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Author Topic: Renegades  (Read 15035 times)

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #90 on: 14 November 2021, 05:07:24 »
Guest character by KayEmm

Jack Hennessey
Position/Rank: Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Dark Suns
Birth Year: 3118

A gambler, adventurer, scoundrel and likely frequent liar, Jack Hennessey has managed to get by and indeed even succeed as much on skill and ability as simple luck.

Much of his past is questionable, and has to be taken on his claims rather than any solid evidence. He claims to have been born in the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth, but that most of the records of his background were lost or destroyed in the downfall of that nation. Supposedly of humble origins, he claims that he worked his way upwards on the back of his hard work. However, it is just as likely that his successes came simply by lying and cheating his way though life.

Jack claims to have trained at the Hero Training Institute, itself already a dubious organisation that focuses more on quantity of graduates and how much they pay for their education than any actual quality. If such was indeed the case then it would be a good match for Jack’s background and skills. Regardless of where he learned his trade, he proved to be a capable MechWarrior in his own right, showing not only skill with fast-moving and agile BattleMechs, but also considerable creativity in his battlefield tactics.

Having somehow escaped the fall of the Commonwealth, Hennessey managed to acquire a BattleMech through dubious and possibly illegal means. He found employment with several minor mercenary units, usually staying with them for a single contract before moving on. In several cases, his departure came under dubious circumstances, with Jack managing to only just stay ahead of his former employers. Despite this, he managed to remain confident and unshaken, continuing to play the part of the charming rogue.

His biggest break came in 3143 when he was hired by the Dark Suns. At that point the unit was rebuilding from its near-destruction, and its commander, Kari Moreno, could ill-afford to be picky in her recruits. While she was initially dubious of Jack as a person, he quickly proved his skills on the battlefield as a member of the unit’s restructured strike lance. In his first engagement with the unit on Bass, Jack managed to tie up a lance of Canopian heavy tanks that were more focused on him with his fast-moving, hit and fade attacks. This move created an opening for the Dark Suns’ heavier ‘Mechs to isolate and destroy the lance with little effort before hitting their objective.

Such tactics would serve him well in other battles as well, so much so that in 3145 Jack was promoted to take command of the unit’s Recon lance after a reshuffle of their roster. This move was both a recognition of his skills as well as a move by Kari Moreno to curb some of his more dubious personality traits by giving him added responsibilities. Surprisingly, Jack took well to the new role, maturing as both an officer and a person.

While his skills on the battlefield have been key to the Dark Suns’ successes, he has also aided the unit in a number of other ways. Jack has become infamous for his ‘scouting’ missions, which often involve him sneaking off for opportunities to gamble and carouse, bit also have proven to be an invaluable source of information for the unit. For example, on Kendall, one of these ‘missions’ created an opening for the Dark Suns to extract hostages and then remove a Marian force from the town that they were occupying.

Despite hiss freewheeling nature, Jack also knows when to restrain himself. While he does find Kari Moreno attractive, he has also chosen to restrain himself around her, figuring that flirting with his commander would not work out well. Recently he has begun a relationship with Kat Stavia, one of the Suns’ other officers, with Jack so far proving to be oddly sincere towards her.

PXH-9 Phoenix Hawk Venom II

Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Earthworks PXH II Endo Steel
Powerplant: Hermes 270 XL
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 96 kph
Jump Jets: 45i Improved Jump jets
   Jump Capacity: 240 meters
Armour: Durallex Light with CASE II
Armament:
      Diverse Optics Type 35PX Large X-Pulse Laser
      2 Harmon Medium Lasers
      2 Sperry/Browning Machine Guns
Comm System: Tek Battlecomm
T&T System: Tek Tru-Track

When Jack Hennessey joined the Dark Suns, he bought with him a PHX-3D Phoenix Hawk that he had nicknamed Venom. Much like its pilot, there were a number of questions hanging over the BattleMech’s head. While Jack claimed that he had won the ‘Mech in a card game, suspicions arose first that he had cheated and then that he might not have even acquired it that way at all. And while Venom’s serial number did match to a known ‘Mech, that unit also had holes in its service history, including the years before Jack supposedly won it.

Regardless of these questions, there was little doubt as to Jack’s skills with the BattleMech. In his hands, Venom was a fast-moving, agile and responsive platform, with Jack using its mobility to flank and harass enemies. He was particularly skilled with its jump jets, able to maintain accurate fire while in motion while also avoiding hiss opponents. Jack’s own risky habits would, for the most part, pay off, allowing him to pull off moves that others would have balked at.

Despite his skill, Venom was destroyed by Jade Falcon forces during the Arcturus debacle. Not wanting to see him remain dispossessed, Kari Moreno acquired a new PXH-9 as a replacement. While having less firepower than the prior version, Jack appreciated the new model for its expanded mobility and the devastating accuracy of its pulse lasers. As a nod of the head towards his prior machine, he dubbed the new ‘Mech Venom II.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #91 on: 14 November 2021, 05:11:57 »
Shamus Flannigan

Position/Rank: Centurion
Affiliation/Unit: Marian Hegemony/III Legio
Birth Year: 3122

From the moment of his birth, Shamus Flannigan was fighting to advance himself against his circumstances. Born to a poor farming family on Algenib, he had few opportunities for advancement in the highly stratified Marian society. Rather than spending his life working the land for a marginal existence, he chose to enlist with the MHAF, seeing it as being his only real option to get ahead in life.

His plan would bear almost immediate fruit. Rather than becoming an infantryman or tank crew as expected, Shamus showed skills as a MechWarrior that saw him recommended for further training. With the recent reformation of the Free Worlds League, the Hegemony was looking to expand the readiness of its forces and could ill-afford to overlook such opportunities, regardless of the social standing of such recruits. Consequentially, Shamus would graduate as a MechWarrior and be assigned to a position within III Legio Limitanei.

This would prove to be a boon to Shamus, as the unit was one of the most active within the Hegemony’s ranks. III Legio was engaged in constant raids targeted at the Free Worlds League, ones that were supposedly aimed at gathering resources and supplies for the Hegemony while gathering information on their enemies. In practice, however, the unit would engage in unrestrained looting of their targets for whatever luxury goods they could carry off. For Shamus, these raids proved to be a boon, with him using his position to line his pockets. When not deployed and despite being in military service, he soon found that he was living a far more comfortable life than he had at home.

The combination of Shamus’ skills as a MechWarrior as well as his obvious greed bought him to the attention of his immediate commander, Principes Zebidiah Craine. The two of them quickly formed an alliance of mutual convenience; Shamus would provide Craine with information and rumours from among the rank and file members of the Legion. In turn, Craine would ensure that Shamus would be well rewarded, and would do his best to aid his career. While his advancement was limited due to plebian background, Shamus quickly found himself promoted to the rank of centurion as a result of his efforts.

This alliance would pay off for the pair of them during the debacle on Kendall, where III Legio’s forces were defeated by the Dark Suns mercenary force. After the Legion retreated off-world with considerable casualties and little to show for it, Shamus helped manufacture evidence to redirect blame for the failure. With his aid, Zebidiah Craine and Legatus Jamaal Sleen were able to frame the conveniently deceased Principes Troy Traviss for the loss while protecting their own positions. Shamus was further rewarded by Craine, receiving a not-inconsiderable payout from what bounty they were able to take.

Despite this boon, Shamus found that his career had stalled in the aftermath. Lacking the social standing or title to advance further, he realised that he was effectively stranded at the rank of Centurion. As such, he enthusiastically supported the Hegemony’s invasion of the Free Worlds League, seeing an opportunity to line his own pockets from the expected plunder, if nothing else.

On Gibraltar, Shamus would prove his worth on the battlefield, using his Firestarter to wreak havoc on the militia forces that the Legion faced. However, once the world was supposedly secured, he found that his dreams of wealth fell far short of reality as he and the rest of the Legion were first caught in a protracted guerrilla war against insurgents, and then cut off and isolated from the rest of the Hegemony. As a result, for the moment, he remains in the field, hoping for the day that the Legion’s situation improves.

FS9-M2 Firestarter

Mass: 35 tons
Chassis: Foundation Ultralight Endo Steel
Powerplant: GM 210
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 97 kph
Jump Jets: Luxor Load Lifters
   Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armour: Durallex Nova
Armament:
      6 Hotshot Flamers
      1 Defiance Model XII ER Medium Laser
Comm System: Cyclops 14
T&T System: Cyclops 9

The Firestarter was initially developed as a specialised incendiary warfare ‘Mech, employed in both scorched-earth and anti-infantry roles. While a number of variations exist, almost all of them retain the BattleMech’s distinctive flamer armament. The FS9-M2 variant, developed for the mercenary and Periphery markets, takes this choice to its logical extreme, mounting half a dozen flamers at the expense of almost all of its other weapons.

The example piloted by Shamus Flannigan had been purchased new, and had since passed through several MechWarriors before he was assigned to it. While disappointed at being issued a light BattleMech, and such a specialised one at that, Shamus was determined to make the most of his situation. He practiced hard with his BattleMech in order to master its abilities in the hope that he would be promoted or rewarded with a heavier machine. In particular he became adept at using its flamers to maximum effect against both their intended targets and other BattleMechs.

During the Kendall debacle, these skills proved to be invaluable not only for him, but for the entire cohort. On several occasions he started massive grass fires, both to distract enemies and to create cover for the Marians’ movements, especially during their forced retreat. In his most daring move, he crippled and very nearly disabled Kari Moreno’s Black Knight by consonantly bathing the heavy BattleMech in flames, pushing it towards shutdown. The move nearly cost him his own BattleMech and his life, but helped to slow the Dark Suns and buy time for his cohort to escape.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #92 on: 19 November 2021, 05:08:30 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Seeing a Man about a Dog

Montenegro District, Solaris City
Solaris VII
Wolf Empire
3 September 3150


It was raining in Solaris City. It always rained in Solaris City.

The brilliant neons of the buildings and adverts reflected on the drenched streets, creating a vibrant kaleidoscope that contrasted with the stark greys of the buildings. Advertisements of all kinds blurred together, covering everything from soft drinks to military weapons. However, in among all that color, one symbol stood out.
An orange wolf’s head.

It was a symbol that Ariel Lamicheck was very much aware of as they quietly made their way along the street. Head down, hands in their pockets, they didn’t stand out, which was exactly what they wanted right now. Rather than being a somewhat infamous contender, for the moment they were simply another nighttime pedestrian making their way home in the rain.

This part of Montenegro was better than others, which was a statement that amounted to damning with faint praise. It largely consisted of same-y, grey blocks, built cheaply with an eye to functionality rather than any aesthetic appeal. The buildings were drab, worn and grimy, with little to distinguish them beyond their blinking neons. Those people on the street very rarely paid any attention to their fellows, instead keeping their heads down and making their way to their destinations.

Ariel headed into one building, again with only a sign to make it stand out from all the others around it. Inside was a bar that was every bit as drab and functional as its surroundings. Dimly lit, its furniture and fittings were functional. The few patrons didn’t pay them any heed as they entered, instead remaining fixed on their drinks. Above all else, it was quiet, with only the most minimal of muted conversations.

After a perfunctory engagement to get a drink from the bar, Ariel took a place in one of the side booths. Only a few minutes later, a man sat down opposite them. Rough featured with close-cropped dark hair, his face was pockmarked and accentuated by a ragged, half-missing ear. “Ariel Lamicheck,” he began. “Glad you could make it.”

“I had nothing better to do with my time,” they replied, their tone cautiously neutral.

“You made quite a splash with that last match of yours,” he continued. “I gather that Star Captain Jerund was not thrilled with you before it, and even less thrilled afterwards.”

Ariel shrugged. “I don’t know if they took offence at my words, my choice of ‘Mech or my fashion. Either way, they picked a fight.”

“Now why would he be upset about a jacket with a wolf-fur collar,” he chuckled. “Either way, you dealt him a humiliating defeat.”

“He had it coming.”

“As did the other Wolves that you have also defeated recently, I assume.”

Ariel gave a nonchalant shrug. “They feel like they can challenge anyone at any time. I just took them up on that offer.”

“And in doing so you made a few enemies.”

“If they can’t take a loss, they shouldn’t have challenged me in the first place,” Ariel simply replied.

“Aren’t you worried that this could backfire on you?”

“My concern is dealing with my real opponents. The Wolves are just a distraction.”

“And yet, you seem to put a lot of time into deliberately annoying our beloved protectors,” he continued with another rueful challenge. “Someone might think you didn’t enjoy their benevolent guidance.”

“Do you have a point here?” Ariel asked, a hint of impatience coloring their tone.

The man glanced around for a moment before leaning inwards. “You are not the only person who isn’t thrilled with the state of affairs here.”

“So I had gathered,” Ariel noted.

“I have… friends who could be helpful to you,” he continued. “And in turn you could be helpful to them.”

“What sort of help are we talking about?”

“Parts, supplies and tech that the Wolves have tried to cut off the flow of,” he explained. “Everything you need to get an edge over your opponents.”

“And in return?”

“Your position as a rising star gives you access to people and places,” the man suggested. “Especially with the upcoming Tharonja’s Bacon Cup.”

“I see what you’re saying here,” Ariel nodded. “I think that we might have similar goals here. And I would like to hear more.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #93 on: 19 November 2021, 05:11:14 »
Putting on a Show

Dhruma
Al Jubalyah
15 September 3150


As she sat in the cockpit of her Cataphract, Lanie King couldn’t help but give a quiet sigh. There are some traditions of the trade that I could do without, she quietly considered as she examined her surroundings. I understand why I'm here, but I’d still rather be anywhere else.

Not that her BattleMech showed even the slightest hint of that reluctance. Instead, the towering war machine proceeded on its way, slowly walking through the city streets. Around her she could see the low-rise buildings that typified Dhruma, along with the plethora of tent-like awnings that stretched out over its footpaths. And while she couldn’t see them from up here, she knew that under those awnings there would be crowds of people, watching her and cheering her on.

Not just me, Lanie reminded herself. The rest of King’s Tigers were formed up behind her, parading through the streets in a slow pace. Her Cataphract headed up the other BattleMechs of Lion Company, with the tanks of Jaguar Company behind them. Following those were the mixture of light APCs and battle armour that made up Wildcat Company, including a quartet of VTOLs that were buzzing overhead.

There was no doubting that they made for an impressive sight. The Tigers’ units had all been fresh painted for the parade, sporting an appropriate desert tan camouflage scheme that was broken up only by the tiger-stripe splashes on their flanks. And that was, of course the entire point of this display.

Her unit had been hired for a garrison and training contract by the planetary government, there both to help protect from pirate attacks and other forms of depredation while also helping to prepare the planetary guard to better do the same. As a part of that deal, the Al Jubalyah government had requested that her unit take part in a parade through the capitol on their arrival. Lanie could fully understand why; such a high-visibility act sent a clear message. To the people, it said ‘these forces are here to protect you’, a move aimed at building confidence and loyalty. And to prospective enemies, it said ‘these forces are here to stop you. Come after us at your on risk.'

But just because she understood it didn’t mean she had to like it. Pomp and ceremony was one thing, but she preferred the practical, tangible side of her job.

At least it wasn’t physically uncomfortable. Compared to the normal heat of a BattleMech cockpit in the middle of a battle, right now her Cataphract was largely cool. Walking at a slow pace without any weapons fire meant that the reactor was only needing a fraction of its output. In all likelihood, it was hotter outside then in.
Something I’m about to test firsthand.

Her Cataphract reached a pre-designated point, with Lanie slowing it to a halt. Behind her, the rest of the Tigers similarly stopped their machines, forming an impressive row of military hardware. With practiced ease, Laine switched her BattleMech over to standby mode, before removing her neurohelmet. The rest of the Tigers would still be on standby, their ‘Mechs ready to go in a second. And while it was incredibly unlikely that such a contingency would be needed, it paid to be ready.

Wouldn’t be the first time that we’d needed such a plan either, she noted. Getting up from the command couch, Lanie quickly donned a functional field jumpsuit, itself a dull olive drab save for the unit insignia and rank badges. Then, taking one last breath, she opened the ‘Mech’s canopy.

Ahead of her lay the governmental palace, an elaborate, sprawling and yet graceful building, made up of a series of white domes surrounded by more tent-like awnings. The building practically gleamed in the sun, to the point that she had to shield her eyes as she looked over it. But that was not what held her attention; rather it was the quartet of soldiers at the base of the ‘Mech, each one clad in a colourful dress uniform.

She climbed down to meet them, exchanging crisp salutes as she did. They formed a square around her, marching her towards a canopy-covered podium at the front of the palace, where a group of men were waiting. Some of them were clad in clearly well-made, custom tailored robes, while others wore crisp military uniforms. To their credit, not a single one of them showed any signs of discomfort in the noonday sun.

One of them came over to her as she joined them. In his late fifties, his handsome face was still lined from years of living in such a climate, as well as showing signs of actual combat experience. “Mullah Khairi el-Matar,” she began, giving a crisp salute while using his title. A theocracy was not the most common of governmental models, but she showed no discomfort at the unfamiliarity. “It is an honour to meet you.”

He returned it in kind, a smile on his face as he did. “The honour is mine, Major King.”
She was guided to her place at the podium, looking down at the crowd before her. The front rows were dominated by a combination of military uniforms and those in civilian clothes, but again, more wealthy styles predominated. She took a deep breath before she spoke.

“The people of Al Jubalyah have always valued their independence,” she began, her tone crisp and clear. “Once a part of the Principality of Regulus, you fought for your freedom from that state. From there you were determined to plot your own course, one that you would maintain as an independent power for the next five centuries. While you were a part of the Free Worlds League, you were also free to control your own affairs.”

“With the collapse of the League, your people chose to remain independent of the new states that emerged. Despite the depredations of the Regulans and other powers, you would maintain that independence for generations, forging your own identity and controlling your own destiny. And even after the reformation of the League, you chose to continue that path, staying independent rather than being forced under another’s control.”

“Yours is a proud tradition, and that is why we are here. King’s Tigers will help to protect that independence, and ensure that nobody will take it from you. Not the League, not the Magistracy or anyone else. Your homes, your families, your lives will remain safe and your futures will remain your own. It is our honour to protect your traditions, and we will strive to ensure that your freedom will continue.”

There was a pause, and then a brief, polite round of applause. Lanie gave the slightest of nods to the crowd, before heading back to her seat. The Mullah gave her a nod, congratulating her on an effective speech before he took his place where she had been.

Compared to her short and punchy speech, his was long and rambling. And she knew that it would only be the start. After this would be a formal reception at the palace for her and her officers, one that would doubtless see them meet a veritable parade of nobles, religious figures, dignitaries, military officers and so on, each trying to press on her their particular case, tell her how she should best protect their assets or how to deploy her forces or whatever other issue they felt she should be addressing.

Right now, Miho would be doing the actual hard work in setting up their encampment; moving supplies and equipment, getting their crews settled in, preparing work schedules and so on. Lanie couldn’t help but feel a little envious of her wife, knowing full well that she’d rather be there with her than here.

