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Author Topic: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III  (Read 15923 times)

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #120 on: 14 February 2019, 17:47:07 »
08/12/3070 06:48 Location – Coalition Command Center, New Kyoto, Federated Commonwealth

Katherine walked into the Command Center with a steaming mug of tea only to find that everyone had already assembled more than an hour early of their morning meeting date.  “This is never a good sign.  What's happened?”

Adam and Reinhardt were arguing about something in German while moving units on the holo-table trying to make sense of the incoming reports.  The Nova Cat's SaKhan was speaking quietly with Photon Brett-Marik.  The Kin Masuko Tai-i Akira Tormark looked toward her and bowed just enough to show his corn-row braids, “Archon, the Opacus Venaturi and Dantalion's Dirge attacked Arcturus and killed the gathering Clan Loremasters and Chandraskar Kurita.”

“Verdamnt! How did they know!”
“We don't know yet Archon.  The reports just came in and Colonel Steiner rushed out to consult with her ONI assets.  The Loremasters of both Wolves, Hell's Horses, Diamond Shark, Ghost Bear, and Nova Cat perished in the fight however I heard they died valiantly.  Then the attackers warped out aboard the Dante destroyer Divine Inferno.”
“Not the Snow Ravens?”

“No, Loremaster Klaus Harper of the Snow Ravens is still in transit with Khan McKenna and the rest of the Snow Ravens.  Last I heard they should be nearing Midway and were not due to arrive in force for at least two months; but that didn't leave New Samarkand until I just said it to you.  We have yet to receive any updates concerning the Ice Hellions or your brother and sister.”

“The Hellions weren't invited anyway.  Did the Blakists cause any other damage?”
“The Duchess was killed but it appears to due to collateral damage according to the HPG.”

“You said Dantalion's Dirge right?”
“Yes, however no unit of that name has been spotted before according to LAAF reports.”
“No they haven't because it used to be Naamah's Nightwalkers and was under Clan Wolf reports.  They committed some of the worse atrocities on Tharkad.  Where the hell is Naamah?”

“That I can't know Archon.  I do however have to speak to the saKhan and inform Khan West that his Loremaster has perished.”
“Well I need to find out, I have a score the settle with that woman.”
  Katherine gave a tiny bow to the Combine Mechwarrior who bowed deeper before she turned and opened the door, “No one sits on Tharkad's throne but me.”

08/13/3070 21:58 Wolf Logistics Tower, Neuberlin, Weingarten, Wolf Empire

Chief Quartermaster Simon Gallagher was enjoying a fine glass of Weingarten Spätburgunder in his luxurious penthouse office with his very pleasant young secretary.  He was an old man but that didn't matter, the pills still worked, better that ever in fact and his mind for numbers and business was still sharp.  Katherine had seen fit to provide him a comfortable exile in Clan space. Space that now no longer included the mercurial and demanding Khan Ward, ostensibly his boss, who was playing house with his actual boss. 

A knock on the door caused her to head to the other room and heard the shower turn on.  “This was going to take a while any how.”  He sighed and put the wine down on the table before opening the door, on the other side was a stern looking ONI courier.  “What are you doing here?  The HPG is online now and you could have called me.”

“Message said not to Simon.”  The courier looked at the man in his satiny bathrobe with amusement, “Sorry to interrupt but you have some work to do.”  He handed a plain envelop from his courier pouch to the Quartermaster.  The courier then walked back to the elevator and disappeared out of his sight.
 
“God what is it this time?  I can't make more hyper pulse generator parts fall out of the sky Katherine no matter how much money you give me.  The HPGs will get back on when they do and not a moment before.  You did fine without them for nearly two years.”

A faint voice came in from the other room, “Is everything alright Simon?”

He returned to his chair and drank a sip of wine, “It will be fine.  Just some work.  I will be with you in a few minutes.” Upon opening the envelop containing a black box transmission from New Kyoto he was glad he dipped the glass enough that the red wine spilled all over the leather couch. 
******.” 

He was about to put the message's paper in to blot out the wine but thought better of it just in time to change to a few napkins instead.

He cleared his throat, “I don't think tonight is a good night.  I'm going to call you a cab.  I have a lot of work to do.”

The woman returned wearing nothing more than a towel, “Can I help?”
“No, I'm afraid not.  We're not playing 'Simon says' tonight.”

She seemed disappointed, “but its my favorite game.”
“Mine too,” he said under his breath.  “I'm sorry Anita.  Maybe tomorrow, now get dressed.”
Anita let out a quiet sigh and lingered hoping he might change his mind but he quickly dissuaded her.  She closed the door with a bang.  “Not my fault.”  He called a cab for Anita and then dialed the head of WolfNet, the division of Wolf Logistics in charge of superliminal communications.  The man was a notoriously early sleeper and was angry on the other side with the interruption.  “What the hell Sim?  Do you know what time it is?” 
“Banksy, I need a major problem dealt with.  Immediately.  Katherine is certain there is a Word mole in your organization.  She's sending every Molehunter and Lohegrin agent she can muster here.  Express.  She intends to check every codex.”
“There's thousands of Technicians in just WolfNet alone.  That could take months not even including the greater organization.”
“You have two weeks Banksy.  Make it happen.  I'll do what I can to help.”

Anita walked past him, all pretty, doe-eyed, and hurt as she exited the apartment, “The perks are too good at this job and if we don't make it happen.  Well then its a dead end kind of job.”

mikecj

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #121 on: 15 February 2019, 00:39:22 »
 ;D ;D ;D  Nicely set up.
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DOC_Agren

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #122 on: 18 February 2019, 01:40:19 »
I think herding cats might be easier the Khans ;D
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AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #123 on: 18 February 2019, 07:39:01 »
;D ;D ;D  Nicely set up.

Thanks

I think herding cats might be easier the Khans ;D

:)

----------------

08/17/3070 Location – Grand Canal Industrial District, Mars, Sol Protectorate

Precentor Poltergeist Omicron Naamah (aka Ebon Magistrate Colonel Nera Artemev) looked out at the canal from the Ares Industrial hover ferry.  Robotic watercraft moved in well-defined lanes marked by glowing buoys over the benighted water, like the mythical River of Styx.  Just like that river if you jumped in it would result in rapidly dying of either the cold or the fact that is was filled with toxic industrial effluent that would eat away at your flesh.  The once Martian playground of the rich was now a land of machines and malice. 

Mars had been little more than a neglected mining colony for centuries but The Blood (of Ares) had built it up in secret for decades without informing COMSTAR's Primus.  Naamah was terribly surprised when she had found other Wolverines among the Word of Blake during her ascension, other than her own Ebon Magistrate.  Of course the two would likely never meet which was for the better.  Her own Clan would have reacted poorly once they saw how their kin had developed in isolation on Mars.  They did things that would make the most experimental Canopian "Bodymorphs" and extreme Far Looker Adapters squeamish.  She was less judgmental, at least on that matter.

Naamah tightened her blood red full body coat and black half-face mask with goggles, the rest of her face was covered by a specially treated balaclava.  Mars would never be like Terra even with The Blood restarting some Terra-forming.  A frail on the surface would still have to wear a mask to get sufficient oxygen and unless they were fully enclosed even Cyborgs needed more down in the canyonlands to keep their brains healthy.  Additionally it was still very cold on the surface, the canyon was slightly warmer as the water was heated once more as a side effect of industry.  Her cybernetics filtered out the industrial toxins but she needed a little bit of supplemental oxygen down here around the pollution.

The hovercraft approached a docking station that was just slightly above the water level but well within the hover's air cushion.  This “shelf mansion” had belonged to the once planetary governor, Reginald Windsor-Small V, a many times descendant of the ancient Terra British Royalty.  Naamah stepped off the platform with her small minder unit of Fidelis, the name a group of 'ascended' ex-Smoke Jaguars had taken rather than their clan identity.  They had been liberated by the Opacus Venatori from a DCMS POW camp and ascended to be the Master's own bodyguard under their former Galaxy Commander who had taken the Ascended name of Raphael.  They accepted the fate that they would never step foot on Terra but would instead die while avenging the death of their clan which brought some solace.

 If only they knew how many of their former Jaguars survived on Tetski.  They could never know however, better to let them live out their last fantasy fighting her foes rather than herself.  Naamah walked forward and was greeted by Azrael, the normally ranking Manei Domini in the Terran system and former 'Khan/Bishop' of The Blood before they joined completely with the Word of Blake.
 
“Naamah, Blake's Blessings be upon you.”
“To you as well. Azrael”
“Thanks to you we can spread the Word of Blake once more”
“The Word yes but not his Order.  How is The Master?”
“Dead, the uplift was unsuccessful.  His mind was lost.”


She was not surprised, in fact it was part of Emma's plan to goad Thomas into killing himself with a promise of virtual immortality.  He was so delusional to think that his mind could be uploaded into a computer and transferred to Arthur Steiner-Davion's carefully rebuilt cyborg body.  The Canopian's successful research into virtual ascension and consciousness transfer was always a lie, but a clever one, and doomed from the start. “How many know?”

“None beyond the Fidelis and you,” Naamah reached forward and thrust a dagger concealed in her coat into him before he could finish the sentence or protect himself.  She pulled the dagger back and pushed the rapidly dying man onto the platform before finishing his sentence for him.  “and with Apollyon and Belial dead at the hands of the Ebon Magistrate.” 

The man's cybernetic eyes were in shock as his 'purified' spirit left him, despite his own delusions he was only mortal after all.  Something the non-Ebon Magistrate Manei Domini could never seem to accept was that if you could bleed you can die.  There was no such thing as immortality in body, only deed.  Cybernetics were crude imitations. Even if they were more potent replacements the human parts were what really mattered and they were meant to be free of eugenics (at least the lab oriented kind) and transhumanism both. “Well we were tied at the top, Azrael; but there can only be one Master,” She wiped the man's blood off her own dagger, just a little more blood spilled on the red planet, “and today its me.”

The Fidelis were only light armed not expecting this reaction between the two highest ranking Manei Domini after losing their Master.  “There is your Trial of Position Fidelis.  I am your Master now,” They crossed their hands over the chest and bowed, “and we have much to do.  Take me to Thomas.”

Raphael walked into the mansion which increasingly lost any grandeur to become a very industrial space.  Naamah followed and the Jaguars tailed behind.  The Fidelis escorted her to the uplift chamber where Thomas' cybernetic body remained.  Naamah walked up to the machine's access terminal and the former Master's dead body slumped in a chair.  “I would like a moment alone please.”

They departed leaving only Naamah and a dead man, “Alas poor Thomas.  You should have doubted harder.  Your delusions were so strong, your fanatics so loyal to their Shadow Primus.  It was easy to convince you of almost anything but to stop.  Killing Emma was a bad plan, I'm sure she tried to talk you out of all this.”  She swept her arms across the massive supercomputer terminal. 

Naamah looked out over the window to the chamber toward an automated factory making more machines, “What a pity then that everything you've built belongs to us now, and I'm going to use it destroy everything you held dear.”

The seven drone types (3 Battlemechs, 3 Aerospace, and 1 “Infantry”) assembly line was operating at maximum rate now.  Designed by the Wolverines as a weapon to destroy the Clans they would accomplish their intended purpose although sooner than expected. 

Machines were so easy to control.  They had no fear, no families, no names of their own just like the Manei Domini, but unlike the Ebon Magistrate.  Naamah twirled her double edged dagger, “Revenge is best served with a side of cold steel,” and threw it toward dead Thomas, “and silicon nightmares.” 

She looked at The Blood of Ares insignia and smiled.  They may be wayward kin that needed to be sacrificed but they were still Wolverines. “The other Clans will finally die and the Wolverines will be ilClan.  Alpha and Omega, First to fall, but yet last Clan standing despite all odds.” 

Naamah inserted an optical data-cube concealed within a prosthetic arm into the computer that would actually make it work as intended.  Not as a consciousness transfer of course but as the central node of a System wide network capable of running war by remote control.  “How unfortunate that I will not be able to see it."

Her hands flew across the keyboard as binary code scrolled across the computer screens as she activate the latent data-cube that she had carried for so long, "Oh well, my sacrifice is just as worthy as Franklin Hallis’ was.  One more Warrior sacrificed to save the Wolverines and win the War.  Isn’t that right Erebus.”

The dead man's cybernetics reanimated momentarily in a ghoulishly spastic manner, like those of Frankenstein’s monster as residual memory from them was drawn into the mainframe.  Naamah couldn’t puppet his cybernetic form though that was an idea poised during planning.  However, the AI of “Erebus” made for a very convincing virtual copy of Thomas Marik as Emma had known him.  His digitally rendered voice came in over the speakers, “Yes Master.”

“We are going to have so much fun with this Erebus.  I can hardly wait.”
« Last Edit: 18 February 2019, 09:46:15 by AlphaMirage »

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #124 on: 18 February 2019, 08:35:25 »
Well, if wonder if the Wolverines were going get in one last fight. I think we've seen it coming now!
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mikecj

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #125 on: 18 February 2019, 09:18:34 »
Nice, I like the 2 different factions.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #126 on: 19 February 2019, 17:46:50 »
Well, if wonder if the Wolverines were going get in one last fight. I think we've seen it coming now!

Not quite yet but it is gonna be a epic

Nice, I like the 2 different factions.

