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Author Topic: To Stand before the Archon...  (Read 12138 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #120 on: 25 November 2019, 06:33:55 »
June 6, 3087, 0200 GMT, 0200 Hilton Head Time, somewhere in the outer belts of Saturn...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfGjbPTmGOU&list=RD6oTluzrthb4&index=11

Coast Guard 13/C/12, CGS Tranh Truk Ngo

Her ancestors came to Terra last, as part of Kerensky's final push against the Usurper.  Amanda studied not only his war diary, but the descriptions left by Commodore Anh Cu'ong, the Coast Guard officer sent by Kowloon to support the 171st Volunteers.  Cu'ong's notes on the system defenses at the time were extensive, the analysis of a Rockjack officer raised in a culture of numbers, calculations, and innate understanding of space warfare.

"Secure from jump, keep sails reefed for now, thruster power to one-quarter, there's going to be a hell of a lot of enemy firepower here. Engineering, keep our battery primed, but start a trickle charge to the main core."

"Aye mum."

Nicole Minh with 11th Squadron had made contact with the Metis Coalition and a few of the other Belter communities, they had mapped out the Blakist system defenses, but to get those defenses thinned enough for Star Admiral Jorgensson to bring the main force through, means sending in squadrons first.

In six hours, the Star League's combined Allied Navy would be coming through the stable points in the Solar system-not just the Zenith and Nadir points that Kerensky relied on, but all of them.

The plan meant the Kowloon Coast Guard was committing an entire cutter Division, twelve squadrons, to clear the beaches for the assaulting force.

nearly their entire active duty force.

"Sensors up, deploy outriders, passive magnification three, let's go hunting."

Ninety percent of Command, is looking confident to your subordinates.  Amanda was junior-in-time to most of her crew, but senior-in-grade, the only thing she could really hang any of it on, was the legend of her mother, and her relationship with Li.  borrowed prestige, easily lost.

so she managed to hold poise even though the post-jump visions had been nauseating and horrific, and she was fighting a crushing headache.

"Commander, you're bleeding."  her XO told her, offering a sponge-rag to wipe the blood away from her eyes.

"Thanks."  There was that.  Amanda's TDS was a lucky symbol to the Rockjacks in the Guard.  The fact she'd plotted an intercept on a neutral gravity point this close to a gas-giant without smearing the ship across half of hyperspace is a thing her people attributed to that TDS, to being 'touched' by slipspace.

"Enemy contact!  Four dropships, running heavy mass for the hull planform, Thermal indicates high-output engines pushing warship-grade mass profiles."

a few seconds and the rest of her Patrol came through, appearing like a trail along their target asteroid's orbit.

She didn't breathe relief until the last one came through, confirming her calcs were on-the-nose.

"Shake out the formation, arm weapons."

Somewhere out there, Bianh Vu Dao's Squadron would be appearing to strike targets in Jovian orbit, while Nikki Minh's forces would be making for the Nadir point, drawing enemy interception inward, and Chao's 10th Squadron would be doing the same at their target locations.

"Targets are diverting from their path, moving to intercept ours."

"prep first volley as bearings-only, ready secondary weapons and a second volley of shipkillers, outriders are to run missile interception, but stay clear of direct-fire weapons."

Dear Diary, I don't know what I'm doing, so I'll do what Li and the T.O.'s at Spider Moon taught me to do, and hope for the best.

"XO, suggestions?"

"Oh, do what you're doing, Amanda." her executive officer urged, "but maybe adjust course and start running evasive patterns while we're at it?"

"Yeah, exactly that.. you guys heard the XO.  do what Silverberg 831 said. evasive pattern, conn, you've got choice of pattern."  her throat felt like it would close up with anxiety, and deep inside, she felt like she looked foolish.

god don't let me screw this up, please god...

"you're doing fine." Silver told her with a reassuring hand on her shoulder, "It's a good trait, listening, just focus on thinking ahead a little more, we'll handle the details."

somewhere out there, missile plumes turned to nuclear blooms.  the battle for Sol had begun.
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Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #121 on: 25 November 2019, 06:48:01 »
SLS Incomprehensible, Fox-class, D+4 Hours...

