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Author Topic: Best Served Cold  (Read 2471 times)

Siden Pryde

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #30 on: 11 November 2019, 22:13:58 »
Very enjoyable.  Looking forward to the next installment.

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #31 on: 11 November 2019, 22:18:38 »
Lilly is going to have ISSUES dealing with Natasha beating her AND being gracious about it...

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #32 on: 12 November 2019, 07:19:13 »
Very enjoyable.  Looking forward to the next installment.

Two, maybe three more chapters (depending on what all shakes out. . . Lilly's yanked the narrative in unanticipated directions twice now, and I get the sense she's not done yet), probably an epilogue, and this will be finished.

kelgar04

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #33 on: 12 November 2019, 12:49:36 »
Interesting chapter

I'm curious to how FedCom will react to Clan Wolverine appearing in the IS, the Dracs will probably brown trouser.

FedCom/FedSun fanboy here.

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #34 on: 13 November 2019, 13:11:58 »
-7-

Cameron-Class Battlecruiser Sarah McEvedy, Zenith Jump Point
Rasalhague, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
December 20th, 3051


The shuttle, painted a mottled gray and bearing the crest of Clan Wolf, settled into the docking bay.  The space doors closed, the bay was repressurized, and the access hatch slid open.  Lilly McEvedy, flanked by a Point of Ferals in their W2 BattleArmor, strode into the docking bay.  The shuttle's ramp lowered, and ilKhan Ulric Kerensky emerged, accompanied by a Point of BattleArmor-clad Elementals.

Ulric wore an impressive dress uniform, light olive and dark brown with red highlights and a cape, trimmed in genuine wolf fur.  Lilly found it ostentatious.  She wore black and gray Wolverine fatigues, the only decoration her rank pins on the lapels, the Clan Wolverine patch on her left shoulder, the Remembrance Cluster patch on her right.

Ulric approached and bowed gracefully.  "You must be Star Colonel Lilly McEvedy.  Khan Natasha Kerensky's description was detailed, though it hardly does you justice.  I am ilKhan Ulric Kerensky, permission to come aboard?"  Ulric straightened, an amused smile playing beneath his neatly trimmed goatee.

With great effort, Lilly resisted the urge to wipe that smile off his face with her fist, and nodded as respectfully as she was able.  "Permission granted.  I have orders to escort you to our Khan.  Follow me."

"My honor guard may accompany us, quiaff?"

"Affirmative," Lilly replied, spinning on her heel and marching out of the docking bay.  The heavy clomp of ten armored feet told her the Elementals, at least, were following.

Apparently without any undignified rush, Ulric managed to fall into step beside her, and the Ferals formed an honor guard around them and the Elementals.

"An impressive ship," Ulric said.  "Your Clan flagship, if I am not mistaken, quiaff?"

"That would be classified military intelligence," Lilly replied curtly.

"I am merely making conversation, I intend no disrespect," Ulric said smoothly.

Lilly suppressed a snarl.  If she didn't know better, she'd say Ulric knew exactly how much his attempts to be charming were pissing her off, and he was enjoying it.

The trip to the Khan's office seemed to take forever, with Lilly deflecting or ignoring Ulric's attempts to "make conversation."  Through it all, his sly smile never wavered.

He is enjoying this, the bastard.

Finally, Lilly knocked on the Khan's door, opened it at the command of "Enter," and ushered Ulric inside, motioning for the Ferals and Elementals to wait in the corridor.  Stepping inside, she closed the door.

Ulric didn't break stride as he approached the Khan's desk, but seemed to take in the room's Spartan appointment at a glance and give the faintest nod of approval.

From behind her desk, the Khan rose.  "I am Jennifer McEvedy, Khan of Clan Wolverine."

"Ulric Kerensky, ilKhan of the Clans, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."  Ulric flashed the briefest of looks back at Lilly, immediately noting the family resemblance.

"Be seated," Jennifer said coolly.  She waited until Ulric sat before sitting herself.  "Why have you come, Ulric Kerensky?"

"Straight to the point, then," Ulric said.  Lilly still stood near the door of the Khan's office, but if Ulric was unnerved having an angry Wolverine at his back, he gave no sign.  In fact, he still seemed to find the whole thing entertaining.  Even Natasha Kerensky, the infamous Black Widow, had been unsettled at coming face-to-face with Clan Wolverine, but Ulric. . .

Ulric seemed to think it was funny.

What does he know that we do not? Lilly wondered.