Thanks, figured why should two different groups be the same even if they broke from the same source.  Let's me mix in some horror as well (I did try to write at least one story in every genre during this anthology)

------------

07/22/3070 Location - Fox's Den, New Avalon, Federated Commonwealth

First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion leaned over the holotable within the Fox's Den's Briefing Room, he had spent a lot of time here recently as Daphne regularly reminded him.  Their relationship was going through a rocky patch due to the stress of him being First Prince in the middle of a still warm battle that could still blow up in his face like a back-draft.  Eventually it would pass he just needed to be careful not to cause any irreparable damage, she would forgive him for time lost when this was done.  They still had their time in Yvonne's house that had brought them their son. 

Yvonne had been working her tails off while he was still getting acquainted with the Federated Suns government functions.  She had been regent for years already and managed half the worlds in the Federated Suns presently from Minette (or rather her deputy did currently while she was on New Avalon helping him).  He wished he could give her a medal for that, her and McKinnon, but that was just what was expected of them and he had finally begun to live up to their expectations much to their relief.  Yvonne had taken the week off to save her sanity but chose the oddest location, an art trip to The Great Gorge.  Peter had always thought of her as a beach kind of girl rather than a desert mountain but that is what she wanted.

He was having trouble sitting around, he wanted some action in his Battlemech no matter how foolish that might be for a head of state.  The Sol Protectorate was still conducting quick raids but it was minor stuff based on the incoming reports, fewer Shadow Divisions more regular SPM forces.  Highspire was still under quarantine by the CCAF but Thugee attacks had abated as did CCAF raids.  Oddly MAF forces were guarding the border with the FedSuns now.  He knew from personal experience that periphery women tended to be assertive and hoped Sun-Tzu felt his pain sometimes with a Canopian Princess as a bride.

Tharkad had been seriously attacked and damaged while Katherine was there with Vlad Ward and “their” family.  Black Box transmissions gave him “hope” that his sister was still alive but were intentionally vague about specifics.  Solid OPSEC on her part but very frustrating for Yvonne who was far more concerned for her sister's well-being than Peter. As far as he was concerned if Katherine were dead he would be saddened but it would make his job so much easier.

Ross McKinnon, his Prince's Champion, was due to arrive in the New Samarkand system soon to speak with Shogun Sakamoto about the next step of this “Fifth Succession War” it didn't really have a name but the Blakists spoke of Jihad, a struggle, it might catch on with everyone else.  Kitsune had told him his uncle was an honorable man but he hoped his nephew was not just overly idealistic and hoped maybe his mother had greater sense than his brother had.  Peter looked at a picture of his brother that he had kept with him throughout his exile.  A major OPSEC blunder but it was a public picture so anyone could have had it.  It had served many purposes over his time but right now he was looking for some optimism amid a sea of bad news.

One of his General of the Armies aides' ran in carrying an envelope, “First Prince, great news!”
Peter turned and faced the man, “What is it Major?”
“The HPGs are back online.”
“What!  How?”
“ClanCom fixed 'em and gave Shogun Sakamoto the key.  He gave it to us as a sign of good faith.  This is from him.”


Peter looked at the message, it was a silly unsigned poem that likely was written by a child
Little Fox hides
Little Fox grows
Little Fox always welcome within my groves


Followed by a formal congratulations (in Kanji with translation) for the coronation of First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion sealed with the Shogun's seal, Gold Lotus Blossom on Black Ink.

“Well I think he's on our side Major Valence.  Let me talk to McKinnon.”
“Precentor New Avalon says you can only send a short message First Prince.  Its still unstable but a signal got through and that means others can too.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #127 on: 20 February 2019, 16:47:33 »
08/13/3070 Location – IWS Dire Wolf, above Glengarry, Federated Commonwealth

Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward was strapped into his chair at the head of the circular briefing table aboard one of the gravity decks of the Dire Wolf.  While Glengarry's Baron, Alexander Caryle, had offered him Castle Hill the Khan had decided to use his Flagship in light of recent security breaches and also to spark some feeling of nostalgia from REVIVAL in his fellow Clans. 

He watched the other Khans as they consulted with their subordinates via HPG subtlety reading how his fellow Khans reacted to the latest tragedy.  The attack on Arcturus had hit every Clan hard.  With the loss of their Loremasters already complex things were increasingly so and the Watch was forced to look inward to protect themselves rather than scout their external targets. This dramatically slowed the tempo and gave the ComGuards and Blakists more time to withdraw within the Sol Protectorate and prepare themselves for the upcoming battle. 

The brilliant and fiery haired Elemental Hannibal Saradoc had replaced Ivan Kerensky as the Wolves' Loremaster and the young abtakha Smoke Jaguar Rhonda Stiles replaced Vlad's saKhan Marialle Radick who had been on Arcturus when it was attacked.  He didn't think anything could kill “Death's Vixen” but orbital fire support from a Blakist cruiser had proven him wrong. 

Rhonda had the same hard charging, fierce spirit that Marialle had and that was exactly how he liked his saKhans.  Both of the new additions happened to be on Glengarry at the time which gave Clan Wolf quite a few advantages considering the HPGs were likely still insecure.  The new saKhan Stiles was already en route to Ryde to meet up with her Ghost Bear counterpart; the freeborn Ragnar Magnusson, now leader of a reunited Rasalhague Republic after it had been taken from COMSTAR by the Bears.

Khan Cobb already had a sealed vote from his Bloodnamed that elevated Galaxy Commander Magnus DelVillar to Loremaster and unlike most of the other Khans (excluding Vladimir) Cobb was very involved in the running of his Clan so it was less affected by the loss of their Loremaster.  It had bounced back very quickly under his guidance after fighting a fierce War with the Ghost Bears several years ago and was earning a reputation for exemplary service alongside SLDF forces that was beginning to rival the Nova Cats much to their chagrin.

His Hell's Horses while politely coerced into serving under Khan Ward to atone for the Blinding Eye Scientist conspiracy that had almost killed him.  Elements among their rank remained very much dedicated to maintaining their Clan and pushed back sometimes violently whenever they felt they were treated as subordinate rather than partners.  James' saKhan, the abtakha Ghost Bear Jake Kabinsky, had been sent to calm the Ghost Bears along with Diamond Shark Khan Barbara Sennet.  Both were attempting to convince Ghost Bear Khan Aletha Kabrinski to meet before just rushing headlong right into the Sol Protectorate in pursuit of “Wolverines.” 

The Nova Cat's Khan Santin West, also an Elemental, was not present currently as he was consulting with his saKhan on New Kyoto, where Katherine was. Vlad had not seen her in a few weeks and buried himself in work to pass the time, he was so close but couldn't let himself lose sight of the prize, Terra. Only then would Katherine get what she wanted and what he secretly desired as well though the alien emotions were still difficult to grasp. 

The rest of the Council had not yet come in line and agreed to a new Kurultai as not everyone had accepting him as ilKhan, and only ilKhans could call Kurultais.  Despite the Wolves' dominant position some of the hardliners particularly among the Ghost Bears saw him as a Chalcas for his relationship with Katherine and her Commonwealth while they eagerly did the same with the Rasalhagues. 

There were rumors on the Chatterweb of Khan Kabrinsky calling a Kurultai of her own.  Having a parallel Kurultai hosted by the Ghost Bears would be very difficult to manage and he was certain that the Sol Protectorate would prevail against the divided clans.  The Ghost Bears while a mighty Clan could not win this battle alone and Khan Ward was in the best position to lead the Clans toward the final glorious struggle to Terra and he had the support of enough Spheroids to do it. 

Vladimir fiddled with his wedding ring, an austere but well made piece of jewelry, "We are so close.  Soon we will both get what we desire most."  He looked at the latest battle reports coming in from the front line showing Blake affiliated Mercs in a pitched battle with Anti-Blakist Mercs on the world of Galatea, "We just have to get through them first."
« Last Edit: 20 February 2019, 16:50:03 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #128 on: 20 February 2019, 18:44:08 »
08/14/3070 Location – Testing Ground Delta, No Mans Land Region, Galatea

The Blakist Mercs that attacked Tharkad came back to the Mercenaries' Star with friends.  The ComGuards and Blakist Militia had pulled out or blown themselves up in the past few months leaving only mercenaries and planetary defense militia. The Mercs were divided into two sides now, Newton Ramille's AMC (Newton's Raiders, Fighting Shamrocks, Fighting Uruk-Hai, and The Ragamuffins) and SPMA Three (Mobile Fire, Martian Cuirassiers, Bullard's Armored Cavalry, and The Gray Ghosts) commanded by Colonel Zane Cole of the Cuirassiers.  The two sides were evenly matched augmented as they were by freelancers that picked a side rather than be attacked by both, there was no neutral on Galatea these days.  Galatea City was mostly destroyed in the first day as the two sides engaged one another with minimal care for civilian casualties.

AMC Principal Colonel Newton “Ram” Ramille watched an enemy formation cross the Salt Flat through his rangefinder binoculars.  The reinforced Mech company was bearing an unknown crest and oddly had a large number of quad designs, including some he was not familiar with, escorted by other Mechs with known EW capabilities, a lumbering Cyclops assault mech was serving rear guard.  He put the rangefinders into their case to protect them from dust in his hastily prepared observation post before picking up his field telephone which rang the command center a kilometer to the east. 

“Paul, looks like we have hostiles in West Five.  Reinforced company; kinda weird looking but I should be able to take 'em.  I'm going to send a video through the cable.  See if you can figure them out.”

“You sure you don't want more backup Newton?  You don't know what those things are capable of.”

“Well I'm going to find out now but feel free to join in.”
  Newton aimed the camera at the enemy position, it would track his Mech during the battle and send the video to the command van.  The salt flat he was about to go into should give them good video and with his Mechs' BattleROMs he would be able to update the others on any new experimental units.  He knew to approach them with caution the Thugee Mechs on Highspire had cost him a lot of troopers till they figured out what their capabilities were.

Newton clambered out of the sandbag supported OP and half ran, half slid down the ridge line toward the rest of his company.  The Mechwarriors were already on standby and had their mostly Trinity made Mechs powering up before Newton reached his desert camouflaged Summoner Omnimech.  The Mech was a gift from his sister, Magestrix Naomi Centrella-Liao to replace the Marauder he lost on Highspire.  He had familiarized himself with it on New Macao before being hired by Alys Hampton's AMC and assumed principal command of the Galatean garrison, the largest in the AMC. 

Newton shook the dust off his neurohelmet and powered up the Summoner Prime.  Once it was online he confirmed his camera was operational with a little “aftermarket” PIP display that would allow him to control the camera remotely when he had a moment in the middle of battle.  The unit was not connected to the Mechs' controls itself as it was not an encrypted line but he found the camera on a hill trick would give him a view of the larger battlespace while he was focused on staying alive in the cockpit.

He crested the ridge and started toward the enemy company, “P.R.O. Four is online.  Follow me boys.”

In the cockpit of the Cyclops Blood Sister Simone was managing her flock of drones with a “beehive” Neurohelmet (serves a similar purpose for the Hades Growler) when she picked up enemy signatures on the other side of the hill.  “How fortuitous that someone comes to greet us with ill will.”

She flicked several switches on the commander's console with her cybernetically replaced left hand, toggling her drones to combat mode. “Go forth and mangle, my beauties.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #129 on: 21 February 2019, 18:01:05 »
On the Salt Flats of Galatea Chromehound (Drone Blue Flame) #MRF-BS-48 analyzed each of the attacking units and its own position in relation to its fellow drones and operators millions of times per second monitoring how each moved.  It's current threat was the hostile Summoner that had gotten into the rear arc of the lone Lich quadruped assault unit# MRF-BS-12.  Its' pair of Improved Large Laser and eight Streak SRMs fired dealing major damage to the Clan Omnimech and causing it to tumble into the hard packed ground.  With the mech down MRF-BS-48 began to reassess hostiles for the next major threat.

Within that fallen mech Colonel Nicholas Ramille took a major hit to his and his mech's head in the fall blacking out as the Omnimech cracked the ferroglaz inner cockpit on the white crusty ground below.

Lich unit# MRF-BS-12 picked up additional inbound ground and air forces but was cycling though the immediately remaining Battlemechs of the “Newton's Raiders” as tagged by his controller.  The drone fired off its two enhanced ERPPCS at a nearby Shadow Hawk 5D high energy particles cut through armor as the enemy's rounds fired its rotary 57mm blasted into the Lich's hardened armor cracking some of the thick hide of the assault unit but there was plenty more protecting its vital systems. 

The Shadow Hawk was finished off by a Gauss round fired by the manned Huron Warrior standing behind the drones, the weapon guided in by the C3i within the Lich.

Newton's Raiders were astonished at the resilience of the enemy.  They had faced down Celestial Omnimechs piloted by Kali's fanatic Thugee Domini including her elite bodyguard itself but only with heavy support.  While they could drop some of the smaller units the C3i and lumbering assault mech they had nicknamed “Lich” had proven to much for their unsupported company.  The Raiders attempted to pull the main body of the force away from the downed Colonel Ramille and it worked for a bit but eventually the unknown mechs returned to the Cyclops which had crushed the Summoner's legs and was poised above the fallen mech ready to finish it off at any moment.

No rescue team was going to get inside before that mech finished him off with its Heavy Gauss Rifle to the cockpit.  Paul Ravine cleared the ridge with the rest of his battalion to look upon the scene all the AMC on-world wouldn't be faster than a speeding Gauss slug. The Raiders didn't want to surrender their commander to the Blakists but they knew he was more likely to be ransomed back to his twin sister than executed or tortured, to death; at least on this planet, Highspire would have been a different situation.  “Sorry Newton but we will find you.  Hang in there. 
All raiders pull back we will deploy scouts to find out where they are taking him but this is not the time to act.”


