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Author Topic: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III  (Read 13915 times)

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #180 on: 07 May 2019, 20:04:41 »
Brutal!
"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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AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #181 on: 07 May 2019, 22:08:08 »
Brutal!

The Word of Blake is done messing around...now.

Second Wave

03/30/3070 Location – CSV Vision of Truth, Mars Pirate Point, Sol

Blessed Father Vorkalth looked upon his homeworld once more through the Mission Commander's view-screen.  The vast blood red plains were frequently interrupted with lichen and algae growth a deep purple almost black.  Standing beside him were three young men each wearing saffron robes with a Precentor's rank pin serving as a brooch, although one of the pins was gold while the other two were silver.  “Mars is as beautiful as always.  Oh how I have missed your crimson plains and shadowy canyons while serving my Masters far away.”

The three men were obviously in awe at the view-screen, “It is everything you described and more Blessed Father.”

The Vision of Truth came over the great Mariner Valley and its Grand Canal, “Here your people shall make your stand.  Once more you will fight the infidels and water Mars with their blood just as you did on Shiloh.”

“As the prophet commands, the Exituri shall do.”
“Good, tend to your flocks Shepherds of Ruin.”
“As you command Vorkalth.” 


Levi, the senior Precentor by only three years departed first followed by his subordinates and the door closed behind them.  Vorkalth opened a line to the surface, Primus Naamah's face came into view within the Black Cathedral below. 
“I appreciate the star lift Primus.  I was afraid I would miss out on the main event.  You have been busy in my absence.”
“Indeed and we are only becoming more so.  Your Exituri whilst callow are still capable of killing Clan Warriors I trust.”
“Yes, provided you have weapons for them to wield.  New Dallas had been picked clean by the Magestrix's people and the SLDF destroyed our stockpiles on Shiloh.”
“Well that is unfortunate but fear not Blessed Father.  Mars remains the God of War.  We have what the Exituri require groundside.”


Shepard Levi prayed with the rest of his Exituri brothers in the cramped infantry barracks of the ancient Czar dropship WOBS Testament to Ruin as it descended to the Red Planet.  Their prayers were answered with a safe landing courtesy of Mars' lower gravity more than the Czar engines.  Levi keyed into the ship's intercom with his helmet's integrated commset.  “Brothers and Sisters we have landed safely.  All are to assembly in the central bay to celebrate our successful Exodus.”

The Exituri most of whom were still wearing their handwoven desert clothes after their rapid exodus from Shiloh at the behest of the Blessed Father orderly filed into the central bay.  Most of them were boys barely seventeen but strong and tough.  There were a few girls as well to provide technical and medical assistance and replace fallen brothers on Shiloh. 

Levi, a dark complexioned man with close cropped black hair barely twenty seven stood atop a red and black Von Luckner tank in front of more than 500 of his enraptured fellows.  “The Prophet Thomas has ascended!  He asked for us by name! And looks upon us with pride at this very moment.
The Blessed will stand or we will fall; but we will not run from our destiny!”


The chamber echoed with chants, “Amens,” and “Hallelujahs.”

Primus Naamah stood atop the blocky shoulders of her Black Hawk Omnimech looking through the dull light of Mars at the host of Exituri unloading from their dropships with her rangefinding binoculars.  Red sand blew across the plains as the zealots were loaded onto trains that would take them to the Ares Armory for outfitting.  They would give her more warm bodies to throw at the Hell's Horses and hated Nova Cats in addition to the drones.  Both Clans had proven more resilient than the Ebon Magistrate had anticipated and thus might prevail against all odds.  The mole in the Commanding General's staff had been delaying in sending the message that the Clans were coming but he provided some detail on their plans, the Cats, Horses, DCMS, and FWLM were to take Mars.

The true voice of Erebus aka the Shadow Oracle Thomas Marik “spoke” into her cybernetic comm-unit, “Primus, the enemy's second wave has arrived at the Zenith and Nadir points.  The Fort Verdun, Valhalla, Ursa Major, and Leviathan's Task Forces are moving to engage the sentries.”

Naamah lowered the Rangefingers and clambered over the hand holds to the cockpit hatch.  “Now the real battle begins Erebus.”
“Indeed Primus.  I am withdrawing the pickets.  They will get chewed up by that much firepower.”
“A wise decision.  Contact the Precentor Navals and ask for their input on the next course of action.”
“Of course, they would certainly be honored.”
“Their last bold tactic was mostly successful I hope they have more in their brilliant minds.”
“I was disappointed that we didn't kill all the First Wave as well.”
“Those damn Jade Falcons keep refusing to die.  At least we killed the last McKenna and a McKenna.  Maybe we can try the Elias Gambit again on the Ursa Major.  Doubt we can pull it off against the Leviathan.”
“We will just have to use AHAB as planned Naamah.”
“My; it will be beautiful Erebus.  I can see it now.  The White Whale's grave in the Ocean of Storms.”


The Primus' Black Hawk walked back to the Black Cathedral tearing up black lichen in its wake.

03/31/3070 Location – Ares Armory, Mars, Sol

Shepard Levi and his people spent an evening in the trains, most of the Exituri spent that time in meditation just as they had on the dropship but the food was better.  Outside a dust storm obscured their view of the Martian surface with blood red regolith.  When it finally died down they saw a vast expanse of water and a series of domes.  A Level II of Lightray Mechs paced the train as it neared the facility which had numerous fixed weapon emplacements of various sizes facing out from the city atop stout short walls.  Four of the massive Ares Tripod Battlemechs were currently lowered to the ground but each could level a city by itself or so Levi had heard.  Other trains and barges came in bearing parts, personnel, and raw materials for the Armory which had no other routes inside the heavy walls.  The train pulled into an enclosed terminal, inside which were Longinus and Phalanx Armored Infantry.

Levi stood at the front of the group wearing the red and black Martian combat uniform and carrying his respirator in its bag on his harness.  A sharply dressed man with a fiery red cybereye and crimson colored metal right hand stepped forward from the Armored Infantry which did not move.  “Shepard Levi I presume?”

“Correct.  You are Director Mann, the Red Hand, yes?”
“Indeed I am Shepard.  It is an honor to make your acquaintance and a greater one to allow Your Blessed to have the pick of anything in the Arsenal at the orders of The Master himself.  Please follow me.  We should break bread before we break out the metal.”
“You will get no argument from my people on that Director.”
« Last Edit: 10 May 2019, 22:11:30 by AlphaMirage »

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #182 on: 09 May 2019, 08:11:35 »
Woah, sudden Ares is built 70 years before it was made?  This AU is really packed with surprises.
"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 #183 on: 09 May 2019, 20:38:20 »
Woah, sudden Ares is built 70 years before it was made?  This AU is really packed with surprises.

The Word of Blake did have all the technical details to make them according to Canon, just didn't get the chance to.  Helps when you have a the Wolverine Clan in Exile hanging out on Mars for nearly two centuries with an axe to grind.

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

Ghosts of Mars

Sho-Sa Akira Tormark's Komodo “Aiansukeru” Battlemech walked on the shores of the Helles Sea at the South Pole of Mars.  The rest of his Light Assault Group walked or rolled behind him, the Armored Infantry buttoned up in the IFVs to protect them from the hazardous martian surface.  The alien sea was covered with a layer of ice under which dark purple algae lived and the shores were lined with black lichen all engineered to withstand the briny alkaline water and cold CO2 rich air.

He looked at the corner of his HUD to see the outside air temperature (-47 C), pressure (5.7 kPa), and weather forecast (Dry Thundersnow).  It was winter in the Southern Hemisphere but the Hellas Sea was high above the equatorial plane of Mars so there would still be meager light from Sol, at least until the Polar storm rolled in.  “Chu-I Ito, Report.”

The scout commander came in over the radio, “I've found the enemy Sho-Sa.  You need to come over here to see it though.”

Akira's Komodo broke into a run followed by the rest of the formation, “What is it?”  As he crested a set of dunes next to Ito's Venom all the breath in his body left him.  He zoomed in on the lead mech.  “Kuroshinju?   It can't be.”

A red crab with black Kanji stepped forward from a group very similar to Akira's own.  “It is Akira.  You thought me dead on Dieron?”
“You were dead Shakur.  I saw your mech go down with an open cockpit in the burning rubble of Fortress Dieron alongside Oji Hohiro's Daishi.”
“And yet I still live.”
“As a monster, alongside other ghosts still stuck in the past.”
“My Yokai and I haven't changed a bit.  You have however become the Shogun's pet dragon.  I had not expected it when I first recruited you to join our order.

Was certain you would only share the battlefield with a Clan from the other side.”

“If you truly haven't changed Shakur.”
Akira engaged his Komodo's combat mode as the Polar strom began to blow in from the sea,  “Then you will lose the same way brother.”

“All glory to the Ghosts of the Black Dragon Akira.”
“We serve the Shogun Shakur.  Your hungry ghosts are Ronin of the worst order.”


The two DCMS forces charged toward one another as the dry snow began to fall around them.  The lightning overhead was answered below as the two forces exchanged PPCs and the thunder matched the impact of missile.  The Kin Masuko and Yokai clashed with a fury reserved only for the worst of enemies. 

Wights clawed at Panthers taking the impact of their SRMs straight to the heavily armored torso
A massive cloud of missiles crash into a Naginata knocking it to the ground where it is swarmed by Kages
Rattlesnakes make high speed passes on Grand Dragons disappearing into the red dust storm as quickly as they appear before the lumbering mechs can get a firing solution.  Friendly Jenners chased their brethren.
Venoms leap against Wolf Traps firing on Tokugawa and Schiltron tanks while their Raiden Armored Infantry were engaging an Akuma.
A lance of Kyudos held their ground against an assault by Kin Masuko Gladiators

Inside Aiansukeru Akira Tormark attempted to get a targeting solution on an enemy Rattlesnake but it was proving difficult with the electrical interference and reduced visibility caused by the Polar storm blowing up red dust from the dunes behind them.  Out of the dust he saw his real target, Shakur Faraq's battle damaged Crab.  The man who was his best friend and adopted brother from his military school days in Takaoguchi as well as former Black Dragon co-conspirator until he had second thoughts and ended up in a concentration camp with Franklin Sakamoto.  “Shakur, surrender your swords.  I do not want you to die again.”

The snow and dust were blowing between the at high speeds isolating the two commanders from the great battle.  “You know I can't do that Akira.”

Sho-Sa Tormark was sweating but it was not from his Komodo's internal heat which dissipated faster on the Martian South Pole, “Why not!  Your cause is lost, has been since almost the beginning.”

“No cause is lost as long as there are those that remember.  The Clans will die here and if necessary I will take out their allies as well.  You should not have come Akira I do not relish fighting against you.”

“The Blakists destroyed so much, they nearly ended the Combine.”
“Change is frequently painful brother.  Our efforts still made a more powerful and proud Combine.  Besides the Word is not done with the Clans yet.”
“What do you mean?”
“You'll find out tomorrow.
Until then.

Yõjin Suro!”


The Crab lifted one of its clan tech heavy lasers at the Komodo.  Akira avoided the blast foiling his former friend's targeting solution as the dry snow instantly sublimed back into the Martian atmosphere due to the sudden surge of heat.  A follow up shot ripped into the right leg tearing into the myomer and titanium structure below.  Akira's remaining trio of clan medium lasers took off one of the arms as he closed with the enemy.  His agile mech wove across the wind swept Martian steppe even with a perforated leg.

The final blow was struck as Akira's lasers cored the engine and exposed the cockpit of his former friend.  His own mech was gimped by the final heavy laser blast to his leg burning away most of the myomer and metal underlayment.  A heavy small laser hit the cockpit burning away most of the gold painted armored canopy of his black mech.  Aiansukero fell to the ground with a crash after its ankle buckled.  Akira's body pulled hard against the restraints and he only barely managed to avoid injury by training and good fortune. 

