in his mouth and gave Justin a grin while the CO pointed to the exercise area across the bay.
   “Ken wastes no time, does he?”
   That got a snicker out of the grizzled infantryman.  “He can be a real ball-buster, sure.  As soon as we got gravity back it was right back to the ring… he wasn’t very happy about pausing for the jump.  At least he knows what he’s talkin’ ‘bout, though.”
   “Why aren’t you in there, L.T.?  I’m sure you could smack these kids around without breaking a sweat.”
   Buggerman barked out a single laugh and gestured to the improvised ring.  “I'm a boxing guy.  Besides, you can’t teach this old devildog new tricks.  You need someone shot, though, let me know.”
   Justin sat down on the deck, beside Buggerman, and grinned.  “Ron, if I didn’t know you better I’d say you were in a good mood.”
   The Mechanized Cav commander turned his head and gave Justin a cigar-crushing smile.  “Well hell yeah I am.  I can’t wait to get off this tin can.  Between the lack gravity and the damn jumps, the only thing I’ve felt these last few months is nausea.  I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to get dirtside so badly in my entire g**d*** life.”
   Justin returned Buggerman’s smile.  He didn’t suffer from jump sickness or even have a problem with the microgravity, but he was borderline allergic to the drugs required for long-term space travel.  “I hear you.  The meds have been killing me.  But just think, in less than a week we’ll be at our new post.”
   Buggerman chewed on his cigar for a few moments, watching Ken as he used a reverse strike to knock a trooper right off his feet.  “Say, skipper, what’s this place like, anyway?  Anything fun to do down there?”  Davideko tossed Ron a bottle of water and gestured for Radcliffe to continue.
   He closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the bulkhead.  “I know everyone says this about their homeworld, but Loxley is the most beautiful planet I’ve ever been on.  Most of the planet’s cities are either in temperate or alpine regions.  Everywhere you go it’s cool and green, and since the oxygen levels are a bit higher than standard the air always seems crisp and clear.  There is some seismic activity no matter where you go, and new mountains are always being built.  If you’ve ever been to Scotland or the Colorado region of North America on Terra, you’d have an idea of what it’ll be like at our post.”
   Buggerman seemed to like what he was hearing.  “And where are we being posted?  We going to be on the beach or in major city?”
   “Preferably both, with tons of booze and women.” Valentin added with a cartoonish grin.
   Justin laughed again, and Ken took notice of his CO’s presence.  He’d ordered the men to continue the exercise, and he arrived as Justin’s laughter stopped.  “We’re going to be stationed in New Dallas, a major city at the base of the Grey Mountians.  No beaches, but there are ski resorts up in the mountains.  The city itself is the largest on the planet, and the primary concentration of Terran Hegemony refugees, like my family.  We’ll be garrisoning Fort Worth, a mini Castle Brian on the outskirts of the metroplex.  It’s basically the area I grew up in.”
   “A Castle Brian of any size is most impressive.” Ken commented, wiping his brow with a towel.  “They were not often constructed outside of the Hegemony.”
   “Loxley was a major supply point for the SDLF, during both the conquest of the Rim Worlds and the return to the Hegemony.  The castle was supposedly there to support and defend the factories and facilities that were built during the war, but the industries pulled up stakes when the SLDF left for good.  When the economic bubble popped Loxley lost a lot of it’s population.  However, before the Second Succession War refugees from New Dallas arrived and helped the world get back on it’s feet.  My ‘people’ were able to maintain the castle and get some of the smaller  factories running, and my ancestors were recruited into the LCAF.  Been loyal to House Steiner ever since, repayment for the hospitality.”
   Ken dropped to the deck, joining Justin and Ron’s discussion.  “It sounds like your family and Loxley are deeply intertwined, Major.  Am I correct in assuming that has something to do with our receiving this post?”
   “Yup.  Though really it’s the Storm family.  They led the migration from the planet of New Dallas to the city of New Dallas, which is what the renamed the capital.  Anyway, Fort Worth is it’s own self-contained city.  It has facilities for an SLDF combined-arms regiment, so we’ll have plenty of space.  We’ll have our own airstrip and a trio of DropShip landing pads, so as soon as we land we’re going to offload right onto the base.  I am assuming that Colonel Storm will be there to meet us, but I’m by no means sure.  Oh, and be warned, this may be mercs dealing with mercs, but it’s still the Lyran Commonwealth, meaning that we’ll have some fancy-pants event to attend to.  Non-negotiable.  It's just comes with the territory in these parts.”
   Ken simply nodded his understanding, while Buggerman made a sour face.  Apparently the L.T. was so distraught that he needed to light up his cigar, but Justin stopped him.  “Any who lights up on my DropShip will go to the event in a ballroom gown.  And I am not fraking kidding.”
   While Buggerman put away his matchbox with a horrified expression, Justin laughed and levered himself up onto his feet.  “Captain, most everyone is in the bay, getting their gear out of long-term lockdown.  Personally, I think it’s a little premature, but I understand.  Hell, I may as well go down there get Grace unshackled.  Wanna come?”
   “I appreciate the offer, Major,” Ken replied, dropping his towel to the deck and putting his kendo helmet back on, “but I have a lesson to continue.  However, I will not be far behind.”
   Justin started walking towards the hatch and back to the lift, slapping Buggerman on the shoulder and gaving Ken a wrist-salute.  “See you later, fellas.  If there’s anything else you want to talk about, just let me know.”
   “Sir.”
   As the doors slid closed behind him, Justin caught one last comment from the floor.  “Aww, go ahead L.T.  I'm sure a nice powder blue would be very flattering on your figure...”

      Justin rode the lift up to C-Deck, the level that housed all of the passenger quarters.  There were a few things he needed to pick up from his quarters before he went down below to take his mech out of lockdown.  About thirty feet from the lift a door opened on his right, the side of the corridor he was walking on.  He saw a blur of movement in his peripheral vision, but before he could react something plowed into his side and knocked him off balance.  He caught himself with his left hand on the opposite side of the hall, but couldn't help feeling like a complete ass.
   ”Oh my god... Major, I am so sorry!  Are you alright?”
   Justin did the only thing he could think of to hide his embarrassment; he laughed.  Standing in her doorway was a modtified Sergeant Monica Donnelson.  She was clutching a briefing bag in her right hand, and Radcliffe figured she was probably on her way to the mechbay.  “I'm fine, I'm fine.  What about you, anything broken?”
   “No, sir.  I am soooo sorry about this.  I was just on my way down to my mech and was so excited that I didn't... sorry.”
   “Don't worry.” he replied, trying to reassure her.  “Happens all the time, today especially.”  As if to prove his point, Justin could see a massive shape barreling down the hall out of the corner of his eye.
   “Make a hole people!” yelled Staff Sergeant James Horvath, who's face was being blocked by the massive box he was carrying.  It looked like some kind of loudspeaker, though Justin couldn't tell for sure.  He and Monica stepped aside, but James stopped when he saw the CO.  “Sorry about that skipper, didn't realize it was you.”
   “That's alright, Sergeant.  Heading to the bay?”
   “Yes indeed.” he replied, wearing the smile that Justin was now accustomed to see on everyone’s faces.
   “Is that a speaker?” Monica asked, examining the box more closely.
   Justin was somewhat surprised by Horvath's flat response.  “Yup.”
   The smile slowly dissolved from Monica's face as James turned his head back to the Major.  “Is that okay, skipper?”
   “Yeah, it's fine with me James, but I don't know if you'll actually be able to hear anything in the bay.  It sounds like a construction site down there.”
   “That's alright, sir... this puppy goes to 11!  See you later, sir.” 
   As James entered the lift, Justin faced Monica once again.  “Does that still happen a lot?”
   Monica looked as if she didn't want to speak her mind.  “He isn't mad at you, really.  Well, at least he shouldn't be.  Hell, you were fighting with us during the drive to the capital.”
   Radcliffe was just as surprised by her attitude as he was by Horvath's.  Monica wasn't usually one to mince words or refrain from speaking her mind, but this was clearly different.  While the vast majority of the unit had had little trouble accepting Monica into the ranks, there were still a few who couldn't seem to be won over.  After looking down the corridor, Radcliffe got an idea.
   “Let's go to the mess hall, eh?  I could really use a cup of coffee and some time off my feet right now.”  A bit of life seemed to return to Monica's face, and she followed the CO down the hall to the ship's mess hall.

