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BattleTech Player Boards => Non-Canon Units => Topic started by: Deadborder on 28 January 2021, 07:13:47

Title: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 January 2021, 07:13:47
This is a little concept I've been mashing around now, but has only recently come to the forefront. So here you go.

Long-time readers may see a few familiar faces.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 January 2021, 07:18:16
Irisz Magyari
Position/Rank: Major
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Magyari’s Irregulars
Birth Year: 3110

In many ways, Irisz Magyari was born to be a mercenary and a MechWarrior. Her family had led the same unit for four generations before her, and in each case, they had done so from the cockpit of a BattleMech. Irisz was no exception, and was raised with the expectation that she would follow in her family’s footsteps. And while she was raised in a time of peace, she wholeheartedly embraced her destiny and did her best to prepare for it.

Through her family’s contacts, was enrolled at the Lyons School of Combat Preparedness. While there, she displayed an aptitude for BattleMech combat and operations, as well as a degree of tactical flexibility and adaption that often surprised not only her fellow cadets but also her instructors. One of her key traits was a willingness to listen to her subordinates, follow their advice and, where needed, give them the freedom to act on their own initiative. These traits saw her score a number of victories through exercises through rapid reactions and responses, as well as being willing to change her plan on the fly.

Just as importantly, she also began to develop a network of contacts and allies that she would build on over the decades to come. Once she joined her family’s unit, she began to further exploit the skills she had developed, finding allies among the mercenary trade, and then beyond that into the industries that supported it. This network would come to serve her well in a variety of ways, from gathering intelligence to supporting her unit.

Her early career was marked by the HPG Blackout and the subsequent rise in conflict across the Inner Sphere. At that point, Irisz was a lieutenant in the family unit, a position that was intended to be used to train her up so that she could one day take over its command. She quickly gained practical experience as the unit took on various contracts, especially in the rapidly escalating conflicts within the Republic of the Sphere. At the same time, the skills she had developed during her academy days proved to be a success on the battlefield. The most notable example came on Basalt in 3134 where she wound up saving Bors Magyari, her father and the unit’s commander, from a Steel Wolf ambush that nearly cost him his life.

While the expectation was that she would take command of the unit eventually, that day ended up coming a lot sooner than expected. In 3135, Bors took a leave of absence to deal with what he called ‘personal matters’. Irisz was named interim commander, with the expectation that she would hand back control of the unit after his return. Instead, Bors was apparently trapped behind the walls of Fortress Republic, unable to escape. With no recourse, she took control of the unit full time.

However, she discovered that thanks to her father’s less than spectacular management, the unit was actually deeply in debt. This forced her to engage in a vicious cost-cutting which saw the unit shrink as she trimmed off under-performing units. Along the way, she also removed several of her fathers’ allies who had largely been there based on personal friendships rather than actual skill. In their place she elevated her own allies, including her cousin, Nikola Kardos, who was both a capable MechWarrior and a skilled scout and investigator.

The early 3140s would prove to be a busy time for the unit as they took on a number of high-profile contracts. While risky, a combination of good planning and Irisz’ willingness to let her subordinates act on their own initiative saw the unit achieve a number of victories. These were enabled by often unconventional tactics and the use of covert operations by her men to weaken or disrupt their enemies before anyone fired a shot.

A frequent target of these contracts was the Wolf Empire. Over the course of several years, the Irregulars disrupted production on several worlds, destroyed a prototype OmniMech and helped to ferment rebellions on several of their worlds, all while escaping with relatively light damage. Their actions became so galling that the Empire sent a unit after the Irregulars to hunt them down. Instead, the result was a one-sided defeat of the Wolf forces.

On a more personal level, Irisz also became embroiled with the multi-generational, one-sided feud between her unit and Raymond’s Roughnecks. Another family-owned mercenary unit, the Raymond clan had grievances with her own family that went back over a century. Irisz’ attempts to avoid them ultimately failed, drawing her unit into conflict with the Roughnecks. This cumulated in the battle of Hindmarsh in 3148, which saw the Roughnecks functionally destroyed, albeit at the cost of bloodying the Irregulars.

In the two years since then, Irisz has again rebuilt her unit and continued to take contracts to support them. These have included a number of attacks on the Wolf Empire, which have been driven by the unit’s past successes against the Clan and its holdings. Behind the scenes, she has also begun building a network of allies among the mercenary trade, but to what end remains unknown.


Mad Cat Mk IV Invisible Space Fairy
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Type W4 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Model 49B 375 XXL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Composite Alpha-V1 Ferro-Lamellor
Armament:
      2 Type 22 Extended-Range PPCs
      4 Smartshot Mk.IV Streak SRM-6
Comm System: Khan Series (Type 6C)
T&T System: Series XIV OPT

Like all the commanders of the Irregulars, Irisz Mgyari has lead from the front of the unit in the cockpit of a BattleMech. When she became the interim commander of the unit, she also took control of her father’s MAD-9M2 Marauder. While powerful, this BattleMech would only last her three years until an incident on Alexandria where it was destroyed in conflict with an unknown force. Information recovered from the wreckage, as well as Irisz’ own accounts, described a colossal, three-legged ‘Mech that towered over hers, one that has since been identified as a Republic Ares.

In order to replace her lost BattleMech, Irisz leaned on her contacts to find something suitable. This lead to her acquiring a brand new Mad Cat Mk IV from the Sea Foxes; while the ‘Mech was expensive, Irisz used her BattleROMs of the unknown giant ‘Mech to sweeten the deal. The only dissenter against the purchase was her chief technician, Cecelia Stanley, who simply didn’t want to have work with Sea Fox proprietary parts while being dependent on them for supplies.

Complaints aside, the combination of her own skills and her willingness to push the machine to its limits proved to be a successful one. Her Mad Cat Mk IV would often be the front and center of attacks, with its advanced armour allowing it to shrug off damage that should have crippled it. On a few occasions she would get into the middle of a fight and unleash swarms of Streak SRMs on enemies all around her, seemingly effortlessly engaging multiple opponents.

Aside from her successes as a part of a larger engagement, she has also used the BattleMech in more focused engagements. On Ashburton, she defeated Wolf Empire ristar Lucius Radrik, easily matching and overcoming his Warwolf in single combat. On Hindmarsh she bought a definitive end to the long-standing family feud through her defeat of Connie Raymond and the destruction of her Falconer. Knowing who she was up against, Irisz swapped her Extended Range PPCs for Large Pulse Lasers, allowing her to offset her more mobile opponent.

For reasons known only to herself, she named the ‘Mech Invisible Space Fairy. While some might find the title odd, few could question her effectiveness with it.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 January 2021, 07:22:52
Antonin Rybak
Position/Rank: Ghost Knight
Affiliation/Unit: Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year: 3101

Antonin Rybak is a case where while it is clear who he is working for, but what he is intending is another matter. He may be engaged in some larger plan at the behest of his leaders, or he may have abandoned that path to serve his own aims. Or it is possible that he was entirely acting on his own all along.

Much of his past is, for the moment, unclear, hidden behind layers of secrecy and, of course, the walls of Fortress Republic. As best as can be determined, Antonin was born on Archenar in the Republic of the Sphere to a resettled family of Free Worlds origins. He enrolled with he Republic Armed Forces in order to earn his citizenship, where testing showed that he had the potential to become a skilled MechWarrior. However, that did not quite come to be.

Instead, he was recruited into the shadowy world of the Republic’s intelligence services. His record becomes unclear after that, but several instances stand out. In 3127, he was involved in the destruction of a kuroryu-kai cell on Quentin who were aiming to funnel BattleMech parts from Independence weaponry. Likewise in 3130, he was integral to the elimination of the Stolz Manner, a pro-Lyran terror group on Glengarry that likely had Loki backing.

However, after the Blackout in August 3132, his actions become somewhat more questionable. He travelled to a number of worlds in the Republic including Imbross III, Van Diemen IV, Mara and Fletcher, where he apparently recruited his own freelance operatives for reasons that can only be guessed at. Several of these agents would go ‘live’ in the next two years, where they were involved in the disruption of operations by the various splinter factions that had emerged. Some of them were trained MechWarriors, however it is unclear if these were pre-existing skills or if he trained them himself.

Following the declaration of Fortress Republic, Antonin was left outside the walls. Once again, it is uncertain if this was an oversight, a deliberate act or his own personal choice. For the next five years, he would work with his remaining operatives as the Republic Territories continued to shrink. In some cases, they would be working against the invading forces looking to reclaim the Republic’s worlds, but in others, they seemed to be following other agendas. In many cases, his movements were disguised through his posing as a mercenary ‘gunslinger’ MechWarrior, operating under several aliases.

By 3140, most of his personal operatives had gone dark, either dead or simply dropping out of sight. Antonin himself continued to be active, usually working on his own either covertly or more openly by continuing his mercenary MechWarrior guise. During this time he was never once seen in the Republic Remnant nor cooperating with its forces, fueling speculation that he may have gone rogue. For several years his operations seemed to focus on the Wolf Empire before he simply vanished altogether in late 3145.

While presumed dead, the truth was more complicated. For the last five years, he apparently was working within Galatea’s underworld, building a network of contacts across all levels of the mercenary trade, looking for those with experience fighting the Clans or working with the Republic, while deliberately avoiding his few remaining operatives. What remains unclear is his overall goal; if he is working towards affecting an inevitable conflict, or planning for what comes after it.

Phoenix Hawk IIC 4 Grace
Mass: 80 tons
Chassis: DSAM 4
Powerplant: Type 79 40 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: Grandthrust Mk 5
Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Forging AM15 Ferro Fiberous
Armament:
      4 Type 9 Series Advanced Tactical Missile Systems
Comm System: MegaBand System 21
T&T System: DTrack Suite 4

Much like the man who pilots it, there are a lot of gaps in the history of Antonin Ryback’s Phoenix Hawk IIC. Originally it belonged to Shigeru Kodo, a Solaris VII gladiator and scion of a wealthy New Kyoto family before his downfall and barring from the Games World in 3128. The Republic confiscated the BattleMech when he tried to flee back to his homeworld, presumably to be turned over to the RAF or simply destroyed.

Instead it disappeared into the system, seemingly vanishing from sight. During that time it was apparently repurposed by Republic intelligence and assigned to Antonin Rybak for his own use. He would take the BattleMech with him, using the organization’s assets to arrange its transport, when he began his apparently personal operation following the Blackout.

It would not resurface until 3134 on Van Diemen IV, where it was used in a battle with pirate forces and being controlled by Ryback. Over the next six years it would be seen a number of times across the former Republic, in each case being used by him under one of his aliases. During this time, the BattleMech would also be redecorated numerous times, and equipped with false serial numbers and other tags to further confuse its identity and origins.

While primarily an intelligence agent, Rybak is still a trained and capable MechWarrior and has proven to be willing to take to the field in order to support his own agendas. When he does take to the field, he prefers to take advantage of the ‘Mech’s mobility, rarely engaging in stand-up fights.

The BattleMech’s original owner nicknamed it Grace, a designation that Rybak has continued to use. However, his various aliases have also renamed the BattleMech as well to further confuse its origins.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 January 2021, 07:28:47
Guest character courtesy of Rantinan

Tony Jaros
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/None
Birth Year: 3110

Depending on one’s point of view, Tony Jaros is a good (or bad) case of rising from nothing and reaping what you sow. Tony was born on Kawich to a working-class family that barely existed above the poverty line. Despite his circumstances, he was unwilling to do what was needed to become a Republic citizen, having developed a deep-seated distrust of authority at an early age. Instead, he existed on the fringes of society, getting by as a delivery boy in Pahute, an industrial city noted for its high crime rates.

Almost inevitably he fell into a life of crime. Tony joined the Santos, a local street gang, in his teenage years. He rose quickly thanks to a combination of physical skills, charisma and determination that saw him engage in acts of violence with an almost gleeful relish. A list of his alleged crimes included assault, intimidation, car theft, drive-by shootings, smuggling, drug dealing and taking part in underground IndustrialMech fights.

The Blackout saw an immediate spike in crime within the city as the Republic’s economy collapsed. Gang violence rapidly escalated as the Santos went to war with its rivals for control of the city’s underworld, with Tony in the frontlines of this conflict. By the middle of 3133, he had managed to drive his rivals out of the city, after leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Along the way, had not only been responsible for the death of Mayor Alexander Kurgan, but had executed the leader of the Santos and taken control of the gang itself.

This campaign of violence did not go unnoticed. Through Mastrovika agents planted on-world, the Capellan Confederation became aware of Tony Jaros and his activities, and saw them as a way to aid their own cause. After making contact with him through Bannson Universal, the Confederation arranged for Jaros and his gang to receive shipments of weapons and supplies, including BattleMechs. Their aim was to use Jaros to tie up the Republic forces on-world and pave the way for its eventual conquest by the Confederation.

Tony agreed to this deal; while he had no love for the Confederation, he instead saw it as a fast route to his own personal power and wealth. Now armed with millitary-grade equipment and transformed into something that more resembled a pirate band then a street gang, the Santos began a campaign of armed insurgence against the RAF garrison and local authorities. Already on the back foot, the RAF were forced to functionally abandon the city after suffering severe losses to Tony’s band. After the formation of Fortress Republic, the isolated remnants of the RAF simply chose to consolidate their remaining forces and abandon any hope of reclaiming the city.

This suited Tony fine. For the next three years, he and his band controlled Pahute, turning it into their own private city state. Under their control, crime and vice thrived, with a slice of everything going directly into Tony’s pockets. Any who refused to yield could expect to face anything from armed thugs to having a BattleMech step on their house. Tony himself indulged his own success, living a high life of alcohol and drugs while seemingly sporting a new boyfriend each week.

Everything changed n 3138 when the Capellan Confederation came conquer the world. At first, the Santos and the CCAF worked together to defeat the remaining RAF holdouts and claim control of the world. However, the Capellan occupying forces quickly found that a leaving half the planet in the hands of a band of celebrity criminals did not sit well with their ideals for an orderly society.

Tensions arose between the two groups as the Capellans tried to put a brake on Tony and the Santos. Not willing to give up his power, and with his gang backing him, Tony pushed back, determined to retain control of his territory and its assets. As a way to assert control, the CCAF requested that the Santos hand over their loaned weapons, which naturally they refused. The Capellans then tried to force the issue, which led to armed conflict between the two groups.

While at first the Santos had the advantage of home ground, the Capellans were simply better-equipped, better trained and, above all else, outnumbered their opponents. Tony’s gang were pushed back, leading to a number of casualties among their ranks. Following the death of his longtime second, Jenny Zhen, Tony realized that he was not going to win this fight. Rather, he chose to flee, with his remaining forces stealing a dropship from Pahute spaceport and then using it to hijack a jumpship out of system.

For the next three years they would blaze a trail of destruction across the Confederation, raiding worlds as an act of vengeance for their betrayal. Eventually, what was left of his group arrived on Galatea, where they chose to break up and join the mercenary trade as individuals. Tony would serve as a freelance ‘gunslinger’, bringing his own expertise to whatever unit would take him.


MNL-3L Mangonel (Modified) Penetrator
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: AR-7b Endo Steel
Powerplant: Magna 350 Light
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Royal-7 Ferro-Fiberous
Armament:
      2 Corean Light Gauss Rifles
      4 Diverse Optics Extended-Range Medium Lasers
Comm System: K9 Comms System
T&T System: Type V Bloodhound

Tony’s Mangonel has something of a colourful past, which is oddly suitable given its pilot.

The BattleMech was purchased new from Arc-Royal MechWorks in 3085 for the nascent RAF as a part of its rearmament. For the next three decades, it would serve in the Republic’s forces, before being disabled and abandoned during the Capellan Crusades. While the CCAF were able to salvage it, they chose not to return it to service or simply scrap it for parts. Rather, they rebuilt the ‘Mech, equipping it with an XL gyro to add much needed ammunition and armour, and assigned it to their hidden reserves against future use.

When the Capellans chose to arm the Santos, the rebuilt Mangonel was one of the machines chosen to be a part of the deal. Unwanted by the CCAF (who didn’t otherwise use the design) and not immediately traceable to them, it was seen as both being expendable while also impressive enough to demonstrate their good faith to their prospective partners. As the heaviest ‘Mech in the weapons lot, it was claimed by Tony Jaros as his own.

In his hands, Penetrator (as he dubbed the machine) became an instrument of terror in his war for control of Pahute. More than capable of dealing with police forces and MilitaMechs, it also gave a good accounting against the RAF planetary guard’s equipment. Tony’s own skills as a marksman made the most of its long-range capabilities, allowing him to land shots long before his enemies were able to respond. Following his successful takeover of the city, he used Penetrator as a way to get around; the sight of the huge BattleMech outside a casino or nightclub was far from uncommon.

Penetrator survived the near-destruction of the Santos at the hands of the CCAF and their subsequent flight and campaign of vengeance. Since arriving on Galatea, Tony has continued to use the BattleMech in his mercenary career.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: truetanker on 28 January 2021, 19:57:27
Tag!

( Yeah, a new adventure! )

TT
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Nav_Alpha on 29 January 2021, 00:17:14
Interesting. At least one familiar face.
Very interesting...
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: snakespinner on 29 January 2021, 00:34:20
Tag.
Remember Irisz from your previous story. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 03 February 2021, 07:33:22
Terry McKinnon
Position/Rank: Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/McKinnon’s Marauders
Birth Year: 3115

The McKinnon family have been mercenaries since before the fall of the Star League, with the family tradition unlikely to change so as long as the trade exists. Since the Third Succession War, they have commanded a family unit, McKinnon’s Marauders; while it has been nearly destroyed several times, it has managed to come back from the brink each time.

Terry McKinnon is a potential heir to that tradition, albeit in an unplanned manner. While serving a garrison contract on Irurzun, Thomas McKinnon had an affair with Mary Garr, a local researcher who was assigned to one of the sites the Marauders were protecting. Unknown to him, she had a son, Terry, who was born after the Marauders had left the world. Mary and her husband, Warren, raised him, with the truth of his parentage known only to her.

At sixteen, Terry Garr, joined the DCMS, where he showed an aptitude for BattleMech combat. Following the HPG blackout he was assigned to a recon lance in the 17th Benjamin Regulars, who had rotated into the Draconis Reach. The constant fighting in the region had escalated following the Blackout, with both states seeking to full claim control of the region for their own as a prelude to a broader campaign.

Here he would have his first taste of real combat. On Wapakoneta, his recon lance were ambushed by Sandoval-backed mercenaries outside the city of Green Bay. After his Chu-i was killed in the first strike, Terry took command of the lance and rallied the survivors. Using his Panther’s mobility, he harried and distracted the attackers, keeping them pinned down and unable to either eliminate the rest of his lance or disengage. This bought the 17th enough time to send reinforcements and destroy the enemy force, pushing them back from the Green Bay region.

Warren Garr was killed in 3139, an accidental victim of gang violence who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The subsequent investigation revealed that Terry was not his son. Shocked by this revelation, Terry confronted his mother and learned the truth about his parentage. Armed with this knowledge, he resigned his commission from the DCMS, and set off to find his father. His actions were driven by no small degree of anger, both at his father’s seeming abandonment and his mother’s concealment.

In 3141 he arrived on Galatea, and made contact with McKinnon’s Marauders. While he was able to provide Thomas McKinnon with proof of his identity, the situation was made more awkward when Thomas revealed that he not only was married, but also had a legitimate son, Damien, born in 3108. None the less, Thomas felt a degree of responsibility, and hired Terry as a member of the unit while agreeing to make amends towards his mother.

Despite being hired due to his parentage, Terry proved himself to be a capable MechWarrior in his own right. This won him support within the unit, but also no small degree of enmity from his half-brother who felt somewhat embarrassed and even threatened by his existence. A part of the problem was that Damien had been named as Thomas’ heir, and was at the time believed to be his only child. As such, he saw him as a potential rival for his position.

Despite this problem, Terry proved to be not only a skilled MechWarrior, but also loyal to the unit and the family’s legacy. While his name granted him a position as an officer, he worked hard to prove he was worthy of the position on his own merits. Following Thomas McKinnon’s retirement in 3148, Damien took control of the unit. This led to something of an easing of the tension between the two as it became clear that Terry had no ambitions to take Damien’s place.

Recently, Terry has been involved with Irisz Magyari’s growing alliance of mercenaries, operating on his own rather than as a representative of his unit as a whole. The two are also rumored to be romantically linked, although if this is out of mutual attraction or some plan for a mercenary dynastic union is unclear.

PXH-9 Phoenix Hawk Shadow
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

Arriving on Galatea with no BattleMech of his own put Terry McKinnon at an immediate disadvantage. While his father did embrace him, there was also only so much that he could do to support his son. He was provided with a decades-old PXH-3M Phoenix Hawk that they had salvaged during a prior contract. Terry was none the less grateful for the BattleMech, which allowed him to capitalize on his prior experience with lighter ‘Mechs.

Terry used the BattleMech for his first few years with the Marauders, often pushing it to the limits of its mobility while aggressively riding its heat curve. Despite his skills, the BattleMech was destroyed in 3145 fighting against the CCAF on Haappajarvi while he was attempting to slow their advance and cover the Marauders’ retreat.

Following this loss, the ‘Mech was replaced with a new PXH-9 model, with Terry preferring the greater mobility of the design. He quickly learned to take advantage of these traits to flank and harry enemy forces while making himself an elusive target. These maneuvers allowed him to pin enemy forces into place and in turn make them easy targets for the rest of his lance.

With the Marauders’ recent involvement in Fontaine Marik’s war on the Marian Hegemony, Terry had ample opportunity to prove his skills. During the invasion of Illyria, his ‘Mech proved to be a lethal force in the Cadmus megaforests, leaping and harrying opponents who were hampered by the dense terrain. His mobility allowed him to claim a number of kills on heavier ‘Mechs, including a Marian Goliath piloted by a senior I Legio officer.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 03 February 2021, 07:37:36
Ivar Grodenko
Position/Rank: MechWarrior
Affiliation/Unit: Federated Suns/Unknown Unit
Birth Year: 3108

Ivar Grodenko is an interesting case of the twists that a man’s life can carry him through. While his family on Buchalu were outwardly poor, working class laborers, his father was in fact a lieutenant within one of the world’s organized crime syndicates. Ivar was raised with a mixture of deprivation, brutality and the promise of a better life following in his father’s footsteps. Rather, when his father was killed in 3130 during a bout of intercede fighting, Ivar seemingly disappeared.

He resurfaced in 3133 as Ivar Wolf, now a member of the Steel Wolves on Fletcher. Why he had chosen to embrace the Clan lifestyle is unclear, but it might have been as much about protection from his enemies as anything else. Ivar’s combination of drive and brutality saw him win a place as a MechWarrior within the Wolf Lancers cluster. Initially his future with the Steel Wolves looked promising, with Ivar taking part in several battles during their early campaigns.

Despite this lead, he was instead left as a part of the Steel Wolves’ skeletal garrison forces left behind to defend their holdings while Anastasia Kerensky sought greater glory. When the bulk of the Steel Wolves instead fled to Prefecture IX following her failed effort to attack Terra, Ivar and his cohorts held their ground, confident that their leader would one day return. The declaration of Fortress Republic in late 3135 saw them dig in even further, confident that their day would come.

Instead much of the surrounding region was quietly and peacefully absorbed by the Federated Suns, while the Steel Wolves showed no signs of returning to protect their holdings. After being forced to disarm, the remaining Steel Wolves on Fletcher began to break up, either abandoning their posts or seeking other opportunities. For his part, Ivar fell back on his roots, integrating himself into the planet’s underworld, specifically its underground BattleMech duelling circuit.

The Capellan conquest if the world saw crackdown on such activities, leaving Ivar Wolf isolated and frustrated at his circumstances. Things would change for him with the arrival of Magyari’ Irregulars on-world in 3145 as a part of a raiding contract, aimed at destabilizing the CCAF presence there. Looking to exploit local assets, the mercenaries made contact with Ivar, who in turn aided them in the destruction of several Capellan stockpiles. They gave him two things in return; the first was a chance to pilot a BattleMech again, and the second was a ticket off-world.

Ivar Wolf returned to Galatea with the unit, but what happened to him after that is somewhat unclear. He was actively searching for employment on the mercenary market for a short period, but then seemingly dropped out of sight before ever signing on to a unit.

He would not be seen again until late 3147 in the Federated Suns. Having reclaimed his family name, Ivar was a part of a small group operating in AFFS colours but not identified with any unit. Highly mobile, this command has been roaming worlds occupied by both the Capellan Confederation and Draconis Combine, striking at supply depots, command centers and other resources. While initially presumed to be the remnants of a destroyed command, such as those lost on Palmyra, several of the seemingly brand-new BattleMechs within their ranks suggests that they may have Sea Fox backing. However, why and what the mercantile Clan would be getting out of the deal is a mystery.

Likewise, it is unclear why Ivar is fighting for the Federated Suns, a nation that he has no connection to at all. Given his past, It is possible that his benefactors have simply offered him the one thing he was denied for so long; the chance to fight and die gloriously.

Sun Cobra 2 Rabid
Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: IX Endo Steel
Powerplant: Vox 330 XL
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 96 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Advanced/3
Armament:
      2 Type DDS Kingston Extended-Range PPCs
Comm System: Build 1685 Tacticomm
T&T System: Build 2 Cat TTS with Targeting Computer

During his time with the Steel Wolves, Ivar Wolf piloted a Ghost that had been previously a part of the Fletcher Planetary Guard. As a freeborn adoptee, even being given that much honour was an achievement that Ivar had to fight hard for. He proved that he was worthy of it in clashes against the Sprit Cats and Swordsworn, where he demonstrated a combination of skill and ferocity that earned him several kills.

Ivar’s Ghost was confiscated by the AFFS during the annexation of Fletcher; it was subsequently disabled and captured by the CCAF, leaving him dispossessed. Aside from a few short periods during his involvement with illegal BattleMech fights, it would be nearly a decade before he would ride into battle again. This time it was at the controls of a salvaged Hatchetman, which would be destroyed by Warrior House Ijori forces.

His third BattleMech appears to be brand new. A Sea Fox-built Sun Cobra 2, the BattleMech has been his consistent ride since he resurfaced in 3147. Where he got it from is unclear, although the popularity of the design with the AFFS would not rule out it being taken from their supplies or salvage. Regardless of its origins, Ivar Grodenko has proven to be adept at its controls, taking advantage of its Targeting Computer to land precise, deadly hits on opponents.

So far, Rabid (as he has dubbed the ‘Mech) has proven to be a threat out of all proportion to its size. Ivar has claimed kills on a number of heavy and even assault BattleMechs through his precise shooting and seeming lack of regard for his own life. And while the Sun Cobra has been badly damaged several times, whoever provided it seems to also have no lack of supplies to keep the BattleMech running.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 03 February 2021, 07:41:00
Lanie King
Position/Rank: Major
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/King’s Tigers
Birth Year: 3105

While it is commonly accepted that every Mercenary unit that fought for the Word of Blake was destroyed during the Jihad, the truth is much more complicated. King’s Tigers was one of those commands that survived the conflict, albeit only after suffering considerable losses. Fleeing to the Taurian Concordat, the unit survived by trading advanced Word-supplied equipment to the TDF as a part of a long-term contract.

For the better part of half a century, the Tigers would slowly rot away in the Concordat, alternating between long-term garrison assignments and employment in often futile raids against the Federated Suns. The latter did little for them beyond costing them men and equipment, further whittling away what little they had left and leaving many in fear for the unit’s viability. The coup that placed Kaff Doru in power bought the Tigers some time as the new government sought to de-escalate the tension with its neighbours.

Lanie King was only 24 when she inherited control of the unit in 3129 after her father’s sudden death. Having lived her life entirely in the Concordat while watching her family unit die around her, she embarked on a radical course of action. In 3130 she opted not to renew the Tigers’ contract with the TDF, instead taking the unit halfway across the Inner Sphere to Galatea in what could only be described as a substantial gamble. Her goal was simple; either reestablish the Tigers as a viable force, or see it break up but at least allow its members a chance at controlling their own destinies.

Her first challenge would ultimately be a legal one, as there were outstanding bounties on the unit and several of its officers. The subsequent case, King’s Tigers versus MRBC, set a legal precedent as it established that there were no surviving members of the unit from that time, and that as such, the MRBC-authorized bounty on the unit was no longer valid. With that obstacle out of the way, Lanie King fully registered the reborn Tigers with the commission.

Many expected them to simply fold, but fate was strangely fortunate to the command. The HPG blackout saw a sudden rise in tensions across the Inner Sphere, and a sudden need for mercenaries. King’s Tigers would win several contracts in the next three years that saw them gain critical experience and skill, helping to turn them from a collection of struggling survivors into a viable fighting force. Lanie King quickly matured as a commander during this period, proving to be a capable leader despite her inexperience.

By 3135, King’s Tigers had actually begun to grow as a unit, recruiting from the rapidly ballooning mercenary market. An extended contract with the Capellan Confederation netted the unit crucial experience and salvage as it faced forces in the former Republic and along the Federated Suns border. The sudden termination of their contract in 3138 left the Tigers high and dry, but Lanie King was able to use what she had to get them quickly back on the market.

For the next seven years, the Tigers would see further action across the Inner Sphere, serving with every other Successor state to some degree. From early 3146 onwards they focused on the crumbling Lyran Commonwealth, engaging in pirate hunting operations across the realm’s exposed flank, while choosing to avoid the Clan front. The only exception came in 3148, when the Tigers were among several other mercenary units that aided in the putting down of Diego Wildermar’s Buena Collective.

If Lanie King can be said to have a weakness, it is her dedication to her job. She spares little time for anything but the Tigers to the point where she is literally married to them; her wife, Miho Miazuchi, is also the unit’s chief technician, and their oldest daughter is also an apprentice MechWarrior. In recent months, Lanie King has been seen with Irisz Magyari and other members of her growing mercenary alliance.

CTF-3LL Cataphract
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: Earthworks CTF
Powerplant: VOX 280 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph (88 kph w/MASC)
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Kallon Royalstar
Armament:
      1 Imperator Code Red LB 10-X Autocannon
      1 Ceres Arms Crushed Plasma Rifle
      4 Ceres Arms Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System: CommuTech Multi-Channel 10
T&T System: Blazefire SightLock

In its own strange way, Lanie King’s Cataphract is a symbol of the Tiger’s resilience and determination to keep going. The BattleMech was salvaged from the Capellans during the Jihad and pressed into the Tiger’s service during that conflict. It survived their flight to the Taurian Concordat, where it remained a part of their roster for the next five decades. While other more advanced units either were destroyed or traded to the Taurians, it continued to serve, passed from one MechWarrior to another.

When Lanie King took control of it in 3127 it was less out of any family tradition of operating that particular ‘Mech, as it was the first functional machine available to her. None the less, she felt a certain degree of pride in operating it, given that it was tied to her unit’s history to such a degree. Over the years she has mastered the ‘Mech, including learning to carefully time and control the use of the MASC system to minimize the risk of damage.

On the battlefield, she is something of a pragmatist. Rather than seeking heroic duels with rival BattleMechs, King instead prefers to take an opportunistic approach, and often focuses on taking out enemy tanks or Battle Armour that are more vulnerable to her Plasma and LBX weapons. This is not to say that she is a coward by any means, and she has shown a willingness to engage more powerful foes if needs be.