"all personnel, secure for jump!"

Patrick nestled in his cockpit harness, and stroked the image of his Fiancee.  Harmony was safe on Kowloon, attending University and working with Groves on the Sampan-4 redesign.  She'd kissed him when he proposed, and three months after that, it still lingered in his mouth.

Somewhere ahead of them, his little sister by seven minutes was leading ships in battle.  By Patrick's own reckoning, Amanda was the right choice for the Ducal seat and welcome to it.

Patrick had his destiny, he was sitting in it.  70 tons of Timberwolf omnimech, a rank in the SLDF and a Star-Lance of the best soldiers a man can serve with-or under.

There was only the discontinuity moment, and then, "Separation!!"

The objective wasn't Terra, it was Titan...General Wolf's decision to send the combined Clan forces to Terra first, it was logical-the Terran defense net would turn that assault into a meat grinder, and the competitive demands of the Clan Khans who attended the Glengarry meeting back in February meant they would each be pushing hard to seize objectives planetside, blazing a path for the rest of the Allied Armies to roll in with (one hoped) less resistance.

The real prizes in the sol System, though, were Luna, Titan, Uranus, and the facilities on Mars.

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Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #122 on: 25 November 2019, 08:03:58 »
"We honestly didn't know what we'd find when we shipped for the Terran front, what we did know, was that all of a sudden, wet-naval expertise was extremely valuable, and we're kind of the experts they had, not necessarily the ones they needed, where that is concerned."
-Cdr. Rachel Goldfarbe, Kowloon Coast Guard 2nd Submarine squadron.

Somewhere in the Pacific...

for days now, streaks of fire and light had crossed from horizon to horizon, as the battle for Earth raged in the orbitals, and occasionally, where dropships made it through the SDS to penetrate, releasing chaos on the ground as forces tried to establish beachheads.

It wasn't going spectacularly well for the attackers, though more on the lines of 'you should see the other guy'.

things changed this morning, the eleventh day of the assault on the Word of Blake's capital.

This morning, amid an escort of fighters flying dangerously close, four streaks struck the Pacific Ocean, four more in the Indian ocean, yet four more in the South and North Atlantic.

Imagine a dropship, now imagine paring it down to just a maneuver drive, some explosive bolts hlding the hull together, and a basic set of controls.  Give it just enough armor to handle some fire and re-entry heat.

Like a drop-pod, but big. big enough to contain one, single, piece of equipment.

Sixteen submarines built at Vin Drin Lap on Kowloon, to design concepts even the Terran Hegemony considered too ridiculous to put into mass-production, were now prowling the seas of Earth.

Oversize hunter-killers with fission reactors and MHD drives, built to absorb sonar and confuse sensors, armed with large-diameter torpedoes the like of which no one has seen since the 1940s.

They're here to hunt Kraken.  Not the mythical many-armed sea monster, but submersible antishipping platforms designed to engage targets coming in to low orbit.

The expense of them is horrific-not merely the building cost, but the cost of the 'podships' to deliver them, a one-use design built to hold one piece of very, very, very large cargo.  then, the cost of bringing them to Earth-horrific, enormous, each 'pod' taking up two docking collars.

all to deliver one combat vessel across interstellar distances for one conflict.

they sent twenty, sixteen made it to the surface.

simple cigar shapes slip away from the sinking wreckage of their transport, then slide under the waves.  The hulls are optimized for hydrodynamics, no protrusions because the seas they were made for, are 'rougher' seas, harder to maneuver in, easier to be detected in, deeper, and more primal.

nobody in the Word of Blake, or the Terran government bureaus, even back to Admiral McKenna, ever considered seriously that Earth's seas would one day once again be the battlegrounds for an actual wet-naval conflict.  It simply never occurred to them, even the CAAN planners, that someone would bring a dedicated wet navy presence to attack a planet.  to defend one, certainly, but to attack? 