   Nearly an hour after he had left, Justin returned to the now-bustling cargo bay.  Almost all of the MechWarriors were now in the bay, along with all the technical staff.  While walking towards the cubicle where his Mech was racked he passed by nearly all of the Heavy Cav’s Mechs, marveling at the gunmetal grey finish on each machine.  He also passed by recently promoted Sergeant Major Carlos Monkfish, who was using a torque wrench to undo the chain binding his Hunchback to deck.  Looking on was his daughter Pepper, who had joined rejoined her father now that he had a stable job.  While many of his new pilots had proven popular with the unit, they couldn’t quite compare to Carlos’ daughter.  She was exceptionally smart and well behaved, and her smile could charge a JumpShip.  It didn’t take long for her to become the unit’s little darling.  Every day she would visit with each and every member of the Heavy Cav, even if it was just to say hello to a crewman who’s name she couldn’t quite remember.  Whenever Pepper came around everyone set aside what they were doing, taking the opportunity to have a little sunshine injected into their otherwise tedious days in space. 
   Carlos and several other members of the unit were schooling her in their off hours.  While her father handled general studies, Justin took her though his collection of history and philosophy books, which she seemed to be quite taken with.  Hong Yu and any free techs ran an introductory shop class (she was apparently interested in working on Lunk with her father), while Gillian Albin handled math lessons.  Ken had her speaking better Japanese than her father, and the Mechanized Cav medics were giving science lessons.  The classes were on a daily rotation, and had in fact proven so popular that other Cavaliers began to attend as well.  Their interest had thrilled Justin… idle transit time was painfully boring and soldiers often took to somewhat questionable methods of passing the time.  Not only were his men staying out of trouble, but they were learning something in the process.
   After Justin finished speaking with Carlos and Pepper he kept walking until he was at Staff Sergeant Aaron Erickson’s cubicle.  Erickson was one of the newer MechWarriors that the Cav had picked up on their trek through the Inner Sphere, and so far seemed to fit in quite well.  Erickson was replacing Sven, who was staying on Tanguray as Baroness Nikita’s personal bodyguard and head of security.  Erickson was an excellent pilot, and since the unit had an open spot in the command lance Justin had hired him and assigned him a salvaged Victor.  He saw a lot of himself in the MechWarrior, which had helped them become friends faster than he normally would have expected.  Aaron had also served in the LCAF and left because of the foolish bureaucracy that hampered the organization, hoping that he would have better luck going freelance.  They had even found him on Solaris, in quite the same way then-Princess Nikita had found him.
Erickson was on his Victor’s left shoulder, working to disengage one of the chains that bound the Mech to the bay’s maintained frame.  “How’s it going up there, Aaron?” Justin called, managing to get the pilot’s attention without startling him.  They talked for a moment, then Justin moved on to his own cubicle. 
   While Justin wasn’t surprised to see Master Tech Paul Ryan working to remove the simulator cabling from his Mech, he was somewhat surprised to see Jillian Albin arguing with the grease monkey’s backside.  Jillian was Thomas Albin’s daughter.  She had been working as Albin Armaments’ CFO during the liberation of Tanguray, and despite her age she was a very well educated and experienced businesswoman.  Justin still didn’t fully understand why she had wanted to accompany the unit, as she had never actually signed on with the Heavy Cav.  Jillian handled all of the unit’s procurement orders and accounting, basically making her the unit’s quartermaster and negotiation representative.  Though officially listed as the unit’s Captian Technician, you wouldn’t have guessed it by looking at her.  Unlike Ryan and his techs she wore the cloths of someone who worked with paper and not with her hands.  Today she was dressed a finely tailored pencil skirt, blouse, and heels, an outfit that stood in stark contrast to the bustling Mech bay. 
   “Is there a problem, Ms. Albin?” Justin asked as he approached.
   Jillian turned just enough to give him an annoyed look.  That wasn’t good.  Though most of the Cavaliers found her likable enough, she was somewhat moody.  If she was frustrated or upset you would know it, and it was quite difficult to keep from upsetting her further.
   “Actually there is, Mr. Radcliffe.  What is going on here?” she asked, spreading her arms wide to take in the entire bay.  “We won’t be making planetfall for nearly six days.  There is absolutely no reason to break out your Mechs and tanks now, and certainly no reason to waste fuel on a pointless Combat Patrol.”
   Justin blinked, somewhat surprised she actually knew that he’d allowed the  Angels to stretch out their wings.  “To be blunt, it’s a matter of morale.  Everyone is excited, getting ready for the landing.  It’s only natural, seeing as we’ve been in the black for over six months.  This is all work that has to be done before we unload, so why not do it right now?  It’s not like we are going to start walking around the bay.  We’re just removing the long-term safeties, that’s all.  If we make everyone wait we’ll have a lot of grumpy mercs moping around, and that’s never good.  Besides, everyone’s full of energy now.  I bet we’ll get everything out of deep storage in half the normal time.”  Jillian huffed and adjusted her glasses.
   Master Tech Ryan wiggled his way out of the Thunderbolt’s torso compartments, his face already streaked with grease and lubricant.  “Thank you, skipper!  I tell ya’, unless she hears it from you whatever I say is crap.  I explained it to her just like that, an-“
   The Major raised a hand, forestalling the tech’s rant.  “Don’t worry about it, Ryan.  We’ve all just got a little cabin fever, that’s all.”  Justin turned back to Jillian, who still didn’t look happy and lowered his voice.  “Have you gone over the unloading and supply plans set by the LCAF?”
   The question seemed to perk her up a bit.  “Yes.  The 5th Lyran Guards have already vacated the facility completely.  A couple platoons of local security personnel are looking after The Fort for now, and we will also have plenty of locals on hand to unload the ships.”
   “Excellent.  Good job, Jillian.”  To his surprise, the young woman smiled.  However, the smile proved fleeting.  A tech came over and began questioning her about some parts he had yet to receive, so she excused herself and went with him.
   “I don’t know, skipper.  I know she’s Mr. Albin’s daughter and technically my boss, but she’s a real piece of work.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s real nice to look at but a pain in the ass to work with.”
   “Yeah, well, we all have our little problems in life, Paul."
« Last Edit: 13 November 2011, 02:08:25 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #4 on: 13 November 2011, 01:34:39 »
Sgt. Monica Donnelson couldn't keep her hands from fidgeting, so she balled up her fists three or four times in a row, took yet another deep breath, and continued running her diagnostic.  Six months in cold storage always seemed to breed new quirks in any kind of machinery;  Battlemechs were no different.  The display in the cockpit of her Archer was telling her there was nothing wrong, though, but her tech was strongly disagreeing.

"It still says it's working fine,"  she hollers out of the open cockpit, one of many raised voices in a very busy cargo bay.  She had intended to be the first to have her machine ready to walk out the door -- never mind that it was six days till planetfall -- but she'd had coffee with the chief after yet another frosty run-in with Horvath.  It'd been nice to receive some reassurance that she'd made the right choice in signing up and blasting off with her new crew. 

She shouldn't, ideally, have needed it.  There were plenty of folks she seemed to be getting along with pretty well -- the two fighter pilots seemed like they liked most everybody and so long as you were willing to spar the marines were easy to get on speaking terms with -- but the exceptions did always tend to stand out.  Exceptions like Horvath, who was always professionally civil, in a way that always let her know he thought as much of her as he did for the crap he scraped off his boots after a run.

Normally, she could blow it off.  She'd gotten good at that in her old 'unit', after all, and whatever she had to say about Horvath, a little icy interest was nothing after over a year of that.  But it'd been six months since the Wayward Son had blasted off from Tanguary.  Nerves could be a bit raw, especially hers.

"Well it's not working fine, it's not cycling at all.  Kill power to the launcher again,"  her tech yells.  His name is Yang.  He claims to be from the Capellan Confederation, and his generically Asian features could support that.  But he looks like he could come from anywhere with a population of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, or what have you because there was very, very little distinctiveness in his features other than his smooth, always perfectly shaven head and his copious facial hair.  Yang weighed about 250, and he was 5'6, and many chuckling Marines had lost money arm-wrestling when they had unwisely assumed the little man was fat.

He'd been another refugee from her old unit.  He liked to talk about his brief run as a Tong enforcer on Sian, but if he had been, he'd been a very unique, soft-hearted variant of gangland muscle, for he'd been just as sickened by her old crew as she had.  Which was why he was here, helping her get her portside SRM launcher working.

"It's telling me it's loaded,"  she informs, flipping a switch.  "But it's dead now."

"I think the ******* sensor is ******* broken, and it doesn't know it's ******* empty,"  he hollered back.  "Don't turn this thing back on until I ******* tell you."

"Why not?  You'd fit in the launch tube."

"Aw, **** you."

She laughs to herself.  Relative quiet descends, despite all the other activity in the cargo bay.  Her hands start clenching into fists again, and her foot was tapping the bare metal of the cockpit floor.

Six months since she'd seen sunlight that was filtered through an atmosphere instead of a safety window.  Six months since she'd ran and ended up someplace than looked different than where she started.  Six months of pull-ups in a cramped gym, collisions in the narrow corridors, icy glares from the people who didn't want her to be here and the raw nerves of everyone else.

Loxley couldn't get here fast enough.

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #5 on: 13 November 2011, 11:03:24 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadiar Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037 
 

   “Has anyone seen Captain Takeda?” Justin asked, yelling to be heard over the sounds of powered machinery and excited conversation.
   “He’s down on the E-Deck , skipper.” called Lieutenant Guy Vicelli, who was half hanging out of his Wolverine's cockpit twenty feet over Radcliffe's head.  “He’s running his ‘extended training’ with Buggerman and the leathernecks.  It's tuesday.”
   “Right.  Thanks, G.  Everything looking alright up there?”
   The young man gave the Major a wide grin.  Guy was the Heavy Cav's latest acquisition, and so far was fitting into the unit quite nicely.  He'd hired him months ago to fill a gap in the unit's Strike lance, and had finally managed to pick him up when they made their way through the Solaris system.  Justin would have been happy with the man's superlative piloting skills, but he quickly realized G's leadership potential.  It was fourtinate too, as he'd been forced to place Ethan on 'injured reserve' due to nerve damage.  While he was looking good in simulator exercises, the Major was still looking forward to seeing how he would handle the lance on the ground.
   “Yes sir.  I could hear her calling to me from my bunk,” he bellowed, patting the hull of "Double Trouble" with his hand. 
   “I know what you mean.” Radcliffe mumbled.  “Grace actually did call my comm yesterday...”
   “What was that, sir?”
   Justin laughed and waved his hand in front of his face.  “Nothin' G, just talkin' to myself.”
   Guy shrugged and continued bellowing down, "Roger, sir.  Firefly'll be ready on arrival.  No worries!"  He briefly considered scrambling down the ladder to chat with the CO, but decided he didn't want to look like a suck up.  Being the new guy was tough enough.  He had work to do, and the Major was obviously busy tracking down the XO.
   The Major gave a thumbs up and waved as he went back on his way.
   Turning back to his cockpit, Guy tried to get back in the groove of pre-operational checks.  The cockpit that replaced the one lost when his father took a Kuritan PPC to the face was larger than a standard Wolverine's, but lacked some of the more advanced electronics and the ejection system had required some rework of the head armor.  At least the Tek BattleCom still worked, even if the replacement control panel was from a salvaged Phoenix Hawk.  The differences brought home his father's death in a way the fighting on Groveld III never had.  Then, he'd been too busy trying to stay alive to really notice.  The escape from Groveld landed what was left of his father's unit in a court room on Bryceland with all their equipment held by the government until "proper disposition" could be determined.  The long road to Solaris also offered little opportunity to reflect on the machine his father had sunk his life into.  But now, finally, inbound to Loxley, Guy was staring the reality full in the face.
   "Focus," he said to himself, picking up the checklist from where he'd set it down to talk to the Major.  Once he finished his own checklist, he'd need to look in on the rest of his lance.  There were six days to go, but he was sure a progress report would be expected before dinner.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #6 on: 13 November 2011, 13:39:42 »
Valentin listened intently as the CO described the new duty station for the unit. Overall this "Fort Worth" sounds like a nice place, with quite a bit to do when not on duty. Good thing too.Being stuck on a post kilometers from any kind of population center tended to cause problems. Granted, Valentin liked being outdoors whether it be hiking, fishing, or skiing just as much as going to a dance club after a nice meal. But many soldiers get bored, and bored soldiers tend to cause problems. Such problems should not be an issue on Loxley. Truth is, Loxley seems like it is going to be a pleasant change of pace for Valentin. Most of his two tours he served with the Black Lancers in St. Ives was spent under constant threat of attack. Spending that long under that much pressure wears on soldiers, and can break them down. This station will seem to be a gravy assignment. Loxley lies several jumps from the borders of either the Draconis Combine or Free Worlds League, and is even half a dozen jumps from the Periphery.

 But that secretly bothered him. It has been over two years since his last combat mission, and if there is any combat to be seen, it will be with a new unit. Valentin spent a great deal of time trying to integrate with the Heavy Cavalry, but there is only so much that can be done in simulators and exercises. No, it will take actual combat to see if I still have what it takes. Well, we will see here in a few days.

 Getting back to his workout, Valentin refocused on the task at hand. After some more sparring he switched up with the Lt. and let him burn some energy. Taking some time to help a few other Cav members who wanted some tips and advice on conditioning. That was one thing Valentin always takes time to do for anyone who asks. Granted some of the women in the unit just use asking for work-out tips as an excuse to flirt with him, but Valentin does his best to keep things professional.

 Seeing Captain Takeda heading off, Valentin excused himself and hurried to catch up. "Captain Takeda.. Do you have a moment?" 
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #7 on: 13 November 2011, 14:25:16 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadir Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037 


**************************

“Hold!”  Ken spoke forcefully, causing the two troopers he was observing to freeze in place. 