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #94 on: 19 November 2021, 05:13:28 »
Guest chapter by Zogster

From the personal journal of Lana Kotovski

Our campaign has come to a conclusion, and I can confidently say we have routed the Crow Brothers Gang. The unit fought well and I’m proud of everyone’s performance. More than that, the intelligence that Antonin Rybak offered proved invaluable in tracking them down. I had my doubts about his motives, but I’m willing to put them aside. He’s proven his intentions for this alliance, and I for one am happy to back it.

Our unit landed on Haggard and immediately set about tracking down the Crow Brothers to their home base. They held a loose control of the world through the populace’s fear, which made it easy to win the locals’ assistance by committing to rid them of the gang. This in turn led us swiftly to their home base.

The Crow Brothers had hunkered down in an old city, dating back to the Star League. It was only barely populated, and most of the buildings were crumbling and in decay. Given the hazardous nature of the battlefield, I deployed Eye company, backed up by my own command lance. Their combination of heavy tanks, battle armour and mobile BattleMechs would be able to make the best use of the terrain. Of course, it was impossible to mask the approach of such a force, so it wasn’t long before we made contact.

The pace of the battle was quickly set when the enemy’s VTOL support descended upon us. No doubt intending to soften us up, they all but flew into a wall of flak that took out two of them straight away. In spectacular fashion, Jakub’s second Wen used his Nightsky’s hatchet to swat one of the VTOLs straight out of the air. The unit as a whole has been cheering about this amazing display since. I can hear them replaying the battleROM as I write this.

Jakub’s lance in particular distinguished themselves. Jakub himself intercepted a flanking manoeuvre from Daisy Crow’s Cronus, driving her off after she had sown havoc among Comet Command’s tanks. She tried to lead him back to their own armour units, but he turned the tables with his own lance following him. They worked together magnificently, scattering the armour and crippling Daisy’s own 'Mech. Even when Jimmy Crow’s Hunchback joined the fray, it was quickly destroyed.

I’m proud of Jakub’s performance. I feel he really showed what he’s capable of as a leader today, and I can only hope his commander agrees.

That is of course not to put paid to our other members’ accomplishments. Despite Daisy’s interference, Comet Command rallied and bore down on the Crow’s tanks. Already scattered from their previous encounter, they came under withering fire that wiped out all but a few lighter vehicles. Watching our Hanse melting one of their Vedettes right into the pavement must have been demoralising.

What came as a particular surprise was seeing their heaviest vehicle, a Demolisher, destroyed by precision fire from one of our battle armour units. Although I’m sad to report they did suffer casualties, I think their performance has put to rest doubts about their inclusion in our roster. The Star needs to modernise, and expanding our battle armour division is an important step forward.

My own lance fared well. While I positioned us mostly in a support role, we did see direct combat when Zebediah’s Bandersnatch engaged us, no doubt hoping to disable our command element. Instead, Payton’s Gallowgas and I concentrated our fire and swiftly eliminated him. That’s not to say everything went well; Andreas’ Crusader suffered severe damage while he was struggling with his leg-mounted missiles, and a few of Zebediah’s own shots came dangerously close to Gilgamesh’s cockpit. My head’s still reeling a bit from those.

But overall, I can call this battle a rousing success. Although Zebediah was killed in action, we were able to capture the rest of the Crow brothers – even if it meant digging Luke’s Firestarter out from under a collapsed building. And while a few of their light tanks and infantry fled, I can confidently say that their threat is at an end. The people of the Timbuktu Collective will not suffer their deprivations any longer.

Beyond that, I can say that this was a roaring success for the Star of Sumer, and not just on the battlefield. Despite the recent transition, I feel that we’ve come together stronger than we were before. There’s still a way to go, as I intend to continue updating and expanding the unit. But I feel our victory here has shown we’re on the right path.

The Crow Brothers had built themselves their own little empire on Haggard, one I’m happy to see put to an end. They even had their own mock palace in the city hall. Although we found a little more beyond what was evident as we went through the place. What little they had documented suggested a connection to the Ghost Flames, a pirate band that has been growing all the more dangerous in the current chaos. Of course, given the way they operate, that alliance may not have been entirely voluntary. I’ll certainly be interested to know what Rybak makes of this information.

Still, all is done for now. We’re heading home to repair and regroup. The Star are in good spirits, and I’m not going to waste the evening cooped up in my cabin. Besides, Katarina salvaged an excellent bottle of spirits, and we have a lot to celebrate.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #95 on: 19 November 2021, 05:16:14 »
Start the Violence

Caledonian Highlands
Castor
Wolf Empire
23 September, 3150


There was a lot that Alexis Fairchild didn’t like about the situation.

She took a sideways glance out of the cockpit of her Mad Cat, noting the ‘Mech walking besides it. Like her machine, and the rest of her unit, Antonin Rybak’s Phoenix Hawk IIC had been painted in the blue scheme of Magyari’s Irregulars, a unit that was supposedly their ally, as well as being on the world as the same time. Her technicians had even gone so far as to duplicate the scheme of Irisz’ Invisible Space Fairy as best as they could on her own Thirteen. She understood the logic of what they were doing, but there was still something about doing it to their own allies that was distasteful.

But that was not all that bothered her right now. “Confirmed,” the voice of Ravager Five crackled over the channel. “Have IDs on light and medium armour; no BattleMechs, no signs of battle armour either. Wolf markings, doesn’t seem to match to a known unit.”

All of which was wrong to her. Here, on the very edge of the Wolf Empire’s thrust to Terra, there should be something more. A BattleMech force, even if it was a garrison unit made from salvage would make sense, but this didn’t fit that profile at all.

None the less, she had a job to do.

“Ravager Lead to all units,” Alexis Fairchild began, her tone blunt. “Fire at will.”
She opened up the throttle on her Mad Cat, the seventy-five ton OmniMech surging forwards. Ahead lay their objective; a supply depot notable only for a series of low-lying bunkers, nestled in among the hills. Already her recon elements were engaged with the Wolf forces, with flashes of weapon fire in the distance. Her display was lighting up with contacts that matched her recon reports.

The ‘Mechs of her unit took point, supported by a swarm of hovercraft that were loaded with troops. Her sensors tagged several units, with a Wolf Ares being the closest. With only a moment’s consideration she lined up a shot, sending a pair of brilliant beams from her large lasers reaching out towards the medium tank. The shots struck home, slicing armour from the vehicle’s side and turret.

A second Ares joined it, its own laser lashing out with a poorly-aimed shot that went well wide of her. A second later, the tank was pummelled by a swarm of missiles from Rybak’s Phoenix Hawk. As the fire and smoke cleared, the vehicle was left battered, with one of its treads torn apart.

Realising their situation, the tanks’ crew tried to backpedal, trying to compensate for their reduced mobility. That retreat lasted only a moment before the vehicle was seared by a stream of superheated plasma fire that cut through its remaining armour. Something within the vehicle touched off as gouts of flame erupted from the far side of the tank, leaving it dead on its tracks.

Alexis gave the vaguest of nods towards Ravager Five’s Firestarter before it jetted away, leaving her to concentrate on the situation at hand. Her Mad Cat exchanged another volley of fire with the first Ares, with two beams for its one. While the Ares managed to slice some armour from her side, her response was more dramatic, as beams tore through the tank’s side. With the target disabled, she pushed forwards onto the site proper.

An incoming message caught her attention for a moment. “We’re in.” She instantly recognised Nate’s voice, and knew what he meant. “No resistance so far. Proceeding to objective.” Which meant that her plan had worked. As the Wolf tanks clashed with her force, they would have been drawn away from her true objective.

“Understood. We will buy you time.” She fired her jump jets, clearing a row of low warehouses as she moved deeper into the facility. Immediately her Mad Cat was greeted by cannon fire, with shell fragments scraping into its hull. The culprit revealed itself as an ungainly Ishtar tank, the front-heavy vehicle lurking half around a corner.
Breaking into a run as soon as she was down, Alexis dropped her sights onto the Wolf vehicle. She ripple-fired her main weapons, feeling a wave of heat wash over her. Two large lasers seared into the tank’s hull before flights of missiles pummelled into its side. The Ishtar weathered the assault but not gracefully, with one of its almost comically oversized wheels clearly blasted out of alignment.

Nonetheless, the heavy tank held its ground, turning as best it could to bring its weapons to bear. The twin main cannons spat fire, with shots slamming into the Mad Cat’s armour. A flight of missiles joined them, the majority flying past Alexis’ OmniMech to little effect.

As she wheeled around, a second contact grabbed her attention. A Vedette had moved up to join the Ishtar, adding its autocannon to the hail of incoming fire. The shots tore through the concrete by her side, more distracting then dangerous. Giving an angry grunt, she chose to ignore the smaller tank for the moment, concentrating on its more dangerous counterpart.

Moving to take advantage of its reduced mobility, she kept to the tank’s side to limit its usable firepower. The Ishtar’s turret tracked her, its twin cannons again unleashing their deadly loads; however, between her mobility and the clear inexperience of the crew, only a few fragmentary shots slammed into her armour.

Alexis’ response was more solid in its effect. Swapping out her weapons, she instead unleashed a quartet of lasers at the Ishtar. Brilliant beams sliced through the already damaged flank, tearing off the drive wheel and then burrowing into the tank’s side. The rear of the tank erupted into flame as its ammunition detonated, blowing out armour and leaving it shaking. Seeing what had happened to its larger counterpart, the Vedette quickly began to backpedal to avoid destruction.

Instead it had only a moment’s respite as the Phoenix Hawk IIC landed behind it, unleashing a swift kick to the back of the tank. The force of the blow lifted the Vedette up for a moment as its rear was caved in, shattering armour and the vital systems within. It then came down with a crash, clearly disabled.

“We have the objective,” Nate’s voice again cut into the channel.

“Understood,” Alexis nodded as she spoke. “Witnesses?”

“None left.”

That was another thing she didn’t like, but also understood the necessity of. “Good. Pickup will be waiting for you.”

With a pile of destroyed vehicles, dead crews and pillaged supplies, the Wolves hopefully wouldn’t notice the very specific deaths of the personnel in the bunkers. Nor would they notice the data that had been stolen from their systems.

One less thing for Alexis to worry about.
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Re: Renegades
« Reply #96 on: 19 November 2021, 05:17:07 »
From the personal journal of Irisz Magyari

When I started the Renegades alliance, I knew that we would be fighting the Wolf Empire. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Rybak sees them as the biggest threat before us, both to the Republic in specific and the rest of the Inner Sphere as a whole. I know that one of the reasons he approached me was for my prior experience with fighting them. What we achieved on Thermopolis, Kalidasa, Shasta and even Ashburton may be small victories, but they are more than many can speak of.

So when he organised the raid on Castor, I was not surprised. Nor was a surprised by the reason why we were targeting that specific world. Beyond the extraction of his ‘assets’, the world had changed hands multiple times in quick succession; claimed by the Wolves, then retaken by the Republic, then once more recaptured by the Wolves. His ‘assets’ would have a wealth of intel to offer that would be invaluable to what is to come.

Even then, I was surprised by how it unfolded and perhaps somewhat worried. Not because it went badly, but rather, because it went too well.

We split into two groups for our assault. My unit was acting as the distraction to draw the Wolves’ attention, while Fairchild and Rybak went after his real objectives. To make it worth our while, he had given us several legitimate objectives in the form of parts and supplies storage depots that the Wolves would need for whatever they were planning next. On top of that, he had advised that the Wolves had netted a considerable supply of RAF salvage that could include experimental technology. Recovering it would then be valuable to both of us.

I should have known that something was amiss during our insertion. While the expected force was a cluster from the Wolves' Theta Galaxy, one made up of former AMSC men and materials, we saw no signs of that on approach. Instead we were not intercepted until we were on final approach, when we were bounced by several flights of conventional fighters. Our own aerospace forces drove them off with little effort, allowing us to make it down unharmed.

I led the unit on a strike on a large supply depot, one that had been previously used by the RAF. We made contact with Wolf forces, but it wasn’t Theta or any other known unit. Instead what we faced was a trinary made up entirely of vehicles, supported by conventional infantry. And these weren’t even top-tier vehicles, instead being a mix of AMSC salvage, older Clan designs and even some SLDF units.

To their credit, the Wolves fought bravely, but their skills were lacking. They were poorly coordinated, and their tactics were little more than trying to swarm us with weight of numbers. Many of them lost control on the tarmac around the facility, and I think they did more damage to the warehouses by accident then we did deliberately. They retreated when they lost three-quarters of their force, including leaving a number of disabled tanks on the field and yielding the warehouses to us.

Our losses? Two BattleMechs disabled but all repairable. Two VTOLs down, but their crews rescued. And one of Maria’s troopers was injured when a skidding tank crashed into his suit.

Wary of reinforcements, we rounded up the surviving Wolf crews for questioning while salvaging our equipment and stripping the facility for anything of worth. Far from the massive stockpiles we were expecting, we instead found that it largely had a functional supply intended to keep a conventional armoured force going. Likewise, there was no trace of any RAF material.

Questioning of the prisoners revealed that they were a part of a solahma garrison unit that had been left behind when Alpha Galaxy lifted off, and that they were the only force on the planet. No other unit had been rotated in, and they were not expecting to see any other forces in the immediate future. When questioned as to where the rest of the Wolves were, the prisoners could not answer. They were as much in the dark as we were.

We received a confirmation from Rybak that he had secured his objectives and lifted off. While we still made a ‘profit’ off our haul, it’s a lot less than I had hoped for, and we’re going to have to do a lot of careful horse-trading to get what we need out of it. More worrying to me, however, is the missing Wolves. Those units had to have gone somewhere. The question is, where?
« Last Edit: 19 November 2021, 05:20:03 by Deadborder »
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Re: Renegades
« Reply #97 on: 26 November 2021, 03:46:24 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

The Smith

Karlshof
Westerstede
Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
15 October 3150


When the Jade Falcons had occupied Westerstede, there had been a thorough accounting of its resources. Most of what it had to offer was quickly claimed and repurposed by the Clan for their own use in future conquests as was the natural order of things; eventually, everything served the Warrior Caste and their needs. Those resources that were not immediately useful were simply left as is, with the people of the world left to go about their lives as best they could.

One thing in the list of resources had caught Kia Malthus’ eye; something that had been passed over because it had no use at all to the Clan. She’d tracked it down to a small town located outside of the planet’s capitol; a place that had little value otherwise with an economy that was based around crafts and niche handcrafted goods. None of that had any real value to the Clan, and its people were clearly aware of it.

Which meant that they were, to a man, shocked when Kia’s Star had simply walked into the town. Many had feared the worst, but yet, instead of flattening the town or anything else, Kia had instead simply asked to talk to a few people. After a short, tense meeting, she had come to an agreement with them regarding one of those seemingly useless resources.

The next day she had arrived on her own, travelling in a requisitioned truck rather than her OmniMech. Once there, she headed into the town’s forge; a traditional setup that had been used for a variety of craft projects. All she had asked for was the peace to work undisturbed, in return, she wouldn’t bother anyone else.

That had of course come with the caveat that if she failed to report in, her Trinary would come and wipe the village from the map.

She came in, spent some time working at the forge, and then left. Nobody had bothered her; nobody had even spoken to her. Her only real contact had been to speak to one of the people in charge of the forge to thank them for their time, and to say that she would be back.

True to her word, she returned again a week later, and then a third time a week after that. Each time she simply went to the forge to work for a few hours and then departed. She didn’t interact with anyone, and in turn, nobody bothered her. Instead, she simply worked.

While Kia enjoyed what she was doing, that wasn’t the only reason why she did what she did. Working at the forge like this helped her to clear her mind and achieve a calm that her usual situation didn’t permit.

She was taking a breather when something caught her eye; a flicker of movement. In an instant she turned, one hand on the pistol at her side. Her eyes fixed on the target; a boy, scruffy-haired and likely no more than twelve years old. Every instinct told Kia that he was no threat, but there was still that nagging doubt in her mind.

Would it really be below freebirths to use a child as a suicide bomber? If something happened to her, then everyone here would be killed in response. And the sort of people who would try something that dishonorable would likely not care for the consequences.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded.

“I-” the boy stammered. “I left some of my stuff here,” he finally offered. “This is where my dad works.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Did your father not tell you to stay away from here?”

“Yeah but,” the child stammered. “I wanted to see what you were doing here.”
Kia relaxed a little. “I was making a sword.”

“Cool,” the child managed. “My dad makes stuff, but nothing cool like that.”

She couldn’t help but smile a little in response, even if it twisted her scars a little. “It is a hobby of mine.”

“You’re a Clan MechWarrior, right?” The child continued. “Does your ‘Mech have a sword?”

“It does not,” Kia admitted. Unlike many of her fellow Falcons, she had little interest in BattleMech melee combat. And while in theory she could have talons fitted to her Jade Phoenix, she had never really considered the idea.

“If I was a MechWarrior, I would have a sword on my ‘Mech.”

“I suppose so,” she shrugged.

The child was quiet a moment, even as she kept a wary eye on him. “My dad says that Clan people come out of tubes. Is that true?”

That should have sounded insulting, but she couldn’t help but chortle instead. “Sort of,” Kia explained. “It is complicated.”

“Does that mean you don’t have parents?”

There was a part of her that was wincing at the child’s terminology. The idea of parents was both familiar and alien at the same time. After all, only freebirths had parents. As a trueborn, she was the product of combined DNA samples mixed in the iron womb, long after both her genetic parents were dead.

But that would all likely go over the child’s head. “I do have parents. I was made from their genetic material in… a tube.” That almost sounded comical.

“Was your dad a MechWarrior too?”

Both of Kia’s geneparents had been male, which made that question hard to manage. “Yes,” was the best she could offer.

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

She had to pause for breath at his question. Of course she had literally dozens of sibkin, but one of them always stuck in her mind. Amera. The only person in the universe that Kia could actually talk to, and the only one who would let her actually be herself.

And whose death had been a devastating blow.

“Lots of them,” Kia finally finished.

“Are any of them around here?”

“No.” That was about as uncomplicated and honest an answer as she could give.

“Oh,” the child seemed almost disappointed as he looked around. “I probably should go before my dad finds me.” He shot a nervous glance at her. “Um, could you please not tell him I was here?”

That produced an audible chortle, something she did not expect. “I will not say a thing.” Her tone was almost playful now. The idea of this shared secret between the two of them was odd, but she enjoyed the idea. While she and this child were in no way equals, it reminded her so much of her and Ame’s shared, quiet moments. Which was really the reason she was here: to recapture that calm.

“Of course,” she finished.

The child gave a final nod. “Thanks.” He finished before he ducked out of the door.
Kia gave a quiet sigh to herself before turning back to her work. As much of a distraction as the child had been, there had been something enjoyable about the whole process. And, in a strange way, she looked forward to the idea that he might come back the next time she was here.

The beeping of her communicator took her attention. “Aff?" she began as she answered.

“Star Captain,” the voice of her commander was clear, their tone making it clear that whatever this was would be important. “Return to your unit and prepare for departure immediately.”

Kia glanced around the room. Wherever we are going, I may never see this place again. Taking a breath, she replied. “Immediately, Star Colonel.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #98 on: 26 November 2021, 03:50:44 »
Audio Log #76714-Rho

Irisz Magyari: You wanted to talk?