On the AFFS Avalon II, Her Majesty, Archon Princess of the Federated Commonwealth, Victoria Steiner-Davion contemplated this, and it was she who ordered the engineering and the planning, and the deployment of numbered, "Unterseebooten' class Submarines, configured as hunter-killers, well before the final details of the invasion of Terra were finalized at the Glengarry conference.

Victoria had made a guess based on another, now famous, use of wet-naval forces by one of her Vassals.  she saw that the tactic was obvious, the advantages likewise, and the counter? just as clear as daylight. 

so she planned for it, pushed it, paid for it, the way she'd helped pay for space-naval expansion in directions other rulers ignored.

She watched nothing, being half the system from where those ships were deploying.  "How long before we know?" she asked for the hundredth time.

"Won't be long now.  We know four of them were shot down, but the remainder made their landings and sent the clear."  Archer Christofiori had been her Brother Karl's closest lieutenant before the betrayal by the Word. Now, he was hers.

she studied the maps, the status of Allied forces, the reports from General Wolf's command.  Titan was in allied hands, Mars, Phobos, Ceres, Luna, were all in allied hands-some of them unexpected allies from the Metis Coalition, but secured.  The Blakist 'drone navy' was neutralized in space. 

The Colonists have come to conquer Terra itself.  a chill ran down her spine.

"Keep me apprised, Archer." she told her closest aide, her confidant.  "We'll see this thing through."

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Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #123 on: 25 November 2019, 10:25:24 »
New York, D+31 days...

The battle here raged.  Blakist Militia and auxiliaries used the buildings, people, the city itself, to fight them. 

"Call an orbital strike,dammit Ngo!!"  Patrick found himself in an unusual position-the only 'mechwarrior with the codes to summon direct support from the orbiting ships.

"No." He said.  there needs to be a symbol, a sacrifice.  He wouldn't do what Chivington did to Dinh Diep centuries before he was born, not here.  Not ever.

"Rally on me, we're going for Central Park."

a Blakist White flame rushed out of an alley between two high-rise ruins.  Patrick savaged it with fire from his 'mech's autocannon, cluster rounds, the Clan-made 105mm gun belching submunitions in a pattern that revealed the Purifier suits stalking the flank.

He kept advancing, releasing swarms of short-ranged missiles and barks of heavy autocannon fire, watching his scope for telltales that would reveal 'mech traps and tank traps in the urban terrain.

He danced, wondering if what he'd tucked behind his seat was somehow protecting him, as if the spirit of Gilmour were with him.

The maze opened, and there it was, the largest remaining open space in the city.

He stalked forward, heedless of enemy resistance, to a place visible from the surrounding arcology-like buildings.

He stopped in place, in the center, and was pleased to see tanks from the 171st had also driven for this point. 

He popped his hatch, and grabbed the bundle from behind. Standing, He held it unfurled and aloft.

the fire momentarily stopped.

Then, it began again, but less focused, as the terrain that blocked SLDF allied forces turned on its occupiers.

he held the banner up until his arms were ready to give out.

The regimental standard of the 90th Heavy Assault, derived historically from the New York National Guard, had finally come all the way home once again.

Someone came and took it up from his hands as he finally started to collapse. 

Patrick Ngo was medevac'ed from Central Park at 5PM, July 2nd.

The day New York rose against the Word of Blake and the Terran Bureau.

It would take 15 hours of surgery and eighteen months of rehabilitation to deal with the wounds he was given to wave a nearly forgotten flag in the middle of an enemy city. 

The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #124 on: 25 November 2019, 10:38:57 »
Allied Landing Zone Baker, North Carolina...

the air stank.  The foliage was too green, lacking the blackish-red undertones of home.  Amanda adjusted her Landing Party gear, and checked the magazine on her K-1 Rifle for the hundredth time, before walking to the Command Post.

"General Wolf, where's my brother?" Amanda said it aggressively.

"He's on his way to the rear, safe as houses." General Maeve Wolf looked down to look at her vastly-much-younger half-sister.  It had been nearly ten years now, the 20 year old Amanda had Elizabeth's frame, and size, but thankfully not the woman's disposition, nor the fatal defect.