Stepping closer, he reached out and pointed to one of the defending trooper's arms.  “Your speed and anticipation are improving, but the form still needs a little work.  Blocking square on like that can work, BUT, it takes a lot more strength.  Plus, some blades can, and will, cut right through both your tonfa AND your arm if you attempt it.  Additionally, you need to keep your arm and body moving.  Standing static lets your opponent dictate the pace and positioning.”

Taking the tonfa from the defender, he motioned for the man to step aside and observe.  “Here, I will demonstrate what I would like you to try.”  Turning to the attacker, he nodded.  “Once more, same vertical cut as before.”

The sword wielding trooper bowed slightly to Ken and reset his positioning before lifting his bamboo shinai and striking downward, aiming for Ken's head.

Ken stepped into the attack and brought his left arm with the Tonfa up and around, striking the descending Shinai with his weapon held at approximately a forty-five degree angle to the attacker's swing.  The combination of the Tonfa's angle causing the Shinai to slide instead of solidly impact, and the lateral pressure from Ken's swing, caused the sword strike to pass harmlessly to Ken's side, and left the attacker out of position as Ken stepped still closer and ended his movement standing directly beside the man with his other hand coming around to tap the swordsman lightly on the side of the man's head.

Stepping back and bowing to his opponent, Ken returned the Tonfa to its owner.  “A more fluid defense allows for the actions taken to avoid a strike, to open opportunities for counter-attack.  Also, by using the angle of the weapons and your opponent's motions against him, you need spend less effort and do not risk damage as much to your weapon or yourself, should your tools prove insufficiently strong.”

Motioning one of his training assistants to supervise, Ken nodded to the two.  “Continue to practice.  I expect to see improvement by the next lesson.”

Checking his watch, Ken frowned slightly.  “It seems I must cut this short if I am to make the staff meeting in a presentable condition.    Sergeant Varnana is in charge in my absence.”

Stepping back, Ken bowed to Sergeant Varnana and turned away from the mats. 

Walking quickly through the bays on his way back to his cabin to get cleaned up, Ken observed a beehive of activity as the Heavy Cavalry began to stir to life after a long period of hibernation.  All around, technicians and warriors were beginning the laborious but necessary tasks needed to prepare for planetfall and unloading.

"Captain Takeda.. Do you have a moment?"  Ken heard Valentin speaking from behind him.

Pausing for a moment, Ken glanced at the approaching mechwarrior.  “If you don't mind walking along with me, I do.  What can I help you with, Sergeant?”

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #8 on: 13 November 2011, 18:52:27 »
"I'm almost sure this thing is busted,"  Yang hollers.  "Pull the trigger and see what happens."

"Eh...no,"  Monica replies.  They were using ammo dummies for their tests of course, but there were certain things you just never did.  She knows the tech isn't serious, though.  "Want me to turn it back on?"

"**** no, I'm waist deep in this thing,"  he relies.  "Mechanical backup is broken too, but I just need a wrench for that."

"It's not the software, I did a reboot on the system before you ever got here,"  she says, shaking her head and studying her lying weapons status panels.  The SRM launcher was reading green and ready to fire. 

"Yeah,"  Yang says.  "****.  The sensor reads fine here, too.  *********.  Means it's in the circuitry."

Monica groans.  That could take a while to run down.

"You need a grid interface don't you?"  she asks.  The circuitry-grid mappers were pricey items.  The Cav had several, of course, but they were always in demand.

"Yeah,  yeah I do.  I loaned mine out.  ****."

"I'll go find one," she says, pulling herself out of her Archer's low-slung cockpit.  The cargo bay was even louder when you were out in it, and a symphony of shouting voices, power tools, and other such assaults her ears as she climbs up the short ladder onto the walkway;  it circled the room at about shoulder level to most 'Mechs, for easy access to systems in torsos and near cockpits, but the Archer's odd pilot placement meant she had to descend to power up her ride.

Yang literally was waist deep in the missile launcher.  The bay's protective shell was open...it opened and closed to protect the Doombud LRMs during combat....and he'd moved some of the machinery out of the way.  It was designed to do that, so you could get at the smaller short-range launchers underneath.

"Take your time,"  he says, cursing in what Monica assumes to be Cantonese.  "The backup may be the harder part."

Yang practically disappears into the innards of the battlemech, and she notes that his head is Kurita crimson.  Yeah, it was probably going to be a lengthy, difficult repair job.  One he's already disgusted with.  The cursing with ramp up in frequency, volume and numbers of languages used, soon.  She grinds her teeth a little and growls as she prowls off down the walkway, looking for someone likely to have their needed tool.

There's plenty of other cavalrymen working on their machines, but most people seemed to be performing the usual wake-up procedures.  Firefly leader had his Wolverine's cockpit hatch open, and the Lieutenant seemed to be messing with something in there...

"Lieutenant!"  she calls out.

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #9 on: 13 November 2011, 20:09:59 »
Nearing the end of his checklist, Guy heard another call from below.  Poking his head out of the hatch a second time, he saw one of the mechwarriors from the command lance looking up expectantly.  "Yes?" he called down, the checklist still in hand.  While he waited for her response, he racked his brain for her name.  D... Don... Donnelsomething?

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #10 on: 13 November 2011, 20:24:54 »
"Yeah, sorry to bother you, sir,"  She says.  "You don't happen to have one of the CGM units, do you?  Got a faulty sensor we need to trace down."

She's standing at shoulder level of his Wolverine.  She notes the different shape to the right-arms rifle-unit...this was the vaunted Marik version of the 'Mech, judging by the lack of an an ammo feed on the gun and the presence of jump jet ports on the rear torso.  Something else different about it, too..

"Is that a standard cockpit assembly?"  She asks, out of curiosity.


Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #11 on: 13 November 2011, 20:52:25 »
Seeing the mechwarrior much closer to the head of his 'mech than he expected, Guy blinked and stole a glance at her name tag.  Donnelson.  At least he had it mostly right.  Shaking his head, he said, "No, sorry.  I'm just running pre-op checks."
...

"Is that a standard cockpit assembly?"  She asks, out of curiosity.

Looking over his shoulder briefly, he turned back to her and said, "No.  It's a... replacement that was slapped in on Groveld III.  The BattleCom control panel came from a P-Hawk, but I'm not sure about the rest of the assembly.  It didn't fit quite right, and they had to rework some of the armor for the ejection system.  The tech who did it recommended I not eject if I can help it.  He meant well, at least.  They were in kind of a hurry at the time."

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #12 on: 13 November 2011, 21:05:53 »
The Lieutenant looked almost surprised to see her when he popped out of his cockpit.  And he gave her an odd glance for a moment;  she almost though he was giving her the stereotypical 'up and down', but whatever he was looking for, he found it quicker then it took to do that.  She didn't receive as much of that kind of attention when she was in her greasy, over-sized coveralls anyway.

Maybe he was looking at her nametag...come to think of it, what was his name?  Guy, wasn't it?  Last name sounded Italian...

"Don't eject...."  she says.  "I guess he hoped you had a choice.  Think you could get it up to spec again?  Everyone's all buzzing today, but it's six days till planetfall.  Me and Yang could help out once we get my launcher sorted."

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #13 on: 13 November 2011, 21:21:09 »
Guy nodded and said with a grin, "Not without obtaining a Wolverine cockpit first.  The only one I know of in the unit is being used.  I appreciate the offer, though." 

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #14 on: 13 November 2011, 21:31:19 »
"Next time I see one I can shoot at I'll try and aim for the legs,"  she chuckles.  "Thanks."

She heads off, resuming her search for a mechanic she can rob.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #15 on: 14 November 2011, 11:40:37 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadir Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037 


**************************
Pausing for a moment, Ken glanced at the approaching mechwarrior.  “If you don't mind walking along with me, I do.  What can I help you with, Sergeant?”

 Catching up to his Lance Commander and unit Executive Officer, Valentin walked in step with his superior. "Just two things sir. First thing is there anything in particular you want or need me to do? Make no mistake , I can find a thousand things to keep myself busy, but do you have any orders for me to carry out. Secondly, how much different are things going to be once we actually make landfall? What I mean is it seems the unit is informal when it comes to military etiquette, at least as I perceive it. Is this normal or once we reach our station will things become more...orthodox? I mean no disrespect."
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #16 on: 14 November 2011, 13:35:01 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadir Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037 

*****************************
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Ken smiled slightly.  "Yes, actually there is one thing you could do for me.  If you could talk to Sergeant Horvath and find out just what his problem with Donnelson is?  Off the record and unofficial if you don't mind?  It's starting to become a morale issue, and if I have to step in, I'll have to take official action, which is something I'd like to avoid if possible.  Both of them have the potential to be outstanding troops, but a unit this size cannot afford the sort of frictions that a larger unit can tolerate.  I don't expect him to be best friends with her, but poorly hidden hostility is bad for unit cohesion."

The Combine born mechwarrior shrugged.  "As for military etiquette?  Which tradition would you suggest we follow?  Major Radcliffe is Lyran, I am from the Draconis Combine, you are Capellan, and a significant number of our troops originated in the Fed-Suns, not to mention a few merc brats.  All of which have their own quirks and traditions."  Ken chuckled softly.  "So long as respect and discipline are maintained, I see no reason to force certain customs.  Should things change, I will be sure to inform you."

blackpanzer

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #17 on: 14 November 2011, 22:07:46 »
DropShip Wayward Son
Nadir Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037


"God DAMNIT!" Hong Yu cursed as a sudden pop was followed by a miniature fireworks of sparks. He watched in muted frustration and anger as a small column of smoke started to drift from the vehicular simulator.

"At least you've curbed your tinkering to just this one." George Wildman commented with a smirk as both him, Grayson Pakes and Wyatt Vines looked at the grease streaked Hong Yu in amusement. All three were Staff Sergeants and each of them a vehicular commander of Drillson heavy hover tanks that made up The Armoured Cav's fast attack Blitz Lance.

Ever since his lance had swapped out their smattering of Saladin, Saracen and other hover tanks that had came and went, for a solid quartet of Drillson tanks, Blitz lance had finally fulfilled their namesake, with the 50 ton tank's ability to move faster than almost any other ground combat unit, matched with impressive firepower and respectable armour protection. Hong Yu has also managed to duplicate the stripped down neuro-helmet interface for enhanced manoeuvrability and controls. However, no vehicular simulator in the Inner Sphere - as least as far as anyone in the Heavy Cav knew, could mirror that. Undaunted, Hong Yu had set about trying to reconfigure both the hardware and software of one of the sim pods on the Wayward Son for that function. His enthusiasm had been slowly eroded away as every method he tried had failed so far.

"You know that the boss is gonna cut the repairs from your salaries yes?" George continued, his smirk widened.

Hong Yu turned back at him. The smirk on the George's face froze in place as Hong Yu's white teeth practically shone through his greasey face. "Of course. And you three, being vehicle commanders of Blitz Lance, who supported my endeavourers to make our simulators suit OUR needs, would also volunteer to join me in salary-cutting."

"Now, wait just a minute..."

"Stop yapping here guys. Go whip your people into shape." Hong Yu dismissed them with a wave. "You might have the neorohelmet interface functions, but your rides still run on a crew. Downsized, yes, but its still not a one-man show. Some of them are still green, so go run more games with them. I still can't get the sims to run like what we have, but you can still make your people work by operating on a full crew sim pod."

