Register Register

Author Topic: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)  (Read 64453 times)

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 831
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #30 on: 03 January 2013, 14:48:25 »
Didn't the Red Duke Riccol get a copy of the Helm Core for helping the GDL of Helm?
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #31 on: 03 January 2013, 14:49:03 »
Indeed he did. Machinations are afoot!

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #32 on: 03 January 2013, 15:50:02 »
City of Jarlton, Hyadei Continent, Ko
Dieron Military District, Draconis Combine
20 April 3028



"No," Theodore shook his head, standing up. "Don't sit, Duke Ricol. I don't want you to get slime on your clothes." Theodore said, keeping an eye on the chair Aldo Lestrade had used. The Skye noble had just left, disappearing back into the darkness in his uneven gait. He had nearly ordered his guards to kill him outright, and had been tempted to wrap him in a package, crash Hanse Davion's wedding, and offer him up to Melissa Steiner.

The Red Duke smiled and bowed slightly. Theodore turned and went immediately through the back door, stepping outside under Ko's pleasant evening sky. An armoured hover-limousine waited for him and the Duke of Kaesong followed him in. Guards hopped into the front of the hover-limo. It was larger than standard, an Avanti design taken as spoils in a recent raid. It was meant for an officer that ISF files labelled a 'Social General'.

"It's a complicated game you play, Duke Ricol," said Theodore as the hovercraft rose on silenced air and sped away. Moments later it was followed by other hovercraft, lacking the sleek lines and luxurious furnishings but bristling with 'Mech-killing weapons. The one thing the hover-limo could boast compared to the combat vehicles was its state of the art comm system; he could command a battle in utter luxury.

"It is, indeed, Lord Kurita." Hassid Ricol said, utterly courteous and smooth. "One worth playing, I have found."

"It's astonishing that Aldo suspects nothing," said Theodore.

"Oh don't be quite sure of that, my Lord. He knows us to be Snakes after all, and snakes are treacherous things." Hassid glanced at Theodore. "Be honest, my Lord. Is he a man worth keeping your word to?"

"No," the Heir to the Dragon said. "But I am a man worth keeping my word."

Duke Ricol inclined his head. "But he will betray us, if it's in his best interests."

"Yes, I believe he will," Theodore agreed, rubbing the optichip between his fingers. He tossed it to the Red Duke who smoothly caught the chip and disappeared it into his sleeve. Theodore had been ready to dismiss Ricol as another scheming noble but he recalled the words of his tutors and looked up Ricol's record in the warbooks. The Red Hunter's accomplishments at the helm of a Marauder were legendary, it was a pity he held only a noble title and not a DCMS commission. But now, as the Red Duke, he already had his own forces. One far larger than a duke, or even archduke, would normally have.

Theodore realized he trusted Hassid Ricol less than Aldo Lestrade.

"My courier reports that they are within two jumps of Xinyang," Theodore said. "The Imperial Institute of Technology will surely find a use for your Helm Memory Core."

"It is not mine, Lord," the Red Duke said, his face darkening. "It is a gift from Grayson Carlysle."

"The mercenary you said you've been persuing? Well, Red Hunter, your quarry has yielded promising fruit." Theodore glanced at the duke, who was now idly watching the speeding terrain whip by. "Apart from the incomplete index of the Helm Core, what did you give Duke Lestrade?"

The Red Duke's face was a mask. "Fiction, nothing more. Literally. The Helm Memory Core contained literature, it's not just a technical database. I gave him encrypted fictional works. Children's books."

"So ka." Theodore was unsurprised by the Red Duke's betrayal. His unauthorized sojourn to the Marik world of Helm ended with a surprising revelation about ComStar. The duke's trip back to Combine space had been pre-arranged, routing himself through Port Moseby--the merchant world where Steiner and Kuritan traders haggled and cheated each other--with a pseudo command circuit of his own. The extravagance was what lead to his capture by Ninyu Kerai, who was living the life of a pirate in the Skye region with a few dozen DEST troopers.

The Red Duke was caught red-handed. Fearing death he spun a story that had held up under close investigation. Upon closer investigation, the story fell apart, but with a slickness that befitted an eel he had maneuvered himself into a meeting with Theodore.

Theodore spared a moment to think of his flame-haired friend. He noticed a certain melancholy after Ninyu turned in the Federated Suns advisors for questioning. He had to order Ninyu to carry the Helm Core personally to Xinyang. While it was true that he trusted no one else but him to carry such vital information he also saw the need to pull Ninyu out of the frontlines for a short while. The JumpShips Ninyu had used along the way were scheduled to return to specific points after a certain amount of time, arranging a returning command circuit for himself. The ISF on Xinyang had already been notified, and Theodore was sure a second copy was on its way to the ISF stronghold deep in New Samarkand into the Smiling One's hands. Which was why he had a copy made and sent to his cousin, Constance.

Which brought him back to his current companion. Somehow, Duke Ricol was able to get a hold of Duke Lestrade and quite easily transfer delicate information. The offer was whispered to him only three weeks ago, and Duke Lestrade was already enroute. Theodore wondered what would have happened had the Red Duke slipped back into the Combine had he not be engaged in raiding operations.

The limo swerved, but the internal cab remained steady. The Helm Core must be genuine. He bought himself out of a bad situation. That means he had no intention of turning it in, not unless it benefited him first. And he expects to be rewarded with the same worlds Lestrade was giving up.