Colonel Newton Ramille woke up in a sterile looking medical environment with no insignia on the walls or sheets.  Obviously a structure from the looks of it and attempted to remember anything about how he got there.  It wasn't the first time he found himself waking up in a hospital with a headache but those other times he remembered at least something prior to the blackout.  He attempted to put his hand on his aching head but found that he had been restrained to the hospital bed by very high quality hand cuffs; also not the first time that had happened.  However at least those other times there was something to look forward too here he had no idea what awaited him.

Newton's vitals must have alerted someone that he was conscious as a tall thin man wearing a dark red jumpsuit and tabi type socks with a needler pistol secured strapped to the small of his back ambled in like he was fighting against a current.  He figured he was a spacer or grew up on a low gravity world with that kind of body structure and would probably need a lower body exoskeleton in more “normal” gravity if his heart could take it.  “I guess I'm not on Galatea anymore Spacer.”

“An astute observation Colonel Ramille.  I am Dr. Vashir.”
“Where am I going?”
“That's not important Newton.  Besides I'm more interested in where you have been.  Particularly Highspire.”
“Why do you care about the Thugees?  I would never betray my sister.  You might as well kill me now Vashir.”

“Not YOUR sister Naomi no. 

Her sister-in-law

Kali Liao.”
« Last Edit: 21 February 2019, 21:58:09 by AlphaMirage »

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #130 on: 23 February 2019, 17:42:59 »
Oof!  Right in the gut.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #131 on: 25 February 2019, 17:51:49 »
Oof!  Right in the gut.

Foreshadowingggg...

-------------
08/17/3070 Location – Near The Valley of Steel, Quentin, Federated Suns

Peter Steiner-Davion crested the ridge to look out over the Valley of Steel, once home to a grand factory complex, one of the most productive in the Draconis Combine, but now all that remained was twisted nuclear ruins.  His Battlemaster was followed closely by the 1st FedCom Armored Cavalry that had liberated the world from the Black Dragons.  Orange CNBR (Chemical, Nuclear, Biological, and Radiological) “Cinnabar” IndustrialMechs were past reflective posts while working their way through the ruins with integral searchlights and handheld anti-infantry weapons.  Just because the radiation could cause near instant death to normal human didn't mean it would stop the 47th Shadow Division's cyborgs that had previously occupied this area.

1st FCAC Major Zendru Smith came in over the BattleNet from the nearby Penetrator, “Peter if you go past those towers, you're in the hot zone.  You'll absorb a lethal dose in less than five minutes.”

“I'm in a Battlemaster Major Smith, hardened against such things.”

“The decontamination techs not so much.”
“They have suits but I'll honor your caution Zendru.”  Peter's Battlemaster turned toward the Major, “I just wanted to see it with my own eyes.  Do you think the Combine will be interested in salvaging this factory?”
“No, Shogun Sakamoto has written this off according to his emissary.  That factory equipment will be irradiated for centuries.  This whole planet is tainted now, we were just making sure no Blakists were hiding in the ruins the Black Dragons and Blakists apparently had a a major disagreement just before we arrived, made our jobs easier.  Glad you brought the Victor Steiner-Davion to give us a ride back to Yangtze.  Some leave would be nice.”
“I don't know about the leave Major we still have a lot to do.  Don't forget we are here for you and the refugees that are currently loading into dropships destined to the Meisho and Stellar Scoop.  Half to Ozawa then New Rhodes, Half to Al'Nair at their request of the Shogun.”
“Your majesty you do realize that you are giving the Draconis Combine choice selection of some of the best trained engineers and technicians on world right?”
“I do.  We have NAIS, might as well let Franklin catch up again.  He's already fought a Civil War and has promised to help us with the Blakists.  I've no plans to invade the Combine unless they do something first.”

08/30/3070 Location – Third Fleet Command, New Hessen, Federated Commonwealth

Peter Steiner-Davion was growing weary of map rooms and strategic conferences being more used to leading from the front then planning campaigns and plotting logistics, he wished he had the ClanCom's Quartermaster Corps but the AFFS was ready and willing to step up to the plate to save the Inner Sphere.  Yvonne had gone forward to Tikonov to speak with Prime Minister Yuri Lebedev.  She was surprisingly fluent in Russian for some reason that she had not seen fit to share with him.  Meanwhile Third Fleet Admiral Hai Shing Vietche and TRG Senior General JJ Atherton were in front of the holo-table with lots of missing information on worlds within 2 jumps of Terra.

JJ Atherton's rough hewn face was illuminated by the light from the table, the man had overseen a lot of war rooms in the past couple of years and plenty of hard battle based on his scars and cybernetic prosthetics.  Peter attempted to emphasize but he had been lucky; The AFFC had been lucky to make it out of the past conflicts with the Blakists and TAF in decent order. The Republicans were little more than paper tigers without the Crucis March commands held in reserve but still forced to deploy forward when the Trinity States attacked. 

The Third Fleet had fared better but right now the Yggdrasil was nursing battle damage from Sol Protectorate pocket warships over Fletcher.  The SPF made it dangerous to conduct recon with anything other than warships, big ones, and he only had a few of those.  The Hellions had one of the rare Bug Eyes left over from Kerensky's Exodus but it was in the McKenna yards around Kathil right now as the old bird's age had finally caught up to it.  The Council Clans and Hellions had a few of the “stealthy” Fredasa corvettes but the Word of Blake was looking and it made it difficult to even sneak an ONI Pueblo survey dropship in to gather intel.  “I am open to suggestions Admiral and Senior General.  You know these worlds best what could the Sol Protectorate done to fortify them.  I want to know what I might be up against.”

“We received a troubling report recently from New Samarkand, the ClanComs forces have engaged drone fighters in sufficient number to give the Thera SLS Fort Verdun difficulty, its multi-national air wing took heavy casualties. 

The Khans, Shogun Sakamoto, and Archon Steiner are attempting to replace lost hardware but the loss of some of the SLDF's best trained Aerospace pilots will cause problems next time the Carrier gets into a shooting fight.  One of the Clan's Potemkins was severely damaged around Odessa slowly their deployment but the Blakist Fleet threat from that world has been neutralized.  With the Dieron Yards also out the Blakists only have the Titan Yards we should be able to wear them down and regain deep black supremacy.”


JJ Atherton followed up, “The Republicans are beaten down but not out, some of these Protectorate worlds are in jurisdiction.  My men won't give them up without a fight but they need help, we're barely holding together here.”

Peter put his hand into the holographic display illuminated Marlette and drawing a line to Terra, “With the Hellions coming into the theater you will have it.  Khan Drake has assured me that his Touman is ready to fight for Terra and every rock in between with the Council's permission; or especially if they try to deny him.”

JJ looked at the vulnerable flanks of their operational theater, a now battle hardened Trinity Alliance still lie in wait, “Do we have any idea what the Triads are planning?”

“Chancellor Liao, Magestrix Centrella, and Regent Kithrong have send emissaries to New Avalon saying their fight with us is done and that it was the Word of Blake's fault.  They are sitting this one out and dealing with Blakist and Thugee caused issues.”

Admiral Vietchi didn't look confident, “Snakes all of them, didn't stop them from sending Feng Huangs to attack my fleet in the opening engagement.  Where the hell did the Canopians get a Samarkand anyhow?”

“We should ask Shogun Sakamoto.  There was one around New Samarkand, if the Blakists can get the New Vandenberg operational they might have been able to get that hunk of junk moving.”


PSD: “Ross did say it was missing but claimed they scrapped it for the Yamato.”
JJ: “Another piece of junk.”
HSV:  “That remains to be seen General.  Considering the Ghost Bears have a Leviathan I consider it prudent that we should get a proper Battleship as well.”
PSD:  “We'll see if the Ghost Bears still have ships after this fight Admiral Vietchi, then we can talk about the future threat to the Federated Suns and Tikonov Republic.  You have Big Ygg and the Fhylgia to make it work along with most of the Avalons.  The Hellions are retaining control of their Warships.”
HSV:  “But they are your sister's vassals.  Order them to hand over control to Third Fleet Command.”
JJ:  “When Khan Drake or Loremaster Wallace gets here you can challenge them to a Trial of Refusal yourself.  I'll bring the popcorn, no disrespect Admiral but their Loremaster scares me plenty without a McKenna around her based on what I've heard.”
PSD:  “What JJ said Admiral.  Loremaster Wallace will retain control of the Hellion's Naval Touman until further notice.”
HSV:  “Very well sir.  I'll make it work.  Have you decided on your travel arrangements yet?”
PSD:  “Not yet but I'm not going to show up with a Warship to my sister's Realm only to have her husband shoot it out of the sky.  We have to find neutral ground.  Somewhere in the middle.”
JJ pointed toward Terra which was between New Kyoto and New Hessen, “Well that's the middle for you two.  Maybe the Master would let you meet her there so you can kill each other and save him a lot of trouble.”
Peter looked toward Admiral Vietchi then back to Senior General Atherton,  “You sure he's not a Mask agent.”
"Sometimes I wonder First Prince, but the Mask doesn't normally crack jokes."

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #132 on: 26 February 2019, 18:39:48 »
Hunting Trip

08/15/3070 20:58 Location – Coalition HQ, Yonei, New Kyoto, Federated Commonwealth

Archon Katherine Steiner was burying her head into concerned reports from the Arcturan and Donegal Commonwealth Central Banks while the sun set behind her curtained window.  Both of the largest banks in the Commonwealth were awash with red ink that their directors fear might never be recovered to finance the massive military burden her realm had to bear.  “You people have no vision!  Ies ist nur verdammtes Papier!  Wir sprechen über die Eroberung der Erde!”

The (Clan) Commonwealth despite being at war for nearly three years had plenty of reserves and idle industrial capacity in the Alarion and Somerset Provinces just like she planned years ago to ensure that a hostile advance from either the Clans or the Inner Sphere could take out her Realm with limited strikes.  If you wanted to defeat Katherine's Commonwealth you needed to be prepared for the long haul. 

With so much of a head start it was having to pick up the slack for the war ravaged FWL and DC in order to outfit the SLDF.  Shogun Sakamoto was even bold enough to ask for mechs, transports, and technical teams while providing only Mechwarriors in order to get them into position faster.  “Go cry poverty to New Avalon Franklin, you should have killed your enemies long ago. I thought Dracs were supposed to be ruthless, like me. 

Like I need your damn Drac Mecha Samurai.  I have most of the Clan Council in the Inner Sphere chomping at the bit to fight alongside the Wolves.”


A gravely voice came from near the door causing Katherine to slowly look up at the Nova Cat's Khan from her high backed chair.  While a smaller Elemental the man was still massive and heavily muscled even at the advanced age of 39.  The sudden and silent appearance of the Warrior Monk would be intensely intimidating to any non-Clansman but Katherine was unimpressed.  She already had her pistol in her hand when he entered courtesy of Loki training but politely kept it under the table.  “Such an endeavor has proven successful in the past.  Does not mean it will do so in the future.”

“What is it Khan West?  As you can see I am quite busy making sure your Nova Cats have the gear you need to survive this fight.  Unless you want to go in without spares or not survive.”

“We may be prone to jumping at visions but we never go unprepared for nearly any circumstances.  I received a vision during my transit from Glengarry.  We are to hunt an Armor Bear; only with a successful hunt will we have a successful campaign.”

“Who is we exactly?”
“You, Aiden, Adam, Reinhardt, Photon, Hiro, Akira, and myself.”
“And why do we need to hunt an Armor Bear?  You know they are probably more dangerous than a Manei Domini cyborg right?”
“Unclear but I saw myself facing a mighty bear with thick bony plates in a forest with all of you beside me.  The bear did not have six legs and it was not an arctic environment so it was not of the Ghost Bears.”
“You are crazy Khan West.  I will not entertain your silly spiritual nonsense.  Count me out.  I've better things to do than go into the woods and put my life needlessly in danger.”
“Think about it Katherine.  It will require several days to make preparations.  I will ask only once more.”
“Go find something constructive to do Khan West.  I will give you the same answer.”
“I think not Katherine.  You will come around before we shove off.  I will leave you to your paperwork.”
“God I hate Cats.”


That night she had terrible nightmares about Galen Cox and Victor the first night followed by Vladimir Ward and their children the second and her remaining siblings on Strana Mechdy (a place she had seen but never been) of all places the third night.  She woke up in her staff room within her dropship (Aiden had demanded she sleep there it was easier to control access and she had a Battlemech if the Blakists launched a surprise headhunter raid), the Union-X WIS Avalanche the fourth morning having suffered no nightmares the previous night.  This evening was when Khan West would be expecting her answer.  She double checked her medication, it had been having side effects prior to this week but oddly lucid nightmares were not on the list.  She received the blood toxicology panel of the previous day on her note-puter and saw that she hadn't been dosed with Necrosia or Nova Cat quill poison or any other psychoactive not already accounted for.  “Gotta be stress cannot be anything else.”

As she opened the closet she realized that it was getting rather bare and saw an Kaumberg Oak case with a faded 3rd Arcturan Guards logo on it.  She knew that case but it had been years since she last laid eyes upon it in her grandmother's hunting cabin.  Was it since the Battle of New Avalon?  Was it that long ago? 