"You think we'll be ready?" Grayson asked somewhat more solemnly. While looking impressive on paper for a merc unit, and with over half of their people blooded on Tanguray, there were still "the other guys" - those who joined the Heavy Cav after news of their victory allowed them to draw a good number of new recruits AFTER the fighting. For a vehicular unit, each tank is only as good as its crew. When half your crew are new...

"That's why I thank the heavens for time on the sims while we travel folks." Hong Yu replied. "No amount of training or sim time will make a recruit into a vet, but its the closest thing we have. Make use of them." The Chinese man smiled slightly. "Or you could join me at try to make this blasted thing work."

George lifted both arms in surrender. "No thanks. We'll leave things in your good hands." He turned towards the other two. "You heard the man, lets round up the kids and give 'em hell. At least this hell is one they'll return from."


Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #18 on: 14 November 2011, 23:02:35 »
Monica had spent nearly 15 minutes wandering the repair spaces of the Wayward Son, looking for the damned tool she needed and finding only clueless glances and hearing phrases that were mostly variations of "I think such and such had one."  By the time she found such and such, he or she had inevitably sent the CGM module on its way.  The variety of people who'd given her such an answer meant, to her analytical mind, that she was on the trail of at least three of the things.  She's beginning to suspect some sort of juvenile prank when someone says that he JUST saw Commander Hong Yu heading off with one.

She doesn't find the Cav's senior tanker where she expected him to be, though;  there's plenty of people clustered around the units tanks of course;  they were just as eager to get their machines fixed up and ready to go as the Mechwarriors.  She glances at one of the unit's four Demolishers.  She can almost see down the barrels of its massive twin autocannons, and she represses a shiver.  The moment passes, and she's on her way again, chasing down her next lead, provided, as it was, by a pair of the Demolisher's crewmen.  The Commander was trying some infernal experiment with the vehicle sims, apparently.

As she walks, she's thinking back to when she too went into battle -- well, mock battle back then -- in something with treads.  In a 'Mech, you were essentially alone.  Your lancemates voices were in your ears, but it was mostly you and your multi-ton walking slab of armor.  Tanks and such...it was very different, to have three other people constantly drilling, sleeping, eating, drinking, talking.  She missed that feeling, a bit.

She can smell smoke long before she arrives in the simulator area, and a bluish haze hangs over the entire space despite the dropship's fans doing their best to remove it.  The Commander is here all right, and talking to subordinates, and from what she hears, it's obvious he's working with electronics.  Hope on the horizon.  The group seems to be breaking up, though, and she steps forward, trying to catch the Capellan officer before he actually got back into whatever he was doing.

"Commander,"  She says.  "Sorry to interrupt. Was wondering if you have one of the CGM modules here.  I was needing one for a launcher problem, but I think they all left with Kerensky."


blackpanzer

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #19 on: 15 November 2011, 06:48:17 »
The Chinese man looked up from the still smoking machine at the unfamiliar face. "Eh? CGM module? Lemme check." As Hong Yu fumbled for his comms, he tried to remember the name to the face... a rather attractive one topped by long reddish brown hair. He did remember that she's one of the newer Sergeants that runs one of the Cavs' BattleMechs. Strangely, he finally recalled her name after remember her ride - a 70 ton monster of a 'Mech, an Archer. "Pops, you've got a CGM module with out down there?" Hong Yu barked into the comms. It stayed silent for a while before it squawked into life. "Yeah, I was calibrating the freakin' Crossbow launcher on Wyatt's ride. Why'd you ask?"

"Cuz I've got nothing better to do." Hong Yu rolled his eyes at Monica. "I'm sending Sergeant Donnelson down your ways to get it. I take it you're done with it?"

The grizzled tech at the other end replied quickly. "Yeah, yeah. Wait... Sergeant who?"

"Thinnish, red brown hair, tattoo around her wrist," Hong Yu started. "Pretty. You won't miss her."

"Oooo. Right."

"Keep your drool to yourself Pops. She a Mechjock and way out of your league. Just pass her the module and stick to your posters and magazines." Hong Yu cut the man off before he could reply, before turning back to Monica. "Sorry about that. You'll get your CGM down at the vehicle repair bays. Look for Pops. He's the ugliest old man down there." Hong Yu smiled at her.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #20 on: 15 November 2011, 23:25:31 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Nadir Jump Point, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
12 November 3037 

*****************************
[/b]

Ken smiled slightly.  "Yes, actually there is one thing you could do for me.  If you could talk to Sergeant Horvath and find out just what his problem with Donnelson is?  Off the record and unofficial if you don't mind?  It's starting to become a morale issue, and if I have to step in, I'll have to take official action, which is something I'd like to avoid if possible.  Both of them have the potential to be outstanding troops, but a unit this size cannot afford the sort of frictions that a larger unit can tolerate.  I don't expect him to be best friends with her, but poorly hidden hostility is bad for unit cohesion."

The Combine born mechwarrior shrugged.  "As for military etiquette?  Which tradition would you suggest we follow?  Major Radcliffe is Lyran, I am from the Draconis Combine, you are Capellan, and a significant number of our troops originated in the Fed-Suns, not to mention a few merc brats.  All of which have their own quirks and traditions."  Ken chuckled softly.  "So long as respect and discipline are maintained, I see no reason to force certain customs.  Should things change, I will be sure to inform you."

 Valentin took a moment to consider the Captain's statement. "Good point on the question of etiquette. I guess I am still so used to my old routines. I have only been with the unit a few months and have not fully adapted. I will get there."

 Narrowing his eyes and with a "bad-taste-in-mouth" look, Valentin spoke to the XO. "As to the first... I guess that is what I get for volunteering, eh?"

 Valentin snapped a quick salute and did an about face and headed back down the hallway in which he came, mumbling something in Russian under his breath.
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #21 on: 16 November 2011, 00:58:47 »
Monica listens with increasing amusement to Hong Yu's conversation with whoever was on the other end of his earpiece comm.  It wasn't just that he was describing her blunt, if flattering, terms, or that he appeared to be talking to himself.  It was more a combination of the two things, a blending of the stimuli that makes her pretend to cough into her hand to keep her chuckle under wraps.

Thinnish?  Huh.  That wasn't as good as some women would think.  She usually liked to keep a little bulk on, not enough to be mannish, but enough to notice...and she'd noticed a little extra softness on her hips this morning...

"Necesidad de Jesús I de ejercitar ..."* She mutters under her breath.  Sparring and exercise equipment or not, there just hadn't been enough room to really work out.  Especially with the way space travel made her want to just...sleep...

Quote
"...look for Pops. He's the ugliest old man down there,"

She directs her attention back at the tank commander.

"All right, thanks," She says.  Of course the way that'd sounded...she grins slightly, her tone light.  "If he doesn't cooperate, I take it all I have to do is unzip my coverall a little, right?  Or maybe let my hair down and stand near a fan."

------

*Apologies to any actual Spanish speakers.  While Monica can speak it, I can't, and the best I got is Babelfish.


blackpanzer

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #22 on: 16 November 2011, 03:40:56 »
"No thanks Sarge. If you do that, all the maintenance work will cease, and I strongly suspect that some accidents will occur." Hong Yu laughed. "I don't really like ALL the clowns I have under my charge, but accidents are accidents. We don't know who'll be on the wrong end of it."

He nodded at her with a grin on his face. "But if for any reasons he doesn't cooperate, give me a squawk. I'll be down presently to wriggle his wrinkled old neck."

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #23 on: 16 November 2011, 12:24:00 »
Valentin snapped a quick salute and did an about face and headed back down the hallway in which he came, mumbling something in Russian under his breath.

Ken watched him go, before turning away to continue making his way back to his tiny cabin, still chuckling softly.  The former Capellan mechwarrior might not enjoy his current task, but learning to handle such disputes and interpersonal conflicts among subordinates was a very necessary skill for anyone hoping for higher command.

The Combine born officer shrugged.  What he'd told Valentin was true, Horvath and Donnelson were indeed both potentially excellent troopers.  But, neither of them had command potential at this time.  Horvath fell short on attitude, an officer didn't have to like everyone he worked with, but he had to be able to put aside personal issues for the good of the unit.  He also had a tendency to coast, instead of trying to improve his shortcomings.  And Donnelson lacked in self-confidence and ability to take charge of a situation.  Given a choice, she would step back and let others make the decisions.  Not the sort of personality that took to command responsibilities well.   

Davideko on the other hand, DID have command potential, in Ken's judgment.  He just needed to learn a few more skills and get a little more experience and seasoning under his belt before he'd be ready to step up to lance command.  In fact, he was already on the short list of potential promotions, should the Heavy Cavalry expand its mech forces.  As a result, Ken had been carefully setting the young Staff Sergeant to tasks which would give him the skills and experience he would need.

Ken smiled again, of course, he hadn't yet informed Valentin that that was what he was doing.  He had found that often, just doing a job taught as well as formal classes, and removed the pressures that some people placed upon themselves when undergoing  more structured course of instruction.  It also tended to temper any disappointments, should certain shortcomings being exposed that would disqualify a candidate or seriously delay a promotion, since the individual had no expectations or anticipated reward snatched away.

Checking his note-puter, Ken blocked out a couple hours to inspect and prepare his Grand Dragon the day after tomorrow.  By that point the rest of the unit should be finished with their own preparations and repairs, and there should be a few more techs free to assist him.  But it also still left him a few days before planetfall to fix any major issues.

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #24 on: 16 November 2011, 23:03:06 »
"But if for any reasons he doesn't cooperate, give me a squawk. I'll be down presently to wriggle his wrinkled old neck."

"All right.  Call you, no posing."  Donnelson says.  "Thank you, sir."

She gives the smoldering simulator a curious glance, but takes off, probably eager to make sure she actually gets the tool she's been after.