He felt the duke's eyes on him, the unguarded stab of hatred and it fell into place. This is an old plan, Theodore decided. Lestrade's offer would have come regardless of the raids because of the impending war Hanse Davion was set on mounting. That means Duke Ricol wants me in the Federation of Skye when Lestrade's machinations all fall apart. He had already made sure everyone knew they had him to thank for the discovery.

The hover-limo slewed to a halt,  the doors opening to the hotel they had taken over. Theodore nodded to the well-paid hotel manager, who rushed towards him as he entered but thought twice as his guards followed him in.

Theodore called for an elevator and admired the hotel lobby. All Duke Ricol had to do was make sure I accepted Lestrade's offer, make the introductions and get out of the way. In fact, he could just as easily have done this behind the scenes. He gains nothing from this but my death. Now, he may gain my death, but if I succeed he rules over new worlds. If I fail, he's in a position to strike at my weakened father.

Theodore sat back, inhaling as his mind felt out the insinuations. Politics and scheming did not fit his mind naturally. He had dedicated his entire life to soldiering, and he believed he was a capable practitioner of the art. Now, he was learning from two of the best and worst.

"Duke Ricol," the Heir to the Dragon promised. "I will remember this."


« Last Edit: 03 January 2013, 20:54:54 by Marwynn »

snakespinner

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2402
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #33 on: 03 January 2013, 20:21:07 »
Duke Ricol, how refreshingly devious.
I wonder what he thought when Theodore said he would remember it.
As the Lyrans already have a copy of the Helm core it looks like Lestrade has really been taken to the cleaners. >:D
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

lowrolling

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 759
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #34 on: 04 January 2013, 00:02:36 »
Looks like the Red Duke is setting himself and Lestrade to keep Theodore's swordarm sharp.
May no one ever know less then me......

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #35 on: 04 January 2013, 00:10:24 »
I don't even know if it's canon those two schemed together or not (probably not) but I couldn't resist.


====================================

Unity Palace, Imperial City, Luthien
Pesht Military District, Draconis Combine
30 April 3028

 

Takashi Kurita strode into the Black Room and the door hissed shut behind him. The closing door signaled the start of the meeting, and no one else would be admitted until the Coordinator left. Vasily Cherenkoff, the only Warlord that would be present for the council meeting, looked questioningly across the table to Subhash Indrahar. The ISF Director smiled politely.

Both moved to stand to make their formal bows, but Takashi waved them down.

"Where are the Wolf's Dragoons now?"

Subhash adjusted the archaic gold-rimmed spectacles he affected then pressed down on the holomap controls. The Draconis Combine glittered in muted red and five lines of different colours, indicating one of the five Dragoons regiments blinked into view.

"Tono, Colonel Wolf is with Alpha and Gamma Regiments. As you know, their contract with us expired one week ago and your new agreements have taken effect. They jumped into a Lyran system precisely on the 23rd of April. Beta, as you know, is on An Ting, but a battalion is rotating amongst nearby worlds. Delta and Epsilon have been set loose in the Draconis March. Warlord Chi is using them as a distraction as the Pesht Regulars consolidate and dig in."

"Excellent!" Takashi smiled. He turned to the Warlord. "Vasily, you must be wondering why I asked you to come to this meeting. But with Pesht far closer than Dieron, I wished to hear from you personally."

Cherenkoff's jowls juddered with pride. "My Lord Kurita, Pesht is in shambles! That old monk took the best transports and regiments with him--"

"--On my orders, Vasily--"

"--Yes, tono, and wisely done," Cherenkoff quickly amended. "The Draconis March conquest wouldn't be half as successful without your wisdom... Err, but all these command circuits used to ferry the mer--Dragoons, the Ryuken, even the Pesht Regulars have thrown Pesht into an uproar. I no longer have the transportation assets necessary to fend off pirate raids, tono. They are getting bolder. But I have greater concerns about Pesht's economy."

Subhash smiled. "Pesht fares no worse or better than the rest of the Combine, tai-shu." The use of the military rank was a subtle reminder of the limits of his responsibilities.

Vasily Cherenkoff was immune to subtlety, and he rumbled on. "Representatives from the Minor Trading Houses nag at me daily, tono. I thought Pesht was quiet, stable, yet the troops are lax, the people restless, and I am actually running out of infantry. Infantry!"

"We need those men, Vasily," Takashi said, smoothly. "I know you can hold Pesht together without them. I have ordered Warlord Chi to share some of the spoils with you, with Pesht. That should offset your traders' concerns."

The Warlord perked up at the mention of loot. "Truly? Thank you, Lord Kurita!"

"It'd be enough to pay for mercenaries as well, to plug up the holes along the Periphery border." The Smiling One observed.

The glee vanished from Cherenkoff's face. He fumed red but held back his words as he remembered Takashi's presence. The Coordinator had ordered the hiring of more mercenaries lately, even asking corporations to hire units to free up DCMS regiments and their transportation assets. It was not wise to speak ill of mercenaries at this time.

Takashi waited patiently for Warlord Pesht to answer. "Yes. Of course, Director. I had the very thought myself--"

"--Ahh!" Subhash interrupted. "Is that why you have been collecting donations from all those citizens? It's an astounding figure, and kept safe in multiple accounts no less. Such fastidiousness."