"Khan Natasha informed me of your request.  I am here to commence negotiations to the end of you -- shoving the truth down our throats until we choke, I believe is how the Star Colonel put it."

"Why should you want to offer any assistance to The Not-Named Clan?" Jennifer asked, her voice dripping with sarcastic scorn.

"The truth is always in everyone's best interest," Ulric replied innocently.  "Why should I rest before seeing it brought to light?"

"I do not buy it," Jennifer shot back.  "You have an angle in this, Ulric Kerensky.  What is it, what do you have to gain?"

"The truth, as I have said."

"Then dispense with your half-lies."

Ulric paused, sizing up Khan Jennifer McEvedy once more.  He stroked his goatee, beneath it, his smile widened.  "Very well.  The unvarnished truth it shall be.  Bargained well and done."

Ulric paused, seeming to collect his thoughts.  "If Star Colonel McEvedy's report to you was as thorough as Khan Natasha's was to me, then you know the Clans have been split into two distinct political factions."

Jennifer nodded.  "Wardens and Crusaders.  And let me agree with my daughter's assessment:  We really don't care."

Ulric nodded.  "Understandable.  But for me to explain why I am interested in assisting you, you must understand:  I am a Warden, and the Crusader agenda is toxic to me."

Jennifer shrugged.  "Then go fight over your ideology, kill each other off, and leave the rest of us out of it."

For the first time, Ulric frowned.  "That would be wasteful, and surely you are not so divorced from our founding that you do not understand how awful wastefulness is."

"And invading the Inner Sphere is less wasteful. . . how, exactly?"

"I did not say that.  In fact, it is part of why I find the Crusader agenda so offensive.  But allow me to explain.  In the two-hundred fifty years since you left--"

"Since we were Annihilated," Jennifer corrected harshly.

"--the Clans have grown arrogant, self-confident.  Self-destructively so.  We fight according to the honorable rules of Trial laid down by Nicholas Kerensky, and we win because of our technological superiority over the forces of the Inner Sphere.  But already they are narrowing that advantage, and have learned to use the batchall and zellbrigen against us.  We have suffered defeats, been turned back, lost warriors and equipment.  Should the invasion continue as it is, it is only a matter of time before the tactics and strategy of the Inner Sphere destroys the Clans. . . or the rage of the Clans at being dishonored destroys the Inner Sphere."

"We are neither of the Clans nor the Inner Sphere.  This matters not to us."

"I don't believe that," Ulric replied.  "We have a technological edge on the Inner Sphere -- one you seem to share -- because the Inner Sphere lost much in two and a half centuries of brutal, total warfare.  The Clans are as practiced at the type of war the Inner Sphere brings as we are at decorating pastries."

"If you have a point, Ulric Kerensky, please come to it."

"You have met my Khan, Natasha Kerensky.  She is nearly eighty, hopelessly outmatched by warriors eight and nine generations improved on her in our breeding program, yet she continually bests them in all fields of battle.  The young man with her, Phelan Wolf, is a freeborn from the Inner Sphere, and one of my most promising ristars.  With these two exceptional warriors, I mean to strike at the very foundation of Clan society, to prove the perceived superiority our breeding program affords is precisely that:  perceived superiority."

"So what?"

"You also seek to strike at the foundation of Clan society, the veneration of Nicholas Kerensky and his vision, the awe in which he is held, his status as a savior and prophet and messiah.  I am no fool; I know he was but a man, and had his flaws and ambitions, his prides and prejudices, and I know your people paid the price for them.  I will help you set the record straight; you will help me save the Clans from themselves."

"And what if we're content to watch the Clans destroy themselves?"

Ulric smiled.  "You seek justice for the crimes done to your people.  How does becoming the monsters the stories make you out to be advance that goal?"

To Lilly's surprise, Jennifer smiled in return.  "Is being a good judge of character a trait for which the Clans select?"

"It should be."

"What do you propose?" Jennifer asked.

"I expect the invasion will take a significant," Ulric's grin widened, "and entirely unexpected, turn within thirty days.  Cease your attacks, pull your troops out of the Occupation Zones.  The Grand Council has decreed I should put a stop to the threat of so-called bandits purporting to be of The Not-Named Clan, this will see that task completed.  Then, by the middle of next year, I should be able to get you in front of the Grand Council, to say to them whatever you wish."

Jennifer looked at Lilly.  "Thoughts, Star Colonel?"