"Did you know he was going to pull that damnfool stunt?" Amanda asked.

"I knew your brother Patrick would pull some kind of damned fool stunt, as soon as I assigned him to 'mech support for the 171st and the 7th Andurien." Maeve stated, "His damnfool stunt, as you put it, pacified the city in hours, instead of weeks."

Amanda chewed on that for a moment, "alright, so he's smegging brilliant.  he got out of his 'mech and got shot full of holes."

"And made a powerful statement." Maeve rejoined, "Now I wonder, was that what possessed you to come down out of your very-useful orbital position, to visit me in person?"

"you know that's not it." Amanda said, "You cut the order yourself, you said you needed a Marine Platoon to conduct initial recon on the Hilton Head complex, well, Mine's un-engaged and we're available."

"You don't really expect me to let you poke your spacer ass into that, do you?" Maeve asked.

"It's 'Rockjack', only honorary, and no, Master Chief Petty Officer Nguyen will be conducting the recon, I'm here to do the Liaison thing and be here in case it goes Murphy on us."

"well, have a look, then."
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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #125 on: 25 November 2019, 11:37:00 »
October 1, 3087...

Effectively, the war was over.  Amanda watched from the side-line as they marched "the Master" of the Word of Blake, the mastermind behind it, out for the holovid crews.

"I'm done." she said it even before they finished hauling him to a prisoner transport.

"you're done?" General Wolf asked.

"I'm done.  I'm going to option for Civil Service if they let me, finish out my five years, and I'm done, or I'll ask for civil patrol duty for the remainder of my five years, either way, I am heartily sick of war, and that's without being a big fan of it in the first place."

"you two...really are nothing alike, are you?" Maeve asked.

"Sure we are, have the same parents even." Amanda stated, "but Pat takes after our father, and I get jump visions something fierce. I really don't want or need to pile more traumatic stress on top of that, so I'm done."

"Victoria might have something to say about that." Maeve told her, "She isn't stupid, after all.  There will be a lot of rebuilding to be done after this..."

"Rebuilding is for civilian contractors and regular people, so I want to be a regular people, not a soldier." Amanda insisted, "she'll understand."

"and your ducal responsibiities?"

"Patrick's got that ball.  One, he's older, two, Duke is a feudal term, feudal nobility is rooted in the concept of a warrior class, he's a warrior, the role is his by right of birth order, and he's welcome to it."

"And what will you do?"

Amanda breathed in, and out.  "Exploration." she said, "Navigation. it's something I'm good at, it has social value, everyone spends too much time arguing about limited resources and the resources of the galaxy are literally beyond our grasp to comprehend, much less overuse.  Exploration can be the safety valve for everyone, and it builds things." she gestured at the destruction around them, "War does neither. we will always need warriors, but I don't have to be one."

The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Taron Storm

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #126 on: 25 November 2019, 11:43:19 »
New York will always remember the 90th

ThePW

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #127 on: 25 November 2019, 11:43:45 »
*Hand Claps... long into the eve*

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #128 on: 25 November 2019, 13:22:32 »
Sol, after the Great War...

Earth and the rest of the Solar System would spend the next 20 years partitioned by the major powers into occupied zones, each zone policed by Clan forces from the remaining Clans.  But that's the future.

In the present, in January of 3088, stiffened by a medical exoskeleton and bundled in bandages, Patrick Ngo stands before the Archon-Princess Victoria Steiner Davion.  He's lucky to be standing, in a sense. 

With his sister Amanda watching from the gallery, here in the rebuilt grounds of Buckingham Palace on Earth, He swears the final oaths of service to the Federated Commonwealth, modified to account for a man whose braced legs can't bend properly without a lot more rehabilitation.

Many, including 'cousin Maeve', considered this the less optimal solution, but Patrick was the choice agreed on by his most likely rival, and Amanda's outright abdication made it simply inevitable.