Cherenkoff's mouth gaped.

"Yes, yes I believe that will do. You can easily hire three, even four regiments with those donations. It's even enough to remunerate Isesaki Shipping for the various express deliveries," of slaves and worse, "delivered to Pesht recently. I believe that will alleviate some of the uproar." Subhash's smile never left his face.

Takashi interjected. "Vasily, I know your honour finds it difficult to tolerate mercenaries. You need not use all of them within your borders. Send them across the Periphery, crush these pirates and if you can, bring their worlds under the Dragon's wings."

Seizing upon the Coordinator's words, the Warlord throttled back to life. "My honour prevents even this, tono. I regret I cannot hire sellswords to defend my district." He bowed low.

"I understand, Vasily." Takashi stood. "We will hire them. With your donations," the Coordinator said with a straight face, "we can use these mercenaries against our hated foes. Vasily, I am truly impressed with your integrity and generosity."



(Modified scene from Chapter 43 of Heir to the Dragon by Robert N. Charrette.)

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 831
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #36 on: 04 January 2013, 01:02:05 »
Wow, I'm surprised he wasn't offered the use of the garden.
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

Shadow_Wraith

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 745
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #37 on: 04 January 2013, 01:52:20 »
 O0  Very nice update!  Nice to see Takashi using his own warlord's donations to help the realm!

lowrolling

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 759
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #38 on: 04 January 2013, 10:00:53 »
Another promotion is coming soon.
May no one ever know less then me......

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #39 on: 04 January 2013, 12:28:27 »
Vasily's too well connected to dispose of easily. Also, he's a useful idiot: Ambitious and corrupt, but predictable and unsubtle.

But he is ambitious... After all, he helped start the Ronin War. And the good-cop/bad-cop routine of Takashi and Subhash was a warning.


==============================

Imperial Institute of Technology, Pauchang, Xinyang
Benjamin Military District, Draconis Combine
18 May 3028



Chief Tech Kowalski sighed when he saw Ninyu Kerai sitting in his chair. The office wasn't technically his, yet, but it was the closest to the labs and all his stuff was there. Ninyu, the self-confessed ISF agent, had his feet on his desk and appeared to be sleeping.

"Oh, quit fooling around," Kowalski said, smacking the feet off his desk to place the readouts he was carrying in their appropriate spots.

Ninyu stirred then settled back to his meditative state, a smirk forming on his lips as Kowalski's annoyed sounds reverberated in the humble room. "So, what's up, doc?"

"My blood pressure, Ninyu-kun. And I am not a doctor, I'm a tech."

Ninyu opened an eye at him, taking in the white lab robes, the research cap, slightly askew, and a cup of hot tea. "You're one odd tech, then, doc." He held up a hand. "What progress have you made?"

Feeling harassed this early in the day, the chief tech slumped into a guest chair. "With the Helm Core? Plenty and not enough. I'm as much a scientist as anyone in the days of lostech. Now, that tech isn't so lost anymore and I find that I am." The hot tea burnt his tongue. "It's a good thing, Theodore-sama moved us here to Xinyang, to IIT. If I had to recreate the research myself, I'd go mad." His cap drooped at the last word, making Ninyu laugh.

"It's not funny," he said, blowing on his cup. "This institute is barely worthy of the name these days. The records they were able to recover from Halstead Station were enough to jumpstart a few projects, but Hanse Davion took the bulk of it to form the NAIS."

"Just half of it, actually." Ninyu corrected. "And the other half's been slowly making its way here over the last 14 years--"

"--Emphasis on the 14 years, Ninyu-kun. I still don't buy that, by the way."

"What?" Ninyu asked, stirring.

"The whole 'it was the plan all along to let Hanse Davion take the manuals and do the hard work of researching for us to steal' thing. Subhash Indrahar wasn't even the Director of the ISF then, was he?"

Ninyu nodded. "It's probably a convenient lie, but it has worked out to be true. We don't get as much as we want, chief tech, but we get enough."

"But we still spend months piecing their research together." His cap drifted down again and he re-set it on his head. "What we're doing now is happening much faster. Thanks to your 'data specialists' we were able to cross-index the whole thing into something resembling referenced works."

Kowalski stood up. "You want project updates, hmm?" He grabbed a reader. "Agro-Proj-11 is coming along nicely, according to the glorified farmers in the AgriSciences wing. They're working almost hand-in-hand with the Water Purification projects, which we may have practical results from soon. Anyway, with just the new planting patterns, we can increase yields by as much as 2.1% this year alone."

"That's a lot of rice."

"Hopefully." Kowalski thumbed a button on the reader. "The Material Engineering wing is dumbfounded by the research materials. They were the cutting edge of Star League science, so I'm re-allocating them to some more practical matters. Neo-steel alloys and ceramet weaves for civilian use. Endo-steel and ferro-fibrous materials for military use. Guess which gets the bulk of the research?" He shook his head. "The Brotherhood's medical experts are devouring everything they can. It's actually the most productive sector of our research, Brother Albrecht tells me that fifteen new medicines are ready for trials now which will cure a variety of common ailments. We can even sell them to the Free Worlds League, or even the Capellan Confederation... if they're still around next year."

Ninyu shrugged at his comment and pulled out a canteen to sip from.