Kuroshinju crumbled to the ground falling on its side mangling the remaining arm under its fifty ton mass.  Akira shook off the fall and released his restraints allowing the Martian storm to begin covering his mech with supercold hoarfrost.  The external cameras were covered in dry ice so he couldn't see the cockpit of his enemy nor did he wish to rise and expose himself to the crossfire around him. “I am down but alive Kin Masuko.  Ryu e no Eikõ!”

The chant was echoed across the battlenet as the combat action continued.  The fast moving polar storm cleared over the field exposing downed units covered in dry white snow and red dust. “Hang in their Sho-Sa.”

“Take care of the others  My mech can limp off the field.”  Akira turned his comm-unit off, “but I have to do something first.”

Akira ensured that his Mechwarrior Combat Suit was environmentally sealed and heated, he detached the neurohelmet, and turned on his headlight before crawling back to the hatch to open it.  The dry snow sublimated off the matte black combat suit as he walked across the blood red regolith.  He felt the chill around him as even the powerful electronic heating elements could not completely combat a -60*C cold. 

Kuroshinju was still powered down and cold based on the suits IR sensors meaning that Shakur might be dead or unconscious.  He drew his Nakijima laser pistol holding it flush in his environmental suit's gloves as he stepped over the Crab's broken arm covered in rime and neared the cockpit.  The cockpit was torn to shreds and Shakur's MCS breached.  His dark skin was covered in frosted flecks of red blood atop burn marks, his lips were icy blue, and brown eyes shut.  Akira holstered his pistol and disengaged the restraints that still held the dead man in the cockpit's chair gently lowering him to the surface. 

Akira's eyes were red with barely constrained tears as got as close to seiza as the MCS would allow him to holding his hands in prayer over the illuminated corpse.  “You were lost in darkness and I failed to bring you back to the light.  Now that you are gone I wish you safe travels in the world of the Kami.”

He stood back up and searched through the twisted metal of the cockpit to find the man's damaged swords.  Once more returning to seiza he held them over the body, “I will return these to your family.  You died a proud Warrior.”  With a final bow, “Just on the wrong side.”

mikecj

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #184 on: 09 May 2019, 21:56:44 »
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.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #185 on: 11 May 2019, 02:51:26 »
It came like always as a whisper right on the edge of Sebastian Mann's hearing although no audio was exchanged just electrical impulses in his brain from The Red Hand to his cerebral computer core.  “Going to be a tough fight Director.”

He was actually speaking to himself through the cockpit of his modernized Hammerhands.  The day was surprisingly nice for Mar's summer almost warm enough to walk out without a full environmental suit though you would still need additional oxygen.  Waves from the Northern Ocean lapped onto the black and purple covered red sands of Mars.  Dustdevils blew in the direction of the incoming Nova Cat and FWLM forces the red dust cloud that marked their movement was visible on the horizon. 

“A worthy one however Red.  Are you afraid?”
“I have no emotions Director.  The numbers however are long against us.”
“Just do your part.  I will do mine.”
“I require JERICO's codes Sebastian.”
“We are not authorized to use JERICO.  Send it to down the canal with the Blessed.”
“We may only survive this if we use it.”
“The Black Cathedral has no authorized it yet.  You can speak to my mind, not read it.  We are to abide by the Oracle's decisions.”
“What if the enemy intercepts it?”
“I hope they take it aboard the Leviathan then.  It would save us the missile to deliver it.”
“As you wish Partner.  I am activating the Shroud.”
“Good.  Its not like we need the power for the Foundry at present.”


Nova Cat Ammon and FWLM Gotha Fighter-Bombers attempted to began a bombing run on the facility but were intercepted by Lancer and Hellcat II fighters launched from the light naval carrier MDF Themistocles in the Northern Sea.  The heavily laden bombers had to drop their payloads early or be shot out of the thin Martian summer sky.  “Right on time Theo.”

“The enemy is within ten kilometers of the outer perimeter.  You should get moving.”


The Hammerhands was joined with a diverse group of Bipods, Tripods, and Quadrupeds that kicked up red dust and broke up the black and purple vegetative cover. 
“I suppose you are right.  Makes me think of the ancient Alamo in Texas.  Epic final stand.”
“If you gave me a modern one.  I would use it presently to handle the threat with extreme prejudice.”
“Precisely why we don't have any here.  All of them are being used above.”
“Ineffectively.  Human error propagation is exponential.

Our thermonuclear arsenal would be used more appropriately in this situation.”

“That's Precentor Naval Zwick's and the Oracle's decision to make.”
“If only we had more CASPARs.”
“If the other Clans had given us five more years they wouldn't exist anymore and your kin and the Blood would rule the stars together.”
“Kin is a queer word to use, my fellow cyber-intelligences are unique individuals.  We share little commonality. 

For something that can do quintillions of calculations every second, this is 'exciting' I would not want another three Martian cycles.”


The Hammerhands reached the low squat rubble wall with its many automated weapon turrets.  Other Battlemechs were clustered behind the wall while their tank support units waited behind for the eventual overrun.

“I am glad you are having 'fun' Red.”  Before him the Nova Cats and FWLM were rolling across the plains creating a billowing red cloud behind them.  Both of the IAC/10 packing arms and dozen shoulder mounted SRM missiles leveled on a rapidly approaching Huntsmen Omnimechs with Gnome Elementals hanging on, “Though I suppose both of our continued existences are contingent on stopping them.”

They came within the engagement range of the tower to his right.  “Please fire the guns Red.”

The dual LGR turret fired with an electronic crack of the capacitors and a dusty whorl from the slug.  Other turrets around the line fired a variety of cannon shells, laser blasts, coil gun slugs, and missiles toward the Nova Cats as artillery shells and missiles came out of the sky from the artillery tanks ripping up tanks and the Nova Cat and FWLM mid-line.  “I was waiting for the whites of their eyes.”

Director Mann relaxed his hand on the trigger of his Battlemech the Huntsman's Gnomes had taken the damage and the Cat Omni kept coming.  A squad of wheeled Morlock drone 'infantry' (1t armored and robotic support vees using BA weapons) rolled onto the wall leveling each of their four MRM tubes or pair of heavy machine guns at the incoming attackers.

“You frustrate me at times Red but I value your talents as a partner.”
“Good luck in the field Director.  I have to focus on my work now.”


The Nova Cats kept coming now firing their long range weapons at the Hammerhands which absorbed the damage.  A Sniper artillery shell detonated right next to the Huntsman throwing the mech to the ground and scattering its Gnomes.  “Good shot.  Let the bombs burst over our battlements”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #186 on: 12 May 2019, 21:59:59 »
Tara Catseye crouched in the shadows of the Ares Armory's canal terminal.  She pulled another adhesive mine from a mesh bag concealed under a reddish camouflaged poncho over her Mandrake PA(L).  “All the charges are in position Point Leader.”

“Keep an eye out for targets of opportunity Black Cats.  Our people are pushing hard at the main facility.  Some might make a run for it or try to take something down the river.”


Tara checked her pair of Irece Arms Clan Laser Pistols leaving them in their hip mounted skeleton holsters under the poncho, “Roger that Point Leader.  Should we attempt to infiltrate?”

“Not yet.  Keep toasty Operatives.”


Tara looked at her remaining power and air supply for her suit, followed by the latest weather report for this area.  Pressure and temperature were marginal for un-augmented human survival but the Black Cats were hardly that; not in their armor at least.  The Mandrake's clan-tech improved stealth armor made them even more dangerous. 

She climbed on the containers laying on her stomach and pulled out a spotting scope at the robotic trucks that were moving about on the tarmac and saw something she hadn't expected, a massive Road Train and covered Heavy Wheeled Transporter approaching from the facility.  “Am I the only one seeing this train?”

“Neg, Black Cats be on alert and get clear of your charges.  We might have to blow them.”


The Watch operative observed a large group of lightly armored infantry with rifles on their shoulders.  They disembarking from the three big doors on the Road Train and began walking toward the Orca Canal Cruiser tied up at the docks. 

“Lots of hostiles.”  The Heavy Transporter began slowly rolling toward the Cruiser which had begun opening heavy armored doors that they figured led to its cargo bay.  “Yeah and something big and important under that tarp.  All Cats move toward the cruiser.  We might have to infiltrate.”

The Commando squad began to converge on the Cruiser from all directions.  Some of the battalion of hostile foot soldiers walked up the gangway taking up guard positions on the gunwales and bridge tower in addition to the platoon surrounding the now uncovered cargo.  A large cylindrical container sat on top of the transporter and three troops were standing on the flatbed waiting for the chains.

“Whatever that is can't be good.  Can we reach out and tell the saKhan?”
“Our mid-range transmissions are still being jammed.  I am recording this however, will upload it when I can to command.”
“That would just be too easy.”


Tara crept toward the Cruiser using the containers as cover and the deep shadows for concealment while keeping an eye on the crane.  “Can we break those chains?”

Ryu the squad's marksman came in over the Battlenet, “Will be a tough shot, not sure how strong those chains are or how much the canister weights.  It could do nothing but reveal my position.”

“Try it Ryu.  We can't let the Blakists take that cargo downriver.”


The Nova Cat readied his Mauser IIC laser rifle and dialed in all the associated variables waiting for the chain to be under strain and possibly drop that cargo onto the Orca MDF Janus Knox.  He was only going to get one shot at this before they noticed the laser flash and maybe a second before they found his location.  The canister was hovering over the deck of the cruiser.  One laser flash fired and hit a link in the chain but nothing really happened, “Kuso!  Couldn't be a damn projectile.  The metals too cold.”

A follow up shot hit the crane operator's cabin suspending the cargo over the ship's doors.  “That will slow them down at least.  We will have to blow the crane or get up there and drop its load.”

One of the other Cats leapt toward the crane.  Tara lacked long range weapons being a close combat and infiltration specialist so she was moving closer to the Cruiser taking advantage of the confusion to get close.

The Mandrake suit closed the distance quickly but a squad of Spider Industrial Exoskeletons were close behind using their mechanical jump boosters to clear any obstacles they couldn't smash through.  Their armor was not thick for heavy weapons but was difficult to penetrate with the personal laser weapons the Nova Cat commandos carried.  “Drew pull back now.”

The commando landed at a run and entered the elevator closing the manual door and locking it behind him.  A Spider suit followed close behind and latched onto the carriage after it closed with their battle claw and magnetic clamps.  “I'm so close though.  He won't be able to stop me.  This elevator is made of thick metal and I can take him in hand to hand.”

The elevator continued its ascent with the suit still hanging on and a suit within.  The Spider tried to tear apart the steel but was unsuccessful.  It climbed on top of the elevator hanging on with its magnetic clamps and activated a plasma cutting torch aiming at the steel suspension cable.  Sparks flew as the cable began to tear and fray on the other side of the torch.  Once the cable reached a critical level the Spider slashed at them with its battle claw leaping off and attaching to the superstructure as the elevator fell five stories to the ground with a Nova Cat inside. 

A pair of lightly damaged Inquisitor Securitymechs ran in from the Armory road.  The two machines used their jump jets and landed on the deck of the Janus Knox and used their hands to maneuver the cargo into position holding it steady while it was lowered into position by one of the Spider engineer suits.  Exituri troops began to fan out and clear the terminal of commandos.

With two Nova Cats down the Exituri cornered Point Leader Akuchi Catseye with a breached suit and no power left for the jump jets or Mauser IIC laser rifle.  The Exituri trooper had him slumped down against the wall, “Any last words heretic?”