She needed to clean her closet more often because she had not been aboard the Avalanche most of the transit from Donegal here instead staying aboard the Titanic courtesy of the Diamond Shark's Khan Sennett.  Pulling the case out she put it on the mattress which gave it just enough clearance to hinge open and reveal a match grade G-150 Hunting Rifle with a 10x IR scope and polished stock.  A dozen 10mm rifle rounds and two magazines were also in the formed interior of the case.  'KS/Arc.' was engraved on the magazine well.  “How did you end up here?  Wait that's right I took you out because you were the last functioning rifle in the Hunting Cabin before Morgan settled there and I didn't want her to get hurt playing with you.  ******!  Fine Khan West, I'll come with you.”

Later on that evening Archon Katherine Steiner and her Chief Bodyguard/Ghille Aiden Byrne walked up to the docks of a pastoral exurb of Oshataku guided in by a large fire where Khan West and his saKhan Katayama were telling stories of their combat prowess to the assembled Warriors.  Photon Brett-Marik laughed and verified some of the more outlandish ones and had his own to share from his time on Wolcott.  Several Sake bottles had already been discarded by the six men.

Khan West stood before Katherine both partially illuminated by the flames, “Have you decided to join us Katherine?”

The Archon looked over to Aiden and shifted the rifle strap slung over her shoulder, “I am going with you Santin.  Despite my better judgment.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #133 on: 27 February 2019, 17:56:36 »
08/20/3070 Location – Somewhere in the Cerulean Sea, New Kyoto, Clan(Fed) Commonwealth

Katherine woke in her stateroom, a polite gesture by her hunting party to give the only woman her own room.  She double checked to ensure her rifle was ready for action when they finally got to their destination in two nights.  They could have used other means of getting to Asharu but Khan West had insisted on taking a borrowed boat.  She walked through the narrow corridor and saw Reinhardt eating breakfast. As she poured some hot water out of the steaming kettle he noticed her and stood to salute but was dismissed with a wave.  “Sorry Archon.  I would have made you a plate but I didn't know when you would get up.”

“You are surprisingly chipper this morning Reinhardt.  You could barely board the ship last night after that Sake.”
“I have an Steiner General's iron liver Katherine.  Sake is easy in comparison to some of the stuff we get at the Exchange, or serve at gatherings.  Khan West though, damn.”


That brought a smile to Katherine's face, some Elementals could drain half a firkin (~20L) of beer if you gave them a chance.  Khan West was a little on the small side though so maybe a quarter.  “I take it you've never seen an Elemental drink.”

“Well I haven't spent a lot of time around Clansman until recently, Mrs. Wolf Khan.  It was an experience that will make a great future story.”

“You know speaking of people to tell stories too.  I never did ask you if you sent a message to the now Duchess Fyhne did I?”

“No you didn't Archon.  I feel this would be a bad time considering her mother's recent passing but I did send my condolences to her along with arrangements to ease her grief.”

“Very considerate of you.”
  Katherine looked at his plate of a veggie omelet with breakfast sausage, “I'll take one of those after a few moment above deck if you'd be so kind.”

“Certainly Katherine.  I am your General of the Armies.  If its a command I should follow.”

“Thank You Reinhardt.  I can't say this enough but you've done your family and the Commonwealth proud.  There are few people I'd rather have at my side then you and the LCAF. 

Now eat up.”


Katherine walked up the stairs passing the lean framed Aiden Byrne along the way. His smile and good morning revealed that he was obviously enjoying this part of his assignment.  His principal was surrounded by friendlies in the middle of an ocean where it would be impossible to sneak up on them.  When they got to the Armor Bear's temperate rain forest habitat in two days it would be a different story. 

Upon reaching the bridge she found the refined and now near legendary (a rare thing for the Marik line) SLDF Commanding General Photon “Laser” Brett(-Marik) looking out toward three other men assembled on the deck.  The small Elemental but still large man Khan Santin West, the smallest but lean and focused saKhan Hiro Katayama, and the bowed corn-rowed dark skinned head of Tai-I Akira Tormark were eerily silent and still in the early morning light. 

Katherine took a sip of her tea before speaking and breaking the locked gaze of the Marik.  “What are they doing General Brett?”

“Meditating Archon.  Most of the Nova Cats I know do it every morning and evening mostly old timers from before the Great Refusal and Dominion War. The new generations are too high strung despite Santin's best efforts or so he says.  Thus he makes Hiro sit with him and chill out keeping him out of trouble with Reinhardt.  I hope it catches on, the new Nova Cats are excellent Warriors but Santin and I are afraid they will grow to fond of War.”

“Heaven forbid, another group of Smoke Jaguars or worse Mongooses.”

“Indeed Katherine.  Akira I'm told learned to do with Shogun Sakamoto during their time in a Black Dragon prison camp.  Different type but same effect, clearing their mind in order to act presently with clarity and push aside doubt.

Not my cup of tea, I tried to do it on Wolcott with Hohiro but that didn't work out so well for either of us.  I sleep with one eye open now you wouldn't catch me with both eyes closed during the day unless I'm dead.”

“Maybe its worth a try, we do have two days till we get where Khan West picked out on the map.  Photon what are your opinions on the Nova Cats?”

“They are an odd bunch but all the Clans are no offense to your Wolves of course.”

Katherine crossed her arms suddenly very cognizant of the Clan-Spheroid cultural divide that she blithely bridges, “I does take time to adjust still.”

“Same with any Successor State or hell my own Free Worlds League.  You can hardly find a more multicultural place so I've grown accustomed to being something of a cultural chameleon.  You don't want to say some things on Regulus that you would say on Andurian and it sometimes feels like Alys and I despite being cousins are remarkably distant ones.

Though Khan West only had a few visions that he has told me about during the time that I've known him.  He has done an exceptional job leading the Nova Cats despite their many troubles in the past.  Anyone that can fight the Ghost Bears to a standstill outnumbered two to one is a man worthy of following into a fight.  Not sure the other Clans on the Council agree however.”

“No it is becoming a rather two sided arrangement with the Wolves and Ghost Bears leading opposite ends.”

“I think that is why he needed you to come Katherine.  I think he is planning a third option.”

“He wants me to convince Vladimir to abandon his claim to ilKhan?  Impossible, I don't even think I could do that. 

What about Khan Kabrinksy?  He would never follow her nor I.  Verdammt Ghost Bears ruined all my plans with their attack against the ComGuards and their defection to their Blakist counterparts.”

“I don't know Katherine but I am good at reading people and situations that is what I'm picking up but I don't have the benefit of a Vision to lead me on.  I can get the Inner Sphere armies to rally to my banner but I can't get all the Clans to agree to work with one another, let alone my SLDF.  We are going to need everybody if we are to have a chance against the Sol Protectorate.”


She took a sip of the warm tea from her CSF Titanic branded mug, “You are not wrong General.  We do need everybody but that might be the hardest part.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #134 on: 01 March 2019, 18:29:07 »
08/22/3070 Location – Cerulean Sea, New Kyoto, Federated (Clan) Commonwealth

Katherine was more silent and sullen during the past two days at sea than normal although the only one that really would know such a thing was Adam.  He had reached out to her engineering attempts to talk about Tharkad and what was and would be to no avail.  Smartly he decided to tone it down and wait her out.  He understood being a Steiner, it was in their blood and the “curse” affected them all to different degrees but rarely crippled them.

Khan West had no such discernment however and the man appeared beside the Archon, “You seem troubled Katherine and do not say its sea-sickness.  I may be an Elemental Warrior but our sterotype among Spheroids is very inaccurate as I am no fool.”

“You are though, you convinced the whole of Coalition leadership to go on a dangerous hunt because of a vision.  Either you are a fool or we all are.”

“Perhaps that is true Katherine.  We could all be fools but I must follow my visions.  They have never steered me or my clan wrongly.  The Nova Cats stand poised for greatness but it is not me that did it but all of us.  You may have been adopted into the Clan of Kerensky but we have followed his vision.”

“A bold claim Khan West.  One that would not go over well in the Council of Six.”
“Thus they have not truly embraced us yet because we speak truth and that makes them uncomfortable.  The other clans have lived to long in a fantasy of their own creation.  Our vision becomes real because it is truth. 

That the truth that I realized during our return to the Inner Sphere after being Abjured.  We were not supposed to come back but we all did so anyway and knew it would be suicide.  We had no hope of winning but deluded ourselves for the short term.  The Truce gave us time to think of a different future, one where there are no Clans, no Houses, no States,

Only one Clan, Humanity. 

Thus I do not fear the end.  If my end is met in a battle let it be The Last One.”

“I do not have that luxury Khan West.  I'm not sure I can even make it that far.  I am just filled with fear, the primal fear of loss.  The last time I left New Kyoto, my future was destroyed.  I don't know if I can got through that again.”

“Clearly your future wasn't destroyed considering you are still here Katherine.  What is it that you are so afraid of?”
“Losing my family, again.  Maybe this time forever.”
“Your Clan means a lot to you.  I understand, I am father, brother, uncle, and cousin to many Nova Cats

I don't want to lose any of them and am honored that they follow me into harm.  Our Clan is eternal though thus I have no fear of losing it, not as long as one Nova Cat lives.  We have released our sibkos to make sure that they can defend the freedom we may have to sacrifice everything to earn.  Only volunteers are taken now.  We have no shortage of volunteers amongst the Combine and League worlds that we rescued from the Word of Blake.  My Galaxy Commanders are having to turn away thousands of grateful souls though we gladly accept gifts.

What of you and Vladimir?  Marriage is a chalcas tradition.  How did you convince the Wolf Khan to accept?  He sure acted like an ultra-hardliner on Strana Mechdy during the Abjuration.”


“I do not know it was even his idea.”  She looked at her ring with a mild chuckle, “Though he brought it up somewhat clumsily. He did use some of Aleksander's own poetic words to Katyusha when he asked me though which I considered cheating.  Speaking of which apparently he had practiced on three Tamarine women before me and failed to realize that I might not appreciate that.”

Khan West smiled big now that was an interesting start of a story, “Hopefully they did not accept.”

“They were terrified actually and accepted.  When I explained the error they seemed relieved though disappointed.  Being married to a member of Clan Wolf or Wolf Logistics is widely seen as a preferable option on Tamar, now.”

“It wasn't before.”

“Well it wasn't a thing before Vlad and I really.”

“See you are changing the whole of a Clan for what I believe is the better.  I need your help Katherine. 

I can't convince Vladimir Ward to meet with the Ghost Bears without it blowing up into a two way war between the factions.  Nor can I alone convince the Ghost Bears to not just rampage into the Sol Protectorate and get chewed up in the process. 

You have held together three different warring states for nearly a decade better than anyone before.  Your Empire is vast and well managed, you are arguably the most powerful person in the Inner Sphere because I don't think you actually want to fight your returned trothkin. 

If anyone can help me bring the clans and Inner Sphere together to win Terra it is you because you have already done it once on a smaller scale.”

“That is a lot to ask of one person.”

“Is it though.  I want to save the Inner Sphere from itself, your allies want to do the same but someone has to get them talking first.

And you are not alone.”
 

Khan West looked toward the other coalition leaders, Reinhardt and Hiro were not trying to kill one another and were even exchanging fishing tips.  Akira and Adam despite being from rival houses with a long history of blood feuds were sharing embarrassing stories of the same man, Shogun Franklin Sakamoto.  Photon and Aiden were talking about the perils of raising boys, something even Katherine needed more help in if only she could admit it concerning her own sons.

“Well why the hell did we need to go on a bear hunt then Santin?”
“You will see Katherine.  Get Vladimir to call a Kurultai somewhere near the Ghost Bears but do not tell him I asked you to do it.  I will do the rest; with all of your help, of course.”

“Well you better make sure we all live thought this then because Armor Bears are not easy prey.”
“Neither are Clan Elementals or Manei Domini Cyborgs.  We have lived through harsher trials alone.  We will prevail through this one as a team. 

One Team”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #135 on: 02 March 2019, 17:14:03 »
Katherine, the Khans, and Kerensky's Vision

09/02/3070 Location – Wolf Blood-chapel, Council City, Kerensky's Vision

Katherine Steiner(-Davion) was mesmerized by the sweeping architecture and solemn but engineering silence of the Wolf Blood-chapel.  She was attempting to hide within the part-laboratory, church, and meeting hall that was a marvel of engineering always guarded by an elite group of Elementals known as The Templars.  Within its walls were the collection of all active Wolf Bloodlineages (including those of the Exiles) dating back to Aleksandr Kerensky's sons.  The halls were lined with bronze plaques containing short quotes from the remembrance immortalizing the heroic deeds of those that left a part behind.

She stopped at one; her own, added while she was Clan Wolf's Loremaster,  Even after all these years it still brought tears to her eyes.
 
'White Wolf weeps for a fallen brother, for he was like no other.  Within our halls his legacy sits, long live the Inner Sphere's Golden Prince.'

Two names were noted below within the stone to the newest Bloodhouse 'Fox'.  The only two thus far to earn the Bloodname and only one was still alive which made the Fox Bloodname the most exclusive in Clan Wolf beside the never used legacy of Jennifer Winston. At least until her children took their Trials and distinguished themselves.

Katherine and Victor

His gifttake within the Wolf Bloodchapel taken after his death on Strana Mechdy at the hands of ilKhan Lincoln Osis was all that remained of his body now that Tharkad City had been razed and with it the Cathedral of the Heavenly Host and Steiner Family Crypt below.  One vial and many stories were all the remained of her brother, she traced her finger over the worked stone of their names.  “I'm sorry you never got to leave a more lasting legacy brother but we will never forget everything you did and will always wonder what might have been.”