"Hmm. And the surgical procedures look promising as well, once we've rebuilt the sonic-scalpels and grow some of the modified leeches and such." He took a long quaff from the cup, the tea now at a pleasant temperature. "The Helm Core contains more than just technical matters, well I mean, more than just the hard sciences."

"Economics, again, Kowalski-kun?" Ninyu fidgeted for a ration bar he hid away on his person. "The Coordinator isn't interested in such things."

"Isn't he?" Kowalski asked, leaning forward. "He's already ordered some minor reforms that are bearing fruit. By the buddha, the eta work less than 12 hours a day now on Luthien and are paid more!"

"It's a fatigue-relieving measure. The factories have been working non-stop," Ninyu said, gnawing on the bar. "Plus it means there are two shifts now instead of one-and-a-half."

"Fine. Explain why so many monopolies have been broken apart. With public funding for competitors--"

"That's the Order of Five Pillars. Monopolies, as you know, are not allowed within the Combine, cooperation is encouraged, however," Ninyu said repeating a rote line, "and it has always been the O5P's pleasure to invest in the foundational industries of our economy."

"That's not my point, Ninyu-kun. The mutant-mathematicians, those economists, are saying that the Combine's economy will actually grow this year. Despite the chaos of all the command circuits. Despite the coming war. There's more than just specs here. There are economic theories written by Hegemony experts that could shed some light on so many things."

Ninyu relented. "What are you asking for?"

"Schools! Business schools!" Kowalski jolted upright. "Our traders are the joke of the Sphere. Our dukes of industry focus on maintaining power. Accounting, Economics, we don't teach these in our schools at all. Not to boys at least, they're womanly things. And then we don't allow the women to lead businesses or use these skills."

"You should speak with Tomoe-san."

Kowalski nodded, it was the most he had gotten from Ninyu on the matter over several weeks of nagging.

"BattleTechnology," he said, changing the subject. "That's trickier, they're built on nearly all the other advances, thankfully since we're putting the bulk of our research behind new and deadlier guns, we're indirectly helping other research. In fact, it's more efficient to focus on the underlying stuff first before making sharper knives."

The chief tech's eyes drifted to the sheathed katana laying on a side table. It was a mini-discovery regarding mining and medical technologies that allowed for the miniaturization of power-cells and efficient, curved vibro-blades. The vibro-katana was born a short time later, and Ninyu Kerai claimed the first prototype for himself and ordered the specs sent to New Samarkand immediately. The hilt had a powercell that could power a blazer rifle through several battles and the sheathe was an excellent insulator. It had a convenient side-effect of being far quieter than normal, cord-limited, vibro-blades.

"So, no possibility of refitting the Swords of Light to the SLDF's Royals' specs yet?" Ninyu asked, half-jokingly referring to the now-legendary Royals who fielded equipment that exceeded the capabilities of even the rest of the well-equipped Star League Defense Force.

"Mmm, no. We don't even know how we can build the tools we need to make the tools used to create some of these things. I fear that these double-strength heatsinks might never be in sufficient numbers in the Combine. Polymers, blah."

"I don't suppose you can build a WarShip or two?"

"Maybe in a decade or two, Ninyu-kun. Not to be rude, but when are you leaving? I thought you were only going to be here for a few days then--"

"--That's not your concern, tech." Ninyu's face darkened and his body tensed.

A far cry from the Smiling One, Kowalski thought privately.

"Can I at least sit in my own chair?"

"No."

« Last Edit: 04 January 2013, 14:01:05 by Marwynn »

gladius

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 253
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #40 on: 04 January 2013, 21:26:49 »
Brilliant! Nice nod to the scene in the book ("What do I know about rice?"), and also good background for the Combine, and how it's economy works.

Keep going, this is great! O0

mikecj

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1727
  • Veteran of Galahad 3028
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #41 on: 04 January 2013, 23:35:25 »
Nice sidebar ti the on-military advances
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

afterthought53

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #42 on: 05 January 2013, 01:14:27 »
"Can I at least sit in my own chair?"

"No."


 ;D

lowrolling

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 759
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #43 on: 05 January 2013, 15:52:40 »
Very good update, I am almost wanting to pull for the Kuritas.
May no one ever know less then me......

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #44 on: 07 January 2013, 01:16:45 »
Bannockburn Bogs, Outside New Glasgow, Skye
Federation of Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
20 May 3028



Dechan Fraser didn't wait for the crosshairs to glow gold as he drew a long pull from his Armstrong J11 autocannon. His Shadow Hawk, painted in the colour of old blood, pounded its feet against the loamy marsh as streams of shells spat towards the blue-gold 'Mechs of the 1st Royal Guards.

Neither the Wolf's Dragoons nor the DCMS expected the Archon's bodyguards to be garrisoning Skye. It did make sense to move the well-equipped unit close to the frontlines. But the unit was also the home of many politically approved officers, and that meant they couldn't be risked too frivously. Dechan had wondered what made them decide to place the 'Pride of Donegal' on the Federation of Skye's capital, whoever 'they' may be.

Now, he was wondering how to keep the damned Elsies from closing in.

The desperate double-burst chewed through his already diminishing ammo, but he was rewarded with a thermal bloom in his HUD overlay. The Commando he had targeted staggered back with an engine hit. He'd be exposed to more long ranged fire if he closed in, so the pilot wisely pulled back. Skye's unpredictable weather had clouded the marshes with thick banks of fog, laced with enough minerals in the tainted water to make sensors nearly worthless.