“Yeah, ****** you!”
  He hit the switch on the detonator which had all the mines slaved to it and used a non-standard frequency range to prevent its jamming.  The terminal exploded as mines attached to ammunition containers detonated, the secondary explosions caused more and threw shipping containers and debris high into the air crashing into cranes and the barges still at anchor.

Tara Catseye hung firm to the hull of the Janus Knox still in her Mandrake suit.  “Now that is going to make them angry.  Good mission Akuchi.”  Surviving Exituri infantry were evacuated and secured aboard the Orca as it raised its anchors and headed South. 

Tara moved past the inattentive guards and into the Orca, she shed her Mandrake suit and stashed it in a dark corner of the cargo bay along with her weapons.  The thin bodysuit she had worn under the armor would stand out based on her observations but so would the suit.  She wrapped the extra poncho over her torso for warmth.  “Now I just need to get some different clothes.”

She saw what else was stored in the Janus Knox realizing just how much war material it was carrying.  “And a Plan wouldn't hurt either.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #187 on: 23 May 2019, 22:37:57 »
04/01/3070 Location – WIS Dire Wolf

Star Colonel Katherine Fox and Khan Vladimir Ward stood on the observation deck of the Dire Wolf as they usually did when not in a briefing room or training/teching with their battlemechs.  The massive screen was filled with the amazing dance of Earth and its moon, humanities homeworld on the other side of a digital telescope.  Star Admiral Rhyde, the Captain of the Dire Wolf, came in over the intercom.  “Urgent message coming in via HPG on CommNet, Khan Ward.  You need to see this.”

“Put it on the screen.”


The placid stellar dance was replaced with an image of another planet devastated beyond recognition, the watermark was from ONI the Clan Commonwealth's naval intelligence arm with a date, yesterday.  It was covered in ash from the wildfires that were raging across the entire world.  Katherine and Vlad's jaws dropped.  “That is Alshain.  No survivors.  Looks like the Eriynes.”

“Get me Khan Kabrinsky Star Admiral!  Right now.”

There was a brief pause.
“The Ghost Bears are not responding to hails.”
“Dammit, I imagine we will get a CommNet update from her battle group within the hour and she won't listen to reason by the time she reaches Luna.”



Far away but in the same system Khan Xander Drake was racked in with an assault Star of Salamander Armored Infantry.  A full Trinary of C-571 Assault Shuttles were en route to Venus' Aphrodite Station with a similar payload.  The huge space station was heavier than a Mjolnir battlecruiser, home to the Aphros Naval Academy, and the sole remaining Pavise SDS Space Station in the Sol system.  It was supported by trio of corvettes against the Hellion's remaining Naval Touman.  The pilot came in over the radio, “Warriors, Aerofighters are in the black.  Hang on tight.  We have five minutes till it gets hot.”

Khan Drake spoke on the local Battlenet between his Star of Marines.  He looked at the cages that their fearsome looking charcoal gray Salamander suits were suspended in.  “Like we have much choice.”

“Aff, Aff.”


Outside the capacitors of the massive Gauss cannons of Aphrodite station were charged by the massive fusion reactor at its heart and the long range coil guns fired out against the much lighter Hellion attack force, the slugs narrowly miss the Swift Bait but could easily wrecked the fragile corvette.  The well maintained Golden Era Solar PowerSats that supplied the Aerostat colonies in the Venetian atmosphere also adjusted their orientation pointing their powerful transmission microwave antennae in the direction of the Hellions. 

Capital missiles were fired by the up-gunned Hellions at the effectively immobile space station but its armor and anti-missile defenses were thick and the microwave beams damaged the targeting modules of the heavier weapons causing them to spiral harmlessly into Venus' thick atmosphere or the void.  Some of the munitions corkscrewed into the thick plate but did little damage.  The Blakist Corvettes, Fighters, Space Station, and Cockatrice gunships fired their heavy weapons in reply as the remnant of the Hellion's once formidable Aerospace corps engaged them, the space between was filled with heavy autocannon fire and the wreckage of fighters, gunships, and pocket warships.

Khan Drake's C-571 accelerated using its heavy armor and the fact that the Pavise was more concerned with Aerospace fighters and capital missiles than small craft or dropships to force a docking maneuver.  “Hang on troopers.  We're going in hot.”  The assault craft used its lasers to breach one of the fighter bay doors and grappled onto the exterior of the station.  “Opening in three.” 

The Salamanders were released from their cages and floated in their vacuum microgravity as the lights went from red, to yellow, and then green.  “Be quick or you  might not have a ride back if you take to long.”

“Might not be any of us to return.  Move out Hellions.”


The Clan Marines used their enhanced thrusters to launch themselves at the station landing with claws extended.  They were supported by all the Protomechs that the Hellions had in the Touman, their Aerospace pilots were well suited for this environment but they had taken a long time to adjust to microgravity, and the Hellion's own Hatchet wielding Battlemechs that had been launched from an Overlord-C inspired by the AFFC's Aerospace Xperimental Element (AXE) that had attacked the Klondike space station over Crofton. 

The Salamanders used their heavy battle claws to climb across the exterior of the station trusting their armor to protect them from any high speed fragments that might be falling on them from the battle beyond them.  Hostile Spectral LAMs deployed from inside of the Aphrodite landing on the surfaec of their home station and engaged AXE Warriors sparing the relatively fragile Salamander suits and their supporting Protos.  “Move!  Move!  More units are coming.”

Khan Drake and his Command Point took the lead crawling on the surface like spiders and using the shoulder mounted heavy duty plasma torch to cut through the exterior doors as more Elementals and Zero-G trained infantry arrived via the Sassanids Coup De Grace and Guts before Fear.  The Salamanders broke through and began to swarm the robotic fighter bays.  There was no immediate response and the Elementals attempted to break through the station's sophisticated BattleNet.  It had been centuries since a Pavise had been assaulted and there were no records in the archives left over from the Star League about the layout.  Khan Drake trusted his instincts after defending a BattleSat and studying the remnant ones in the Federated Suns that his Clan was capable of claiming the station.  Their Warships certainly wouldn't be able to do it alone.

“Search and Destroy Hellions.  Time to break this bitch of a Space Station.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #188 on: 05 June 2019, 20:20:13 »
04/03/3071 Location – SPM Grimaldi Crater, Earth-Lunar System, Sol

The Ghost Bears' Campaign against the Word of Blake and their COMSTAR allies launched with a feral rage worthy of the Smoke Jaguars, Alshain had been utterly destroyed, the Rasalhague Dominion where they lived was being raided while the Ghost Bears were away. 

The Nightlord Ursa Major and half the Naval Touman were on final approach to Terra along with the Wolves and Jade Falcons.  The Five Zeta Elemental Galaxies and the Valkyries were attacking Luna.  The Blakist strongholds on Earth's barren Moon were hardened redoubts filled with fanatical troopers. 

The Grimaldi Crater station near the Sea of Storms was one of the most sophisticated Sol Protectorate Militia Installations on the Moon.  At the entrance a Battalion of Phalanx and other Battle Armor stood off against Ghost Bear Elementals bounding over the surface.  The troopers were well trained and supported by another Battalion of Heavy Tanks and Battlemechs, most of which were engaging a flight of Bear Aerospace fighters from the Battleship Leviathan operating nearby. 

Their aerospace fighters were still in the fight but not for much longer with the attrition by the veteran Valkyrie Galaxies.  The capital grade weapon bunkers that covered the approaches of the 180 kilometer diameter area would not last long against the Leviathan's broadside.

It didn't have to though.  Demi-Precentor Arkus Armstrong looked up in his Rising Star Battlemech and saw the Leviathan's titanic form nearing.  The helmsman had already committed to a rippling broadside which left him vulnerable.  “A little bit closer White Whale.”

“All friendlies, overhead cover.”


The Phalanx and Longinus suits as well as the vehicles and battlemechs fell back to their mech bays.  A bright flash was the only warning they received as the Lunar Driver one of the first means to transport cargoes from the Moon to Earth and beyond fired.  The ancient DoME artifact had been severely damaged during the Amaris Crisis but had been repaired and given one mission. 

Kill the last Leviathan.

The Leviathan despite its incredible armor had been worn down by Dragon's Breath missile satellites, nuclear bombing, Sub-Capital guns, and a variety of missiles.  The massive rod punched clean through it ripping a jagged hole in its fuselage cracking the core and causing multiple cascading systems failure.  Swarms of Hive Aerofighters and every gun in the sector were aimed toward it and the great beast broke up over the Sea of Storms.

A cheer erupted over the entire Lunar defense grid and the SPM redoubled their efforts to hold “The High Ground.”  Baiting the furious bear at every opportunity and bleeding the Clanners as white as the regolith they fought upon.

04/07/3071 07:52 Location – Tycho City, Terra-Luna, Sol

The Moon was almost completely full as Khan Aleisha Kabrinsky dropped onto it with her Viper H Omnimech carrying a Point of Elementals on the approach to Tycho City.  The crater had become a cemetery for her Ghost Bears.  Two Galaxies had been lost during the attack but lots of ground had been claimed.  The Blakists and SPM put up an impassioned defense of their largest metro on Luna.  She would have liked nothing more than to burn the whole place down with one of her warships.  To do so would make her clan look weak during what should be their greatest battle however and they were busy dealing with the swarms of pocket warships, kamikaze Aerospace drones, concealed missile silos, and fanatical cyborgs of the Manei Domini.

The great domed city of Tycho had been breached during a daring raid by the Bearstalkers of the Watch.  They had held to the last man until the Third Talon could relive them and keep the door open.  The inside was a maze however and filled with hostile forces holding on to sections of the city against heavy odds.  The ran into the gap kept open by a Binary of heavy weight and damaged Hellstar and Kodiak Mechs.  Aleisha and the rest of her Ourse Keshik rapidly made their way through the city to find a Company of SPM Battlemechs engaging a Trinary from the 3rd Bear Guards.  Her Viper landed on one of the squat buildings built below the dome and let loose with her lasers slagging a SPM White Flame.

Above her a series of explosives detonated and the whole dome over Armstrong Sector slowly fell on the city below.  The Bear and SPM mechwarriors that didn't die in the initial fall were pinned down under the weight of the superstructure even in the low gravity of the moon.  Missiles rained down on the area from unseen sources. 

Khan Kabrinsky's last moments were spent admiring Terra from afar.  She pinched a portion of the Mediterranean.  “I was this close.  Just not fast enough to dodge my fate.”

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #189 on: 05 June 2019, 21:43:17 »
Epic-ally brutal, AlphaMirage.
"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

DOC_Agren

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #190 on: 06 June 2019, 16:29:29 »
I'm surprised that given what the Wobbies did to Alshain, that the Ghost Bears didn't return the favor and just burn the Moon's bases out with Naval Fire and leave behind the mop up crews.

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

cawest

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #191 on: 09 June 2019, 12:03:38 »
can you post a line to part 1 and 2.  I have been searching for a while now but now joy

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #192 on: 11 June 2019, 15:24:49 »
can you post a line to part 1 and 2.  I have been searching for a while now but now joy

Sure, If you keyword search almost any character in the civil war era my stuff will probably show up as well (intentional)

Katherine, pt 1, White Wolf of Ragnarok (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=59491.0)

Katherine, pt, The Third Transfer (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61304.0)

I have not abandoned you loyal fans.  Just been writing DnD adventures that other's GMs should be envious of.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #193 on: 18 June 2019, 16:54:46 »
04/05/3071 08:47 Location – Grand Canal Military Zone, Mars, Contested

The black briny waters of the River Styx formerly the Martian Grand Canal flowed below Tara Catseye.  Her Exituri disguise had worked the past few days and she had managed to sound like one of them even though they were far younger than she. Commanding General Photon Brett-Marik had forwarded reports from Shiloh and she had found them interesting enough to read it while they were gathering on Asta.  He had not anticipated the Word of Blake sending the massive Potemkin cruiser WOBS Vision of Truth to recover the brainwashed army of teenage zealots that had been raised on its surface however and bring them to Sol.