Antonin Rybak: It’s something I found in the data we recovered from Castor, actually. I thought it would be useful to you.

Magyari: I could use some good news.

Rybak: Did something come up? Some unexpected problem from Castor?

Magyari: The salvage we pulled from the supply depot was a lot less than expected. It’s still profitable, but not fantastically such.

Rybak: I see. I’m afraid to say that what I have for you is very mixed as well.

Magyari: I should have guessed. Lay it on me then.

Rybak: Actually, it’s about your father. We found some information as to where he’s been for the last fifteen years.

[pause]

Magyari: I [pause] did not expect that.

Rybak: And I admit that it’s not fantastic either.

Magyari: Honestly, I’ve been expecting the worst for some time now. As much as I wanted to think that he was alive, I also have had to face certain realities.

Rybak: I’m sorry. If this is a bad time, it can wait.

Magyari: Might as well lay it on me.

Rybak: Bors Magyari was captured by the RAF when they shut down the Outreach Revival after the walls went up. After being interned, he was then drafted into the newly formed Twelfth Triarii Protectors, where he served as both a MechWarrior and an instructor.

Magyari: I see. That... that makes a lot of sense, really. Even if he would be on the… older side of the unit. I mean, it’s been fifteen years now.

Rybak: Unfortunately, there’s more.

Magyari: I suspected as such. This is not going to end well, is it?

Rybak: No, uh, [pause] the Twelfth Triarii were on Gacrux in April when the unit was attacked by at least four Wolf clusters. It was reported that the Wolves deliberately killed the unit to the last man.

[pause]

Rybak: I’m sorry.

Magyari: I really don’t know what I expected. I mean, with all that has happened and all… I guess I just held out the hope that he might still be alive somehow.

Rybak: I wish I could give you more.

Magyari: Honestly, it’s more than I had hoped for. Thank you for that.

Rybak: It’s the least I could do. This datachip has everything on it that I was able to find.

Magyari: Thanks. I, uh [pause] I need to talk to some people. It might be a while.

Rybak: Take all the time you need, Irisz.
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Re: Renegades
« Reply #99 on: 26 November 2021, 03:56:12 »
Mercenary Book Club

Dropship Arkham Bridge
Inbound, Illyria
Illyrian Province, Marian Hegemony
15 November 3150


“Hey Ronnie,” Terry McKinnon spoke up. “You ever read any Joseph Stefaniou?”

“I’m from the Periphery. I can barely read as it is,” Ronnie Raymond replied.

“They’re only some of the greatest works of post-Free Worlds League literature.”

“What is this, a book club?” Ronnie snorted. “Besides, I didn’t take you for the heavy literature type.”

“I’m not,” Terry admitted. “I found some of his novels stashed in a locker on the ship once. Gave me something to do during a long transit.”

“Should have figured,” Ronnie couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Thing is, there’s a connection to the unit in those books.”

“There is?”

“Oh yeah,” Terry nodded. “Stefaniou was a member of the Marauders during the thirty-fifties. He wrote early drafts of his books while on contracts.”

“Get out.”

“I’m serious,” he continued. “It's unit history and everything. Apparently he based chunks of his novels on people who were in the unit at the time and things they did.”

“Huh.”

“And get this. During his time with the unit, he lead a recon-strike lance,” Terry finished. “So I’m basically sitting in his proverbial seat.”

“Clear channel,” Damien McKinnon’s voice cut in to the conversation. While it was a broad command, it was also clear who the order was directed to.

Carefully avoiding saying what was on his mind, Terry McKinnon instead sat back in his command couch before glancing over his Phoenix Hawk’s cockpit one last time. Right now he had nothing left to do but wait as the Arkham Bridge burned in, its precious cargo of men and BattleMechs all packaged up and ready to go. In many ways, this was the part of the operation that he hated the most, one where he was completely powerless to do a thing about it.

I could really use a good book right now.

The sound of alarms grabbed his attention, followed by a crackling announcement from across the ship’s internal communications. “All units, prepare for combat drop.” This was why he was here, sealed in the cockpit of his BattleMech which was, in turn, sealed inside a drop capsule. For the last few hours, he’d had nothing to do but wait for this moment.

There was a juddering lurch as his capsule was moved into position, ending in a thud as it reached its spot at one of the doors. “Dropping in three,” the voice continued. “Two, one.”

Terry’s heart leapt up to the top of his chest as his ‘Mech simply plummeted out of the bay. Inertia pressed him hard up against the back of his seat as his machine fell through space, propelled solely by the gravitational pull of the world below. For the next few minutes all he could do was ride it out and hope that everything worked as intended, and none of the millions of things that could go wrong did.

The free fall quickly became rougher as his capsule hit the atmosphere, buffered now by the resistance of the air. Even with the added layers of protection, the cockpit began to heat up in response to the friction of re-entry. Keeping his hands firmly on the controls, Terry did his best to simply hold on and ride it out.

Through all of that, his eyes remained fixed on his displays; speed and altitude were king, measuring the ‘Mech’s fall through the atmosphere. Another had come up, counting down the time to capsule separation.

After what seemed like ages the temperature began to drop, while the buffeting decreased. The countdown timer reached the inevitable zero, followed by a warning alarm. Moments later the Phoenix Hawk shuddered again as the capsule broke away, leaving the BattleMech now in free-fall towards its destination.

A glimpse at his displays told Terry that everything was functioning as expected. The main viewscreen showed blue skies that were rushing past him, while one of the auxiliary displays painted a picture of the vivid green landscape below, one that was rapidly getting closer. As he had practiced numerous times, Terry fired his Jump Jets, a short burn that served to slow the inevitable descent.

In many ways, this was the trickiest part of the operation, juggling speed, altitude and burn time to bring the BattleMech to a controlled fall and landing. Mis-timing the balance could lead to a hard landing or catastrophic crash.

Slowly, inexorably, that speed began to bleed off in response to his actions. Every second brought him closer and closer to the ground as the Hawk continued its battle with gravity and momentum. Finally he slammed the jets hard, a full burn in the last dozens of meters before landing.

The Phoenix Hawk touched down with as much grace as forty-five tons of war machine could manage; its legs flexing just a bit to cushion the impact, with Terry feeling enough of it to register and produce a soft grunt. No sooner was he down then he activated the command channel. “Dagger Lead to all units. I am down clean. Report status.”

“Dagger Two all green,” Ronnie replied a moment later. The other two members of the lance also chimed in with their own affirmatives.

“Clear LZ and form up on me,” he ordered as he pushed the Phoenix Hawk into motion, the BattleMech stepping forward. The rest of the company from the Arkham Bridge would be coming down behind him, so it was up to Terry and his lance to clear the way for them.

The area around the quartet of BattleMechs was pleasant enough at first glance; green rolling hills and lightly scattered clumps of trees that showed little signs of human habitation. Not that I’m here for sightseeing, Terry reminded himself. “There should be a road about five kilometers north of us,” he ordered. “Head for that and keep your eyes open for enemy contacts. The Marians know we’re here and I doubt that they’ll be happy to see us.”

His lance replied with a chorus of affirmatives as they followed his lead, pushing towards the objective. They had been the first to land due to their role, and tasked with sweeping the area for signs of enemy forces before the Marauders hit their first objective.

“This is Marauder Actual,” Damien’s voice cut into the command channel. “All units are down safe.”

“Roger that,” Terry replied. “Dagger Lance is heading to first objective now.”

“Understood,” Damien finished, before adding. “And good luck out there.”

Was that a hint of concern? Terry asked himself. “You heard the man. We have a job to do.”

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #100 on: 09 December 2021, 02:36:20 »
Barbarians at the Gates (pt 1)

In order to prosecute his private war against the Marian Hegemony, Duke Fontaine Marik turned to his mercenary allies to bolster his forces. Aside from Camacho's Caballeros, who had long historical ties to the region, he also hired a number of other units to quickly boost his numbers. Among those were McKinnon’s Marauders, who had worked for the Duchy in past and, as such, were known as a reliable force.

While the Tamarind regiments and Caballeros were taking the lead in the invasion of Illyria, the Marauders were among the units tasked with secondary objectives that, while perhaps less glamorous, were also key to the conquest of that world. As a regional capitol, and the site of one of the Hegemony’s few military manufacturers, it was expected that the MHAF would not let the world fall without a fight. Consequentially, Duke Marik hoped that he would force the Hegemony to split their forces while dealing with multiple assaults.

McKinnon’s Marauders were first tasked with securing supply and transport lines to Dalmatia, the planetary capitol.  Landing on the southern fringes of the Cadmus Megaforest, they pushed north towards the town of Byllis as their first objective. While not a large population center in and of itself, it sat at a conjunction of vital rail, road and water routes to the capitol.

Within hours of landing the Marauders made contact with elements from I Legio’s Tertia Cohors as well as supporting forces. While the Marians had a better knowledge of the area, the mercenaries had a number of other advantages; their forces were equipped with far more advanced technology, and were more mobile to boot.

By using their jump-jet-equipped recon and striker lances in the heavily forested terrain, the Marauders were able to harry the Marian troops. With the tanks and MilitiaMechs of their supporting forces hampered by the terrain, the I Legio troops found themselves cut up into isolated pockets where the heavier Marauders units could focus their fire. After suffering several early losses, the Marians pulled back towards Byllis.

This move bought them only temporary relief. The Marauders used the same tactics to flank the Marian defenders, tying up and dividing their forces while the main body of the assault arrived. Marian losses quickly mounted, especially as the Marauders’ battle armour units moved through the town, conducting precise hit-and-run attacks on key assets. Realising that the situation was untenable, the Marians choose to abandon their position and preserve their forces.

After claiming Byllis, the Marauders found very little actual opposition to their presence among the locals. Despite having spent nearly a century under the Hegemony’s control, few had any real love for their rulers. Conversely, there were those that had been encouraged by the Lothians’ success in finding their own independence to try and do likewise. Damien McKinnon saw the potential in this dissident to gather information about the local area and the Hegemony’s forces that would be useful in the campaign to come.

-   From Mercenary Conflicts of the 32nd Century, Galatean Free Press
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #101 on: 09 December 2021, 02:37:28 »
Play to Win

Gillian Blackrock gave a discrete sigh as Isabella de Luca flopped down in the booth opposite her. Just like at their last meeting, the mercenary commander was being loud and obvious to the point of obnoxiousness. And just like their last meeting, Gillian was doing her best to keep a straight face and not rise to her.

“So,” de Luca began. “I gotta give it to you, GB. You were right on the money.”

“I’m glad that the information I provided was useful,” she replied, her tone still neutral. “Given your presence here and reaction, I will assume that everything went well.”

“You mean the fact that I’m not trying to kill you?” de Luca nodded. “Yeah, it worked out well for us.”

The worst part was that Blackrock wasn’t sure if she was joking. Normally she’d say that de Luca wasn’t the type given to that sort of revenge, but on the other hand, the woman was known to be hot-headed and impulsive. “That’s good to know,” she managed. “My role in this arrangement is to support everyone else, after all. I’d like to think that I'm doing a good job of it.”

“Well yeah,” de Luca nodded. “Plus I gotta add, you really put me on to a winner with Tony Jaros. Guy paid off for us big time.”

“Oh really?” Blackrock asked, now genuinely curious. “I would like to know what happened,” she continued as she leaned in. “After all, he’s one of my assets. It’s useful to know how if he’s living up to the effort invested in him.”

De Luca grinned. “So when we hit the ground on Tigress he volunteered to go do some groundwork for us. I figured that he wasn’t going to run off on us, given that we still had his ‘Mech and all. Turns out I shouldn’t have worried.”

“So what happened?”

“Within a day there were riots across several cities,” she explained. “Civil disobedience, looting, bomb threats to government buildings and a whole heap of other things. And when Tony came back to us, he had the smuggest grin you have ever seen on his face. He didn’t need to tell me he was responsible for what was happening, given that his swagger said it all.”

Their drinks arrived, with de Luca immediately taking a generous swig from hers. “When we got our own arses in gear, the Tigress Home Guard were being driven to distraction by the mess that he’d started. They were slow to react to us, and when we did clash they were clearly out of their depth. So we got our targets, got our loot and then got the hell out of there.”

She took another hit from her drink. “And turns out that Tony’s just as good with that ‘Mech as he is with burning a planet down. I mean, damn, he’s got to be the best shot I’ve ever seen.”

“Excellent,” Blackrock nodded. “I’m glad that things worked out.”

“If he hadn’t made it clear that he’s a free agent, I would have hired him on the spot,” de Luca noted. “Just a pity I’m not his type. Ah well.”

“Well then,” Blackrock nodded. “If there is nothing else?”

“There was one thing,” de Luca noted. “See, as much as you wanted to get your asset out there, this was kinda a test for you as well.”

“How so?”

“It’s as I said when we set this up, GB,” she explained. “I know who you used to work for and no, don’t ask how I came into that information. Point is that you’re not the queen of popularity among our little band of renegades.”

“That much was abundantly clear,” Blackrock admitted, doing her best to keep her cool.

“And it turns out that so far, you're on the level,” she continued. “Your help worked out great for me and my men. That gives me reason enough to trust you, even if I don’t like you.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, then.”

“It was meant to be, GB,” she finished. “And I do look forward to working with you in future.” She emptied her glass, and moved to stand, but then paused. “Though there is one more thing.”

“Which is?”

“You do anything to hurt my people or any of the rest of us, and I will make sure that everyone on Galatea knows who you used to work for and what you did for him.” She shrugged. “Just something to think about.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #102 on: 09 December 2021, 02:39:02 »
The Right Kind of Crazy

Theo’s Tavern, Fundament
Herotitus
Fronc Reaches
28 November, 3150


Wild bin Ottoman barely looked up from his drink as the newcomer took their place at the table. “Toto,” he simply began.

“Wild bin Ottoman,” Zaki Toto replied, his tone surprisingly enthusiastic.

“I have heard that you have been making some moves,” he continued, still paying little attention to his companion.

“That is true,” Toto nodded in confirmation. “I just signed the good parts of Pellot’s Zealots over to the Bushrangers.”

He gave a derisive snort. “The good parts is a relative term,” Wild simply stated. “And how does Major Pellot feel about this?”

“I’m sure he’ll be angry when he finds out,” Toto dismissively replied.

“And so I assume then that you have come here to hire me.”

“You would be right there.”

“I should ask why.”

“Because you are a very capable and experienced MechWarrior,” Toto confirmed. “Better than a lot of the others on this rock by any stretch.”

“But that is not all, is it?”

“No,” Toto admitted. “It’s because I have worked with you in past, and you are a known quantity.”

“And better the devil you know then the washed-up no-hoper you don’t,” Wild finished.

“If you want to put it like that…” Zaki trailed off.

Which was Wild’s way of confirming that he agreed with that assessment. After all, the Periphery was not normally home to successful mercenaries, but rather those that had no real options. “While I should feel flattered, my answer is no.”

If Zaki was disappointed, then he did a good job of hiding it. “Can I ask why?”

Wild considered the matter for a moment. “Out of respect for our past, I will explain,” he finally spoke, “And I will give you two reasons.”

“Go on.”

“The first is that, as a free agent, I can make more money then I could as a member of your unit or any other,” he held up a finger, as if to indicate he knew what was coming. “And yes, I am aware of the risks involved as well, but I also understand the rewards.”

“Fine,” Toto admitted. “And the second?”

“We worked together in past, as you said,” Wild continued. “I met Connie Raymond, and I have no desire to deal with that sort of insanity again.”

“Connie Raymond is…out of the picture,” Toto replied, a clear frustration in his tone.

“And yet, the man who supported her for decades and turned a blind eye to her madness is still here and still calling the shots.”

Toto winced. “And that is coming from somebody who was a part of the Band of Five.”

“This is true,” Wild admitted as he finished his drink. “However, as said, better the devil you know.” He stood, giving Toto a nod. “I wish you all the best with your future. Just be sure to leave me out of it.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #103 on: 09 December 2021, 02:41:54 »
Vox Populi

San Filipe
Gibraltar
Marian Hegemony
3 December 3150


Zebadiah Craine really liked Gibraltar.

Before it had been conquered by the Hegemony, the planet had been a part of the Free Worlds League for centuries. During that time, it had largely remained an internal world, one that was relatively untouched by the ravages of the Succession Wars and everything else that had followed. That in turn meant that it was a well-developed world, with relatively advanced technologies and, more to the point, the means to support them.

He considered this all as he looked out the window of his office, admiring the view over the afternoon city. Previously it had been the domain of some political official, one who had done their best to make it as comfortable for themselves as possible. Everything about the room, and the building it was in, spoke of luxury and wealth.
It was a stark contrast to his own background. While he had grown up as a member of the privileged patrician class, Zebadiah held no illusions as to how little that wealth actually meant outside of its neat little bottle. The worlds of the Marian Hegemony, his home, were still under-developed backwaters compared to those of the Inner Sphere.

“How I do envy you,” he considered to himself. During III Legio’s raids, he’d seen enough to know how the average person in the Inner Sphere lived. On Kendall, the average plebeian experienced a level of sophistication in their lives that most Marians couldn’t dream of. During those raids, the Legion had filled their ships’ holds with parts, supplies, material and slaves; however, Zebidiah had been sure to take along enough personal goods and such to line his own pockets.

And now that he was here, on a sophisticated, advanced, luxurious world, he was determined to enjoy it.

A chime from the door interrupted his thoughts. “Enter,” he simply commanded as he turned back to the desk.

The visitor was who he expected. Centurion Shamus Flannigan, one of his subordinates. Dutiful, loyal and a credit to his plebeian status, even if he could never rise further in the Legion’s ranks because of it. His uniform was crisp and fresh, which was a blunt contrast to his own haggard features. “Ave Caesar,” he still managed, snapping off a crisp salute.

“Ave Caesar,” Zebadiah replied. “Please, sit.” Shamus did as indicated, taking his place in front of the expansive desk. Zebadiah did the same on his side, even if his chair was far larger and more comfortable. “How fare you out there?”

Shamus gave an audible sigh before placing a tablet on the desk.  “My century had another run-in with the rebels,” he explained, the weariness evident in his voice. “They disabled one of the Galleons from the Auxillia with an improvised explosive, then faded away when we gave chase. Despite our efforts, we were not able to locate them,” he finished. “It is all there in my report.”

“I see,” Zebadiah gave a small nod. “And the mood of the troops?”

“They remain tired,” Shamus admitted. “Stressed and worn out from fighting an invisible enemy with no real signs of relief. Many are concerned that we are now surrounded by the League; rumours fly that they are coming for us in force, or that they are simply trying to starve us out.”

“I am sure that Prefect Kilgore will find this all useful,” Zebadiah nodded. “Dissent should not be tolerated.”

“No, sir,” Shamus agreed.

“And on a more personal matter?”

Shamus paused to gather his thoughts before continuing. “Centurion Meng has been... airing concerns about your leadership. He feels that you should be more directly engaged with the enemy; leading from the front and the like.”

“Is he accusing me of cowardice?”