Once again, a Ngo would return to Kowloon from war on Terra.   Unlike the last time, the Kowloonese soldiers returning brought their weapons, their reputation, and their honors to display openly.

Kowloon would never be independent, but...they would be damned hard to intimidate or subjugate again.

Then, it was Amanda's turn.

This meeting would be held in a historical room, once used by Britain's royal line for personal meetings.

"What will you do now?" Victoria asked.

"you asked me...I think I was ten? what I wanted to be when I grew up." Amanda said, accepting a cup on a saucer in homage to the British Tea Ritual. 

"you said you didn't know."

"I was ten." Amanda said, "I know what I want now."

"I take it you won't be taking over for Kelli Whyte when she retires?"

"No. I won't." Amanda said, "we are so...limited by this constant game of thrones around us, aren't we?  Can we do better?"

"I thought that answer already came up." Victoria said, "The Blakists showed what uncontrolled scientific research leads to."

"No, they showed what a narrow perspective so-called visionaries really have, when they dabble in politics-they were going to bomb us all back to the stone age and become a sort of 'tech priesthood', and damn but they didn't get close.  I want to build a research vessel, I want to end this contraction back to the center that mankind has been on since the First Succession War."

"Ha! I remember more than you think!" the Archon-Princess laughed, and smiled delightedly, "You wanted to be an explorer."

"Yes.  I still want it." Amanda told her, "more than anything, I want to open the horizon, and I want it open to everyone."

"Do you know what is sad, Amanda?" Victoria asked, "I want to go too."

"Why don't you?" Amanda asked.

"I'm bound by duty, someone has to keep things running here, while you go off to explore, someone has to make sure there's someone for your reports to reach."

"You'll let me go?"

"I can't stop you, I wouldn't if I could.  but wait a bit,  you need more than a fifteen light year cutter if you're going to do this right, and we've got the engineering for a much better star-ship for you to push the boundaries of humanity with.  Give it two years...and bring me the horizon."

« Last Edit: 25 November 2019, 15:59:29 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Centurion03

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #129 on: 25 November 2019, 16:00:34 »

Is this the end?

I hope not...

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #130 on: 25 November 2019, 16:31:27 »
[Out of Story]

This pretty much ends my flirtation with an alternate-to-an-alternate-to-an-alternate universe.  I toyed with the idea of figuring out how to bring Hotpoint's "Hunted Tribes" concept in at the end, but couldn't do it justice.

You'll note that a LOT of this is disconnected vignettes. all of it could probably be treated better by someone else, especially the battles and such that I glossed over.

Key outcome differences as follows:

Because Victoria was always in more of a 'strategic planner' state, unlike Victor, she kept a wide-angle view, and played a longer game.  Karl's demise was sad, but inevitable.  I didn't give Yvonne many lines.

Elizabeth's death is really a direct result of how different her version of the Falcon conflict on Kowloon was.  Yes, she did the same dirty trick, and it worked, but the other conditions surrounding it changed outcomes.  One result, is that she died younger, killed by the Cholmann's syndrome before her children were born to a surrogate.  Liz had little influence on either of her children directly as a result, and she never fell in love with Nate Roshak, because she never got the chance to meet him.  Instead, she had a whirlwind night with Jaime Wolf, which proceeded to hasten her demise.

I also did not go 'in depth' with Wolf's relationship with his children, or their relationship with Maeve.  Suffice to say, Patrick was more welcome a visitor than Amanda, and far more frequent thanks to Amanda's TDS.  (ironically the thing that kept her from travelling off world is the thing that makes her such a good Jump Navigator.)

I didn't mention Arthur.  Here's where the ripples really hit-Arthur wasn't born.  This likely prevented a number of things.