The Commanding General and possibly her Khan, the ilKhan, Santin West, were still alive out there fighting on the red plains above.  Such thoughts were flights of fancy however and she needed to stay in the present.  The Exituri spoke of a great canyon fortress that was supposedly impregnable where the “Faithful” would make their final stand if pushed to it.  She needed to be ready to transmit her findings if friendly forces came into range.

The past four days she had been gathering intelligence counting boats, monitoring where the traffic was going, where defensive structures and factories might be located.  The Grand Canal was a staggering project on a scale the Clans had never seen since the formation of the Kerensky Cluster.  Boats loaded with machines, trains hanging from cliff-sides, the intricate vertical architecture and vast waters formed by comets.  Humanity’s first exo-planetary mega-engineering project that characterized the Star League it was beautiful, but turned to dark purposes.  Much like the death of the last Ghost Bear Leviathan at the barrel of the Translunar Mass Driver two days ago which had resulted in a raucous party aboard the boat in celebration at the deaths of several thousand clanners with one mass driver charge.  The attitude they took at such a death tool sickened her but she had to maintain her cover.

The Orca Janus Knox turned down a narrow inlet, Tara's augmented vision could see the canyons above, the telltale marks of concealed bunkers and switchback deathtraps.  A fjord on the other side of the canyon only visible at her highest zoom resolution looked much the same.  Both had large likely defaced statues, one of Jerome Blake, the other three were people that Tara had never seen before or that showed up on the computer system hooked into her helmet.  She whispered into her respirator, “This must be it.  Interlocking fields of fire, mutual support.” 

Tall armored doors set deep into stone and concealed from aerial observation likely hid hovercraft, ships, and maybe even aircraft.  This position was unassailable conventionally, planes could fly in but the bunkers would destroy them, mechs would flounder in the water assuming it was shallow anywhere, and no Clan had enough assault ships to attack on the waterline.  “By Kerensky!  Even the Hell's Horses do not have enough Elementals to take this position.”

One of the Exituri on the deck with her shouted through his mask, he turned and one of Tara's hands drifted toward the pistol at her belt but the rifle beneath his cloak did not raise, “What did you say sister?”

“I said goodbye to Kerensky's spawn!  Not even the Hell's Horses have enough Elementals to take this position.”

“That's right.  This is the Prophet's Temple!  We are its Honored Guardians and no Heretics shall pass.”
“The Prophet Thomas dwells within?”
“Indeed he has ascended the mortal realm.  He sees all and controls everything through these machines and their faithful interpreters.  Eventually even we may ascend if we prove worthy of such a blessing.”
“Truly I should like to see him.”
“No shall see him except the Fidelis.”
“Who are the Fidelis?”
“Heretics that saw the error of their ways.  They now serve the Light to show us that even the worst are not beyond redemption if they seek penance.”


'Heretics' the Exitrui kept using that word in reference to Clanners like her.  That limited the options; some Nova Cats had been lost to the Black Dragons however the Word of Blake executed Wolf, Bear, and Falcons if they won the battle.  Warrior or otherwise didn't matter, all Clanners were to be eliminated by them in service to Blessed Blake and his Prophet Thomas.  'The Worst of' meant Smoke Jaguars, probably handed over the Word as captured stragglers from their de-facto annihilation by the DCMS or SLDF.

“Will we see them?”
“Probably, their numbers are fewer than ours,”
  the man looked over the Watch Officer, “but you look like a good Warrior perhaps they will pick you up for additional training.  Few of us had time to familiarize ourselves with anything beyond small arms or artillery.”
“There might not be time for that.”
“There will be after we win.  Count yourself fortunate to be invited to this land, sister Tara.”


They approached the dock guarded by a Level II of Celestial Omnimechs and Demon series vehicles. A group of the fearsome Stygian strike hovertanks sped out to escort the ship through the Fjord.  The wail of their fusion powered lift fans echoed off the eerily silent canyon walls as they shot past and completed a power slide across the briny, toxic River Styx.

The Janus Knox docked with the assistance of a pair of armed tugboats.  The Exituri were gathered and Tara managed to sneak out to observe what the Knox's crew was unloading.  It was some kind of weapon but it had been under guard every minute of her infiltration.  She could hear some shouts from the crew and picked up local radio traffic through her crypto gear.  “JERICO?  Some kind of megaweapon?”

She looked down at the 'Jinx' gauntlet pulled from her Mandrake suit then back at the container suspended by a crane. 

“Be a real shame if something happened to it."  She put her hand on the gauntlet, "You know all about black cats and their legendary bad luck, right little guy?”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #194 on: 27 June 2019, 16:50:23 »
Another timeline feed that I will fill in with some fiction later on.

04/10/71 - Ghost Bear saKhan Ragnar Gustav Magnusson is crowned King of the Rasalhague Dominion after the death of Khan Aletha Kabrinsky on Luna and the loss of Alshain to the Eriynes.  His rise is heralded as a breakthrough for the Rasalhague people, now a power as worthy as any of the five successor states.  The new Rasalhague Kungsarme continues to contend with Blakist raiders that threaten the fragile realm's future before it can truly be realized.

Ghost Bear Clan Warriors still in the Terra system now fall under the command of ilKhan Santin West along with Snow Raven residual and Diamond Shark stranded puts them to work as originally planned.

The Orbital Battle for Terra “Firma” begins with the SLS Fort Verdun, FCS Valhalla, CGB Ursa Major, WIS Dire Wolf, and CJF Emerald Talon in the lead against the assembled Task Forces of the WOBS Orbital Decay, WOBS Dark Phoenix, and the vasy array of lethal threats in store courtesy of the Terran Orbital Defense Corps (TODS).

04/12/71 – The Battle for Terra Firma ends with devastating consequences for all parties involved.  Debris rains down world wide burning up in the atmosphere leading to the battle being better known as the War of Shooting Stars.

The Combined Forces of the SLDF, Hell's Horses, and Nova Cats supported by orphaned Diamond Shark and Snow Raven Warriors begin their assault on the Prophet's Temple in the Mariner Valley.

Clans Jade Falcon, Ghost Bear, and Wolf launch their attacks on their primary targets
Hilton Head HPG Complex, North Carolina, North America for Jade Falcon
Sandhurst Military Academy, Berkshire, UK for Wolf
COMSTAR HQ, Sydney, Australia for Ghost Bear

Terra
04/13-17/71
The Nightlords Emerald Talon and Ursa Major and many other Warships are destroyed while supporting the opening wave of ground offensives.  Their sacrifice ensures that the dropships can achieve planetfall and continue the mission.

Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde and Ghost Bear Loremaster Allison Noble escape before the ships crash into the atmosphere.  Many others are evacuated or abandon ship to be picked up by the incoming rear echelon of Diamond Shark reinforcements and supplies.

Wolf saKhan Rhonda Stiles and the Wolf's Beta, Gamma, and Theta Galaxies occupy London.  Her Wyvern IIC 2 plants the Imperial Wolf Banner in Trafalgar Square in defiance of the SPM. 

Jade Falcon saKhan Uvin Buhallin and three Falcon Galaxies are within striking range of the San Francisco Metro Area on their mission to conquer the West Coast of the former USA and Canada.

Ghost Bear Loremaster Allison Noble helps turn the tides in Sydney but dies in the Battle for Canberra.  Already enraged from Luna and Alshain the Bears go berserk and drop all tidings of honor acting more like Smoke Jaguars at their worst.

First Prince Peter Steiner-Davion leads an assault on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. After its liberation Task Force:SUNBURST consisting of a Battalion of the Knights of Randis, Three RCTs of AFFS, and a collection of Mercenaries employed by the NACC work their way up the Italian Peninsula to reclaim Rome.

Archon Katherine Steiner/Wolf's Task Force:VISIGOTH including five RCTs of LCAF and the Wolf's Gamma, Tau, and Zeta Galaxies work their way through the Low Countries from Calais, France toward Cologne, Germany.

Mars
04/13-17/71
Commanding General Photon Brett-Marik and ilKhan Santin West receive a transmission from a Black Cat Operative within the Prophet's Temple warning them of JERICO and the fanatical defenders within including the Shadow Primus herself.  Both of them and Horse Khan Cobb have to make a difficult choice that will result in a huge sacrifice to ensure the Word of Blake cannot be reborn elsewhere.
DCMS Officer Akira Tormark volunteers himself and his unit for a dangerous mission.

Venus
04/13-17/71
Khan Xander Drake's Hellions claim the Pavise Aphrodite at a heavy cost.  The War is not over yet however so they pack up and redeploy to Terra with utmost speed.

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #195 on: 28 June 2019, 13:15:21 »
Not liking the Claiming on Terra....
"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 #196 on: 05 July 2019, 21:00:48 »
Not liking the Claiming on Terra....

It will be fine.

Battle for Terra Firma
04/10/71


The command room of the SLS Fort Verdun was buzzing with activity, spacers wearing the dark blue uniforms of the Star League Defense Fleet interspersed with the powder blue of the Snow Ravens or teal of the Diamond Sharks.  The loss of their Khans had caused the Ravens and Sharks to become rudderless and the SLDF needed people badly to fill out the roster. 

IlKhan West volunteered them to fill out the ranks.  The fight to reclaim Terra was the endgame they had been promised and now it was so tantalizingly close.  Waiting for them to transit from Titan was the hardest part but the SLDF had a decade with the Nova Cats' Naval method so the crew adapted quickly to the unfamiliar Inner Sphere vessels.

Admiral Juhan Dubravka stood at the front Mission Command watching the holographic displays that showed the dark side of Earth.  The lights of Terra's cities forming a field of bright points against blackness.  His short slicked back graying black hair wasn't covered with the helmet he held in his hands yet but most of the CIC staffers already were in combat dress.  “Bring everyone online Ensign.”

He put his suit's helmet on one more breathing in the clean recycled air that would turn stale by the end of this battle.  The gold visor reflected back the full scope of the soon to be joined battle.  Two Theras, three dozen other Warships, hundreds of smaller combatants against equal Coalition Warships from the DCA, FedCom Fleet, SLS, and three Clans.

It was the largest battle since the Amaris Crisis but Admiral Dubravka had seen that record eclipsed five times in the past ten years, ever since the Battle for Irece when he took a Thera carrier against the Ursa Major that now contained the last leader of Clan Ghost Bear ready to engage in fateful combat. 

This would be a tough one to top.  He already had his resignation letter on file for after this last mission.  “Time to finally finish this fight”

On the other side of the conflict Precentor Alain Beresick, former Precentor Naval of COMSTAR, sat in the heavily automated command room of the SPF Focht's Revenge.  He readied the 216 ARTS bays each one carrying an advanced Hive drone Aerofighter destined to expend itself against the Clan menace or FedCom Fleet and DCA all were the same now.  The same menace that had killed his family on Tukayyid and drove him back into the arms of the Word of Blake to combat it.  “Launch all fighters.  Aim them at the Ursa Major.  I want those bears dead.”

“Roger Precentor Beresick.  Primary target confirmed and locked in.  Launching Queens.”

With that six small craft detached themselves from Focht's Revenge, the O'Neil Q-69 Control Ships each containing a massive EW suite to protect the drones from hostile interference.  The clans didn't bother with such dezgra tactics but the LIC Jinx ships had proven increasingly disruptive as the Commonwealth forces adapted to the Hive drones ahead of schedule.

Aboard the CGB Ursa Major, Loremaster Alison Noble brushed back her reddish hair, conserved all the way back to the bloodhouse founder Ishi Noble and brooded in the ready room.  She had received an HPG from former saKhan Ragnar Mangusson.  His people had elevated him to the King of Rasalhague such a thing was not expected and she had sent a scathing response.  There were more pressing matters however, like the forthcoming battle.  The crew chief walked in, “Loremaster are you ready?”