“Not as such but, ah,” Shamus seemed to be searching for the right words. “He does seem to think that we have a leadership problem and that there would be... better options.”

Meng is a patrician, Zebadiah considered, which means that he could be a threat. Craine nodded. “If there were... rumours spread among his men that Meng had been irresponsible with his assets, or less than loyal to Caesar, then it would be very helpful.”

“I am sure that could be arranged,” Shamus nodded.

“You are a good man, Centurion Flannigan,” he continued as he opened a draw in his desk. “And you have done me a great service, and continue to be valuable to me.” As he spoke, Zebadiah could not help but think back to Kendall, and that Black Knight that had him dead to rights. “And you will be rewarded for your efforts.” He placed a manila envelope on the desk, pushing it towards his subordinate.

“I live to serve Caesar,” Flannigan simply replied as he took the envelope.
“As do we all,” he finished. “Dismissed.”

Shamus stood, concealing the envelope in his jacket before leaving. Once he was gone, Zebadiah sighed to himself. Meng will learn his place, he considered. It would do him well to find some humility. He was confident enough that Shamus would be able to do what was asked of him and ensure the message got across. It was a plan that had worked so well for him on Kendall, after all. Evidence ‘discovered’ by Flannigan had helped place all the blame for the debacle on the conveniently dead Legate Traviss, allowing Craine and his fellows to walk away with their careers unharmed.

A signal from his communicator interrupted his thoughts. “This is Prefect Killgore,” the harsh, demanding voice from the other end of the communicator began. “All Legates are to report to me immediately.” His tone made it clear that there was no room to negotiate.

With a sigh, Zebediah stood. Whatever this is, it shouldn’t be too bad, he considered as he glanced around the office again. I’m not quite ready to give up all of this quite yet.

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #104 on: 09 December 2021, 02:44:41 »
A Guide to Awkward Conversations

Isfjell Hall, Byllis
Illyria
Illyrian Province, Marian Hegemony
19 December 3150


Ronnie Raymond sat nursing his drink, glancing around the tavern as he did. The Isfjell Hall was far from the best place he had ever been in, but at the same time was a long way from the worst. Of course, since it also was the only tavern in Byllis, it wasn’t like they really had a choice of venues.

The Marauders had taken the town early in their invasion of the world and turned it into their base of operations and the tavern as their makeshift commissary. The local populace had been, for the most part, somewhere between indifferent to the change of leadership and openly supportive of it.

 “Hey,” Ronnie nodded as Terry McKinnon approached the table. “How’d it go?”

“Eighth Tamarind had another skirmish with the Marians,” Terry explained as he took his seat. “They lost three ‘Mechs to another hit-and-run attack, but still haven’t seen hide nor hair of the governor.”

“I sense a pattern forming here,” Ronnie shook his head. Two and a half weeks ago, the Tamarind forces had taken the planetary capitol of Dalmatia after destroying one of the Marian cohorts that had been defending it. However, the governor had escaped under Marian protection, with their forces going to ground. Since then there had been numerous skirmishes with the remaining defenders, but no actual progress. The Marauders had been a part of those forces hunting for the fugitive units.

“It’s a bit like that,” Terry agreed. “I heard that Colonel Camacho is running his scouts ragged trying to find the guy.”

“If anyone could, it’s them,” Ronnie nodded. “They got a reputation for that sort of thing, after all.”

“Here’s hoping,” Tarry shrugged. “Anything happening here?”

Ronnie looked around the diner that had become their makeshift commissary. “Pretty quiet so far,” he admitted. The Marauders had taken Byllis early on in the campaign due to its vital transport links, and made it their base of operations. So far the locals had been somewhere between largely indifferent and openly supportive of their presence.

“You could be reading Sharpell instead,” Terry laughed.

“Please no,” Ronnie rolled his eyes.

“I’m sure there’s a copy around here somewhere.”

“Yeah, in the trash,” Ronnie shot back. Sharpell was the official magazine of the MHAF, with the Marauders finding a large shipment of the latest issue among the goods passing through town. Those that had read it had a low opinion of its contents, to the point where using it as toilet paper was considered to be an insult to toilet paper.

“Fine then,” Terry continued. “What about you and Leah? How are things going there?”
Ronnie shrugged. “We’re in a warzone on active duty. So I’ve barely had time to talk to her. On the other hand, it gives her a good excuse to get out of a second date.”
“Sorry man.”

“Eh, it can’t be any worse then what happened with Zera,” he shook his head. “Her breakup involved her running off to the Periphery to get away from me.”

“There were extenuating circumstances.”

“Eh, I was a total piece of crap back then,” he explained.

“You gotta stop putting yourself down like that,” Terry offered.

“Just because it’s true?”

“Is this why you never talk to Jessie?”

Ronnie raised a disbelieving brow. “Are we having this conversation now?”

Terry shrugged. “Better now then in the middle of a firefight. Besides, I’m the expert on awkward relationships with half-siblings.”

“I cannot argue with that logic,” Ronnie admitted. “The thing is... yeah, look, I’ll be honest here. Jessie and I treated each other like total crap for most of our lives.”

“Isn’t that being a bit harsh?”

“It’s true,” Ronnie admitted. “Jessie was mom’s favourite from day one. Maybe it was because she was the oldest or because she was the only child of her dead first husband or whatever else, but yeah. She was the heir-designate and given everything. Never mind that Jessie really didn’t want it and she was a terrible pick for the job.”

“But?”

“But Jessie also was never gonna stand up to mom to tell her that,” Ronnie explained. “I think she was just too afraid of her to say a thing.”

“And you?"

Ronnie flopped his head back to look at the ceiling as he tried to find his words. “Me, I was the unfavourite second child who I think mom didn’t really want but had for the sake of her marriage.”

“Harsh.”

“You learn to read between the lines,” Ronnie admitted. “Now, I wanted everything Jessie had, but no way was I getting it. So I turned into a whiny little snot who was a total jerk to her. And then she was a jerk back to me because it was her way of dealing with it.”

“Well you don’t have to worry about your mother anymore,” Terry noted. “So why not actually, you know, talk to her?”

“Because two decades of mutual antagonism are hard to get over,” Ronnie replied.

“You should give it a try.”

“Fine,” Ronnie sat up. “So then why haven’t you and Irisz made it official yet? I mean, like, everyone in the universe knows by now.”

“Hey, no changing the subject.”

“I mean come on,” Ronnie laughed. “There are worlds out in the deep Periphery that have gone all the way back to the Stone Age and think they’re descended from sky gods or something. And they’re asking why you two haven’t tied the knot yet.”

Terry gave an exasperated sigh. “It’s complicated.”

“So’s my relationship with Jessie.”

“Different sort of complicated.”

“Yeah yeah, we all believe you,” Ronnie continued.

“See-“

“Listen up everybody,” As one, all eyes turned to the tavern’s upper deck, where Damien McKinnon was leaning on the railing. “I’ve just been informed that command has detected multiple JumpShip emergences in-system. Given the situation, it is assumed that these are Marian reinforcements come to relieve their forces and try to maintain their hold on the system. I want everyone ready for action immediately.”

Ronnie glanced over at Terry. “Way to get out of an awkward conversation there.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #105 on: 22 December 2021, 05:55:37 »
Tiger, Tyger

Outside Su’aydan
Al Jubaylah
21 December 3150


Lanie King’s autocannon sprayed shot out at the Stygian hovertank, peppering its side with explosive pellets. The shots tore through the armour and shredded the skirt, causing the craft to spin out across the desert floor, kicking up a cloud of dust as it went. The craft bottomed out, skidding to a halt, immobile but otherwise largely intact.

No sooner had it stopped moving then its missile launcher opened fire at her. A dozen warheads struck her Cataphract’s upper body, rocking the BattleMech but not penetrating the armour. Sensible pirates would have bailed out as soon as they could, Lanie considered as she again turned to face the downed tank. Then again, I suppose if they were sensible then they wouldn’t be pirates.

She opened up on the downed tank, knowing full well that she couldn’t simply ignore it now. Her lasers and autocannon tore through its hull, shattering the components within. However, it was her plasma rifle that did the most damage; the searing flames washed over the tank, cutting through whatever protection was left before turning their attention to what lay inside. A moment later, black smoke began to billow up from inside the tank.

Lanie couldn’t help but wince at the sight. Pirates or not, nobody deserved to go out like that.

She only had a moment to consider it before her sensors warned her of more incoming missiles. Unlike those launched from the Stygian, these ones didn’t rain down on her BattleMech. Instead, they burst in the air, releasing clouds of thick, black smoke over the battlefield. “What the hell are you up to?” she asked herself as she pushed her ‘Mech forward, eyes open for whatever might happen next.

The last week was best summed up as confusing. A pirate band had made landfall on Al Jubaylah, but had made little effort to strike any targets of value. Instead they had spent their time harassing outlying homesteads, while getting both King’s Tigers and the planetary guard to chase them across the desert. Neither Lanie nor any of her officers or her liaisons could figure out what they were actually after or what they were getting out of all of this.

“Jaguar Lead here,” Pennington’s voice cut into the command channel. “Pirate forces are attempting to flank us at grid tango-three-four.” There was a brief, muffed whumph as his tank’s cannon fired in the background. “Looks like a mix of hovertanks and BattleMechs.”

“Roger that,” Lanie replied. “All units, rotate to heading two-seven-zero and head off enemy force.” If we can trap some of them, that might force them to call off... whatever it is they’re doing. As she bought her Cataphract around, more smoke missiles detonated, only serving to further obscure the battlefield. “And somebody try to silence those launchers.” The rocky desert offered very little in the way of actual cover, so the pirates seemed to be determined to make their own. And whatever they’re up to, they must be burning through a fortune in smoke LRMs, she added.

Cannon fire slammed into the side of her BattleMech, shaking it. Quickly wheeling around, Lanie sighted her attacker; a Shadow Hawk wearing a grey-and-black tiger stripe pattern. The ‘Mech immediately pulled back, trying to use the smoke as cover.

No you don’t, she mentally scolded as she returned fire on it. Her autocannon sent fragments of shot scattering across the ‘Mech, gouging into its armour, while the plasma rifle burned through its side. Neither attack seemed to concern it, with the Shadow Hawk instead replying as it continued to pull back. More autocannon fragments peppered the Cataphract, while a handful of missiles did little more than pit the armour on her leg.

“Tiger Actual to all units,” Lanie called out. “I have one-“ she paused as an ungainly Chimera leapt out of the smoke, landing by the Shadow Hawk. “-correction, two enemy BattleMechs at my location.”

The Chimera opened fire with its missile launcher, its payload scattering well wide of Lanie’s ‘Mech. Mindful of their location, she opened up the Cataphract’s throttle, heading towards Pennington’s reported location. With the smoke clouds limiting her visibility, she had to go off what her sensors and tactical map were telling her.

A quick burst of speed from her MASC system allowed her to bring the Cataphract around, ensuring that she wasn’t between the two pirates. As she did, she opened up again on the Shadow Hawk, steady hands keeping her sights firmly on the target as it also moved to track her. This time her autocannon went wide, shots tearing just past the enemy BattleMech’s side. Her lasers and plasma rifle found their marks, however, scouring armour from its legs and side.

The Shadow Hawk responded in kind, its pilot keeping a steady aim despite the movement of the two ‘Mechs. Its autocannon cut into her left arm, shredding the last of the armour there before tearing into the actuators. The missiles and laser scattered some more damage across her side, but nothing too worrying for the moment.

And despite the damage she had taken in the exchange, Lanie couldn’t help but give a small smile as she glanced at her tactical display.

A Pegasus hovertank sped out of the smoke, barrelling past the two pirate ‘Mechs. As it went, it twisted its turret and loosed a volley of missiles at the Chimera. Warheads struck the BattleMech’s legs and side, doing little actual damage, but clearly drawing its attention. As the Pegasus sped away, the Chimera turned to fire after it, sending out a barrage of missiles that scattered across the desert without doing any real damage.

Moments later, a Havoc emerged and joined in the assault, its lasers spreading patterns of molten metal across the Chimera’s side. The pirate ‘Mech turned to face the newcomer, its MechWarrior clearly unsure of what to do next.

“Not so cocky when we use your own tricks against you, are you?” Lanie asked. Leaving the Shadow Hawk for the moment, she focused her fire on the more badly damaged Chimera. Her autocannon ripped into its armour, before the lasers cut through the holes that its assault had left. However, it was the plasma rifle that again left its mark, burning into the thick drum of the missile launcher before slagging its contents. The warheads within the weapon detonated, the explosion staggering the Chimera, nearly driving it to its knees.

Perhaps aware of its situation, the Shadow Hawk let loose a final volley of fire, but this time not directing it at Lanie. Rather, its autocannon and lasers smashed into the Havoc, catching the light ‘Mech in the leg as it ran. The humanoid ‘Mech crashed down hard to the desert floor, giving the pirate Shadow Hawk the chance it needed. Firing its jump jets, it simply leapt backwards into the black smoke, vanishing from sight. Moments later, the wounded Chimera joined it, clearly not wanting to stay in the fight.

“You okay, Three-Three?” Lanie asked over her command channel as she pushed her Cataphract forwards. She was wary of wandering into the smoke, lest there be more of them waiting on the other side. At the same time, she didn’t want to let them go.

“A little shaken up, but I’ll live,” the pilot replied. “Thanks.”

Another voice joined the channel before she could add anything. “This is Wildcat Two-One,” they called out. “Pirate forces seem to be making a break for it. Do we pursue?”
Lanie weighed her options. A part of her really wanted to chase them down, but that was likely to draw the whole affair out even longer or, even worse, lead her men into some sort of elaborate trap. That was the one thing that kept bothering her more than anything else, and the only explanation she could come up with for their behaviour.

“Negative,” she finally spoke. “Keep eyes on them, but do not engage.” Sighing, she quickly changed channels. “All units, this is Tiger Actual. Enemy force is withdrawing. Regroup on me.”

I have no idea what you were after, she admitted to herself. But at least we stopped you from getting it. I suppose I should be thankful for that much.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #106 on: 22 December 2021, 05:57:21 »
The Sensible Option

Saxony
Kamenz, Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey
Free Worlds League
23 December 3150


Major Frank Stanton did his best to act calm and collected as he looked over the table to those standing on the other side. It was not an easy task, to say the least.

“That’s my position,” he stated, his tone blunt and level. “Ultimately, my unit has a contract to fulfill, and we are not going to be dissuaded. I thank you for your offer, Major Stanislav, but I am going to have to refuse.” Internally he took a breath. “We are both mercenaries here, after all, and at the end of the day, we both have a job to do.”

All of which was true. Three days ago, his unit had made landfall on Kamenz while under contract to the Lyran Commonwealth. After several skirmishes with an unidentified mercenary command who were on the world, they received an offer to meet and talk things out. Stanton knew this for what it was, a tradition of sorts within the mercenary trade. Two opposing commanders would meet to see how much their respective contracts were worth to the pair of them, and figure out how they wanted to handle the situation from there.

Stanton hadn’t expected the offer, but he would have been a fool not to take it up. Now that he was here in a tent with members of his unit, facing off with his opposite number, he was trying to figure what he was going to do next.

The situation wasn’t helped by the man he was dealing with. Major Leonid Stanislav was an imposing enough figure to start with; tall and heavyset, his features were largely hidden behind a thick, black beard which made him hard to read. Between it and the heavy fur coat he was wearing, the man looked like some cross between a MechWarrior and a holovid barbarian warlord.

“Hm,” Stanislav spoke after a long pause, one that had seemed to drag on forever. “You are making a good point. We both are professionals. We both are having jobs to do. Neither of us is being paid otherwise.” His sentences were short and clipped, and his words heavily accented. “And I am thinking, he is here as a courtesy, nothing else. He is being very professional, after all.”

Stanton nodded in acknowledgement of his words. “Thank you.”

There was a brief sigh. “And so we could fight. Your mans, they could outmanoeuvre mine. You could be reaching your objectives and then getting away.”

One of Stanislav’s men leaned in to quietly whisper something to him. Tall, thin and clean-shaven, he was the opposite of his commander in many ways. Stanislav quietly nodded, and then turned back to Stanton.

“Or, we fight,” he continued, “and my mans, they are beating yours. We have more of them, and we are better equipped as well,” that last point was spoken with a hint of pride. “And perhaps you are defeated, and you are paying ransom to escape from us, which is leavings you with even less than you started with.”

“Or,” there was the hint of a smile there. “Or maybe we are defeating your unit. Your mans, they surrender to us, and we are bringing them into our ranks. Your unit, well, it is gone there is nothing left and you are having nothing either.”

“Or maybe even we crush you,” he stated, his tone abruptly shifting to something that was far darker. “your mans, dead, your ‘Mechs destroyed. It is defeat so complete that it is like your unit is never existing. And my mans, they will sing of this victory for generations to come.”

He shrugged. “Who can say what will happen.”

There was an awkward pause. “Can we...” Stanton finally spoke. “Can we have a minute?”

-----

Leonid Stanislav stepped outside, taking a deep breath as he did. The evening air was still warm, and would likely stay such for some time. Vast grasslands stretched out around him, punctuated by little more than the vaguest hint of mountains in the distance. What seemed to be a few rocks, but were actually the last remnants of a centuries-gone building only added to the air of emptiness.

In many ways, the bright orange, purple and teal form of his Marauder, as well as the other BattleMechs that had accompanied it seemed even more out of place with their surroundings.

“What do you think?” Zeke Isaacs asked as he stepped out to join him. “Will Stanton go for it?”

“I think he will,” Leonid nodded, looking off into the distance. “You saw his ‘Mechs. Old models, and it’s clear that they are hurting.”

“Agreed. A fresh coat of paint can’t hide all the clear jury-rigging going on there,” Zeke assessed. “They need the money for this contract, but I don’t think that Stanton really wants a fight.”

“He didn’t expect us to be here. That much is clear.”

“No. And now he is looking for a way out,” Leonid noted. “He takes it and leaves with his unit intact. The Commonwealth won’t like it, but likely they will keep him employed.”

“A meeting of the desperate,” Zeke assessed. “A state that is on the edge of collapse cannot afford to be choosy about who it hires.”

“They cannot,” Leonid nodded. “All this, it is too complicated. But I do what I must.”
“Even our allies?”

That produced a chortle. “They are interesting. Yes, I am convinced that Rybak is following some plan and we are merely along for the ride. He is from the other side of hisn ghayr maryiyin, after all. Why should I trust that?”

“And yet you do.”

“Because we are men without homes, Zeke,” he admitted. “And we need that help if we are to survive.”

“Even de Luca?”

Leonid laughed. “You will not let that go, my friend,” he shook his head. “Yes, even her. I trust her, I trust her family. She puts up as much of an act as I do, after all.”
Zeke nodded silently, looking up at the sky. “It reminds me of home.”

“Pah,” Leonid spat. “The grass, it is the wrong colour. The sun, it is also the wrong colour,” he laughed. “Do not get me started.”

Zeke chucked in reply. “Do you think Major Stanton has had enough time.”