Lilly grappled with herself.  The thought of retreating, of running, was repellent.  Yet she knew she had enjoyed success so far because of isolating and smashing small units with superior tactics and firepower, then vanishing before an overwhelming force could react.  But since Turtle Bay, since she'd changed strategy from striking hard then fading away to destroying every Jaguar unit she could find, the increased pitch of combat had taken its toll in machines and warriors.  Despite being assigned another reinforced Trinary of heavy and assault 'Mechs, Pochtli tanks, and Ferals, the repairs to her equipment were increasingly slapdash, her warriors fatigued, injured, even killed.  The Inner Sphere and Clans had both taken almost a year off from the fighting and come back with fresh troops and improved weapons.  The Wolverines had not.

Perhaps it was time to rest, resupply, and rearm.

"That. . . is acceptable, my Khan," Lilly said at last.

Jennifer nodded.  "Then, as you say, it is bargained well and done.  We will return to our staging area and await your word."  Jennifer's icy blue eyes glittered dangerously.  "Do not betray us, ilKhan Kerensky.  Be it the last thing we do in the universe, we will make you regret it."

Ulric Kerensky grinned wolfishly.  "I wouldn't dream of it, Khan McEvedy."

As Lilly escorted Ulric out of the Khan's office, they found the Elementals and Ferals engrossed in deep discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of their respective BattleArmor designs.  Technical specifications and jargon flew past faster than laser fire.

"I believe the saying goes, 'I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship,'" Ulric said with a grin.

Lilly wondered if the ilKhan's Crusader opponents wanted to punch him as frequently as she did.
« Last Edit: 13 November 2019, 19:23:33 by ErikModi »

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #35 on: 13 November 2019, 21:28:12 »
Lilly IS a bit of a crusader, in her own way...  ::)

Siden Pryde

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #36 on: 13 November 2019, 22:21:08 »
Nice chapter.  Wonder what Ulric has planned.  What ever it is, the Grand Council is likely gonna hate it.  Also, I am loving Trollric here.

VhenRa

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #37 on: 14 November 2019, 00:55:44 »
Ulric Kerensky always has an angle. And its usually not exactly obvious at first glance.

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #38 on: 14 November 2019, 06:08:02 »
Lilly IS a bit of a crusader, in her own way...  ::)

Yeah. . . the word "Crusade" started popping up in relation to Lilly's quest against the Clans, and I embraced it.  She's really not so different from them as she likes to think, as this chapter should highlight (despite her, literally, being in the background for the bulk of it).

Edit: I also wasn't sure what Ulric had up his sleeve, but. . . he's Ulric Mother Kerensky, he's got the whole deck plus three aces.
« Last Edit: 14 November 2019, 13:28:27 by ErikModi »

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #39 on: 14 November 2019, 14:40:55 »
-8-

WarShip Dire Wolf, Transfer Orbit
Diosd, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
June 12th, 3052


The Grand Council, fourteen Khans of the invading Clans attending in person, the others via real-time HPG relay from the homeworlds, had just decided to honor ilKhan Ulric Kerensky's truce with ComStar and retain him in the office of ilKhan.  Lilly had all but laughed at some of their arguments, particularly that Ulric "has assured his dominance over us in a way that Nicholas Kerensky never intended when he created the office of ilKhan."  Knowing what she did about how Nicholas had used his authority as ilKhan, that assertion was hilariously ignorant.

"There is one more piece of business this Grand Council should resolve before adjourning," Ulric said.  "I was tasked by this Council with resolving the threat of bandits purporting to be of The Not-Named Clan.  I have done this, and ascertained the truth behind them.  To ensure the Council is properly informed to decide how best to respond moving forward, to give testimony before this Council I present Star Colonel Lilly McEvedy of Clan Wolverine."

Gasps of shock and cries of outrage met the taboo name, and Phelan would swear Ulric had taken a perverse pleasure in speaking it out loud before the assembled Khans.

A door opened, and Lilly entered the chamber.  The sight of the assembled Khans in their ceremonial leathers and Clan totem masks stunned her momentarily, made her feel inadequately attired for the occasion, until she wrapped her military bearing and training about herself.  I wear the fatigues of a true warrior, not the ceremonial garb of one who plays at war through ritual.

Everyone in the chamber was too stunned to make any objection until Lilly had mounted the dais beside the ilKhan.  Then, however, they came fast and furious.  The shouts mingled together in a cacophony, with only a few single words intelligible.  Words like "treason," "traitor," "monster," and "annihilation."