Despite several opportunities to do such, Lanie has no desire to upgrade to a heavier or more powerful BattleMech, preferring to continue using her familiar Cataphract. However, despite her odd affection for the ‘Mech, she also has not given it a nickname.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Nav_Alpha on 03 February 2021, 18:51:57
Loving these bios and very intrigued on where it’s all going...
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 February 2021, 06:52:43
Guest character courtesy of KayEmm

Kari Moreno
Position/Rank: Mercenary
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Dark Suns
Birth Year: 3118

With her brightly-coloured hair and tattoo-covered arms, not to mention her relative youth, Kari Moreno des not look the part of a mercenary commander. And yet, she has thrown herself into the position with a degree of drive and determination that belies her lack of experience. Initially wary, she has matured into her role in the last five years.

The Dark Suns were a family owned mercenary unit, formed out of the remnants of several other shattered commands in the wake of the Jihad. It had always been lead by the Moreno family, who themselves had a history of mercenary service going back generations. That tradition almost ended in 3143 on Wrocaiw, when faulty intelligence on the part of the LCAF put the Dark Suns right in the path of a Jade Falcon assault. The Dark Suns were badly mauled and forced to retreat off-world; among the dead was Carlos Moreno, the unit’s then commander and Kari’s father.

In the face of such severe losses, most units would have simply folded. Instead, Kari Moreno was determined to honour her family’s legacy and rebuild her command. While essentially emptying their financial reserves, she was able to recruit enough men to put together a passably functional fighting force. Much of this was her own sheer drive to succeed more than any conventional wisdom; none the less, she made sure to build an effective force, rather than simply taking whatever she could.

Several low-risk contracts helped to bring the unit together and give it some measure of financial stability, but their true breakthrough came with a devastating raid against the Alliance Aerospace facilities on Bass. The unit were able to slip past the Canopian defenses and raid the planetside facilities, devastating the local militia forces to only minimal loss. The unit was further buoyed when it successfully repelled a Marian raid on Kendall. These successes were as much due to the Dark Suns’ abilities as it was Kari’s leadership and tactical skills.

Her skills would be put to the test in 3148 when Kari was approached by agents working for Kommandant Stephan Kurtz, an officer in the 2nd Donegal Guard. Kurtz had information pinpointing the specific Jade Falcon unit and even officer that had been responsible for the near destruction of the unit and the death of her father, identifying the culprits as the 13th Falcon Dragoons, stationed on Arcturus. He made an offer of employment for her for a raid in force on the world, aimed at disrupting the Falcon forces, stealing supplies and striking the Arcturan Arms factory.

Once the Dark Suns arrived planetside, however, the situation changed drastically. Rather than the raid in force that he had intended, Kurtz’s goal was to boost his own career and political standing by reclaiming the Commonwealth’s original capitol. He deliberately fed the Dark Suns to the Falcons, aiming to use them as bait while preserving his own forces. Quick thinking by Kari allowed her to extricate her unit and escape the trap that he had set for her.

In the aftermath of the debacle, Kari was able to present enough evidence of Kurtz’s wrongdoing to clear her unit of any misconduct. While the Dark Suns returned to Galatea to again rebuild, Kurtz was stripped of his rank and dishonorably discharged from the LCAF for his unauthorized actions.

Kari’s current situation could only be described as contradictory. In the last five years, she has grown considerably as a commander, forced to take on the role far earlier than she had ever planned to. However, on a personal level, she is remarkably insecure and suffers from a combination of self-doubt and low self-esteem that is seemingly at odds with her colourful appearance. In many ways, she also feels pressured to carry her family’s legacy forwards, even if it may not fit with her own personal plans.

Most recently, Kari has been associated with Irisz Magyari and her growing coalition of mercenaries.

BL-18-KNT Black Knight Black Sun
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Technicron Revised NT Endo-Composite
Powerplant: Vlar 300 Light
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Valliant Lamellor
Armament:
      1 Type DDS Kingston Extended Range PPC
      2 Series 7NC Extended Range Large Lasers
      4 Series 2NC Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Series 4 Small Pulse Laser
Comm System: Transcomm Alpha
T&T System: Transcomm Beta with Beagle Active Probe and Targeting Computer

Kari Moreno’s Black Knight has been in her family for generations, even before the formation of the Dark Suns. The BattleMech reportedly dates back to the Star League, having passed through numerous hands even before passing into the Moreno’s ownership. Traditionally, the BattleMech has been piloted by the senior member of the family, although there have been exceptions (such as on Wrocaiw, where Kari was piloting the ‘Mech, while Carlos was piloting a BattleMaster).

Along the way, the ‘Mech has been near destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. During the depths of the Succession Wars, it had was stripped of most of its advanced technology in order to keep it running. The recovery of technology in the years prior to the Clan Invasion saw it rebuilt again back to its prior SLDF standards. Despite several close calls, it also has become something of a lucky charm for the Moreno family; none of its members have ever died behind the controls of the BattleMech, despite numerous close calls.

When she inherited control of the Dark Suns, Kari also took over the family’s BattleMech, making it a symbol of her resilience and determination to rebuild. Its rugged design served her well over the following years, allowing her to lead her unit from the front during their operations. The BattleMech was again badly damaged in the fighting on Arcturus. In the aftermath, Kari had it rebuilt again to modern BL-18-KNT standards, complete with Clan-spec weaponry.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 February 2021, 06:56:01
Some of these are allies. Some a threats. Some may be both.

Marcus Kessels
Position/Rank: Bandit King
Affiliation/Unit: Pirate/Ghost Flames
Birth Year: 3113 (estimated)

The Ghost Flames are a pirate band that have reaped the benefits of the HPG Blackout and subsequent chaos. First emerging from the ruins of the Circrinus Federation in the early 32nd century, they remained little more than a nuance for much of their existence. However, following Grey Monday, they stepped up their attacks to take advantage of distracted enemies, quickly growing in power and reach.

Marcus Kessels is the current leader of the Ghost Flames. Little is known about his past; according to him, he was born on a supposedly dead or abandoned former Rim Worlds colony, but this cannot be verified. His early life was, by all accounts, one of deprivation, growing up poor in a scavenger society that was punctuated by bouts of violence and gang warfare. By the age of sixteen he had joined the Ghost Flames, supposedly because he saw the opportunity that the group represented (but just as likely he was press-ganged by the unit).

Regardless of how he joined, Kessels took naturally to the life of a pirate. Determined to make a better life for himself regardless of what it took, he readily used violence to achieve his aims. He claimed a spot as a MechWarrior within the Ghost Flames by the age of eighteen, likely killing another member of the band for the position. He quickly rose through the ranks of the organisation through a series of successful raids that yielded considerable plunder while leaving destruction in their wake.

When the Lyran Commonwealth began their invasion of the former Free Worlds League in 3137, Kessels chose to take advantage off the situation. He led a series of raids against the distracted LCAF, striking deeper than they had gone before. While risky, these raids paid off, bolstering his position within the pirate band. In 3141, backed by a large number of the Ghost Flames, he challenged then-leader Jonny Black for the leadership of the band. Following a short but bloody fight, Black was dead and Kessels was their new, unquestioned leader.

After a short period of consolidation (that largely involved purging any remaining loyalists) Kessels began a new campaign of violence aimed at the Lyran Commonwealth. His assaults were determined and aggressive, and only grew in boldness as the Commonwealth’s situation deteriorated. Under his control, the Ghost Flames prowled a stretch of the anti-Spinward border of the realm, treating it as their own territory.

With the LCAF best upon by all sides, they could rarely spare any forces to deal with the Ghost Flames. If anything, the formation of the breakaway Beuna Collective seemed to embolden the pirates, driving them to push further into the realm. By 3148 they were readily raiding a stretch of worlds that they collectively referred to as the Ghost Flame’s wake, preying on whatever targets they could find. Increasingly they  faced mercenary units, hired by planetary leaders, local nobles or even corporations to protect what the Lyran Government could not.

This success has solidified Marcus Kessles’ position as the leader of the band; as long as the loot keeps flowing and their raids remain successful, it is unlikely that he will be challenged anytime soon. Recent rumors have it that he has set up a base of operations within the Lyran Commonwealth itself, possibly on an otherwise dead or abandoned world, or alternatively being sheltered by a planetary noble in exchange for protection.

Outside of the Ghost Flames, Marcus Kessels has no allies but has made plenty of enemies. However, for the moment he seems confident in his position, convinced that the fractured Commonwealth will remain too focused on other matters to bring him to heel.

COR-BR Corsair Dieselnurdler
Mass: 95 tons
Chassis: Hollis Mk II (modified)
Powerplant: Pitban 285 XL
Cruising Speed: 32 kph
Maximum Speed: 54 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Patchwork
Armament:
      2 Zeus Slingshot Gauss Rifles
      2 Magna Mk III Large Lasers
      3 TharHes SRM-4s
Comm System: Dalban Commline
T&T System: Dalban HiRez

A product of equal parts ingenuity and desperation, the first Corsairs emerged from the workshops of the Oberon Confederacy in the late Third Succession War. Essentially cobbled together from whatever parts came to hand and built to only the crudest of standards, each Corsair was functionally a unique BattleMech. The design spread across the near periphery, with hand-crafted examples cropping up in the hands of pirates and independent Periphery militaries.

This example was first sighted in 3120, being piloted by the then leader of the Ghost Flames, Jonny Black and was the only assault ‘Mech in the unit. After his death, Marcus Kessles claimed it for his own, a move that was as much about securing a symbol of his authority as it was his unwillingness to let anyone else possess such a powerful machine. Marcus would have the ‘Mech rebuilt again to suit his own purposes, including a pair of powerful Gauss Rifles as the centerpiece of its arsenal.

Marcus Kessels prefers to lead his band from the front; this is as much about making the most of his powerful  BattleMech as it is the need to reinforce his powerbase by proving his skill and bravery. The result is that the misshapen, ungainly but powerful BattleMech has become a feared sight across the worlds that the Ghost Flames target.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 February 2021, 07:00:48
Cameron Clarke
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Clan Sea Fox/Spina Khanate
Birth Year: 3110

A Sea Fox warrior-merchant, Cameron Clarke presents something of an odd contradiction in his nature. While outwardly he possesses the traits that are key to the clan, being a shrewd negotiator and being able to recognize the value of an item while also knowing when to back off from a bad deal, he also seems to lack ambition. The result is that it seems that his career has stalled; however, on closer examination, it becomes apparent that he has much more at play that it would seem.

Cameron showed considerable skills during his Sibko years, both as a warrior and a merchant. His trainers faith in him paid off when he graduated at the top of his Sibko, earning a place in the Spina Khanate’s forces. His first real test came in 3133 on Sterling; a sale to the planetary guard was disrupted by a pirate attack, with the raiders seeking to seize the weapons for themselves. Cameron lead the defense of his trade mission, handily defeating the attackers. In doing so, he also impressed the clients so much that they increased their order. In 3136 he successfully competed for the Clarke Bloodname, after being sponsored by a senior member of the Khanate.

His first real setback would come in 3137 when a trade deal within the Falcon’s Reach backfired, leaving him trading several new OmniMechs for a load of Inner Sphere salvage, essentially trading at a loss. While Cameron was chastised for the loss, he reaped other benefits from the deal, such as making contacts outside of Spina Khanate’s usual sphere of influence. Like the test of the Khanate, he became involved in the reunification of the Free Worlds League, including taking part In operation HOMECOMING.

By 3140, however, his career had appeared to stall. For the last five years, Cameron had maintained the rank of Star Captain and run a small but profitable trade mission, but he had also shown no apparent interest in further advancement. Instead, his mission rotated between the mercenary market on  Galatea, and the remaining independent worlds in League space. As these operations continued to remain profitable, few seemed to be concerned with his lack of profile. If anything, Cameron’s middling performance and lack of ambition was dismissed by his fellow Sea Foxes who simply didn’t see him as a threat. His strange interest in performing covers of folk ballards only added to the image of him as largely harmless.

The truth was far more complicated. By remaining low profile and focusing on low-level but profitable trading, Cameron Clarke had been building his own personal brand within his target markets. A part of his dealing was acting as an information broker, trading in intelligence as much as he did in weapons and supplies. For example, in 3138, he sold a brand new Mad Cat Mk IV to Irisz Magyari, a mercenary who had lost her BattleMech in combat with an unknown, gigantic, three-legged BattleMech. As a part of the payment for her new OmniMech, she provided him with BattleROM footage of the encounter, which he would later sell onwards.

Such deals became his stock in trade, allowing Cameron to build up a considerable network of contacts and allies within the mercenary trade and beyond. The result is that he has become a powerful information broker on Galatea, serving the Mercenary trade well. He trades in knowledge as much as he does parts, BattleMechs or weaponry, giving him degree of a reach and influence within the trade that goes well beyond where other Sea Foxes would normally reach. It is believed that this network has the quiet backing of his Aimag, if not the entire Khanate, as a way to drum up sales and bolster their influence.

Grendel (Mongrel) D Death Fish II
Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Process 12 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Consolidated 315 XL
Cruising Speed: 76 kph
Maximum Speed: 119 kph
Jump Jets: Clan Standard 14X
   Jump Capacity: 210 meters
Armour: Arcadia Compound Delta VII Ferro-Fiberous
Armament:
      1 Type DDS Kingston Extended Range PPC
      1 Series 2NC Extended Range Medium Laser
      1 Series 2d Medium Pulse Laser
      1 Series 4 Small Pulse Laser
      1 Mk III Type 22 SRM-6
Comm System: KP-3 “Screamer”
T&T System: Version Gamma-V TTS

While the popular image of the Sea Fox Clan is one of merchants, many overlook that it still maintains a formidable and well-equipped military; more to the point, that the same merchants that many deal with are also Clan Warriors. Cameron Clarke is a good example of the type; while outwardly a trader, he can and will take up arms to protect his dealings or to enforce his Khanate’s goals.

Cameron Clarke’s first BattleMech, once he graduated from his Sibko training, was a brand-new Grendel built at the Clan’s Channeline Isles facilities. He would nickname the ‘Mech Death Fish, a play on the Clan’s totems as well as possibly an early attempt to appear harmless through such a joking title. Those that dismissed his capabilities would soon learn to regret their mistakes, as he proved to be a skilled a MechWarrior as he was a trader, taking up arms to defend his operations.

In addition to its role in protecting his operations, Cameron Clarke often used Death Fish as a way to bolster sales through demonstrating the OmniMech’s capabilities. Even if it was priced beyond what many of his clients could afford, the simple presence of the ‘Mech and a display of what it could do often encouraged clients to expand their purchases and allowed Cameron to upsell them on items that they might not have otherwise purchased.

Cameron’s BattleMech was destroyed in combat with Regulan forces in 3148. It was replaced with a new Grendel, which he imaginatively titled Death Fish II.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 February 2021, 17:00:02
Anrynn Pryde
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Clan Jade Falcon/Delta Galaxy
Birth Year: 3118

Star Captain Anrynn Pryde is a strange contradiction. While a trueborn Clan warrior, a dedicated Crusader and unquestionably loyal to both her Clan and the Mongol ideal of total warfare, she is also remarkably pleasant and friendly to a degree that seems almost disturbing.

Socially, Anrynn could not be a bigger departure from the stereotypes of a Clan warrior if she had tried. She is remarkably friendly, cheerful and upbeat in general. Good natured and affable, she has a pleasant sense of humour and a propensity towards generally being nice to those around her. If anything, she seems to act like s stereotypical housewife in a holovid sitcom, an image not helped by her love of cooking as a hobby.

Even when faced with the frequent trials that are a key part of Clan life, she remains remarkably, possibly even frighteningly, pleasant. When challenged, she will not back down, but at the same time will not try to harm an opponent more than needed. She is gracious in her victories and humble in her defeats, choosing instead to move on and focus on what needs to be done. During her Bloodname Trials she did not kill a single opponent (Although two were badly injured) instead incapacitating them.

However, when behind the controls of her BattleMech and facing an enemy of her Clan, Anrynn Pryde is a completely different person.

Beyond just the simple needs of defeating an enemy, she takes on a vicious, aggressive persona that strives to see them utterly destroyed. She will ruthlessly destroy her opponents, not heeding any please for mercy or restraint. She has shown no qualms about attacking non-combatants, and has gone so far as to use them to lure out an enemy. And while many among the Jade Falcons have embraced melee combat, she seems to actively relish the idea, engaging in physical attacks with her enemy wherever possible. This Anrynn is a blood-soaked killer, one who lives only for the destruction of her enemy.

Among Inner Sphere societies, such behavior would be considered to be worrying at the least, and downright disturbing by most. However, among the Clans, such behavior is often encouraged; after all, a warrior lives only to fight, and success is measured in victories and enemies defeated. Few acknowledge the seeming split in her personality, and those among her comrades that do seem to prefer her more vicious warrior nature.

It is not clear if Anrynn’s pleasant persona is just an act that she has built up in order to appear disarming and nonthreatening. Alternatively, it is possible that her vicious warrior nature is a shell she has constructed in order to better fit in with the conformist nature of Clan society, and that she really is that nice underneath it all. Or, most disturbingly, that the two separate personas exist and that she switches between the two given the situation.

Regardless of the hows and whys of her situation, there is no arguing her effectiveness. Coming of age following the Falcon rending and the rise of the golden ordun, she has been on the frontlines of the Clan’s advance towards Terra. Her career so far has been marked by constant battles, an environment in which she has so far thrived. Her bloodthirsty side has served her well, allowing her to carve a path of destruction through her Clan’s enemies.

Jade Hawk (Modified) Twilight
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Dynamic F14 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Starfire 375 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph (65 kph w/TSM)
Maximum Speed: 86 kph (97 kph w/TSM)
Jump Jets: Grandthrust Mk 5 with Partial Wing
   Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armour: Jolassa 325
Armament:
      4 Type I SRM-6s
      2 Series 2b ER Medium Lasers
      2 Series 1g ER Small Lasers
Comm System: Raptor X-T Type III
T&T System: Goshawk E-Series with Light Active Probe

The Jade Hawk has the dubious distinction of entering service with two opposing groups at the same time. Orginally intended as a Jade Falcon totem ‘Mech, industrial espionage saw the design stolen and  copied for the mercenary market. The result has been two separate streams of development, taking the BattleMech in different directions.

Anrynn Pryde’s Jade Hawk, Twilight, is a merging of the two different families. In a rare clash, her ‘Mech faced and defeated a mercenary JHK-03 Jade Hawk. While outwardly disgusted at the ‘abomination’ she faced, Anrynn was also impressed with its capabilities; so much so that she ordered her technicians to salvage components from the downed machine. From this she was able to integrate its Triple Strength Myomer into her own BattleMech, bolstering its capabilities. Rather than incorporating its claws, however, she chose a more Falcon touch to the design, equipping it with talons.

The result is a terror of a BattleMech that is ideally suited to her ferocious combat style. Anrynn prefers to use her mobility and jump jets to close with an enemy, before engaging them at point blank range with both her weapons and vicious kicks. She prefers to aggressively ride her ‘Mech’s heat curve, keeping its enhanced myomers active as much as possible.

While risky, this approach has so far worked well for her. On Thorin, she was able to wreak terrible havoc on both the RAF and Wolf forces that opposed the Falcon invasion, closing in and eviscerating heavier BattleMechs. On Rigel Kentarus she faced off with a brand new Wolf Thresher II and literally shattered the ‘Mech with a single kick.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 February 2021, 17:03:47
Leonid Stanislav
Position/Rank: Major
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Stainsalv’s Hammers
Birth Year: 3099 (assumed)

Leonid Stanislav is not just a mystery, but he is in his own way carrying on a tradition that has seemingly run through his family for generations.

The few records of his family go back to the late 30th century with Yulri Stanislav, a mercenary MechWarrior who was active in the rimward region of the Near Periphery. What made him unusual was his point of origin; it appears that Yulri immigrated inwards from somewhere deeper in the Periphery. However, efforts to find his exact point of origin have so far come to nothing. He took control of a small mercenary unit, renaming it Stanislav’s Hammers. This unit would take part in several conflicts during the early 31st century including the Aurigan civil war.

Following the end of the Fourth Succession War, the unit simply vanished. It would not resurface again until 3037, now headed up by Vladim Stanislav, Yulri’s son. This iteration of the Hammers would be far-roaming in the contracts that they took, and remained active for the next decade and a half. They would again disappear in 3052; however, it was simply assumed that thee unit had become another victim of the Clan invasion.

Rather, the Hammers would again re-emerge in 3057, now under the command of Nikolas Stanislav, the son of Vladim. This iteration of the Hammers would remain active for over two decades, working for a wide variety of employers across the Inner Sphere. The unit would take part in everything from the small conflicts of the Chaos March to fighting on both sides of the FedCom civil war under various contracts. Late in the Jihad, they would become involved with the drive into the Word of Blake Protectorate. However, they would again vanish in 3079 during the confused final days of the conflict. Given all else that happened at the time, the disappearance of a small mercenary command barely rated a mention.

The unit would not re-merge until 3132, appearing on Herotitus a month after the HPG Blackout. This incarnation of the Hammers was lead by Leonid Stanislav, who claimed to be a descendant of the family line. While DNA testing was able to verify this, he also rebuffed all efforts to explain where he had come from or where his unit had been for the last five decades. All he would offer was a cryptic statement saying that it was a place that he could no longer return to, and that there was no need to say more.

Leonid took advantage of the escalating conflicts within the Inner Sphere to build up the Hammers, a number of successful contracts allowing him to rapidly expand their strength and capabilities. B y 3137 he had relocated his unit to Galatea, abandoning the Periphery market for the more lucrative, and risky, opportunities that the Inner Sphere presented. This move paid off, with the Hammers reaping the benefits over the next decade.

Aside from the unanswered questions over his past, Leonid Stanislav presents an interesting figure. Outwardly he appears surly and argumentative, with a short temper and the occasional explosive outburst. However, this does appear to be an act; rather, his is a rather cunning individual who deliberately downplays himself while carefully exploiting his opponents and looking for their weaknesses. This approach not only dominates his personal interactions, but also his battlefield tactics, where Leonid has shown considerable skill in baiting enemies and luring them into making fatal mistakes.

He has also shown a deep hatred for the Clans, one that does appear to be genuine and is not just a part of his act. The reasons for this hatred are unclear, and may be tied to his mysterious past and the home that he supposedly cannot return to.

MAD-11D Marauder Molot
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: GM MAD Endo-Composite
Powerplant: GM 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Valliant Lamellor
Armament:
      2 Exostar Pinnacle Extended Range PPCs
      2 Exostar Medium X-Pulse Lasers
      1 Poland Main Model X Silver Bullet Gauss Rifle
Comm System: Dalban Micronics
T&T System: Dalban HiRez

When he first appeared in 3132, Leonid Stanislav led the Hammers from a battered MAD-2R Marauder of unknown providence. Deliberate obfuscation on his part made it unclear if the ‘Mech was of recent construction, or alternatively a vintage SLDF model. Regardless of its past, it proved to be a potent weapon in his hands, scoring a number of victories against a variety of opponents. Where possible, Leonid would try to underplay its capabilities in order to trick opponents into underestimating him and his ‘Mech.

Despite his skill, his Marauder was destroyed by Capellan forces on Tigress in 3143. While the ‘mech was salvaged, it was only good for scrap. Furthermore, Leonid seemed to deliberately scrub the wreckage of anything that could be used to identify the ‘Mech’s point of origin.

Not staying dispossessed for long, Leonid used the opportunity to upgrade to a new MAD-11D model. Behind the controls of this ‘Mech, dubbed Molot, he became much more direct and straightforward. No longer trying to hide its abilities, he instead prefers to use them to their fullest to overpower enemies in combat. This has not made him arrogant or overconfident by any means; rather it simply gives him a tool to use alongside his other deceptive tactics. This combination has been a success for Leonid, with Molot serving him and his unit well.

His previous MAD-2R has also continued in its service as well, with parts from its wreck used to repair damage to his current ride.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 February 2021, 17:20:12
Gillian Blackrock
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: None
Birth Year: 3102

Gillian Blackrock (almost certainly an alias) has so far been through considerable changes in her life and survived a number of unexpected twists. Along the way, she has shown a remarkable ability to not only reinvent herself, but to always come out on top.

As best as can be determined, she was born on Tybalt in 3102. She was university educated and earned her Republic citizenship through low-profile community service or charitable work. In her mid-twenties, she earned a job at Bannson Universal, where she displayed a combination of skill, drive and ruthlessness that had her transferred to the company’s ‘special projects’ division. Key among her tasks there was the recruitment of personnel for what would eventually become Bannson’s Raiders.

This role would give her the unenviable task of finding usable recruits from among the mass of killers, criminals, adventurers, failed mercenaries, dropouts and so on that the Raiders discovered and moulding them into a semblance of a cohesive fighting force. While her exact role is unclear, it is suspected that Blackrock was a part of the sorting of the Raiders into their three constituent units, while also isolating those that were useful enough to become MechWarriors as well as those that were unfit for service, even by the Raiders’ questionable standards.

At some point she underwent combat training, including marksmanship and sniper instruction.  By late 3133, she was apparently attached to the Scourge full-time, acting as a scout for the unit while also engaging in other actions to support the unit’s goals. In addition to gathering intelligence, Blackrock may have been responsible for a number of assassinations in support of their operations, all undertaken through precision sniper shots.

Following the Scourge coup against Jacob Bannson, she simply vanished from  sight. During this time, it is believed that she travelled under a variety of alias, taking advantage of the vacuum created by Fortress Republic. Over the next three years there was a series of high-profile assassinations of Capellans, both military and civilian, across former Republic space that she may have been responsible for or at least involved with, but no tangible proof exists to confirm this claim.

In 3140, Blackrock resurfaced on Galatea. She quickly took advantage of her skills and training to earn a position as a freelance broker on the Mercenary’s Star. While she served in both contract negotiations and staff recruitment, her primary focus became the gathering and selling of information. This role allowed her to build up a considerable circle of allies from her clients, ones who were useful to her own goals.

Gillian Blackrock could be best described as an opportunist, but is by no means greedy or short-sighted. She has shown a remarkable ability to plan for the future and react to whatever twists that it throws in her way, but also an understanding of when to abandon her plans and move on. Her goal seems to be more about ensuring her own protection and continual survival; the wealth she has built up along the way is more of a comfort than an necessity, and serves as a useful tool to get what she wants. Above all else, she is discrete in her actions and the influence she wields. For example, while she was instrumental in the battle of Hindmarsh in 3148, her actions also ensured that neither the FWLM nor the RSMC became involved in the situation and escalated it further.

Recently she seems to have entered some sort of an alliance with renegade Republic agent Antonin Rybak. Despite their seemingly opposing goals, the two do appear to trust each other enough to support each other’s operations and share intelligence.

HVC-P6 Havoc
Mass: 35 tons
Chassis: X-H54 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Hermes 280 XL
Cruising Speed: 89 kph
Maximum Speed: 130 kph
Jump Jets: Chilton 360
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Jolassa 328 Ferro-Fiberous
Armament:
      4 Diverse Optics Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Hovertec Quad SRM 4
Comm System: Datacom 70
T&T System: Octagon Tatrac System E

At some stage in her past, likely during her time with the Scourge, Gillian Blackrock trained as a MechWarrior. Her goal was likely to simply expand her options and add to her already considerable repertoire of skills, rather than transition to the battlefield full time.

Much like it’s owner, Gillian’s Havoc has lead an interesting life. Serial XX651-098/NC was built in 3115 and sold straight to the Mercenary market. After passing through three owners, it simply dropped out of sight in 3130. It would resurface in 3133 as a part of the Scourge, indicating that it’s disappearance was likely due to its being acquired by Bannson Universal. For the next two years it was piloted by Jarvis March, a disgraced mercenary in the Scourge’s employ, before his sudden death in 3135. The BattleMech disappeared again, and would not be seen until recently.

It now appears that Blackrock may have kept the BattleMech as an insurance policy, as much about protecting herself as anything else. It is not known if she has ever faced live combat, but so far in the few exercises she has taken part in, she has only shown herself to be a mediocre MechWarrior at best. Of course, why Blackrock has chosen to reveal this facet of herself now is another mystery.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Dragon Cat on 17 February 2021, 16:49:46
Interesting lots of commanders of various units
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: DOC_Agren on 17 February 2021, 17:20:12
Tagged for more info
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: KayEmm on 20 February 2021, 21:48:33
I am really enjoying these. (Although I might just be a bit biased there)
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 February 2021, 06:45:35
Ronnie Raymond Jr.
Position/Rank: MechWarrior
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/McKinnon’s Marauders
Birth Year: 3123

Ronnie Raymond is a striking example of the difference a few years can make to a man’s life.

Born in 3123, Ronnie was the son of Connie Raymond, the commander of Raymond’s Roughnecks, and her second husband, Ron McDougal. Both mercenary commanders, the pair married to form a dynastic union between their two units. Ronnie’s treatment from his parents while growing up was one of stark contrast. His mother clearly favoured his older half-sister, Jessie, ensuring that she had the best of everything that they could afford. Conversely, Ron doted on his son, and would indulge the boy with whatever he could. The result was that Ronnie developed a mixture of entitlement and resentment, feeling he deserved more than what he had.

Growing up as a part of a family-owned mercenary unit, it was expected that Ronnie would one day join their ranks. From a young age, he showed a fascination with BattleMechs and a desire to become a MechWarrior like his mother. And while his father was a Tanker and had hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps, he also chose to support his son’s choices, regardless. Unfortunately, Ronnie turned out to be only a mediocre MechWarrior, and again overshadowed by his sister.

Ronnie was given command of a recon lance in his family unit, a position that was more about his parentage than any personal skill on his part. Service alongside his sister would see a rise in the tensions between the two as each tried to out-do the other, while Ronnie wanted to secure himself a heavier BattleMech as well. That Jessie was also clearly his mother’s preferred heir did not help Ronnie’s situation any.

When Jessie left the unit in late 3145, Ronnie saw his opportunity. His mother somewhat reluctantly accepted him as a heir, giving him his sister’s former spot in the unit and a new BattleMech. Ronnie used the opportunity to then recruit a group of MechWarriors to the unit that would be loyal to him personally, while flushing out anyone who had supported Jessie. For the next three years he loyally followed his mother’s orders, regardless of what they were, dreaming of the day that he would inherit the unit.

Those dreams came crashing down in the 3148 battle of Hindmarsh. Confronted with his mother’s full toxicity and obsessive need for revenge at the cost of her own family, Ronnie deserted the Roughnecks in the middle of the battle. After making peace with both his father and half-sister, he sought to strike out on his own and do what he could to rebuild his life. In this effort he was aided by Irisz Magyari, who used her own contacts to land him a position within McKinnon’s Marauders to help him get restarted.

Compared to where he was previously, Ronnie mellowed considerably in his attitudes and ego. He willingly accepted a demotion, knowing instead that he would now need to earn his rank based on his abilities rather than simply cruising by and assuming that his parents would get him everything that he wanted. This self-realization has led to an increase in his skills as a MechWarrior as he has endeavored to improve himself in his own right. His situation has also been aided by his friendship with his commander, Terry McKinnon, who has done a lot to encourage him. For the moment, Ronnie’s plan seems to be to work his way up the ranks based on his own merits and skills.

Outside of his unit, he remains in contact with several other former Roughnecks, including his now-retired father and his sister. He has shown no interest in locating his mother, clearly feeling that he is better off without her. Despite their family histories, he seems to have won Irisz Magyari’s confidence, enough for her to include him in her inner circle.