“I do,” Leonid replied as he turned back to the tent. “Now let us see if he has made the right choice.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #107 on: 23 December 2021, 03:01:36 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Eye to Eye

Kari Moreno gave an ever-so-small smile as Irisz Magyari approached the table, her feelings decidedly mixed. It was one thing to be happy to see her friend, but another altogether given the circumstances. Nonetheless, she was glad to see it replied in kind as Irisz took her place at the table.

“It’s good to see you,” she immediately began, perhaps deliberately aiming to head off anything that Kari might have said; seizing the initiative in her own way. Given the circumstances, she couldn’t exactly fault her for taking that approach.

“You too,” Kari replied, a warm tone in her voice. “Pretty much straight off the DropShip, really.”

“Good to see you made it back intact,” Irisz nodded. “How did things go?”

Kari paused in consideration, glancing around the room. It was one of her preferred places in the city; quiet, personal and relatively anonymous. A place to do business, yes, but also to simply escape and unwind from her responsibilities and pressures for a moment. “Pretty well, all things being equal. I’ll give you and… our friend a full accounting of it later, but we hit the target, got to the objective and inflicted considerable damage on the enemy. Definitely a lot better than we gave.” There was a lot more that she wasn’t saying, but she felt that was for another time. Certainly not for a public venue. “Yourself?”

“Better and worse than expected,” Irisz replied. “The enemy were not what we expected, and put up a lot less of a fight then we had planned for. So we took less damage yes, but also walked off with a lot less salvage than I had hoped for.”

“I see what you mean,” Kari nodded. “Definitely a strange situation.”

“No questions there,” Irisz shrugged.

That led to a short, awkward pause, punctuated only by a waiter. The pair of them ordered drinks, but once he was gone, it returned in force.

“I, ah,” Kari finally spoke up. “I heard the news. I’m sorry.”

“Thank you,” Irisz replied with a nod. “It’s… yeah.”

“Are you doing okay?” Kari asked, offering a hand.

Irisz took it, giving a small, clearly awkward smile. “It’s kind of strange,” she admitted, the edges of her good eye clearly moistening. “I, well, I had resigned myself to that a long time ago. It has been fifteen years after all, and he was behind the Wall and everything. In many ways, I think that I had accepted that he was gone when that happened.”

“But now you know, I suppose.”

“Yeah,” she continued. “And even though I had assumed him dead for so long, there was always that ever-so-small chance that he could be alive after all. I mean, I had no idea what was going on behind the Wall, after all. For all I knew, he could have been hiding out on some tropical island somewhere.” She gave a brief chortle, even if it was clear she was holding back.

“I’m so sorry, Irisz.”

“Thank you,” there was another nod. “I mean, when he left, I really had no idea how long it would be. He named me interim commander and, well, that ended up becoming permanent. A couple of years later I stopped pretending and took full control of things.” Irisz chewed her lip a moment in consideration.

“I think that’s when I really accepted that he wasn’t coming back ever. But I didn’t let it control my life; instead I got on with my job. Too busy with running a unit, which, well, I guess gave me a focus. I couldn’t worry about where he was or how he was doing or if he was alive or whatever else.”

“Had you planned on him coming back to the unit?”

“Honestly, no,” Irisz admitted. “I mean, by that point I’d taken over and made it my own unit rather than what he left me with. Cleaning out the mess and all that. I really had no plan for if he had returned. I guess it doesn’t matter now.”

“I guess not.”

“Funny thing is that it was so abrupt,” she continued. “Like, he basically just told me that he had some personal business to attend to on Outreach and that was it. The Wall went up two months after that, and, well, that was all there was to say.”

“Did he ever say what it was he was doing?”

“No,” Irisz sighed. “And that was it, really. I… will probably never know. And really, that might be the bit that gets me the most. It’s…” she shook her head, taking a deep sigh. “I really wonder why he never told me what it was, or why he had to go.”

Kari gave her hand a comforting squeeze. “I didn’t realise.”

“I… I haven’t really told anyone outside of the unit this,” Kari admitted. “At this point, I really don’t think it matters any more to anyone save for me.”

“Did he have any family?” Kari asked. “Besides you.”

“Well, obviously there’s mom,” Irisz admitted. “And I have no idea how long it will take to get the news to her. I mean, I barely know where she is at this point.”

Kari nodded. “The life of a free trader.”

“Apart from me and mom, dad had a brother and sister; Lorand and Bianka.” Irisz took a deep breath. “He… didn’t get along with them and, well, even before the Blackout didn’t really speak with them that much.”

“Was there a reason for that?”

Irisz glanced up at the ceiling for a moment in contemplation. “I mean, when most of this happened, I was still very young. I didn’t see the pair of them that much, and that was over twenty years ago. Dad was the youngest of the three, and the only one that really had any interest in continuing the family unit after they passed on it.”

“Lorand didn’t want to have anything to do with the military or mercenaries or anything like that. He became an architect, and, from what I gathered, a pretty good one at that. Bianka, on the other hand, joined the RAF and eventually became a Knight. Both of them wanted to, I guess, change and adapt to the new shape of the universe,” Irisz added. “They wanted something more than being a mercenary or fighting or whatever else. And given the times and all, I can understand that. And, well, dad was kind of the black sheep of the family for sticking to his guns despite all that.”

“Do you think they had any contact with him behind the Wall?” Kari asked.

“I really can’t say,” Irisz admitted. “Who knows? Maybe dad’s business had something to do with either or both of them. Or maybe it was something else that had nothing to do with them at all.”

“Like you said, we’ll likely never know.” Kari noted.

“Yeah,” she simply shrugged it off. “It’s… it's really in the past now. He had his secrets, and I really can’t say beyond that. Especially with…” She trailed off.

“Irisz?” Kari asked.

“Never mind,” she shook her head. “It’s fine. I guess, in many ways I should thank our friend for this. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t ever know.”

Kari nodded. “Strange how that works.”

“I know,” Irisz agreed. “I guess that he did me a favor after a fashion.”

Kari looked thoughtful for a moment. “His reasons for going behind the Wall aside, was there anything else you think he never told you?”

“Honestly? Probably not,” Irisz simply replied. “For all his faults, my father was a very simple and straightforward man. His long string of affairs, well...” She paused again.

“Something up? It feels like there’s something more here.”

“It’s nothing,” Irisz shook her head. “After a while they were really an open secret. I knew what was going on, and just accepted it. It wasn’t like it was affecting his ability to run the unit or make command decisions or the like, so that wasn’t an issue. I admit that yes, I didn’t like it, but at the same time, I couldn’t stop him.”

“I think I get what you’re saying,” Kari said.

“I guess the thing that’s getting me is that I’ll never really have that chance to say goodbye,” Irisz finally admitted. “Our last conversation was fifteen years ago, and I had no way to contact him after that. And from what I’ve gathered, there’s little to no chance of his body ever being recovered or anything like that either.”

Kari gave an understanding nod. “I… know how some of that feels.”

“With how your father died?”

“Yeah,” she admitted, “he was killed by the Falcons while we were trying to retreat off-world. There was no way to recover him or anything like that. I… yeah.” Kari looked thoughtful for a moment. “I suppose that both of us also knew and understood the risks he was taking, however. And not to sound fatalistic, but whenever he took to the field, I understood that anything could happen out there.”

“I guess in a way you got to say goodbye,” Irisz suggested. “Even if you didn’t know it was goodbye.”

“I suppose so,” Kari agreed. “Every time was potentially the last time. But you didn’t get that chance.” She offered a comforting smile.

“I didn’t, no.” Irisz finally admitted. “And I think that’s the one thing that bothers me more than anything else. Maybe if I’d know that I would never see him again then I would have said or done things differently or the like.”

“But you couldn’t have known,” Kari countered. “Not that it would be fifteen years or that the Wall would go up or anything else.”

“I mean, when you put it like that…” Irisz nodded. “Nobody could have seen that coming.”

“My point exactly,” Kari finished. “I’m not putting words in your mouth, but it feels like you just want some sort of closure. But you also know that’s never going to happen.”
Irisz gave a slow nod, her good eye closed. “You are right. And I know that there is nothing I can do about it, and that I can’t dwell on it.”

Kari gave her hand another gentle squeeze. “It’s what we do. Ours is a profession where death and loss is inevitable. And sometimes, it will be personal and it will hurt.”
“It is.”

Kari gave another smile, this one warm. “How are you doing otherwise?”

“Well, Terry and I missed each other again,” she shrugged. “The Marauders are on a long-term contract, so I guess that will be a while before we get to talk again.”

“Really,” Kari nodded. “Or are you just making excuses now?”

Irisz rolled her eye and laughed. “You too, huh Kari?”

Now she laughed. “What can I say? Me, Angela, Isabella and everyone else are still wondering why you two haven’t made it official yet.”

“No, Angela wants all her friends to be married with kids,” Irisz countered. “Isabella just wants to go to weddings that have open bars.”

“You’re dodging the question,” Kari needled.

“It’s complicated, Kari.”

“You say that but I think that’s your excuse not to say a thing.”

“Fine,” Irisz shook her head. “It’s to do with Terry and Damien and all.”

“Do tell.”

She took a deep breath before continuing. “Terry is in theory not a legitimate heir to the Marauders. Theoretically, that would be one of Damien’s children.”

“Theoretically.”

“Right,” Irisz nodded. “But that raises questions that are all about the realities of our trade. Damien’s kids are still too young to even pilot a BattleMech. So there’s questions of who would take command if something happened to him.”

“And people would see Terry as a potential option,” Kari nodded.

“Right,” Irisz agreed. “But then consider this. What if Terry and I were married? What if we had kids? Can you imagine how complicated and messy it would all be?”

“Admit it, you’re just making excuses,” Kari needled.

Irisz raised an almost exaggerated brow. “Like you can talk, Kari.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s see,” Irisz held up her hand and began counting off fingers. “You’re young, you’re frankly gorgeous, and you’re the commander of a family unit. Not only are you super eligible, but you should have people tripping over themselves for you.”

“Cheap deflection, Irisz.”

“You bought it up,” she laughed. “Shouldn’t have done it if you didn’t want me to hit back.”

Kari shook her head. “Fair enough then. And, well, thank you for that much.” She toyed with a strand of colored red hair in thought. “You make a valid point, and it is a bit complicated.”

There was clear understanding in Irisz’ nod. “I guess it is hard to find the right man, given the circumstances. Sorry.”

“No, I get what you mean. The dating scene for the single asexual is… not the best.”

“I sense a ‘but’ forming here.”

“There’s that part of me that would love to have a husband and kids,” Kari admitted. “It’s just the sex part of it that I would rather do without, which is where it all falls down.”

“And finding a man who can live without sex is like finding, I don’t know,” Irisz shrugged. “Something that Interstellar Expeditions would be chasing after, I suppose.”

That bought out a small chuckle. “I suppose so.”

“And that's not the end of the 'but', is it?” Irisz continued.

Kari nodded. “My father had the expectation that I would get married and have… a lot of kids,” she explained. “I never really told him the awkward truth of the situation. And then it was too late.”

“I’m sorry.”

Kari shrugged it off. “It was years ago, and I have come to accept the truth of it. And while yes, I still would like to have children, I guess I need to figure out my options to skip the middle bit.”

“Have you considered adopting?”

Kari shot Irisz a disbelieving glance. “Generations of family history wouldn’t let me.”

“Fully understandable,” Irisz noted. “Powerful legacies and all that.”

“On the other hand, I suppose that I managed to miss that awkward conversation,” Kari shrugged. “So you know, small mercies.”

“Dark.”

Kari chuckled a little. “Sometimes you have to find your laughs where you can.”

“You have a point there.”

“Do you think your father would have liked Terry as a son-in-law?”

Irisz looked thoughtful for a moment, then chuckled. “He would have seen that Terry was the potential heir to a well-renowned, large unit and been entirely for it. Anything after that, such as what he was like as a person, would have been secondary.” She laughed.

“Thought so.” Kari smiled warmly.

“And your father, what would he have asked for in a son-in-law?”

“Besides giving him lots of grandchildren?” Kari looked thoughtful for a moment.
“Somebody who would honor and respect me and understand my role as a leader.” She paused. “As well as the understanding that if he didn’t do any of that then my father would hunt him to the ends of the universe.” She chuckled at the last point.

Irisz laughed again. “Entirely reasonable.”

“Carlos Moreno was a loving father and a good leader, but by god you did not want to cross him.”

“And Bors Magyari was a terrible leader, a decent father and the most stupidly casual man you have ever met,” Irisz replied. “Almost to the point where you wonder how he got anything done at all.”

“Skilled subordinates?”

Irisz looked thoughtful for a moment. “Definitely.”

“You gonna be okay?”

Irisz gave a small nod, and a growing smile. “I am. And thank you for this. It means a lot.”

“It’s what friends do,” Kari finished. “And that’s what I’m here for. Not as an ally, not as a member of our secret club, but an actual friend.”

“And I couldn’t ask for more,” Kari nodded as she finished. “Thank you.”

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #108 on: 16 January 2022, 06:37:05 »
People Called Marians, They Go to the House

Cadmus Megaforest
Illyria, Illyrian Province
Marian Hegemony
29 December 3150


“Hey Terry?” Ronnie Raymond asked.

“Yeah?”

“Shouldn’t you be starting some inane conversation about now?”

“Bit busy, Dagger Two,” Terry McKinnon replied as he fired his Phoenix Hawk’s jump jets. The fourty-five ton BattleMech leaped into the air, clearing the treeline and giving him a view of the field below, if only for a moment.

As it came down, he hammered his command channel. “Dagger Lead; have another five light ‘Mechs approaching from three-oh-five degrees.”

“Roger that,” Damien McKinnon’s voice filtered over the channel. “Probably more Threes trying to flank us. Need you to waylay.”

“Roger that,” Terry nodded. The ‘Threes’  were elements of the Hegemony’s III Legio who had made planetfall two weeks ago in order to relieve their beleaguered forces on the world. While they had managed to hook up with the remnants of II Legio, the situation had continued to remain volatile. “Dagger Lance, with me. Let’s give them a warm Marauders welcome.”

Terry pushed forwards, bearing down on the Marian force. A Javelin was the nearest ‘Mech to him, offering an immediate target. Dropping his sights onto the boxy light ‘Mech, he squeezed off a shot with his pulse laser. A stream of brilliant green energy darts stitched a trail of melted metal across the Javelin’s flank, staggering the smaller ‘Mech.

As it stepped back, another pair stepped out of the woods to support it. Standing almost side-by-side, a Clint and Storm Raider both opened fire with their autocannons, sending streams of shells flying at Terry’s ‘Mech. Shots rattled into the Phoenix Hawk’s left arm, worrying the armour but not penetrating it yet. “I think they know we’re here,” Terry commented. “On me, Dagger Lance.”

A trio of affirmatives came across the command channel. Moments later, Ronnie’s Griffin landed next to him, opening fire with its rifle-like PPC. The weapon spat a stream of brilliant blue lighting that slammed into the Clint’s chest, flaying armour off its hull.

“That’s three,” Ronnie observed. “Other two are going to be close.”

“I have one of them,” Dagger Four’s voice cut into the channel. “Twenty-five tons; likely a Commando.”

“Roger that,” Terry confirmed as his Phoenix Hawk advanced on the trio of Marians. “Keep close and do not let them isolate you.” Individually the Marian ‘Mechs were weaker then his, but given a chance to focus their fire, they could be dangerous. Especially as there was a fifth still unaccounted for.

Perhaps seeing that they were outmatched, the two Marian BattleMechs joined the Javelin in backpedalling away from his position. “Don’t let them go,” Terry ordered. “They may be trying to flank around our main force.”

He fired his jump jets again, quickly catching up with the trio of opponents. As he jumped, the three of them opened fire, with most of their shots going wide of the Phoenix Hawk’s arc. Coming down on the other side, Terry targeted the Storm Raider, the closest of the three. His lasers seared into the light BattleMechs’s arm and side, melting through the armour and eating into the structure. While the heat from the weapons battered Terry in the cockpit, the results were hard to argue with.

A second later, Ronnie’s Griffin joined him, letting fly with its particle projector cannon. The results were dramatic, as the brilliant burst of energy slammed into the Storm Raider’s damaged limb, tearing it and the autocannon it mounted apart. The Marian BattleMech staggered back, clearly unbalanced by the damage it had suffered.

“Keep the pressure on, Daggers,” he ordered. “Make sure they don’t-“

An alarm cut him off, with Teerry glancing around to spot the source of the warning, A moment later, a wave of heat hit him with almost physical force as flames washed over his Phoenix Hawk, spiking the cockpit temperature. More overheat alarms sounded, with Terry reflexively slamming the override button on the reactor shutdown controls.

With his ‘Mech suddenly gone from nimble to sluggish, he none the less managed to bring it around enough to spot the source of the attack. A Firestarter had joined the fray, its half-dozen flamers all smoking from their assault. “I found our fifth,” he called out over the command channel as the enemy BattleMech advanced towards him.

The rest of the Marian force were similarly emboldened by the sudden turnaround. Despite the loss of its arm, the Storm Raider charged forwards, its mace raised to strike. It was all Terry could do to open fire with the Phoenix Hawk’s machine guns, the two weapons spitting fire as he tried to pull back from the inevitable.

Whether unbalanced from the loss of its arm or simply the result of a suddenly overconfident MechWarrior, the Storm Raider’s swing went well wide of its mark. As a result, the BattleMech swung around almost drunkenly as the pilot sought to keep their balance.

Not that it discouraged the rest of the Marian unit. The Clint and Javelin both focused their fire on Terry’s ‘Mech, sending autocannon rounds and lasers towards him. Shots struck the Phoenix Hawk’s flank, worrying the armour and rattling the cockpit.

Any success that the Clint’s pilot may have felt was cut short a moment later as Ronnie retaliated with an assault of his own. The PPC struck its already damaged side, smashing through the armour and eating into the frame underneath. Short-ranged missiles joined the assault, smashing into its hull and forcing it back. While not out of the picture yet, it was clear that the BattleMech was withering under the blows.

However, the Firestarter remained a threat. It opened up again with its array of flamers, but rather than targeting either his or Ronnie’s BattleMechs, it had other plans. The flames washed over the trees around them, instantly igniting them. In moments, the forest around them had been transformed into a raging inferno. And as hot as the cockpit of his Phoenix Hawk already was, Terry could see the temperature continuing to climb.

“Okay,” he considered. “Not off to a good start.”

-----

As Zebidiah Craine’s Highlander pulled up next to Legate Kevin Denning’s Goliath, he couldn’t help but appreciate the differences between the two BattleMechs. It wasn’t just that Denning’s machine looked like nothing as much as a tank propped up on a quartet of elephantine legs, but just how worn and battered it looked. Even at this range he could see the mass of field repairs that marred its hull, a stark contrast to his own, pristine-looking BattleMech.

“I appreciate your aid, Legate Craine,” Denning offered over the command channel. “These barbarians have been running us ragged for weeks.”

“Of course, Legate Denning,” he simply replied. “We are all but humble subjects of Caesar, after all.”

III Legio had arrived on Illyria two weeks ago with the aim of reliving its defenders. What they had found was that II Legio was on the run, having lost the planetary capitol to the invaders. To make matters worse, the planet’s governor had been captured by the Tamarind forces, leaving its defenders even further on the back foot.