Which was why he had stumbled onto a full Royal Guards lance in a simple perimeter patrol. The Commando was the first to withdraw.

Wish his friends would follow, Dechan thought, acquiring a lock on one of the new Hatchetman designs they had been warned about. How is the most advanced thing in the last hundred years a 'Mech that's carrying a big, metal axe?

A Griffin to his rear right wasn't as impressed, or perplexed, at the new 'Mech design as the pilot welcomed it with a blast from its Fusigon PPC. The stream of particles swept fog aside in a steaming, coruscating path to slam at the Hatchetman's autocannon.

Whatever cannon it was, Dechan's warbook ticked it damaged as he loosed a stream of shells and a flight of his long range missiles. The pilot of the new 'Mech had never been in combat in one before in the Hatchetman, Dechan could tell by the way its body language changed. In one moment it moved smoothly, steadily. The next, it jerked and hesitated, unaware of just how to respond like it did now as the shells and missiles slammed into it.

Confused or damaged, the 'Mech staggered under the assault and crashed to the ground, bleeding oil and smoke.

"What the hell?--" Dechan shouted as the Hatchetman's neck burst into flames then its head lifted off completely. He tagged the location on his map, then focused on moving.

The paired Griffins, Steiner-variants, to its side ignored the fallen 'Mech as they struggled to close in, desperate to bring their laser array into play. Their missile launchers, thankfully downgraded to LRM-5 packs like his own SHD-2H, spat smoke that corkscrewed above drifting banks of fog.

Dirt and fire geysered around Dechan as they angled away at full speed, a few missiles fragments impacting on their armour. Only the Commando was fast enough to eventually close in, but the 55-tonners were evenly matched in speed but not in long-range firepower. And the Dragoons were more than willing to keep the range extended to their advantage.

Wary of overheating the PPC, the Dragoon Griffin loosed a flight of missiles at the closest GRF-1S that simply absorbed the damage on its chest without bothering to evade. The smoke had barely cleared from its armoured chest when a ball of lightning smashed into its torso.

Dechan turned his 'Mech's head to confirm, then motioned for his wingman to slow and turn.

A second, third, and fourth ball of lightning sped towards the GRF-1S's mangled chest, laying it bare for a combined flight of forty missiles. The Lyran pilot ejected as the missiles hammered deep, gutting the gold-and-blue 'Mech. Captain Fraser ordered a Hover APC forward to capture the MechWarrior.

The remaining Steiner Griffin spat coherent light from its large laser, carving a steaming furrow into the marshground as four Manticore Heavy Tanks rumbled forward. Unlike the Dragoon 'Mechs that seemed to have bathed in blood, the Manticores were charcoal grey. House Kurita's dragon-on-red-disk was prominent on the tanks' turrets.

The Parti-Kill Heavy Cannons belched again, accelerating particles in a contained burst of energy that blasted the remaining GRF-1S's retreating back apart. Even at the great distance, with the fog devouring noises, Dechan heard the gyroscope shatter and die as the lightning fed on it. The Royal Guards' Griffin had no choice but to slam into the muddy earth face first.

Dechan waited for an ejection that didn't come before ordering another APC forward to secure that MechWarrior.

"Company, head back to camp," Dechan ordered over the comms, broadcasting in the company's band. He waited until the other nine 'warriors, he had lost two in the last few days, acknowledged.

When they ran into the Royal Guards lance he ordered the company's two other lances to break apart and flank. Instead they ran into their own difficulties. The 1st Royal Guards had no compunctions in using armour or vehicles as well, and they posed difficulties against his company's recon 'Mechs. They disengaged with nothing lost but armour and ammo, and Dechan was thankful for that.

Turning his 'Mech to the Ryuken-san tanks, he bent his Shadow Hawk forward at the waist. The tanks turned their turrets to the side then dipped their cannons down, returning the bow. They trudged on, continuing to the firebase the Ryuken-san established. He sent the lead Manticore the latest map scans he and his recon company had made of the area, and the tank commander returned the favour with updated map readouts of the rear. He shared it with Hersch, who was scanning the horizon for IR blips in his Griffin. Wordlessly, the Dragoon pilot took point.

Dechan turned his attention towards his own SHD-2H as he moved to follow. The brief firefight cost him most of his autocannon ammunition, half his LRMs, and several tons of armour.

So much for being gutless wonders, Dechan harrumphed. I read they were urban specialists. The warbook neglected to mention they were pretty alright in everything else.

He glanced at the sub-system display. One heatsink was blinking between green and yellow and his 'Mechs' feet were registering higher-than-normal heat build-up, right up to their shins in fact.

On a hunch, Dechan flicked his view over to infrared and watched Hersch plod away in his Griffin. The torso, and especially the PPC, were still glowing hot, but the heat map on its legs was the same colour as the ground. He stopped completely, switching to the magnetic anomaly scan, which was worthless in the bog. It picked up the GRF-1N's torso and waist well enough, but scattered at the legs.

"Hey, Hersch. Did anyone ever tell you you had nice legs?"
 