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #25 on: 17 November 2011, 19:39:18 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Deep Orbit, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
18 November 3037



   “...yes, sir, I understand.  We'll be seeing you soon.  Yes... yes sir, thank you, I’ll make sure to pass the word along.  You're most welcome, sir.  Looking forward to it, Colonel.”
   The moment the line closed Justin pried the commo headset off his head.  He had been wearing it for so long and so often these last few days that he was beginning to think he skull was being reshaped.  Realizing that he was in no mood for his head gear, he carefully folded his beret and unsnapped his right shoulder epaulet.  He draped the crimson cloth on his shoulder and reattached the epaulet, careful to leave the running mustang badge representing his lance visible.  After pulling the data core from the comm pannel and returning his data pad to his right leg pocket, Justin stood and slapped the hatch release on the bulkhead.
   As the door slid open, Major Radcliffe welcomed the rush of cool air and artificial light that hit his face.  The bridge comm center, which housed all ship to shore communications gear, was little more than a broom closet at the back of the bridge.  While Justin hated being in there, he had no real alternative... last minute details had to be worked out before tomorrow’s landing.  The DropShip's Combat Command Center, or C3, was far more spacious and accommodating but had unfortunately lost it's connection to the ship's microwave array centuries ago.  Still, he took some solace in the fact that, if he ever had to run a campaign from the Son rather than his mech (god forbid) he wouldn't have to do it from 'the Cave'.
   “Mornin', sunshine.” Captain Churchill snickered, offering the CO a cup of coffee.  The fact that the bridge watch had changed since he'd been called by the Colonel made him sigh once again.
   “You would think,” Justin stated, taking the cup from his friend's hand, “that all of this crap would have been hammered out in the last six months.  But no, of course not.  That would make things too easy.”  He took a long sip of the hot brew, savoring the sensation of it's warmth circulating through his body.  While Justin had never been a fan of the taste, like all military men he'd learned to love the highly-concentrated jet fuel in his cup. 
   “What is there to discuss?  Seriously.”
   “Well, Duke Samuel Norse has been going back and forth on the festivities planned for our arrival.  It looks like he's decided to go for the whole show.  What's today?”
   “According to the system NavComms, tuesday.”
   “Well on friday we're going to be on parade.  Apparently New Dallas itself has been lacking a BattleMech garrison for some time now, so they want to make a show of it.  There's  going to be a gala afterwards at the Sundance too.
   “So soon?”
   That got a laugh out of Justin.  “Hey, I had to lobby hard for that extra time... Norse wanted us marching to the parade grounds right off the ship.  I had to convince him that we needed a little practice first, considering how long we've been in the black.  Not to mention the number of new pilots who haven't done any drills with us whatsoever.  Had to make sure that someone could provide us with a few hundred tuxes and gowns too.”
   Now it was Edward's turn to laugh.  “You serious?  I mean, I have no doubt Ken can get your boys marching in lock-step by friday, but getting some of those grunts into a tux... that'll be rough. Is it really necessary?”
   “Maybe I'm just used to it, but I don't see why everyone's bitching about this party. Great food, fine alcohol, beautiful people, getting cleaned up and having your ass kissed by nobility... yeah, it's a horrible way to spend an evening.”
   “Social general, eh?” Ed grinned, slapping Justin on the back.
   “Don't even get me started...” he replied, his tone changing radically for a moment.  “How soon are you guys leaving?”
   “Well, not that Melonie wouldn't enjoy attending, but we're supposed to hop over to the Glasgow starport after we drop you guys off and refuel.  I'll see if we can swing a visit.”
   “Well, you do have an open invitation.  I'm sure I can send Greg Albin to fetch you.”
   Edward smiled.  “I'd like that.  Besides, I’m kinda interested in meeting your folks.  I've heard a lot of stories during this trip, and they sound like good people.”
   Justin smiled to himself.  His father was a senior officer in Storm's Metal Thunder, though he wasn't a mech jock anymore.  Kevin Radcliffe had served in the LCAF for more than thirty years, until neurofeedback from an ammunition explosion had severely damaged both him and his Highlander.  The auto-eject system had spared his life, but the feedback had fried his nervous system.  While he had some numbness and other neurological issues, the real pain came from the fact that he was no longer able to sync with a mech.  The Highlander was passed on to Justin's older brother, Logan, and the senior Radcliffe left the service.  He joined the newly-formed Metal Thunder soon after, serving as Chief of Strategic Operations (supplies, mech maintenance, etc.) and strategic advisor. Justin's mother was an official with the Steiner government, and was currently serving as the military liaison for military forces on the planet.  Justin was truly looking forward to working with them and seeing them on a regular basis.
   “They are.  I haven't seen them in many years.”  Justin allowed himself a smile.  “I'm looking forward to it.”
   “Anything else?”
   Justin's brow furrowed.  “Yes, something rather strange.  Do you know a ComStar Precentor named Nichols?”
   Edward as obviously surprised by the question.  “Well, yeah.  He's the stooge running Tanguray's HPG.  Seeing as it's the only one in the cluster, he's got quite a bit of pull on dozens of worlds.  Never liked him, though.  He just seems... shifty.  Why?”
   “He left a message for me with the guy maintaining the toaster on Loxley, a Precentor Xian McCallister.”  Edward's uneasy expression mirrored Justin's.  “Yeah, that's what I thought.”
   “Well what does that mean?  What is the message about?”
   “McCallister wouldn't say.  However, he did want to see me 'at my earliest convenience'.   That shouldn't be too hard considering the HPG station is in New Dallas.  Still, the question is... why?”
   “You don't think...”
   “I hope not.  Nikita's still tight with ComStar, which isn't a surprise considering that their loans funded the formation of the Heavy Cav back in the day.  She's practically a member of the Order, so I don't think they would betray her, but... I don't like this new guy knowing we've got wanted outlaws in our unit.”
   That last bit seemed to make Edward a bit uncomfortably.  “You'd better see him soon, then, and bring him some flowers or something.  You don't want to start out on his bad side.”
   The Major walked towards the lift at the rear of the bridge, speaking over his shoulder as he walked.  “Indeed.  Say, do me a favor, would ya'?  I am going down to the C3 to call a meeting.  Could you get on the PA and send everyone my way?  It's not exactly scheduled.”
   “Sure thing.”

   Before Justin even made it to B-Deck, the Wayward Son's internal speakers squealed to life.  He knew his men were going to be in various states... the ship's clocks had been changed to 9:35am to sync them with New Dallas time, and his men and women were still trying to adjust their own cycles.  Radcliffe was still feeling the lag as well, though the coffee was helping a bit.  He winced as the screeching sound continued on for about five seconds, and it became obvious that Edward was tweaking his mic.
   “Ah, attention ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking.” he drawled, using his best smarmy starliner captain's voice.  “Maaaaajor Radcliffe has requested the presence of all officers and NCOs in the C3 for an impromptu briefing.  Everyone else... pppplease pack the C-Deck mess and fire up the projector.  We'll be landing on Loxley innnnn... lessthantwentyfourhours now, and there are some final details to go over.  We know you have a choice when you flyyyyyyyy in The Black, and we thank you for choosing Wayward Son Starlines.  Have a nice day.”  The announcement ended with a loud click, seconds before the lift let Justin out onto C-Deck.
   He hadn't gotten more than three steps down the hall when the speakers reactivated, cleanly.  This time the Captain sounded like a smooth-talking game show host.  “Also, today is beef stroganoff day in the mess hall, so polish those sporks!  That. is. allllllllll.”  Justin laughed, and could practically hear a cheer rise up out of the infantry barracks and mech bays.
   Naturally, the head of Nikita's Heavy Cavalry was the first to arrive in the Combat Center, and so he went about setting up the equipment for a unit-wide address.  He activated the holo-recorders and plugged his data core into the main command terminal, loading the data he had worked to compile all night into the data buffer.  At the end of the briefing he would trigger the download, sending a large packet of maps (military and civilian), visitor guides, historical reviews, and internal orders to each and every Cavalier's datapad. 
   With that done, Radcliffe flopped down into a chair and finished the rest of his coffee.  He knew it would take several minutes for the men to gather.
« Last Edit: 17 November 2011, 19:41:02 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #26 on: 18 November 2011, 02:50:30 »
Sharp pains, like harsh jolts of electricity, fly down Monica's arms, through her biceps, into the tensed, quivering muscles of her shoulders.  She makes herself ignore it, curls her forearms again.  It takes forever to bring her chin above the bar she's hanging from, far longer than it should, and she has to fight to keep herself from just releasing her hold and falling to the gym mat.  She manages it, lowers herself slowly, if not gracefully, to the floor, and lets out a tortured sigh.

She hadn't done nearly as many pull-ups as she should've been able to.  Sure, her count was still above average, but there was the shape she was in, and there was the shape she wanted to be in, and the gap between the two seemed long today.  She plods over to the bench in the empty gym and sits down, snatching up the bottle of water she'd left there.  She gulps down a few drinks, puts the cap back on the bottle, and glares at the weight machines awaiting her as if they were hated enemies.

At least she'd already gotten her cardio out of the way.

She stands up, wiping her face and arms with a towel.  Planetfall was coming soon, and she was ready for it.  Starting the work early had proved to be a good decision;  the reloading mechanism on her SRM launcher had taken about two days worth of work to fix completely, and the early start had left her and Yang time to go through and get a bunch of tiny kinks worked out.  Her hand control units didn't feel so clumsy any more and the Archer's computer had been completely reformatted, with new software, some NHC-specific, installed  The portside missile bay doors still came open a little slower than the starboard, but they always had, and probably always would.

Odd how problems always seemed to pop up on the left side of the 'Mech.  It was a very old machine, like many of the ARC series -- they were big, sturdy, and tended to hang back from the enemy, a good recipe for longevity -- and she wondered if it'd taken a bad hit on a the left torso in some long ago battle that'd left behind some gremlins.

In any case, the work was done, and she'd been able to find some free time to boost her exercise regime back up to something more substantial, and it'd given her something to do while her body adjusted to Loxley's local time (ongoing process, that). It wasn't what she wanted to be capable of, but it'd be enough to let her jump right into real, outdoor exercise once the unit was on the ground.

There were disadvantages to being on the ground, though.  She knows that her new compatriots are taking a risk adopting her and Yang and all the rest of their former enemies into their ranks.  She knows that it could lead to trouble for her, and people who, despite the six months in transit, she's only just now getting to know.  She'll have to be careful.  The whole unit will. 

Yeah, that Davion sunburst on her flight jacket probably needed to go. 

She's only squeezed out a few reps on a hell-spawn machine called a 'back extender' when the ship's intercom comes alive.  There's horrible noise coming from it for a few moments, before a remarkably cheerful update from the captain comes booming into the gymnasium.  Meeting in C3.  Impromptu.  Beef stroganoff.  Damn.  She hated beef stroganoff.

She hops off the machine, and spends a moment or two deciding or not whether 'impromptu' meant 'ASAP'.  She decides that it probably means 'quickly, but without undue haste, and takes three minutes to rinse herself off in the gym's shower before she throws on her coverall (the black one Mechjocks wore, not her still-horridly stained 'fixit' pair), collects her earpiece and the PDA thing she'd been issues, and heads out, brushing her hair as she goes.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #27 on: 18 November 2011, 21:56:48 »
 The last few days had been difficult for Valentin. Aside from the commotion of preparing to hit dirtside, Valentin spent a lot of time thinking about Captain Takeda's mission. It was an unpleasant situation all together. Involving one's self into private affairs always is. But Valentin was not a close friend of either Horvath or Donnelson, and it felt intrusive to him. But, Valentin also knew that if there is a real problem, it is best to get ahead of it. It does not mean however, I must go blindly. Takeda did not give him a time frame, so Valentin busied himself with the task of making landfall. While he did so, Valentin made it a point to observe both of his "targets". After obtaining enough information to form at least a semi-informed opinion, Valentin steeled himself to accomplish his mission.

 Valentin had just finished running a last check on his Wolverine, and was heading towards his rack when he happened to see Horvath in his bunkroom. Taking a deep breath he turned and entered the room. Trying a somewhat failing to put a friendly look on his face. "Hey Horvath, can you spare a minute?"

 "Sure.. What's up?" Horvath's reply came with a perplexed look on his face.

 Taking a deep breath Valentin began to speak. "I am going to be direct. Is there a problem between you and Donnelson?" Valentin raised his hand to indicate James to let him finish. "I ask because Captain Takeda asked... ordered me to speak to you and her about it. I have noticed the... coolness between you two ever since I joined. Actually, I have seen it between you and a few others as well, but it seems it is worse between the two of you. Personally, I think he is a little off base. You can work together, and it does not appear to be any actual hostility. But at the same time, it is noticeable and it is a bit of a distraction. If it is something you do not feel comfortable enough to talk to me about, I understand."