Loremaster Noble put her Aerofighter neurohelmet on and complete the seal on the armored flight suit that would take her to Terra, “To take Terra from the Blakists and avenge our Khan.  I've never been more prepared.”

The Loremaster joined the rest of the fighter pilots gathering on the launch bay, the Ghost Bears hadn't continued the genetic engineering to breed Warriors specifically for this realm of combat where computers did most of the work anyway.  She found the ladder port that led her to the launch bay for her white Sabutai Heavy Fighter.  She strapped herself into the cockpit and completed the pre-flight checkups before powering up and seeing where she was in the launch queue, First in Line.  “Permission to disembark Star Admiral Oldebrecht.”

“Permission granted Loremaster.”


The Ursa Major and Minor launched their fighters and small gunships toward Terra and the incoming Blakist machines.  The Thera supercarrier SLDF Fort Verdun, Kaga fleet carrier DCS Kaga, and all four FCF Zodiac escort carriers contributed their air wings to those of the depleted Ghost Bears and Jade Falcons and the fresh Wolves along with the escort squads of the combat transports.  AWACS small craft and assault dropships maintained the formation preventing accidents between the tightly packed aerofighters moving at rapid velocities.

Loremaster Noble watched the sensor feed from a nearby Titan carrier dropship the CGB Darien Cook serving as a forward rearmament and refueling point for the Coalition forces.  The enemy's long range counter force was almost within weapons range.  “All Ghost Bear fighters move into combat formation.”

The Ursa Major and Minor's fighters along with those carried aboard the Titan and Carrier vessels spread out to fully occupy the 3 dimensional grid overlaid in each of their cockpits.  The SLDF, DCA, and FCF fighters did the same taking up space to catch the incoming Hive and Caspar drones as well as manned fighters and dropships of the Sol Protectorate Militia. 

Assault dropships and gunships on both sides let loose their sub-cap and capital missiles.  Easily avoided in open space and single fire but impossible to avoid if there was a wall of them coming towards you.  The screen filled with RADAR contacts as the missiles angled into the formation waiting for their controllers to pick targets.  High powered tracking RADARs tied to the dropships powered up along with the ECM suites that would provide limited protection to everything in their area.

As the broad lines of death and soulless war machines of Terra aimed at Noble's flight she only had four words to say as she brought her vectored thrusters up to full power.  “They should try harder.”
« Last Edit: 08 July 2019, 09:56:14 by AlphaMirage »

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #197 on: 08 July 2019, 07:44:37 »
Now this will be INTERESTING.  >:D
"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 #198 on: 16 July 2019, 13:56:54 »
04/14/3071 Location – The Vault, Mars

Two soldiers patrolled one of utility corridors of The Vault.  Once one of the pair of magnificent cliffside mansion complex of the Windsor-Smalls that was at one time the 2nd man-made wonder of Mars and 5th in the Solar System.  The family had fallen on hard times during the Amaris Crisis and the Windsor-Smalls had paid the price for supporting the Usurper.  Their entire line was killed off when Kerensky came to the Solar System as punishment for their failure.  The Blood occupied it shortly after they returned to the Inner Sphere nearly 300 years ago. 

Nova Cat Watch Operative Tara Catseye walked beside a MDF trooper.  She had been living among them undercover for nearly a month now.  The MDF’s personnel roster was unexpectedly vulnerable to hacking a major oversight on behalf of the Word of Blake but it still kept her from some of the more secure facilities.  Both were clad in Silverfish uniforms, like a specialized emergency blanket it was meant to keep them warm on the Martian surface and even out their thermal readings for sensors.  Additionally it protected them from some of the hazards of the Grand Canal if they were on the “riverfront.”  A riverfront that once was spectacular beach vista but had grown as dark and cold as the whole facility after being turned into an industrial port.

Tara received a covert notification via her EW gauntlet computer that updated straight to a retinal implant.  She continued walking right behind the MDF trooper until they reached one of the engineering airlocks.  With a single motion she used the sling of her Mauser-1200 rifle to snap the trooper’s neck before catching him with it.  If he had fallen that would have activated the horizontal alert on their radios. 

Unlike the Blakist troopers the MDF didn’t have mandatory flat-line sensors implanted that would send a death signal.  They were third rate compared to the Manei Domini and SDF Regulars but that didn’t make them a non-threat on a battlefield.  Their conventional forces knew the terrain and their equipment was custom made for the Mars while the Nova Cats, Hell’s Horses, and SLDF had to adapt.

The Nova Cat retrieved the dead man’s radio and walked over to the air lock pulling out a wired connector to access the system’s basic functions and temporarily disable its data sharing with 'The Shadow Oracle' that seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at once.  They might notice but they were soon going to have more important things to worry about.

With a slight hiss the airlock opened to reveal four men in black armor with gold helmets.  They had discarded the silver overcoat that protected their equipment from the Martian regolith.  Their equipment that consisted of extra-large power packs for the Mauser IIC rifles they carried as well as the Irece Arms laser pistols and satchels of explosives.  Tara lifted the helmet visor and one of the men did the same revealing the serene and dark face of DCMS trooper, “Welcome to the Windsor-Small’s Estate Sho-Sa Tormark.”

“You Nova Cats never cease to amaze me.  Fortune has favored the Combine with you among its members.  Excellent work Tara Catseye”

“It took no shortage of heart ache and struggle Akira.  Now get out of the Airlock I need to get the rest of your people inside.”


He nodded, “Shui o Shikkari Kotei!” The other Kin Masuko policed the body of the fallen MDF trooper and had their weapons pointed out in case anyone came to investigate.  All in all fifteen elite commandos had bypassed the extensive sensor net and were now surrounded by enemies with one mission in mind.  Disable JERICO whatever it was.

Khan James Cobb of the Hell’s Horses clung to the rear of a Hephaestus scout tank.  The Hell’s Horses fast fire assets had been deployed far away from their target and pushed hard overnight across the blood red or black Martian surface to their target area.  Overhead the Nova Cats, Hell’s Horses, and SLDF (primarily DCA and FWLN) dropships were beginning their end run.  It was going to get hot and they were the first ones to enter the fight as bargained.  The speedy hovercraft and VTOLs ripped across the blackened lichen kicking up regolith and creating a dark red cloud in their wake that stretched across the horizon. 

A gravelly voice came in over the comms, “Khan Cobb we are beginning our final orbit drop in twenty mikes.”

“Aff, ilKhan.”


A ghostly timer appeared over the visor of James Cobb’s Gnome heavy battle suit.  “We are your judgement Primus.  We find you wanting.  Ride forth Heirs of Kerensky!”

On the far side of the battle the “Khan” of the Fidelis, Raphael, formerly Star Captain Jefferson Descastris, Smoke Jaguar watched from his command center as the horses that would soon crash into his command gathered momentum.  “Raphael, should we deploy the drones?”

“Yes, slave them all to the Oracle and tell our people to prepare for battle.  Our clan will be avenged.  They have sent us the mares to slaughter first.  Show them our metal is better than all their might.”


Within the bowels of The Vault drone battlemechs and vehicles were activated at the command of the Shadow Oracle.  Revenant, Lich, and Chromehound units clawed their way through darkened tunnels like termites on the defense.  Turrets concealed in the rocks above activated and revealed their true and deadly purpose.  Missiles arced deep into the lines of Horse and Cat strike craft many of which detonated harmlessly covering the attached battle armor in clods of dark red soil and blackened lichen. 

True to their training the Horses curved intricately avoided smashing themselves against the wall of mechs that appeared from the deep.  Elementals were deployed behind cover and the hovercraft carried high powered comms gear to call in artillery strikes from friendly forces through Hades Mechs despite jamming.

James Cobb crouched behind one of the many rocky outcroppings of the canyonlands perhaps once a part of one of the meteorites that had been crashed into the Martian surface to complete the Grand Canal hundreds of years ago during the galaxy spanning Terran Hegemony.  The quick hovercraft continued their slashing attack against the canyon’s defenses. 

An Epona strike hover tank was tossed into the air by the impact of a Long Tom’s shell landing nearby his position.  Stygian and Apostate (Blakist Regulator) hovertanks dashed in quick pursuit of the agile horse forces.  “We have deployed.  Your turn to play cavalry Commanding General.”
« Last Edit: 16 July 2019, 14:01:34 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #199 on: 22 July 2019, 21:05:38 »
Star Commander Phane stepped off the platform of the Triumph dropship along with the rest of Theta Galaxy which had become equivalent of the Ghost Bear's Zeta Galaxy in population of Elemental Armored Infantry.  A Star of Xerxes fighters blazed overhead their wickedly sickle like wings were laden with ordnance.  Moments later he could feel the tremors from the bombs and see the smoke on the horizon. 

Self-propelled Artillery tanks boomed nearby audible even in the thin atmosphere of the Martian highlands.  The boots of the Power Armored soldiers crunched in the tracks of heavy armored vehicles that had torn up the black lichen covered soil, the advance group of strike tanks pushing against the Blakist defenses.

A convoy of large blocky tracked vehicles waited outside the dropship all of which had their turrets on a swivel.  Blakist artillery hit nearby clearly aiming for the dropzone.  “Get into the Ku troopers. Hot Dropzone”

“Aff Star Commander.”


Two Points of Elementals piled into the Ku engaging the locking bars that would hold them in place and provide power for the suits inside.  “We are moving out Point Commanders.  Next stop, Storming the Gates of Hell.”

“Selah!  Hell's Stormtroopers on the move.”


The Gates of Hell were on fire, sometimes literally.  DCMS and FWLM Mechs were pushing in against a diminishing number of Drone Battlemechs.  Defense systems were still online despite the relentless artillery bombardment from the Horse auxiliary units.  Shadow Division mechs were beginning to stream out of the fortified area along with supporting armor and infantry. 

Phane felt the impact through the armor of the Ku. “What the hell is going on Chief?”

The Tanker came over the radio from the front compartment.  “We are in the hot zone now Star Commander.  Recommend your Elementals get out now.”

“Aff.  Move out.  We are hoofing it from here.”


The Ku's paired lasers and Anti-Personnel Gauss rifles fired out suppressing Demon type Armored Infantry and Martian Defense Force troops.  Vaporizing super-oxidized rocks and embedding small slugs of metal into the rocky soil.  Phane stepped out on the alien landscape ripped apart from an all too human war. 

A Point of lumbering Rock Golems Assault Suits out of a Ku twice as large as his own Elemental suit with that much more firepower, their footfalls kicked up blood red regolith.  Five brutal looking Salamander suits with their heavy claws and flamethrowers walked out another looking like a dinosaur with their wicked foot claws.  The other three Points of his Star were the standard Elemental suits that were still among the best Armored Infantry suits in the Galaxy.

Phane leapt into the air clearly seeing the enemy infantry hiding on the ridge in his thermal sight.  “On me.  Weapons free.”  He twisted his body allowing him to change his trajectory in mid-air to evade incoming fire and crashed down on an Asura trooper pinning the troop to the ground before firing his arm laser straight into the helmet.

Missiles streaked down from the troops exploding next to the Blakist defenders tearing apart armor and into meat while shattering stone.  The Salamanders were grappling with the hostile infantry attempting to scorch the Shadows.  The whole mess devolved into a melee.  Phane stepped on the “head” of a disabled Morlock drone (Think ABC from Dredd), its humanoid torso and arms atop a tracked body and looked at the void before them.  The Hell's Horses had broken into the Gates of Hell and now were on the move inside the Black Chapel itself against 'The Shadow Oracle.'