Devlin Stone also doesn't appear in this version-because MIIO never deployed him, he was never captured, didn't have the chance to be Victor's bestestbuddyever/BFF, (because it's Victoria, and Victoria doesn't go rushing off to the front lines to play battalion commander instead of running the war like a national leader.)

so there's that.  some of the other side-effects that got shorted, "the five".  they're out there, but The Master is in custody, he doesn't even get to die a martyr.

the KCG is huge in this setting, this is because instead of a Victor, we have a Victoria, and she WAS BFF with Elizabeth Ngo, who had a lot of good strategic ideas and a handle on execution.  Victoria let it happen in part, to get around the joint Bureaucracy of the AFFC, which is understandably top-heavy.  The Coasties grew so fast and so far because the Archon-Princess was backing Lizzie,and later Li, with money and permission.

but remember, Victoria is the strategic genius that Victor never got to be.  both had the talent, but Vickie was channelled into a role that made use of it, while Melissa let Vic play Soldier too much and he never grew the right skills.

Thus, Victoria foresaw a situation where one might have to orbitally deploy serious wet-naval assets, because Liz showed that a serious wet-naval asset can be a damned dangerous thing in the right hands.  Thus, the Kowloonese Coast Guard got to play Navy on Earth, much to the surprise of everyone on those WoB refit Krakens.

I don't know who took up the banner of the 90th when Patrick fell to his wounds, but I kinda suspect it was a descendant of one of the 90th who didn't join the jump out. It might be hilarious to think that it was the descendant of Gilmour's adopted kid...

that WOULD be hilarious.

The First Lord's slot is a voted term, and we have a small field, so I imagine Vickie and Sun Tzu probably traded off a few times, between 'anyone but those two!!' votes.

Yes, Grover Shraplen was First Lord for the Liberation of Terra from the Word of Blake.  No, he didn't bother to come for the victory party in North America.  He was busy banging a Centrella.

incidentally, DAnai Centrella will be serving as First Lord after Grover. NO, she's not the one he was banging.

creeps.

The Partition of Sol would continue for twenty years, after which, a new Terran hegemony would be formed by treaty.  This is NOT the Republic of the Sphere, for one thing, they don't get all the good industrial worlds.

What they DO get, is a constitutional form of government mainly influenced by  the Free Rassalhague Republic's system, as influenced by Clan Ghost Bear, the IlClan as acknowledged by every other clan that participated.  Something about Bjorn Jorgennson being SMART, and his Clan having effectively become about 100 times larger than their nearest competitor.

go figure.  Most of the Clans either settled in the reborn hegemony or in one of the other states.  (that is, the ones that still existed did.)  Integration is slow but promising, something about not having to fight for basic commodities has an influence after all.

imagine that.  Not to say nothing happens, it does.  but anyone suggesting taking a pair of seventy ton war machines out back to fight over who cut in the lunch line gets mental health treatment.  Fist fights? are fine in relative terms, disrupting the entire base is not.

Clan Sea Fox (used to be Diamond Shark) is currently competing with a number of large industrial concerns, both in and out of the Inner Sphere.  They're prominent, but still no shakes on 3M out of Canopus or Ngo Industries in their respective markets, and neck-and-neck with old line companies like Defiance.  They field a stable on Solaris VII, with decent standings.

peace, for a time. only for a time. After all, humanity really doesn't change that much and war is a permanent feature of the human condition.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

qc mech3

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #131 on: 25 November 2019, 17:08:52 »
For me, two Clans stand out:
- with only 11 members alive, the Blood spirits are effectively dead unless they saved all their blood legacies and the Loremaster. 
- On the other hand, the Snow Ravens should now be the leading clan by being the most populous. I can see the Outworld Waste becoming their version of the Kerensky Cluster.

I could see Amanda commanding a crew of Rockjack and Snow Raven for the ship and some Scorpions Seekers for the exploration side.  ^-^

Taron Storm

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #132 on: 25 November 2019, 17:18:23 »
I can see the Scorpions migrating to Kowloon.  Excellent story as always.  Can't wait for the next installment.

drakensis

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #133 on: 25 November 2019, 18:44:42 »
Shakes head.

Those population losses...

Dammit, Thomas, did you learn nothing from 2784-2865?