"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #28 on: 19 November 2011, 08:53:09 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Deep Orbit, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
18 November 3037


The last six days had been a blur for Guy.  Pre-op checks for his lance had been straight forward, but time consuming.  Parks' Phoenix Hawk had developed a balky BattleCom, and it seemed the necessary test equipment was in short supply.  He'd finally been able to track the gear down only yesterday, and the time shift to New Dallas further reduced the hours available to troubleshoot.  Fortunately, the techs were able to find the problem, and he and Parks had successfully established a two way data link this morning, bouncing a tight beam off the bulkhead opposite the mech cubicles.  When they worked, the Tek BattleComs were marvels of battlefield technology, able to cut through the worst interference and jamming with ease.  When they didn't, you had to hope you could remember those hand signals from basic training, and how to translate them into something a 'mech could do.  At least working through the problem had given him more of a chance to gage Parks, who, though somewhat tenative, was at least curious enough to ask questions.  She, like the rest of his lance, had been distant over the weeks from Solaris to Loxley.  If he didn't know better, Guy would have to say there was some unit-wide consipiracy of silence.  Horvath was a different problem.  While not as quiet as Voss or Parks, his coolness was no more reassuring, especially since he seemed to apply it to his lance mates.  Guy was beginning to wonder if the Staff Sergeant had any friends in the unit at all.  And while he was certainly competent in the simulator, he didn't seem particularly interested in improving his skills.  At least the Major was friendly enough.  He and the XO seemed to have a handle on whatever was eating the unit.  If it was important, he was sure they'd tell him eventually.

Turning back to editing Parks' maintenance report, Guy had just started typing when the 1MC crackled to life.  The Captain's uneven delivery made the announcements somewhat hard to follow, but it was amusing.  Finishing off the report, Guy hit send and stowed his data pad.  He worked out a kink in his back on his way down the passage toward the lift.  While he waited, he hummed a drinking song he'd learned on Blackjack.

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #29 on: 20 November 2011, 00:41:53 »
Dropship Wayward Son
Deep Orbit, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
18 November 3037


********************

Ken paused for a moment to give his tiny cabin a quick once over.  Seeing nothing out of place, and everything that needed to be secured securely attached, he straightened his uniform one final time and turned to exit the cramped space he had called home for the last six months.  It wouldn't do for the troops to see him looking anything other than properly attired and well groomed.  Certain appearances had to be maintained, and expectations met.

As he stepped out into the narrow corridor, the Captain's announcements blared over the intercom system.

Ken shook his head and smiled thinly.  The customary last minute changes to plan and unnecessary meddling by self-important bureaucrats had obviously begun.  If they were lucky, it would be something minor, like a politician wanting an extra photo-op or two, and not an unanticipated change in planetary ownership while they were in transit. 

blackpanzer

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #30 on: 20 November 2011, 21:58:26 »
Hong Yu stopped in mid stride as the announcements boomed through the Wayward Son's speakers. He had just finished another round of vehicular sims with the rest of his company barely half an hour ago, and had washed himself thinking to return to his on-going personal crusade against the thrice damned simulator pod. With a sigh, he turned around and changed out of his greasy technician's overalls and pulled on his tanker suit instead. The boss usually wasn't too particular about appearances and dressing during their internal meetings - unless one appeared in a rabbit suit with fluffy shoes to match, but the Chinese man thought it prudent not to turn up on like a grease monkey.

He tapped on his personal comms as he undressed. "Pops, you'll have to continue with that sims pod yourself."

"Ya, I heard. Go ahead. We're not goin' anywhere in a hurry." The reply came through clearly in his ear through the small piece of device.

"Gotcha. Have a good time." Hong Yu finished as he zipped up his suit, made his way out of his bunk and headed towards the Command Center.

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #31 on: 03 December 2011, 18:56:15 »
Taking a deep breath Valentin began to speak. "I am going to be direct. Is there a problem between you and Donnelson?" Valentin raised his hand to indicate James to let him finish. "I ask because Captain Takeda asked... ordered me to speak to you and her about it. I have noticed the... coolness between you two ever since I joined. Actually, I have seen it between you and a few others as well, but it seems it is worse between the two of you. Personally, I think he is a little off base. You can work together, and it does not appear to be any actual hostility. But at the same time, it is noticeable and it is a bit of a distraction. If it is something you do not feel comfortable enough to talk to me about, I understand."


   James rubbed his forehead and chuckled.  Number five.  This was the fifth time, directly or indirectly, he'd had to set one of the new guys straight.  He was genuinely puzzled by their attitude on the matter.  Maybe it was because James was generally considered the Cav's “class clown”, and they didn't understand him having a side that wasn't up-beat or jovial.  In all likelihood they just needed to be educated, so James didn't mind giving another lesson.
   “It's okay, really.  You're new, so you don't know.  Or at least, you don't really know, so I won't hold it against you.  You know the story behind Donnelson and some of the others, don't you Sarge?”  Valentin nodded.  James asked his tech to take a break, and offered Valentin the chair that had been vacated.  James was content to stand and lean against the leg of his Gladiator.
   “Let me ask you something, Davideko.  If you met a girl, and she left her boyfriend to be with you... would you be mad if she cheated on you in the future?”
   Valentin replied as any normal person would. “Of course, who wouldn't?” [sorry Grey, kinda have to here. -GM]
   “Well yes, emotionally, anyone would be upset.  But what I mean is, would you be surprised by her actions?  I mean, if she cheated on her old boyfriend to be with you, doesn't that kinda set the precedent for her cheating on you to be with someone else?”
   “You never said she cheated on her old boyfriend, James.”
   “Don't be nieve, bro, of course she did.  If she had someone to leave, then that means she got to know you while she was in a relationship.  You need to read past the book's cover to know the story.  If someone cheated on the one they loved in the past, or in our case a unit, then you need to be ready for that person to do the same again.  It's as simple as that.”
   [that's all I feel comfortable saying for you, Grey.  You can reply as you see fit -GM]


Dropship Wayward Son
Deep Orbit, Loxley System
Coventry March, Federated Commonwealth
18 November 3037


   About fifteen minutes after the call had been put out, the Son's C3 was packed to the gills with the unit's senior officers.  MechWarriors, pilots, tank commanders, platoon leaders, even Gillian Albin and Chief Paul Ryan.  Justin was sitting on console mounted to the bulkhead, and Ken was standing beside him.  The room's old life support system was struggling to scrub the CO2 being thrown into the air, generating a rhythmic clunking sound that Justin had to speak over.
   “Good morning, Cavaliers.” 
   “Morning, skipper,” came the unified reply.
   “As you are all no doubt aware, we will be breaking atmo in roughly twelve hours... it looks like the arrival estimate was a bit off.  So, since we will be getting to shore a few hours early, there are going to be some changes to our schedule.  We'll touch down just before midnight local time, so I want you all to proceed to your racks after we unload our heavy gear.”  Justin continued to scan the crowd of familiar faces as he went.  “I'm serious about this, people.  I will not tolerate anyone giving me any 'drop-lag' excuses.  We've been tuning the cycle on-ship and are arriving around bedtime.  Get your heavy gear, park it, and find your room in the barracks.  Local crews will be getting our personal effects for us tomorrow night, so make sure to pack your duffles and leave them on your cot.  And don't leave your room a mess.  These guys are not a cleaning service, so the Son's crew will be locking down your quarters after you depart.  They've been very good to us these last six months, so the least we can do is not leave litter for them to pick up, yeah?
   “Speaking of quarters, you heard me right.  Everyone will have a single occupancy room, the base is just that big.  That also means it's tough to navigate.  As per standard SLDF security protocols none of The Rock's corridors are marked.  Make sure you keep your pads handy in case you get lost.”
   “The Rock, sir?” called someone in the crowd.
   “Oh, right.  Fort Worth is known locally as 'The Rock'.  This is due to the location and architecture of the base, particularly the outside.  The base is built into the foot of the Grey Mountains, and the only thing visible from orbit is the airstrip and DropShip landing pads.  The entry is unmistakable from the ground, though.  It's a perfectly sheer rock face about twenty stories high and at least as many wide.  The passage into the base spans the entire face and is always open during operational hours, though there are blast doors in case of WMDs or orbital bombardment.  That entryway puts you right in the vehicle bay, which is quite literally cavernous.  The bay is also a hub for the massive tunnel system that leads into the mountains.  These tunnels are large enough to accommodate a lance of mechs marching line-abreast but are extremely dangerous and prone to collapse.”
   “Are there other facilities linked to the base, and are the AeroSpace hangers part of the vehicle hanger?” asked Sergeant Aisaka .
   “Every few years some off-worlder comes to Loxley, claiming that they've 'decoded a Star Leagug memory core' or some other nonsense... most of the people who wander into the tunnels don't come back.  When I was a kid there was a famous case involving a local.  He ran a distillery in the mountains, found a passage, and was wandering the tunnels for the next six months.  I shit you not.”
   “What did he eat?” Kushieda asked, transfixed by the story.
   “There are some nasty critters that live in the mountains called Vols.  They're like a Terran armadillo, but decidedly less friendly.  Apparently he hunted them and found underground aquifers to get by.  Had to eat'em raw.  By the time he got out the daylight nearly blinded him and he was borderline insane.  As you might imagine, there haven't been any treasure seekers in a few years.  Anyway, you and Tiaga will be punching atmo with us.  Land at the base and the ground staff will walk your Chippewas into the AeroSpace cubicles inside the base.”
   All too late he noticed Kushieda's horrified expression.  She looked like she was actually on the verge of tears.  “That's horrible, skipper... horrible!”  Taiga threw the Major a look that could have melted mech armor, and Justin instantly regretted sharing that particular story.  Since the rest of the people in the room were also giving him disapproving looks, he tried to move on as quickly as possible.
   “Sorry, Minori.  Where was I... right.  As you've probably gathered by now, The Rock was designed to accommodate a combined-arms regiment, so that's why we'll have so much free space.  The base is staffed full-time, but doesn't have much in the way of recreational facilities.  Fortunately New Dallas is minutes away and there is a dedicated maglev line connecting the base to the city.  There are cargo and commutator trains, so be careful which one you get on.  For the most part you'll be free to come and go as you please when not on duty, and your quarters will be yours to do with as you see fit.
   “While the base may be staffed, we will be providing our own security.  Captain Takeda, Commander Hong Yu, Lt. Buggerman, and myself will be creating detailed duty rosters after I get a chance to familiarize them with the New Dallas area.  In all likelihood the Armored and Mechanized Cav will be split between base and city defense, rotating between various government and industrial instillation.  The Heavy Cav will patrol the city limits and the mountains, freeing the rest of the Metal Thunder to cover the various mining operations of strategic importance deeper in the mountains.  We're also going to be doing various PR and civil service jobs, starting with friday's parade.  After we march down to Sundance Square from the base we'll be meeting the locals... you know, letting the civies take pictures and get a close look at our mechs, cockpit tours, let the kids check out our gear, that kind of thing.  I'm sure you all went to unit parades or airshows when you were younger.  That evening there will also be a gala at the Sundance Hotel, which you will all be attending.”
   There were some groans from the crowd, but the reaction wasn't as negative as he had expected.     “Now before anyone starts bitchin', I'll tell you the same thing I told Captain Churchill.  Events like this are standard in Lyran space, and are posh affairs.  You'll be treated to top-notch food and drink, rub elbows with local nobility and celebrities, and generally have your ass kissed all night.  All you need to do shake hands with people who introduce themselves and thank them for their hospitality.  It's a party, and it'll be fun, so I don't want to hear complaints.
   “Oh, and before I forget you're not supposed to go to these soirees alone.  If you don't find a local or another Cavalier to partner up with for the night, Duke Samuel Norse has arranged for a variety of male and female escorts--”
   “Woohoo!”  Yelled someone hiding in the back of the room, which naturally got a laugh out of everyone.
   “Not that kind of escort.  Seriously, whatever you do don't try to bed anyone who's last name is Norse, McDowell, or Steiner-Latimer.  That's really not something I want to have to deal with.  I've included information on Lyran protocol in your briefings, and directions to the stores that will be providing our social attire.
   “Remember folks, New Dallas is going to be our home for the next three years, so please don't try to crash this party like a pack drunk frat boys.  If I have any disciplinary problems I won't bother disciplining you... I'll just hand you over to the Captain and let him use his imagination.
   “Questions?”
« Last Edit: 03 December 2011, 19:06:15 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #32 on: 04 December 2011, 12:27:04 »