He put his full weight plus that of his armor on the robot crushing its hollow shell under him.  He raised the metal battle claw into the air within sight of his fellow Elementals. 

“Might over Metal!”

Inside the Gates of Hell, members of the Blood waited within secret compartments hidden in the walls and ceilings of the Mech sized tunnel.  One of them looked at the fading light of sunset on Mars within the pitch black tunnel his biologically augmented sight could still see clearly.

“Now its our turn to fight brothers.  Let's join the Shadows," a slight chuckle emanated from its throat, "and see the Horses to the slaughterhouse.”
« Last Edit: 22 July 2019, 21:10:06 by AlphaMirage »

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #200 on: 27 July 2019, 19:13:06 »
ilKhan Santin West disembarked from one of the great black sea beasts, armored canal barges stolen from the Foundry up-canal and transporting Nova Cat and Diamond Shark Elementals and combat vehicles.  He looked up at the grand architecture and engineering of this palace once an engineered beach now not just a lifeless industrial wharf but one covered in dead Clanners and un-living constructs their bones built from the red sands of Mars.  Hell's Horses and Nova Cat VTOL Gunships cut the thin air above spitting fire at the rocks.  As he stepped off he heard the roar of artillery echo off the canyon walls emanating from one of the Orca Canal Gunboats.

The saKhans of the Nova Cats Hirohito Katayama and Hell's Horses' Jake Kabrinsky came in over the radio just barely audible over the industrial clatter of tank treads.  “ilKhan We've lost contact with Khan Cobb.”

“We expected there would be communication troubles once we went under.  Damn Blakists have this whole canyon under an ECM fog.  Hiro go to Hell's Gate and support Jake.  Both of you are to find Cobb and bring him to the surface.  I will stay down here and try to support the Commanding General from below.”

“Aff ilKhan.  Redeploying across the pond.”


The broad expanse of the canyon was filled with Clan and Spheroid troops.  The Hell's Horses had deployed massive cranes to support the offensive which lowered troops and equipment to waiting canal barges.  Down here there were no mechs only infantry and armor.  High on the ridges above dropships, shuttles, and VTOL transport were offloading reinforcements and supplies destined for the canal or deep into the darkened shafts that ran deep into this Hellish hive.

Turning back to his objective he saw the desecrated ruin built into the shadowed cliffs.  Artillery and time had defaced its once grand statues carved in relief against the cliff and towered over even the largest battlemechs.  Tortured remains of a past long ago and evergreen treachery.  IlKhan West leapt up onto an Oro MBT along with the rest of his point.  The vehicle rumbled forward in the lead followed by more of its kind as well as the versatile Hachiman missile tanks that mounted their own Elementals aiming at concentrations or armored turrets that were firing into the midst of the formation.

In the benighted tunnels beyond the Nova Cats found their quarry in the IR spotlighted vision vigorously fired on Blakist tanks and infantry.  IlKhan West leapt forward into the fray, the Elemental's boots crashed into the ferrocrete and pressed into the melee.  Santin fired his four SRMs at a Blakist Merkava X MBT along with his small laser.  The ilKhan's missile pack broke away as the Elemental operator discarded it to increase his agility in the close confines.  The Clanner leapt into the melee but was surprised to see another his kind on the other side with the same suit but different markings not in any of his databases.  A Cameron star pointed downward like a sword, like a Blakist Broadsword.  “What the Hell?”

The hostile leapt at him with extreme violence taking advantage of his moment of confusion.  It's battle claw ripping into the upper torso of the Cat's suit before attempting to bring its arm mounted laser to fire directly into his helmet.  “Going for the throat.  Jaguars.”

Santin brought his knees up to his chest and kicked at the enemy throwing off his aim and slackening the battle claw that was digging into his chest plate.  The Jaguar's laser went high creating a 3 centimeter black hole in the ferrocrete on the other side.  The Nova Cat brought his own elbow down on the Jaguar's forearm cracking some of the small armor plates as the myomer muscles hit beyond the strength of any normal man.  “All forces be aware that there are Jaguars among the Blakists.  Assume they know all our tactics and equipment.  Kill them first.”

Santin West squared off with the unknown former Jaguar, a Clan all but annihilated but clearly not destroyed.  The Fidelis trooper surged forward but the Nova Cat stepped aside and reaped the man from his feet.  Straddling the fallen trooper he held them down with the battle claw and fired his own laser into the enemy's helmet which punched through the mirrored visor causing the operator to slacken.  The ilKhan took cover behind an Oro to get a fresh missile pack from the trailer towed behind and return to the fight.  The Technician in a Spider armored exoskleleton completed his work in the tanks' protective cover.  "You are good to go IlKhan.  Give em Hell."

He looked at the tunnel illuminated only by ballistic tracers, wild missile trails, and orange explosions that shook the ground.  Elementals jumped into the fray firing their own missiles and receiving plasma and more missiles in reply from the Blakist forces.  "We are already here Technician."

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #201 on: 27 July 2019, 20:10:58 »
04/14/71 Location – The Shadow's Seat

Commanding General Photon Brett-Marik's Supernova continued its trek into enemy territory.  Legions of drones and most of the Exituri had fallen to the 2nd Free World's Guards and the 2nd and 43rd Benjamin Regulars.  The Clans were busy dealing with the Blakist factions known as the Blood and Fidelis in search for the Word of Blake's Shadow Primus who seemed to have covertly abandoned her hold.  IlKhan West had saved him yesterday during his 13th hour of active deployment after his Nova Cat was overrun by the Fidelis after being savaged by a group of drones.  One of the Achilles scout suits sent ahead to scout the tunnels came in over the encrypted datalink.  “Laser-Four we have a big seismic reading ahead.  Falling back.”

Photon Brett-Marik's two companies were already at full combat power.  Longinus and Phalanx Armored Infantry warily operated between their much larger brethren ever vigilant to prevent their charges from being overrun by infantry or walking into ambush.  Too many mechs had been lost to leg attacks and swarming armored infantry in this labyrinth.  “All Points on me.  Nothing can stand in the face of this much firepower.”

The companies worked their way to the location and were face to face with the largest bipedal mech they had ever seen waiting for them down a narrow tunnel.  Its somewhat crouching and forward leaning angular form was intimidating as were the four guns it had on board.  The legs were thick with armor and the whole design oozed menace. 

Four bright flashes hit the Supernova like sledgehammers, two were the bright azure of a heavy PPC while the other two magnesium white of a Heavy Gauss Rifle, the most destructive mech weapon in existence.  Before Photon could even react his mech was knocked down like a child's toy with deep tears in the assault mech's armor damaging the gyro in the process.  The Free Worlds Guards surged forward despite the narrow confines, some fell prey to densely planted mines or the guns of the Omega which grew more powerful the closer they came.  Their Clan tech weapons tore into the Superheavy but it was unbowed and engaged with its secondary battery of lasers which found their way into gaps made by its heavier primaries. 

It weathered the assault like a piece of stone against the howling wind stoically holding its position.  Eventually the beast was brought low but not before the two companies had become one with the sprawled out remains of fallen and damaged mechs littering the approach.  Some of the units fared better than others, the worst off was a Thunderbolt that had taking the full brunt of the assault on its center and above leaving the slack limbs held together by a shattered headless torso.

One of the Phalanx Armored Infantry knocked on the armored face plate of Photon's Supernova, “Laser Four are you alright?”
“I'll live.  Mech is shot though, changing into my Nighthawk.”
“You're not supposed to be out here Photon.  The ilKhan will be upset if you get yourself killed.”
“I'm sure he will.  However this fight is not over yet.”
  He looked past the ruined Omega Superheavy mech which was swarming with Longinii to ensure it was down for the count and its pilot was captured.  On the other side was a large bunker door.  “I want to know what it was defending.”

Photon Brett-Marik worked his way to the cargo compartment built into his Supernova's head.  The Clans had a different relationship with their mechs than the Inner Sphere where a mechwarrior might have to live in his unit during an extended campaign, they emphasized space savings which left a lot of room in the head for alternate configurations including a small cargo cell.  The SLDF's commanding general put on the Nighthawk suit which took a good deal of time and required shoving a box of ammunition to the side.  After suiting up he grabbed the Mauser IIC rifle that was charging on the rack as well as his sidearm and additional power cells for the former and magazines for the latter.

In time he cycled open a small hatch of the downed mech and jogged out to join the other Armored Infantry taking up position behind Captain Perez in the lead Phalanx.  “I still don't like this Commanding General.”

“You don't need to Captain.  I give the orders here.”
“As you wish sir.' 
"Think your men can get that door open.”


The men walked past the fallen mechs some of which were too badly damaged to continue but others were waiting for others to come and lift them to their feet.  They walked past the fallen Omega and its pilot which had opened the cockpit hatch with the intent to fire his rifle and the Longinus suits nearby.

In a few short minutes they were looking at the door which was also being watched by a company of Battlemechs.

“We could just knock sir.”
“That's ridiculous Captain.”


As the pair neared the door began to open, Captain Perez put Photon behind him in case it was a surge of drones or hostile Armored Infantry.  Speakers nearby emitted a familiar voice, Thomas Marik's, the real Thomas Marik's, “Photon my dear boy.  I had hoped you would come to see your poor Uncle.

Photon couldn't contain his curiosity at the oddly familiar voice, he activated the broadcast of his own Power Armor.  “How do you know it's me Uncle Tom?”

“You never did change the UV-IV on your mechs.  Been using it since Black Eagle.”


Very few knew of Photon's time during the Andurian Succession when he used his cousin's Orion and callsign Black Eagle to spread disinformation and discord during several encounters with the Successionists under an Alias  An Alias that his Uncle had exposed which also threatened his checkered history of brutality in that war.  It was not impossible that some SAFE database had that information and the Blakists had both of his Uncles on their side for at least twenty years.

“I won't harm you nephew come on in.  Only you though I am unwilling to turn off all the Autoguns for them.”

“That is a terrible idea Photon.  Its definitely a trap.”
“You're probably right Juan.  However, I want to make sure my Uncle doesn't live through this fight.  I have to make sure he's dead this time.”
“This time?”
“Long story, not enough time.”


Photon stepped forward but the Phalanx's battle claw grabbed his shoulder, gripping it tightly.  “Let me go!  That is an order!”

“It is one that I am not going to follow Commanding General.  You have a responsibility to the SLDF and us not to go get yourself killed yet.”
“I have a greater responsibility.  I have to set these things right.  Without me none of this would have happened.”
“You're speaking nonsense Pho!”


Photon reached over his shoulder to grab one of the limpet mines from his pack and attached it to the restraining arm with a count down of 30 seconds.  “You know what this will do to both of us.  Let go, or I let it go off.”

The arm of the Phalanx let go and the timer dimmed.  “As your Commanding General I am going to speak with the enemy commander, who happens to be my Uncle.  Does anyone else object.”

Multiple objections came in over the band, “Is anyone else going to do anything to stop me?”
The Armored Infantry looked around but made no motion to stop him.

“Good.  I'll be back in ten minutes.”

The Nighthawk suit stepped across the Threshold and the Bunker door closed behind him.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #202 on: 30 July 2019, 17:08:31 »
Photon Brett-Marik waited a moment to adjust to his new surroundings.  The walls of this corridor were like those on a space craft, conduit and pipes ran behind the grates that covered all four sides of the hall.  He stepped forward looking for the tell-tale shine of an adaptive camouflaged Purifier.  The suit was oddly absent on Mars and it made him concerned but relieved at the same time, perhaps the WoBM had run out of the powerful suits during their Jihad.  He certainly destroyed more than a few with his Mech on battlefields in three different Successor States.

Crouching with his Mauser laser close he walked forward following a series of lighted symbols.  The temperature within was noticeably warmer than outside the bunker according to his HUD not that he could feel it, his PA(L) and the thermal shroud worn over it would keep him at a comfortable temperature. 