Great tale, cannonshop, thanks for sharing.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

Daryk

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #134 on: 25 November 2019, 19:45:03 »
Man, I go to work for ONE day, and look at the place!  :D

Thanks for the date stamps, and well told! It will be missed...  :thumbsup:

Cannonshop

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #135 on: 25 November 2019, 22:25:51 »
Shakes head.

Those population losses...

Dammit, Thomas, did you learn nothing from 2784-2865?

Great tale, cannonshop, thanks for sharing.

Pretty much every 'fanfic'/Ngoverse version of the WoB Jihad was in one way or another, worse than what actually made it to print at Catalyst.  Initially it was to try and make Devlin Stone make sense, later it's just 'one of those things'.  This time around, in THIS story, it's a two-parter and thus, worse than even my usual.

From a certain point of view.

the Canon Jihad started in 3067.  "Operation:Jihad" in this setting was a concerted effort to roll back the Clans, starting not too terribly long after, because instead of dissolving the Nu Star League, Vicky kept the band together for around thirteen more years until the Master got impatient and kicked things off late.

Thus, on the macro scale, a longer 'war' and more horrific, but with the war against the Blakists only going on for about seven years in the eighties, instead of from 3067 to 3080.

Twice the duration, but only the latter half would be termed "The Great War"-you know, like other conflicts that caused enormous body counts (such as 1914 to 1918.)

Part of THAT being that they whupped the Clans REAL good before the WoB turned their coats and attacked their allies, so the Clans were kind of in a position of some already defecting, thus fewer side shows and more focus on the main event...which still ended up being a hard, nasty slog, but didn't result in the kind of societal chaos that spawns messiahs out of nowhere.

In semi-modern political terms, Victoria, et al were able to achieve a 'symphony of Europe' condition in part thanks to a single adversary, only changing that adversary when the Blakists made their play to take over the business, resulting in a bipolar situation astrographically first vs. the Clans, only Liz exploited the fundamental weaknesses of the Clans, leading to a unified putsch that really hurt the Crusaders LOTS...and then Victoria was able to turn that trick a second time when the Blakists practically gift-wrapped an enemy for her to keep everyone together for. (Well, her, and Sun Tzu, and Tom Halas, and Theodore Kurita, and Ragnar...)

at the end of THIS story, the new adversary has yet to be revealed.  This is deliberate on my part, I ran through all the good ones like an alcoholic lotto winner during happy hour at one of those upscale bars with the scantily clad wait staff.

Means I plum ran out of credible baddies.  probably should've taken longer, or set the stage for something or someone to take up the black hats.

at the 'present' in this timeline, everyone still has their domestic squabbles, but those are muted.  The human sphere has just been through twenty years of horrific war, everyone is tired, They finally think they have peace, and even the secessionists, radicals, ideologues and stooges are worn out.  Further, the Fedcom and a few select allies have domestic forces that can provide measured response without dropping Battlemechs into down-town, making things like the Glengarry rising kind of difficult to execute and achieve.

Patrick Ngo's period as Duke of Kowloon will be marked as one of that system's most peaceful, and profitable times.  Prosperity lifts many boats, and even the OWA, Taurians, Canopians, and Cappellans will benefit from this brief 'peace dividend'.

so I need a new baddie.  Someone or some group that can appear out of nowhere (credibly) to threaten everyone and throw it all into chaos.

any suggestions?
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Ajax_Wolf

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #136 on: 25 November 2019, 23:11:46 »
any suggestions?

Evil alien space lizards? And not the cute cuddlely Speilberg alien type of lizard, either.
I'm thinking bat crap crazy, evil saurons, who spew toxic acid with thick scales. Kinda like Trek ToS Gorns but faster.
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?

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DOC_Agren

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #137 on: 25 November 2019, 23:25:06 »
Cannonshop

 :beer: :clap: :rockon: :thumbsup:

Bad guys who can pop out if nowhere, Wolverines?