« Last Edit: 07 January 2013, 10:05:13 by Marwynn »

snakespinner

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2402
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #45 on: 07 January 2013, 03:50:27 »
Was the Lyran unit the 1st Lyran Guards or the 1st Royal Guards.
Whoever they were not to good. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Headshot

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 318
  • Trust me. I know what i'm doing.
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #46 on: 07 January 2013, 06:57:16 »
Are you calling out a lyran Mech lance that ran into a Dragoon company with tank support?  ???

As for Lestrade, i'll never understand those Skye idiots.
What do they hope to accomplish with secession?
Katrina should just give them what they want, full independance. Let the Dragon solve the "Free Skye problem" for her.
The survivors will be all too happy about seeing Steiner forces forever after.

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #47 on: 07 January 2013, 14:31:46 »
Thanks for catching that, snakespinner.

Technically, the 1st Royal Guards ran into a demi-lance: the SHD-2H and GRF-1N plus some APCs and Infantry. The Manticores came in a bit late to the fight, on their way to some other fight.
 
==================================

Wolf's Dragoons Alpha Field Headquarters, Bannockburn Bogs, Skye
Federation of Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
22 May 3028


Natasha Kerensky walked in on Jaime Wolf peering into the holotank trying to divine victory from a ball of light instead of crystal. The raid was already a week old and Skye's weather was not cooperating with either side, the strain of setbacks showed on his face. They were bogged down, by the bogs and marshes, but also by the fervor of their opponents.

She had petitioned to attack the Sanglamore Academy with her company to split up the Lyrans, but Jaime had denied her three times already. The teachers and students had showed remarkable restraint, and Jaime explained that he didn't want to fight an unnecessary battle.

If Jaime sensed her presence he didn't show it, and she was content to wait. Part of the reason she enjoyed commanding the Black Widows was that they were just as patient as she was: meaning as patient as they had to be to secure the kill. She'd play Jaime's game, if it was a game.

She was not doing it to spend a few silent minutes alone with him.

"Tasha," the colonel said quietly after several moments. "Come look at this. Tell me what you see."

Natasha obliged, studying the surface of Skye as she stepped in closer beside him. Markers identified battalion positions and troop strengths. She stated the obvious. "The Skye militia's still not deploying."

Jaime nodded. "I've filtered in some plains-clothes recon teams. Word is, the militia's all for the foreigners--that's us and the Lyran regiments--killing each other so long as we don't come near their cities. It looks like they're sitting this one out." He turned his head towards her, waiting for more observations.

She saw what he wanted her to see immediately. She was going to play the game. She wasn't doing to extend the time they were by each other.

"And it looks like our pet snakes are doing well for themselves," she said mockingly of the Ryuken-san. "Did they pack their lunches?"

Jaime snorted. "They're doing better than we did against the 24th Lyrans. You remember them?"

"Oh yeah. Hesperus II." Natasha watched his face.

"Ten years and still one of the worst defeats we've ever suffered. The ISF rated them Green because of all the newbies they've taken in since. They don't fight like greenies."

"Well, what's one more thing the ISF has gotten wrong about this mission?" She jerked a thumb at the three Lyran 'Mech regiments on planet, instead of the one and highly unlikely two regiments the ISF believed. "But that's not what you're talking about, is it?"

The colonel shook his head and tapped into a console. "Fraser's company ran into more of the 1st Royal Guards here, and the Ryuken-san confirmed more contacts further south." Natasha nodded.

"That leaves these highways," she pointed to a string of narrow roads to the east, "either heavily defended or totally ignored."

"I need you," Jaime said, "and your company for a mission."

Her heart did not skip. "I'm," she corrected, "We're yours."





Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #48 on: 07 January 2013, 14:51:52 »
Express Lane 67, Bannockburn Highway, Skye
Federation of Skye, Lyran Commonwealth
22 May 3028


Natasha was in one of her moods as she sped her Warhammer at top speed along the highway. The ferrocrete roads were reinforced to take 'Mech footstomps, but were narrow enough that only a single 'Mech could trod on the single lanes. Natasha couldn't decide if that was poor or smart planning. She was mildly glad for the lack of civilian traffic, she had half-a-mind to stamp down on something and didn't need the trouble that would bring her.

The Black Widows were attuned to her moods and stayed silent, at least on the general comms. The company's heavier 'Mechs trodded on the highway, with the swifter ones churning dirt on either side, screening and scouting. She could see the telltales of private laser comms webbing between her force and she yammered into the general band. "Shut it, hens," and continued on fuming.

Natasha blew out the breath she didn't know she was holding and brought up the map again. They were heading south on the Bannockburn Express highway, with New Glasgow on the north east. The Ryuken-san were south of the capital city, she was now near their right flank. They're doing a decent job of bloodying the 24th Lyrans, she grudgingly admitted.

Alpha was on her right, and beyond them, Gamma facing off the reinforcing 17th Donegal Guards. Colonel Wilhemina Korsht had to split her time sending the 17th Donegal away and rotating a battalion to worry the 1st Royal Guards's flank. She was the only one having an easy time against their opponents because unlike the rest, the ISF did not underestimate the 17th Donegal's capabilities.

What lay in front of her was what Jaime believed to be the 1st Royals' command compound. The highway snaked beside the bogs that gave it its name, then curved east then further south to the smaller city of New London. The 1st Royal Guards were stationed, for political reasons she was sure, away from the capital city but close enough via highway. An extension was under construction when the Royals had moved in, it was being built underground to overcome the nasty winter weather and unreasonable springs Skye was infamous for. The snow had melted the day the Dragoons came, and the locals didn't seem eager to help the Archon's bodyguards in any way.