   James rubbed his forehead and chuckled.  Number five.  This was the fifth time, directly or indirectly, he'd had to set one of the new guys straight.  He was genuinely puzzled by their attitude on the matter.  Maybe it was because James was generally considered the Cav's “class clown”, and they didn't understand him having a side that wasn't up-beat or jovial.  In all likelihood they just needed to be educated, so James didn't mind giving another lesson.
   “It's okay, really.  You're new, so you don't know.  Or at least, you don't really know, so I won't hold it against you.  You know the story behind Donnelson and some of the others, don't you Sarge?”  Valentin nodded.  James asked his tech to take a break, and offered Valentin the chair that had been vacated.  James was content to stand and lean against the leg of his Gladiator.
   “Let me ask you something, Davideko.  If you met a girl, and she left her boyfriend to be with you... would you be mad if she cheated on you in the future?”
   Valentin replied as any normal person would. “Of course, who wouldn't?” [sorry Grey, kinda have to here. -GM]
   “Well yes, emotionally, anyone would be upset.  But what I mean is, would you be surprised by her actions?  I mean, if she cheated on her old boyfriend to be with you, doesn't that kinda set the precedent for her cheating on you to be with someone else?”
   “You never said she cheated on her old boyfriend, James.”
   “Don't be nieve, bro, of course she did.  If she had someone to leave, then that means she got to know you while she was in a relationship.  You need to read past the book's cover to know the story.  If someone cheated on the one they loved in the past, or in our case a unit, then you need to be ready for that person to do the same again.  It's as simple as that.”
   [that's all I feel comfortable saying for you, Grey.  You can reply as you see fit -GM]

 "I not 100% about what you are saying, but I get the jist. I think." Valentin chuckled lightly. "But, I do not think your analogy works perfectly. Because in your example, you are at fault for getting involved with a woman already involved in a relationship." Valentin shrugged with a smile. Both men paused as the announcement calling for the Staff meeting, and then the lunch menu, came across the ship's intercomms.
 "Well, it looks like the boss wants to see us. I get what you are saying. But I do think you need to ask yourself, are you sure you know her whole story?" Valentin's voice carried no hint of condescension or annoyance, simply curiosity. "Just keep it in mind to at least tone it down when the senior staff is around, da?" Valentin straightened himself  and began to walk in the direction of the staff room.
 Davideko took a few steps away when he stopped and turned back to Horvath. "Oh.. And you may want to be careful about calling someone a traitor. It carries a lot of weight."
 
« Last Edit: 04 December 2011, 14:02:42 by GreyJaeger »
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #33 on: 04 December 2011, 12:45:41 »
...
   “Speaking of quarters, you heard me right.  Everyone will have a single occupancy room, the base is just that big.  That also means it's tough to navigate.  As per standard SLDF security protocols none of The Rock's corridors are marked.  Make sure you keep your pads handy in case you get lost.”
...

Raising his hand and waiting to be called on by the CO, Guy asked, "Sir, if it's that's bad, is it really such a good idea to spread the troops out like that?  It could cause morale problems when we eventually have to move to smaller quarters, and idle hands will be bad enough without giving them closed doors to hide behind."  Guy was thinking back to his college days on Blackjack, and the trouble the students who had managed to bribe their way into single rooms had gotten into.  Stills, gambling dens and cat houses were the least of the problems.  The cadre had been willing to look the other way over a certain level of vice, but it never stopped there.

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #34 on: 04 December 2011, 18:29:38 »
"I not 100% about what you are saying, but I get the jist. I think." Valentin chuckled lightly. "But, I do not think your analogy works perfectly. Because in your example, you are at fault for getting involved with a woman already involved in a relationship." Valentin shrugged with a smile. Both men paused as the announcement calling for the Staff meeting, and then the lunch menu, came across the ship's intercomms.
 "Well, it looks like the boss wants to see us. I get what you are saying. But I do think you need to ask yourself, are you sure you know her whole story?" Valentin's voice carried no hint of condescension or annoyance, simply curiosity. "Just keep it in mind to at least tone it down when the senior staff is around, da?" Valentin straightened himself  and began to walk in the direction of the staff room.
 Davideko took a few steps away when he stopped and turned back to Horvath. "Oh.. And you may want to be careful about calling someone a traitor. It carries a lot of weight."

   That prompted James to follow Valentin.  He got a little too close to Valentin, not to inentionally invade his personal space but because he was just so frustrated by his comrade's willingness to turn a blind eye.  "Stop right there.  I never called anyone a traitor.  I may not be hugging every Feddie who comes my way, but I sure as hell don't spit in their faces either.
   "But you're absolutely right... we shouldn't have gotten into a relationship with these people.  You may not remember it because you weren't here, but not long ago some of the men an women in this unit were trying to kill each other, and more often than not we succeeded.  Regardless of their personal stories or intentions, if some bounty hunter recognizes them as the wanted war criminals that they are, we're humped.  And while I believe Monica, Vince, Kate or any of the others would back me up in a fight, I can't help but think that they'll better-deal us if they get the chance.  It may not be out of spite, and it may not even be an easy choice for them... but they'll do what they have to do to survive.  So, if everyone else wants to ignore that possibility that's fine... I'll keep an eye out for you."
   As James walked past Valentin, he paused in the doorway leading to the hall.  "You'll never get an 'I told you so' from me.  I hope I'm wrong.  I hope it never comes to that.  But like it or not someone needs to keep watch.  I suggest you keep your eyes open, and not mistake caution for pathological hatred."  He clapped his fellow sergeant on the shoulder gently in an effort to try and lighten things a bit. "I'll see you at the briefing."

Raising his hand and waiting to be called on by the CO, Guy asked, "Sir, if it's that's bad, is it really such a good idea to spread the troops out like that?  It could cause morale problems when we eventually have to move to smaller quarters, and idle hands will be bad enough without giving them closed doors to hide behind."  Guy was thinking back to his college days on Blackjack, and the trouble the students who had managed to bribe their way into single rooms had gotten into.  Stills, gambling dens and cat houses were the least of the problems.  The cadre had been willing to look the other way over a certain level of vice, but it never stopped there.

   "I really don't see it as much of a problem, Guy.  It's really not that different from any of the on-base housing arrangements I've ever experienced.  What makes The Rock unique is that it's an entire military base under one roof.  It's actually more compact than typical army or air bases, as the buildings are not separated, but it is still several square miles of homes, offices, training facilities and repair facilities, and vehicle bays.  It's an underground city, and a very interesting place to live and work.  There are Segway transports and other vehicles for faster transport between buildings, but most of the areas we'll be inhabiting are arranged vertically.  The barracks, for example, is basically a twenty-story apartment building.  We won't be as spread out as you might think.
   "There are plenty of leisure activities to be had in New Dallas, and considering the base's security measures... face recognition checkpoints, chemical sniffers, thermal tracking, etc, I don't expect much trouble.  However, let it be known that unacceptable conduct outside the base will not be tolerated.  I don't have any special arrangements with the NDPD, so you will be subject to local laws.  Ms. Albin has been working with the Mayor's office to arrange for an array of activities every week, so you won't have to go to the same bar every night.  I have faith in your maturity and professionalism, so don't let me down."

[This picture is pretty close to how The Rock looks.  Instead of being a free-standing structure in the woods, the facility is in the base of a mountain.  The main white wall would be much wider and far taller, a sheer vertical rock face, and the entry way would be large enough to allow mechs to easily walk in and out.  It's not perfect, but it's a fairly close approximation. -GM]

Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #35 on: 04 December 2011, 19:10:57 »
Guy shrugged lightly and replied, "Roger that, sir."  This was one of those things the guys getting the big bucks were paid to figure out, so he let it go.  As mechwarriors his own troops would rate individual quarters anyway, so he really didn't have a dog in the fight.

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #36 on: 04 December 2011, 19:40:01 »
Monica listens to the briefing with some interest.  Her mouth twitches a little as the Major goes on about not having an arrangement with the New Dallas PD.  That's something that she didn't have to deal with before her old unit met it's demise.  She can't decide if the threat of being arrested is refreshing or frightening. 

The Major mentions bars and such, as he would be advised to do given most mercs idea of recreation.  A brief moment of curiosity seizes her, though, since she has different ideas about how to enjoy herself.