The new Wolf Loremaster the red haired giant Elemental Hannibal Sradac followed by a Point of Templars turned and walking down the corridor towards her.  Despite obviously knowing the massive Wolves were nearby Katherine ignored them till they grew closer.  “Katherine good, we have been looking for you.”

“Of course you were.  I know what time it is.”
“Yet here you are reading poetry.”
“I wrote this poem Loremaster, when I was Loremaster.”
“I know, in Remembrance of your Trothkin.  I was on Strana Mechdy when your brother came to Huntress and defeated the Smoke Jaguars.  He died in a good Warrior's death.”
“He did but it did not need to happen.”
“At least he went down in a blaze of glory to be lionized by the whole of the Inner Sphere.  There is no greater honor.”
“I would have preferred he still be alive.  We might not be in this dire situation were that have happened.”
“We could always have been in a worse position, perhaps you are wrong, he comes back as First Lord, and becomes a new Usurper.  Demonized for all time rather than celebrated as a hero.”
“My brother would have never become an Amaris.”
“Never say never Katherine Fox.  The hearts of men are never as transparent as women think.  Who knows what darkness lie in Victor Steiner-Davion's heart but thank the Great Father that it was not as strong as the light during his life.  If he turned many would follow him to the abyss.  You should know that considering you already faced several men once thought heroes that became villains.”


The man began to walk and Katherine followed understanding that if she didn't one of the Elementals would simply pick her up and carry her out and wished to save herself that embarrassment.  “You are a curious one Hannibal.  How did you come to be a Warrior Poet?”
“My Star Colonel was a Ghost Bear whose Great Work was to compile an epic treatise of the Rise and Fall of the Star League.  I helped him and in the process found my inner talent for poetry and oratory.”


The two of them left the Blood-chapel leaving the Templars behind to return to their duties.  A Wolf Patrol Packrat APC was waiting for them outside.  The heavy APCs had been modified as part of Katherine's enigmatic INDIGO project to include space for unarmored Elementals but still could only carry non-armored infantry making it ideal for paramilitary units like the Clan Patrol and Watch, both of which were now Hannibal's responsibility as Loremaster. 

Katherine had only been on world for a day but this planet was one of Clan Wolf's best kept secrets, once known as Qualip it was near Arcturus and Odessa and used by ilKhan Ulric Kerensky as a forward supply depots for REVIVAL.  The Potemkin Full Moon had dropped a full load of cargo on the abandoned world that was later claimed by the Wolves in Exile after the Refusal War that sundered the Wolf Clan.  The Exiled Wolves left the world abandoned but Vladimir Ward began the process of settling the planet and building up supplies on a semi-regular basis shortly after becoming Khan.  Until she killed Loremaster Katya Kerensky and took her position not even Katherine knew of the planet that would have been the launch point for the Wolves post Truce assaults to take Terra.

Once she learned of it though she took advantage and accelerated the process of building a new Clan Capital World.  The Ghost Bear's attempts to build up on Nox had gone up in flames due to Blakist saboteurs and assassins that had managed to infiltrate SLIC and in the process killed many VIPs.  One VIP that Katherine wouldn't miss was the former Exiled Wolves' Khan and defiant Duke Phelan Kell. The Kell lineages mysteriously disappeared during the Blakist assault on Arc Royal wiping out all of the Freeborn Khan's giftakes and with his death on Nox there would be no memory to him or his rebel father Morgan Kell.  All that remained was Morgan's bastard daughter Megan's line that was now living in exile within the St Ives Compact with most of the other Allards.  Both Katherine and Vladimir Ward were “terribly disappointed” with that turn of events as both had plenty of reasons to dislike the Kells.

The pair and their Wolf Patrol escorts arrived at the new Hall of the Clans, an impressive structure designed to evoke but not exactly mimic the one on Strana Mechdy.  Each of the Council Clan banners were hanging from one of its pillars, Wolf, Jade Wolf, Hell's Horses, Ghost Bear, Snow Raven, and Diamond Shark.  Both Nova Cat and Ice Hellion were vassals of a Successor State despite being Clans thus had not yet earned their place on the Council.  Of course they could challenge that ruling by Clan Law and in fact Nova Cat Khan Santin West had done just that which is why all the Khans were assembling on Kerensky's Vision.

Katherine followed Hannibal into the building but split off from him, as a Loremaster he was given a seat on the Council while Katherine despite being Khan Ward's wife was just another Bloodnamed as far as the Clans were concerned.

The Khans, saKhans, and Loremasters of the Six Council Clans sat next to one another in the circle.

Clan Wolf
Khan Vladimir Ward | saKhan Rhonda Stiles (abtakha Smoke Jaguar) | Loremaster Hannibal Sradoc

Clan Jade Wolf
Khan Marthe Pryde | saKhan Uvin Buhallin | Loremaster Dawn Varga (abtakha Steel Viper)

Clan Hell's Horses
Khan James Cobb | saKhan Jake Kabrinsky (abtakha Ghost Bear) | Loremaster Magnus DelVillar

Clan Ghost Bear
Khan Aletha Kabrinsky | saKhan Ragnar Magnusson (Freeborn Rasalhague Bloodhouse) | Loremaster Allison Noble

Clan Snow Raven
Khan Lynn McKenna | SaKhan Alberto Crow | Loremaster Klaus Harper

Clan Diamond Shark
Khan Barbara Sennett | SaKhan Alan Hawker | Loremaster Isaac Clarke

The Nova Cat Command Triad was standing in the middle.
Khan Santin West | SaKhan Hirohito Katayama | Loremaster Syrah Rosse

As the host of this Council Khan Vladimir Ward was allowed to speak first, “Khan West, your Clan is a vassal of Franklin Sakamoto, Shogun of the Draconis Combine, and have subjected your Touman to the command of the SLDF.  Yet you seek to join this honored Council as a sovereign member.  There is only one loyalty within the Council, that is to the Clans not a Successor Lord.  On what grounds do you reject your Abjuration and seek to once more rejoin your brother clans?”

“I have many grounds to reject the Nova Cat's Abjuration but the only one that I am truly interested in is the battleground.  My Nova Cats would take any of your Clans, our Touman and Clan is strong and independent of the SLDF and DCMS, they would be much lesser without the Cats.  You should be honored to have us as members of your Council.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #136 on: 08 March 2019, 17:52:07 »
Yikes this Chapter of our Saga took five rewrites during an already busy RL week.  Hope you enjoy.

-----------------

Khan West clad in the roughly tanned leather of the Kyotan Armor Bear with one of its fearsome claws around his neck stood tall before the glares of his fellow Khans.  He had hoped that his vision would be easier to fulfill but if it meant speaking uncomfortable truths so be it.  “You are not the Grand Council of Khans created by Kerensky though you pretend to be.  We have all been Abjured by the Grand Council!   

My interpretation of Clan Law has us thus as equals.  Our brother Clans have exiled us all and cut us off from the Kerensky Cluster, we have only ourselves and our allies to rely on here.

The Nova Cats however were first in willingly.  We knew our future lie in the Inner Sphere before any others.  The Ghost Bears followed and so did the rest of you.

All of your claims to Orthodox Clan behavior are false.  This is not only for the Council but to all the Clansmen listening to me currently and those that receive the recordings once we are finished here. 

We find ourselves in trying times.  Not since the Second Exodus have the Children of Kerensky faced such headwinds.  Our enemies are relentless and unseen, reliant on exploiting our differences from one another with disguise and misdirection.  Sweet lies that we take in like candies to sibkin. 

Each of our foes have put more work into driving us against those that should be our friends than at any time in history.  None of us should trust anything that we cannot verify with our own eyes and even then we must look twice and thrice clearly to find the truth.  They have been successful because we cannot look beyond our own eyes even once. 

If we did we would see that we have all changed since we left our Homeworlds.  Our eyes have become clearer yet we refuse to see the plain fact that we are but a small group in a big galaxy. 

A small group that created big change.  During REVIVAL the Inner Sphere looked beyond their own century long grievances and stood strong against us.  These ties still hold but we have failed to learn their lesson. 

The Blessed Order and Word of Blake's lies have come to the surface with fire but that fire can temper our resolve or fan the conflagration that will erupt between us when we reach Terra to avenge our Fallen, both Clan and Spheroid.  One of us will but we can choose now what happens after.  Can we look beyond our own faults to see the strength in Unity that we possess?  Can we finally realize the end of Great Father Kerensky's Vision? An ilClan.

That is after all why this place was built, this whole planet was renamed for that very purpose.  Quaff Khan Ward?”

“Aff Santin.  The Wolves will support the Nova Cats membership for Council.”


Khan Cobb stood up, the Warrior still had a sharp mind and retained his edge ousting his younger predecessor in un-augmented combat with ease despite being nearly 70.   “As will the Hell's Horses.  Jake Kabrinsky assures me that your Nova Cats have not lost their Warrior Spirit under the SLDF.  Any Clan that can draw the Ghost Bears twice,” Both Khan and saKhan Kabrinsky winced no one defeated the Bears and they were still hurt at their costly Draw with the “domesticated” Cats, “while fighting another war is a worthy one.”

The Diamond Shark's and Jade Wolves both supported the candidacy predominantly out of dislike of the Ghosts Bears and their abrasive Khan(s) as well as the arrogant and newly arrived Ghost Bear allied Snow Ravens that got a prime seat on the Council with Aletha's blessing but without their vote.  The Council had been the Ghost Bear's idea to maintain control against the now better supported (by both the Lyran Commonwealth's and Free World's League's more efficient and vast industrial base) “Allies.” 

With the Nova Cats in the organization the Ghost Bear and Snow Raven Khans would find themselves outvoted and possibly even made irrelevant in Inter-Clan Affairs despite the Dominions outsize military it still could be beaten by a reborn Star League just like the Smoke Jaguars.  Already the Diamond Sharks were increasingprices for the Bears due to choice trade deals with Corrine Marik's League.  With two of their Leviathans destroyed and another damaged the were outnumbered on the ground and in space even with the Snow Ravens whose ships were in poor condition after their War with the Steel Vipers.

Finally the cards were on the table with the word ilClan being spoken there should be an ilKhan.  “Now we come to who will lead the Clans for this new Revival.”

Khan Vladimir Ward as host spoke first again, “I nominate Khan West to be ilKhan.”  Aletha Kabrinsky was not subtle with her disdain, she personally hated Khan West and Khan Ward equally.  Her Ghost Bears should be leading this fight, they were the mightiest Clan in the Inner Sphere.

Khan Marthe Pryde of the Jade Wolves seconded the motion.  Her Jade Wolves lost nothing from the Nova Cat being ilKhan as they did not share a common border with the possibly angry Bears.  Let Khans Ward and Cobb deal with it.

“I humbly accept your nomination Khans Ward and Pryde.”

Khan Lynn McKenna, a long time ally of the the Bears and Falcons (now Jade Wolves) nominated Aletha which was seconded by the Diamond Sharks Khan Senett.  Who still attempted to maintain the brisk business the Sharks did with the Bears and possibly find lucrative work for her Clan with the newly arrived Ravens.

Khan Cobb nominated Vladimir Ward, the man knew that the Wolf Khan coveted Ulric Kerensky's tenure as the ilKhan.  It would be a subtle gesture.  “I appreciate but cannot accept your nomination Khan Cobb.  I will leave this between Aletha and Santin.  Maybe next time.”

The Loremaster of the Clans the young vibrant former Exiled Wolf's Loremaster Daphne Vickers stepped forward from the shadows where she had been lurking during the accords.  While her “Clan” had ceased to exist she returned to the fold of Clan Wolf with the other Exiles.  Their Elementals became the new Ebon Keshik that protected the Grand Council and ilKhan.  Their Warriors and other Castes were responsible for protecting Kerensky's Vision.  The Planet and The Vision. 

“By the Vote of the Grand Council Khans Santin West of the Nova Cats and Aletha Kabrinsky of the Ghosts Bears have accepted a Trial of Position for ilKhan.”  She motioned for the rest of the Nova Cats to leave the central pedestal and beckoned Aletha Kabrinksy to come forward from her box.  Both challengers were small for Elementals but their stature allowed them to be multi-talented and cross train.  The Combatants were accomplished in Battle Armor and Battlemechs and had turned battles just by their mere presence without having to use their considerable skills.

She motioned to the shadows before one of the Ebon Keshik Elementals came forward to hand her a box containing a randomizer.  She pressed something and returned the box to the Elemental who disappeared once more. “Santin West you have been declared the defender for this Trial.  Aletha Kabrinsky may begin her Batchall.”

“I Khan Aletha Kabrinsky of the Ghost Bears, mightiest of Kerensky's chosen, challenge you, Santin West, for the position of ilKhan of the True Clans.  I bid my Ourse Keshik for this honor.”


“Khan Santin West of the Nova Cats will defend my Vision with a Binary of the Nova Cat Keshik.  I choose Grid Seven Five One of the Blood Forest tomorrow at eleven hundred for our Circle of Equals.”


The atmosphere was tense it was still a fair bid but taking a Trinary against a Binary was not very sporting.  “My Ghost Bears are as good as measure to a Nova Cat.  I match your bid Khan West.”

The Nova Cat man put his hand out to the Ghost Bear woman.  “Well bargained and done?”
“Well bargained and done.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #137 on: 10 March 2019, 18:09:02 »
09/05/070 Location – IWS Dire Wolf outbound from Kerenksy's Vision, Council World

Star Colonel Katherine Fox and Khan Vladimir Ward watched the Trial of ilKhan once more.  Now ilKhan Santin West has wisely chosen his opponent and the forces by which to combat her.  The forest negated the Ghost Bear Khan's Viper and the choice of a Vehicle and Elemental Star from the NovaStar Keshik negated the ten mechs that Khan Kabrinsky had chosen from the Ourse Keshik.  The traditionalist Ghost Bears were defeated by the adapted Nova Cats in a decisive victory. 