In order to reverse the situation, Prefect Mohammed Killgore had planned an assault aimed at recapturing the governor and pushing back the invaders. Craine was a part of ensuring that it worked, by tying up the mercenaries that had aided in the invasion.
Should the plan work, III Legio would be the heroes of Illyria and the whole Hegemony. It was an idea that Craine liked.

“We have contact with enemy forces,” Denning reported. “Sending you the information now.” The battered II Legio troops had a clear role in the fight; they were to act as decoys, tying up the enemy to keep them busy while III Legio’s fresher units moved in for the kill.

“Understood,” Craine confirmed before switching channels. “Ballistae Century, fire on enemy locations.”

A moment later a flight of Arrow artillery missiles soared overhead before crashing down among the forest, their impacts marked by clear explosions. While the density of the trees would make it hard to measure the results, he had no doubt that the enemy force had felt the impacts. Meng does have his uses after all, he considered. Especially now that he knows his place.

“All units, advance,” Denning ordered, his Goliath breaking into a stride. Craine followed, his Highlander falling in just behind his fellow’s machine. Reports began to filter in of contact with the enemy forces, followed by the first exchanges of fire.

Another flight of Arrow missiles rained down, this time having a more visible effect. In addition to shredding trees, Craine could see enemy BattleMechs being caught up in the blasts. Marian troops began to close in on their positions, with weapons fire flying back and forth as the two forces began to merge.

“Adjust fire further south,” Craine ordered. “Keep the pressure on their second ranks.” His Highlander continued its advance, closing in on the enemy frontline. Ahead of him he could make out a mercenary Shockwave, already engaged with the II Legio forces. Giving an almost derisive snort, he dropped his sights onto the enemy BattleMech, waiting a moment for a missile lock tone. As soon as it arrived, he opened fire, sending PPC and LRM fire at the enemy ‘Mech. Shots peppered its blocky shoulders, rocking it where it stood.

Seeing a chance, a battered II Legio Lineholder closed in, adding its own laser and missile fire to the assault. Damaged but far from out of the fight, the Shockwave replied with its own weapons, its rotary autocannon spitting fire at its opponent. The Lineholder staggered under the assault, with black smoke erupting from a wound in its side.

II Legio must have been worse off then we thought, Craine considered. Still, as long as they can still draw fire, they will suffice.

He continued his advance, ensuring that his Highlander was well-shielded by the rest of his unit. Another volley slammed into the Shockwave, pummelling the mercenary BattleMech even further. Damaged, it began to stagger backwards to form up with the rest of its lance. Around it, the two forces were beginning to merge, their lines blurring as they exchanged fire.

“This is Spatha One,” Shamus Flannigan’s voice came over the command channel. “I have an enemy lance trying to break through at grid victor-seven-six,” he reported over the command channel. “Possible vanguard of a flanking action. I am creating firebreaks to slow their advance.”

“Understood,” came the reply, Zebidiah Craine’s voice carefully neutral. “Keep the pressure on them, Centurion.” There was a brief pause before he continued, his tone quieter. “I will see that you are well rewarded for your valour.”

“Affirmative,” Flannigan finished as he closed the link. Confident that his subordinate had the situation in hand, he turned back to the battlefield.

A moment later, the Hunchback just ahead of him was pummelled with a flight of long-range missiles. As the boxy ‘Mech tried to maintain its footing, a cloud of metal fragments tore through its right side, shredding weaponry and components. The Hunchback reeled, barely keeping its footing under the assault.

Ahead Craine could see the source of the attack; an Atlas III in the centre of the enemy force. And that will be their leader, he assessed. He turned his ‘Mech to face the attacker as his weapons cycled around. And killing him would be a massive benefit to our cause and my career.

-----

Shamus Flannigan could feel the sweat dripping off his brow as he sweltered in his Firestarter’s cockpit, but he continued his assault regardless. While the heat from his flamers was combining with the forest fire he was creating to produce a hellish inferno, he also knew that his opponents would have it even worse.

“Affirmative,” Shamus finished, well aware of the implication of those last words. He and Craine’s arrangement had been a profitable one so far. The risks of his present situation would certainly be worth whatever rewards were on offer.

“Two and four, maintain fire on present target,” he ordered over his Century’s command channel. “Five, loop back towards my location.” He didn’t have any orders for Torquay, preferring to let him continue to flail away. In its present state, his Storm Raider was little more than a distraction.

Shamus had bigger fish to fry, literally and figuratively.

The area around them was ablaze, sending both the ambient temperature as well as the heat of all the BattleMechs soaring. He knew that the Griffin’s pilot had to be feeling the heat and measuring his options. Staying here would spike his temperature, but using his jump jets to get away would push it even further, forcing him to make a difficult choice.

For all that, however, he knew that the Phoenix Hawk would have it worse. Even among the flames, it stood out on his thermal due to the punishing heat coming off of it. The pilot would be roasting inside the cockpit, and struggling to stop the ‘Mech from shutting down. All of which was a situation he could exploit.

Torquay made another wild swing at the enemy ‘Mech, his mace going well wide of it. As he did, Shamus snapped off another burst of fire from his flamers. Ignoring the heat that washed over him as he did, he instead couldn’t help but smile as the flames battered their target. As expected, the Hawk’s thermals spiked again. Escape or fight crippled, Shamus considered. Your choice.

Behind him the Griffin had chosen to stand with its college, continuing to clash with its two opponents. While the Clint was clearly getting the worst of it, much like the Phoenix Hawk, the Griffin’s heat was rising quickly and far from under control.
“Five, pull back and form up on us,” Shamus repeated over the command channel. So far, the last member of his Century had failed to do as ordered. “Do you read me, over?”

Moments later, as if in response, Five’s icon on his tactical display went dark. “Oh. Hell.”

To confirm his suspicions, another pair of BattleMechs leaped in to join the fray, a Jackalope and Spider. The former was missing an arm and had battered armour across its side, but it was abundantly clear that it had gotten off better for whatever had occurred.

“All units, form up on me,” he ordered. “Concentrate on hit and fade actions; do not stand and fight.” Despite the literal and figurative heat that two of the enemy were facing, Shamus was well aware that the remainder of his Century were outmassed and outgunned. He immediately began to pull back from the Phoenix Hawk, using his flamers to ignite the scrub between them in order to create some cover.

While Torquay’s Storm Raider remained engaged with its opponent, Muller’s Clint pulled up next to him, continuing to fire its autocannon. The response was a hail of laser fire from the newcomers that tore into the BattleMech’s damaged flank, ripping through its structure and vital systems. The Clint reeled, then crashed to the forest floor, hitting hard and going limp. Shamus didn’t need to check the tactical display to know it was out of action.

Time to go. His position was compromised and he was outnumbered. Hopefully he had bought some time for the rest of his Cohort. Firing his jump jets, he vaulted the Firestarter back towards the as yet unburned forest while keeping a close eye on its heat gage. Nearly there... he considered as the ‘Mech came down just short of its goal.

As it did, it suddenly lurched hard to the right, throwing Shamus around in the cockpit. Alarms went off as he fought the controls, desperately stopping the Firestarter from falling. On the damage display, his right leg was lit up an angry red, with multiple actuators reporting damaged or destroyed. And a glance around revealed the source of the attack; the mercenary Griffin, the ‘Mech steaming from all its heat buildup.

Oh hell, he considered as a second ‘Mech entered the picture. The Phoenix Hawk was blackened and clearly limping under the burden of the heat placed on its systems, but as it stepped through the flames towards him, it took on an almost vengeful look.

-----

Zebidiah Craine twisted his Highlander to the right, keeping the blocky assault ‘Mech moving as best it could. As soon as his weapons had cycled, he opened fire on the Atlas III ahead of him, unleashing on the enemy commander. His PPC flayed armour from its leg, while missiles peppered its torso. One of his lasers had the most noticeable effect, stitching a line of fire across its skull-like visage.

If the shot had worried the Atlas pilot, it didn’t show in their retaliation. Their gauss weapon unleashed a hail of metal shards that shredded armour off the Highlander’s chest. Follow-through missiles and lasers further peppered the ‘Mech, rocking it and setting off warning alarms. A glance at his display told him that his armour was ragged across his front, while two of his heat sinks had been destroyed in the assault.

This is not going as I had planned, he grimaced. The Atlas III seemed to be simply shrugging off everything he threw at it, and was giving back far better than it took. The situation was mirrored in the rest of the engagement, with the mercenaries managing to maintain the advantage. The only real consolidation he could take was that Denning’s already damaged forces were doing far worse then his were.

A flight of enemy aerospace fighters passed over the head of Craine’s Highlander, vanishing from his sight. A moment later, loud explosions erupted behind his lines. Swearing under his breath, Craine opened a command channel. “Ballistae Century, report,” he ordered. “Centurion Meng, do you hear me?”

There was no reply, save for the retreating fighters passing back to their own line. I suppose that problem’s dealt with, Craine considered. Just at a very inopportune moment.

He backpedalled his Highlander, stepping over the hulk of a fallen Ostroc. As he did, he opened fire again, feeling the spike of heat as his BattleMech’s degraded cooling system fought the waste that the weapons generated. Shots again slammed into the Atlas, but the monolithic BattleMech seemed unfazed by the damage.

Its reply continued to worry his degraded armour, tearing into the Highlander’s arms and flank. More alarms went off as the armour continued to fail, red lights beginning to fill the cockpit. Not good at all, he realised. Far from defeating the enemy leader, he seemed to have only annoyed them.

Firing his jump jets, Craine pulled further back, hoping to put some of his men between him and his opponent. “Spatha Lead, where are you?’ He demanded.

The Hercules at his side staggered back, reeling under a volley of fire from a mercenary Marauder. As it did, a flight of long-range missiles rained down onto it, enveloping the ‘Mech in a corona of explosions. The Hercules crashed backwards onto the forest floor, its upper half blackened and torn. A quick glance told him that the other BattleMechs around him were little better off.

“Prefect Craine,” Shamus’ urgent voice crackled over the command channel. “My ‘Mech is damaged and I am surrounded. Request immediate support.”

Zebidiah glanced at his tactical display, noting the location of his subordinate’s unit compared to the rest of their forces. “Caesar will remember your valiant sacrifice, Centurion Flannigan,” he simply replied before closing the link.

-----

The armour on Terry’s Phoenix Hawk was blackened and scorched, but he was very much still in the fight. If anything, the drop in the cockpit temperature was relieving simply fro coming down from the raging inferno that it had been. “Okay, Dagger Lance,” he ordered. “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get back to the real work.”

He fired his jump jets again, the Phoenix Hawk again vaulting forwards and upwards, clearing the forest canopy. The rest of his lance followed behind him; like his own ‘Mech, they were all blackened and worse for wear, but all of them had reported that they were still operational. Right now, he’d take that.

“Contact with enemy forces,” Dagger Four reported. “Putting it through now.”

Terry’s tactical display lit up with new information, highlighting the positions of both the Marauders and the Marian forces they were engaged with. “Thanks for that, Three,” he replied. “Okay, everyone. Let’s give these guys a little surprise.”

As he cleared the next row of trees, a group of Marian BattleMechs came into view. A four-legged Goliath stood out from others due to both its size and shape, looming over all around it. “Mark your targets, men,” Terry ordered. “Hit and run, but don’t turn this into a slugging match.”

He opened fire on the first ‘Mech along the group, a blocky Apollo that was sending off flights of long-range missiles. The Marian MechWarrior must have noticed the new arrivals as they turned at the last moment to face him. Not that it made much of a difference; Terry’s lasers stitched brilliant streams across its chest, damaging the enemy BattleMech. A moment later a PPC shot slammed into its leg, causing it to stumble.

“Looks like we stumbled into a fire support Century,” Three commented. “Probably with someone important running it too.”

“Roger that,” Terry confirmed as he fired his jets again, leaping away from the Apollo as it tried to follow him, a pair of laser shots ineffectually passing through were he had been. “Two, with me. Let’s introduce ourselves to that Goliath.”

His ‘Mech landed in a crouch on the flank of the massive quad, Terry quickly bringing his weapons to bear. Laser fire scoured its side as the huge machine tried to turn to face him, but didn’t seem to penetrate its thick armour. The Goliath replied with a shot from its particle cannon, the shot going well wide of Terry’s fast-moving BattleMech.

A moment later, Ronnie’s Griffin landed on the other side, lashing it with his PPC and missiles. That had a slightly more appreciable effect, the assault quad staggering a moment, but remaining upright.

“Stephaniou shuffle,” Terry called out as he fired his jets again, ignoring the spiking heat in the cockpit for the moment. His Phoenix Hawk took to the air, twisting in flight as it did to keep the Goliath in his sights before coming down on the other side of the quad ‘Mech. At the same time, Ronnie mirrored the move, his Griffin landing on the other side of its opponent.

Determined to keep the pressure on, Terry opened fire again. His lasers poured fire onto the wounds that Ronnie’s attack had already opened, searing away armour while worrying the structure. At the same time, Ronnie’s assault tore fresh holes in the Goliath’s front and side, shredding the already depleted armour.

That was not enough to stop the enemy BattleMech by any means, however. Despite its LRM targeting being degraded by the close range of its opponents, it was far from harmless. The machine guns mounted in is bow spat fire at Ronnie’s Griffin, whittling armour from its chest. The PPC had a more appreciable affect, however, unleashing a hellish blast of energy that slammed into the BattleMech’s left arm. The limb simply disintegrated under the blast, leaving behind little more then a blackened stump.

“I’m okay,” Ronnie called out as he fired his jets again, once more repositioning to continue the assault. Terry did likewise, even as the Goliath continued to try and track the pair of them.

As soon as he was down, he opened fire on the assault BattleMech, ignoring the heat washing into the cockpit as he did. The shots tore through the already damaged armour, exposing the myomers on one of its forelegs while also opening fresh holes on its flank. And while he couldn’t see what Ronnie’s attack had managed, it was clear that whatever he did had definitely made its mark.

But it also wasn’t enough.

Remaining on its feet during the assault, the Goliath seemed determined to repay the indignity. Its heavy PPC blasted straight into the Phoenix Hawk’s leg, smashing through what little armour remained there. Inside the cockpit, Terry was thrown forward as the BattleMech threatened to topple. A quick twist of the controls allowed him to shift the weight off the damaged leg, but that only served to set off more alarms as the BattleMech stumbled.

Multiple actuators gone at once, leg structure shot to hell. Can barely walk, and jumping is going to be a risk. Terry considered. All kinds of not good.

It was clear that the Goliath’s MechWarrior was aware of what had happened, as he turned the quad to face its downed opponent. “Yeah, really not good,” Terry added as he tried to bring the Phoenix Hawk to its feet, looking up at the mammoth BattleMech looming over him.

Instead it lurched forwards as more shots slammed into its back. For a moment, the Goliath seemed to pause, before suddenly its right side erupted into a massive fireball. It staggered sideways as flames and smoke billowed out from its hull before collapsing sideways onto the ground with a resounding crash.

“You okay there?” Ronnie asked, his one-armed Griffin standing behind the fallen BattleMech.

“Been better,” Terry grunted. “But thanks.” He carefully bought the Phoenix Hawk to its feet, wincing at the sounds that the damaged leg was making as he did. Glancing around, he could see the Apollo that they had engaged earlier pulling back, one side of the ‘Mech reduced to twisted wreckage. A battered Trebuchet was joining it, while still trying to fend off the marauding Spider and Jackalope.

“This is Marauder Actual,” Damien’s voice cut into the command channel. “Whatever you did up there worked. The Marians are pulling back.” There was a brief pause. “Good work, Dagger Lead.”

“Huh,” Ronnie considered. “That almost sounded like a compliment.”
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #109 on: 18 January 2022, 05:54:08 »
Barbarians at the Gates (Part 2)

The arrival of four cohorts of III Legio on Illyria to relieve the beleaguered defenders did somewhat change the situation. By that stage, the Tamarind forces had captured the governor from the remnants of II Legio, giving them the upper hand. However, both the Tamarind and Marian forces on-world were also spent from weeks of fighting. Conversely, while the new arrivals from III Legio had been worn down facing constant opposition in the Gibraltar Salient, they were still fresher then the attackers.

Prefect Mohammed Killgore, the commander of III Legio, made rescuing the governor his top priority. Part of that plan involved ensuring that the Tamarind forces were suitably distracted and divided so that they could not focus their attention on the real objective. To that end, he turned to Legate Kevin Denning from II Legio.

For two weeks, Denning's forces had been skirmishing with McKinnon's Marauders, largely keeping them busy and trying to pin them in place around Bylls. Prefect Killgore partnered his forces with a detachment from III Legio under the command of Legatus Zebidiah Craine, with the goal being to force a conflict so that the mercenaries would be unable to support the rest of the Tamarind forces.

Acting in Prefect Killgore’s authority, Legate Craine took control of the operation. He deliberately deployed Denning’s more depleted II Legio units as a vanguard, essentially using them as expendable troops to wear down the mercenaries before his own forces engaged them. In addition, he deployed light BattleMech centuries to flank the enemy while preventing the mercenaries from doing the same to him.

Despite his planning, Legate Craine was not prepared for what actually happened. The Marauders proved to be more resilient then expected, and held their positions in the face of the combined assault. While his flankers did encounter enemy forces, they did little beyond starting several forest fires before being eliminated.

Now free to act, the Marauders sent a light BattleMech lance to harass the Marians’ rear echelons. They came across Legate Denning’s BattleMech and, after a brief battle, destroyed it and killed him. Deprived of their commander, Denning’s remaining forces chose to withdraw, leaving Craine’s units exposed and facing the mercenaries as well. In short order they also fell back, having failed to inflict significant damage on the enemy. In the aftermath, Legate Craine absorbed the remnants of Denning’s forces into his own, while ensuring that the blame for the debacle fell on the deceased officer.

While the assault did achieve its objective of preventing the Marauders from interfering in Prefect Killgore’s operation, the point was rather moot anyway. Not only did the rescue operation fail, and but Killgore was killed in the process. By the end of December, the last Marian forces had withdrawn from the world, their morale shattered.

-   From Mercenary Conflicts of the 32nd Century, Galatean Free Press
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #110 on: 18 January 2022, 05:56:07 »
Knocking on Heaven’s Door

DropShip WCS Aardwolf, Zenith Jump Point
Lipton
Wolf Empire
30 December 3150


Lucius Radick couldn’t help but sneer a little in distaste as he approached the Star Colonel’s room, simply for the other figure who was also there. It did help his feelings a little that Leeandra Connors had the same reaction to him. Nonetheless, he quickly regained his composure as he asked a simple question. “What are you doing here?”

“The Star Colonel wanted to see me,” she responded. “That is also why you are here, quiaff?”

Aff," he nodded. Not that he had any real idea as to what was actually going on beyond that. Without any further ado, and possibly to simply deny her even the slightest hint of importance, he pushed the button on the door communicator. “Star Captains Lucius Radick and Leeandra Connors, reporting as ordered.”

Leenadra shot him an angry glare simply for him announcing her. That helped ever so much.