GRF-2N Griffin
Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: Earthworks GRF Endo Steel
Powerplant: 275 Core Tek
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: Rawlings 55
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Valliant Chainmail
Armament:
      1 Fusigon Longtooth Extended Range PPC
      2 Holly SRM-6s
Comm System: Neil 6000
T&T System: Octagon Tartrac with Guardian ECM

When Ronnie Raymond became an active member of the Roughnecks, he was ‘rewarded’ with a factory-fresh Cadaver as his personal BattleMech. This of course only served to fuel his resentment, as he felt that he deserved a heavier and more powerful machine. Ronnie would pilot the ‘Mech for several years, showing only competent skills with it. Ambushed by Wolf Empire forces on Ashburton, Ronnie would lose his BattleMech and nearly his life before he was rescued.

The destruction of his Cadaver and subsequent desertion of Jessie Raymond from the family unit would turn out to be a blessing for him. He used his position as the last remaining family heir to justify his need for a heavier BattleMech, especially as he was now taking his sister’s position within the unit. Connie Raymond agreed (albeit reluctantly), purchasing an ex-AMSC Griffin for his use. Ronnie would continue to use the ‘Mech for the rest of his career with the Roughnecks, and took it with him when he deserted.

No longer able to coast by on his family alone, Ronnie has shown considerable growth in his skills in the last two years. The combination of mobility and ruggedness of his Griffin have served him well, both keeping him alive and giving him a potent weapon to hone his skills. He has become an adept skirmisher, proving to be unpredictable and flexible in his actions. He prefers to avoid stand-up fights, instead opting for hit-and-run attacks or flanking moves. In many ways, he seems to be tempering his own ego, focusing on what gets the job done over getting kills or making flashy moves.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 February 2021, 06:49:41
Isabella de Luca
Position/Rank: Kommander
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Krymzon Guard
Birth Year: 3112

The original Krymzon Guard were formed from what could only be described as a series of bad choices. Its founder, Scarlett de Luca, was the oldest child of an Aurigan noble family. Rather than continue her responsibilities, she chose to run away from home, taking her family BattleMech with her, and instead became a pirate. She rose to lead her own band, which she named the Krymzon Guard, apparently intending to mock the Arano Royal Guards. Instead, ultimately, her band would fight for the Arano Restoration, working as surprisingly reliable mercenaries.

Despite their less than auspicious origins, the Krymzon Guard would continue to operate through the next century and a half. Their record was far from exemplary, with the unit showing a propensity to honour the letter of a contract rather than the spirit of it. For example, while serving with the newly-formed Free Rasalhague Republic, it took no actions to prevent or stop ronin attacks, as they were not contracted to do such. However, for whatever reason, be it good publicity, careful contract brokers or just plain luck, the Krymzon Guard managed to always come out ahead of their own failings, managing to maintain a positive reputation.

While always remaining in control of the de Luca family (who had become fully estranged from their Arano cousins), the Krymzon Guard would grow and shrink numerous times across the decades. On three occasions, it was functionally destroyed, and yet it always seemed to be able to bounce back. The two decades since the HPG blackout proved to be fruitful ones, as the Krymzon Guard grew in numbers and saw constant action.

Isabella de Luca is the current commander of the unit, having taken over following her father’s abrupt retirement in 3145 (that said retirement came up after an incident with a noble’s son, a tub of banana pudding and a truck full of poultry has been omitted from the unit’s history). Her background gave little indication that she had much in the way of qualification for the role besides her name, having shown little talent during training and no head for numbers at all. As a junior officer she seemed somewhat flippant, paying bonuses to her lancemates for kills and showing up to a battlefield while drunk on one occasion.

As expected, her own attitude is somewhat relaxed for a mercenary officer, showing a remarkably casual approach to managing her command. Outwardly, she seems to absolve herself of responsibility, leaving much of the day-to-day management of the command to her small team of administrators and lawyers, and instead focuses on promoting her own image and enjoying herself. She tends to make decisions based on emotion and what seems right to her rather than what might be sensible.

And yet, for all this, she so far has proven to be a resourceful and cunning battlefield commander. Isabella has shown a remarkable ability to think on the fly and adapt as needed, keeping her enemies off-balance and trying to keep up with her. She has shown a remarkable ability to come back, turning around seemingly lost battles, or at the very least, minimizing losses in the advent of a defeat. Among the unit, she has become known for what she calls ‘technical victories’, where the Krymzon Guard come out ahead, no matter what.

If anything, her outwardly flippant attitude seems to be a ruse to get her enemies to underestimate her while exposing themselves. Or it could simply be that she is incredibly lucky and that things simply go her way by chance.

Curiously, the de Luca family have a long-standing alliance with the Stanislavs and their unit, the Hammers. This goes back to when the two units fought alongside each other during the Arano civil war, and has been maintained despite the latter’s propensity to disappear for decades at a time. This connection saw both units bought into the fold of Irisz Magyari’s growing alliance.

As can be expected, Isabella’s personal life is just as loud as everything else she does. Married and divorced twice, she has two daughters, both of whom are apparently a lot more reserved then she is.

WHM-8R Warhammer Immortal
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: Kell Reinforced 270 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Magna280
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Durallex Heavy
Armament:
      2 Fusigon Longtooth Extended Range PPCs
      2 Magna Mk IV Extended Range Medium Lasers
      2 Magna Mk VI Extended Range Small Lasers
      2 LFN Linblad Machine Guns
      1 Shannon SH-67 Streak SRM-6 Launcher
Comm System: Barret Party Line-200
T&T System: Wasat Watchdog W100

Unlike some families that have long-lasted heirloom BattleMechs, The de Luca family have had a long string of different machines over the course of generations of mercenary life. Their founder, Scarlett de Luca, piloted several different BattleMechs during the course of her career, starting with her stolen heirloom Blackjack, and ending with a rebuilt ancient Highlander. The family’s BattleMechs are seemingly as liable to be destroyed as they are to be traded off for something else.

In an apparent break from that history, Isabella has so far piloted only a single BattleMech in her career, training ‘Mechs aside. Her Warhammer was essentially given to her when she entered active service with the Krymzon Guard, a gift from her father. From the very outset, Isabella showed a propensity for pushing the BattleMech to its limits, aggressively riding its heat curve while trying to squeeze every ounce of performance out of it that she could.

As can be imagined, her BattleMech has been nearly destroyed several times, with its CASE II system proving to be the difference on more than one occasion. A legacy of repairs and rebuilds has left it looking more like a battle-scarred Succession Wars unit rather than one that is relatively new, a look that plays well to Isabella’s tactics of getting her opponent to underestimate her. More than one opponent has seen her as being an easy kill, only to be rudely surprised by her skills and its capabilities.

Isabella has nicknamed the ‘Mech Immortal; whether this is due to its seemingly indestructible nature or some other private joke of hers is another matter.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 February 2021, 06:53:35
Tobiasz Posavatz
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Escorpion Imperio/Seeker Galaxy
Birth Year: 3113

There has been little to no contact with the Clan Homeworlds since the Jihad. While rumours persist of an apocalyptic civil war, the simple fact is that the Council of Six clans refuse to discuss or even acknowledge what happened or why they are now cut off from their origins.

The Escoprion Imperio attack on Solaris VII in 3145 was an unexpected reminder that the Homeworld Clans still exist and may yet pose a threat. The Second Seeker Cluster staged a Trial of Possession for the contents of the Solaris BattleMech museum, which included a number of priceless artefacts. The Wolf Empire’s 9th Wolf Cavalry faced off against the invaders in battle on the outskirts of Solaris City, but proved to be no match for the unexpected invaders. After defeating the Wolves, the Scorpions took what they wanted and then left the world as quickly as they had appeared.

One of the Escorpion seekers leading the attack was Star Captain Tobiasz Posavatz. Decanted in 3113, he was deemed a ristar from the outset due to his exceptional skills and keen eye for detail. He also showed a keen interest in the history and lore not only of the Clan, but also the Castillians and Umayyads that it had absorbed. While he only scored a single kill in his Trial of Position (and was seconds away from a second), his potential was clear.

Tobiasz was assigned to Seeker Galaxy, where he underwent further training. In 3136, Following an extensive investigation, he led his star on an expedition to an unnamed system two jumps anti-spinward of Navarre, which was found to have a single habitable world. More intriguingly, that world was home to a long-abandoned and yet otherwise unknown Rim Worlds facility. Following a brief battle with a pirate band that was using the planet as a base of operations, Tobiasz claimed the facility for the Imperio.

His success saw him nominated for the Posavatz Bloodname in 3137. Tobiasz was able to successfully defeat his enemies, facing most of them in unaugmented combat. His final victory came through an intense sword duel that he won through precise and careful moves that wounded his opponent and forced them to yield. Following his success he would be promoted to Star Captain, taking up a position in the 2nd Seeker Cluster.

Along with the rest of the Seeker Galaxy, he took part in the Hanseatic Crusade. Tobiasz Posavatz's first actions in the campaign would have mixed results. In the initial invasion of Lubeck, his trinary faced off with the Lubeck Landsknechts, a corporate mercenary unit that was augmenting the militia forces. Posavatz claimed multiple kills among the mercenary forces, including their leader. However, like the rest of the Seeker Galaxy, he was forced into retreat by the arrival of RDF 1 to the world. He would later take part in the final invasion of Bremen, where he was able to avenge himself on the RDF.

The Seeker attack on Solaris served to further demonstrate his prowess. Tobiasz’ trinary faced off with a force from the 9th Wolf Cavalry that included both trueborn Wolves and Marik-Stewart adoptees. He challenged the Wolf Star Captain to a personal duel, easily defeating him in one-on-one combat. Following the trail, he and the rest of the Escorpion Imperio force jumped out of system, presumably returning to their homeworlds.

Tobiasz Posavatz is focused, even by Clan standards. He tends to fixate on a goal and drive towards it at the expense of all else. This process has yielded fantastic results for him so far, both in terms of his archaeological discoveries and his battlefield prowess. He prefers to fight in one-on-one duels where possible, and has no issues with fighting unaugmented if needs be. Both in his BattleMech and on foot, he prefers clean, precise strikes, focusing on exploiting an enemy’s weaknesses.

Sun Spider B Pallas
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: PGI Type 2
Powerplant: Redline 350 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: J63-3E Ferro Fiberous
Armament:
      1 Omega 12-Coil Gauss Rifle
      1 Series 7 Extended Range Large Laser
      2 Series 2b Extended Range Medium Lasers
      2 Pattern J6 Streak SRM-6
Comm System: Model J-D 067
T&T System: Hawkeye 58

An early Goliath Scorpion OmniMech, the Sun Spider has never been a common design, even within the ranks of that Clan. While potent, it would languish in disfavour for generations due to its questionable origins. It is believed that none exist in the Inner Sphere today, among the Council of Six Clans or elsewhere, but its status within Escorpion Imperio remains unclear.

The appearance of a single example among the Seeker Galaxy raid on Solaris VII was an additional surprise on top of everything else. None of the Wolf warriors that faced the Seekers had ever seen or heard of the design, leaving them unaware of its abilities and wary of its presence. Tobiasz Posavatz gave them good reason to be concerned, as the combination of his skills and his OmniMech’s abilities allowed him to easily defeat Star Captain Woden’s Blood Reaper. Tobiasz would defeat two other Wolf BattleMechs during the trial, demonstrating its capabilities to the fullest.

Recovered data from the battle suggested that this Sun Spider, nicknamed Pallas, was a vintage example dating back to Operation REVIVAL, if not earlier. The presence of just such a relic would be suited to the Seeker Galaxy, which includes not only vintage SLDF BattleMechs, but other rare and otherwise extinct designs.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 01 March 2021, 17:28:39
Alexis Fairchild
Position/Rank: Commander
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Fairchild’s Ravagers
Birth Year: 3117

Thomas Fairchild was a mercenary and pirate (and allegedly a former Loki agent) who worked for the Word of Blake during the Jihad. During the course of that conflict, he and his command (the self-titled Fairchild’s Ravagers) would commit numerous heinous acts for his employers, never once showing a hint of reservation at their actions. Fairchild would amass a considerable bounty, but it would never be paid out, as he vanished following the liberation of Terra. Save for one false sighting, apparently arranged by Fairchild to throw pursuers off his track, no trace of him would ever be found.

In truth, he had simply gone underground. Fairchild continued to work for a Blakist remnant group for years after the Jihad, allowing them to fulfill their own agendas for years after the end of the Jihad. His acts also intentionally tied his unit and later his family to the Blakists, forming a symbiotic relationship. He provided them with a weapon, and they shielded him from those hunting for him. His legacy would prove so toxic that it would taint his family for generations to come. His son, Michael, would essentially end up forced into the same role, unable to leave without risking exposure. Following his sudden death in 3127, that family curse would be passed on to his daughter Alexis.

The Blackout drove the Blakist group, now into its third generation, to speed up their own plans. As soon as she was old enough to take to the field, Alexis was put into service to take up her family legacy. A combination of carefully managed threats and promises kept her seemingly compliant, allowing the cabal to flex their muscles and pursue their agendas. Starting from 3137, Alexis lead a series of attacks across the former Free Worlds League and the near Periphery that were aimed at destroying their enemies.

What her backers failed to understand was that Alexis was far less compliant than they had expected. She detested her role, and quickly understood that the promises of freedom they had dangled in front of her were little more than an illusion, designed to string her along and keep her loyal. Behind the scenes she was quietly building loyalty within the Ravagers to her personally, while figuring out which of her men she could actually trust.

Her chance came in 3145 when the cabal sent her on a far-ranging operation to recover several Jihad-era data cores that had survived the decades since that conflict. Using the extended reach of the mission as cover, Fairchild quietly purged her unit of those that were more loyal to the cabal than her. In December of that year, the Ravagers struck at the Al Jubaylah headquarters of the cabal, eliminating their leadership in one fell swoop.

For the next two years the Ravagers would engage in a quiet ‘clean up’ operation that saw them take out the remnants of the cabal on several independent worlds in Free Worlds League space. They disappeared again, only to re-emerge in several raids into the Wolf Empire, hitting at both former League and Lyran Commonwealth worlds. Her reason for these attacks would remain unknown outside of the Ravagers, but they saw the unit engage and defeat Wolf forces on several occasions.

In early 3149 the battered remnants of the Ravagers arrived on Galatea. She came into contact with Antonin Rybak, a seemingly rouge Republic agent who helped broker a deal with the Galatean Defense League to clear her family’s name and allow her and her unit to operate legally. This would also bring her into contact with Irisz Magyari and her growing alliance of mercenaries.

Alexis’ goals are straightforward; to live as honest a life as she can with the hand that she has been dealt. She holds no illusions as to her grandfather’s actions, but also feels that she should have a chance to make her own way in the world. She is fiercely protective of her men, and has shown a short temper and propensity to lash out when angered or they are threatened.

Mad Cat (Timber Wolf) Thirteen
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Type W3 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Starfire 375 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: JF Standard
   Jump Capacity: 120 meters
Armour: Composite A-2 Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 Series 6b Extended Range Large Lasers
      2 Series 2b Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Series 1 Extended Range Small Laser
      2 Type XX “Great Bow” LRM-20 Launchers
Comm System: Khan Series (Type 2c)
T&T System: Series III OPT

Among Thomas Fairchild’s numerous exploits was a raid on the Wolf Occupation Zone that wound up netting him an additional prize on top of his objectives; specifically he was able to capture a mostly intact Mad Cat OmniMech. This machine would become his signature for the rest of his career, and would be a factor in his success. Like Thomas, the Mad Cat, which he nicknamed Thirteen for some unknown reason, disappeared at the end of the Jihad, and remained unaccounted for in its aftermath.

It would not appear again until 3137 when it was ‘gifted’ to Alexis by her supposed benefactors. She would use the OmniMech in a number of operations on their behalf, making full use of its capabilities. As her grandfather had before her, she left a trail of destruction in her wake; a trail that would eventually return to Al Jubaylah and those same benefactors once she turned on them. She continued to use the ‘Mech in the aftermath of her liberation, having apparently arranged a steady supply of parts and support for the ‘Mech. Given that she has operated in the Free Worlds League, this would likely come from Spina Khanate, although what the Clan agents are getting in return is unclear.

Alexis has proven particularly adept at using the OmniMech against Wolf Empire forces. The sight of a Mad Cat in the hands of a freeborn mercenary has proven to be enraging to many Trueborn warriors, a fact that she has readily taken advantage of. On Alchiba she was able to defeat Star Captain Lucius Radick through this method, luring him into a duel on her terms.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 01 March 2021, 17:31:49
Noburo Tomino
Position/Rank: Chu-sa
Affiliation/Unit: Draconis Combine/1st Genyosha
Birth Year: 3109

Noburo Tomino was the first son of a Benjamin noble family who had a history of service to the Dragon going back centuries. It was expected that he would continue that tradition; certainly if Noburo had any issues with doing such he did not let them show and instead accepted his duty like a loyal Combine citizen.

While his status would have granted him no small advantage within the DCMS, Noburo proved that he was more than capable of succeeding on his own merit. His family’s connections and his own skills saw him earn a place at the Sun Zhang academy, where he immediately displayed considerable skill as both a MechWarrior and an officer. During wargames his forces were consistently successful, with Noburo racking up a considerable string of victories. While many of these often included heavy losses by his own forces, he was able to justify these as necessary sacrifices to bring about greater success for the Dragon.

During his education, Noburo showed a particular interest in anti-Clan tactics, a necessity given his likely assignment to one of the Benjamin District regiments that would be on the frontlines against the Rasalhague Dominion. This training focused not only on the issues of fighting a foe equipped with superior technology, but how to conduct a battle in an honourable manner suitable of a true Samurai without sacrificing victory. He would go on to author a term paper that suggested that while the Federated Suns may be the oldest enemy of the Dragon, the Bear was its greatest threat, using the losses suffered in the two Combine-Dominion wars as justification for his arguments.

Following his cadre period, Noburo Tomino was awarded a billet in the prestigious 2nd Benjamin  Regulars. The regiment was a part of the forces marshaled for the invasion of the Republic of the Sphere following the Blackout, seeking to reclaim ‘lost’ Combine worlds. In his first actual battles, Noburo proved to be both an adept MechWarrior and leader, scoring a string of victories against the remnant forces found in the former Republic. These would leave him somewhat dissatisfied, however, feeling that the depleted planetary guard units, ad-hoc militias and mercenary forces that he faced were not ‘worthy’ opponents.

Things changed as he Combine pushed deeper into the former Republic, driving towards Dieron and the walls of Fortress Republic. In this effort they were supported by the forces of Clan Nova Cat, with Noburo’s company assigned to work alongside a mixed Trinary from the Clan. At first, he was somewhat wary of his counterpart, Star Captain Milo Nostra, due to their background. This distance would evolve into a serious rivalry as each sought to out-perform the other, driven both by their own honour to succeed, and at a deeper level, a distrust of the other.

The net result was that Noburo’s drive to succeed bought him to attention of his superiors. In  3140, he was transferred to the elite 1st Genyosha regiment, positioned at the heart of the thrust towards the heart of the Republic, and rewarded with a new BattleMech. The unit would then become the key to the Combine’s putting down of the Nova Cat uprising, facing the Clan on a number of worlds. Noburo would face Clan forces on several planets, including his homeworld of Benjamin. This was followed by their assault on Irece where they would end the Nova Cats. During the battle, Tomino faced Milo Nostra, killing the Clan warrior in a duel.

Tomino was promoted in the aftermath of the assault, remaining with the Genyosha. After the success of the opening wave of Operation TIAMAT, his unit is positioned on the cusp of Terra. And while the Combine is expecting to face the Republic in the future, some feel that an office who is skilled in facing Clan opponents could become a necessity.

While a dedicated samurai of the Combine, Tomino has also written several novels that were published under aliases.

SH-2P Shiro Shiroi Akuma
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Luthien Class 74-77 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Ford 375 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Durallex Ballistic-Reinforced
Armament:
      1 Type DDS Kingston Extended-Range PPC
      4 Shigunga C Type LRM-10s
Comm System: Cipher ComSys 4 with Guardian ECM Suite
T&T System: Neko Megane 7

While the Tomino clan had generations of service to the Dragon, they had not possessed a family BattleMech since their last one was destroyed during the Jihad. This had left them at the mercy of the Dragon’s generosity for several generations; however, the Combine did not forget their faithful service. Noburo’s performance during his academy years, as well as his family’s connections, saw him assigned a Hatamoto-Suna during his time with the 2nd Benjamin. As a true samurai, he accepted the BattleMech without reservation.

On his transfer to the 1st Genyosha, Tomino was gifted with a new SH-2P Shiro as a reward for his service. Tomino immediately took a shine to the new BattleMech, seeing it as an embodiment of the Combine’s superiority. Outside of simple training and drilling, he would spend hours on perfecting his skills with the BattleMech’s sword.

His skills at its controls served him well in the annihilation of the Nova Cats, where he personally defeated a number of opponents. The BattleMech soon earned the nickname Shiroi Akuma from those that faced it, due to the skill and ferocity of its pilot. The last and most significant of its Nova Cat victims was old rival, Milo Nostra, the two facing off during the last days of the conflict. During their first and last battle, Tomino was able to defeat Nostra’s Sphinx after a fierce and bloody clash.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 01 March 2021, 17:34:39
Wild bin Ottoman
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/None
Birth Year: 3104

The dream of the Republic of the Sphere was that any citizen could elevate themselves through hard work and service to others. However, there were also plenty who sought to rise themselves up by other means, and saw different paths to power.

Wild bin Ottoman was one such individual. Born into a laborer family on Small World, he would come to desire wealth and power, but at his own terms. Wild fell in with the Red Jackals, a powerful gang who had their hands in a number of different operations including protection rackets, narcotics, gambling and inter-Prefecture smuggling. Initially starting out as a courier, his combination of physical strength and skill for violence saw him rise quickly through their ranks. Not held back by any sense of restraint or remorse for his actions, he soon became a powerful and respected figure among their number.

Following the ‘accidental’ death of one of the gang’s inner circle in 3130, Wild ascended to his place. Now given a position of authority, he pushed the Red Jackals to step up their activities. For the next two years they would wage a war across the planet’s underworld as they aggressively moved on other syndicates, caving into their rivals’ territories and operations. While one of the leaders of this push, Wild also fought on the proverbial frontlines, a move that was as much about using his skills as it was building support within the group.

The HPG Blackout of August 3132 barely registered in the ongoing gang war, but it did seem to give him thought. As if he knew what would be coming, Wild cut and run from the gang, escaping with a supply of hard currency and other valuables to enact his future. As a way of covering his tracks, he also left a series of tip-offs to the authorities that exposed the leadership and major operations of the Red Jackals.

Believing that power would now come through force of arms, Wild bin Ottoman used his resources and skills to find a place in Bannson’s Raiders. By March of 3133 he was a member of the Band of Five, a group that suited his propensity for violence and remorseless nature. He had managed to win himself a then-rare position as a MechWarrior, having presumably been trained by the Raiders. He was able to maintain his position through a series of battles that included several confirmed BattleMech kills, with his brutal skills having transferred well to his new position.

Ottoman was one of the few members of the Band of Five who were outside of Fortress Republic when the walls went up. Like the other remnants, he was folded into the Scourge, although kept on a distinct ‘outsider’ status due to internal unit politics. Following the coup that deposed Jacob Bannson, he fell out of favour, likely due to his past affiliations. This resulted in him apparently deserting from his post, managing to take his BattleMech with him.

Wild would spend several years working as an independent mercenary in the diminishing former Republic, but found that his past employment counted heavily against him. He would eventually resurface on Herotitus in 3141, where he became a part of the Periphery mercenary market. Given its lack of regulations and ‘no questions asked’ approach to employment, he found far greater success then he had in the Inner Sphere.

Age has somewhat tempered Wild bin Ottoman away from the brutal, violent man that he was in his youth. However, he still remains an aggressive edge that has served him well both on the battlefield and in seeking employment. For the moment, he has remained independent rather than signing on with any one unit, apparently preferring the personal power that comes from picking and choosing jobs.

HCT-5D Hatchetman Cellat
Mass: 45 tons
Chassis: Dorwinion HCT Standard
Powerplant: GM 180 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: Rawlings 80
   Jump Capacity: 120 meters
Armour: Durallex Medium
Armament:
      1 Imperator Automatic Ultra-10 Autocannon
      1 Defiance B3M Extended-Range Medium Laser
Comm System: TharHes Thalia HM-22
T&T System: TharHes Ares 8A with Targeting Computer

Much like it’s MechWarrior, Wild bin Ottoman’s Hatchetman has had numerous twists in its life. The ‘Mech was built in 3064 and immediately pressed into service during the FedCom civil war. It would ultimately end up fighting on both sides of the conflict, after being captured and put back into the field. It would then fight in the Jihad, eventually becoming a part of the fledgling Republic Armed forces. It would fight against the Capellan Confederation on Tikonov during the dawn of the Republic, and again during the Capellan Crusades.

The BattleMech was apparently stolen from the Tybalt planetary guard in the chaos after the Blackout, presumably at the behest of Jacob Bannson. It was assigned to Wild bin Ottoman, who showed a considerable interest in the ‘Mech’s hatchet and the possibilities that it presented. His ferocity proved to adapt well to the battlefield, where he came to specialize in melee combat. In one notable example on Basalt, he defeated a Steel Wolf Shockwave with a sudden, frenzied hatchet attack after his Ultra autocannon failed.

Wild has continued to use the ‘Mech, which he nicknamed Cellat since, making it the only BattleMech he has used in his entire career. He has so far shown no interest in upgrading to a heavier design, although that is less about any attachment to the BattleMech as it is the realities of being an independent mercenary in the Periphery.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 07 March 2021, 08:02:51
Zaki Toto
Position/Rank: Commander
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Toto’s Bushrangers
Birth Year: 3102

Zaki Toto was born on Gant, a world left to wither following the secession of the Calderon Protectorate. His early life was one of deprivation, spent scavenging in the ruins of the failed colony and managing a subsistence existence. Added to the hazards that the world presented was the threat of pirate attacks that would swoop down and take what little that the populace had.

Ironically, these attacks would prove to be responsible for the break Toto needed. In 3119, Barret’s Bushrangers dropped onto the world in order to clear out a pirate band that had been attacking nearby systems. Seeing an opportunity, he stowed away on one of their DropShips, and would not be discovered until they were docking with their JumpShip. Connie Barret, the young commander of the unit, was impressed with his skills and resourcefulness in what he had done, but also the sheer guts needed to try and pull it off. She offered him a place in the unit, even if it was simply as a scout and scrounger, putting his skills to work. Zaki was glad to accept the offer, seeing it as a pathway to better things.

His skills served the Bushrangers well, keeping him in Barett’s favour. In addition to expanding his scouting skills, Toto undertook informal MechWarrior training as a way to expand his options. This would pay off well for him, as following the unit’s losses on Misery, he was promoted to a MechWarrior position in order to make up for casualties. The subsequent unit merger and reforming as Raymond’s Roughnecks (with Connie Raymond reclaiming her family name) served to cement his place within its revised structure.

Connie Raymond kept him close as the unit grew, as much for his skills as ensuring that she would have somebody personally loyal to her. Embracing the prestige of being a MechWarrior at the time, he seemed to be unconcerned about her own plans and agenda, either blind to her obsession with revenge or simply ignoring it for his own benefit. She in turn rewarded that loyalty, promoting him several times; by 3137 he was the overall third-in-command of the unit. His responsibilities would eventually grow to include managing Connie’s two children as they took up active positions within the unit.

The Ashburton debacle caused the first cracks in his loyalty as Connie tried using her own children as bargaining chips against a Wolf Empire force. While he was opposed to the idea on moral grounds, he also saw the logic in her actions. His doubts would only grow with the alliances she formed over the next two years, seeing her actions as being potentially risky and driven by her own desire for revenge; however, he would remain loyal regardless, possibly not wanting to compromise his position.

That loyalty would reach breaking point during the battle of Hindmarsh. Seeing first-hand the way that Connie Raymond was willing to sacrifice her own men for her revenge, he chose to retreat from the battlefield and leave her to her fate. The survivors rallied around him, seeing him as being the highest ranking officer who was not connected to Raymond’s madness. In the aftermath of the battle, he acted as a spokesman for the surviving Roughnecks, offering their surrender.

Seeking to make a fresh start, and feeling that his men would no longer be welcome on Galatea, Zaki Toto left to Herotitus, taking a number of the surviving Roughnecks with him. Seeking to break with their tainted history, Toto renamed the unit, reclaiming the Bushrangers name. So far, his fledgling unit has begun to grow, although thus far many of the recruits have been from among the dregs of the market who have little to lose by signing on to a unit in such dire state.

Presently, the Bushrangers are in a position where they could just as easily thrive as they could collapse or fall to piracy. While he does not have much to work with, Toto has demonstrated that he is resourceful and adaptable, and is no longer bound by loyalty to somebody ruled by their obsessions. In many ways, his life has come full circle, once again driven by the simple goal to survive; something he excels at.

TNS-4S Thanatos (modified)
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: StarFrame Heavy Endo Steel
Powerplant: Plasmastar 375 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: Audi-Fokker Mark IV
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Durallex Heavy
Armament:
      1 Parti-Kill Snub-Nosed PPC
      2 Defiance Model XII Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 RAMTech 600P Medium Pulse Laser
      1 Spencer Selectable MML-9
Comm System: Garret T60 FastScan with Guardian ECM Suite
T&T System: Garret F22C

Zaki Toto’s first BattleMech was an elderly, battered Stinger that was simply all the Roughnecks had to spare. Despite its small size and limited capabilities, the ‘Mech would serve him well for several years, allowing him to gain key experience on the battlefield. After five years he had upgraded to a Shadow Hawk, which well suited his preference for mobile fighting. During the early years after the Blackout, Toto’s ‘Mech would see considerable action as Connie Raymond sought to aggressively expand her unit.

After being promoted to third-in-command of the unit, Connie bought him a heavier BattleMech to better suit his new role. This Thanatos was an old example of the design that had fought in various conflicts going all the way back to the FedCom civil war. At one point it had been rebuilt into a custom configuration, one that Zaki quickly adapted to. Aside from acting as a mobile striker and cavalry unit, he also used the ‘Mech to serve as a close-range compliment to Raymond’s Falconer.

The ‘Mech was badly damaged on Hindmarsh, but survived long enough to retreat from the lost battlefield. While Toto had it rebuilt, he chose to retain its unique configuration out of familiarity. As the leader of the reformed Bushrangers, Toto leads the unit from the front, a move that is as much about his commitment as it is about the necessities of their situation.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 07 March 2021, 08:10:51
Lucius Radick
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Wolf Empire/Beta Galaxy
Birth Year: 3115

Being identified as a ristar within the Clans is a double-edged sword. On one side, it can be a fast track to success, power and prestige in their society. On the other, a ristar who fails to live up to expectations can find themselves falling hard and fast. Lucius Radick is one such case where a promising rise appears to have stalled, potentially leaving him on the precipice.

Decanted in 3115 on Tamar, Lucius showed considerable skill from his earliest aptitude tests. His successes in his sibko were as much about his own abilities as they were playing his sibkin off against each other, exposing their weaknesses and quietly inflaming their personal feuds to his benefit. He quickly earned the favour of his instructors and keen interest from members of the Radick Bloodhouse who saw potential in him.