"She cannot speak here!" Khan Lincoln Osis managed to be heard above the others, largely due to his sheer lung capacity as an Elemental.  "The Not-Named Clan was Annihilated!  They no longer exist!  They have no standing and must be killed on sight!  THAT IS THE LAW!"

Ulric stroked his goatee, waiting patiently for the Khans to exhaust themselves.  Once they were reduced to venomous glares through their enameled masks, Ulric spoke calmly.  "We are still under the Martial Code as set forth by Nicholas Kerensky.  As such, any individual, regardless of their current standing under Clan law, may give testimony before the Grand Council at the discretion of the ilKhan.  This is to prevent petty politics from keeping this body from hearing that which it needs to hear."

"I refuse!" the Snow Raven Khan shouted through the viewscreen.  "Refuse!  Refuse refuse refuse!"  Lilly had to stifle a smile as she pictured him petulantly stomping his foot outside the view of the camera.

"Declare all the Trials you wish," Ulric replied.  "Once the testimony has been heard, and there is something to declare a Trial against."

Uproar again filled the chamber, and Ulric and Lilly again waited patiently for it to die down.  Lilly had known walking into the lion's den -- or Wolf's den, as the case may be -- stood a good chance of being a one-way trip, but this. . . this was worth it.

Finally, the noise in the chamber died down again.  "Now, if you are all quite finished, I give Star Colonel McEvedy the floor."

It was several more minutes of caterwauling before Lilly could speak, and when she did, she launched into the story of Clan Wolverine -- the real story.  It was a tale she knew by heart, and she had refreshed herself on it again and again on her journey here, to ensure she told it as completely and accurately as possible.  Shouts of protest arose at several points, but Lilly refused to rest until she'd told the whole story. . . even the parts where the Wolverines were, unequivocally, at fault.  The truth was of greatest importance to Clan Wolverine.

Immediately after finishing her story, the accusations flew.

"There is no proof!" the Snow Raven Khan cried.  "It is lies, lies made to cover their evil!"

"Actually, there is," Ulric said, holding up a holodisc.  "The private diaries of Nicholas Kerensky have long been the sole property of Clan Wolf, available to its Khans.  They paint a somewhat different picture than Star Colonel McEvedy. . . and a drastically different one than the official history.  But they corroborate much of what the Star Colonel says, and the discrepancies are easily attributed to Nicholas Kerensky not being in possession of all the facts.  After all, if he had known in what numbers Clan Wolverine escaped his judgment, they would not have."

"They were Annihilated!" Lincoln Osis shouted, pounding his massive fist on the table.  "They are The Not-Named Clan!  We will not recognize them!"

"As if we want to be part of your collective of bellicose arrogance," Lilly shot back.  "We are quite happy with what we have made for ourselves, far from you and the so-called 'great vision' of Nicholas Kerensky.  But remember this well:" Lilly leveled a finger at the assembled Khans.  "You made us monsters.  You made us your nightmare.  Reject the truth now, and you abdicate your right to complain when we embrace it.  In the black gulf between stars, we lurk.  Behind the next hill of every world, we wait.  Every time you claim a prize, you can lie awake at night wondering when Clan Wolverine will come and take it away."

"We are the Clans!" Osis roared.  "We are seventeen, you are but one!  You cannot hope to match our breeding, our training, our equipment!  You have no chance to stand against us!"

"Yeah," Lilly replied with a sadistically gleeful grin.  "And doesn't that just scare you to death, query affirmative?"

No outrage or shouting answered.  Only stunned, fearful silence.

"I believe that is sufficient," Ulric said into the silence.  "The witness is excused."

"She is not!" Lincoln Osis snapped.  "I declare--"

"Star Colonel McEvedy, I offer you hegira."

Everyone in the chamber gaped at Natasha Kerensky, thoroughly confused.

With a grin, Natasha elaborated.  "Star Colonel McEvedy challenged me to a Trial of Grievance over this very matter when we first met, when I was gathering intelligence on the Wolverines for the ilKhan.  I won.  That means it is my right, and mine alone, to grant her safe passage from this place."

Lincoln Osis' fists knotted, he looked on the verge of a rage-induced stroke.  "That's not how hegira works!"

"Isn't it?" Natasha asked calmly.

Lilly nodded.  "I accept your offer, Khan Natasha Kerensky."  Lilly made her way out of the chamber with as much haste as dignity allowed, leaving Lincoln Osis and his apoplectic rage far behind.

Castle Brian, Codename "Tiki"
Cabanatuan, Clan Wolverine Staging Area
August 7th, 3052


"Mommy!"