The pair of them could not have looked more different if they tried. Lucius had short, slicked hair that was accompanied by a sharp, neatly trimmed goatee beard. Conversely, Leeandra had shaved off half her hair, while the rest was worn long, loose and presently a bright shade of coral pink. That they were both in their uniforms with the same unit and rank insignia only served to emphasise the differences between them.

“Enter, both of you.”

They stepped inside, greeted by the sight of Star Colonel Don Cooper looming over his desk. Heavyset, with thick limbs and broad features behind a neatly trimmed beard, he had a imposing presence despite the clear signs of age creeping up on him. Some had joked that he looked a lot like his Savage Coyote, but only where they were sure they couldn’t hear him.

“I will not mince my words here,” he began. “I have been given orders directly from the Khan as to our next assignment. It is one that is of vital importance to the entire Clan.”

Lucius was about to say something, but was cut off. “Which is why I have called you two here. The pair of you are both Star Captains, and probably the two best MechWarriors that I have. And individually your trinaries have both excelled.”

He slammed a pair of meaty hands down on his desk. “But that does not excuse any of your behaviour,” he continued, the anger clear in his voice. “You two and your stupid rivalry. Ashburton, Skye, wherever else, you are determined to out-do each other. You both make looking good more important than actually achieving your goals.”

The pair of them almost seemed to wilt under his glare, like naughty sibkids caught out by an angry instructor. “Your codexes are full of victories, but so many of them are in Trials brought against you. If the pair of you were not so good and would fight me even if I did try, I would have you both sent to a solahma cluster so you would be somebody else’s problem.”

“I did not watch good warriors die face down in the muck so that you two could have your little pissing match,” he snarled. “And whatever problem you two have with each other, you will put it aside and work together like a pair of actual Bloodnamed warriors, and not a pair of jumped-up ice hellions. Do I make myself clear, quiaff?”

“Aff,” they both snapped off.

“Good,” he finished. “I want all units ready to go immediately, complete with readiness reports on my desk. Dismissed.”

“Star Colonel,” Lucius spoke up. “What is our next assignment?”

There was a tense pause in which Lucius could swear that Leeandra was slowly backing away from him. “When we get there, you will understand why it is so important,” was all the Star Colonel offered in reply.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #111 on: 09 February 2022, 23:02:08 »
Interlude

From the personal journal of Annika Magyari (redacted)

Sometimes when you should feel relieved, things manage to somehow get worse.

After Nina Raymond’s death, I thought things would settle down some. While we are still in the middle of the Word’s holy war, not having to deal with her personal crusade against us should have taken some of the pressure off. We dealt her unit a severe blow, inflicting considerable losses and capturing one of her sons while forcing the rest of them off-world. And even if her other son takes control of the Roughnecks, he probably doesn’t have the strength to come after us again.

Instead, things only got more complicated. As we were collecting salvage and rounding up the prisoners, I was approached by a group of agents, working on behalf of Alys (Rousset-Marik), our supposed employer. They used their authority to take possession of Nina Raymond’s body, as well as her BattleMech, but didn’t really give me any sort of explanation as to why. And while they did arrange payment for her BattleMech, they didn’t explain what was so important about it.

Their tone made it clear that I was supposed to just agree with them, take my compensation and not ask too many questions. So of course I had to look into it further.

I managed to get some answers, and I wasn’t sure if I liked them. Nina’s body had been confiscated because she had been fitted with bionic implants of the same type found on the Word’s Manei Domini creations. Key among them was a device that allowed her to directly connect her mind to her BattleMech, akin to the enhanced imaging technology used by the Clans, but apparently more advanced and less invasive. Likewise, her BattleMech was modified to allow her to interface with it though this link.

Of course, this then begs one question: why? From all we know about the MDs, there’s some strange religious overtones to their ‘upgrades’ that’s tied to their whole mythology and the mysterious Master (whoever they are). Nina Raymond wasn’t a MD; she wasn’t even a member of the Word at all, just a mercenary in their employ like so many others.

However, there are some other matters that I have to consider. The interrogation of Colin Raymond revealed that Nina had been in the late stages of a rare, fatal and, above all else, incurable medical condition. Furthermore, the Word had known about it, and offered ‘medical assistance’ as a part of their contract. Coming after me was her last play, an attempt to end a long-running feud on her terms before her own death.

Which makes me think. Nina Raymond was likely not acting entirely rationally given all that was going on with her. That would create a set of conditions that the Word could easily use to their advantage. Offering her ‘upgrades’ like that could help secure her loyalty in the guise of enhancing her combat abilities and the like. God alone knows she had me dead to rights there.

Or there could be more going on that I’m not aware of. With the Word, that always seems to be the case.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #112 on: 09 February 2022, 23:05:17 »
Audio Log #76719-Rho

Gillian Blackrock: Irisz. Thank you for making time to see me.

Irisz Magyari: Always. Whatever it is, I know this will be important.

Blackrock: It’s good to be appreciated.

Magyari: It’s why I bought you on-board. You have a skill for finding things that other people don’t, or would rather you didn’t.

Blackrock: It’s what I do, even if some of your allies don’t fully appreciate it.

Magyari: So what is this about?

Blackrock: I was following up on the intel you passed on from McKinnon, about Hansen’s Roughriders disappearing.

Magyari: Actually that information came from Ronnie Raymond.

Blackrock: Raymond did something useful? I am actually surprised.

Magyari: What did you find?

Blackrock: Two things. The first is that the Roughriders have actually been doing a discreet, staged withdrawal from Galatea for at least a year now. They were quietly moving assets and personnel a little bit at a time so as not to draw too much attention.

Magyari: Given that they were the de facto leaders of the Galatean merc trade, I can see why they’d be discreet about it.

Blackrock: Exactly. However, the really important thing is that nobody knows where they have gone to or why they left. They were very careful to cover their tracks and keep things discreet. And, most importantly, there is no indication that they’ve taken a new contract either. As near as I or anyone else can tell, they just up and left.

Magyari: Very odd.

Blackrock: Which brings me to the next point. I did some research into similar matters and found that over a dozen other mercenary units have also vanished in the last two years. In each case they activated escape clauses in their contracts and simply vanished, taking with them everything they had. And in each case, once again, nobody knows where they have gone.

Magyari: Very odd, but I assume that there’s more to it then simply vanishing units.

Blackrock: Correct. All of these units had several things in common. They were all smaller commands; they all had solid reputations for good conduct and honest dealings, some going back over a century. And above all else, all of them either had ties to the Roughriders, or had worked for the Republic or even Stone’s Coalition in the past.

Magyari: Why didn’t I know about this?

Blackrock: Numerous factors. The current speed at which information travels is the biggest of them, but there’s also issues of scale and notability here. Taken individually, few would notice the pattern. But when you frame this with a context, the connections become clear. I don’t want to sound like a delusional conspiracy theorist here, Irisz, but there clearly is something going on.

Magyari: No, I understand what you mean. I can immediately think of one other unit that ticks all of those boxes; small, good standing and past ties to the Republic to the point where elements of its own history have been redacted.

Blackrock: That was exactly my thought as well.

Magyari: I should go and check my messages again, and see if there isn’t something I have overlooked. Thank you for this.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #113 on: 24 February 2022, 23:31:40 »
Guest character by Zogster

Jean
Position/Rank:          Star Commander
Affiliation/Unit:      Clan Wolf/Iota Galaxy
Birth Year:         3120

Bred from a prestigious Ward bloodline that had a long history of producing stellar warriors, Jean had every advantage from the moment he was decanted. He quickly rose above the rest of his sibko, managing to keep them at arm's length and ensuring that they would be focused on each other rather than him. His performance impressed both his instructors and members of the Ward Bloodhouse, which saw him marked as a ristar.

His Trial of Position confirmed their faith in him, with Jean easily defeating two opponents and coming remarkably close to besting his third before he was defeated. Due to his performance, as well as the favour he had earned from members of the Ward Bloodhouse, he was given a position in Alpha Galaxy, rather than being sent to Zeta like many other fresh sibko graduates. As further reward for his performance, and as an indicator of the potential many saw in him, he was assigned a brand new Warwolf.

And after all that, his first real battle would be a complete disaster.

An unknown force, armed with advanced and in some cases entirely unrecognized BattleMechs struck the world where Jean’s unit was assigned. Confident in his abilities, Jean led the defense, only to have everything go horribly wrong. His skills seemingly failed him, with Jean unable to land a single shot throughout the engagement. The rest of his Star fared little better, being quickly outmaneuvered and torn apart by the raider force. Jean’s OmniMech was destroyed, forcing him to eject, but also leaving him as the sole survivor of his Star. The raiders ran rampant, destroying key supplies before escaping.

In the aftermath Jean’s poor performance and place as the only survivor saw him shoulder the blame for the debacle. Not only did he lose the favor of his Bloodhouse, but he was subjected to a sting of Trials against him. By the time thee dust had settled, Jean had managed to maintain his rank, but nonetheless been reassigned to a secondline unit in Iota Galaxy and been given a BattleMech that nobody else wanted.


His fall from grace became even more evident when a position opened up for a Ward Bloodname. Jean was unable to find any sponsors, and instead entered the competition through the Grand Melee. Despite all odds, he was able to triumph and be the last standing. This seemed to earn him the ire of some of his former backers who possibly saw him as an embarrassment due to his past defeat. As a result, in the first round he was placed up against a far more experienced warrior who handily defeated him in single combat.

Despite this, he was assigned to lead a Star of other ‘failing’ trueborn warriors. Collectively unblooded, they all had suffered past failures that had seen them deemed as write-offs and leftovers, and had been deemed not worthy of promotion or reassignment to frontline units. Mindful of his own failure and seeing an opportunity, Jean used his feelings of collective abandonment to help bring the members of the Star together and rebuild them into a cohesive fighting force. While still languishing in a secondline unit with little opportunity to prove themselves, the members of the Star none the less are driven and determined. And, despite his own failures, Jean remains a skilled warrior in his own right, simply needing an opportunity to prove himself.

Tundra Wolf 4 Pudding
Mass:             75 tons
Chassis:          TW-2 Endo Steel
Powerplant:         Starfire 300 XL
Cruising Speed:      43 kph
Maximum Speed:    64 kph (86 kph w/MASC)
Jump Jets:         BMP Series XV
   Jump Capacity:      120 Meters
Armour:         Beta Compound (Standard)
Armament:
      2 Delta-Series Large Pulse Lasers
      2 Series 2b Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Type 9 Series Advanced Tactical Missile System      
      2 Tau-II Anti-Personnel Gauss Rifles      
Comm System:         Khan Series (Type 3a) w/Guardian ECM
T&T System:         Build 4 MadCat TTS

Any Clan warrior will say that they are completely above petty superstitions and do not believe in curses, jinxes or the like. The Tundra Wolf piloted by Star Commander Jean seems to exist solely to disprove that point.

One of the first examples of the type to walk off the assembly lines, the BattleMech has bounced around the Wolf tourman since its first deployment. Those that have piloted the ‘Mech have been plagued by misfortune, with seemingly nothing going right for them, be it behind the controls or elsewhere. None of them ever accomplished anything in their careers, and more than one died at its controls while leaving the ‘Mech itself relatively undamaged. At some point in its past, its pilot was described as ‘fighting like a pudding’, resulting in the BattleMech developing the nickname Pudding; a name that has stuck ever since.

On his reassignment to Iota Galaxy, Jean as assigned the BattleMech in what many saw as being a natural fit. This lead to other warriors in the Cluster nicknaming him ‘Pudding Wolf’, a name that quickly stuck. Many took to quietly wondering how long he would survive the curse of that one ‘Mech. Instead, despite its bad reputation, so far Jean has performed better with it then he did in his previous Warwolf.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #114 on: 24 February 2022, 23:34:32 »
Bianka Messier
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3082

The years after the Jihad represented a new age for the Inner Sphere as a whole. After centuries of near-constant warfare, it embraced an era of peace. Many would take this change as an opportunity to break with traditions and forge new directions for their lives.

Born into this age, Bianka Magyari was the first child of Annika Magyari, and as such should have been the heir to their family’s mercenary command. However, in her early twenties, she chose to break with tradition and, with her parents’ blessing, instead emigrated to the Republic of the Sphere. As a way to earn her citizenship, as well as to use the skills that she had picked up so far, she enlisted in the Republic Armed Forces.

Her prior training with her family’s unit served her well, with Bianka earning a billet as a MechWarrior. During exercises, she proved to be not only a capable pilot but also an adept tactician, which saw her promoted and gain an officer’s commission. A firm believer in Devlin Stone’s vision for the Inner Sphere, she also felt that it was necessary to prepare for war in order to preserve peace. As a consequence, her unit remained well-prepared for the possibility of armed conflict.

During this time she met her future husband, Jacques Messier, a Republic supply clerk. After they married, she chose to take his name as a further break with her family’s past.

Her defining moment came in 3109 on Algol. An industrial accident, caused by poorly-maintained and aged equipment, started a chemical fire that threatened to quickly spread and consume a major city. Thinking quickly, Bianka deployed her unit to contain the fire in order to prevent catastrophe, using their ‘Mechs and tanks to create firebreaks, move equipment and aid firefighting crews. Bianka put her own life on the line when she drove her ‘Mech into the blaze to rescue personnel that were trapped inside and could not otherwise be extracted.

Her quick thinking and bravery earned her a commendation from the planetary governor, as well as recognition from the RAF command. At their recommendation, Bianka was promoted to the rank of Knight-Errant in 3110, effectively moving her into the upper echelons of the Republic’s military machine. This move served to only enhance her faith in the Republic and its goals, as well as the necessity of her position within in.

As a newly-minted Knight-Errant, she saw action during the Capellan Crusades, fighting CCAF invaders on several worlds. This included being a part of the incursion into Capellan space and the assault on Sarna, where she faced off against some of the best that the enemy had to offer. Bianka was credited with multiple kills during the campaign, and was further recognized for her actions. She would be later promoted to full Knight, a position she maintained for the rest of her career.

Following two decades of relatively peaceful service, she chose not to renew her commission and retire from the RAF in early 3132. While intending to focus on more peaceful endeavors, her plans were disrupted by the Blackout and the subsequent chaos that enveloped the Republic of the Sphere. With the formation of Fortress Republic, she chose to reenlist with the RAF. Recognition of prior service saw her returned to her previous rank, even if she still needed to requalify.

Bianka took part in the Republic’s ‘clean-up’ operations behind the Wall, and has remained on active duty since. Her prior experience has made her a part of training new RAF personnel and preparing them for action against the Capellan Confederation, but she feels that there are other, greater threats that need to be addressed.

For the moment, Bianka’s husband and children are safe behind the walls on Terra. She maintains a warm relationship with her younger brother, Lorand. Like her, he chose to emigrate to the Republic, but chose to follow an entirely non-military career. Conversely, even before the Blackout, she had little contact with Bors Magyari, who she saw as being something of a regressive due to his decision to continue the family mercenary command.

DLR-O Doloire
Mass:             80 tons
Chassis:          Titan Special-DAA Endo-Composite
Powerplant:         Light Force 320 XL
Cruising Speed:      43 kph
Maximum Speed:    64 kph
Jump Jets:         None
   Jump Capacity:      None
Armour:         ArcShield VII Mk 7
Armament:
      2 Series 2f Extended Range Medium Lasers
      2 Delta-Series Large Pulse Lasers
      1 EMRG “Galaxy” Series Gauss Rifle
Comm System:         Telestar Model XTD 131 with Angel ECM Suite
T&T System:         Starlight Adjustable LX-8

During her career with the Republic Armed Forces, Bianka Messier piloted a number of different BattleMechs. Possibly the most important of those would be the Thunderbolt that she used on Algol, and later during the Capellan Crusades. After her retirement, that ‘Mech would be reassigned to other MechWarriors, and see further action in other engagements.

On her reenlistment and requalification, Bianka was assigned a factory-fresh Doloire OmniMech as a mark of respect to her prior experience, as well as the new role that the Knights were expected to play in the reformed RAF. While not a design that she had used before, she quickly adapted to it and proved to be as capable as she had been in past. While aware of the options that an OmniMech represented, she prefers the Prime configuration for both its long-range firepower as well as the phenomenal accuracy of its lasers.

So far, the ‘Mech has served her well in various engagements inside the Wall, as well as exercises to prepare for what may come next. She has proven to be especially adept at precise, long-range fire, hitting targets that many would normally consider to be out of reach. Perhaps recognising that the OmniMech belongs to the nation, rather than her specifically, Bianka has chosen not to give it a name.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #115 on: 24 February 2022, 23:36:54 »
Keyhan Beziz
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3103

While they had been mercenaries for generations, the Beziz family transferred their loyalty to the Republic of the Sphere after its creation. Members of the family would serve it in a number of different roles across the decades, including after the walls of Fortress Republic went up.

Keyhan was born in the Republic, and grew up during a period of relative stability for the Republic and the Inner Sphere as a whole. Both as a way to secure his Republic citizenship and in recognition of his family’s past, he enlisted in the Republic Armed Forces. Graduating as a MechWarrior, he was assigned to in Prefecture IV in a Republic line unit. Taking advantage of what was seen as an era of relative peace, he planned to serve for a decade before retiring and moving on to other endeavors.

Fate would have other plans. The HPG Blackout threw the Republic into chaos, with Prefectures III and IV being the most immediately disrupted. Keyhan would end up facing enemies from within, both in the rise of the various splinter factions within the Republic, as well as defections from the RAF and Standing Guard units.

Over the first two years of the Blackout, far from the peaceful retirement he had expected, he saw combat on numerous occasions. In one notable example on Algot, he waylaid a force from the notorious Band of Five, helping to heard the raider forces and direct them away from civilians while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. While he was injured in action, Keyhan’s quick thinking saved countless lives.

The situation would only escalate with the Liao Incursion into the Republic. Soon he was facing off against not only splinter factions and insurgents, but frontline CCAF troops. While the RAF did the best that they could to contain the situation, even going so far as to work alongside members of those splinter factions that opposed the Capellans, the situation quickly became untenable. By the middle of 3135, his unit had withdrawn to Prefecture X. They remained there when the walls of Fortress Republic went up.

Both as a recognition of his efforts, as well as a part of the reoganisation of the RAF inside Fortress Republic, Keyhan was promoted to the rank of Knight-Errant. His first actions as a Knight were a part of the Republic’s housecleaning efforts within the Republic, that saw him face of with and put down various splinter groups and terrorists within the walls. Key among them was the elimination of the last remnants of the Senate rebellion on Liberty, where Keyhan faced off with and defeated rebellious elements of the world’s Standing Guard.

His efforts to aid the Republic were further rewarded in 3140 with a promotion to full Knight. Much of the last decade has been spent on training new recruits and helping them to prepare for what will come next. While he fully expected to be a part of those Republic forces sent beyond the Wall, he instead would find himself reassigned to Terra as a part of the RAF’s fortification of humanity’s homeworld. In many ways, this proved to be a sobering moment for Keyhan, as he realised the enormity of the situation.