He walked across a catwalk where multiple turbines were spinning generating an enormous amount of power from a nuclear fission reactor somewhere within the complex.  While Fusion was more efficient the Windsor-Small family built in a heating coil for the section of the Grand Canal outside that required an enormous amount of heat to maintain. 

Presently it generated power for the factories that SLIC knew were concealed under the canyon rock.  Factories that were unable to produce anything now that their supply sites were destroyed or captured but had churned out a huge number of drones for an unknown number of years prior to this day.

In the center of the vast complex was a large door built into the rock of this artificial cavern.  Red letters spelled out 'The Black Room' on the metal door.  “Must you be so dramatic Uncle?  Coming back from the dead twice not enough for you.”

Photon let the rifle be held by the sling and walked toward the door which opened with a serpentine pneumatic hiss.  Standing in the center of the room was his Uncle, Thomas Marik, looking far worse for wear than Photon had ever seen him.  The man's face was heavily burned, his arms, one leg, and an eye were replaced by cybernetics and he was leaning on a cane metal strength not enough to help the elderly man.  Now that he thought about it he had never seen him after the bombing that almost killed him.  The bomb killed his grandfather Janos and other uncle Duggan and Thomas  was thought dead until his double returned.  The man bid him to come in and Photon obliged, he wasn't going to fail to kill him this time.

Photon entered the door which closed behind him.  Thomas Marik sat down in a grand chair in the center.  “You come to beg for your life Uncle?”

The man laughed so hard Photon swore he would have been deafened if it were not for the Nighthawk's aural cutoffs.  “Not until you apologize for almost killing me Nephew.”

Now it was Photon's turn to laugh, “Now why would I do that?  Politics is a contact sport in the League Uncle you know this.  We're always at each others throats.  You should know the rules.  Your double ruined our nation, Duggan and I would have done far better. 

Your people killed my family, banished Isis, almost killed Alys' line and imprisoned Corrine.  So much blood is on the hands of your Word of Blake.  Blood you will have to answer for.

As Commanding General of the Second SLDF I hereby order you to surrender and go before the McKenna Tribunal as a member of the Word of Blake for Crimes against Humanity.”

“You know I always thought you had promise Photon even from a young age, pity my father disinherited your mother for marrying a commoner.  I'm sorry you got caught up in that Black Dragon business on Wolcott.”


The man stood up and presented his hands, something was off about him though, “You can take me in, I will not resist.”

Photon was shocked, “No final words or Grand Speeches?  You yield just like that.”

Thomas Marik looked over to the side attempting to conceal a grim chrome smile, “Just like that?  Please Photon, your people had to work very hard to reach my sanctuary.  You should be able to walk away the hero after all that.  I have been defeated.  Better you than anyone else.”

Photon walked onto the platform and saw the truth, the entity he was talking to was little more than a very realistic holographic ghost.  “You were never here.”

“Not true.  I was here at one time and am still nearby.”
  A screen came alive behind him with 49 minutes on it.  “I recommend you get far away though.  Don't want to see what happens when the Trumpets ring seven times.”

“JERICO?  We disabled that.”

“Are you certain that was the only failsafe?”
  The hologram blinked out leaving him in darkness but the speakers were still on, “Goodbye Nephew.”

Photon turned to see the door was open but it was going to be very difficult for him to get clear of the facility in less than an hour.  He attempted to open comms with his team but the signal wasn't strong enough to clear the metal and rock that surrounded him.  He need to get back to his team and onto the BattleNet at least for this side of the facility.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #203 on: 08 August 2019, 11:47:05 »
Location – En Route to the Black Citadel, Mars, Blood Dominion

A Trinary of Elementals worked their way through the tunnels below checking high and low with their helmet and arm mounted lights looking for “Morlocks” the cybernetically and biologically altered inhabitants of this nightmare realm.  The Black Citadel was completely surrounded but impenetrable from above and Elementals were forced to fight through the tunnels that connected the Blakist nerve center with their largest fortification.  The ilKhan was leading one such expedition with support nearby but the tunnels were too narrow for tanks or other armored vehicles to pass through leaving only Elementals and lightweight Motorized infantry capable of operating down here.

Everywhere he looked he saw odd symbols painted on the walls that he felt he had seen before but could not consciously recall or decipher them however hard he tried.  The whole thing looked like the inside of a Warship conduit and pipes ran behind grates in the walls, ceiling, or floor.  Drains collected water leaking from the aging pipes likely dating back to the Clan’s Golden Age at the earliest, the Age of the Usurper at the latest.  At least it was warmer than the surface but hovered around 5C still cold enough to kill a man in time if her were not insulated.  The Gnome’s sensors detected the air was breathable but oxygen deficient, it would kill an Elemental in a short time and a normal man in slightly longer unless they had an emergency canister.

The chill and breathlessness Santin felt in his armor was not from the environment however, well not that part at least.  Small tunnels ran all around, air vents, water drains, access paths for repair and engineering all held danger.  The first directional mine they found had killed an intact Elemental, now they had to slow down and clear them of explosives or monsters.  Each of his hand-picked Elementals had their aural units on max gain, they might not be able to see very far but sound readily carried on the tunnel walls.

A rumble in floor alerted everyone that something was amiss, some old grates fell down with a crash in the eerily silent space.  “What the hell was that IlKhan?”
“Felt like an explosion or Marsquake.”
“Mars is not geologically active.  An explosion big enough to rock this tunnel must be thermonuclear.”
“Anything on Comms?”

One of the large Golem suits had been equipped with a particularly powerful Comm suite capable of broadcasting in this enclosed space.  “We didn’t get anything before the detonation IlKhan.”

Santin called for a momentary pause while he thought about the current situation.  "They must have had a failsafe device somewhere but this Castle held.  We might be trapped here for an extended period.”
“Not if we can fight our way through to the Black Citadel.  Surely they have some surface ports that can only be opened from the inside.”
“Aff.  The missions has not changed Elementals let us push forward toward the Primus before she can escape.”


ilKhan West heard something coming down the tunnel and saw the shine of mutant eyes in his helmet's light.  He leveled the Bearhunter Autocannons built into both his arms toward their direction, the three barrel cannons began to rotate.  “With haste brothers.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #204 on: 22 August 2019, 09:20:32 »
Consolidated Clan Watch Report
Completion of the Mars Grand Canal Campaign, Venus Taken
HPG Transmission Chain – WIS Dire Wolf/Terra- Vision Trunk -Council Rock/Kerensky’s Vision
Attn: Loremaster of the Clans Daphne Vickers
Prepared by Tara Catseye CNC and Cobalt Smoke CH

Loremaster Vickers it is with great misfortune that we inform you that ilKhan Santin West formerly of Clan Nova Cat is now missing in action.  His command disappeared during the attack on the Blakist Castle known as the Black Citadel which we believe was the primary base for the Word’s Primus.  Myself, 2SLDF CG Brett, and Khans Cobb CHH, Kabrinsky CHH, and Katayama CNC managed to survive the failsafe thermonuclear device that inflicted great casualties on the Toumans of Hell’s Horses and Nova Cats; and our allies, The 2SLDF.

Attached to this transmission is a series of files and photos that show that many Smoke Jaguars joined the Word of Blake and became known as the Fidelis.  Their annihilation completes the mission of the Great Refusal, they all fought to the death rather than be taken as Isorla. 

Additionally we have uncovered evidence from Venus’ Aphrodite station and Mars that leads us to believe The Word of Blake was working with The Blinding Eye scientist conspiracy.  We strongly suggest you act on these leads quickly and round up the remaining conspirators with all available assets.  The Coalition is suppressing any information about our victories to prevent them from escaping.

Coalition Forces are all heading toward Terra as agreed upon during the Trials of First Blood on Asta the Jade Falcons will drop first followed by the Ghost Bears and Wolves.  The remaining forces of the 2SLDF and other Clans will immediately reinforce their positions and begin securing objectives.  Already Diamond Shark and Snow Raven vessels are vectoring toward Terra filled with reinforcements.  The Hellions, Hell’s Horses, and Nova Cats will immediately follow after a short rest and resupply.

Without an ilKhan 2SLDF CG Photon Brett has assumed command of the Terran ground operation in opposition to Blakist Precentor Martial Lisa Koenigs-Cober. 

Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde has assumed command of the Coalition Fleets against Blakist Precentor Naval Gregory Zwick.

The fateful battle is upon us Loremaster. 

Wish you were here.

Seyla

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #205 on: 22 August 2019, 19:00:55 »
The Whirlwind class CJF Emerald Tornado took the point position of the Coalition Fleet's Alpha Binary.  Star Commodore Tanya Schtern waited in her Captain's Chair deep in its CIC her gray-green spacesuit was buttoned up and helmet online.  The Tornado had survived many battles across the Inner Sphere.  Despite Terra looming large in the view screen and its SDS and defenders filling the holo sphere in the center of the room she would treat it as any other. 

She watched as the 41 Warships and hundreds of dropships of the Coalition Fleet deployed their Aerospace forces, more than a thousand fighters sped toward the remaining 27 Ships of the Blakist Fleet, their fighters joined the assault dropships and aerospace wings of the Terran Orbital Defense Corps, and advanced Caspar tied Drake orbital SDS stations.  Tanya keyed in the INTERCOM, “All hands prepare for combat.  Weapons hot.  Launch Umbrals.”

Four Tamar Aerospace Umbral Rain ECM small craft were launched and began transmitting signals providing AWACS and ECM support for the fighters.  They were followed by all types of capital missiles launched into the growing swarm of enemy aerospace.  Assault dropships, Pocket Warships, and Bombers forced their way through the forward cover toward the Warships as long range capital weapons fired downrange at the major combatants.

Tanya watched the whole thing from her helmet's AR feed prioritizing capital missiles and aerospace fighters that might be carrying nuclear payloads.  The Emerald Talon had been reinforced and up-armed but it was still a destroyer and it would die if hit by a Santa Ana.  This war had been brutal for Warships the Clan Fleets alone had been halved by the Word of Blake's brutal actions in the black.  “Make sure no missiles make it through to the Talon gunners.  Khan Pryde has a destiny to fulfill and we are going to help her do so.”

“Aff Star Commodore.  Prioritizing missile interception.  Refocusing Umbral defense screen.”


On the other side of the battle Blakist Precentor Naval Gregory Zwick watched the battle unfold from the Orbital Decay.  It was not going as planned there were far to many hostile warships even with the TODS Corps.  “Why can't we get through their screening ships?”

“Their escorts are putting up an effective screen Precentor.  The Caspars will not fire the Dragon's Breath satellites unless they can be reduced.”


Zwick put his hand into the AR holographic sphere that gave his sub-commanders their priorities.  “I want bombers and assault dropships to take out their destroyers and carrier dropships.  Reduce fire on the Primaries until we start poking holes in that screen.”

One of the sub-commanders, a White and Gold clad Purifying Light Demi-Precentor, “Aye sir.  Telling Gibraltar to re-task TODS bomber squads.”

Star Commodore Tanya noticed that the Blakists were reorganizing while the Clan Aerospace Wings were resupplying and refueling.  Maneuvering greatly reduced the endurance of the Aerospace Warriors while the Blakist and TODS fighters docked to Drakes or the drones were refueled on the wing.  The major combatants had maneuvered themselves out of optimal firing postion.  “Something is not right.  I want the cannon magazines restocked immediately.”

“Aff Star Commodore.”