Grinning from ear to ear, Lilly slipped her bag from her shoulder and knelt to catch her daughter in her arms.  Alexia had grown so much in the years apart, Lilly could scarcely believe it.

Rising, cuddling not-so-little Alexia close, she leaned in to kiss Andrei on the cheek.  "I am glad you made it."

"It was a long trip, but we are glad to be here."

"I can see that," Lilly replied, nuzzling her daughter's cute little nose.

Andrei moved to pry Alexia from Lilly's arms, something the MechWarrior resisted.  "The Khan permitted us to greet you only if I passed on the message that, before you can begin your leave, she must meet with you."

Lilly snarled.  "I'll make it as quick as I can."

Andrei smiled, finally wresting the pouting Alexia from her mother's grasp.  "I have no doubt."

Ten Minutes Later

"You asked to see me, my Khan?" Lilly asked.

"I did.  I first want to congratulate you again for your behavior before the Clan Grand Council.  You certainly gave them something to think about."

"Were they prone to thinking, I would agree."

Jennifer McEvedy smiled.  "True.  In your absence, there has been much interest directed our way.  See for yourself."  The Khan cued up the holodisc player, tilting the screen toward Lilly.

A tall, slender man, aged with long white hair, an eyepatch over his right eye and dressed in flowing white robes appeared.  "I am Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht of ComStar.  I extend greetings to the warriors known as Clan Wolverine.  It has come to my attention that you have persecuted your own private war against the Clans during their invasion.  I hereby invite your leader, or such delegates as you see fit, to visit Terra under my personal pledge of safe conduct, there to discuss with myself and the new Primus potential alliance and response to Clan aggression, now and in the future.  Should you not wish to travel so far, I am prepared to meet with you personally on any world you care to name.  I eagerly await your reply."

The message ended and another began, this one featuring a young man whose uniform, proud military bearing, and short blonde hair made him look as though he could be Lilly's younger brother if she had one.  "Hello, I am Prince Victor Steiner-Davion sending this message on behalf of Archon-Princess Melissa Steiner of the Federated Commonwealth.  I understand I was mistaken to believe only I had the boldness to take the fight to the Clans.  I would very much like to discuss tactics, strategy, logistics, and equipment with your forces in preparation for renewed hostilities with the Clans.  Working together, we can safeguard not just the Federated Commonwealth, but the whole of the Inner Sphere."

Another message, this one from a severe but serene-looking Japanese man.  "Greetings.  I am Theodore Kurita, gunji-no-kanrei of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery.  It has come to my attention that you have attacked Smoke Jaguar targets on worlds they have taken from the Combine.  This pleases me.  I should like to meet with you to discuss the terms by which I shall permit you to move freely through Combine space to continue your raids, as well as joint operations against the Smoke Jaguars on worlds formerly belonging to the Combine.  Sumimasen."

Yet another, now from a young Chinese man.  "I am Sun-Tzu Liao, and I bring greetings from the Celestial Throne of the Capellan Confederation.  Pay no mind to any rumors you may have heard of me or my realm; the Confederation remains strong, willing and able to defend itself.  I believe there is much we can offer each other through trade of information and technology.  We have much in common, I think, upon which to build a true and lasting friendship in these uncertain times.  Should we become such friends, I assure you, any gains for the Capellan Confederation would be gains for Clan Wolverine."

When no new message appeared, Lilly raised her eyebrows.  "Three. . . well, technically four heads of Successor States, plus the man who personally embarrassed the Clans off Tukayyid.  What did we do to get so popular?"

The Khan shrugged.  "We are a wild card, which makes us the most valuable one in a deck everyone knows by heart.  The question is, how shall we respond?"

Lilly kept her promise to keep the meeting as short as possible, which meant it was late the next day before she saw her little girl again.
« Last Edit: 14 November 2019, 18:29:16 by ErikModi »

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #40 on: 14 November 2019, 21:34:21 »
Wild card indeed!  ;D  :thumbsup:

mikecj

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #41 on: 15 November 2019, 14:28:04 »
And... let the insanity begin as 16 Clans lose their minds.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

gladius

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #42 on: 16 November 2019, 05:40:46 »
Damn. A certain Baroness would actually like the cut of these Wolvie jibs ... and be a bit (quietly) jealous of how the Scrap Lords are rushing to woo them.

Although she would be rather disappointed in Lilly’s little brawl with Natasha. “You had the chance to end her, and you lost by playing by the rules. Next time, just shoot the bitch.”