One that also rallied the Hell's Horses with both their love for combined arms and smart territory selection. Their inter-generational feud started after the Ghost Bears had seized the Tokasha Mech factories that manufactured some of the most effective Omnimechs that had ever been designed.  The Horse's Khan James Cobb was joined at the hip with his fellow Elemental Khan (now ilKhan) after the Trial.

Katherine looked toward her husband his dark harsh features softly illuminated in the light of 'their' room aboard the Dire Wolf.  “I am glad you listened to me Vladimir.”

The man turned the viewer off with a small remote velcroed to the side of the bed.  “I could have beaten him, but for what?  I am sorry to just get so lost trying to be Ulric or Alexander.  I'm something different or well now I am.  The Clans if they survive this War won't need people like me afterwards, people that remember the things they told us in sibko.  They will live with everything we were promised when we left the Homeworlds to rebuild the Star League. 

It worked they will make their own Vision, one Vision beyond just Terra to everything.  A Golden Century that I would like to enjoy with you for as long as possible.”


Katherine neared closer they had spent their entire time on Kerenksy's Vision together after a several month long separation while they were planning the next steps and waiting for things to come into place and Katherine accepted that the War was a real thing finally.  “What will we do?  Once this is all over.”

Vlad held her close and kissed her hard, “Let's take it one day at a time, Love.  That way we can never be disappointed.”

-----------------

09/12/3070 Location – Citadel Spaceport, Vanra, Duchy of Orloff, Free Worlds League

Magestrix Naomi Centrella disembarked from the brightly decorated Dictator Dropship TADS Queen of Hearts. The Canopian woman made a grand entrance down the ramp toward the waiting Duchess Alys Hampton dressed in a green and gold quipao with intricate decoration along its ankle length.  While it did not show any skin it did show off gorgeous curves that turned the heads of the Orloff Grenadiers waiting nearby. 

The Magestrix kept a bit of Canopian flair in her hair with bright combs holding the curly hair in place but was otherwise subdued.  She was followed by a group of quiet professional soldier no one was certain whether they were the infamous Ebon Magistrate or the Death's Commandos. 

Duchess Hampton purple dress swished gently in the warm summer wind to meet the woman on the tarmac, stopping a short distance from the Magestrix.  Alys was fairly certain what Naomi wanted and hoped it wasn't actually her head.  “Welcome Magestrix Centrella, to what do we owe this pleasure?”

The Magestrix's cultured presentation was dropped as she pointed accusingly toward Alys and raised her voice.  “You know damn well why I am here Duchess Hampton.  Where is my brother!”

The Grenadiers watched and waited but their hands were on their Sunbeam laser pistols and holsters undone.  The Magestrix's soldiers did the same.  “Colonel Ramille was abducted by Word affiliated mercenaries on Galatea.  I assure you that we are doing everything we can to rescue him.”

That did not stop the Magestrix who got close enough to Alys to poke her in the chest.  Alys kept her hand low signaling her bodyguards not to shoot and cause a diplomatic incident by injuring or killing the Capellan Chancellor's wife.  “He had been missing for nearly a month!  Yet I only heard about it six days ago.  No courier from your AMC or HPG message.  I know that your HPGs work Marik, as do those on Sian.”

Alys stood firm against the Magestrix. Alys had lost both of her older brothers in battle and could emphasize with how much it had affected her.  Of course she hadn't sent an HPG to this woman because it wasn't looking good as far as their investigation went. However, the Sea Foxes could provide a suitable receipt for a minor cost thus she could promise something to deescalate the situation.  “Apologies Magestrix.  Our superliminal communications still have issues and your border is not yet secure enough for un-escorted couriers.  I was informed that a message had been sent to Sian via the Oriente circuit.  I can provide evidence of that fact courtesy of the SFTC that currently administers our HPGs in the wake of the Word's effective defeat.”

“You lie.  That message was never sent.”
“Well I don't happen to have the receipt on me Magestrix presently.  It was sent though.”
“I don't trust you or your traitorous cousin Corrine.  The Sea Foxes would lie for the both of you.  MY people are going to join YOUR people in finding my brother.”
“This is an AMC operation Magestrix.  I would not want to endanger your person.  There are powerful people that would miss you.”
“With Newton missing and possibly dead his Raiders pass down the line to me.  Thus I have just joined the AMC.”

Alys could of course contest that but didn't want to start a war over it.  If Naomi died it would be her own fault as far as Corrine and Sun-Tzu would be concerned.  “Very well Magestrix.  Your people can join with the Blackhearts on the search for Colonel Ramille.”
“How appropriate.  Where are they now?”
“Talitha.  Happy hunting Naomi.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #138 on: 10 March 2019, 18:21:02 »
Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE
Coalition Command Briefing
Primary Objectives | First Wave Assigned time – 90 TSD
AFFS – Nanking, Fletcher
2SLDF – Shiloh, Wasat
Clan Council – Oliver, Alula Australis
DCMS – Nirasaki, Imbros III
LCAF – Thorin, Muphrid
AMC – Galatea, Hall

30 TSD Pause – Supplies will then be brought forward by the Sea Fox Trading Company and Wolf Logistics' Charters.

Second Phase Objectives | Jump Range from Terra / Assigned time – 15 TSD
AFFS – Epsilon Eridani
2SLDF – Liberty
Clan Council – Luyten 68-20
DCMS – Dieron
LCAF – New Earth
AMC – Altair

14 TSD Pause

Final Phase
Terra

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #139 on: 16 March 2019, 10:19:49 »
Ground Commanders and Commands
Clan Council – ilKhan Santin West
60 Front Line Galaxies
60 Second Line

LCAF – GotA (ret.) Adam and GotA Reinhardt Steiner
5 Armies (25 RCTs) Iron Wall, Gauntlet, Silvertongue, Stiletto, Landsknect

AFFS – Brigadier Robert Davion-Zibler and GotA Tabitha Rennard w/ Hellion Khan Xander Drake
6 Armies (30 RCTs) Blackguard, Golden Lion, Sunburst, Charging Horse, Pegasus, Halberd

2SLDF – Commanding General Photon Brett(-Marik)
2 Armies (12 RCTs) True Patriot, Swordbreaker

DCMS – Shogun Franklin Sakamoto and Caliph (of the Azami) Sahalli Al'Odessa
50 ACRes {(Advanced Composite Regiment) modified Jaeger/LCT Pattern)

AMC – Duchess Alys Hampton and Captain-General Corrine Marik
5 RCTs built from more than 20 different mercenary commands

Naval Commanders (Flagship)
Council Clans
Khan Lynn McKenna commanding TASKFORCE:WARBIRD (Snow Raven, Diamond Shark, Ghost Bear ships) from the McKenna Battleship CSR James McKenna
5 Naval Stars + 2 Stars of Potemkins

Khan Marthe Pryde commanding TASK FORCE:RAPTOR (Wolf, Jade Wolf, Hell's Horses ships) from the Nightlord Battleship CJW Emerald Talon.
4 Naval Stars +  Star of Potemkins

FCF – Third Fleet Admiral Hai Sing Vietchi (Eclipse Light Carrier FCS New Avalon)
4 Major Combatant Task Forces (Tharkad Seth Marsden, Mjlornirs Valhalla, Yggdrasil, Fylgia)

DCA – Gunji-no-Kanrei Hibiko “Hellfire” Saito (Yamato Battlecruiser DCS Yamato)
1 Major Combatant Task Force (Yamato)

SLDF – Admiral Juhan Dubravka ( Thera Carrier SLS Fort Verdun) also commanding Clan Nova Cat ships
1 Major Combatant Task Force (Fort Verdun)

AMC – Colonel Hohiru “Great Wyrm” Tanaga of Hell's Black Aces (Feng Huang Carrier TAS Aleisha Kris, leased from the Capellan Confederation by the AMC with Marik money)
1 Major Combatant plus Pocket Warships and Aerospace

Warship
Yamato Battlecuiser is effectively a modified Tharkad.  The DCA independently started it that way.  The WOB that had repaired the Tharkad Invincible finished it that way, it has no standard weapons instead those were replaced by sub capitals.  Fewer NGRs more NACs and MPPCs arranged in 2 or 4 weapon bays.  First 3rd Generation Warship

DCMS Organization
ACR followed the previous Average Regimental Composition (ARC) used by the DCMS though modified with more armor due to the damage done to the DCMS Mechwarrior (many were Black Dragon sympathizers) and Mech production.  Consists of 1 Battlemech, 1 Reinforced Vehicle (extra Battalion), and 1 Armored Infantry Regiment.

LAG (Light Assault Group) is a Battalion of each rather than a Regiment though typically faster and better suited for raiding.
« Last Edit: 16 March 2019, 12:34:21 by AlphaMirage »

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #140 on: 17 March 2019, 00:07:58 »
Its too bad, AlphaMirage , there wasn't any easy way to make those Strategic BattleForce (Alpha Strike Data Cards) of those regiments/galaxies.  It be make them more playable!
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #141 on: 17 March 2019, 00:22:10 »
Its too bad, AlphaMirage , there wasn't any easy way to make those Strategic BattleForce (Alpha Strike Data Cards) of those regiments/galaxies.  It be make them more playable!

I was actually attempting to parse it into an ISaW line to see if there were any interesting upsets but a thematic selection will have to do.

The Enemy (COMGuards Organization)
3 Armies of Blessed Order Militia under the Command of Precentor Martial Cameron St Jamais based on Epsilon Eridani
2 Armies of Manei Domini under Precentor Naamah (and the Shadow Oracle aka “Ascended Thomas Marik”) based on Carver V
1 Battalion of Fidelis on Mars under Precentor Rafael
3 Armies of Sol Protectorate Militia under Precentor SPM Lisa Koenigs-Cober (Former ComGuard) based on New Earth
3 Army of Terra Defense Force under General Nolan Shivale based on Gibraltar, Terra
2 Divisions of The Pure Souls (Exituri) on Shiloh under Elder Oryx
2 Divisions of The Blood on Mars and New Dallas under Elder Weston Merino
1 Division of Thugees under Chief Mushali on New Home
1 Division of The Brotherhood of Cincinatus under Obersh (Colonel) Heinricht Volgenrut on Thorin
1 Army of Free Skye under Duke Robert Kelswa-Steiner and Duchess Hermione Aten on Murphrid

Order of Blake Fleet
TASKFORCE:INFARED
(Word of Blake Fleet Assets) commanded by Precentor Naval Gregory Zwick from the Farragut class Battleship WOBS Righteous Justice
2 Naval Squadrons

TASKFORCE:ULTRAVIOLET (Former ComGuard Fleet Assets) commanded by Senior Precentor Alain Beresick (former ComGuard) from the York Class CSS Focht's Fury (formerly the CSJ Lioness repaired by the Word of Blake around Dieron and captured by the ComStar Fleet)
3 Naval Squadrons

SDS Systems on New Home, New Earth, Terra, Dieron, Epsilon Eridani, Nirasaki, Terra Firma, and Alula Australis
« Last Edit: 17 March 2019, 13:56:48 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #142 on: 17 March 2019, 19:41:06 »
10/17/3070 Location – Kami DCS Golden Flame above Nagano, moon of Nirasaki, Draconis Combine[/u]

The spheroid Kami dropship DCS Golden Flame drifted above the barren, whitewashed, and mountainous moon of Nagano orbiting the planet Nirasaki with a flotilla of other DCMS Dropships and a pair of Warships.  Their target Crystal City, the Nirasaki Computer Collectives' corporate owned habitat burrowed deep into the moon.  The only signs on the surface were glittering domes that once held wonders of automation during the Star League's golden years.  These wonders had been destroyed and lost; the habitat abandoned during the dark ages of the Succession Wars.  With the technological renaissance in the wake of the Clan's invasion they were renovated and recommissioned for their original purpose, research and development.

Shogun Franklin Sakamoto waited in the cockpit of his Ronin (Gladiator) Battlemech as his Drosphip was coming into position for the drop onto Nagano.  Currently the air wings of the dozen DCMS dropships, the Yamato Battlecruiser (a modified Tharkad) DCS Yamato, and Kaga Carrier (a modified York) DCS Kaga were preparing the battlefield.  Both Warships had been captured above New Samarkand after being completed by the Black Dragons with the Word of Blake's technical assistance.  The only positive thing of the Black Dragon rebellion as far as Franklin was concerned.

The Draconis Combine's Shogun rotated a piece of roughly worked ivory in his hand carefully held by a strong thread in free-fall.  The piece had been given to him by his nephew Kitsune before he departed Combine space.  Franklin held it securely for more than 6 years on the promise that boy would return to finish it some day.  It drew his mind to the Dictum Honorium, the very foundations of the Draconis Combine's society, The Pillar of Ivory in particular.  Growing soft but becoming strong as part of its nature as it was with the Combine. 

The Golden Flame's captain came through on his helmet's commset, “Shogun-heiko, we are approaching the position.  You are free to power up your battlemech.”