Lucius graduated through his Trial of Position with two kills (and coming close to his third) as a Star Commander. Assigned to Beta Galaxy’s 13th Wolf Guards Battle Cluster, he first saw action in the Clan’s incursion into Prefecture IX. During that campaign, he scored a number of easy victories against the mercenary and ad-hoc militia forces that he faced. It was during the invasion of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth that he would truly shine, achieving a number of kills against AMSC opponents.

In 3140 he competed for and won his Bloodname, and was promoted to Star Captain, in addition to being assigned a new Warwolf OmniMech. His Trinary would see considerable action during the invasion of the Lyran Commonwealth, each time Lucius proving the faith that his superiors had put in him was not misplaced. In one key action, his Trinary was responsible for cutting off vital Lyran reinforcements, resulting in the destruction of the 10th Lyran Guards. He would see action on a number of other worlds, including the battle for Tharkad.

By 3145 his success seemed assured; driven, determined, ruthless and a skilled warrior and politician, he had the favour of powerful figures within the Radick Bloodhouse. Many had tipped him to replace Star Colonel Don Cooper as the leader of the 13th in the near future. Instead, a series of events would put his position in jeopardy.

Early in the year, the Trinary was on Keystone to collect new supplies and equipment when the world was raided by Magyari’s Irregulars. Motivated as much by the desire to defend the Clan’s resources as a desire to bolster his image, Lucius moved his unit to intercept the raiders, seeking to trap them between his  BattleMechs and the vehicles of the 5th Wolf Garrison Cluster. Instead, the mercenaries were able to outmaneuver and fight through his force, escaping easily with only light damage. Lucius was angered by this defeat, and sought a way to avenge himself.

That chance would come later in the year, when he led a raid on Ashburton where the Irregulars were currently engaged in a pirate-hunting contract. After easily defeating a pirate lance, Lucius turned his attention to the Irregulars. His plan was to face them in a straight-up battle where they could not simply cut and run, and where his forces would prove superior. Instead, the mercenaries defeated his Trinary, forcing them into retreat. Adding to his humiliation was his defeat in a one-on-one duel with Irisz Magyari, a battle that should have been on his terms.
He would spend the next two years fighting off challenges to his position while trying to retain some of his honour and prestige. A third blow would come in 3148 when he faced off with a raid by Fairchild’s Ravagers on Alchiba, aimed at destroying Wolf Empire supplies. Enraged by the sight of a freebirth piloting a Mad Cat, he challenged Alexis Fairchild to a duel, only to again be defeated and forced to retreat.

Lucius Radick is presently walking a knife edge. It is clear that he has lost the favour of his superiors through his defeats, and is no longer considered to be the ristar he once was. However, his tenacity and determination, as well as his skills in playing his opponents against each other, have helped maintain his position. With the Wolf Empire poised on the cusp of Terra, it remains to be seen if he will yet find some way to reclaim his past glory.

Warwolf Prime Black Fang
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: WW-1 Heavy Endo Steel
Powerplant: Starfire 375 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: BMP Series XV
   Jump Capacity: 90 meters
Armour: Forging BL2 Reactive
Armament:
      1 Series II Gauss Rifle
      2 Type X “Short Bow” LRM-10 Launchers
      1 Beamsplitter Laser Anti-Missile System
Comm System: Garrett T11-b
T&T System: Sync Tracker (39-04271) with Targeting Computer

The Warwolf was developed by the Wolf Clan, but the depleted infrastructure of their old Occupation Zone prevented it from seeing mass production until the creation of the Wolf Empire. Even then, supply issues would see it only reach limited production. As a result, the Warwolf is usually only issued to ristars and prominent officers.

Lucius Radick’s Warwolf was assigned to him straight off the production line, a gift from his backers in the Radick Bloodhouse. The OmniMech suited his duelling style, using the Primary configuration’s combination of gauss rifle and targeting computer to great effect. Where possible, he would take precise shots to disable opponents by focusing on weak spots or damaged components. Of course, these actions were as much about tactical expediency as they were for the benefit of his codex. Despite his skills, Lucius would suffer a trio of defeats at the hands of freeborn opponents; two of which would be in one-on-one duels.

Even with these reversals, Lucius has been able to retain control of his Warwolf, albeit not without facing several Trials of Possession for it. That his opponents have seen the OmniMech as being desirable despite the losses he has suffered behind its controls makes it clear that the issue is seen as being with him and not any flaws on its part.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 07 March 2021, 08:14:13
Guest character courtesy of KayEmm

Atino
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Pirate/Steel Tygers
Birth Year: 3123 (approximately)

The collapse of the Free Worlds League left numerous worlds orphaned, independent of the states that emerged in its wake. These worlds would effectively be left to their own fates, including seeing to their own defense. As can be imagined, these worlds were fertile prey for pirate bands who took advantage of the lack of authority and protection across the region.

The Steel Tygers were one such band. Emerging around 3125, they preyed on the rift of independent worlds that lay in the anti-spinward region. Despite several skirmishes with the Marik Protectors, as well as other mercenaries hired by the independent worlds, they would continue to operate with relative impunity for years. The period between the Blackout and commencement of Operation HAMMERFALL were their golden years as they fed off the chaos around them, with the inability of worlds to quickly communicate with each other helping their cause.

This success would not last, however. The reformation of the Free Worlds League would include the absorption of a number of independent worlds under its umbrella, reducing the range of targets available to them. Further expansion, as well as predation from Regulus and Andurien, would only serve to further diminish their territories. Clashes with federal forces, as well as mercenaries, saw the band suffer considerable losses. By 3147, the Steel Tygers had been forced to abandon their base of operations and push further into the rimward region simply to stay alive.

An unexpected event saw their fortunes change considerably in early 3148. A group led by a man identifying himself as Atino forced their way into the pirate band. After a short, bloody internal purge, Atino took command of the group, silencing anyone who would dare oppose him. Soon he had the loyalty of the band, and set about using it to its fullest.

Despite his relative youth, being only twenty-four at the time, he quickly proved to be a capable leader, helping to turn around the Steel Tygers’ failing fortunes. Using a combination of surprisingly accurate intelligence, careful planning and, when needed, swift and violent assaults, he was able to score a number of decisive victories for the pirate band. While backing away from the reformed Free Worlds League, he instead focused on the remaining independent worlds, as well as preying on Canopian targets, taking advantage of the latter’s preoccupation with the Capellan front.

While Atino refused to say anything about his background (to the point of threatening those that asked), it became abundantly clear that he had prior military training. While their numbers may have been reduced, under his leadership the Steel Tygers became faster and more mobile, adept at sudden strikes against poorly protected targets, while also ensuring that they faced minimal resistance. Likewise, their forces became better disciplined and more coordinated, a step above most other pirates.

Investigation into his past revealed a familial DNA link to Tuwile Ngroma, an officer in the 50th Shadow Division who remained unaccounted for at the end of the Jihad. This has in turn led to speculation that he may have been involved with a Blakist remnant group, such as the (now destroyed) Al Jubaylah cabal. The timing of his emergence coincides with the destruction of that group, suggesting that he may have escaped its fate.

Regardless of his background, Atino remains a threat as long as he remains in command of the Steel Tygers. Presently his position within the unit is secure, and unless the pirate band suffers some severe setback or loss, that is unlikely to change. Conversely, he could also represent a potential goldmine of information to anyone able to extract him.

SHD-7H Shadow Hawk Tarnished Angel
Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: Earthworks SHD II Endo Steel
Powerplant: Hermes 275 Light
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: Chilton 360
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Maximillian 43
Armament:
      1 Imperator Code Red LB 10-X Autocannon
      1 Diverse Optics Extended Range Medium Laser
      1 Holly Enhanced LRM-5 Launcher
      1 Holly SRM-2 Launcher
Comm System: Neil 9000
T&T System: RCA Instatrac Mark XII

Unlike its pilot, Atino’s Shadow Hawk has a known history. The BattleMech was captured from the Rim Commonality Guards during a raid in 3143 by the Steel Tygers, and was claimed by the pirate band’s previous leader, Tommy Nguyen. Even as the pirate band’s territories continued to shrink, the BattleMech would become a familiar sight to their victims and Nguyen continued to aggressively lead their attacks.

He would continue to use the BattleMech for the next five years, until Atino arrived and challenged him for leadership. The pair of them fought a brief duel which resulted in Nguyen’s death and Atino unquestionably in command of the Steel Tygers. The new leader would claim the BattleMech as his own, a move that was as much about its capabilities as it was a symbolic gesture aimed at solidifying his place at the head of the pirate band.

While the Shadow Hawk is one of the heaviest ‘Mechs in the Tygers’ arsenal, Atino is well aware that it is also not the most powerful. In the field, his moves are more tactical in nature, focusing on eliminating weakened opponents or vehicles that are more vulnerable to his autocannon and missile armament. When he does engage another BattleMech head on, he does his utmost to ensure that he is in a superior position.

Atino renamed the Shadow Hawk as Tarnished Angel. Whether this is a nod of the head towards his origins or something else is unclear.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 14 March 2021, 20:36:44
Zebadiah Craine
Position/Rank: Princeps
Affiliation/Unit: Marian Hegemony/III Legio
Birth Year: 3116

Born into a patrician family on Stafford, Zebadiah Craine lived a life of entitlement from an early age. Wealthy by Marian standards, his family ensured that, as their first son, he had the best that there was to offer. This gave him a taste for luxury, one that would come to colour his career going forward. While it was expected that he would undertake millitary service, his family’s wealth and connections ensured that he would again have the best that the MHAF had to offer.

Zebadiah Craine graduated from the Collegium Bellorum Imperium with high marks, the result of both his own skill and his family’s influence. The two in combination saw him assigned a place as a Centurion within III Legio Limetanei’s Tertia Cohors, given command of a heavy BattleMech Century. He immediately found the differences on the worlds the Legio were assigned to garrison to be stark; Hazelton, Huntingdon and Landfall had all been part of the Free Worlds League until its dissolution, and as such, were far better developed than the rest of the Hegemony. This would serve to feed his need for luxuries and sense of entitlement, which would influence his further career.

He gladly supported III Legio’s raids into the reformed Free Worlds League for several reasons. First and foremost was a way of furthering his own career by bringing glory to himself through military victories. But on top of that was the frequent secondary objectives of the Legio’s raids. Not only did they capture military supplies and equipment, but they also would pillage their target worlds of luxury goods, hard currency and other wealth, most of which would end up in the hands of officers like him.

After several years of success, this campaign of raiding would come undone. In 3145 the Tertia Cohors targeted Kendall in the hope of acquiring military supplies from its factories. However, as with other attacks, the secondary goal was to line the pockets of the legion’s officers. The attackers went in expecting an easy victory, confident that they would be able to pick off their targets at leisure. However, fate had different plans in store.

Unknown to the Marians, the Kendall government had hired the Dark Suns mercenary company against such an occurrence. As a result, what was intended as a fast raid instead bogged down as the Marians were forced to fight against an experienced force that matched their capabilities. After several clashes, the Terita Cohors were forced to retreat off-world.

However, this disaster also proved to be a blessing in disguise for Zebadiah; in the aftermath of the debacle, he formed an alliance with his commander, Legatus Jamaal Steen, to shield him from repercussions for his failure. The pair of them manufactured evidence to shift blame to Princeps Troy Traviss, who conveniently had died in the final retreat. In return for his protection, Legatus Steen promoted Craine to take Traviss’ place.

With his position secure, Craine saw the invasion of the Free Worlds League as an opportunity for greater glory. He participated in a number of III Legio’s initial strikes, scoring key victories against the Free Worlds forces, proving his skills while continuing to raise his profile in the eyes of his superiors. The conquest of Gibraltar would turn that around; anticipating lining his own pockets with plunder, he would instead find himself caught up in a protracted guerrilla war that left the Legio unable to capitalize on their conquests.

For Craine, relief would come after a fashion when the Cohort was redeployed to Illyria to try and repel the FWLM’s assault. While ultimately unsuccessful, he would see one indirect benefit in the death of Prefect Mohammed Kilgore. With the loss of the Legion’s commander, Craine saw the opportunity for a further promotion as the unit was forced to rebuild.

HGN-740 Highlander Rex Aureum
Mass: 90 tons
Chassis: Star League XT
Powerplant: GM 270
Cruising Speed: 32 kph
Maximum Speed: 54 kph
Jump Jets: HildCo Model 10
   Jump Capacity: 90 meters
Armour: Grumman-4 Light Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      1 Johnston High-Speed Extended Range PPC with Capacitor
      2 Defiance Model XII Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Holly LRM-20 Launcher
      1 Harpoon-6S Streak SRM-6 Launcher
      4 TacShot M-Pods
Comm System: Hector VII
T&T System: Starlight LX-1 with Artemis IV FCS

Like everything else in his life, Zebidiah Craine’s BattleMech represents his demand for wealth and comforts. Initially he was assigned to an elderly Cataphract that had been in service with the MHAF for decades. Never satisfied with the ‘Mech, he constantly sought an opportunity for something better. None the less, he showed that he was a capable MechWarrior even if he was dissatisfied with his ride. During the Kendall debacle, his skills allowed him to score several kills against both mercenary and militia forces before being forced to retreat off-world.

He would get his chance at an upgrade a year later when III Legio captured a shipment of brand new BattleMechs from Starcorps on Son Hoa. The heaviest of them was a Highlander which Craine immediately claimed for himself, citing his rank as justification. He immediately took a liking to the new machine, appreciating it as much for its capabilities as the sheer prestige of piloting such a well-known and well-renowned design.

Dubbed Rex Aureum, the Highlander would serve him well in the Hegemony’s drive into the reformed Free Worlds League. Craine would rack up a number of kills during the campaign, while the ‘Mech’s rugged design would protect him throughout. He was less successful during the counter-attack on Illyria, however, where the Free Worlds forces and their mercenary allies held the upper hand. Nonetheless, both he and his BattleMech were able to survive the failed relief of the world.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 14 March 2021, 20:51:56
Tribute character for Stoatbo, inspired by several of his characters

Taphault van Nurdlehammer
Position/Rank: Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Krymzon Guard
Birth Year: 3107

Taphault van Nurdlehammer’s career as a MechWarrior is a case of unexpected circumstances and making the best of a bad situation.

Nothing in his early life would have suggested that such an outcome was likely, however. He was born into a middle-class family on Carsphairn, and showed an interest in technology and its applications from an early age. Taphault earned his Republic citizenship through volunteer work, helping to rehabilitate and rebuild the city of Sutton’s ancient and failing water system. Undertaking further education, he graduated university with a master’s degree in engineering.

After several early jobs, he was headhunted by Kali Yama Industries to a role in their Kalidasa factory shortly before the Blackout. As military production ramped up and the situation in the Republic deteriorated, his skills were ever-increasingly needed by the company, earning him a series of rapid promotions. By 3137, he had become coordinator for total quality management throughput processes, a role that was tied to numerous functions throughout the facility.

His career took an unexpected twist when Wolf Clan forces attacked the world, seeking to add it to their growing empire. At that point, due to Kalidasa’s effective abandonment by the Republic, the factory was being protected by the Krymzon Guards mercenary battalion. During the initial strike, van Nurdlehammer was engaged in a team-building exercise at Camp Eekirik, a facility owned by the company that the Krymzon Guards were also using as a billet. He and the others there were cut off by the Wolf invasion, and unable to return to the company proper. These circumstances would work in their favour when they would be taken offworld by the retreating mercenaries.

Recognizing his skills, the Krymzon Guards initially hired him as a technician, putting him straight to work. While retraining to work on BattleMechs, van Nurdlehammer showed an unexpected degree of skill as an actual MechWarrior, despite having never even undertaking IndustrialMech training previously. Impressed by this development, Isabella de Luca offered him a place in her lance, sweetening the deal with the lure of a heavy, Clantech BattleMech (that the pilot of said ‘Mech had recently been killed while at its controls was omitted at the time).

Seeing an opportunity, and more than a little bit curious as to what this would entail, Taphault agreed to her offer. After undergoing more complete (albeit rushed) training, he was essentially thrown straight onto the battlefield as a part of her unit. Despite his inexperience, Taphault would not only survive the experience, but demonstrate no small degree of skill. His extensive knowledge of engineering, machinery and buzzwords translated surprisingly well to the battlefield, giving him an impressive ability to micromanage his BattleMech and react to changing circumstances.

In addition to his role on the battlefield, Taphault also is a part of the Krymzon Guards’ technical staff. While he does a lot of repair work himself, especially on his own BattleMech, he often serves in a supervisory role, allocating work as needed. The Krymzon Guards’ propensity towards ‘technical victories’ means that he is often kept incredibly busy in simply keeping the unit functioning. Their leader’s often casual attitude towards managing her unit does not help his situation any.

For the moment, despite the constant frustration it seems to bring him, Taphault van Nurdlehammer seems to be content with his situation and position. Or, alternatively, he may have realised that he is simply too far in to go back to anything else.

Orion IIC (modified) Bathsalts
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: ype W-2 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Type I 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Composite A-4 Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      1 Devastator Ultra AC/20
      2 Kolibri Delta Series Large Pulse Lasers
      2 Type XV “Crossbow” LRM-15 launchers
Comm System: Khan Series (Type 1)
T&T System: Series III OPT

Due to their propensity towards questionable victories and dubious conduct, the Krymzon Guards have a high turnover rate for their BattleMech roster. However, there are a few examples that have been with the unit for some time. Possibly the most unusual of which is a single Orion IIC, inexplicably known as Bathsalts.

The BattleMech was captured during a raid on the Wolf Occupation Zone in 3055, and claimed by Casual Stoatbo, one of the unit’s officers. After (expensive) repairs, it was pressed back into service with the Guards, and see action with them for years to come. It saw heavy usage during the battles for Grim Plopsus in the Chaos March, where Stoatbo would find equal parts success and defeat with the ‘Mech during a seemingly circular conflict.

Heavy damage suffered during the campaign and others would see it rebuilt several times with whatever Clan-spec weaponry and components the Guard were able to acquire. This would result in its configuration changing numerous times as weapons were destroyed and replaced with whatever came to hand. About the only thing that didn’t change was the nickname and eye-catching colour scheme that made it stand out, even as a BattleMech that was not usually seen outside of one Clan.

Dung its long life with the unit, Bathsalts has passed through the hands of a number of different MechWarriors. What few have mentioned, however, is the number of those that have died behind the controls of the BattleMech. It remains to be seen if Taphault van Nurdlehammer can avoid becoming another footnote in its history.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 14 March 2021, 21:05:19
Guest character courtesy of KayEmm

Kerrah Vozka
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Free Worlds League/Purifiers
Birth Year: 3110

Like her fellow Spirit Cats, Kerrah Vozka is a survivor, one whose life has undergone a series of unexpected twists over the last two decades. A fierce warrior, her intensity and loyalty is evident in every aspect of her nature, from her battlefield performance to the ritual tattoos that cover her body.

Kerrah was decanted in a Nova Cat enclave in Prefecture III, the trueborn descendant of Nova Cat warriors who had joined the Republic at its founding. Like her fellows, she was raised in both the cosmopolitan culture of the Republic and the traditions of the Nova Cat Clan. The latter clearly piqued her interest as she grew, with Kerrah immersing herself in the traditions of the Clan, especially its more mystic side. This would lead her towards Senator Kev Rosse and his Spirit Cat movement, a direction that would shape the rest of her life.

She successfully passed her Trial of Position, winning a place as a MechWarrior in one of the Prefecture III Clan Militia Clusters. In service she formed alliances with other warriors of Nova Cat descent who shared her interests, with this small group engaging in a variety of vision quests and other rituals. These were as much for guidance and exploration of their heritage as it was a way to improve their abilities; while she was living in an age of peace, Kerrah, like many others, felt that some great change was on the wind.

The HPG blackout and subsequent discord within the Republic would seem to have proved her correct in her fears. Like the other Spirit Cats, she chose to follow Kev Rosse in his visions and plans to build a new future for his people. Kerrah’s spiritual side and penchant for ritual and visions saw her win a place in the newly-formed Purifiers Cluster, where she joined her fellow mystics. The end of 3132 was spent in training, honing both battlefield skills and mystical abilities, as well as efforts to blend the two.

This training seemed to be successful. Kerrah was a part of the Spirit Cat force first deployed in 3133 on Ozawa, where they faced a Bannson’s Raiders contingent. During her first true battle, she displayed considerable skill as well as an uncanny ability to ‘read’ her opponent and predict their moves. This ability would continue to manifest itself in subsequent clashes, where she would prove to be extremely skilled in duels with enemy BattleMechs.

Kerrah was among the Spirit Cat force that sought to claim the world of Marik for their own; while she had wanted to join with Kev Rosse in reunifying with the Nova Cats, she knew that their leader would have been guided by his own visions and chose not to question his choices. Her success in the battle saw her win a chance at a Bloodname (even if through an abbreviated trial due to current circumstances). Kerrah fought all of her battles augmented, and never once killed an opponent, instead disabling their BattleMechs without harming the warriors inside.

Her promotion to Star Captain has given her some leeway to act on her own visions. Like the other members of the Purifier Cluster, she has a hatred for the Wolf Empire that has driven her to take action against the Clan. Kerrah Voska has lead a number of Trials of Possession against Wolf forces, each one precisely targeted. And while she makes no illusions of her hatred for the Clan, she also shows their warriors the utmost respect, following zellbrigen wherever possible.

In addition to the ongoing conflicts with the Wolves, for the last three years, Kerrah has been calling for action against the Draconis Combine, driven as much by the need to avenge the destruction of the Nova Cats as her own personal visions. While for the moment the Clan Protectorate has no plans for such a move, Kerrah has a growing body of support from her warriors.

Wendigo B Tilikabang
Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: Mynx Type Medium Endo Steel
Powerplant: Consolidated 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 96 kph
Jump Jets: Northrup Starlifter M50 Improved
   Jump Capacity: 240 meters
Armour: Gamma Special Reflective
Armament:
      4 Series 2NC Extended Range Medium Lasers
      6 Series 1g ER Small Lasers
Comm System: Sipher CommCon SCU-9 with Guardian ECM
T&T System: Build 5 CAT TTS

For most of her career, Kerrah Voska piloted a Black Hawk 3 that had originally belonged to a RAF Militia Cluster. The BattleMech suited her style well; she appreciated its mobility, and the all-energy armament gave her the precision she needed for her dueling style of combat. The Black Hawk would see her through a number of battles for a decade and a half before it was finally destroyed by Regulan forces during the 3147 deep strike on the Protectorate.

Due to her rank and status, Kerrah would not remain Dispossessed for long. She received a brand-new, Sea Fox-supplied Wendigo as a replacement, and immediately took a shine to the OmniMech. She showed a marked preference for the B configuration, due to its all-energy loadout and array of improved jump jets that gave it a mobility that far exceeded her old Black Hawk. Quickly adapting to the new ‘Mech’s quirks, she was able to resume her highly-focused style of combat.

Kerrah tries to take full advantage of the Wendigo’s capabilities. Where possible, she uses her mobility to isolate and single out enemy ‘Mechs with energy-based loadouts, knowing that her reflective armour will limit their effectiveness. She also often serves as a high-speed delivery platform for Elemental Points, using her jump jets to get them into strategic locations on the battlefield. So far, these tactics have served her well against her Wolf Empire opponents; however, she also yearns for the day when she can unleash Tilikabang (as she has christened the ‘Mech) against the Combine.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 March 2021, 03:35:04
Guest character by KayEmm

Damien Hawkins
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Dark Suns
Birth Year: 3101

A lifelong mercenary, Damien Hawkins is rare in that he has spent almost all of his career with the same mercenary unit. The effective second-in-command of the Dark Suns, he has been instrumental in the unit’s reconstruction.

Hawkins’ family originally came from the Free Worlds League, where they were displaced by the collapse of the state (and rumoured Blakist ties). Despite the withering of the mercenary trade at the time, Damien would become the third generation of the family to take up the profession. Trained by his parents as a MechWarrior, he also showed a surprising head for the financial and administrative tasks that were vital to a command’s functioning.

After several short-term roles, Damien was hired in 3127 by Carlos Moreno of the Dark Suns. While initially hired simply to fill a slot in the unit’s structure, Damien quickly put his other skills to work in helping to run the Suns. These skills made him invaluable to Carlos, and the two developed a strong friendship (Carlos would frequently joke that Damien must have actually been a Sea Fox due to his head for numbers). Damien would quickly rise through the unit’s ranks, based as much on his battlefield skills as his financial acumen.

In addition to his other roles, Damien would be invaluable in helping to train Carlos’ daughter, Kari Moreno, for what was seen as her inevitable role as the commander of the Dark Suns. Even though Carlos had no plans to retire in the immediate future, he felt that it would be important for her to be prepared to one day take up his position. That day would come sooner then expected.

The near-destruction of the Dark Suns, as well as the death of Carlos Moreno, on Wrocław would have a profound effect on Damien. Outwardly he remained stoic, accepting that what had happened was an inevitable risk of the mercenary profession. Inwardly he was devastated at the death of his good friend, wracked by survivor’s guilt. In many ways he blamed himself, feeling that he could have saved Carlos’ life or even taken the hit that killed him in his place.

However, rather than being consumed by his guilt, Damien instead threw himself into rebuilding the Dark Suns. Kari Moreno had vowed to go on despite the losses that they had suffered, as much out of honouring the dead as her own determination. Damien supported her every step of the way, seeing the rebirth of the Suns as a way to pay tribute to the dead. His financial and administrative skills would be vital in rebuilding the unit; staunching losses, managing their remaining assets, hiring new personnel and so on. On a more personal level he helped to support Kari, keeping her going and helping to keep her spirits up.

Once reconstituted, Damien became the Dark Suns’ second-in-command after Kari. He would often serve as a key advisor, both on the battlefield and in contract negotiations and in dealing with employers. However, he also was careful not to let Kari become dependent on him, and to help her grow into a position that she had inherited far earlier than expected.

His loyalty to the Moreno family was used against him, when he and Kari were given the opportunity to avenge themselves against the Jade Falcon unit responsible for Carlos’ death. He wholeheartedly supported the plan, unaware that it was in fact a bid by Stephan Kurtz, a LCAF officer, to bolster his own career by using the mercenaries as cannon fodder. While the Dark Suns were able to extract themselves from the debacle, Damien felt guilty over letting his emotions cloud his judgment. While he offered his resignation to Kari, she refused, pointing out that she had also been taken in by the same ploy.

Damien’s dedication has had one downside. Once married, he is now divorced, the result of his spending too much time focused on his work. He has two children that he rarely sees due to the realities of mercenary life and interstellar travel, but at least tries to maintain contact with.

ARC-4M Archer
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: Earthwerks Archer II Endo Steel
Powerplant: VOX 280
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Maximilian 100
Armament:
      2 Doombud LRM-20 Launchers
      4 Diverse Optics Medium Lasers
Comm System: Neil 9000
T&T System: RCA Instatrac Mark XII with Artemis IV FCS

One of the most common heavy BattleMechs ever built, the Archer has been a mainstay of battlefields since before the formation of the Star League. At nearly a century old, Damien Hawkins’ Archer has had a long career, like many of its kind. Despite being disabled and rebuilt several times, it has managed to remain in more or less continual operation for that time. Originally built to fight the Clan invasion, the ‘Mech passed through numerous hands before coming into his possession.

Damien has piloted the Archer for much of his career. While this particular model is seen as being old by modern standards, he favours its solid, rugged design and reliable performance. He has demonstrated exceptional skill with its LRM launchers, raining down effective long-range fire on enemies while supporting the other Dark Suns. He often pairs himself with Kari Moreno’s Black Knight, providing missile support as she closes in with enemies.

While the ‘Mech is far from the cutting edge and has picked up a few quirks over the years, Damien has no desire to replace it. While he claims that he’s simply well-practiced with the ‘Mech and that upgrading it would be an expense that could be better spent elsewhere, the truth is much more personal. To Damien, this Archer is a link to his past and better times.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 March 2021, 03:38:56
Jie-Le Feng
Position/Rank: Sang-wei
Affiliation/Unit: Capellan Confederation/First Liao Guards
Birth Year: 3119

A dedicated Capellan soldier, Jie-Le Feng is one of a new generation of janshi who have been raised with an expectation of inevitable victory.

The second child of a wealthy mercantile family, Jie-Le was subtly steered towards a military career from an early age. Her family saw such as an opportunity to further their own standing within Capellan society. Well-educated, her teaching emphasized Capellan ideals of loyalty and service to the state, as well as the constant reminders of the losses that the nation had suffered at the hands of their enemies. Jie-Le immersed herself in these beliefs, feeling that she had a duty to her state and her people.

This push increased after the Blackout, as Capellan society became more militant, feeding on the idea of an inevitable vengeance against the Republic. Jie-Le enlisted with the CCAF, with a combination of her own aptitude testing and her family’s influence earning her a spot at the Sarna Martial Academy. Immersion into its own culture served to only heighten her enthusiasm and drive. Constant high marks and impressive performances during simulated exercises showed that she had the skill and discipline to back up her enthusiasm.

She would first see action with the Sarna Martial Academy Cadre as it was deployed to support CCAF forces in operation GREAT FLOOD. During these actions, Jie-Le would demonstrate that her skills were not limited to just the classroom or exercises. As an acting Sao-wei, she showed considerable skill in dealing with Republic forces, as well as militia and other irregular units across the Capellan advance.

One of her first major actions would come on Algot, where her lance were a part of a force tasked with eliminating remnant Republican forces. Expecting insurgents armed with modified IndustrialMechs, the Capellan force was instead surprised by a Swordsworn raid that included BattleMechs. After the death of her commander, Jie-Le was able to rally her forces and turn the tables against their attackers. She then repaid the initial attack in kind, by killing the Swordsworn commander with a well-placed shot.

By 3142 she had received a permanent billet within the reformed First Liao Guards, a unit that was leading the advance into the former Republic. This campaign would bring her into conflict with the Federated Suns, the hated ancestral enemy of the Capellan Confederation. Eager to avenge her nation’s past injustices, Jie-Le would find herself somewhat let down that most of the enemies she faced were instead ad-hoc militias that often offered very little resistance. The defeat of the Guards by the First Federated Suns Armoured Cavalry on Rio would only add to her frustration. While the regiment successfully returned to the world, that they took it effectively unopposed did little to improve her situation.

Her chance for vengeance would come with the launch of Operation TIAMAT, where the First Liao Guards were a spearhead of the Confederation’s drive into the heart of the Republic. On Epsilon Indi, her company played a key role in the destruction of the XIII Hastati Sentinels, with Feng personally dispatching several BattleMechs with accurate, long-ranged fire. Any sense of triumph would be dashed by the subsequent attacks of the Guard’s equipment and stockpiles that left them functionally marooned and unable to continue the campaign and drive towards a seemingly inevitable victory.

Her frustrations have only grow following the debacle on Northwind, but also served to give her a new target. Jie-Le Feng has begun to call for action against the Combine in retaliation for their seeming betrayal, feeling that the Dragon needs to be halted so that the Confederation alone can claim victory. So far, while her cause has found some support among her men, she is yet to receive any official recognition.