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #43 on: 16 November 2019, 06:13:57 »
Damn. A certain Baroness would actually like the cut of these Wolvie jibs ... and be a bit (quietly) jealous of how the Scrap Lords are rushing to woo them.

Although she would be rather disappointed in Lilly’s little brawl with Natasha. “You had the chance to end her, and you lost by playing by the rules. Next time, just shoot the bitch.”

Are we talking a BattleTech Baroness, or someone else altogether?

But Lilly needed Natasha and Phelan to carry her message to the Clans.  Rearranging Natasha's face was a purely personal endeavor.

Not that the Wolverines expected someone from the Clans to come and parlay with them, or that the would get the chance to tell their side of things before the Grand Council.  The point of the operation, once Lilly started sigil spamming the Wolverine emblem, was to force the Clans to recognize that their history may not be as accurate as they think.  They were basically hoping to make the Clans take a good hard look at themselves, and then maybe the truth would come out.  Ulric helped them do it in a way they never imagined.

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #44 on: 16 November 2019, 06:29:59 »
Epilogue

Text Message, HPG Relay Broadcast
The Inner Sphere
August 12th, 3052


We are Clan Wolverine.

Yes, we have attacked the Clans, mostly Smoke Jaguar, in their occupation zones.  Yes, we will continue to do so.  Our reasons for this, our goals, our history, who we were, who we have become, and why, is for us and us alone.

We care not for Wardens and Crusaders, Successor Lords and Succession Wars, First Lords and Star Leagues.  We stand apart, to walk our own path.  It may intersect with yours, but we will not be drawn into the politics and squabbles and infighting that have dominated humanity for so long.  One day, perhaps, humanity will again be ready for the great dream that was the Star League.  On that day, perhaps, we will become again what we once were:  The 331st “North American” Royal BattleMech Division of the Star League Defense Force.  But that day is not today.

Do not seek us out; we will not be found.  Do not try to negotiate with us; we will not hear you.  Do not stand in our way; we will not spare you.

We are Clan Wolverine.  We stand alone, and proudly so.

Annihilation Shrine
Barbados
The Deep Periphery
June 23rd, 3058


“And Clan Wolf forms the keystone of the arch,” Galaxy Commander Lilly McEvedy Walter said, pointing at the top stone.

“Why does it have two symbols?” Alexia asked.

Lilly smiled at the freshly-carved addition to the capstone.  “Because of Clan Wolf-In-Exile.  Like us, they oppose the Clans.  But whether we have anything else in common. . . well, time will tell.”

“That is why it is not marked out like the other symbols, query affirmative?”

“Affirmative.  We may yet etch out the sigil of Clan Wolf-In-Exile.  But. . . we may not.”

Turtle Bay
June 25th, 3059


Komban-wa, Jinjiro MacLeod-san.”

Komban-wa, Khan Lilly McEvedy-sama.”

“Your crops seem to be doing well.”

“Thanks to your assistance.  Our struggle to survive has been made much easier by your relief, we owe you a debt we cannot repay.”

“The debt is ours,” Lilly answered.  “We have parted ways, but the Clans are still our people, we bear the shame of their actions.”

“No,” MacLeod replied.  “You do not.”

“My Khan!” Galaxy Commander Robina MacLeish Jung-Ja interrupted, running up.  “JumpShips in-system, they’ve launched DropShips which are burning for Turtle Bay!”

“Comms?” Lilly asked.

“None as yet,” Robina replied, following as Lilly marched into the Great Hope.  Upon reaching the bridge, she found that communications had just been established.

“This is Colonel Tikov Recardni of the Star League Defense Force.  With what forces shall you defend the world of Turtle Bay?”

Lilly smiled, having heard news of this “Second Star League” and their intent to drive off the Clans once and for all.  “This is saKhan Lilly McEvedy Walter of Clan Wolverine, and we decline to contest the Star League claim on this planet.  You may begin landing your forces at your discretion.”

Exiting the Great Hope, Lilly found Jinjiro MacLeod once more.  “It appears,” she said with a smile, “our work here is finally done.  Your liberation is incoming.”

Jinjiro bowed.  “Arigato, Khan Lilly McEvedy-sama.  Know that Clan Wolverine shall always be welcome on Turtle Bay.”

Radstadt, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
March 7th, 3061


“Bandits are still incoming.”

“I can see that!” Star Commander Borris snapped.  “I need identification!  Tell me who they are!”  Tell me it is not them.