Or someone who brings together surviving Black Dragon, WOB, Brotherhood of Cincinnatus, Thuggees, into an organization like V.E.N.O.M.
lead by someone like him
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

worktroll

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #138 on: 25 November 2019, 23:25:45 »
Enemy from within? The AI Singularity? Or from without - Caspar technology with Von Neumann machines in the deep periphery pick up disturbances associated with the Great War, and send a pod to investigate? Tabi mk II?
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
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qc mech3

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #139 on: 25 November 2019, 23:34:39 »
Two ideas:
- from the inside. You got the Master by said nothing about Hapy and the rest of the Domini. And you stated ourself that the Five were not discovered/destroyed so the Wobbies can come back more modified then ever.

- Something from the deep periphery found an impetus to come to the sphere. Maybe something from the California Nebula... or weirder as you can imagine.  ^-^ :P

worktroll

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #140 on: 25 November 2019, 23:43:17 »
Crossovers, but weird. Say an anomaly created contact with

- The Empire of Man (Niven & Pournelle, see 'Mote in God's Eye')
- battling fleets from the Horus Heresy era thrown out of the Warp, which then leads to demonic attention given to the IS ...

Or read "And I Feel Fine", for some inspired crossovers ...
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Dave Talley

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #141 on: 26 November 2019, 01:33:57 »
go simple, an accident, honest to god actual accident that takes out
2 or 3 major players at a council, especially any who dont have children,
or a simple lone loon who came across some nerve gas etc
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drakensis

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #142 on: 26 November 2019, 04:31:27 »
any suggestions?

Given the Federated Commonwealth still looms over the Inner Sphere like a monolith, I'd be inclined to think that either Victoria's successor feels they should push for further reuniting the Inner Sphere (permanent First Lordship, press historic claims, etc) or that the other Star League members are so paranoid of this that they start plotting to destroy the FedCom.

I'd lean towards the former simply for the 'live long enough to see yourself become the villain' vibe and having a somewhat cyclic nature of who the good-guys/bad-guys are, but that's just me.
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Sir Chaos

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #143 on: 26 November 2019, 05:19:12 »
I'd lean towards the former simply for the 'live long enough to see yourself become the villain' vibe and having a somewhat cyclic nature of who the good-guys/bad-guys are, but that's just me.

Hmm... yeah... why relinquish power to someone else when you know that none of them could possibly wrangle this bag of cats as well as you managed to? It would be inviting disaster! The rules say you have to relinquish power, but the rules aren´t a suicide pact, are they?

(the above being how they themselves justify the thing to themselves, good intentions being the paving material for the road to hell and all that...)
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Daryk

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #144 on: 26 November 2019, 05:48:34 »
What about the Marians?  If, say, some fleeing WoB forces make it out there, that could boost their productivity and tech enough to become a real threat over time.

cklammer

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #145 on: 26 November 2019, 07:39:13 »
Great Writing here  :thumbsup:

Do the Canon thing: HPG outage 8) and go from there

Avoid crossing over into other (game) universes: too much mix-ups will spoil the plot.

Just please write Kowloon as the mother of all munchkinism AFAIAC  ^-^

croaker

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #146 on: 26 November 2019, 15:58:59 »
Well, to tie back into another story of yours... the Cylons.

Yes, I'm saying to bring back Hunted Tribes and But Somehow A Most Melancholy.

Trace Coburn

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Re: To Stand before the Archon...
« Reply #147 on: 27 November 2019, 08:31:21 »
Well, to tie back into another story of yours... the Cylons.

Yes, I'm saying to bring back Hunted Tribes and But Somehow A Most Melancholy.
  As delightfully welcome as more of those stories would be (and Lord knows I’ve been procrastinating about cross-posting Melancholy to SB.com long enough), I don’t know that replacing one band of delusional techno-religious lunatics (WoB) with another (Cylons) would quite work in this iteration of things.

  Maybe reach over into another timeline and borrow the Kess’Rith from Renegade Legion?  Some of the tech-issues could be handwaved, and if nothing else, watching the IS’ collective head implode when they realise that these people (gasp!) don’t use BattleMechs at all would be... entertaining.
  Or there’s always a race/coalition-of-races from X-COM (or XCOM, depending on which iteration the writer prefers), for some real culture-shock.

 

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