It was a gamble that they remained unaware of it.

A telltale blinked.

"What is it?"

"We have company up ahead, looks like Ryuken."

Natasha grit her teeth and focused her optics on the grey 'Mechs up ahead and on their left. Three stood in the open, two Grand Dragons and a Catapult CPLT-K2 her warbook helpfully provided. A Crusader stood beneath the shade of a massive tree. It raised a hand in greeting.

She had half a heartbeat of warning before the hand fell down in a chop. As one, the dark grey 'Mechs swiveled and fired at the advancing Black Widows. Most of them focused fire on her, slamming missiles, shells, and coherent light at the Warhammer.

The cockpit was a dissonant hell of alarms and strobing lights. Natasha tasted blood as her 70-ton 'Mech crashed down, hurling her against the restraints and straining her neck. The neurohelmet absorbed the whiplash but she felt reality dimming.

The Black Widows responded right away, opening fire on the Ryuken 'Mechs. Fire discipline saw two of the visible grey 'Mechs fall and the company staggered forward to surround the traitors. An Archer, its two torso launcher bays open, reached forward to drag the fallen Warhammer back as two other heavies stepped in front, absorbing the hits meant for the unresponsive 'Mech.

She was cut in several places, Natasha could feel the warmth of her blood gushing from her forehead and leg. The alarms finally went silent, restraining themselves to steady beeping, and she became aware of a voice laughing.

"Payback, it seems, is a lot like you, Natasha," Fadre Singh said as the roar of battle washed over her and pulled her into darkness.



mikecj

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1727
  • Veteran of Galahad 3028
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #49 on: 07 January 2013, 14:59:19 »
Those who abandon the Unity will go down in darkness...
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

gladius

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 253
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #50 on: 07 January 2013, 19:33:34 »
Hmm, am I seeing a little Jamie/Natasha shipping? O0

snakespinner

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2402
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #51 on: 07 January 2013, 20:03:14 »
Fadre Singh, wasn't he the Dragoon who was thrown out for disobeying orders.
Well Natasha does need a lesson in humility once in a while. :D O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Ajax_Wolf

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 831
  • Krampus is the reason for the Christmas season.
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #52 on: 07 January 2013, 20:37:38 »
Fadre Singh, wasn't he the Dragoon who was thrown out for disobeying orders.
Well Natasha does need a lesson in humility once in a while. :D O0

Yeah, he also ratted out the Dragoon's escape plan to ComStar. And since the 'Goons aren't running from the DCMS, I wonder how this will play out?
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #53 on: 07 January 2013, 22:29:04 »
Fort Draconis, Dieron
Dieron Military District, Draconis Combine
24 May 3028



A pale glow on the horizon marked the coming dawn, and colours began to appear to Minobu's night-sensitive eyes. Another morning on Dieron, another day worrying. It had almost been a month since the Dragoons' contract had ended with the Draconis Combine, almost a month since a new set of agreements took effect. He shuddered at the memory of Samsonov's petty, cruel nature and at the damage he could have inflicted on the Combine had he fumbled relations with the mercenaries.

As the light grew, he could make out individual men and women far below in the streets of Draconisia, colloquially known as Snaketown both for the snaking shape of the city as it tried to nestle itself in the valleys between two mountain ranges, and for the other reason as well. It had long been the Kuritan stronghold on the planet, and much of the DCMS's administrative buildings stretched from one end of Snaketown to the next.

Already, the morning was beckoning men and women out of their homes and into vehicles, and soon the rooftop would not be a quiet place of reflection.

He turned to his side, expecting a young man that wasn't there.

Laughing at his old age, he descended the stairs into his office below.

His morning tea was perfectly brewed, and Minobu began his morning contemplating its flavour and its effect on his body. He dressed simply and spoke quietly, instilling a sense of peace in Fort Draconis that he suspected Vasily Cherenkoff did not cultivate. The servants flinched at the slightest of missteps. Officials cowered when he walked by.

It was hard to explain. They were not DCMS. Not samurai. He could not expect the same from those who had not been tempered with the same edge.

That was why he began placing retired 'warriors in small places of responsibility. He valued the decisiveness they possessed, and could not bear to look on them as they sat on the streets, idle and listless.

Today was a meeting day, a planning review session with his staff. Or, rather, with Vasily Cherenkoff's staff. The Coordinator had been kind to send in replacements, but he would put too much strain on the pride of a brittle few if he were to replace the staff fully. Warlords came and went, but the bureaucracy had to file seven forms in triplicate first. Minobu enjoyed the joke, and repeated every time he met with his staff. They were supposed to be DCMS, but were what he imagined Lyran Social Generals would be if they were given day jobs.

A short, rotund man waddled towards him. The swish of his robes was rhythmic and Minobu turned just as his secretary huffed to a stop. "Good morning, Minobu-sama," Rory Xi bowed, "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but there's an urgent message that the--"

"--ISF?--" Minobu provided.

"--yes, them, they said you'd understand, Minobu-sama. Just came via HPG, I hear."

The two stared wordlessly at each other for several seconds. Minobu tilted his head.