Franklin pressed the button saying his pass-Haiku and the console began to light up red then green as critical systems came online.  “Hai Tai-I Kobayashi.  Lotus-Four online.”  He put the ivory piece beneath his gold colored cooling vest over a black jumpsuit with a stylized Lotus on the back.  The illustration was his own created while he was looking for a symbol for his new Shogunate.  Lotuses emerged clean from the grimy swamps that they grew in.  Franklin couldn't think of a more apt symbol for the reform Franklin had in mind for the Draconis Combine that would continue his father's work.  They would emerge from this Jihad stronger and more harmonious than ever before.

The red lights of the Kami's Drop-bay illuminated Franklin's Ronin Battlemech, the Gladiator it was based on was the first Battlemech ever created by the Draconis Combine's member states.  The Blakists had transferred the tooling to build it to New Samarkand replacing the previous mainstay Dragons.  The Ronin however was jump capable but no one had jumped out of a dropship with it yet.  A timer appeared on the HUD of Franklin's Neurohelmet counting down the moment till the drop pod door opened 5 seconds before it expired the Shogun issued his favored phrase for a combat drop.  “Dragons Fly!”

The Kin Masuko (Golden Masks) echoed his call.  His sub-commanders followed shortly behind with their own commands.  The Shogun's Advanced Composite Regiment was in this fight while the rest of this attack force was moving forward with the rest of the operation.  The Masuko battlemechs in black and gold jumped out of their dropships, orienting themselves with their mech's gyros and jump jets before coming down on the white regolith atop pillars of flame that blew the rock dust high into the thin atmosphere.  The pair of Nagumo dropships that were carrying his Armored Infantry would follow behind in order to secure Crystal City once the major players were destroyed.

Shogun Sakamoto hit the ground first and harder than expected. The impact jarred his bones, it had been a while since he had engaged in a combat drop.  The glittering domes of Crystal City were visible in the thin atmosphere of Nagano on the other side of a blackened moonscape partially made by the Yamato's cannons where there had been obvious fixed defenses.  The rest of his unit advanced in a loose arc heading toward the domes.  “We are advancing to the target, Kanrei Saito.”

A woman's voice came in over his radio, Hibiko “Hellfire” Saito, his military deputy.  “Hai, Shogun-heiko.  The Yamato waits above with tongues of flame to burn our enemies to ash.”

“Be certain they are guided with wisdom Hibiko-san.  Lest we turn our own dragons black.”
“You saved me the trouble.”


While the woman was a loyal retainer he could not discount the words had some truth to them.  He was after all within a mech that was mostly black contrasting sharply with the white regolith that rose up with each step of the Kin Masuko's battlemechs surrounding them with particles that sparkled in the light of Nirasaki's sun.

As they neared the glittering domes they started to pick up transient contacts between the nearby “hills.”  Each was an underground habitat, some capable of docking the largest of dropships though mostly used for small craft and aerospace fighters.  Franklin stepped past the circle that was off-limits for the initial orbital bombardment.  A cordon roughly 5 kilometers wider than the city's outer limits.

The hills came alive with contacts as soon as they passed within the cordon.  Four types of quadruped battlemechs, dozens of regular ones, and a pair of Tripod ones that didn't match any type in his DCMS Warbook.  Kin Masuko mechs engaged the light gray camouflaged mechs whose low profile made them difficult targets to find against the terrain.  Unlike those ones the Tripods stood tall, massive things that were larger than even the vaulted Atlas Battlemech.

Shogun Sakamoto looked at the Tripod standing over a nearby hill behind a swarm of smaller mechs.  Behind it Aerospace fighters were launching from concealed hangers streaking toward the DCA Air Wing and ruining the Yamato's orbital fire support as it would have to maneuver to avoid the hostiles.  “I didn't think they could do it.  They made a mech bigger than one hundred tons.”

“Shogun you are on your own until we deal with the fighters and get back into position.”

Franklin began tracking an approaching Venom battlemech through his Neurohelmet's targeting indicator.  The Capacitor Enhanced ERPPC glowed azure under the right arm of his Ronin Battlemech as the LRMs launched from the MML-5 built into his left chest most of which were dodged by the agile Hunter-Killer mech.  “Very well.  I do not need your hellfire."

Franklin held the shot until the Venom pounced toward him only to be hit square in the chest.  "I am the Dragon."  The Venom fell into the regolith at his Mech's feet, feet which moved to crush the cockpit of his fallen foe.  "Feel my wrath.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #143 on: 17 March 2019, 21:21:12 »
10/19/3070 Location – Fletcher VII (CC), Contested World

The Battlemaster 'Black Prince' was covered in battle damage and dew as it walked down the road toward a tranquil windswept meadow filled with flowers.  Fletcher was still contested but this area was clear as far as the scout platoon that had departed less than ten minutes ago could confirm.  The mech took a knee before a group of stone statues kept pristine for centuries by the locals.  First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion dropped from the chain ladder built into the unit onto the spongy ground.  The Prince's features were worn and his uniform ragged.  It had been a long time since he embarked on a campaign of this magnitude and it showed.  His faith in himself had been shaken by the horrors he had seen the Word of Blake commit during this push to remove them from the Inner Sphere.

He loosed his red and gold Neurohelmet holding the heavy object from a sling over his cooling vest.  A Serrek pistol was attached to the front of it the bluing of the gun's steel marred by combat.  He ran his hand through his grimy hair as he approached a small depression that had collected water from the recent rains.  The First Prince looked around, Fletcher had seen many battles over the centuries being home to many strategic targets but this area was untarnished by the fires of war.  The rains had cleared away the smoke from the fires that were burning just over the horizon and Peter breathed in the clean air for the first time in weeks.

Peter took some of the water and washed his face cleaning off the accumulated soot, he was reminded of a time when he did this after causing a massacre of his own people in rage.  Now he was attempting to stop one started by those with no such concerns.  An enemy of unhumans not bound by any convention.  Only driven by fanatical desire to control everyone.  An army he was going to stop.

The man walked toward the circle of statues.  This place was hallowed ground and he approached with reverence.  He stopped before an intricate statue of a woman holding an open scroll. 'Aleisha Liao, 3rd Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation.  A Peacemaker in an Age of War. 2372-2415'

“What a great irony that your many fold grandson started so many wars and is probably not done yet.”

Peter looked at the shortform version of the Ares Conventions, a thing taught in every military academy throughout the Inner Sphere and Clan Space.  Normally he didn't see the signatures on the original document signed on Ares in a textbook however so it was interesting to see the signature of someone long dead.  He was drawn to one in particular, Archon Katherine Steiner, the woman that was his many-fold grandmother; rather than his sister who is also now known as Katherine Steiner.

He looked closely and was hit by a shocking revelation.  The signature of that woman was nearly identical to older sister's.  She would have had to seek it out and intentionally mimic it until it became natural.  Peter looked toward the statue of that woman standing tall with long hair made of white marble with her son Alistair in his little officer's uniform during her most famous appearance before the Estates General to preach peace in their time.

Everything was the same.  Her presentation, appearance, everything including a disturbing amount of their history.  All of which (except the history) must have been done on purpose by his sister.  He thought of their last time together when he was taking her to Gallery after Galen Cox was and she nearly assassinated.  Peter tearfully brushed his hand across the boy's, his many great grandfather's marble face.
“No.  Katherine.
I didn't know. 
Wouldn't have asked.”

 
He opened a 2d picture of his family with the forests of Minette in the background.  He put his finger over his wife's baby bump.  “I am so sorry.”
« Last Edit: 17 March 2019, 21:23:43 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #144 on: 20 March 2019, 17:13:24 »
10/31/3070 Location – Thorin, Clan(Federated) Commonwealth

(Archon)/Star Colonel Katherine Fox's (Steiner) Barghest ducked behind a nearby hill just in time to dodge the withering fire from an ambushing group of rebels.  The heavy firepower dropped clods of dirt onto her lupine Battlemech which caught in the extensive battle damage it had taken.  Katherine puffed on a stray ash blonde hair that was now obscuring her helmet's HUD.  “Report!”

One of the White Wolves in the more mobile Fenris had eyes on target.  The Hades in her Star was blocking outgoing transmissions so hopefully faster moving units weren't vectoring to hit her patrol.  The Summoner and Storm Crow were engaging the enemy presently.  “We took some hits from concealed Pattons and Rommels.  I spot a pair of Behemoths and a trio Sturmfeurs mixed in.  Its the brotherhood Star Colonel.  I can see their crest.  Don't see any spotters but there are probably infantry in play.”

The Brotherhood of Cincinnatus had started as a veteran support, Steiner Supremacists, and Anti-Clan group and it like many other things of late had been subverted by the Word of Blake and made itself an enemy.  Katherine had done herself no favors by killing the late celebrated Hero of Thorin and prominent Brother General Archer Christifori using a Wolf Patrol firing squad on Tamar after he attempted to kill her and her children.  This was the final straw however her LIC commandos, Guard contingent, and the White Wolves meant to put an permanent end to these traitors. 

It was very personal and she had never afforded herself the luxury of letting enemies live if there wasn't a better option.  The isolation, humiliation, and death of Morgan Kell and his son, Phelan 'The True Wolf Khan' at the hands of a mutual enemy being an exception, one that was both fruitful and satisfying.

Katherine angled her Barghest toward the hill and pushed the throttle all the way just like an all terrain motorcycle with a pair of searing large lasers and a Heavy Gauss Rifle.  “Well no Alacorns or Challengers so I count that as lucky.” 

Her Mech cleared the hill and ran over the dirt clods and flaming debris that was heading toward her machine as the other units of her lance pressed in like a tightening coil.  The Fenris would hit the rear with the Barghest and Summoner holding the center while the Storm Crow and Hades were on the far angle ready to take advantage of any side shots they could manage on the dug in vehicles.

Like a pack of wolves they closed on the enemy company.  They were fighting dug in Lyran vehicles aka blocks of armor with guns; piloted by some of the best veterans of the St Ives War and Operation-REVIVAL.  Even immobilized they were still incredibly dangerous even to a Clantech Mech Star Katherine in her early reign had made certain that would be the case.  That was before she became a Clan Warrior herself; now she had a slightly different opinion.  However the Word of Blake might have succeeded in their plan if she not ensured that her army was the most potent in the Inner Sphere.  Now they were on the run and soon to be out of friendly ground, and friends.

He Barghest's Heavy Gauss Rifle and turret mounted twin cERLL lasers leveled on the lead Patton and found their mark.  Even with the increased armor and concealment from the fighting position all three weapons wrecked the turret.  The object remained atop the vehicle but hung at a sickly angle.  It's cannon had managed to get off a double tap before the end however and each round hammered low on the Barghest's front legs. 

Missiles arced down from above filling the battlefield with white exhaust trails and more shells that impacted the Archon's allies.  The hunched over and birdlike Storm Crow B took a major hit from the Rommel's main gun but returned it with more and blasted another of the offending rebels.  A Summoner D fired its weapons mid-jump which burned into one of the heavy weight Behemoth tanks as its Anti-Missile systems intercepted some of the incoming swarm of missiles knocking at least a dozen out of the sky before they reached the target.  Although the mech was momentarily staggered under the assault of so much firepower.  The Hades did the most damage though as artillery streaked out of the sky delivered from the White Wolves' (A Jaeger Unit) battery.  “Nice shooting boys.  Let's finish them off.”

11/01/3070 Location – Fortress Laiacona, Thorin

Colonel Heinricht Volgenrut of the Brotherhood of Cincinnatus looked at the action before him through his Crusader's open cockpit.  His battle brothers and sister were preparing themselves for what was likely going to be the final battle of this fight.  The ancient star league fortress was operational but they were outnumber and the Blakists had yet to bring online their new additions.  The white clad technopriests weirded him out, but there was no denying their impressive tech and contempt for the current Archon.  The Lyran Commonwealth needed a pure Steiner in control, the Steiner-Davions had ruined it.  Robert (Kelswa-)Steiner would do nicely and he would happily help the man take back Tamar from the hated Wolves after Katherine and her Clan allies perished.

The Wolf Clan had cost Heinricht dearly, he lost his legs on Blair Atoll after being thrown into the maw of the Clan War Machine in gear that was older than his grandfather with no support.  Now he was doing it again but this time the Blakists had his back and sent aid.  “What is taking so long Precentor?”

The Legacy pointed to one of the White Jabberwocky Industrialmechs that despite its large size barely came up to the treads of the massive machine before him.  A mobile fortress bristling with guns.  “The Rattler had to be deconstructed in order to ship it.  We gave your men weapons and expected them to put up a better fight in order to give us more time to bring it online. 

Now you can get out there and fight the Wolves or hide within this fortress' walls complaining until doomsday.  Which might be quite soon by the way.”

“Get that monstrosity online before the Donegal's fighters drop an Alamo on this fortress.”
“We will get it done.  Now do your part Colonel.”

“Oh I will.  Red Company on me.  Head to sally port six.  All gun crews watch the skies.  Artillery prepare for bombardment.  Don't forget there is an Eclipse (Fox CV) above,”


The Cincinatians exited the triple sealed doors that opened up to a narrow box canyon that would provide some concealment from above and serve as a death trap if attacked.  He could see Katherine's advancing forces from afar using the sensor network that was hardwired into the fortress.  The two Hades units in the White Wolves would disrupt any transmissions from normal remote sensors.
 
He pulled down the cockpit canopy and thumbed the armored shroud which came down and momentarily darkening the interior before sensors filled in the display.  He looked down and engaged the loading state for his Crusader's missile arms.  “and Wolves below.