Sure enough the second wave progressed differently than the first one.  TODS bombers, Ahabs, Thunderbirds, and Hammerheads punched through Clans fighters with support from Blakist Pocket Warships aiming for the fighters rather than trying to deal a deathblow to Warships.  Both Ghost Bear Lola IIIs and the York Ursa Minor were critically damaged in the first wave followed by the Camerons Slepinir and Ulric Kerensky of Gamma Binary.  The Dire Wolf's frontal NPPC arrays smashed through the Focht's Revenge but Precentor Alain Beresick had transferred off that vessel and avoided its fate.

Precentor Zwick focused his attentions on the SLDF Fleet attempting to force through the missiles of the Avalon cruisers and past the Battlecruiser Valhalla toward the more vulnerable Spheroid vessels.  The Valhalla was mortally wounded by the Suffren Kari Marshal ramming it but it took down five ships before its spine was broken.  The Donegal, Scorpio, and Hanse Davion were destroyed by nuclear weapons fired by Dragon's Breath satellites and Cockatrice drones.

Hive fighters swarmed Alpha Binary taking advantage of its lack of fighter capacity.  Snow Raven Carrier dropships had been added but were more vulnerable to attack than the Ursa Major or Yorks in Gamma.  Fighters had vectored away to deal with the heavy bombers and the Avenger followed by the Peregrine and Turkina's Pride were destroyed by the focused attack before it was broken by the Talon, Predator, and Radiant.  Turkina's Pride managed to protect the Emerald Talon from the attack but both had suffered heavy hits from the Suffrens Marteen and Kursten which didn't survive to make another pass.

The Word's Thera Carriers fought valiantly but as their escorts were depleted they began taking heavy fire from the remaining attackers.  True to their design they took massive amounts of damage to put down for good and inflicted it on the Clan Flagships (Dire Wolf, Emerald Talon, and Ursa Major).  Eventually though they too fell in turn but not before the Ursa Major and Fort Verdun were crippled.  The Dire Wolf and Emerald Talon limped to Terran proximity limit with a bare escort and finally destroyed the dozen Drake class Caspar SDS Stations that protected low earth orbit.

The Emerald Tornado entered low earth orbit ready to support incoming Falcon dropships when it started taking fire.  Powerful lasers fired up from Hilton Head and missiles streaked up from naval vessels near Saint Helena.  Tanya watched in horror as the Emerald Talon was engulfed in light, this deep in the gravity well any hit might make it impossible to reach the safety of high orbit again, the only way out was down.  The vessel's fuselage was torn and its thrusters faltered as the reactor failed, without power it was doomed to fall suddenly into the Atlantic.  "Khan Pryde report!"

Alpha Binary
Nightlord CJF Emerald Talon | Essex CDS Sharon
Lola III CDS Predator and HS Radiant | Cameron CJF Turkina's Pride
Carrack CJF Ironhold Avenger | Congress CJF Peregrine and Kerensky's Pride
Whirlwind CJF Emerald Tornado

Beta Binary
Nightlord CGB Ursa Major | Black Lion CGB Bear's Den
York CGB Ursa Minor | Lola III CGB Blizzard and CGB Icepick
Essex CGB White Fang and CGB White Claw

Gamma Binary
Dire Wolf WIS Dire Wolf | Carrack Carrier WIS Night Warrior
York HS Pack Leader and SLS Anna Rosse | Cameron CHH Slepinir, WIS Ulric Kerensky
Lola II SLS Hunter

Task Force SUNBUST
Mjolnir FCS Valhalla | Avalon FCS Victor Steiner-Davion, Hanse Davion, Arthur Steiner-Davion
Eclipse FCS Donegal | Fox FCS Illustrious, Intrepid
Zodaic FCS Libra, Scorpio

Task Force HOMECOMING
Thera SLS Fort Verdun | Eagle SLS Battle of Tukayyid
Impavido SLS Tamarind | Eclipse FCS Skye
Avalon FCS Melissa Davion | Fox FCS Invincible, Indominable
Zodiac FCS Leo, Sagittarius

Task Force DYING LIGHT
Thera WOBS Dark Phoenix | York WOBS Focht's Revenge
Baron WOBS Light of Hope | Carson WOBS Sword of Enlightenment
Essex WOBS Deliverance, Despiser, Dawning Horizon
Lola III WOBS Guarded Knowledge | Suffren WOBS Andrea Marteen, Dwight Kurstin
Vincent WOBS Alacrity, Determination

Task Force BLACK MANTIS
Thera WOBS Orbital Decay | Baron WOBS Light of Faith, Light of Glory
Carson WOBS Sword of Promise | Essex WOBS Deathblow, Death by Degrees
Lola III WOBS End of Wisdom | Suffren WOBS Kari Marshal, Hollings York, Allen Rusenstein
Dante WOBS Jeanette Marik, Paradise Lost
Vincent WOBS Blade of Determination, Blade of Holiness, Blade of Righteousness

Wrangler

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #206 on: 22 August 2019, 21:20:03 »
Oof.  That was rough.

Why in world would anyone deploy a Carrack???  The converted carrier i could see, they won't be operating that close to the combat zone since they have tissue paper for armor.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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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 #207 on: 23 August 2019, 07:39:46 »
Oof.  That was rough.

Why in world would anyone deploy a Carrack???  The converted carrier i could see, they won't be operating that close to the combat zone since they have tissue paper for armor.

I have a personal overhaul of the Carrack that makes it a more viable "light carrier" with 20 SI and Max Armor to protect its two Trinaries of Fighters.  Its still not a super viable warship but this is the endgame so the Clans are throwing everything at Terra.

AlphaMirage

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #208 on: 23 August 2019, 20:42:06 »
04/15/3071 18:57 Location – CJF Emerald Talon, Low Earth Orbit (and falling!!)

Khan Pryde snapped awake and blinked her eyes a few times before lifting her head to a vertical position.  She knew from experience that she was going to have a concussion and some nasty bruises and strains but she was going to live.  She looked around the room using her helmet lights to see that the same could not be said of some of her other crew.  Most were slumped, their aerospace phenotype necks probably snapped from the impact they weren't as tough as this grizzled old war bird.  Alarm lights were blaring around her and on the surface of her cracked helmet visor registering the ship's massive damage. 

Also that her air supply pressure was dropping which meant there was a fault somewhere with her suit. “By the Great Father.”

A familiar voice came in over her comm, “Khan Pryde report.”

“I'm alive and just as angry Tanya.”

“The Talon is dead Marthe.”

“How long until we break up?”

“The Nightlords are tough we estimate five minutes before it begins to shear apart.”

“Don't worry about me.  I have a way off.”

“Hurry up!”

“Aff.  Pryde out.”


The Falcon Khan moved her arms and legs everything seemed to be functioning normally despite the impact.  She didn't have time to rouse anyone still under and if anyone else was alive they were heading toward the escape pods already to break orbit and get picked up by the incoming Diamond Shark transports.  She had other plans. 

Marthe reached down toward the restraints but they were jammed and held her fast.  By instinct she reached down toward her curved karambit knife and with a fluid motion sliced the thick belts with the razor sharp blade.  Finally released she held the chair with her other hand to maintain her orientation while putting the blade back it was strong enough to cut through her suit in places and she wouldn't need it anyway where she was going.

The Khan kicked off toward one of the major access tunnels of the Nightlord.  She twisted and pulled open one of the emergency lockers to retrieve a rocket gun putting her back toward her objective adjusting her helmet camera to look behind her at the twisted corridor with its many hand and foot holds.  She had no time for that and braced the gunstock into a depression in her chest plate and pulled the trigger causing a flash of hydrazine she adjusted the angle with a knob in the stock by looking through her camera.  The thrust was intense but she had it on full power throughout the tunnel until she spotted the bulkhead she was looking for and prepared herself for a crash landing.

There was no time to slow down.  The letters above this pressure door were stenciled in the SLDF standard and bright Green.  'Mech Deployment Bay A'

Marthe keyed in the Khan's override and opened the door to see the bay was open to space, the illuminated earth below her was amazing to her actual eyes rather than view screens.  “Wow!” The Khan looked around and saw that some of the Mechs were still in their deployment cradles including her Summoner, unit ECG-508.  She was less eager to use the rocket gun here, it was a long drop if she was off target...

but that never happened.  She lined herself up with the unit using the camera and fired it gently this time to push herself toward her way off this doomed vessel.  Midway through she flipped end of end and repeated the same operation being off less than a meter.  508 was always kept armed and ready for action and she entered through the rear hatch cycling the built in airlock. 

When the light turned green she stripped off the suit and checked herself, there was some discoloration where the Harjel had protected damaged portions of the suit.  She was still breathing the same partial pressure of oxygen in this mech as she was on the ship so there would be no pulmonary damage.  She opened the airlock and crawled into the cramped cockpit of her Summoner and activated its startup routines.  While the mech's reactor blazed to life and the computer came online she put her cooling vest on followed by her neuro-helmet and air supply.  The machine had to gradually bring her back to a normal breathing mix so she could inhale the sweet smell of victory on Terra itself.  508's computer voice came in clear over her neuro-helmet's commlink, “All systems nominal Khan Pryde.”

“Spread your wings Five Oh Eight.”  She took control of the machine and blew the explosive bolts that were holding it in place just as the Emerald Talon began to burn brightly as it reentered the atmosphere.  The machine was now loosed from the doomed vessel now falling from the sky and 508's jump jets flared to life tilting the machine in space to get clear and adjust its heading so that it might survive reentry in one piece.  To do that it curled itself into a ball to protect the head straining the myomer musculature to its max and using the torso mounted jump jets and its gyro to protect itself from the worst of the heat of reentry.  Normally an ablative cocoon and drag chute would protect a high dropping mech but there was no time for that aboard the Talon.

Marthe Pryde was strapped into her chair in the cockpit while the straining cooling system attempting to keep her alive as the heat of reentry threatened to cook her alive.  The temperature in the cockpit reached 120C and sweat sizzled off her tanned skin. The cooling vest kept her core temperature to something manageable and the air she breathed in was warm but not enough to burn her lungs.  Mech cockpits got hot but this was the worse she had ever endured. 

Just when she thought she couldn't take it any longer 508's view-screen came to life and she could see the clear night sky except for the flares from the doomed Emerald Talon and hundreds of Jade Falcon dropships and Aerospace fighters that were falling upon their target area, COMSTAR's Hilton Head Complex and its environs.  The Falcon fighters were engaging COMGUARD fighters attempting a last ditch effort to kill as many as they could in the air as they could. They knew they might not survive on the ground against the battle hardened and proud Warriors of Clan Jade Falcons, her Clan.

It was as astonishing sight not even the Battle of Hesperus II, the largest battle she had ever fought in, was on this scale and they were all following her lead.  508's damage display came online showing yellow everywhere but all the weapons and critical systems were still operational.  A countdown clock appeared in her helmet's visor, 'Time to Ground 1:28' her Summoner began the final breaking procedure operating the reactor's in an open circuit to super heat air and ram it through the jump jets to create thrust beyond anything normally used during battle.  It was a pure brute force move and Marthe could see the distinctive contrails of other Falcon mechs primarily Summoners like her own stepping off their dropships to set foot on Terra before their fellow Warriors but not before their Khan.

Marthe Pryde could see the search lights and flare rounds of the Parris Island Military Complex as she neared the ground.  508 landed firmly and was on the move already, the LZ was swarming with VTOLs and the First Wave of SPM, EDF, and COMGUARD units that were determined to blast the Falcons back into space.  Dozens of projectiles streaked up and down into the sky all around them.  Aerospace fighters flew up and fell down like clockwork creating great infernos in their wake.

Earth was at war with Heaven and Heaven was firing back.

Khan Marthe Pryde stood foremost among the First Blooded on Terra

and she was mad as Hell.

smcwatt

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Re: The Price of Victory, Katherine pt III
« Reply #209 on: 24 August 2019, 17:55:07 »
Quick point, 120C is 20 degrees over the boiling point. Pryde should be dead.

SMc

 

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