TNZ-N3 Tian-zong Thunder King
Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Hellespont Type TZ Endo-Composite
Powerplant: Rawlings Type 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Hellespont Lite II Stealth
Armament:
      2 Ceres Arms Striker Light PPCs
      2 Mydron Concussor Gauss Rifles
Comm System: Ceres Metals Model 777 with Angel ECM System
T&T System: Radcom TXXII

Early in her MechWarrior training, Jie-Le Feng demonstrated exceptional marksmanship skills, laying down precise and accurate long-range fire. Her first BattleMech was a Huron Warrior, assigned to her to allow her to best use those skills. Her feelings about the ‘Mech could be best described as mixed. While she was grateful to the Confederation for giving her the opportunity, she also felt that its name and Native American warrior styling did not suit the image of the modern Capellan people. Of course, the fact that she was piloting a pre-Jihad vintage design may have simply been seen as a quiet insult.

Her transfer to the First Liao Guards and subsequent promotion saw her assigned to a brand-new Tian-zong, a BattleMech chosen as much for the degree that it suited her abilities and its role as a command platform as it was for its prestige. She took an immediate liking to it and adapted her tactics accordingly, preferring to stay at range with her stealth armour active while laying down highly- accurate Gauss fire on her enemies.

At the controls of Thunder King, as she calls the ‘Mech, jie-Le has accrued a number of kills against the enemies of the Capellan people. On Epsilon Indi, she was responsible for the deaths of several Republic officers, all picked off with accurate, long-range fire. Feng’s command lance is presently equipped entirely with stealth-equipped BattleMechs, which like hers are configured for long-range combat, allowing them to control large areas of the battlefield.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 March 2021, 03:42:40
Guest character by Zogster

Lana Kotovski
Position/Rank: Ugala
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Star of Sumer
Birth Year: 3112

Lana Kotovski’s life has been defined by change, and moving in very much unexpected directions. She was born into a Republic noble family on Addicks, themselves the descendants of a Federated Suns family with long ties to the world. Despite her social rank, like every other person in the Republic, Lana needed to earn her Citizenship, a goal that was as much about her own personal drive as the necessities of inheriting her family’s lands and title.

During her training, Lana demonstrated an aptitude for BattleMech operations that was shared with many of her predecessors. On graduation, she was assigned a place as a MechWarrior in the Addicks Planetary Guard. Expecting a quiet tour of duty with very little in the way of real action, Lana was still in the middle of her service during the HPG Blackout, with her unit being vital to maintaining order in the first months afterwards.

She would see her first action in November of that year when Dragon’s Fury troops attacked the world to seize its oil fields. Working alongside ad-hoc Highlanders units, the Addicks Planetary Guard were able to fend off the Combine-aligned attackers. While more than a few members of the Guard chose to join the Highlanders, Lana opted to stay on-world to defend her family and world should the fighting intensify.

Her decision would be justified a few months later when the Spirit Cats came to the world, seeking the same oil fields. This time the Highlanders were unsuccessful in their defense, and chose to retreat off-world. Lana’s unit also pulled back from the Sparro continent, lacking the manpower to displace the Clan force. The battered Guard would hold their station, even as members were headhunted by the Highlanders and Swordsworn into their ranks.

The formation of Fortress Republic, and the subsequent abandonment of Addicks struck a lethal blow to the Guard, with much of its membership simply abandoning their posts. Lana would suffer a further setback in 3137 when the DCMS raided the world. The ad-hoc force under her command managed to turn back the attackers, but not before they put the Kotovski family holdings to the torch as a way of covering their escape.

Not too long afterwards, another force arrived on-world. The Star of Sumer were a mercenary battalion that had been formed by a branch of the Kotovski family over a century prior. They had come looking for resources and support from the Addicks branch of the family, but found that they had nothing to offer. What they did come away with was Lana and several other members of her unit who joined the mercenaries, having realized that they had little reason to stay at their posts otherwise.

Lana’s prior skills and history with the RAF translated well to the mercenary life. Despite the weight that her family’s name carried within the unit, she applied herself and sought to advance on her own merits. Her knowledge of the Republic proved to be particularly useful as the fighting within the former realm intensified, offering the unit opportunities and resources that would be vital to its continued operation. She would be promoted several times, winning the support of the men she led along the way.

In 3147, the Star’s commander, Calvin Morrison, was killed in action. Having risen to second in command of the unit, Lana Kotovski took his place as their leader. Under her control, the Star of Sumer has taken on a somewhat more altruistic approach, preferring to take garrison and support contracts over raids and assaults, and often working for local forces or planetary governments rather than Successor State militaries.

BLR-6G BattleMaster Gilgamesh
Mass: 85 tons
Chassis: Hollis Mark X Endo Steel
Powerplant: GM 340 Light
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Starshield Special Heavy
Armament:
      1 Magna Hellfire Heavy PPC
      4 Magna Starbolt Light PPCs
      2 Martell-X Small X-Pulse Lasers
      2 Martell Extended-Range Small Lasers
      1 Holly Streak SRM-6
Comm System: Sony MSF-31
T&T System: Federated Stalker

The BattleMaster known as Gilgamesh has been with the Star of Sumer since shortly after their founding. The BattleMech was captured by Larissa Kotovski, the unit’s founder and first commander after she killed its MechWarrior in combat. She claimed it as her own and gave it the name that would remain with it for generations to come. During her career, the ‘Mech would serve her well; however, she would be injured numerous times while behind its controls. Following her retirement after being nearly killed, Larissa opted to pass the ‘Mech along to the unit’s next commander.

Gilgamesh survived with the Star of Sumer for over a century, usually serving as the commander’s BattleMech. While it proved to be reliable and resilient, the ‘Mech also developed something of a reputation among the unit due to the surprising number of head hits it took, and the number of times that its pilots would be injured. More than one commander would be killed at the controls of the ‘Mech, earning it a reputation of being cursed, and leading to the joke that the Star of Sumer was led as much from the front as it was from a sickbay bed. Despite this, the BattleMaster would be upgraded several times during its life to keep pace with current technologies, and remains something of a symbol of the unit.

Lana Kotovski inherited Gilgamesh when she joined the unit, even though she was not its commander at the time. She uses the extended reach of its current weapons load to pick her fights and engage her enemies at a range that best suits her and the circumstances of the battle. And, like the previous pilots of the ‘Mech, she has been injured several times while behind the controls.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 30 March 2021, 00:12:24
Viggo Akerstrom
Position/Rank: Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Magyari’s Irregulars
Birth Year: 3122

Viggo Akerstrom traces his ancestry back to rebels who fought for Rasalhagian independence from the Draconis Combine. Following the formation of the Free Rasalhague Republic, members of his family would join its newly raised military. This freedom would be short-lived, as the Republic would soon be invaded and largely crushed by the Clans. Members of the family would flee the conflict, eventually settling among the Rasalhagian enclaves on Arc-Royal, while others would remain within the occupied Republic.

According to official records, Viggo was born on Balsta in 3122. His family apparently left the world in 3126, resurfacing on Arc-Royal later in that year and finding a place with their distant relatives on-world. Within a year of their arrival, his mother found work as a mercenary, demonstrating that she had MechWarrior training, despite having never served in the KungsArme. As they traveled, the family collected a large number of contacts within the mercenary trade, as well as worlds within the Lyran Commonwealth.

Their son would be raised with the family as they moved from unit to unit. As he matured, he would receive MechWarrior training from his mother, as well as members of the units that they were with at the time. Rather than remaining with his parents, Viggo chose to find his own way, traveling to Galatea to join the mercenary trade there. He spent several years with various small units, demonstrating considerable skills on the battlefield behind the controls of his ‘Mech.

Viggo’s big break would come in 3146 when he was hired by Irisz Magyari as a part of the expansion of her unit. His first contract with the unit would almost prove to be disastrous; originally hired to help support the Second Avalon Hussars on Ingress, the unit would instead be caught up in a full-blown invasion by DCMS forces, supported by mercenary allies. Cut off from their transports, the Irregulars went to ground, waging a guerrilla war against the Combine forces.

During this time, Viggo Akerstrom demonstrated a range of skills that went well beyond his BattleMech training. He proved to be a skilled infiltrator and saboteur, and especially proficient with explosives. Through his actions, the Irregulars were able to deny the mercenary forces access to key supplies, as well as liberate a number of valuable prisoners from their control. The Combine forces would eventually be driven off the world through a number of factors, with effective sabotage of their assets being key among them.

These skills would be demonstrated further on Hindmarsh, where he used his skills to infiltrate the enemy encampments. While there he gathered vital intelligence on their numbers and disposition, while also sabotaging their supplies and sewing discord among their ranks. The Irregulars would capitalize on his successes on the battlefield, driving off or destroying the occupying forces.

Viggo has made no illusions about his dislike for the Clans, and seems to carry a particular hatred for the Ghost Bears. This attitude, combined with his range of skills and several irregularities in both his and his parents backgrounds, suggests that he may be connected to Motstånd or one of the other Rasalhaguan independence groups that seek freedom from Clan control. Furthermore, he has apparently been in contact with groups within the Dominion during his time as a mercenary, likely feeding them information.

While Irisz Magyari is clearly aware of this situation, so far she has chosen not to act on it. Whether this is because she respects his skills and contributions to the unit, because she has her own uses for his contacts and resources is unclear.

MGL-T1 Mongrel Kaparen
Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: Beowulf 5C
Powerplant: Manga-C 350
Cruising Speed: 76 kph
Maximum Speed: 119 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Royal-7R Reactive
Armament:
      1 GM Whirlwind Class-5 Autocannon
      3 Series 2f Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System: OP COM-22/H47
T&T System: Digital Scanlock 347

Despite its ungainly appearance, the Mongrel is a well-regarded design both for its rugged nature and ease of operations. Co-developed by the Rasalhague Dominion and Exiled Wolves, the design has spread considerably and found favour among mercenary forces. Viggo Akerstrom’s Mongrel was purchased new through his family’s contacts, and so far has been the only BattleMech that he has used during his mercenary career.

This familiarity is demonstrated in his employment of its capabilities on the battlefield. Where possible, he will try to deliberately draw the attention of missile-armed opponents, knowing that their weapons are less effective against its armour. However, his preferred weapon seems to be its retractable blade. He has managed to cripple or disable several otherwise lightly-damaged opponents through careful and precise strikes, using the Mongrel’s speed to close in with them before delivering the critical blow.

Despite his anti-Clan biases, Viggo seems to have no issue with using a Clan-built BattleMech. Instead, his attitude is somewhat more pragmatic, feeling that the ‘Mech’s performance and capabilities are all that matter, regardless of its origin. So far, he has shown no interest in replacing his ‘Mech, which he has nicknamed Kaparen.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 30 March 2021, 00:19:04
Adeola Tshanti
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Federated Suns/Dawn Guards
Birth Year: 3116

Adeola Tshanti’s family had a long and decorated history of service, both to the Republic of the Sphere and to the Federated Suns for generations before that. Her grandmother fought for the AFFS during the Jihad, choosing to resettle in the Republic in the years afterwards. Both of her parents served in the RAF; in fact, they met during their service and waited until their terms of service were over before marrying. It was seen as natural that their children would follow in their footsteps.

As their first child, Adeola had no objections to this plan. Not only did she see millitary service as her path to Republic citizenship, but she also felt proud to uphold her family’s traditions. Her timing was against her, however. She enlisted with the RAF days after her sixteenth birthday in July of 3132. Less than a month later, the HPG Blackout would strike, sending the Republic, and the rest of the Inner Sphere, into chaos.

While Adeola and her family were located in Prefecture X at the heart of the Republic, she still felt the effects of the escalating situation. After aptitude tests showed that she would make a capable MechWarrior, her training was accelerated so that the Republic would be able to replenish the losses it was suffering through both combat and defections to the various splinter groups that had sprung up since the Blackout. Despite the intense pressure she was under, or maybe because of it, Adeola excelled during her training, consistently performing well in exercises.

While in theory the raising of the walls of Fortress Republic guaranteed the safety of the worlds within it, the truth would not be so simple. Adeola would first see action in 3136 as a part of the Republic’s ‘housecleaning’ actions against the remaining splinter factions and other groups operating within the Republic. This included being a part of the operation that put down the so-called Outreach Revival, resulting in the RAF absorbing a number of mercenary units.
Midway through the year, her cadet unit was on Caph engaged in low-level cleanup activities when the world was unexpectedly attacked by a detachment from the Band of Five. Driven by no clear motivation beyond inflicting damage for the sake of it, the Raiders made for an industrial town. While outnumbered and with other forces on the way, Adeola chose to delay the Raiders to allow reinforcements to arrive rather than risking the attackers getting to a heavily populated region. Quick thinking and use of the terrain allowed her force to get the drop on the attackers and stall their advance, while preventing the Raiders from taking advantage of their greater numbers. Once further RAF units arrived, the Raiders chose to fight to the death rather than retreat or surrender; Adeola wound up killing their commander herself with a hit to his BattleMech’s cockpit.

She would see action in subsequent operations, including DAMNATIO, before a new opportunity presented itself for her to serve the Republic. Due to her Federated Suns ancestry and past service, she was recommended for the Dawn Guards. Despite the fact that this would mean leaving the Republic, Adeola felt that it was her duty to join the unit; through aiding the Federated Suns, she would also be aiding the Republic.

As one of the first Republic soldiers to see action outside the wall, Adeola would acquit herself well in the Guards’ early battles against the Capellan Confederation. Her combination of skills and battlefield experience saw her promoted, eventually given command of a striker company. This unit would form a key part of several victories, not the least of which was the crushing defeat of Wolf's Dragoons’ Wolfsbane battalion on O’Fallon.

Despite the presently imperiled state of the Republic and the very real risk that she may never see her home or family again, Adeola remains steadfastly loyal to her unit and its mission. She sees herself less as fighting for the Republic, but fighting for a better future for whatever comes next.

CN11-O Centurion (modified) Torchbearer
Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: Corean Model OM77 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Magna 250 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: McCloud Specials
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: StarGuard III
Armament:
      1 ChisComp 12000 Plasma Rifle
      2 Exostar Pinnacle Extended-Range Medium Lasers
      1 Type XV “Crossbow” LRM-15 launcher
Comm System: Corean Transband J-9 with Guardian ECM
T&T System: Corean FlexTech

Adeola Tshanti was assigned a veteran Centurion OmniMech as a part of her first operational deployment. While inexperienced at the time, she took a liking to the ‘Mech for its rugged design and ease of use. Her faith in its capabilities would be rewarded during her very first field operation, where through use of its mobility and plasma rifle she was able to harry and hinder the Band of Five force, overheating their ‘Mechs and crippling their vehicles.

The Centurion would remain as her BattleMech for the next decade as she fought to protect the Republic from the enemies that remained inside the wall. Following her assignment to the Dawn Guards, she was offered a heavier or more advanced ‘Mech; however, she turned it down, claiming that she preferred the Centurion and that a heavier design would be better used by being assigned to someone else. She took the opportunity to formally name the ‘Mech that she had been using for a decade, christening it Torchbearer in recognition of the Dawn Guards’ mission.

While Adeola has used a variety of different configurations during her career, the C model has remained her favourite due to its capabilities. Despite this familiarity, she has made some compromises regarding her ‘Mech of choice. Following the victory on O’Fallon, she upgraded the Centurion with Clan-tech weapon pods salvaged from the defeated Dragoons, creating a unique hybrid configuration. This in turn makes Torchbearer far more dangerous and less predictable for an opponent.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 30 March 2021, 00:25:46
Leeandra Connors
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Clan Wolf/Beta Galaxy
Birth Year: 3116

While a member of Clan Wolf’s most prestigious Galaxy, Leeandra Connors’ origins do not lie with that Clan. Rather, she was born to a Wolf-in-Exile sibko on Arc-Royal. During her training, she became very outspoken among her peers, criticizing the Exiles' seeming dependence on -- and subservience to -- the Lyran nation. While this made her unpopular with her trainers, their resulting pushback only served to drive her to excel and succeed. Despite the obstacles thrown in her way, she succeeded in her Trial of Position as a MechWarrior.

A year later, she took a chance during the meetings between the Wolves and Exiles regarding their alliance with the Lyran Commonwealth. While the Exiles’ leaders refused an offer of reunification, there were individual warriors that took the opportunity for themselves. Leeandra was one such case, leaping at the opportunity to become what she saw as a ‘real’ Clan warrior. She was quickly accepted by her new Clan, and managed to win a place in the Wolves’ prestigious Beta Galaxy; albeit with the assignment being as much about he own skill as the simple fact that she had defected with an OmniMech.

Leeandra proved that she was worthy of the honour bestowed upon her, distinguishing herself in the Wolf incursion into the former Republic. Her performance during the invasion of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth earned her the favour of Lucius Radick, a ristar in the same Cluster as her. He saw in her both her potential as a warrior as well as an opportunity to lure more Exiles to the Clan, and arranged to have her assigned to his Star. Her performance showed that his faith was not misplaced; when Lucius was promoted to Star Captain, he arranged for her to become a Star Commander in his own Trinary. Her prestige was further bolstered with her winning her Bloodname in 3141.

When the Wolves turned on the Lyran Commonwealth, Leeandra gladly joined the fighting against what she saw as the Exiles’ masters. As much as she relished the chance to strike back at them, she also saw the Wolves’ offensive as a way to lure more of her former Clan to their side. As Lucius’ prestige grew, so did hers as she rode the wake of his success. She became one of his key supporters as he pushed for command of the Cluster, knowing that she would be promoted as a result.

Her rise would be threatened not by any external force, but rather by her own allies. In early 3145, her Star was part of a force attempting to stop a mercenary raid on Keystone. One of her Star was duped into chasing one of the attackers, which created an opening for the raiders to escape with a considerable haul of stolen material.  While he took the blame for their failure, the loss still reflected on her.

Even more severe was her participation in Lucius Radick’s retaliatory strike on Ashburton against the same mercenaries. While the Wolf forces would again be defeated in battle, Leeandra managed to come out of the battle better than most. Her ‘Mech would only be lightly damaged, while she managed to inflict substantial damage in return. In the aftermath of the debacle, she began to distance herself from her ally, feeling that he had been tainted by the affair.

In recent years, their relationship has become more mutually antagonistic as her own star has risen. Promoted to Star Captain, Leeandra is now on equal footing with her former commander, and has done her best to earn Star Colonel Don Cooper’s favour. So far, her performance has proven that she was not just rising on the combination of her connections and the novelty of her background.

Leeandra has no connections left to her prior Clan, and rarely makes any mention of it. The fall of Arc-Royal to the Jade Falcons and the severe losses suffered by the Exiles seem to have had little effect on her. If anything, she feels that those events have justified her beliefs.

Arctic Wolf II A Bloodseeker
Mass: 40 tons
Chassis: AR1 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Light Force 280 XL
Cruising Speed: 76 kph
Maximum Speed: 119 kph
Jump Jets: Grandthrust Mk 4
   Jump Capacity: 210 meters
Armour: Royal-7a Ferro Fibrous
Armament:
      4 Pattern J4 Streak SRM-4
      2 Series 4 Small Pulse Lasers
Comm System: HWLR Designation ComSys with ECM Suite
T&T System: Hunter (7) Dedicated TTS with Active Probe

From the outset, Leeandra’s views meant that she was at odds with her superiors within the Exiled Wolves. As a consequence, her first assignment was an ancient, worn Great Wyrm, a choice that she found to be an insult. Rather than accept it, she challenged a fellow for their Arctic Wolf II, and readily defeated them in unarmed combat (and, in doing so, only fueled her beliefs). Naming the ‘Mech Bloodseeker, she would violently defend it through several more challenges.

When she joined the Wolves, Leeandra bought her OmniMech with her. While nearly unique among the Wolf forces, she quickly adapted to their tactics and equipment, integrating well with their existing forces. Leeandra prefers mobility in a battle, and will use her OmniMech’s performance to its fullest. She typically uses the A configuration, as much for its potent short-range punch as its advanced electronics and value as a scout.

She scored multiple kills against AMSC opponents during the invasion, helping to bolster her reputation and standing. Her speed and mobility proved especially useful against Lyran opponents, allowing her to outmaneuver heavier ‘Mechs, or herd them into the guns of Wolf forces. So far, she has shown no interest in a heavier ‘Mech; if anything, she seems to be proud of piloting an Exile ‘Mech into battle against that Clan’s allies.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 06 April 2021, 01:37:34
Valerio Esquivel
Position/Rank: Chieftain
Affiliation/Unit: Pirate/Vulture’s Feast
Birth Year: 3115

In other circumstances, Valerio Esquivel’s rise would be considered as a heroic triumph. Coming from nothing and rising through adversity, he has become a feared pirate leader, responsible for countless crimes.

Valerio was born to a poor farming community on Argos, one of the worlds abandoned in the effective collapse of the Taurian Concordat. When he was fourteen, he was a part of a group of captives taken by the Vulture’s Feast, a pirate band that preyed on the worlds in the region. While the pirates usually pressed their captives into service, either as workers to support their forces or expendable cannon-fodder infantry, he instead took the initiative and stepped forward to offer his services to the pirates.

Equal parts impressed by his boldness and amused by his youth, one of them took him up on his offer. Darla Hethir was an ambitious, up-and-coming member of the gang who was looking for ways to advance her own position. She saw in him a potential opportunity, figuring that if he worked out it could be useful to her; and if not, he was ultimately expendable. She put him to work as a scout,  figuring that the combination of his small size and seemingly innocuous nature would be useful as a way to infiltrate enemy territory and gather information on their targets. As an incentive, she promised him wealth and power for his success.

Her gamble paid off spectacularly. Esquivel proved to be an adept scout and infiltrator, showing considerable talent in the role. His efforts netted her a number of victories, with her force coming away with considerable loot and salvage. Her success was in turn noted, and she was promoted to replace a less successful senior member of the band. She did not forget her promises, however, and was sure to keep Valerio rewarded and well looked after for his efforts.

As he grew, it became clear to both Valerio and Darla that his innocuous nature would not last forever. Seeing him as still being a useful asset, she arranged for him to train as a MechWarrior so that he could serve the band on the battlefield. He proved to be just as adept behind the controls of a BattleMech as he was as a scout, scoring his first kill during his first-ever live engagement. Confident that her investment had paid off, Darla would continue to reward him as she rose to power.

In 3139, Darla engineered a coup that saw her take control of the Vulture’s Feast, with Valerio being a vital supporter. She rewarded him by making him her second, and assigning him to a heavy BattleMech, despite his relative youth. The few critics of this move quickly found themselves silenced, either intimidated into towing the line or quietly eliminated by the pair to shore up their position. Valerio would remain her loyal right hand for the next five years, continuing to aid her in the band’s attacks.

His next big break would not be planned, however. During a raid on Portland in 3143, Darla was killed by a fluke shot to her BattleMech’s cockpit. As the Vultures collapsed into disarray, Valerio was able to rally their forces and turn what had been a chaotic rout into an orderly retreat. While the pirate band had been forced to abandon their prizes, they had still managed to escape with comparatively light losses. In the aftermath of the operation, Valerio claimed the vacant leadership; nobody chose to challenge him for it.

For the last six years he has remained secure in his control of the Vulture’s Feast. Knowing how he came to the position, Valerio has chosen not to rest on his laurels and has instead continued to lead the organization from the front, demonstrating his capabilities. Furthermore, he has built a network of scouts and informants who help to keep him as informed as possible on future targets or anyone moving against him.

RGH-RV Roughneck Ripsaw
Mass: 65 tons
Chassis: Achernar LK III Endo Steel
Powerplant: Magna 260 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: StarGuard III
Armament:
      2 General Motors Nova-5 Ultra AC/5
      2 ChisComp 43 Special Large Lasers
      2 ChisComp 39 Medium Lasers
      1 Death Blossom Rocket Launcher-15
Comm System: Achernar Electronics HICS-11
T&T System: Federated Hunter

The Roughneck was developed by Achernar BattleMechs prior to the Clan Invasion as a low-cost design marketed to mercenary, militia and Periphery customers. Despite initial misgivings, the design was a success due to its rugged design and low cost. In the wake of the invasion and subsequent arms race, Archernar developed more advanced models containing more recovered technology.

The example piloted by Valerio Esquivel has been with the Vulture’s Feast for nearly twenty years now, captured from a destitute mercenary unit. Before that, it had a long career, passing between various owners across the Inner Sphere and near Periphery. At some point in its past, the ‘Mech was modified, with a rocket launcher and additional armour replacing the centerline Streak SRM. Likewise, one of its prior owners christened the ‘Mech Ripsaw, a name that has stuck.

When Darla Hethir took command of the Vulture’s Feast, she rewarded him with the ‘Mech for supporting her. After her death, he has continued to operate it, not least because it is the heaviest ‘Mech remaining in their arsenal. Due to its size and abilities, Ripsaw is at the front and center of the pirates’ attacks. So far, its combination of firepower and resilience, not to mention the skill of its pilot, has proven to be more than a match for any who have tried to stand in their way.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 06 April 2021, 01:40:37
Jessie Packard
Position/Rank: Mercenary
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Magyari’s Irregulars
Birth Year: 3120

Much of Jessie Packard’s life was dominated by a long-standing family feud that started a century before she was born and that she had no choice over her being drawn into.

Supposedly the only child of Connie Raymond and her first husband, Shane Packard, Jessie Raymond (as she was christened) lost her father before she was even a year old. This loss kept her close to her mother as she grew, even after Connie Raymond remarried and had a second child. As she grew, a rivalry developed between her and her half-brother, Ronnie, one that was fueled by each parent clearly favouring one of them.

Connie would half-encourage and half-push her into becoming a MechWarrior, a move that was as much about ensuring that her family unit would continue as it was about her personal plans. Jessie proved to be a capable MechWarrior, a skill that was aided by her sibling rivalry with each seeking to out-perform the other. Connie also rewarded her with command of a BattleMech lance, a position that was supposedly about preparing her for the future. In this capacity she proved to be somewhat less capable, due to her lack of social skills and somewhat introverted nature.

Her life would be changed forever during the Ashburton debacle. During an engagement with a lance from Magyari’s Irregulars, Jessie’s force was surprised by a Wolf Empire assault. Thinking quickly, she was able to withdraw, providing the Irregulars with an avenue to escape. However, Ronnie’s ‘Mech would be disabled during the battle, and he was captured. Connie Raymond had intended to trade the Irregulars to the Wolves in exchange for their prisoners. Jessie, feeling that such was unfair, instead opted to release them and helped them to get Ronnie back.

In the aftermath of the affair, Connie berated Jessie for her actions. Conversely, the Irregulars extended her an olive branch as a way of thanking her for her aid. Jessie took the opportunity to leave Raymond’s Roughnecks for the Irregulars, joining the unit as Irisz Magyari was actively engaged in expanding its ranks. In doing such she effectively accepted a demotion back to MechWarrior, a move she had little to no issue with. Unfortunately, this would only serve to fuel Connie Raymond’s anger and stoke the ongoing feud.

For the next three years, Jessie Packard (having taken her father’s name) would serve as a member of the Irregulars, while deliberately avoiding any contact with her former unit and the rest of her family. That gap was bought to a close with the battle of Hindmarsh in 3148, where the Irregulars would clash with Raymond’s Roughnecks. During the battle, Jessie was willing to engage her former unit, but deliberately avoided firing on her mother, stepfather or half-brother. Despite this, she would aid the Irregulars’ cause and contribute to their eventual victory.

The battle was still difficult for her beyond the normal stresses of the battlefield coupled with firing on people that she used to know. It was further accentuated when she realized the true depths of her mother’s insanity after the revelation of her actual parentage. Despite that, she chose to keep the Packard name out of respect for the man that she would have called her father.

In the aftermath of the battle, Jessie chose to remain with the Irregulars. If anything, she has taken to seeing the unit and its members as her real family now. Recently she has managed a degree of rapprochement with her half-brother Ronnie and stepfather, Ron McDougal, both of which were unaware of exactly what was going on and how they were both being used. Conversely, she has shown a strong degree of loyalty towards Irisz Magyari, enough so that her commander has chosen to bring her into her circle of allies.

Warhammer IIC
Mass: 80 tons
Chassis: SJR-80 Endo
Powerplant: Type 10 320 Fusion
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Forging ZM15 Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 Type DDS Kingston Extended-Range PPCs
      5 14a Medium Pulse Lasers
      2 Pattern J7 Streak SRM-6
Comm System: TDWS-37 Mk 2.2
T&T System: “Hades” CT-44

While the Sea Foxes have allowed the Warhammer IIC to proliferate far and wide in search of profits, the ‘Mech still remains a capable and sought after design. Examples can be found across the Inner Sphere in the hands of the Clans, House militaries and even mercenary forces.

Despite being neither a wealthy nor well-equipped unit, Connie Raymond chose to reward her daughter with a used Warhammer IIC that she had bought on the mercenary market. Outwardly, this move was about giving Jessie Packard a ‘Mech that would allow her to develop the skills and experiences that she would eventually need when she inevitably inherited control of the unit. However, it was also about Connie protecting her investment, so that Jessie would be able to prove herself as a MechWarrior while also living long enough to fulfill her plans.

Following her defection, Jessie continued to use the BattleMech, having taken it with her. As her skills have matured through considerable battlefield experience, she has proven to be a capable MechWarrior in her own right without having somebody pushing her into the role. She tends to push her ‘Mech hard, riding its heat curve to an almost dangerous degree while relying on its rugged design and thick armour to keep her alive; a plan that has thus far worked. Despite having piloted the ‘Mech for nearly her entire career, Jessie has not chosen to name it.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 06 April 2021, 01:44:23
Guest character by KayEmm

Alain Rowe
Position/Rank: Hauptmann
Affiliation/Unit: Lyran Commonwealth/Second Bolan Guards
Birth Year: 3120

Born in the Lyran Commonwealth during the last days of the Republic era, Alain Rowe joined the LCAF during the age of uncertainty and growing chaos that enveloped the entire Inner Sphere. Managing to win a place at the Melissa Steiner Martial Academy on Bolan despite his commoner status, Alain’s training was marked by two major elements.

The first would be his quick reflexes and thinking, traits that saw him excel at both theoretical exercises and wargames. While showing a preference for medium BattleMechs, Alain’s skill as a MechWarrior and field commander delivered him a number of victories against his fellow students. That many of them not only preferred heavier ‘Mechs but also came from wealthier backgrounds did not go unnoticed, which in turn created tension with those students.

However, any problems that might have been caused by that success was drowned out by a growing sense of triumph within the Lyran forces. As reports came in of their continued successes against the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth and Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey, many, Alain included, became caught up in the moment. There was a growing feeling that the Commonwealth’s victory over its ancient enemies was inevitable, with many, Alain included, eager to take up arms and help bring about their nation’s destiny.

On graduation, Alain was assigned to the Second Bolan Guards who were on the frontlines of the advance into the Duchy. However, instead of the victories that he was expecting, Alain’s first campaign would be derailed as the Wolf Clan turned on their supposed allies and invaded the Commonwealth. Instead the regiment became part of a rearguard action, trying to hold off resurgent Free Worlds forces and to cling on to their conquests as the rest of the LCAF pulled back to deal with the new threat.

Ironically his first offensive action would be in 3142 as the unit was assigned to liberate Bolan from the Wolf Empire. During the invasion, Alain put his skills to work in conducting hit and fade attacks against the invaders at the head of a highly-mobile strike lance. Following the liberation and Colonel Colt’s purging of disloyal elements from the unit, Rowe was assigned to a newly formed fast strike company under the command of Hauptmann Erik Elroy. A fervent Lyran nationalist, Bolan native and the son of a wealthy family, Elroy had become incensed in the wake of the Wolves’ betrayal of the nation. His command style reflected this situation, as he became very demanding of his men. Rowe quickly proved himself to be up to his demanding situation, becoming the second in command of his company.