Avenge Archer!”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #145 on: 22 March 2019, 21:27:16 »
11/02/3070 Location – Above Thorin, Federated (Clan) Commonwealth

Captain Owen Boer's smooth features were under the red lights of the Eclipse Carrier Donegal watched the battle unfold below him from the military “comfort” of his Tactical Command Room.  The 56 fighters of the 27th IAC (Independent Aerospace Command) was currently engaged as per the Archon's plan with a quarter of them presently on their way back to the carrier to reload and rearm.  With the Lyran Commonwealth's access to the Star League and thus Clan Nova Cat, particularly their York Carriers; as well details from the League's Thera, and hands on experience with the warship that would improve the next round of Commonwealth Fleet Carriers captured by ONI, the Eclipse was one of the smoothest running carriers in any fleet.  The final approach remained one of the most dangerous maneuvers in space, but that is why the pilots spent so much time practicing it.

The sensor operator shouted something from her station. “Captain we are tracking contacts below!  Barracuda and Manta Ray missiles from the fortress below.”

“AIRCOMM wave those fighters off they will have to use the ground bases. 
HELM evasive maneuvers!  They probably have more incoming. 
EYES I want to know where those missiles came from!”


He triggered the red alert on the command console at his fingertips.  Then triggered another button fighting gees from the evasive maneuvers to broadcast his voice on the inter-comm ship-wide.  “All hands we are taking fire.  Ensure all DaCs (Damage Control) are in position.”

The Helmsmen triggered a hard burn but the missiles were agile and capable of hitting much smaller targets than his small Warship with pinpoint accuracy.  “We won't be able to evade these missiles Captain.”
“HELM make sure they hit something non-critical then."
  He looked around at the rest of the bridge crew in the tactical module.  "This is a Warship!  Is it not?”

The dozen missiles hit the length and breath of the ship but didn't cause any major damage as the Warship had been heavily armored with just this kind of occurrence in mind.  Aerospace fighters dove back for the ground in order to rearm and continue the fight.  Their sixteen fellow fighters would be trapped on the Donegal until it got out of engagement range for most of those missiles or the White Wolves and their allies dealt with the launchers the Donegal was not going down over Thorin it had a bigger fight to win.

Meanwhile below on the dirt 
Star Colonel Katherine Fox stood within the command van with muddy slate gray jumpsuit and knee high boots with the hilt of a knife just poking out from her thigh rig.  Her pistol was attached to the black cooling vest and her now off white neuro-helmet was on a sling behind her.  Her dirty hair was in a bun currently protected from the helmet by a shemagh that wrapped around her neck as well.  She was looking over the report from the Eclipse Donegal now currently departing their AO due to Surface to Space fire.  “I don't like this.  Where did we spot the contrails?”

One of the Loki Operatives looked over the map fingering their current location and what they could see from that position.  “We didn't spot any contrails.  They must be on the other side of the mountains or in a canyon somewhere.”

“We mapped this area with LIDAR earlier this week.  How could we have missed that?”
“Unknown Katherine.  They might have the launchers deeper than usual or have fired them from under a ledge before the missiles streamed up to engage the fighters and Donegal.”
“I want another flyover with the Blackbird.”
“It is currently refueling at FAT (Flight Academy of Thorin).  ETA sixty minutes till it is back within radio contact range.”
“I am going out with Recon Hauptmann.  The Blackbird should give us a clue of where the Brotherhood is hiding their missiles.  Meanwhile I want everything mobile again. 

These missiles don't just fly up. 

Sometimes they come down.”

“Yes Archon.”


One of the Loki operatives opened the door for her as she hoped down into the waterlogged field that had become their forward operating base.  Katherine's tall boots kept the worst out but it still was unpleasant.  Not as bad as Sibko; many times lately she had gone back to that phrase and she had only been in it for three months; not lived through it for years like most Clan Warriors. 

The other Loki operators exited behind her and began shouting at their subordinates to pack everything up and move to another position.  Katherine jogged her way to the industrial humanoid looking gray Stealth LIC Battlemechs; they were simple but rugged and very effective designs in the hands of the skilled and ruthless Mechwarriors gathered at their feet.

A blonde Skye Islander wearing the formless insignia free uniform of a Loki Mechwarrior was waiting for her, “Archon.  Command said you wanted to join us on the sweep.”

She walked toward the man stopping and holding her neurohelmet in the crook of her elbow, “Yes, Leutnant.  Is there a problem with that?”

The man looked at the other Mechwarriors, “Neg.  We just wanted to know if you wanted to be point.”

Katherine thought about it for a moment looking up at the storm.  “Leaders are always in front.”  before putting on her neurohelmet and mounting the ladder to the cockpit, “Even if I only do so from the shadows.”
« Last Edit: 22 March 2019, 21:28:48 by AlphaMirage »

mikecj

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #146 on: 24 March 2019, 06:28:07 »
Silly Brotherhood... the phrase is nuke it from orbit, not nuke it in orbit.
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.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #147 on: 25 March 2019, 15:36:08 »
Star Colonel Katherine Fox's Stealth worked its way up the steep rock cliffs that sheltered Fort Laiacona.  Thorin's badlands were currently covered in the rain which had concealed their approach.  The gray stone was wet but a battlemech's hands were still capable of climbing. A rare and unexpected skill but one the Bodians that trained Loki special operatives knew well. 

Katherine's patrol reached the top of the ridge then stood up to look upon an isolated canyon that was large enough to land a half dozen dropships.  It currently housed something strange and Katherine activated the zoom function on her Watchdog CEWS to see the massive construct.  Something which didn't match anything in the Warbook which was becoming an common occurrence, “What is that?”

“Unknown Archon but the Blackbird is coming within communications range.”


Kilometers above and away the matte black Blackbird hyper-sonic stealth recon craft zoomed through the stratosphere.  The three crew received a burst transmission from the Loki forward recon squad.  “Blackbird we have located an unknown contact near the following coordinates.  Request high speed low altitude pass.”

The three crewmen looked at one another though they could not see each others' face through their black gee suits and fully enclosed helmets.  “Roger, incoming, three mikes.”

Back on the ridge Katherine saw a fast moving shape ram down from the clouds and buzz their ridge at an impossible high speed.  It was gone long before they could hear the sonic boom but Katherine could see the construct come to life firing heavy missiles that streaked toward the small craft which was already long gone.  “That's the thing or at least one of them.  Upload the targeting coordinates to the boom box (satellite relay).  We'll just wait and watch.”

“Are you sure that is a good idea Archon?  We are exposed here.”
“Yes, if anyone wants to come and get us they are more than welcome to.  The Brotherhood has many old school Wallers (Wall of Steel) among their ranks.  They won't be able to reach us up here with their Zeuses and Banshees.”
“I'm more concerned about that big boy out there.”


The patrol picked up contacts coming from the fortress, a squadron of unknown helicopters with sharp edges like the Bolla stealth omni-tank.  Some new type of heavy helicopter gunship that was rapidly heading their way with Battle Armor holding on to the sides.  “Well that's new.”

Another of the Loki commandos chimed in on the battlenet, “They probably have some Warriors as well heading out way.”
“Couple of choppers is not that big a threat.”
  The rock exploded nearby as artillery began landing nearby. “That is though.”


The Loki Force Recon Battlemechs scattered to deal with the incoming artillery and attack helicopters.  The units were armed with some kind of lightweight PPC but Katherine's mechs had the feared cERLL, a true sniper's weapon and incredibly effective in such a high speed machine.

However, the squads of battle armor that were carried aboard these VTOLs were not something that was easily dealt with by the larger machines.  Ten blocky IS Standard Suits dropped down from each helicopter in turn.  Free from their ballast load the chopper jumped in altitude while their comrades jetted over the jagged wet rocks that were in front of the cliff.  Artillery was biting into the cliff face behind them threatening them if they drew back and used their range to combat the helicopters while the suits neared.  “Well apparently these old dogs learn new tricks after all.  Textbook Jaeger active deployment to duress.  Yvonne would have been proud.”

“How do you want to play this Archon?”
“Leap over them and let them try to follow us.  We can take the choppers through the valleys below assuming they can keep contact with us in this storm.”
“Solid plan.”


Each of the Stealths ran forward toward the battle suits jumping over the smaller units which fired their lasers to little effect against the swift moving Force Recon units.  The choppers gave chase through the overgrown canyon-lands leaving their ground element behind.  During the pursuit the units split up and crossed one another making it a hazard to the helicopters acting in close proximity to one another within the narrow confines of the rocks, through sheets of rain, and with howling wind above.

Eventually Katherine shook her tail but was within the Castle Brian's jamming range and had lost contact with the rest of her patrol.  Upon losing contact she was to break out and return to the rally point but she stumbled onto a trail left by the massive construct that led into a cave-like complex.  The rest of her units were going to be rushing the main entrance to the Castle soon.  She might be able to take out some stragglers if they made a run for it. 

They would be able to see her when the storm broke so she found an unoccupied and overgrown canyon and powered down the Stealth.  She loosened her neurohelmet and listened to the rain falling down on her mech from the trees above while watching the chronometer.  "Fifteen minutes to go time.  Good luck boys."

She heard the sounds of the massive mobile fortress firing its missiles nearby.  "Hope the ref doesn't call me off-sides.  I'll get more than a red card."
« Last Edit: 25 March 2019, 16:07:05 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #148 on: 25 March 2019, 17:29:48 »
Kommandant Sean Kelly maneuvered his Chippewa IIC through the dark gray clouds toward the target of his squadron, the massive mobile fortress that was firing capital missiles up at his home carrier, The LCS Donegal, overhead.  They were still out of the effective engagement range of the fortress' AA but were about to come in line with the SEAD squadron to make their first bombing run.  The Brotherhood and Word of Blake had reinforced the line of engagement with mobile Arrow IV units and flak guns in addition to that machine.  It was to dangerous to get the Donegal over it and use the Warship's heavy weapons to blast the crawler into oblivion so it was the bombers of “Kelly's Carpet Cleaning Service” to deal with it.

The Lightning Cs of the SEAD squadron broke off into pairs to deal with the AA weapons spotted by Loki scouts.  They fired off their long range Anti-surface Arrow IV missiles at the targets before diving sharply while going in for the kill with the nose mounted heavy Gauss rifle. “Pop goes the Weasels.”

“All bomber crews standby for incoming fire.”
  The heavily laden bombers would be easy prey but they were tough and piloted by veterans used to getting up close and personal with the enemy. “All Greens hit the bottom.  We'll pop up when we get closer.”

The Chippewas and Rapiers dove out of the clouds and saw the battle being waged just behind them.  Lighting arced from PPCs while magnesium bright flashes of Gauss rifles lit up the combatants at night in sharp relief, and orange blossoms of artillery and missile erupted into the sky for kilometers around.  Angry missile plumes dove onto them from the skies above as the Barracuda and Piranha missiles of the crawler were fired at the Aerospace fighters above that were drawing the wrath of “The Rattler”. 

Hptm. Kelly watched the RADAR that was showing the looming fortress just barely visible through the storm, “Looks like our ruse is holding up Greens.  Throttle up.”

The six fighters engaged their afterburners as they neared the target location startling and scattering enemies that were unaware of their presence.  Hostile gun crews attempted to track them, 57mm LBX and Flak rounds were spit into the sky while Rotary 23mm AAA guns were barely rotating by the time the bombers were already out of range although a few got lucky.  Sean saw that an Ultra 5 had impacted on his wing but the Chippewa was designed to take ground fire and it's large wing surface was reinforced from wingtip to fuselage.

The bombers leapt over the mountains and into a storm of incoming fire, a trio of heavy sub capital laser hits incinerated one of his squadron's Rapiers.  The unit disintegrated as it hit the mountain sending wreckage and its bomb load in a widening cone in front of it.  “Damn, they got Angus.” 

Then the missiles came, Barracuda and Piranha missiles were launched from the Rattler's massive body before stabilizing and heading toward the squadron.  “ChaF!”  Each unit released a cloud of finely shredded metal confetti that created a massive RADAR signature and hot flares that made the formation look like angels with wings.  Two of the less capable Piranha missiles went for it but a trio of barracudas impacted across the squadron, one of Sean's fellow Chippewas was trailing smoke and its wings were in tatters after being hit by two missiles, the bomb hard-points were damaged but looked functional.  “Shamus, you still in the fight!”

“Only thing I'm dropping me bombs on is the target Sean.”
“Good man.”


As they neared the Long Tom artillery fired flak shells in front of them while a pair of the lighter but agile Arrow IV ADAs spiraled out toward them.  “Hop and Pop Greens.”

The fighters dove under the Flak causing the lightweight arrows to fly within the deadly shrapnel themselves and spiral off target.  Sean flipped over to his bombing sight, the AI of his Aerofighter's DI illuminating the Rattler in sharp relief to the storm around him.  All 15 of the bombs under-wing were green a sixth of his fighter's weight about to be dropped all at once, “Bombs engaged.  Green lead in position.”

Green squadron leveled out each bomber on their final approach.  Most of them dropped except Shamus whose wing hard-points were damaged in the fight.  The Rattler's hardened fifty meter tall bulk shaking under the firepower but returned it in kind.  Shamus' damaged fighter was brought down crashing into the forest while attempting to evade a pair of Air Defense Arrows.  Another Rapier was brought down as a Long Tom flak shell burst below it shredding the unit's fuel tank which leaked ammonia so quickly the jet couldn't make it out of the valley and crash landed into a clearing only to be terminated by airborne battle armor. 

Only half of Kelly's Carpet Cleaning Service made it out of that valley but the Rattler remained and continued to fight.

mikecj

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #149 on: 26 March 2019, 05:51:45 »
Rattler.. very nice
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.