MechWarrior Sergei deftly zipped his Ice Ferret forward, into a small stand of trees, his ‘Mech’s sensors reaching out towards the hostile forces approaching the scout Star.  “It is them, Star Commander,” he said at last.  “The ‘Mechs and tanks bear the crest and colors of The Not-Named Clan.”

Borris switched immediately to the Cluster’s emergency frequency.  “This is Star Commander Borris of Dagger Star, requesting immediate reinforcements to sector 0707, we are under attack.  Repeat--”

“Yell all you like, Star Commander,” a voice broke in on an open channel.  “It will do you no good.”

“We are Clan Wolf!” Borris shot back.  “We will not be intimidated by the likes of you!  We Annihilated you once, we will do it again!”

“Affirmative, you are Wolves.  But what are we?”

WOLVERINES!
« Last Edit: 16 November 2019, 08:54:13 by ErikModi »

gladius

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #45 on: 16 November 2019, 07:56:20 »
Are we talking a BattleTech Baroness, or someone else altogether?

But Lilly needed Natasha and Phelan to carry her message to the Clans.  Rearranging Natasha's face was a purely personal endeavor.

Not that the Wolverines expected someone from the Clans to come and parlay with them, or that the would get the chance to tell their side of things before the Grand Council.  The point of the operation, once Lilly started sigil spamming the Wolverine emblem, was to force the Clans to recognize that their history may not be as accurate as they think.  They were basically hoping to make the Clans take a good hard look at themselves, and then maybe the truth would come out.  Ulric helped them do it in a way they never imagined.
Apologies, was referencing my Baroness Juliette von Strang OC, surviving heir to Von Strang’s World, borderline sociopath and very ruthless anti Clan crusader.

She’d likely be a little confused by the sentiment. “Who cares what that bunch of pirates and animals think about your ancestors? You know the truth. Kill them or don’t. Fight them or don’t. But don’t play with them, and especially not by their rules: that only plays into their hands, where they have the advantage. And whatever you do, don’t show weakness ... like throwing a tantrum, challenging a legendary warrior to a fistfight then LOSING to an octogenarian. Just shoot her and move on, if it means that much to you. Find something more productive to do, like hamstring their supply lines.”

... sorry, didn’t mean to derail. Excellent story, and I’m keen to see more.
« Last Edit: 16 November 2019, 08:02:46 by gladius »

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #46 on: 16 November 2019, 08:19:45 »
Apologies, was referencing my Baroness Juliette von Strang OC, surviving heir to Von Strang’s World, borderline sociopath and very ruthless anti Clan crusader.

She’d likely be a little confused by the sentiment. “Who cares what that bunch of pirates and animals think about your ancestors? You know the truth. Kill them or don’t. Fight them or don’t. But don’t play with them, and especially not by their rules: that only plays into their hands, where they have the advantage. And whatever you do, don’t show weakness ... like throwing a tantrum, challenging a legendary warrior to a fistfight then LOSING to an octogenarian. Just shoot her and move on, if it means that much to you. Find something more productive to do, like hamstring their supply lines.”

... sorry, didn’t mean to derail. Excellent story, and I’m keen to see more.

Hmm, sounds interesting!

And no worries.  But I think this story is finished.  I'm not up on my BT history past the Great Refusal, and it took me way too long to even get caught up that far (Twilight of the Clans is rather a wade).

gladius

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #47 on: 16 November 2019, 08:44:48 »
True: I never really bothered to read past the FedCom civil war ... it just ... eh.

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #48 on: 16 November 2019, 08:51:43 »
Sorry to see it end, but that's a good epilogue.  :thumbsup:

DOC_Agren

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #49 on: 16 November 2019, 10:40:59 »
 :'( :'( :'(  sad to see this is the end
But it was a good story
"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!"

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #50 on: 16 November 2019, 11:45:44 »
Thank you all, I'm very glad you enjoyed.

Apologies, was referencing my Baroness Juliette von Strang OC, surviving heir to Von Strang’s World, borderline sociopath and very ruthless anti Clan crusader.

And yes. . . Juliette and Lilly would either be best friends, or try and kill each other.  Or be best friends who only occasionally try to kill each other affectionately.

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #51 on: 17 November 2019, 08:12:01 »
So, for those who care, a little OOC update on what the Wolverines get up to technologically during and after the Clan invasion.