The biggest test of both his loyalty and his skills would come in April of 3146 when Bolan was again invaded, this time by the First Tamarind Regulars. Elroy was enraged at the attack, and drove his men hard to push back the invaders. Rowe’s skills and knowledge became essential to their counterattack, with him leading a number of successful attacks that pushed back the League invaders. The arrival of elements of the Eighth Free Worlds Guards, supported by mercenaries (including the Dark Suns), again reversed the situation in favour of the invaders.

As the situation deteriorated, Elroy became even more enraged. He felt deeply insulted that the League used a mercenary unit, and one lead by a common-born woman at that, to try to take his homeworld. Even as the Guards were ordered into a retreat, he launched an attack against the Dark Suns, aimed at crippling them and eliminating their leader. Seeing that this was a futile action, Rowe sidestepped his authority and pulled back his forces in order to preserve them. While Elroy would be captured by the mercenaries, the rest of his company would pull back and survive to retreat off-world.

As the regiment again reorganised, Rowe was promoted to take Elroy’s place. While he has remained loyal to the LCAF, the combination of the Commonwealth’s deteriorating situation and the knowledge that his lack of social standing will likely hamper his future career has seen him begin to consider his options.

GST-10 Ghost Ivey
Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: Enran TSX2A Standard
Powerplant: GM 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 96 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Starshield Ultra-tech Stealth
Armament:
      2 Defiance 1002 Light PPCs
      1 Defiance Model XII Extended-Range Medium Laser
      2 Helga Series Multiple Missile Launcher 3-Packs
Comm System: Nashan Comm-I U-284 with Guardian ECM
T&T System: Nashan Trac v-102 with Beagle Active Probe

On his assignment to the Second Bolan Guars, Alain Rowe was assigned to a factory-fresh Ghost that had been supplied to the unit to make up losses. While having never used the BattleMech before, Rowe took an immediate liking to the machine due to its combination of mobility, advanced electronics and stealth armour, all of which suited his skills and preferred tactics.

This familiarity would serve him well during his career. In the rearguard action that the Bolan Guards fought against the Tamarind forces, Rowe would use careful long-range fire to harry and delay enemies while avoiding their retaliation. During the liberation of Bolan, his stealth armour helped him to offset their range advantage, while its advanced electronics make him adept at flushing out hidden forces. During the liberation of MSMA, he used his familiarity with the terrain to approach unseen before conducting a surprise flanking attack.

While he was less successful during the League’s invasion of Bolan, that failure was less due to any deficit in his own skills and more about circumstances. The combination of the FWLM forces having superior numbers, the arrival of reinforcements and his own commander’s increasingly unhinged behavior proved to be considerable obstacles. None the less, the fact that Rowe was able to pull out the bulk of his company from the disaster that their commander unleashed demonstrated his abilities in full.

Despite being promoted, Rowe has continued to use the Ghost. He has dubbed the ‘Mech Ivey, but is quiet on the origins and reasoning behind the name.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 April 2021, 06:14:12
Back to it, now with some supporting characters

Isaak Wolf
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: None
Birth Year: 3122

Isaak Wolf was a trueborn Wolf Clan warrior. While still in training during the invasion of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth, he showed considerable skill; enough to win a place in the prestigious Beta Galaxy. Isaak bloodied himself during the invasion of the Lyran Commonwealth, scoring multiple kills against LCAF units and their allies. By 3145, he was a part of Lucius Radick’s trinary, positioned at the bleeding edge of the Wolf forces lurking outside Fortress Republic.

His career would be sidetracked during a mercenary raid on Keystone later in that year. The raiders had hit the Earthworks-FWL facility and had made off with a considerable haul of supplies while disrupting production. Isaak was positioned to cut off their escape, but instead was duped into a duel with one of the mercenaries. As a result, while he ineffectually chased his opponent, the mercenaries were able to escape.

Isaak would get his chance for revenge later in that year, taking part in Lucius Radick’s retaliatory raid on Ashburton. During the battle, Isaak again focused on the one opponent to the detriment of the rest of his Star. This miscalculation would instead cost the Wolf forces their victory after Isaak was easily disabled by his opponent.

In an effort to preserve himself, Lucius Radick shifted blame to Isaak, a move supported by Star Commander Leeandra Connors. As a result, Isaak was transferred to Mu Galaxy and ‘promoted’ to Star Commander in the process, given command of a Star of adoptees. After two years in his new role dealing with inept warriors, thefts and infighting, he deserted from his post.

While his present whereabouts are unknown, in the last year there have been reports of a pirate operating in Free Worlds space that reasonably matches Isaak’s description.


Guest character by KayEmm

Stephan Kurtz
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: Lyran Commonwealth/None
Birth Year: 3110

Born to a wealthy noble family on Donegal, Stephan Kurtz was raised in a life of privilege that wanted for nothing. His enrolment in the LCAF was seen as an opportunity to further his social standing and position while building contacts and alliances. His standing saw him graduate from officer school as a hauptmann, and win a place in the prestigious Second Donegal Guards. Given the relatively peaceful situation that existed at the time, Kurtz assumed that he would see out his tour of duty with little to no action and instead spend his time at officer’s balls and the like.

Instead, the HPG Blackout and subsequent spread of open warfare across the Inner Sphere derailed his plan. Kurtz was forced into combat, a situation that was equal parts threat and opportunity for him. While only a mediocre MechWarrior and commander, he saw an opportunity to further his position. By 3145 he had reached the rank of kommandant, an advancement that was as much about his social skills as it was replacing losses due to attrition.

However, that was not enough for him. Kurtz sought to further his career and position, and concocted a plan to position himself as a hero of the Commonwealth. He hired the Dark Suns, a mercenary unit, ostensibly for a raid on the Falcon-held world of Arcturus, once the capitol of the Commonwealth. To further his case, he manufactured evidence to suggest that the Falcon force on-world were the same as those that had killed the father of the Dark Suns’ leader, Kari Moreno.

His actual plan was to retake the world by essentially sacrificing the Dark Suns as bait. Rather than being destroyed as expected while pinning the Falcons in place, Moreno quickly realized what was going on and extracted her forces. Kurtz was forced to retreat after his battalion suffered considerable casualties. In the aftermath of the debacle, Moreno presented the LCAF with evidence of Kurtz’s plan, revealing that the whole operation was unauthorized, essentially throwing away Lyran lives for one officer’s glory.

Stephan Kurtz was stripped of his rank and dishonorably discharged from the LCAF as a result of his actions. However, due to his family’s position, he still retains a degree of influence.


Ash Wednesday
Position/Rank: None
Affiliation/Unit: Unknown
Birth Year: Unknown

Unfortunately, very little can be said about the man known as Ash Wednesday; it is not even clear if that is his real name. As near as can be told, he was hired by Connie Raymond as a scout during her restructuring of Raymond’s Roughnecks in 3133 as a part of her aggressive expansion of the unit. Outwardly, Wednesday would operate as a loyal agent, gathering intelligence and supporting the Roughnecks’ operations. He also helped to train Jessie Raymond with the skills she would need as the eventual commander of the unit.

Despite his position, Wednesday was apparently not aware of the depths of Connie Raymond’s obsession and plans. Even as his misgivings about her grew, he remained loyal to the unit and its commander for his own personal reasons. Information recovered from Hindmarsh, as well as interviews with members of the Roughnecks, make it clear that he was reporting on the Roughnecks, including their activities and personnel. However, there is no evidence towards who he was reporting to, nor why he was doing such.

While it is not clear who trained him, it can be said that Ash Wednesday was a capable scout and operative. During his time with the Roughnecks, he gathered key intelligence that supported their operations, all without ever compromising himself or his point of origins. It also needs to be said that he had built his own internal dossier on the Roughnecks and its members (Including deducing Jessie Packard’s parentage) behind their backs.

Ash Wednesday disappeared during the battle of Hindmarsh when it became clear that the Roughnecks were about to be defeated. His present whereabouts are unknown.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 April 2021, 06:16:40
Bors Magyari
Position/Rank: Unknown
Affiliation/Unit: Unknown
Birth Year: 3085

The youngest child of Annika Magyari, Bors was the only one of her children who showed any interest in continuing the family tradition and inheriting command of their mercenary command. He took control of the unit following his mother’s retirement in 3115, proving to be an entirely adequate commander during the slow years of the mercenary trade at the height of the Republic. While clearly devoted to the unit, he also managed to find the time to have a series of affairs.

Following the HPG Blackout and the subsequent rise in tensions across the Inner Sphere, Bors actively pushed the unit forward in taking contracts from the emergent factions within the crumbling Republic. He also sought to expand the Irregulars’ capabilities, but often ended up recruiting dubious assets that were there more to bloat out numbers rather than for their actual effectiveness. He also proved to be only an adequate battlefield commander, being outperformed by his daughter and heir, Irisz Magyari.

In mid-3135, Bors took a temporary leave of absence from the unit to deal with personal matters. When last seen, he was in Prefecture X when the walls of Fortress Republic went up, remaining trapped behind them. He has had no contact with the outside world since.

Given the fate of other mercenaries who were caught inside the Fortress, it is likely that Bors was pressed into RAF service. However, given his age, it is also possible that he was placed into a training or reserve role.


Nate Walker
Position/Rank: Scout
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Fairchild’s Ravagers
Birth Year: 3112

Allegedly, Nate Walker (the name is possibly an alias) serves as a scout and agent for Alexis Fairchild and her unit. Like the rest of her group, he was effectively born and raised under the control of a Word of Blake remnant group, who trained him to serve their needs. Like the rest of the unit, he spent years on various operations aimed at fulfilling their agenda, including assassinations, sabotage and the targeted elimination of certain groups.

All the while, just like Fairchild, Nate was quietly building up the unit’s independence while using their operations to gather information on their would-be masters. When Fairchild turned on them, Nate would be a vital part of her forcible separation from the Blakist group. Nate would put his skills to work, infiltrating and killing several members of the group while also recovering information from them and covering the Ravagers’ tracks.

Nate has displayed a wide range of skills as a scout, agent, infiltrator and saboteur. While he does conceal them and never discusses them, both of Nate’s arms are bionic replacements. Given who he worked for in past, it is entirely possible that they have capabilities that go beyond functional replacements.

He is clearly dedicated to Fairchild beyond his loyalty as a member of the unit and their shared past. While they are not open or public about it, there are indications that the two are romantically involved.


Joseph Pietre
Position/Rank: Major
Affiliation/Unit: Federated Suns
Birth Year: 3109

Joseph Pietre was born into a middle-class Crucis Mach family that had a history of service with the AFFS. While he enlisted into the service as expected of him, his poor eyesight disqualified him from a combat position. However, his career was saved by his keen head for numbers and ability to think fast, which saw him win a position within the AFFS’ Quartermaster Command.

As the military ramped up towards what was seen as an inevitable conflict in the aftermath of the Blackout, Pietre was a part of trying to help energize its somewhat moribund supply system. He became concerned about the military’s supply situation, especially after Caleb Davion took the throne. In his eyes, there were severe issues within the supply chain that were being exacerbated by the new First Prince’s desire for centralised command and clear playing of favourites. While he spoke out against these issues, he was ultimately censured by Caleb’s loyalists.

In many ways, the Palmyra disaster was inevitable to his eyes; he felt that the concentration of so much strength and considerable resources into one place was inviting disaster. In the aftermath of the massacre, he became a key part of trying to salvage the AFFS’ situation, including redirecting supplies that were now going towards destroyed regiments.

In order to better effect a recovery, Pietre was moved closer to the frontlines to reduce communications delay. He took advantage of the situation by identifying key CCAF and DCMS supply depots near the front lines, especially in the Terran corridor. Working with mercenary units, he coordinated a number of raids that were aimed as much at acquiring supplies for the desperately overstretched AFFS as they were denying them to their enemies.

While not a combatant, Pietre has become no stranger to the battlefield. He has taken to working with combat engineering and salvage crews in order to quickly identify and recover useful supplies, both from enemy stockpiles and battlefield recovery. Along the way he has developed contacts with a number of mercenary units, arranging contracts with them that have built long-term loyalty to the Federated Suns.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 28 April 2021, 06:19:52
Isiah al-Prassad
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year: 3113

Descended from an Azami family that was incorporated into the Republic of the Sphere, Isiah al-Prassad was a strong believer in the Republic and its promise of peace. He was raised on Addicks, a historically Federated Suns world, but saw his loyalty as being first and foremost to Devlin Stone’s dream. In order to earn his citizenship, he enlisted in the RAF, earning a spot in the planetary guard as a battle armour trooper.

While Isiah had expected his tour of duty to be peaceful, reality proved otherwise. The collapse of the HPG network saw him thrown into combat, not against foreign invaders as expected, but instead facing other Republic citizens. Facing both the Dragons’ Fury and the Spirit Cats was disheartening, seeing the way that both groups had turned on the Republic. Nonetheless he remained resolute in his loyalty, even going so far as to turn down the offer of a spot in the Highlanders to remain with his unit.

Rapidly promoted to make up for losses and defections, Isiah chose to remain on-station after the formation of Fortress Republic and effective abandonment of Addicks. After the Federated Suns effectively annexed the world, he threw his support behind their leadership, citing the historical ties between the two states. None the less, Isiah made it clear that this was only a temporary situation, and that he still saw himself as a member of the RAF.

Isiah and members of his unit fought against the DCMS when they invaded the world; despite their determination, they were not able to hold back the invading force. Following the conquest of the world, he and his surviving men went to ground, forming a resistance movement aimed at weakening the Combine’s hold. While his ancestors may have been Combine citizens, if anything, that knowledge seems to have only driven him further to oppose them.


Guest character by KayEmm

Kat Stavia
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Dark Suns
Birth Year: 3114

Kat Stavia was born and raised in the Republic of the Sphere. At the time off the Blackout, she was a cadet in the Algorab Planetary Guard, training in the use of hover vehicles. The early years of her service would be filled with uncertainty, as the Republic fractured under the weight of both internal disruptions and invasions from external powers. While Algorab was not in the path of the Jade Falcon desant onto Skye, Kat saw it as a sign that the Republic might not survive.

It was the formation of Fortress Republic that finally shattered her loyalty to her home. Stavia felt that she had been abandoned, and realized that the nation that she had dedicated herself to was not going to return. She chose to abandon her post, choosing instead to travel to Galatea and become a mercenary. That way, she figured, she would never owe her loyalty to a nation that would abandon her again.

After several years of floating between commands, Kat was hired by the Dark Suns in 3140. Her skill, determination and experience saw her rise quickly, taking command of a hovertank recon lance. Her unit was instrumental to the Dark Suns’ escape from their near-destruction on Wrocaiw, helping to map out escape routes and bypass the Falcon forces. Despite the losses that the Suns had suffered, she chose to remain with the unit and help it rebuild.

Stavia proved to be indispensable to Kari Moreno in her efforts to get her unit back on its feet, and contributed greatly towards the reborn unit’s early successes. As the Dark Suns grew again, she was promoted to captain, becoming the effective third-in-command of the unit. Despite this, she still prefers fast hovertanks, building on her personal experiences.

Despite the cynicism that initially drove her, Kat has become a loyal member of the Dark Suns; she is a personal friend of Kari Moreno’s, and is involved with Jack Hennessey, one of her fellow mercs. While Stavia has no love for the Republic (or the Lyran Commonwealth, whom she sees as being little more than opportunists), she has a strong hatred for all things Clan.


Lucinda Estevez
Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Independent
Birth Year: 3084

The Estevez family have been spacers for generations, running a small fleet of independent merchant vessels since the early Succession Wars. Despite the losses the family suffered during the Jihad, they were determined to continue that tradition in its aftermath. Lucinda Estevez was raised with the idea that she would one day control their enterprise, an ideal she wholeheartedly embraced. Growing up, she learned everything there was to know about JumpShips, inside and out.

In 3108 she met Bors Magyari, a young mercenary officer while providing transport for his unit. The two quickly struck up a relationship that well beyond a professional partnership, and married the next year. In 3110, their first and only child, Irisz Magyari was born. Despite this, their marriage would not last. Not only did Lucinda feel the pull of her own family to maintain their independence, but she also discovered that her husband had had a string of affairs while they were together. Despite the separation, Lucinda would retain a strong relationship with her daughter, with the two communicating as best they could given the circumstances.

Taking advantage of her role as an independent merchant captain, Lucinda would build relationships and networks of contacts across the Inner Sphere and beyond in her travels. These would become vital after the HPG blackout as JumpShips suddenly became the only way to spread news and information. Through her informal network, Lucinda would act as an information broker, gathering and reselling intelligence as she traveled.

While the situation in the Inner Sphere has continued to spiral out of control, Lucinda has remained determined to maintain her independence and avoid getting caught up in other people’s conflicts. This has not prevented her from taking mercenary contracts by any means; if anything, the explosive growth of the mercenary trade has been immensely profitable for her. At this point, the biggest threat that she faces is ensuring that her ancient vessel remains functional, while avoiding those groups who are unlikely to respect the neutrality of her profession.
Ironically, in this capacity, she has provided transport for her daughter’s unit on several occasions.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2021, 09:00:12
And after much preamble, we actually begin

Renegades Prelude: Fragments

Audio Log 010650-A

Antonin Rybak: Thank you for meeting me.

Irisz Magyari: I have to admit that your invitation was fascinating in and of itself. After that, I had to come.

Rybak: Can I ask what it was that fascinated you so much about it?

Magyari: You’ve got something of a reputation going. Not a public one, mind you. More low-key, halfway between rumour and urban legend. And that was enough to get my attention.

Rybak: So then what have you heard?

Magyari: You’re some sort of spook, possibly a Republic agent or Ghost Knight or whatever else. You’ve been running your own operations across Republic space since the Blackout; building networks of agents out of normal people. And all of this in the name of some agenda that I can only guess at.

Rybak: And if that was true?

Magyari: It tells me that you’ve got some sort of agenda that you’ve been running for ages. One that you’re determined to stick to despite the fact that the universe has gone entirely insane since you started.

Rybak: And that’s why you’re here.

Magyari: Call it fascination. I want to know what you’re planning; what you’re up to and most importantly, what it has to do with me.

Rybak: Interesting. Before I go further, what do think it is I am doing?

Magyari: A good question. And I admit that I’ve been thinking about it myself and came up with something.

Rybak: Do tell.

Magyari: So assuming you’re a Republic agent as the theory suggests. You were putting things in motion even before the walls went up. Based on the timeline I’ve been able to put together, you had to have been working on this since not too long after the Blackout. Maybe even before it, really. You had some op going and then you repurposed it when everything went down. And now that we’re reaching a tipping point, a key moment where everything could change, you’re making your play.

Rybak: You’re remarkably well-informed.

Magyari: I keep me eye open and my ears to the ground. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I have good people working for me. And I am guessing that’s a part of why you approached me.

Rybak: It is, yes. Not to sound like I’m trying to flatter you, but you and your family have a good reputation. Five generations as mercenaries and yet you’ve got a history of honest dealings and keeping things clean, which is rare in and of itself. And I know that you’ve got your own network of contacts and alliances that you’ve quietly built up over the years, some of them building on that past.

Magyari: I see that I’m not the only one who has done their homework. So then what do you want from me?

Rybak: I would like to utilise what you have to build up an alliance of sorts. A collection of reliable mercenary units that can depend on each other and whose loyalty goes beyond simply a paycheck. They gather and share information, aid and support each other, share resources, cross-train and build up their strength. And, when needed, will directly work together.

Magyari: Your own little AMC, huh? And why would I support that?

Rybak: You can see where things are going well enough to know how things look at the moment. The Falcons and Wolves are on the verge of Terra. The Capellans and Combine are not too far behind. Do you really want a future controlled by any of them?

Magyari: So you’re preparing for what happens when the last walls come down.

Rybak: No. I’m preparing for what comes next.

Magyari: I see. (pause) You are right about one thing, ponytail. At the end of the day, I am a mercenary, and you are going to have to offer me more than just a promise to get me onboard.

Rybak: Of course, and I wouldn’t expect otherwise.

Magyari: So what’s your offer? What convinces me to sign on the dotted line?

Rybak: Your grandmother’s journals, specifically those she wrote during the Jihad, were censored and redacted, and with good reason.

Magyari: I know this. And?

Rybak: I can give you the full versions.

Magyari: I… I need to think about this. Thank you.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2021, 09:03:56
Krymzon Dawn

De Luca Estate
Outside Cordia City
Comorodir VI, Aurigan Coalition
7 July 3020


Scarlett de Luca paused a moment outside the study door, taking a deep breath. Then, with the slightest of hesitation, she knocked, while wincing as if expecting the door to explode at the touch.

“Enter,” came the woman’s voice from inside.

She stepped into the room, giving the slightest nod towards the room’s single occupant. A middle-aged woman, she carried herself with an air of strength that showed through even when sitting at her desk. The presence of several small scars on her face and forehead, as well as her shaved temples, made her warrior past clear even in this setting. “You wanted to see me, mother?” Scarlett asked.

“Please, sit,” she replied, her tone clear. As soon as her daughter was seated, she continued. “Scarlett, you are our first child. And, as of a few days ago, you are a grown woman.”

Scarlett nodded warily. Her twenty-first birthday celebration had been a carefully managed affair, one which had been as much about her parents rubbing shoulders with other figures in the nobility and military as it was about her. “Yes, mother.”

“It is time for you to consider fulfilling your duties, both to your family and to your nation,” she continued. “To that effect, it is time for us to find you a husband. I have already found several promising candidates for you.”

“That’s… that’s very thoughtful of you, mother.” Scarlett managed as her eyes darted around the room, desperate to look at anything but its only other occupant. “I… could not agree more.”

“Of course.”

“I, uh….” She paused as she quickly considered matters. “I was thinking that in order to impress my would-be suitor, I should, ah, work on my MechWarrior skills some. You know, warrior-nobility and all that.” Her family had risen to power through their battlefield performance in the service of the Coalition. Scarlett’s own education had included training in the operation of the family’s Blackjack.

“That would be a suitable idea,” her mother agreed.

“Great, so…” Scarlett fidgeted with her hands. “I was thinking that I should take the family ‘Mech out for a run right now so that I can get started. No time like the present and all.” She managed a weak smile. “Um, just out of curiosity, how high would you say the wall is at the back of the estate? Less than twenty-five meters, maybe?”

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Nav_Alpha on 11 May 2021, 22:54:48
Ok! This jumped in an interesting direction
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 12 May 2021, 03:03:14
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Book of the New Sun

Galatea City
Galatea, Prefecture VII
Republic of the Sphere
20 February 3082


Elisa Moreno sat alone at her table at the bar, half looking around as she did. There were familiar faces here and there, people who she didn’t know by name but still recognised immediately. Once again, as had been the pattern for the last couple of months, there were fewer and fewer of them. She knew why.

She took another swig of her drink. Ginger ale, same as it had been for years now. Something that gave her the impression of drinking without actually doing such. She knew why the crowd was thinning and would continue to do such.

The Jihad was over, ending in a final act of nuclear fury unleashed on the Word of Blake’s so-called Master. And while there were still small conflicts burning across the Inner Sphere, there was a growing acceptance that the war was over, and that things were going to change.

A new future was dawning for everyone. They could either embrace it, or try to hold back the tide.

With a small sigh, Elisa picked up her glass again, catching a sight of her reflection for a moment. At first glance she seemed younger than she was, still very much fit and active-looking. Only the lines around her eyes and the streaks of grey in her auburn hair betrayed her near six decades of life. Certainly, however, she could feel that age bearing down on her.

Another figure caught her eye as they approached her table. Elisa took a sip from her glass, then nodded to the newcomer as they sat. In her mid-thirties, the woman was slim and athletic, with an attractive face framed by long red hair. For all that, her attire and the way she carried herself made it clear that she belonged here; another professional mercenary.

“Sorry to keep you,” she began.

“I wasn’t waiting long, Annika,” Elisa replied. Which was a lie; she’d been here a while even before she’d been expecting Magyari to arrive. Much of it had been spent collecting her thoughts about this very meeting and how it was going to go down. “How are you doing?”

“Pretty good, all things being equal,” Annika nodded. “At this point I don’t think we’re going to have any more retirements and that numbers have stabilised.”
“Peace, huh?” Elisa snorted. “Who’d have thought that people would want to stop fighting after such a bloody war?”

That bought a wry chuckle from Annika. “And yourself?”

“Better than I have any right to be,” she offered. “Like yourself, I think we’re getting to something approaching stable.”

“Good,” Anika nodded. “I mean, you know, that’s why we’re here.”

“I know,” Elisa noted. “Might as well get on with it, I suppose.”

“So have you thought about my offer?”

“I have,” Elisa replied. “I mean, it’s tempting. It’s so very tempting.” She sighed, and then picked up her glass again, gently swishing it. “I mean, I never wanted to actually lead this bunch. But circumstances said otherwise, and somebody had to step up and take command after their last leader got himself killed.” She finished off her glass. “I’d like to think I was a good leader, Annika. But maybe I was just the best they had at the time.”

“I understand how you feel,” she nodded. Elisa knew what Annika was talking about; Magyari had inherited control of her family’s unit far earlier than expected after her father’s sudden death. Despite her age, she’d managed to keep them alive during the Jihad when so many others had fallen. “And I think you’ve done an amazing job.”

“Eh,” Elisa shrugged.

“So what are your thoughts?”

“I have good reasons to go along with it,” she admitted. “But at the end of the day, I’m going to say no.” There was a wry smile. “I’m sure that right now, folding what I have into your unit would be the sensible thing to do, and there’s a big part of me that would be all for that.”

“But you’re not.”

“No,” she nodded. “What I have now is basically the sum total legacy of a half-dozen shattered commands, maybe more,” Elisa explained. “I kept them alive and going through all that. And more than just surviving, I gave them a sense of pride in themselves, and they don’t want to surrender that, even if it might be the sensible thing to do.”

“I understand,” Annika responded. “In many ways, I feel the same. A part of me doesn’t want to stand down my family’s unit either, regardless of how things are changing.”

“Don’t get me wrong here,” Elisa added. “I’m not getting all romantic for some nonsense lost cause or the like. There is a part of me that would love to just give it all up now.” She glanced away from Annika for a moment, before continuing. “This job, this life, it took so much from me. It took my parents, it took my husband, it took my best friend, and other things too,” she knocked on one of her thighs, producing an ever so slightly audible clunk, “but to give up now, no, that would be a betrayal of all that.”

Annika simply nodded, an understanding look on her face.

“My son wants to continue this life, despite all that,” she continued, absentmindedly rubbing the tattoo on the back of her hand. A picture of a solar eclipse, a black circle surrounded in a halo of flame, it was faded with age. “My family have been mercenaries for longer than we remember, Annika. I don’t think we could do anything else. He will be the Black Sun after me.” It was the name for their family BattleMech, but also a title of sorts. Like so many other things, its origins were lost to the mists of time. “Maybe he’ll even be their leader. Who can say?”

“Thank you no less, Elisa,” Annika nodded. “I understand and respect your decision, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same in your position”

“If we were sensible and made smart decisions, then none of us would be here,” Elisa finished.

“Figured out what you’re going to call yourselves?” Annika asked.

“We’re working on it,” Elisa shrugged. “Got other things on our minds right now.”

“True.” Annika stood. “I’ll talk with my people and get things sorted out.” She gave a genuinely warm smile. “Take care of yourself, Elisa, and your family. I really do wish you all the best with this.”

“You too,” Elisa replied, and then paused. “And do one thing for me.”

“Anything.”

“Make sure your children have a choice,” she finished. “If they want to continue your legacy, then that’s fine. But if they don’t then embrace that, and support them in whatever they want to do.”

“I will,” Annika finished, her tone making it clear that this was no empty platitude. And in response, Elisa couldn’t help but smile.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 12 May 2021, 05:35:40
Dangerous Acquaintances

Ruins of Port Emerson
Rocky, Prefecture X
Republic of the Sphere
24 April 3085


“See anything yet, Raven Three?”

“Only more snow, Raven Actual.”

Inside the cockpit of his Warhammer, Amand Beziz sighed to himself. The front viewscreen matched the report, showing what amounted to a white blur, punctuated by the occasional, somewhat indistinct, grey blob. It was the same thing that he and the rest of his company had been seeing for hours now, and it ever-increasingly felt like they’d continue to see it for the rest of eternity.

“Remind me why we’re here,” another voice cut into the command circuit.

“You know why, Raven Four,” he replied, his tone harsh.

“Fine. Then why the hell is our target here?”

That he couldn’t answer, which annoyed him to no end. “Well, when we find him, we’ll be sure to ask,” he finally added.

That was the part that bothered him, which Amand couldn’t help but consider as his BattleMech slowly advanced through the snow. He slowed to manoeuvre around a building, half of which was buried under centuries of snow and ice before collecting his thoughts. The Black Ravens had come to this buried city on a dead world for one very specific reason; to hunt one man.

“Still nothing,” Three continued. “Between the blizzard and the magscan interference from the buildings, I might as well be blind. They could be right next to me and I wouldn’t see a thing.”

It was taking a lot for Amand not to snap in frustration, instead focusing on the job and his duty. Since its formation, the Republic had been chasing up ‘loose ends’ from the Jihad, doing their best to see them resolved, one way or another.
Their target, Thomas Fairchild, was one such loose end. A mercenary who had worked for the Word during the Jihad, he had committed numerous heinous acts for the fanatics that clearly went beyond regular mercenary service. The Republic wanted him alive to pry the secrets from him; to learn who was giving him his orders and why.

Fairchild had proven to be an elusive target, going to ground after the Jihad and making every effort to evade his pursuers. He had good reason to as well; besides the Republic, Loki were also after him, looking to reclaim their wayward son. And if that happened, whatever secrets he possessed would likely die with him. Loki were many things, but forgiving was not one of those. So the Republic’s goal was not just to bring him in, but to make sure that nobody got to him first.
Not that Fairchild was going to make it easy on them.

The crunching of snow underfoot and the howl of the wind outside was persistent and annoying. The conditions were perfect for their prey to hide in, or even provide cover for him to escape under. Maybe that’s why he’s here, Amand considered. Not only would nobody think to look for him on this snowball, but once they got there he could easily get away. It did fit with their experiences on the chase so far, much to his frustration.

“Raven Two here,” another voice crackled into the channel. “Think I have something.”

“Roger that,” Amand confirmed. “All units, stand by.” This could be it: the moment he’d been waiting for.

Their last stop had been on Thorin, where they had apparently missed Fairchild by a matter of days. He and his men had abandoned their refuge in a hurry, leaving behind enough evidence to indicate where they were going: a dead world that had long since fallen off the map. On the way out they had hijacked a merchantman to take them to their destination in an act that likely was both spontaneous and well-executed.

Raven Company had found the merchant ship after they’d jumped in-system. The crew had put up no resistance when boarded and had gladly cooperated with Amand. They confirmed that the target had left on a DropShip, heading to the once-inhabited planet.

“Negative on that,” Two’s voice cut in again. “It was just a construction crane.”
Damn it. “Understood. Continue search.”

Fairchild being here did make some sense. Throughout the Jihad, the Word had made use of supposedly dead or abandoned worlds as bases of operations, waystations, supply depots and whatever else. A place this close to Terra would have been perfect for them.