"Oh yes, the message!" Rory exclaimed, then pulled a polysheet out and couldn't decide to hand it to the tai-shu or read it. He settled on reading it as Minobu didn't move to take the readout.

"It's a haiku, how clever..."

Minobu cleared his throat, startling the secretary.

"Wolf is on the loose
Black Widow has spun her last
the Skye is falling.
"

Rory scrunched his nose. "It doesn't even rhyme."

Minobu Tetsuhara pushed the small man out of the way as he ran to his office.


(Scene modified from Wolves on the Border, Robert N. Charrette, Chapter 53.)

mikecj

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1727
  • Veteran of Galahad 3028
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #54 on: 07 January 2013, 22:35:11 »
Hmmm.... Drac Social Generals...
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Death by Zeus

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 555
  • 3rd Lyran Regulars
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #55 on: 08 January 2013, 03:42:25 »
 @p? It doesn't even rhyme  [metalhealth] oy  #P
Light 'mech pilots benefit from big balls and small brains.

Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #56 on: 08 January 2013, 17:06:13 »
11th Legion of Vega Headquarters, Fedkirk Coast, Lyons
Federation of Skye, Draconis Combine
7 June 3028


Fuhito Tetsuhara was drinking from his coffee cup when Theodore Kurita strode into the 12th Star Guards' former headquarters, cleanly shaven. He spat the lukewarm liquid out, turning his head to the side at the last moment as he saw the tai-sa's face. The mustache he had affected, apparently for the last few years, was gone. His hair was still long, but it had been trimmed as well. The glint of confidence was still in his eyes.

"That bad, Fuhito-san?"[/i] asked Theodore.

"Not at all, Theodore-sama. You look... respectable." He stammered.

Theodore glanced at him and laughed. He was still chuckling as he motioned with his chin, indicating the map Fuhito was studying.

"We've got some excitement on the left flank," Fuhito reported. "Nothing the Eleventh Armour can't handle, tai-sa."

The colonel nodded at him as he studied it for himself. Fuhito often wondered how a tai-sa, a colonel, the minimum rank for regimental command was in charge of the Legion of Vega and in direct command of the 11th Legion of Vega. By the ancient SLDF's reckoning, the three 'Mech regiments formed a brigade. Each had their own armour and infantry regiments, who, unlike the Legions, were not dumping grounds for problematic MechWarriors. No, problematic tankers and infantrymen were executed.

Fuhito then wondered if the same solution could be applied to 'warriors, but Theodore Kurita spoke, interrupting his chain of thought.

"How was the campaign on Ryde, Fuhito-san?"

"Slightly boring, Theodore-sama." Fuhito's face had disappointment written on it. "We brought in the infantry and armour from Benjamin as you ordered, but not even those armed outposts proved challenging."

"And how did the Benjamites fare?"

"Well," Fuhito smiled, "not well at all. They didn't seem to believe all the chemically sealed gear was necessary, but even in spring the tainted snows fell. We left them there, grumbling." The young tai-i smiled. "You heard of our good fortune? Three JumpShips and a dozen DropShips were waiting in the system and on world, ready to pickup an annual shipment of chemicals. They were taken without a struggle to Kimball, ready for the factories there."

He was proud of it, even if it was unintended. The boost to the Dieron district would be substantial. Ryde's chemical industry would lead to more medicine, more ammo, more of everything they needed to prosecute the war.

The holomap flickered, absorbing new details fed in from the units in the field. The armour company had driven off the remnants from the 12th Star Guards' 3rd Regiment poking at their perimeter. The Star Guards' 7th Regiment had moved off world, heading to Corridan IV to support their brother regiment, originally, on Corridan IV.

Fuhito smiled at the memory of the initial strike more than two months ago. The 12th Star Guards were worthy opponents, and he felt unease as low-grade mercenaries were hired to choke the Star Guards on Corridan IV. The grinding battles would render the Star Guards as observers in the coming war.

Duty before honour. He was learning its meaning every day, and he looked to Theodore to guide him.

"Theodore-sama," Fuhito ventured in a whisper. "Do you miss commanding the Ryuken-ni?"

"Not at all," the young Kurita said smoothly. "I belong with the Legion." Fuhito tested the words and found them to be true.

"Tai-sa!" The comm tech shouted from across the room. There was dread in her voice, and Theodore moved swiftly to her console. "Air patrol is reporting several carrier DropShips on final approach. They're grounding at the Fedkirk Fire Chain and seem to be linking up with the remaining 12th Star Guards."

Fuhito gaped as the images cleared on a red-and-black triangle with a hound's head in the middle.

"The Kell Hounds," Tai-sa Kurita said. "Finally."



Marwynn

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3982
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #57 on: 08 January 2013, 22:55:00 »
Not a lot of love for Natasha huh? Was worried there'd be an outcry of some sort.

snakespinner

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2402
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #58 on: 08 January 2013, 23:17:17 »
She was one character i don't mind going.
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

gladius

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 253
Re: The Wolves and the Dragons (AU)
« Reply #59 on: 09 January 2013, 09:18:36 »
I was expecting her to miraculously escape, leaving a trail of broken foemen in her wake. *shrug* but its your fic, and shows that no one is immortal, not even fan favourites.

So, are we to finally see the Wolves and the Hounds face off against one another? O0

 

Register