"Sir, what's the local environment like otherwise?"  She asks.  She's seen the briefing materials of course, but temperature and atmosphere quality were just the tip of the iceberg.  "Any dangerous predators, or is fruit all poisonous or anything like that?"
« Last Edit: 04 December 2011, 19:41:33 by Captain Vlad »

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #37 on: 04 December 2011, 21:28:44 »
   "Fair question.  Loxley has a very diverse ecosystem, with plenty of large, hardy mammals.  In our AOO you're most likely to see Terran longhorns and similar creatures on massive ranches.  There are a number of large birds of prey, including the native Loxley griffin.  native birds have two sets of wings and prehensile tails, so you'll know them when you see them.  there are what most would recognize as moose, bears, and imported Terran dear in the woods and mountains, but the only truly dangerous wildlife is the razor wolf.  they're the size of Terran wolves, but their coats are made of quills similar to porcupine.  they're pack hunters, remarkably intelligent... locals call'em hellhounds.  aside from that, i would suggest you refrain from eating any plants in the wild, just in case.  do, however, try the rock lobster, which can be found in more upscale establishments... they're something of a local delicacy.
   "Expect it to be chilly most of the time.  It isn't Tharkad, but it's still a fairly cool climate.  The people are friendly, and the New Dallas metroplex has a population of 3.5 million.  I'll warn you, though, that you may have a bit of trouble with the local dialect... the accents can be challenging.  But don't worry, more information will be in your data packets."
   Justin picked up his datapad and punched in a few commands.  A second later, various ringtones could be heard from the crowd.
   "Tomorrow at 0600 we'll be starting some basic maneuvers... stretching our mech's legs, so to speak.  Captain Takeda will be running us through some parade drills and we'll start our first patrols.  Friday is the parade, with saturday being the official start of our garrison.  On the 25th, next wensday, we're going to start doing some force on force exercises, in preparation for a full battalion-level skirmish against the Metal Thunder's first battalion.  There will be plenty to keep us busy, ladies and gentlemen, and we'll be able to exercise our trigger fingers soon.
   "Tai-i, was there anything you wanted to add?"
« Last Edit: 05 December 2011, 16:32:40 by whistler »
Quote from: 3rdCrucisLancers
Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #38 on: 05 December 2011, 13:19:21 »
“While the base may be staffed, we will be providing our own security.  Captain Takeda, Commander Hong Yu, Lt. Buggerman, and myself will be creating detailed duty rosters after I get a chance to familiarize them with the New Dallas area.  In all likelihood the Armored and Mechanized Cav will be split between base and city defense, rotating between various government and industrial instillation.  The Heavy Cav will patrol the city limits and the mountains, freeing the rest of the Metal Thunder to cover the various mining operations of strategic importance deeper in the mountains.  We're also going to be doing various PR and civil service jobs, starting with friday's parade.  After we march down to Sundance Square from the base we'll be meeting the locals... you know, letting the civies take pictures and get a close look at our mechs, cockpit tours, let the kids check out our gear, that kind of thing.  I'm sure you all went to unit parades or airshows when you were younger.  That evening there will also be a gala at the Sundance Hotel, which you will all be attending.”
   There were some groans from the crowd, but the reaction wasn't as negative as he had expected.     “Now before anyone starts bitchin', I'll tell you the same thing I told Captain Churchill.  Events like this are standard in Lyran space, and are posh affairs.  You'll be treated to top-notch food and drink, rub elbows with local nobility and celebrities, and generally have your ass kissed all night.  All you need to do shake hands with people who introduce themselves and thank them for their hospitality.  It's a party, and it'll be fun, so I don't want to hear complaints.
   “Oh, and before I forget you're not supposed to go to these soirees alone.  If you don't find a local or another Cavalier to partner up with for the night, Duke Samuel Norse has arranged for a variety of male and female escorts--”
   “Woohoo!”  Yelled someone hiding in the back of the room, which naturally got a laugh out of everyone.
   “Not that kind of escort.  Seriously, whatever you do don't try to bed anyone who's last name is Norse, McDowell, or Steiner-Latimer.  That's really not something I want to have to deal with.  I've included information on Lyran protocol in your briefings, and directions to the stores that will be providing our social attire.
   

 Having never attended a Lyran social function, the thought piqued Valentin's curiousity. This could be fun. That thought crashed hard when the Major mentioned "dates". Valentin watched as a few of the female members of the Cavalry looked for him. Damn it. I do not need this. Not that Valentin was not available, but Valentin had a rule about fraternizing with co-workers., even if the unit did not. It could be hard enough co-existing in a military unit without adding any more complications. Valentin shrugged inwardly. Maybe I have thrown out enough hints that I am not interested. Sure.. And maybe I could dropkick an Atlas.
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #39 on: 08 December 2011, 15:03:06 »
Tai-I Takeda nodded slightly.  "There will be an inspection Thursday at sixteen hundred hours to ensure that everyone is parade ready.  I suggest highly, that you get with your technical staff to ensure that everything is in readiness."

Picking up another sheet of paper, Ken continued.  "I have also engaged the services of an etiquette tutor, who will be here Thursday at Noon to conduct a class in local customs and general social expectations.  This class is not mandatory, but is also highly recommended.  It will be hard enough to avoid misunderstandings that we should at least strive to avoid unintentional insults based on ignorance of local mores."

"Finally, I will have the information on the local escorts available in my office for anyone who wishes to have a hand in selecting their companion for the evening, should they not already have other arrangements.  Needless to say, these ladies and gentlemen, while hired companions, are NOT prostitutes and any disrespect WILL have consequences, am I completely clear?  Good.  How your evening ends is entirely up to you and your companion, so long as it is by mutual agreement and with proper respect shown.  You may inform your personnel that drinking is permitted at the function, so long as proper decorum is observed.   It may also be useful to note that there are several training functions scheduled for the following morning, including extended physical training."  He paused and looked up from his notes.  "Hangovers will NOT be considered a sufficient medical excuse to miss training, so please keep that in mind, should you choose to indulge."

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #40 on: 08 December 2011, 21:38:59 »
Monica waits until Takeda is finished.  The etiquette class sounds like a horrible, boring idea.  She'll probably go anyway, for curiosities sake if nothing else.  Still, the function they were supposed to attend...

"Tai-I..."  She says.  It's unfamiliar on her tongue, and before now she'd just thought of him as Captain.  "...do we actually have to have a date for this thing?  We can't go stag?"

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #41 on: 09 December 2011, 00:13:39 »
Ken thought about it for a moment.  "Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with the finer points of Lyran protocol regarding such events.  I would have to defer that question's answer either to Major Radcliffe, as a Lyran Native, or ask you to take the matter up with the etiquette specialist at Thursday's class session.  Combine protocol would have the matter dependent on the wording on the invitation.  Worded as: "You and an escort are invited." would state that a companion was expected.  whereas, "You are invited" while asking for an RSVP requesting number of attendees leaves the matter open to your discretion."

He shrugged.  "But as we are not in the Combine, matters may be different."

Captain Vlad

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #42 on: 09 December 2011, 01:11:18 »
"Yes, sir," she answers.  Her eyes dart around the assembly for a second or two.  Valentin already has some of the other women whispering to each other, and he looked as suddenly awkward as she felt.  He wasn't the only one, either, though she saw more than one couple sneaking glances, too.  Well, more power to them, but she didn't really know anyone here well enough for this kind of thing...and the thought of a hired escort seems downright odd.

Daryk

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #43 on: 09 December 2011, 06:42:19 »
Guy grinned slightly at the mention of escorts.  At least the training on Blackjack had been broad enough to cover these kinds of situations.  When the XO said he'd give the troops a choice, he pulled out his data pad to make an appointment as early as possible.  It paid to have as broad a selection as possible in these matters.

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #44 on: 09 December 2011, 17:49:54 »
   "Yes, Donnelson, you have to have an escort.  You'll be expected to stand in line with him and be introduced, with all the politicians, nobles, and celebrities.  After you're announced and shake hands with the Duke you join the rest of the party.  At that point you and your escort can even part ways, though I suggest you stick together.  They can tell you who people are and generally keep you from doing anything stupid.  You can laugh, but these people are professionals.  The entire thing is an exercise in noble hospitality and currying favor with the Battlemech regiment occupying the planet.  It's the height of Lyran morality-sidestepping... why let your own sons and daughters put their lives on the line when you can pay someone else to spill their blood for you? 
   “I understand some of you not wanting to make life complicated, but the fact is this is protocol.  It's professional.  Going with someone in the unit is no different than going into a fight with one of your lancemates, but if you can't handle it we've got the pros to help us out.
   “Any other questions?”
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Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #45 on: 10 December 2011, 16:23:11 »
"I have a question sir." Valentin waited to be recognized before continuing. "Does Loxley posses any aberrant planetary mechanics we will have to acclimate to? I mean does Loxley have a twenty-four hour 'day'? Things of that nature. I only ask because I have read where vastly different planetary mechanics can cause psychological, even physical effects upon visitors to such a planet, at least until they acclimatize. At the least, it can cause confusion. Ever thought you were getting off duty at 'midnight', when according to the planet you are on it is actually 0300, and everything is closed?"
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

whistler

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #46 on: 10 December 2011, 19:49:21 »
   "Another good question.  Loxley has almost the same rotational period as Terra... just shy of 25 hours.  If you ever hear a local refer to 'stoppage time', it's the few extra seconds added to every hour so we can  run on Inner Sphere Standard Time (ISST).  The orbital period is almost the same as Terra's as well, so the ISST calender is commonly used.  This was one of the reasons Loxley was settled in the first place... the gravity, climate, weather, and seasons are all quite similar to those experienced in the British Isles.  As you're aware, since the day we arrived in-system we've been adjusting to the New Dallas timezone, so when you step off the Son at midnight it'll actually feel like midnight.  I may have mentioned this already but Loxley's atmosphere has a noticeably higher oxygen content than standard, which is actually quite convenient for us as we'll be spending a good deal of time in the mountains.  For the first day or two you may feel a bit... giddy.  Your brain will adjust.  You may also notice some improvement in your physical endurance.  It's great, until you ship out and are sucking down DropShip air like a madman to avoid feeling like you're suffocating."
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Whistler is not only a noted winner, he's a man's man, a generous philanthropist, a noted big game hunter, and a lover and a dancer. If he had a mustache it would be impeccably waxed. When he marches off to war, everyone else stays home.

GreyJaeger

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #47 on: 11 December 2011, 14:01:01 »
   "Another good question.  Loxley has almost the same rotational period as Terra... just shy of 25 hours.  If you ever hear a local refer to 'stoppage time', it's the few extra seconds added to every hour so we can  run on Inner Sphere Standard Time (ISST).  The orbital period is almost the same as Terra's as well, so the ISST calender is commonly used.  This was one of the reasons Loxley was settled in the first place... the gravity, climate, weather, and seasons are all quite similar to those experienced in the British Isles.  As you're aware, since the day we arrived in-system we've been adjusting to the New Dallas timezone, so when you step off the Son at midnight it'll actually feel like midnight.  I may have mentioned this already but Loxley's atmosphere has a noticeably higher oxygen content than standard, which is actually quite convenient for us as we'll be spending a good deal of time in the mountains.  For the first day or two you may feel a bit... giddy.  Your brain will adjust.  You may also notice some improvement in your physical endurance.  It's great, until you ship out and are sucking down DropShip air like a madman to avoid feeling like you're suffocating."

 "Very good sir. Nice things to know." Valentin made a quick mental note to do some research on how, and if, increased oxygen levels would affect metabolism and other health issues. Once actually on Loxley, and he can get back to his full aerobic and calisthenic exercise regimens, he would have to monitor himself. Also, Valentin had agreed to help some of the other members of the Cav with their fitness regimens. It is actually going to take quite a bit of work actually. Need to get on that. But I do have at least one other task on my agenda for now. Valentin waited patiently for the Major's briefing to be over. Once it was over, he needed to speak to Captain Takeda.
"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost."
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Warclaw

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Re: Heart of the Storm: The Continuing Adventures of the Heavy Cav
« Reply #48 on: 11 December 2011, 14:44:07 »
Ken nodded and jotted down another note.  "Indeed, a good question.  One I had not thought to ask myself.    The higher oxygen count will have other effects as well.  Most immediately notable, other than personal health effects, will be the flammability index, and the intensity of any fires we encounter or set.  This will be especially of note for anyone doing maintenance work or otherwise in proximity to any combustibles, as well as any of our troops using flamers or Inferno rounds.  Training, especially live fire exercises will have to be scheduled with this in mind as well.  It certainly wouldn't do to burn several hundred acres of local woodland by accident."