They don't upgrade to Omni technology.  The supply line issues are a problem; they have considerable, but not unlimited, resources, and upgrading their whole force to Omni technology would be an extreme burden.  They're happy with their Wolverine-tech upgrades to Inner Sphere 'Mech designs and their own in-house constructions, like the Pulverizer.  And they're in love with the C3 system, since it works perfectly for their kind of "high-efficiency" combat style, and those are a bit hard to find in OmniPods.

Speaking of, Wolverine Scientists are working on improving the C3 system.  A prototype Master computer weighs only three tons and takes only three crits, but they're buggy and temperamental and not ready for deployment anytime soon.  They're also working on a "Trinary C3" that would network fifteen units (especially once BattleArmor C3 becomes available, the offboard artillery get no benefit from C3 so don't mount it), but are making zero progress.

They also don't get past Light BattleArmor.  I had what I thought was a cool design for a Medium Feral suit, managing to keep the Stealth Armor, upgrade to Manipulators, and keep the Support PPC, putting two Mauser 960s in Anti-Personnel mounts, one on each arm.  Then I realized BattleArmor can only make one Anti-Personnel attack (even if they're attacking 'Mechs) so dual-wielding Mausers against Clan 'Mechs, while awesome, was impossible.  Oh, well.  Plus, without a breeding program to create an Elemental phenotype, I figure Light BattleArmor is the best practical choice for anyone in Clan Wolverine who wants to be infantry.

But the standard Wolverine order of battle becomes based on the "Reinforced Trinary:"  Two Stars of 'Mechs or 'Mechs and vehicles, an Artillery Star, and a Feral Star.  It's not quite the Clans' Supernova Trinary (which assigns a BattleArmor Star to each 'Mech Star), but more than a regular Trinary. . . technically, it's a "Quadrinary" or something.  Oh, minor organizational note (and you may have picked up on this if you were paying really close attention):  Clan Wolverine discards a lot of the Clan Cultural Posturing designation of Points.  By which I mean, only an idiot thinks something like a Demolisher tank is worth half a BattleMech.  So for Clan Wolverine, a Star is five 'Mechs, vehicles, or AeroSpace fighters (though that one still doesn't quite sit well with me. . . a big deal in fighter combat is "never, ever leave your wingman," and base five means there's always someone without a wingman.  Not sure if they just coordinate those five fighters really well to the point they function as one, or what.)  So technically, the Reinforced Trinary is just a Trinary if one of the Stars and the Artillery Star are vehicles, because that would be one Star by "proper" Clan reckoning.  This makes Wolverine Trinaries really flexible:  put some fast vehicles in with Assault 'Mechs for flanking and spotting (as with the two Zephyrs in Lilly's Command Trinary), back up some fast Medium 'Mechs with a wall of barely-mobile vehicular slaughter (as in Striker Trinary), you know, whatever works.  And those stealthy little Ferals are always a big surprise for any fast unit who thinks it can score a cheap shot at someone's rear.

Otherwise, they'll pretty much keep up with the tech developments post-Invasion, buying, salvaging, or stealing bits of shiny that catch their fancy.

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #52 on: 17 November 2019, 08:17:11 »
The one aspect of Omni technology I'd think they'd go for would be the ability to carry BA for free.  Call them Omnis, but have all the equipment be fixed...  ^-^

Sir Chaos

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #53 on: 17 November 2019, 09:30:27 »
Regarding fighters... maybe the base unit of deployment of fighters is the binary, not the star - i.e. 10 fighters instead of 5.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #54 on: 17 November 2019, 11:33:24 »
They're iconoclasts, so maybe a Fighter Star is six units instead of five...

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #55 on: 17 November 2019, 13:31:08 »
Or, if they must split, they split in two and three. . . *shrug* I dunno, I don't get AeroSpace (hence the complete lack of space combat here).

gladius

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #56 on: 17 November 2019, 20:35:28 »
They're iconoclasts, so maybe a Fighter Star is six units instead of five...
Fighter Stars are usually ten units, as a Point is two fighters.

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #57 on: 17 November 2019, 20:55:49 »
Right, but he was saying they don't do that.

ErikModi

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #58 on: 17 November 2019, 21:00:31 »
Because, really, AeroSpace fighters are one of the few units, ton for ton, that's just as effective as a BattleMech (and not usually hampered by rules designed to decrease their effectiveness vis-a-vis 'Mechs).

Daryk

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Re: Best Served Cold
« Reply #59 on: 17 November 2019, 21:07:35 »
That makes total sense, and using six in a "Star" would fit perfectly in a Leopard CV.