The irony was not lost on Amand. Generations ago, his own family had come from some world that had since fallen victim to the Succession Wars.

They knew that Fairchild had made planetfall. A bit of detective work through combing logs and overflights had given the rough location where he’d put down, a fact process helped by the fact that the planet was otherwise quiet. In many ways, this final step, actually bringing him in, was proving to be the hardest part of it.

“I have something,” Three spoke up. “I’m getting some EM noise; not natural, and definitely deliberate. Looks like a Guardian ECM system.”

“Roger that,” Amand nodded. “Keep tracking it. That’s our lead.”

“Did the target have an ECM?” Four butted in.

“He’s piloting a Mad Cat,” Armand reminded him. “Right now he could be carrying anything.” Which was a factor that worked both for and against them. Fairchild’s was hard to predict for a number of reasons, but the fact that he was in an OmniMech was key among them. On the other hand, a Mad Cat was going to stand out, no matter what.

“Signal’s increasing,” Three continued. “I think we have him.”

“All units, converge on Three’s location,” Amand ordered, wheeling his Warhammer around to rendezvous with his lancemate. “Eyes open, weapons hot. Be ready for anything.”

“Taking fire!” Three called out, a crackle of interference filling his voice. “Getting laser fire coming at me... stray missiles too.” The situation would work as much in their favour as against it, with the combination of the blizzard and ruined buildings cutting down ranges.

“Keep eyes on the target,” he ordered. “On my way.” He pushed open the throttle, his Warhammer breaking into a run through the dead city. His tactical display showed the other members of his unit joining him, converging on Three’s location.

A single red icon appeared, its presence flickering on and off as his sensors tried to burn through the interference. Moments later it appeared on his heads-up display, a red square bracketing an unknown hostile target. Not wanting to take the chance, Amand opened fire, his twin particle cannons spitting blue lightning into the fog towards the target. Heat washed over him from the discharge, the cockpit suddenly blistering hot despite the chill outside.

More fire lit up the desolate landscape as the battle was joined. As his forces closed in, more red icons appeared on the display as Fairchild’s forces rallied to defend their fallback. He’s choosing to fight, Amand considered as he fired again, the freezing air outside helping to cool his ‘Mech. If he’s doing that, he must be out of options.

He pressed forwards, continuing his advance on that first target. A pair of lasers shot out from it, one scoring armour from the Warhammer’s side. A moment later, a flight of missiles surged towards him, their trajectory scattered by the winds, resulting in only a few making their mark. Large lasers and long-range missiles, he considered. Could be...

Amand pushed forwards, keeping his sights on the indistinct shape ahead. Switching to thermal he could vaguely make out its shape; bird legs, a hunched-forward torso and splayed-out arms, crowned with boxy missile launchers. Got him. He fired again, this time seeing a flare of blue energy in the distance as his shot made its mark. “All units, I have him. Focus fire on my target.”

In response, several more shots leapt out, blasting into the enemy ‘Mech. While hampered by the storm and cover, it clearly took a few hits, including one that caused it to stagger for a moment. That’s got his attention, he considered as he pushed forwards. Now let’s end this chase.

Fairchild’s men weren’t holding back either, quickly responding to the threat to their leader. A Firestarter pushed forwards towards him, possibly trying to interpose between Amand and his target. It loosed a pair of large laser shots, one slicing armour from the Warhammer’s side.

Before it could close in, the Firestarter was rocked by a massive hit to its side that sent it sprawling. Raven Two’s Osprey closed in on the enemy BattleMech, following through with a pair of lasers. “I got this,” he called out. “Get Fairchild.”

“Thanks,” Amand managed, turning his attention back to his target. Even though its shape was still little more than a blob in the snow, there was no mistaking it. Closing up the distance, he again opened fire with his PPCs, both shots smashing into the enemy ‘Mech’s flank. His wounded opponent twisted around, trying to backpeadal towards cover while continuing to fire its large lasers and missiles.
More hits struck the Warhammer, shaking the seventy-ton BattleMech. A quick glance at the damage display told Amand that his armour was holding for the moment, making him confident to keep pushing forward on his target. If anything, Fairchild’s men seemed to be ill-prepared, caught on the back foot by the attack. I guess they didn’t expect us to come after them here, he considered.

His opponent wasn’t about to go down easily, however. Pushing forwards, Amand walked into a wall of fire coming from the other ‘Mech. A quartet of lasers was accompanied by a flight of missiles pummelled the Warhammer, staggering it backwards. Doing his best to keep the huge machine under control, he replied in kind.

Both PPCs were joined by a pair of medium lasers, as well as a flight of Streak SRMs. The heat hit Amand with hammer force in the cockpit, but the enemy ‘Mech fared even worse. The thermal image of the machine was already bright from its own volley, but flared even brighter as his shots struck home. Must have cracked the engine shielding, Amand considered to himself, even as sweat trickled down his brow. Even in this cold he must be roasting in there.

As if to conform his suspicions, the target tried to pull back again, its movements suddenly slow and clumsy. It opened fire again, this time a half-volley that was more aimed at worrying its target than stopping it. None the less, alarms went off as one of those shots tore through the Warhammer’s side, slagging one of the lasers.

Amand wasn’t going to let that stop him. He replied with the PPCs again, topped off with his Streak SRM launcher. The volley slammed into the enemy ‘Mech, blasting through armour and tearing into its ravaged structure. The machine flared a brilliant white for a moment before its heat signature went dark; moments later, its shape crumpled and collapsed to the ground. “Primary is down,” he called out, the triumph creeping into his voice.

Around him, the remaining enemy ‘Mechs were clearly being pushed back, having been isolated form each other and left unable to provide support. Seeing an opening, he took an opportunistic shot at the back of an enemy Buccaneer, his PPC fire eating through it’s armour and staggering the ‘Mech. A moment later, Two added to its distress with a gauss rifle shot smashing through a leg.
“Get Fairchild,” Two called out. “We’ll mop up here.”

He stepped forward, approaching the downed BattleMech. As he did, he could make out more details of his target, his triumph quickly fading as he did. The shapes were there; the bird-like legs, hunched-over torso and boxy missile launchers, but the details were off. The torso too boxy and angular, legs too thick, exposed weapon barrels on the arms instead of the hexagonal housings. Immediately he recognised the wreck for what it was.

A Rakshasa, a BattleMech deliberately designed to mimic the Mad Cat. And between the blizzard and the cover, its shape and weapon load had been enough to fool Amand.

“Raven Actual?” Two’s voice came into the channel. “What’s our status?”
Damn him, Amand thought to himself. All of a sudden a lot of things were becoming clear. “Target has escaped,” he managed. “Mop up the remaining hostiles and bring in who you can.” He was never here, was he? He considered. This was an elaborate false trail, one we’ve been following for months. He thought about the trail of evidence that bought him here. Years, maybe.

So where the hell are you?


Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: KayEmm on 20 May 2021, 18:20:53
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Book of the New Sun


This one was good to write for a number of reasons; key among them was that Elisa Moreno was my first Battletech 'character' so to speak. So this was her retirement.

I'm loving this all, but I am biased
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 30 May 2021, 19:01:05
Take on Me

New Madrid, Barcelona
Poznan, Prefecture V
Republic of the Sphere
26 June 3132


As far as Juanita knew, there was a Tharonja's restaurant on just about every planet in the Republic. It was a chain of restaurants that offered entirely serviceable food; not brilliant but far from terrible at the same time. Certainly, nobody important or interesting ever went to a Tharonja's, which made it a great place for a wanted criminal to meet someone and know that they weren't likely to be seen by anyone whom they didn't want to be seen by.

That suited her perfectly.

She strolled in, looking confident and casual, acting like she owned the place. Plopping down at a booth, she made an act of studying the menu for whole seconds before the waitress turned up.

"I'll have the Tharonja's Deluxe Double Bacon Burger with a side of fries," she all but demanded, not bothering to look at the waitress. "And a Novos-Soda."

Ignoring the waitress' reply, she instead scanned the room. Two days ago, someone had called her, which was a surprise in and of itself. Her number was something she rarely gave out, and she knew who had it. This voice on the other end had not been one of those, which both intrigued and concerned her. He'd arranged to meet her, and let her pick the time and place. She'd said here because of its relative anonymity. That and the burgers were good.

What concerned her more was that he'd stated that he had a proposition for her, a potential line of employment. Given what her current job was and what other people might hire her for, she found that most intriguing. Curiosity had overcome caution, and she'd decided to make the meet. Even then, she'd taken precautions.

The waitress arrived with her drink, Juanita all but looking past her to study the rest of the room. A figure caught her attention; a man who had just stepped in, conspicuous in his inconspicuous approach. Dressed in what could be described as 'business casual', he had a slender face and long black hair tied into a loose ponytail. To top it all off, he was wearing sunglasses indoors.

That's got to be him. She tensed up, ready to take off if needed.

He sat down, nodding to her. "Juanita Kwan, correct?"

"Yeah, and who wants to know?" She shot him a critical glance.

He took off his sunglasses, revealing narrow brown eyes. "My name is Antonin Rybak," he began. "I've been following your work for some time."

"Yeah, and how'd you get this number?" she countered. "It's not something I casually throw about."

"Money talks," he offered. "I'm sure that in your line of work you'd know that already."

"My line of work." She snorted derisively. "What do you know about it?"

"Chicken BLT, please," he casually dropped at a passing waitress, before turning back to Juanita. "Quite a lot, actually. Like I said, I've been following your work for some time. That's what bought you to my attention. You have skills that I would find useful."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Oh, I'm sure you do, Ms Kwan," he countered. "You and I both know that your current line of work is far from legal and that it's attracted a lot of attention that I'm sure you don't really want."

"Like what?"

"Like your little escapade the other day," he explained. "The one that made front-page across the whole city. That sort of attention."

She nodded slowly. "Well, since I have no idea what you're talking about, you'll have to enlighten me." Fake innocence was obvious in her speech.

"I'm referring to your last joyride, Juanita," he began.

"What joyride?"

"You stole a Carbine ConstructionMech-"

"Borrowed," she countered. "I was going to bring it back."

"-and went on a joyride through the city, doing thousands of C-Bills  in damage," he continued, not missing a beat.

"I was checking its gyro calibration. Good thing too, it was way off."

"Did that require stepping on the Mayor's limo?"

"That was an accident."

"You could be heard laughing from the ground."

"I heard something funny on the radio." It was more of an admission of surrender then an attempt at defence in weight of the evidence.

"Let's not mess around, Ms 'Zoom-Zoom' Kwan." His tone was factual, but not forceful, but the use of her nickname suggested that he knew more then he'd let on so far. "You already have a preexisting juvenile criminal record. You also have numerous other minor and petty convictions, and we both know that the authorities are just looking for a way to make it all stick."

She glanced away from him, the guilt obvious. Regardless, he continued. "You dropped out of high school and even then, you were a chronic underperformer. You have no formal training and no qualifications. Your career choices are largely limited to a life of future crime or a long stay in prison – and the two are far from mutually exclusive."

Again she said nothing, letting the words sink in. "Despite this, Juanita Kwan, you are clearly skilled, resourceful and intelligent. While you have no formal accreditation, you are a skilled IndustrialMech operator, and you know enough to successfully break into one, override its safety systems and then get it moving."

"And if that wasn't enough, you've made a career out of it." He stated. "You steal IndustrialMechs. Most of the time you seem to be in the pay of others; stealing Industrials and dropping them off for money. Other times, like the aforesaid moment, you seem to be a joyrider; you steal an Industrial for the simple sake of it, do some damage and leave it abandoned."

"You've kept ahead of the law, yes, but as I said, that cannot last forever. Nor have you left many options open for yourself. Have you, at any point, considered what you would do with your life otherwise?"

There was a long silence, punctuated only by a loud slurping from Juanita as she finished off the last of her soda. "Not... not really," she admitted. Looking out the window, and avoiding his gaze, she stared at the traffic instead.

"Now given that, as said, you're a lot smarter then you act, I'm also sure that you're aware of this fact. You just simply chose to ignore it. In fact, some less generous individuals might suggest that you were trying to get yourself killed rather than face up to your lack of options."

"Well..." she began, but again trailed off.

"Now I'm sure you have some justifying argument," he stated. "I'll admit that I've looked into your background, but not too far. I am sure that you have some motivation – real or imagined – in there. However, I am not going to judge you on that. In fact, I really don't care about your past."

She turned to look at him, an angry glare in her eyes. "So what the hell do you want, ponytail?" Her voice was rising, her temper fraying. Whether it was at his frank assessment and how much the truth of it hurt, or if it was at his dismissal of her reasoning, was up for debate. Either way, she didn't like it.

"Simply put, I want you for your skills and knowledge. I want to employ you."

She flopped back in her seat. "So hang on here." Juanita started. "You first point out that what I'm doing is wrong and bad, and then state that I have no future in continuing to do it. Then you tell me you want me to do more of it." She cocked her head. "You're sending out mixed signals here, ponytail."

"If I may explain more thoroughly?"

"Go for it." She shot back. "This should be good."

"You steal Industrials for a living. And yet, have you never once wondered who's buying all of them or why?"

"Should I?" She shrugged. "They pay me. That's all I care."

"How about this," he offered. "I can offer you a full-time job with a salary. In return for that, you will serve as an investigator of sorts, helping me trace back every last IndustrialMech you've stolen. From there, if that works out, I'll keep you on for other such investigations and, where needed, to use your particular skills."

"Sounds good, but I'm gonna need more." She leaned in close, studying his face. "You're asking me to squeal on people who have been good to me so far. And I'm not going to do that for nothing."

"Entirely fair," the man acknowledged. "So I have another incentive for you, Juanita Kwan. Work for me and I'll make you more than just an IndustrialMech thief. I'll make you a full MechWarrior – with all that it entails."

She blinked at his reply, at a loss for words. Under Stone's disarmament programs, 'Mech armies had been massively downsized, with many 'Mechs simply scrapped. Real MechWarriors, ones who piloted real BattleMechs, were a rare and privileged elite. The prestige and power in their position alone was incentive enough to drive anyone to aspire to be amongst their ranks.

And his words suggested more. A real BattleMech; not just a modified Industrial. To have such wealth, such power... it was something she had never dreamed of. And he was offering it to her.

"Tell me more," she finally spoke up, a hungry, excited tone in her voice.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Dragon Cat on 02 June 2021, 02:49:12
This is interesting
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 June 2021, 22:37:53
MRBC Internal Report 403/91K

To: Harold Manago
From: Zane Wu
Subject: Stanislav’s Hammers
Date: 06 July 3138

You asked me to look into the origin of Stanislav’s Hammers and their commander in particular to see what I could find. The answer is ‘not a lot’.

To be fair, it’s not like I had much to work with beforehand. Nobody ever tracked down the origin of the first iteration of the unit, and not for a lack of effort. They emerged in the rimward near-Periphery in the early 31st century; the lack of record-keeping on the part of the Periphery mercenary trade of the time means that we can’t even nail down the first year they appeared. Given the number of abandoned and dead worlds, lost colonies, unmarked worlds and so on in the region, they could have come from nearly anywhere.

The unit fought during the Aurigan Civil War on the side of the Arano Restoration. During that time they worked alongside the Krymzon Guard; events that occurred during the campaign saw an alliance form between the two units that was strong enough to last over a century. And before you ask, yes, I approached members of the de Luca family (EDITOR’S NOTE: the family who have lead the Krymzon Guard since their formation) regarding Stanislav and his unit. They politely but firmly refused to comment.

The current iteration of the Hammers appeared in 3132, appearing on Herotitus a month after the HPG Blackout. They gave no indication as to their point of origin, and politely but firmly rebuffed any efforts at probing into heir past. However, given the often ‘no questions asked’ approach of the Periphery mercenary market, few had any actual issue with that. When asked, the only information that Stanislav would offer was a cryptic statement that it was a place that he could no longer return to, and that there was no need to say more.
Seriously, he would say that all the time.

While this iteration of the Hammers was initially made up entirely of those who had arrived on Herotitus, they showed no hesitation about hiring outsiders. The unit grew over the next five years before it relocated here to Galatea. Stanislav immediately was able to rekindle his alliance with the de Luca family despite the fact that there had (apparently) been no contact between the two groups in nearly six decades.

Leonid himself offers very few clues to his origins, and definitely refuses any efforts to learn more. He speaks what seems to be Tikonov Russian as his primary language, and is fluent in Arabic as well. Conversely, his English is broken and heavily accented; however he’s had the occasional moment that suggests his grasp of the language might be better than he is letting on. Likewise, while he normally is prone to explosive outbursts and a short temper, his performance in simulated battles shows that he is far more cunning on the battlefield. All of this suggests that his persona is an act, but to what end is unclear.

His ’Mech isn’t that much of a help either. Leonid pilots a Marauder which I’ve managed to identify  as a MAD-2R model. Externally it appears to be battered and worn, but in fact it is fully functional. However, I’m yet to determine its age or point of origin. It could be a SLDF relic, a new-build Taurian model or even a 3R that’s been refitted.

One thing that is clearly honest about him is his hatred of the Clans. While he won’t hold back in expressing his feelings towards them, he also will refuse any explanation as to why.

I did turn up one curiosity. His second-in-command, Zeke Isaacs, is one of those who simply appeared with the rest of the unit in 3132. It turns out that Isaacs is related to a current serving DCMS officer. The last point of connection between the two is a mercenary officer who fought for the Combine in the Second Succession War.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 June 2021, 00:44:29
Think Like a Gun

Dhruma
Al Jubaylah
Former Free Worlds League
12 December 3144


The dusty courtyard of the café offered very little respite from the hot, dry air, something that annoyed Alexis to no end as she sat and waited there, idly sipping from her iced water as she did. Taking an ice cube from the glass to wipe over her brow bought a small amount of respite, a minimal relief but still better than none.

She stood out, no doubt about it. Tall and athletic, her shoulder-length red hair framed a face that would have been attractive if not for her prominent chin. A smattering of freckles across the cheeks softened that to a degree, almost a contrast to the rest of her features. Clad in a sweatshirt and running shorts, she looked like she’d just come in from a jog, something that was not out of place even if a little odd given the heat.

Drumming her fingers on the table in frustration, she glanced around the courtyard again. Alexis knew why she was here, but she didn’t have to like it. Combining that with the heat meant that she was in a foul mood, and was doing her best to keep a lid on it. Brushing off a waiter didn’t help any, especially as his tone was more than a little insistent that she either order something or move along.

Finally, after a short eternity, she spied another figure entering the courtyard and headed towards her. He couldn’t have been much more different from her; short and more than a little overweight, he was clad in a lightweight white suit and hat, but still was sweating profusely regardless. “I’m sorry to have kept you,” he began, his tone friendly and pleasant as he sat. “Beastly heat, isn’t it?”

Holding back what she wanted to say, Alexis simply nodded a small agreement. “Yeah, I have no idea why I’d be out here,” she managed, the closest she’d come to openly questioning him, knowing full well that she couldn’t go too much further.

“And thank you for agreeing to meet me, Alexis,” he continued. “I think that you’ll be quite interested in what I have to say.”

“Somehow I doubt that,” she muttered.

“On the contrary.” He shook his head. “Since we have known each other, you have made your distress at your family’s situation more then clear to me,” he explained. “And I understand why you would be upset. I only want what’s best for you, which is why I asked for this meeting.”

Like that isn’t a loaded statement that could be taken a dozen different ways, she told herself, managing to keep her mouth shut. “I’m still paying for my grandfather’s decisions.”

“Which is why I am here.” The man managed with a fake-looking smile as they waved to a waiter. “I have a job for you, Alexis. One that will, hopefully, redress this wrong that was done to your family.”

Alexis didn’t catch what he ordered as her mind raced through the possibilities. “What do you mean?” she finally spluttered, not sure if she would like the answer but also needing to know regardless.

“The time has come for you to finalise your grandfather’s debt, Alexis.” He simply stated as he passed her a datapad. “One last job, and then you will be free.”

She swallowed loudly as she took the pad. It can’t be that simple, can it? Her mind was racing with the possibilities. Freedom after all these years… but whatever it is, the price will be horrific. One last job seems almost too easy, too little a price.

“All the details are in there, Alexis,” he explained. “You’ll recognise the target, I’m sure.”

She stopped as she found the attached file, recognising the image that was with it. “You’re going after this?”

He shrugged. “It was not my first choice,” the man admitted. “However, the other one is unavailable due to a circumstance that was well beyond my control, and yet I should have seen coming.” There was a hint of regret in his voice, but Alexis’ past encounters with this man told her that it was unlikely to be even remotely genuine. “By the time I realised what I was after, it was much too late to act.”

“Whatever. I don’t care about your screw-up. Just as long as you live up to your end of the bargain, fat man.” However, she wasn’t focused, her mind instead racing with the possibilities of what he had said.

“Just make sure you do what we need,” he finished with a smile. “And leave nothing out.”

Her eyes scanned through the document again, taking in the details of what she needed to do, what he was asking of her in exchange for giving her everything that she had ever wanted. It seemed like a small price, but she had long ago learned that there was a lot more going on then even she could imagine.

And then she reached the end of the document, two simple words, ones that told her everything she needed to know. “You’ll have your objective, fat man,” Alexis stated as she stood. “You’ll have what you want, and then so will I.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 June 2021, 00:59:35
Price of Hate

Torrens River Flats
Hindmarsh
27 June 3148


It was all Connie Raymond could do not to scream in frustration.

Her Falconer pushed forwards as she ignored all that as going on around it, instead keeping her eyes focused on the one target in front of her. Around her, the men of her unit were fighting and dying, their cohesion falling apart along with everything else. Even her own BattleMech was reflecting the situation, with one side torn open and two of its lasers already destroyed. The enemy had not only been relentless, but they had also been ready for everything she had to throw at them. All her plans had come undone, leaving her on the back foot and struggling to catch up.

That her own daughter had been among them had only added to her anger.

Despite all that had happened, she also knew that she still had a chance here to end this on her own terms. That was the single thought that guided her as she drove her ‘Mech forward, right at the heart of the enemy formation. In her sights was a single ‘Mech, a blue Mad Cat Mk IV, the focus of all her anger. She knew who was at the controls of the machine.

Irisz Magyari. Her enemy.

A feud that had lasted a century would end here.

She squeezed the trigger on her main weapons, with her PPC and gauss rifle both spitting fire at her opponent. The Mad Cat was briefly washed with a ball of blue energy, but kept going despite the hellish energies unleashed on it. A moment later it replied in kind, its arm-mounted lasers spitting a stream of green darts back at the Falconer. The impacts rocked the ‘Mech, but it was not enough to slow Connie down.

Firing her jump jets, she cleared over a ditch before twisting the controls, looking for some sort of cover. A crumbled warehouse, half lost in the overgrowth came close enough, giving her a moment to open fire on her target again. This time both weapons struck home, drilling into the Mad Cat’s side.

Despite her movement, the enemy ‘Mech was able to track her and respond in kind, its lasers again lashing out at her. One of them shredded armour off her arm, while the other shattered the fallen wall in front of her. Not wanting to make herself a target, she broke into a run, continuing to keep her eyes on the target as her weapons recharged.

Toto’s Thanatos backed past her cockpit; its left-side launcher was little more than burning wreckage, which added to the grievous sight of the hole ripped through its flank. The scar traced across the canopy only seemed to underscore the point. The blocky BattleMech dropped out of sight, clearly pulling back from the engagement.

“Roughneck Lead to Roughneck Zero-Three,” Connie opened up as she pushed her own Falconer forwards, making a dash for a low-lying ridge while trying to shield her damaged side. “What the hell are you doing pulling back?”

“The battle’s lost, Lead,” Toto replied, strain evident in his voice. “We can pull back now and preserve what’s left of our force.” As if to underscore his point, her target fired again, spitting darts of green energy in her direction. One shot seared armour off her Falconer’s flank, slicing into the already thinned protection. The other spent its energies on the ridgeline.

“Negative,” she spat. “Get back in there, Zero-Three. That is an order.” She twisted her ‘Mech around, bringing her own weapons to bear in response. While the PPC shredded armour off the target’s leg, the gauss rifle went wide, only serving to add to her frustration. “That is an order. Do you read me?” Her tone made it clear that Connie was expecting a ‘yes’.

Toto’s only response was to continue pulling back.

Connie swallowed what she was going to say, continuing to focus on the matter at hand. Firing her jump jets, she leaped over the ridgeline and opened up again on her target. This time, both weapons struck home, slamming into the Mad Cat’s shoulder and side. The sleek OmniMech wavered on its feet as it advanced, but that wasn’t enough to throw its pilot off.

Its two pulse lasers again reached out, the beams making their mark despite her own movement. Warning lights went off as they devoured the armour over her arm and leg, but Connie pushed them aside. A last-second flare of the jump jets bought her down in an awkward crouch; not perfect, but far better than it could have been.

As she turned her Falconer to again bring her weapons to bear, something else caught her eye. There was another BattleMech behind the Mad Cat, one that she immediately recognized. Snapping off a pair of shots, she opened a link to the other ‘Mech. “Roughneck Three-One, assist me,” she demanded as her attacks went wide of the target, a quiet curse sneaking in under her breath. “Do you read me?” It was less a request as it was a demand.

“But Dad’s in trouble,” Ronnie’s voice came back, his usual bravado replaced with an uncharacteristic hesitation.

“Negative, three-one,” she snarled as another burst of fire lashed the Falconer’s side. Glancing at the damage display for a moment, Connie did her best to keep shielding the damaged flank while keeping her sights on the Mad Cat. “I need you now.”

“But he could be hurt or-“

“****** it, Ronnie!” She shouted into the channel, her frustration exploding outwards. “For once in your worthless life don’t be a useless sack of crap and actually do something!”

Her only reply was a click as the channel closed. Moments later, his Griffin turned, running away from the pair of them.

She wanted to scream at him, to let out her frustrations and anger at him for joining the long list of people who had failed her. Instead, choking it back, she turned her rage around, focusing it on her target. Closing down the distance, she opened up with all her remaining weapons.

Her aggression was immediately rewarded, with the gauss rifle slamming into the Mad Cat’s left arm. The hypervelocity slug tore through the weapon, ripping it apart in a shower of debris while sending the ‘Mech reeling back. The PPC and remaining lasers added to the carnage, boring into its side and burning through the already depleted armour.

She had only a moment to savor the victory before her opponent’s strike hit home. Laser fire melted through what little protection was left on her side, followed by a hail of Streak SRMs that rained down on her ‘Mech. One of them found her exposed gauss rifle, detonating the array of capacitors and magnets, unleashing the energies stored within. Connie had a second to register what was happening before the weapon tore itself apart, sending a wave of feedback through her neurohelmet.

The world erupted into a screech of pain, her vision going white.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 June 2021, 01:02:59
Raymond’s Roughnecks: The Lost Years

Irisz,

This is the best that I have been able to put together regarding the history of Raymond’s Roughnecks, where they went to and how they were able to return. It also delves somewhat into Connie Raymond’s personal history and why she was so determined to reignite a century-old feud to the point that she used her own children as weapons.

Unfortunately, this report is not entirely complete and contains some reasonable speculation on my part. There are a variety of reasons for this. First and foremost is the redaction and censoring of your grandmother’s journals, including those portions relating to the Roughnecks during the Jihad. The HPG Blackout and effective collapse of the MRBC have not helped either. Finally, it has to be said that the Periphery mercenary trade does have the best record-keeping, something many units have taken advantage of.

Both Jessie Packard and Ronnie Raymond Jr. were invaluable in the research needed to produce this report. Despite their pasts, I feel that we can trust both of them, especially in light of what happened on Hindmarsh.

NK


The chain of events that leads us to where we are now starts during the Jihad. Raymond’s Roughnecks were employed by the Word of Blake during that conflict, initially through proxy groups and then later directly by the Word themselves. At that point, the unit was led by Nina Raymond; her two adult children, Colin and Bruce served as officers.

Knowing about the history of our units, the Word used the Roughnecks to assassinate Jelek Magyari [EDITOR’S NOTE: then-commander of Magyari’s Irregulars and Irisz’s great-grandfather] on Goth Kakhar in early 3068. This was a part of a campaign of raids aimed at triggering a broader conflict between the Marian Hegemony and the Rim Commonality. Following Jelek’s death, the Roughneck’s raided the world, expecting to face a weak and demoralized unit. Instead, Annika [EDITOR’S NOTE: Anika Magyari, Jelek’s daughter] was able to rally the unit and repel the attack.

The two units would clash again in mid-3075 on Emris IV. The Roughnecks raided the world, ostensibly in the name of disrupting factory production but also deliberately targeting the Irregulars, who were present at the time. While many of the details of what occurred have been redacted, we can verify a few things. During the battle of Port Rouge, Nina Raymond was killed in battle with Annika Magyari. Furthermore, Colin Raymond was captured. The surviving Roughnecks, now under the command of Bruce Raymond, retreated off-world and fled to the Protectorate. While it is assumed that Nina Raymond died of injuries sustained during the battle, her autopsy was also redacted. Colin would ultimately remain a prisoner of the Coalition and later the Republic.

Damaged but still operational, the Roughnecks would continue working for the Word for the next three years. During Operation SCOUR they chose to desert the Word and fled to the rimward Periphery. In order to cover his tracks, Bruce Raymond changed his name and that of his unit, becoming Bruce Barrett, commander of Barrett’s Bushrangers. The Bushrangers quietly integrated themselves into the Periphery mercenary trade, taking full advantage of the poor record-keeping and no-questions-asked approach that it favoured to remain hidden.

Bruce Barrett stepped down from command of the unit circa 3090 due to injuries, handing control of the unit over to his son, Kevin. The early years of his command were marked by a growth in their size and the development of their pirate-hunting skills. A notable moment came in 3093 when the Bushrangers were responsible for the destruction of Andrea’s Furies, a pirate band who were also once mercenaries employed by the Word.

On the personal side of things, Kevin married twice. He had two sons by his first wife, and a single daughter, Connie (b. 3095) by his second. In 3107, his wife died to a rare disease found on the Periphery world where they were serving. Devastated by this loss, Connie Barrett would form a bond with her grandfather, Bruce. He filled her head with stories of life in the Inner Sphere and the unit’s past, including their feud. This would come to shape her life, as she blamed her mother’s death on their circumstances; if they hadn’t fled to the Periphery, then she would not have suffered the death that she did.

All three of Kevin’s children trained as MechWarriors with the expectation that they would continue the unit’s legacy. However, Connie Barrett had other plans. In 3117, she formed an alliance with several of the Bushrangers’ officers, most notably Shane Packard, a young lieutenant, and staged a coup. This not only put her in command of the Bushrangers, but also pushed her two half-brothers out of the unit. Connie Barrett married Shane Packard afterward as a part of her play to cement control of the unit.

By 3119, the unit had relocated to Galatea, developing something of a double life. Outwardly the unit operated as Barrett’s Bushrangers from the Mercenary’s Star. However, internally, Connie Barrett had reclaimed the Raymond name, and had taken to calling the unit Raymond’s Roughnecks. This was aided by its often off-the-books contracts that it took at the time. In 3120, Jessie Raymond (née Jessie Packard) was born, the daughter of Connie and, allegedly, Shane Packard. Shortly afterwards, Shane Packard was killed in battle with AMSC forces.