Keyhan’s husband and two children were on Asta when it fell to the Draconis Combine; their present whereabouts are unknown. He has other relatives who were outside the walls of the Fortress when they went up that he has not heard from since. There is one oddity to Keyhan’s family past, however. His family have long claimed to be descended from nobles from the world of Tangerz. However, no records of that world have so far been located. Furthermore, efforts within the Republic to follow up on the matter usually result in obvious, deliberate dead ends.

LMT-2R Lament Redline
Mass:             65 tons
Chassis:          Skobel Template 10 Endo Steel
Powerplant:         VOX 325 XL
Cruising Speed:      54 kph
Maximum Speed:    86 kph
Jump Jets:         None
   Jump Capacity:      None
Armour:         Krupp 205 Light Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 Magna Supernova Heavy Particle Projector Cannons
      3 Diverse Optics Sunfire Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System:         Skobel Wave VII Comm
T&T System:         Falcon 15 Watcher

The various BattleMechs that Keyhan Beziz had piloted across the years all had two things in common. The first was that they all were primarily armed with energy weapons. The second is that he would constantly push them hard, aggressively riding their heat curves and pushing them to the limit. While risky, this behavior had served him well in his battle against the Republic’s enemies during the early days of the Blackout.

As a part of his promotion and the reorganisation of the RAF, Keyhan was assigned a relatively new Lament. The BattleMech seemed ideally suited to him, with the combination of its heavy energy loadout and radical heat sink system that allowed him to push its heat as far as he could. If anything, the configuration has served only to further encourage him to take risks on the battlefield, an approach that has so far worked well for him.

So far, the pairing has been a success, with Keyhan performing well in his ‘Mech, which he rather appropriately nicknamed Redline, performing well in both live combat and training exercises. So far the only downside seems to be coming from the new recruits he is training, who seem to be picking up bad habits under his instruction.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #116 on: 24 February 2022, 23:40:29 »
Guest Character by KayEmm

Tariku Noab Adani
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3101

Despite humanity’s spread across thousands of worlds, there are those who have remained close to their ancestral home. Tariku Noab Adani’s family have lived on Terra, proudly racing back their lineage to before the era of spaceflight, and have had a long history of service to their world. Members of the family have served with both the SLDF and ComStar in past. Likewise, they have fought against those who sought to occupy their world, be it Amaris, the Word of Blake or anyone else.

With the formation of the Republic, they pledged their loyalty to the new nation and its founder, Devlin Stone. Members of the family have served with the Republic Armed Forces since their inception, with many of them being career soldiers. Tariku was among them, proudly volunteering to protect not only his homeworld but also the Republic as a whole.

Graduating as a MechWarrior, Tariku was assigned to a Republic line unit far from Terra, on the borders of Prefecture VII. While this was still an era of peace, the tensions between the Republic and the nations of the former Free Worlds League meant that his unit were constantly on the watch for cross-border incursions or the like.

The biggest threat that he would face came not from any of those states, but rather another, unexpected quarter. In 3130, while on Holt, his unit came under attack by a terrorist group piloting several decrepit BattleMechs adorned with Blakist imagery. While their goals were unclear, the terrorists were unquestionably hostile in their intent. Using his speed and mobility, he headed off the attackers and disabled their forces, but was injured in the process.

His actions bought him to the attention to the Council of Paladins, who promoted him to the rank of Knight-Errant for his bravery and tactical skill. The early years of his knighthood would be spent fighting against the Republic’s internal enemies following the Blackout, trying to restore order in a rapidly deteriorating situation. While he made his contempt for those that had betrayed the Republic clear, Tariku saw Bannson's Raiders as the worst of them, being driven by simple greed rather than any ideology.

In 3134 he was involved in fighting against the Jade Falcons during their desant into Prefecture IX. While he would score several kills in battle against the Clan invaders, his forces were ultimately unable to hold them back. Retreating back to Prefecture X, he fully expected to be redeployed. Instead, he was surprised by the formation of Fortress Republic, a move that left him torn. On one side, Terra was now safe from predation. On the other, the Republic was seemingly abandoning its people.

After some soul-searching, Tariku came to understand the logic of the choice, as distasteful as it may have been. If Terra could stand, then the Republic and all that it stood for could be reborn. Promoted to full Knight status, he became a part of the restructuring of the RAF and the raising of a new generation of soldiers to defend humanity’s home.

As preparations have begun to protect Terra itself from invasion, he has a feeling of history repeating itself, recalling his ancestors who also fought to defend their homeworld. His only hope is that he won’t have to do such as a guerrilla like his forbears did.

Pack Hunter II Ashtar
Mass:             30 tons
Chassis:          Type AR1 Endo Steel
Powerplant:         Light Force 210 Extra Light
Cruising Speed:      76 kph
Maximum Speed:    118 kph
Jump Jets:         Leaper Model L5
   Jump Capacity:      210 meters
Armour:         Royal-7a Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      1 Ripper A1 Series Extended Range Particle Projector Cannon
      2 Series 2b Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System:         Trueborn Ultra 945B
T&T System:         Hunter 5 Dedicated TTS

While most Republic MechWarriors will go through multiple BattleMechs during their career, Tariku Noab Adani has spent almost all of his in the same one. During his first tour of duty, he was assigned to a Pack Hunter II that had been purchased by the Republic decades ago. He took an immediate liking to the ‘Mech, appreciating its speed and mobility, which, in combination with its long-ranged weapon, allowed him to pick his battles. The combination would serve him well during the Holt crisis, where he was able to run rings around the terrorist BattleMechs and pick them apart.

After his promotion to Knight-Errant, Tariku was offered a heavier BattleMech, but he turned down the opportunity. Instead, he felt that his skills would be better suited to Ashtar, as he had dubbed the ‘Mech, while somebody else would get better use out of a heavier design. His performance against the Republic’s enemies following the Blackout validated his stance, as he scored numerous kills in various battles.

Tariku prefers to remain mobile during battles, and will try to encircle his enemies to strike them from their flanks or rear where possible. He also serves to drive them into larger forces, living up to the BattleMech’s name. Recently, he has also served a new role as an OpFor trainer, emulating the tactics used by Jade Falcon and Wolf forces in preparation for what many see as being inevitable.

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #117 on: 24 February 2022, 23:44:05 »
Erzhan Fletcher
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3105

With his bright tattoos, flamboyant hairstyles and looming presence, Erzhan Fletcher does not look like the image one associates with a Republic Knight. None the less, he is one of the most dedicated and loyal believers in the Republic of the Sphere, despite the perilous circumstances that it finds itself in.

A trueborn from a MechWarrior line, Erzhan was decanted into the Hell's Horses enclave on the Republic world of Ruchbah. One of the strongest and most capable members of his sibko, he proved to be a promising warrior in his training exercises. Furthermore, he also proved to be a natural leader in his own right, serving as the impromptu leader of his sibko and helping them to improve their performance. Erzhan easily passed through his Trial of Position, earning him an officer’s billet in the Republic Armed Forces.

Even though he was entering service in an age of peace, he also understood the necessities of preparing for war. To his troops, Erzhan was a demanding taskmaster, but also a fair one. He pushed his men hard in drills and training exercises, but also helped to support them and ensure that they were well looked after, seeing their morale and well-being as just as important as their combat skills. He especially favoured combined-arms exercises, working with as many unit types in the field as possible.

His preparations would prove vital in an incident on Algol in 3129. A terrorist group ambushed the Governor’s motorcade, using stolen battle armour and IndustrialMechs to isolate them on a bridge. Erzhan’s unit had been undertaking exercises in the area, giving them a thorough knowledge of the terrain. Using that to his advantage, he led a rescue operation on foot that disabled several of the terrorist units and allowed the governor to escape. This created an opening that allowed the Algol Planetary Guard to move in and deal with the hostiles.

For his actions, Erzhan was recommended for a knighthood, as well as sponsored for the Fletcher Bloodname. Traveling to the Hell's Horses OZ to compete proved to be enlightening for him, illustrating the stark differences between life in the Republic and the treatment of civilians under Clan rule. This, combined with his victory in the Bloodname contest, made him even more dedicated to the Republic and its ideals. Upon his return, he accepted the nomination.

His next action would come in 3133 following the Blackout. A Steel Wolf force attempted to seize the Ruchbah enclave, looking to bolster their strength with ‘pure’ Clan warriors. Erzhan rallied both the Enclave’s militia force and the depleted Planetary Guard to hold off the Wolf attack, turning what they had hoped would be a quick strike into a drawn-out campaign. After Erzhan killed the Wolf leader in one-on-one combat, the rest of the attacking force chose to withdraw rather than risk further losses.

Erzhan Fletcher was with the Republic when it activated the Fortress Protocols, collapsing its territory in towards Terra. While he hated the idea of abandoning its people and its worlds, including his home, he also understood the necessity of the situation. Instead, he dedicated himself to helping the RAF to prepare for whatever would come next through training its troops. His intimate knowledge of Clan tactics has proven to be especially helpful, given the threats that emerged.

While he is a trueborn from a Clan background, Erzhan feels no loyalty towards those Clans that are presently threatening the Republic. Instead, he sees himself as a Republic citizen above all else.

Jupiter 2 Brumby
Mass:             100 tons
Chassis:          Olivetti Stage 9
Powerplant:         Gorvachs 300 XL
Cruising Speed:      32 kph
Maximum Speed:    54 kph
Jump Jets:         Grandthrust Mk V
   Jump Capacity:      90 meters
Armour:         Raydiant Series 5
Armament:
      2 Type 9 Ultra AC/10
      2 Type XX Extended Range PPCs
      2 Series IV LRM-15
Comm System:         Raptor X-T Series III
T&T System:         Goshawk E-Series

While hard to believe given the current state of war, the Republic of the Sphere used to have good relations with Clan Jade Falcon. During the early years of the nation, the Falcons sold them weapons, including BattleMechs, to help build up their forces. The Jupiter presently piloted by Erzhan Fletcher was one such example, having served with the Republic Armed Forces for its entire active career.

Having shown a preference for heavier BattleMechs during his career, Erzhan Fletcher was assigned to the Jupiter following his promotion to Knight. The two proved to be a good match, the BattleMech’s firepower and thick armour suiting his aggressive style, while its jump jets gave it a degree of mobility that few expected from its size. This combination served him well on Ruchbah, where he defeated Star Captain Syd Vickers Mad Cat Mk II in a duel.

Having piloted the same BattleMech in war and peace for two decades, Erzhan has a strong understanding of its capabilities and limitations. He also is aware that its own capabilities can only carry him so far, and true success comes from working a part of a unit, a fact that he drills into his subordinates. While not strictly ‘his’ BattleMech, few would deny him the right to use it as he sees fit.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #118 on: 24 February 2022, 23:46:26 »
Jarrie Scire
Position/Rank:          Captain
Affiliation/Unit:      Mercenary/Hansen’s Roughriders
Birth Year:         3117

While there are many families that have been mercenaries for generations, relatively few have been tied to a specific unit over time. The Scire family are one of those rare cases, with members of the family having served with Hansesn’s Roughriders since that unit’s formation. Distantly related to the Hansen family, members of the Scire family have seen action as a part of the unit form their heights in the Fourth Succession War to the brutality of the Jihad. Even during the age of peace when numerous mercenary units, the Roughriders included, reduced their forces, the Scire family remained a part of the active roster.

Jarrie Scire was the only child of Darius Scire, a veteran officer. A stern and demanding man, Darius expected that his child would follow in his footsteps, and pressed on them the importance of their family’s history and legacy at every stage. If Jarrie had any objections to his father’s plan, they never voiced them, and instead followed along with it. Whether that was out of loyalty to that legacy or just not being willing to defy his father was another matter.

At first, Jarrie proved to only be a mediocre MechWarrior; not bad by any degree, but at the same time, far from exceptional. In an era where MechWarriors were still rare, they nonetheless failed to stand out on his own. Guaranteed a billet with Hansen’s Roughriders due to their background, they wound up as a mere MechWarrior in a heavy lance, blending into the background among their more prominent and skilled lancemates.

Darius Scire’s death on the battlefield in 3139 came as a shock to Jarrie, but also served to be something of a catalyst. If they had any hesitation about their dedication to the unit and their role within it, it was quickly dispelled. Instead, they became far more driven in their actions, demonstrating both a level of skill and determination that they had never shown before. Within a year, Jarrie had turned into a terror on the battlefield, relentless and unforgiving. This change bought them to the attention of the Roughriders’ leadership, and saw them quickly promoted to command their own lance.

Following the defection of Captain Casey Duncan and her own renegade company, Jarrie was promoted again to the rank of captain. They were given the broad authority to reform the remnants of Duncan’s command as they saw fit, a task they took to with ease. In short order, Jarrie had proven to be every bit as much a harsh taskmaster as their father had been, demanding much of their charges in terms of both skill and loyalty. While there would be numerous washouts as a result of Jarrie’s relentless approach, the result was a remarkably tight-knit and resilient command.

The reborn unit proved itself in 3144 during the invasion of Galatea by Jade Falcon forces. Jarrie led the company from the front, both driving on their troops while contributing to the battle proper. While their BattleMech was destroyed during the battle, their company were still victorious, driving back their opponents. Jarrie was commended for their actions, as well as the discipline and determination that they had instilled into their charges.

As a part of the Galatean Defense League, Jarrie has served as a trainer for both their own forces and other allied mercenaries. They have proven to be every but as harsh and demanding with these charges as they have with those within the Roughriders, but again the results have been effective no less. They have also been just as effective on the battlefield against a variety of opponents, both individually and as a commander.

AWS-11H Awesome Roadblock
Mass:             80 tons
Chassis:          Technicron Type G Endo Steel Special
Powerplant:         Pitban 240 Fusion
Cruising Speed:      32 kph
Maximum Speed:    54 kph
Jump Jets:         None
   Jump Capacity:      None
Armour:         Durallex Heavy
Armament:
      3 Fusigon Heavytooth Heavy Particle Projector Cannons
      1 Diverse Optics Extended Range Small Laser
Comm System:         Garett T19-G
T&T System:         Dynatec 2780

Hansen’s Roughriders have always preferred heavier BattleMechs and tanks, and members of the Scire family have been no exception. Darius Scire piloted an Awesome that had been salvaged from the battlefields of the Jihad and remained in the unit since. Following his death, the BattleMech was passed to Jarrie, who quickly adapted to its bulk and lack of mobility, but also developed an obvious liking for its brutal, unrelenting firepower.

After Jarrie’s BattleMech was destroyed on Galatea, the unit replaced it with a brand-new 11H model Awesome. This ‘Mech proved to be well suited to their relentless approach, allowing them to simply stand and deliver, unleashing volleys of heavy PPC fire. The BattleMech has proven to be a terror, both to its opponents as well as those charges that Jarrie is training.

Jarrie prefers to lead their company from the front, but at the same time, they remain tactically astute and understand how best use its abilities. They fight effectively as a part of a team, using other units to compensate for their lack of mobility. Because of its resilience, as well as their own determination while at it controls, Jarrie has nicknamed the BattleMech Roadblock.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #119 on: 24 February 2022, 23:48:20 »
Guest character by Zogster

Tammy McLandsborough
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3101

Born and raised on Skye during the height of the Republic, Tammy McLandsborough grew up in an age of peace and prosperity. While she was proud of her Skye heritage, she considered herself to be a citizen of the Republic first and foremost, and wholeheartedly embraced the nation as her own. While acutely aware of Skye’s long history of rebellion against the Lyran state, she felt that under the Republic, the world and its people were better represented and had a much greater say in their own destiny.

Tammy joined the Republic Armed Forces not just in order to earn her citizenship, but also out of a genuine desire to serve the people of Skye and the Republic as a whole. Not only did she qualify as a MechWarrior, an increasingly rare privilege during that period, but she also showed considerable aptitude as both a tactician and a leader. Her natural charisma and willingness to work with others earned her an officer’s billet in a Republic line regiment, a position she proved to be well suited for.

While she could have retired after her first tour of duty, Tammy instead chose to stay with the RAF. In the years before the Republic, she was among those who were tracking the Lyran Commonwealth’s increasing belligerence, and devised a number of scenarios for dealing with an active incursion by that nation. Instead, her first real challenge would come from a completely unexpected direction.

The HPG Blackout threw the Republic into chaos, its multicultural population erupting into ethnic violence and armed conflict in several prefectures. While initially Prefecture IX was spared such disruptions, Tammy worked hard to ensure that its worlds would be protected from any threats, both without and within. She helped to rally local forces, and prepare for the possibility of war. However, she would be disappointed by the formation of the Stormhammers, which not only drew their forces from the ranks of the RAF, but also were seemingly driven by the sort of Lyran nationalism that she saw as a threat.

Tammy’s forces would clash with the Stormhammers and other belligerents, but it was the Jade Falcon desant into the Republic that would prove to be the greatest threat. Tammy fought in both the first successful defense of Skye, then the second unsuccessful one, acquitting herself well in both situations. While she rankled at fighting alongside the Stormhammers and Steel Wolves, she also saw the necessity of the situation to defend against the greater danger to the Republic and its people.

Her unit was among those that were recalled to Prefecture X before the creation of Fortress Republic. During the reorganisation of the RAF, she was promoted to the rank of Knight in recognition of her efforts, and tasked with helping to integrate those remaining forces from Prefecture IX. Among other matters, she was tasked with devising options for retaking Skye, an idea she quietly relished. Not only did she want to reclaim the world from the Republic, but also she wished to free its people from the horrors they were doubtless suffering under Falcon rule.

The failure of Operation SHOFAR saw those plans pushed aside, as the Republic was now forced to fight for its very survival. While she still hopes to one day free her homeworld, Tammy instead is focused on the task ahead of her, knowing that it is far more important; protecting Terra, the future of the Republic, and that of all mankind.

Vulture Mk III (Mad Dog Mk III) Prime
Mass:             60 tons
Chassis:          Bergan Version 8.3 Endo Steel
Powerplant:         Vlar 300 XL
Cruising Speed:      54 kph
Maximum Speed:    86 kph
Jump Jets:         None
   Jump Capacity:      None
Armour:         Compound 24B2 FF
Armament:
      4 Type XX “Great Bow” LRM-20 launchers
      6 Series 7Ja Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System:         Dash-2 Optima
T&T System:         Hakkon-Morris LAP

An update to a classic OmniMech design, the Vulture Mk III is focused primarily on missile-based fire support configurations. Developed by the Rasalhague Dominion, a number of examples were sold to the Republic of the Sphere during the years of the Pax Republica. The example piloted by Tammy McLandsborough was assigned to her in the years before the Blackout and has remained her BattleMech of choice ever since.

A tactician and leader first and foremost, Tammy does not seek out personal glory on the battlefield. Instead, she works with others to support their actions, focusing on what will get the job done. She prefers to fight from the middle ranks of a formation, raining down deadly accurate, withering long range missile fire on her opponents. Tammy is especially proficient at indirect fire attacks, often catching her targets unawares.

While she has piloted the BattleMech for nearly two decades, Tammy still sees it as belonging to the Republic first and foremost. As such, she has chosen not to give it a name.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



How to Draw MegaMek Icons the Deadborder Way. Over 9000 so far. Determination or madness?