In early 3122 the Roughnecks entered into an alliance with McDougall's Iron Horse, an armour and infantry unit that had recently lost its commander and a not-inconsiderable portion of its strength while fighting in the Draconis Reach. Connie Raymond and Ronald McDougall, the last heir to the family-run command, chose to merge their units, an alliance sealed with the marriage of the two and cemented with the birth of their child, Ronnie Raymond Jr., in 3123. Oddly enough, even though the Roughnecks were the smaller of the two commands (and technically the newer) the combined unit maintained the Roughneck name, insignia and even colour schemes, with no concessions to the Iron Horse.

Over the next decade, the Roughnecks grew, eventually stabilising as a rough combined-arms battalion. The unit would often rotate between the Galatea and Herotitus hiring halls, varying their base of operations depending on the prevailing winds in the mercenary trade and the opportunities available to them. The result was one of the few units that was actually well positioned to take advantage of the HPG blackout and the events that followed.

By early 3133, the Roughnecks were seeing action in the Republic, openly working for the various splinter factions that had risen up. The unit had also relocated again, this time being based on Outreach as a part of the strange revival of the mercenary trade that had sprung up on the devastated world. It was largely by luck that the Roughnecks were not caught up in the formation of Fortress Republic, being off Outreach on a contract when the walls went up.

Their next significant action occurred in 3138, when the Roughnecks were hired by the Komephoros government in an effort to clean up the disaster that their mercenary civil war had become. Over the course of the next few months, Connie Raymond lead her unit in hunting down and eliminating a number of the fragmented commands that had plagued the planet for the last year. Along the way, the Roughnecks netted valuable salvage, allowing them to not only bring the unit up to full strength but also upgrade or replace some of their older equipment. During this time, Raymond began investigating Magyari’s Irregulars, eyeing opportunities to end the long-running feud on their terms.

In 3142, Jessie Raymond was given a place in the unit’s roster, allegedly in order to prepare her to eventually inherit command of the unit. While she proved to be less than capable as an officer, her parentage ensured that her place would not be challenged. Ronnie Raymond Jr. would join her a year later, and prove to be equally as mediocre an officer. Regardless, Connie Raymond continued to press the pair of them, Jessie particularly, as potential heirs.

Contact between our two units would not occur until 3145, when we met on Ashburton while serving on opposite sides of the same contract. Matters were further complicated by the arrival of a Wolf Empire force, resulting in the destruction of a Roughnecks’ lance and the capture of Ronnie Raymond Jr by the Wolves. Connie Raymond had planned to trade captured members of the Irregulars to the Wolves in trade for her son. Instead, Jessie Raymond worked with her captives to free Ronnie. Instead of being glad to have her son back, Connie turned on Jessie and blamed her for a lost opportunity. This would lead to Jessie defecting to the Irregulars, a move that would only further fuel Connie Raymond’s resentment.

Now fully driven by her own need for revenge and her growing resentment, Connie Raymond would join Eckhart Stein’s effort at empire building. This would culminate in the 3148 battle of Hindmarsh, where the Roughnecks would face us again. The battle resulted not only in the unravelling of Stein’s plans, but also the effective destruction of Raymond’s Roughnecks. After the Roughnecks suffered severe losses (including Ron McDougall being disabled), both Ronnie Raymond and Connie’s third, Zaki Toto, abandoned her on the field in order to preserve what was left of the unit.

In the aftermath of the conflict, Toto took what was left of the Rougnecks (without Raymond or McDougall) and left for the Periphery. In doing such, Toto retired the Roughnecks name, renaming what was left to Toto’s Bushrangers.
At this point, the Roughnecks are no more. Both Jessie Packard and Ronnie Raymond have effectively disavowed their mother and her legacy, and both have shown no interest in continuing a pointless feud. With Ron McDougall retired and Toto deliberately avoiding any connection to his previous commander, there is nothing left of the unit. The sole exception is Connie Raymond’s agent, Ash Wednesday, who remains missing following Hindmarsh. However, based on recovered information, he not only had no interest in the feud itself, but also was becoming actively afraid of Connie Raymond and her obsession.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 22 June 2021, 01:09:33
Audio Log 080650-H

Antonin Rybak: Irisz, it’s good to see you again.

Irisz Magyari: At this point it was inevitable, one way or the other.

Rybak: Fully understandable. After all, this is a big decision.

Magyari: To say the least. I spent the whole week thinking about what you said and your offer and just how tempting it was.

Rybak: I sense a ‘but’ coming on here.

Magyari: You would be right there. [Pause] I had to think about why I was doing this and why I was making the choice I did.

Rybak: And what conclusion did you reach?

Magyari: I admit that you baited the hook well, ponytail. The offer of Annika’s complete and uncensored journals is a very strong one. My family have kept their journals ever since they got into the business over a century ago. Save for those omissions it’s a basically unbroken line.

Rybak: That’s quite an impressive feat.

Magyari: Oh, it is. I learned a lot from them along the way. Looking at my great-great-grandmother Sel’s journals, for example, was enlightening. Even though she was more than a little vain and self-centered, she had a lot of interesting insights and thoughts. My father, as…flighty as he was still took the time to continue that tradition. Hell, he still could be doing it now, wherever he is.

Rybak: And you do the same, of course.

Magyari: Naturally. I’m doing it for myself, and for any children I may have or… other reasons.

Rybak: Hence your interest in your grandmother’s journals.

Magyari: That’s what I thought at first; after all, it would plug a few gaps and doubtless explain a few things. I strongly expect to learn more about what happened to Nina Raymond, for example, given that her death is among the redacted sections. I especially think that’d be helpful to Jessie to explain a few things to her.

Rybak: And now is when that ‘but’ rears its ugly head.

Magyari: You would be right there. I thought about it, and realised that putting my allies and friends on the line for your personal agenda, whatever it was, just for the sake of my own unanswered questions was ultimately selfish.

Rybak: I see.

Magyari: However, I also had to agree with what you said. I don’t want a future ruled by the Wolves or the Falcons. One run by the Capellans or Dracs wouldn’t be too much better. If that future is inevitable, we need to plan for it and be ready for when it comes.

Magyari: I am. And here comes that ‘but’.

Rybak: Go on.

Magyari: I get to decide who’s in the inner circle of this little conspiracy. I pick my people, but I also let them pick their own people on top of that; allies of allies and so forth. If one of them says ‘no’ and chooses to walk away, then that’s their choice and you won’t try to turn it around or pull them back in. Likewise, they’re free to commit as much as they want to this. [Pause] Oh, and I also get my grandmother’s journals, of course.

Rybak: All entirely fair, and I wouldn’t have expected any less.

Magyari: Or in short, exactly as you had planned.

Rybak: Maybe.

Magyari: Of course. That’s why I came to this meeting with the list of people I want in on this.

Rybak: Honestly, I would have been surprised if you hadn’t. So lay it on me.

Magyari: I’ll assume that you know who all these people are. By this point, I think I’d be more surprised if you didn’t.

Rybak: I’ll take that as a compliment

Magyari: First of all, Kari Moreno. Our families have history, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that history is hidden in those journals. On top of that, she has a drive and determination that means she won’t back down from a challenge. And I feel like we’ll need that sort of determination.

Rybak: Agreed there. Solid choice.

Magyari: Next, Isabella de Luca. Again, shared family history. Plus she’s got her own network of allies that she can call on which could be very useful to us. And even then, her history of… creative solutions could be very helpful going into an uncertain future.

Rybak: Odd choice and not one I would have made, but I understand your logic there.

Magyari: Glad we agree then. Third is Terry McKinnon.

Rybak: Interesting. Any reason why him and not Damien? I’d have picked him given that he is the leader of the Marauders.

Magyari: Several, actually. First of all, I have a more… personal connection with Terry, which means that I can rely on him as a part of this. Conversely, my relationship with Damien is more professional. Second is that he did me a massive favour a couple of years ago, and I owe him big time for it. And third is that Damien McKinnon is a jerk.

Rybak: Fair enough then. I defer to your reasoning there.

Magyari: Besides, Terry gives us an in with his unit no less. That brings me to number four; Lanie King. She’s a friend of mine and I feel that I can trust her on that alone, but there’s more than just that. Lanie’s drive to rebuild her unit’s name and reputation means that’s she’s brutally honest and upfront with people. At the same time, her determination to keep her nose clean means that I trust her to tell me when I’m stepping over the line.

Rybak: You want her as your conscience.

Magyari: I have no illusions about our getting our hands dirty. I just also want to know when to stop.

Rybak: Fully understandable.

Magyari: Was that a hint of regret there?

Rybak: So who was your next pick?

Magyari: One last one and I know you’re not going to like them, but Gillian Blackrock.

Rybak: That would be a fair assessment. I assume you know abut her past?

Magyari: Some, and I have no doubt that you could fill me in on more of it. But I have my reasons.

Rybak: And those would be what?

Magyari: She’s a fantastically connected information broker in her own right, and can massively extend our reach on her own. She’s been invaluable to my unit in past. And, frankly, if we start this little plot of ours then sooner or later she’ll find out about it anyway. So we might as well have her in on the ground floor of this to begin with.

Rybak: I can’t argue with your logic there, as much as I want to. She’s in. Was there anyone else?

Magyari: That was it.

Rybak: Good. I admit now that I had an asset of my own to bring in on this as well.

Magyari: Why am I not surprised at this? Or for that matter that you’d wait until I played all my cards before you played this one?

Rybak: They’re in a similar position to your other choices; they’re a mercenary MechWarrior and, yes, have a bit of a colourful past. But I will  vouch for them and I know I can rely on them.

Magyari: Guess I don’t have a choice in the matter, huh?

Rybak: You have your people, I have mine.

Magyari: Fair. [Pause] I’ll contact my people and set up a meeting. Can’t say who will actually be on board for this, but it’s worth a shot.

Rybak: Thank you for this. Oh, and here you go.

Magyari: A data chip, huh? What’s this.

Rybak: The journals. They’re yours.

Magyari: Thank you. I mean it.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 July 2021, 23:43:17
Guest character courtesy of KayEmm

Ariel Lamcheck

Position/Rank: Gladiator
Affiliation/Unit: Independent/Solaris
Birth Year: 3114

Ariel Lamcheck’s life is one that has taken several unexpected turns; when they have tried to seize control of their destiny, it has instead continued to throw obstacles in their path. Rather than resigning themselves to their fate, however, they have chosen to make the most of their situation.

They were born in the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth during the comparatively peaceful years of the Pax Republica. Despite this, they chose to enlist in the Armed Forces of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth out of a combination of patriotism and no small degree of family tradition. By the time they had graduated through their training, however, everything had changed. The collapse of the HPG network and the Republic’s falling into chaos had created an uncertain new world.

Ariel would first see action during the Commonwealth’s probing attacks into the Republic, ones that were aimed at testing the waters for the reclamation of traditionally Marik worlds. While taking part in several raids, the combination of the defeat on Stewart and subsequent loss of Marik to a combined Sea Fox and Spirit Cat force put those plans on hold. When the Lyran Commonwealth moved to take Tamarind-Abbey, Ariel, like the rest of the AMSC, were prepared for the worst.

Even then, few were ready for the full-scale invasion of the Commonwealth by Clan Wolf. Ariel faced the Clan invaders on several worlds, but each time was forced into retreat. While lucky to be alive, they were angered by the Wolves’ destruction of their nation, especially as reports of the Wolves killing surrendering forces circled. At the same time, they also grew frustrated at the Commonwealth’s leadership, who seemed to be unable to pull themselves together to mount an effective defense.

Finally, rather than continuing to fight a hopeless battle, Ariel chose to defect their post. Making their way through the frontlines, they arrived on the Game World of Solaris VII, looking to make a new life for themselves. Their timing was fortuitous, as the Game World was in the midst of a revival after a decades-long slump, and recruiters were eagerly looking for talent. Ariel’s military experience allowed them to win a place in a minor stable, and they quickly showed that their sponsors’ faith was not misplaced with several victories.

Their rising gladiatorial career would take another twist in 3142 when the Wolf Empire invaded Solaris. While the Clan’s conquest of the world was nearly bloodless, there was considerable fear that they would put a stop to the games, given the Clans’ distaste for such matters. Instead, to the surprise of all involved, the Wolves allowed the games to continue, but only after introducing their own condition: Wolf warriors would be allowed to challenge Solaris gladiators to matches in order to prove their superiority.

Ariel would not be immune to this new order by any means. In mid-3143, they were challenged by a Wolf warrior who was incensed over their choice of BattleMech. While many expected a one-sided battle, Ariel proved the odds wrong and handily defeated their opponent. This proved to be an opportunity for them to let out the frustration that had been building for years, as they chose to publicly humiliate their opponent’s lack of skill and arrogance and, by extension, blacken the eye of the Empire as a whole.

For the last seven years Ariel has continued their career, facing both other Solaris contenders as well as challenges from the Wolves. In each case, they have defeated their Clan opponent, and made a show of it in the process. This has seen Ariel become something of a lightning rod for anti-Clan sentiment among the planet’s population. Rumours persist that they have contacts with anti-Clan resistance movements.

WVR-10R Wolverine Skinner

Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: Crucis-IIb WVR Deluxe Endo Steel
Powerplant: VOX 330 XL
Cruising Speed: 64 kph
Maximum Speed: 96 kph (129 kph w/MASC)
Jump Jets: Northrup 1200
   Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armour: Kallon FWL Special Light Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      1 Fusigon Smarttooth Snub-Nosed PPC
      1 Magna Mk VI Extended Range Medium Laser
      1 Holly Streak Streak SRM-6
Comm System: Garrett T11-B
T&T System: Sync Tracker (39-42071) with Targeting Computer

The Wolverine was long a standard BattleMech of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth, and the Free Worlds League before them. During their time with the AMSC, Ariel piloted a Wolverine before its destruction in combat with Wolf forces. Arriving on Solaris Dispossessed, Ariel had to rely on their skills both to find a place and secure a BattleMech to compete in.

By a happy coincidence, the stable that they ended up signing with also had a Wolverine in its inventory. While they had never used this particular model, Ariel’s familiarity with the design proved to be an asset, allowing them to quickly master the new variant and prove their capabilities in the arena. They raked up a string of victories over their opponents, including a few that were piloting what would have been considered superior BattleMechs.

The ‘Mech’s true fame would come after Ariel’s first victory over a Wolf warrior; while their skill was key to the win, it was the symbolic value of the win that really caught audience attention. A former AMSC warrior piloting a ‘Mech long associated with the nation that also drew ire from Wolf warriors played well to those parts of the Solaris population who were not happy about the new order. Ariel in turn chose to roll with this, naming the Wolverine ‘Skinner’ as a deliberate insult. More recently, they have taken to painting at least part of it Marik purple when facing Clan opponents.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 July 2021, 23:50:00
Andre Darmont

Position/Rank: Sergeant
Affiliation/Unit: Federated Suns/Unknown Unit
Birth Year: 3105

Andre Darmont should, by all rights, be dead. Instead, he has become a part of an irregular unit that is currently operating independently within the Federated Suns against the occupying Draconis Combine forces. However, how he came to be there is a mystery, leaving several years of his life unaccounted for.

For the most part, Darmont’s life and career were not exceptional before that point. Born and raised during the years of the Pax Republica, he grew up in a working-class family in the Draconis March; close enough to the Combine border to be aware of the threat that the Dragon represented, but not so close that it was immediate. Despite this being an era of peace, he enlisted in the AFFS as many members of his family had done before him. The skills and tactical abilities he demonstrated during his training saw him win a place as a MechWarrior, despite the comparatively limited billets available in the military at the time. Behind the controls of a ‘Mech he showed a flair for strike and hit-and-run operations that would serve him well in the years to come.

His first assignment would be to the reconstituted Second Federated Suns Armoured Cavalry, assigned to the Draconis border. The unit would take part in several skirmishes in the Draconis Reach in which Andre would prove his capabilities and gain experience in actual combat. During one battle on Udibi, he was able to cut off the commanders of a Combine-backed mercenary unit, and force them to surrender. This move saw the Federated Suns solidify their hold on the world with minimal effort.

After the Second returned to friendly territory, Andre’s next few years of service would be relatively quiet. He had considered resigning rather than reenlisting at several points, but the Blackout changed everything. Faced with a new age of uncertainty, he chose to stay with the AFFS, feeling that there would be a need for MechWarriors sooner rather than later. His instincts proved to be correct, and he would soon become a part of the military’s hasty rebuilding and rearming, helping to train up the flood of new recruits and better integrate them into existing forces. This training and preparation would go on for the next half-decade, with Andre again choosing to extend his service.

Growing aggression from both the Draconis Combine and the Capellan Confederation, as well as the effective abandonment of much of the Republic, meant that those preparations would soon become a necessity. While the Federated Suns was still on the back foot at this point, it made its own efforts to secure parts of the former Republic. Andre took part in a number of raids and pacification efforts in Republic space during this time, seeing action against insurgents, mercenaries and even Capellan forces that were operating in the region. In many cases, he was also helping to give new recruits experience in field operations that they otherwise lacked, a worryingly common state of affairs across the AFFS.

Despite these preparations, nobody expected what would happen next. The Second Federated Suns Armoured Cavalry was a part of the force assembled by Caleb Davion on Palmyra as a part of his planned strike on the Draconis Combine. Instead, the force would be destroyed in a cleverly staged Combine assault, with a combination of aerospace strikes and then ground troops devastating the assembled troops. Andre was among those supposedly confirmed dead, as footage of his BattleMech being destroyed was among the materials recovered from the debacle.

Instead he would resurface in 3147 as a part of a small group operating on Combine-occupied worlds in the Federated Suns. While not identified with any one unit, these irregulars were sporting Federated Suns insignia and openly operating against the Combine occupational forces. However, this also left a gap where he had some four years unaccounted for, which included how he had survived his apparent death, how he had come to be a part of this command and where he had acquired a new BattleMech from.

OTL-8E3 Ostsol

Mass: 60 tons
Chassis: Kell/H
Powerplant: GM 300 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph (64 kph w/TSM)
Maximum Speed: 86 kph (96 kph w/TSM)
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: StarGuard Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 ExoStar Large X-Pulse Lasers
      2 ExoStar Medium X-Pulse Lasers
      2 Diverse Optics Extended Range Small Lasers
Comm System: Barrett 509p
T&T System: TRSS.2L3

For most of his career, Andre Darmont piloted an Argus. While not given to talking at length about the ‘Mech (or most things, for that matter), he clearly was skilled in employing its combination of mobility and firepower, and was adept at careful maneuvering to make the most of it while avoiding getting bogged down in standing firefights. His BattleMech was known to have been destroyed on Palmyra along with the rest of his unit, leading to him being listed among the dead.

When Andre returned, he was at the controls of a brand-new Ostsol. How he had come into the ‘Mech is unclear, but it was possibly salvaged from a Combine unit or even taken from captured supplies. While having the same mass and speed as his old Argus, the Ostsol proved to be quite  change, given an entirely different loadout, focusing on lasers rather than ballistic weapons and missiles, as well as running considerably hotter. Despite this, Andre seemed to have few issues with the new BattleMech and quickly adapted to it.

These changes proved to be advantageous; its exclusive use of energy weapons has been well suited to the guerrilla campaign that Andre has found himself a part of. Likewise, he has learned to use its triple-strength myomers to give him a burst of speed to either outflank an enemy or alternatively to beat a hasty retreat once the group have achieved their objective.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 16 July 2021, 23:53:44
Guest character courtesy of Zogster

Steph Martini

Position/Rank: Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit: Free Worlds League/Regulan Hussars
Birth Year: 3115

The scion of a wealthy Regulan family, Steph Martini was raised in the lap of luxury and wanted for little save for actual excitement. Bored with her life, she found that she was discontent with coasting as a socialite and was looking for direction by her early twenties. Seeking adventure, she chose to enlist with the Regulan Strategic Military Command. Her timing proved apt as she was caught up in both the expansion of the RSMC following the Blackout as well as an air of growing patriotism. Many saw this as a chance for Regulus to reclaim its destiny as the true heir to the Free Worlds League, with Steph being among them.

While her family’s wealth would have afforded her no small degree of advantage, Steph proved to be a capable MechWarrior on her own merits during her training. She showed a particular flair for melee combat during exercises, both in her execution of such attacks and her willingness to take risks in order to get the opportunity to do such. On graduation she was assigned to a spot in the Fourth Regulan Hussars, who were in the process of rebuilding and rearming against the possibility of future aggression.

That opportunity would come with the 3140 invasion of Aitutaki, with the unit returning to a world where they had been previously defeated. While she had not been a part of that attack, like the rest of the unit she was caught up in a strong desire to avenge their past on the new Free Worlds League. Instead the unit was severely damaged by the FWLM, with Steph very nearly being among the casualties. Forced to eject from her ‘Mech, she was able to escape along with the other survivors of the unit.

As the unit again rebuilt, Steph was assigned a Sarath as a replacement ‘Mech. While normally a sign of disfavor, she chose to roll with the blow and instead make the most of it. If anything, her patriotic fervor grew in the aftermath as she sought a chance to strike back at the reborn League and avenge the loss her unit had suffered. In 3146 her unit took part in operation TRIUMVIR, a plan intended to cripple the League. Eager for action, Steph would instead be frustrated as the Fourth bogged down on Kyeinnisan before eventually retreating with little to show for it.

She would not see action again until 3147 in the Regulan counterassault on Marik. If anything, Steph proved to be even more eager than before, both for the very real chance at decapitating the Spirit Cat forces and the symbolic value of attacking the world. This enthusiasm and her skill saw her score several kills in the push on the Winter Palace, taking every chance she could to strike down what she saw as Clan invaders. For Steph, this was her moment.

It was not to last. As the Spirit Cats counterattacked, she and the rest of the Fourth were pushed back, suffering heinous losses at the hands of the enraged Clanners. While at first she tried to resist their onslaught, Steph found that she was overwhelmed by the ferocity of the assault. After several days of running battles she was left ragged with a ‘Mech that was only half functional among the battered remnants of her unit. And as much as she wanted to continue the battle when the unit were offered the chance to withdraw, she also saw the reality of the situation. Swallowing her pride, she joined in the retreat, hoping for another chance.

With the Fourth once again rebuilding, they were not in any position to offer any resistance to the League’s invasion of Regulus. In the aftermath of their surrender, Steph was among those who were forcibly re-integrated into the FWLM and reassigned to the Lyran border. While she has so far been able to take out her frustrations in small-scale raiding, she remains a Regulan patriot. Recently she has come into contact with other former RSMC members who feel the same way, forming alliances among those who share her sentiments.

SRTH-OB Sarath Sharvara

Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: RI-17p Vijaya
Powerplant: Magna 250 XL
Cruising Speed: 54 kph (64 kph with TSM)
Maximum Speed: 86 kph (96 kph with TSM)
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Durallex Heavy
Armament:
      1 FlameTech Inferno Plasma Rifle
      2 Magna Mk VI Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Magna Mk IV Extended Range Small Laser
      4 FlameTech K-213 Extended Range Flamers
Comm System: Barret Party Line-200
T&T System: Wasat Argent with OmniLink

On her assignment to the Fourth Regulan Hussars, Steph’s first BattleMech was a Nightsky, which well suited her capabilities. Despite this match, the ‘Mech was destroyed on Aitutaki by FWLM forces. As a replacement, she was assigned a Sarath, an OmniMech usually seen as a sign of disfavor. Rather than protest this decision as many would have expected, she instead took an instant liking to its unusual form. Within short order, she had become quite adept at exploiting its abilities, and had demonstrated a marked preference for the B configuration with its talons.

While focusing on close combat, Steph will use its mobility to good effect, engaging in lateral shifts or sudden changes of direction to confuse an opponent. Likewise, she will take advantage of her OmniMech’s turret to hit enemies while on the move or surprise those who are trying to flank her. Wherever possible she will run the ‘Mech hot to activate her triple-strength myomers, both for the extra speed offered as well as increasing its physical attack capabilities. At her hands, Sharvana often takes on a bestial demeanor, making it a fearsome sight.

Her skills were proven on Marik where she was able to defeat several Spirit Cat ‘Mechs and vehicles through vicious close-quarters attacks. The unit’s defeat was no reflection on her skill; if anything, it is a testament to her capabilities that she was able to escape with a functioning ‘Mech at all. Since her reassignment, Steph has continued to use her Sarath, and shown the same degree of ferocity against Lyran opponents as she has in past to the League; a recent battle saw her eviscerate a Starslayer with a single swipe.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 03 August 2021, 03:23:06
Renegades Chapter I: Outside, looking in

Origin Story

I was there for the first meeting of the Renegades. I suppose in many ways I should have foreseen how it would all end.

Irisz Mayari had put out feelers and pulled in her first picks; Kari Moreno, Isabella de Luca, Lanie King and Terry McKinnon. Those four had been easy enough to pull in. They were all friends, having met through the trade or past generations who were also in the trade; family alliances had always made for a big part of the industry, even if it was rarely acknowledged. Certainly there was an air of expectation among them, a feeling that this was something big. De Luca acknowledged as much with her joke that this was more than just another attempt to start a book club.

Conversely, Blackrock’s arrival did not sit well with them. Everybody in the room knew who she was and had likely used her services in past, but I don’t think anyone actually trusted her, especially not King. Magyari made her case for why she had bought Blackrock in, citing both her connections and influence, as well as the fact that she would have stumbled into this sooner or later anyway. While everyone agreed, I could see that they were not entirely happy with the deal.

Ryback’s arrival then threw them off even more. He outlined who he was and what he was doing (while still being vague about the specifics) and his involvement with all this. He also was very clear about what he wanted and was trying to do. Magyari then gave everyone the chance to back out. Nobody took the opportunity. The idea of a future ruled by the Falcons or Wolves clearly had their attention.

Having made his case, Ryback then introduced his own ally, Alexis Fairchild. That got people’s attention, one way or another. There was more than a little concern as to who she was and her connection to him, not the least of which was that it amounted to an outsider joining what was otherwise a circle of friends on the recommendation of another outsider. De Luca put it bluntly when she asked Fairchild what she would be bringing to the table beyond her looks.

(Looking back at it, I have to wonder if this is one of the reasons why Magyari wanted de Luca onboard. She speaks her mind, for good or for ill, and doesn’t hold back.)

To her credit, Fairchild was abundantly clear in her response, saying that she had spent the last five years fighting both cells of a terror network as well as the Wolf Empire. When King asked what sort of terrorists they were, Fairchild’s response was blunt. “Blakists.” That definitely got everyone’s attention. Blackrock certainly looked surprised at that revelation, and perhaps annoyed that somebody had managed to hide it from her. I admit that I didn’t see that coming either.

With introductions done, Magyari and Ryback moved to the next order of business: building their alliance. The pair of them called for nominations of other potential members of this group, as well as those allies that could be helpful in supporting their future plans. Magyari went first, nominating Viggo Ackestorm, one of the members of her unit. She cited his connection to anti-Clan groups in the Dominion as a clear asset to the group, and his dislike of the Clans in general as a reason to trust him.

Moreno spoke up next, suggesting her second in command, Damien Hawkins. She pointed out his financial and administrative skills, which could be useful to any future sharing of resources, moving of assets and so on. She also said that she knew his loyalty would be beyond reproach, giving the group another person they could trust.

Citing Hawkins, Magyari then suggested one of her own allies, Cameron Clarke. Both Ryback and Fairchild expressed concern at the idea of bringing a Clan warrior into the mix, but Magyari offered fair reasoning. First of all, he would only be an ally and not a member of the inner circle, and certainly not privy to what was going on, which did seem to ease their concerns. Secondly, she cited his own considerable network of information and willingness to deal in it as being a useful asset, as well as giving them a reliable supplier.

(Naturally this made me curious as to what Fairchild’s specific problem with the Clans was.)

This prompted de Luca to put forward her own nomination in the form of Leonid Stanislav. She pointed out that he was the commander of his own unit, which would give them another ally and a considerable expansion to the group’s numbers and reach. She added with a caveat that Stanislav needed to be a member of their inner circle, saying that he wouldn’t be happy with being on the outside. Ryback definitely needed to think it through before he offered his approval.

King spoke up next, suggesting Lana Kostov as an ally or possibly another inner circle member. She cited both Kostov’s commanding a long-lasted mercenary unit and her connections with former RAF members and familiarity with their operations and procedures as good reasons why, which both Magyari and Ryback approved of. Personally I suspected King wanted Kostov there to be another member of this group who would keep things above board and clean.

De Luca then added another suggestion; Taphault van Nurdlehammer, a member of her unit who possessed both considerable technical skills as well as good organizational ones. She threw out the idea of having him work with Hawkins to create a supply network across units to aid in the sharing of resources and the like. Moreno was completely on board with the idea.

Having remained largely silent until that point, Blackrock then put forward her own suggestion, Tony Jaros. This was not well received, with those present pointing out that he was a criminal, a thug, a former Capellan ally and anything but subtle. Blackrock agreed to all of these points, but then countered to point out that not only did Jaros have considerable contacts across the former Republic’s underworld, but that he also had a strong hatred of the Capellans. Surprisingly, Ryback agreed with her, something that nobody saw coming. I suspect that Blackrock was among them.

With that out of the way, McKinnon put forward his own suggestion, being Ronnie Raymond Jr. At that point, all Magyari could do was glare back at him. To his credit, McKinnon put up a good case, citing the degree that Raymond had changed over the last two years, and how he considered him to be a friend as well as a member of his unit. Ryback agreed, and Magyari had to concede the point, even if there was clearly some understandable reluctance on her part.

We were now in the first stages of building an army. I don’t think that anyone could have predicted where it would go from there.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 03 August 2021, 03:29:43
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Bacon Plans

When Lanie King had suggested that she, Kari Moreno and Isabella de Luca should meet to quietly discuss a few things, she’d hoped for something discrete and low-key. Which made her wonder what had gone wrong as the three of them sat in the middle of Tharonjas’ in the middle of a busy lunchtime.

“So do I want bacon, bacon, bacon or bacon?” Isabella asked as she looked over the menu.

“I think the question is how do you want your bacon?” Kari replied, similarly deep in thought.

Lanie sighed and looked around again, taking in the ‘tiki party crashed into a Mesoamerican temple and exploded’ decor, before turning back to her menu. The problem wasn’t that this had happened, the problem was that this sort of thing always happened when Isabella was involved. It made her really wonder why Irisz had chosen to bring her onboard in the first case.

You know Irisz can trust her, Lanie reminded herself. And you know that you can trust her as well, despite how she may act. She shot a small smile at Isabella. “So what are you looking at?”

“I was thinking of Zin’rokk the Steak Destroyer,” Isabella offered. “A steak wrapped in bacon, wrapped in cheese, wrapped in bacon. It sounds fantastic.”
“Nice,” Kari smiled in approval.

“I can hear your arteries hardening,” Lanie added.

“I’m a mercenary MechWarrior,” Isabella shot back. “I chose a life where I got shot at for money. Death by bacon is one of the better ways to go in this line of work.”
She shook her head and picked up her own menu, pretending to study it. “So death by bacon aside, how do we feel about this?”

“Well the décor is a bit gaudy, but I do like the food,” Kari replied.

“I can’t tell if you’re being serious or stupid,” Isabella smirked. “Nice.”

“I meant about this whole… thing,” she continued. “Irisz putting together her own little army at the behest of some shady employer.”

“I can imagine you have some concerns,” Isabella admitted. “Given your family’s past with dubious employers.”

“That’s a fair way to put it,” Lanie sighed. “I trust Irisz, bit not him.”

“Which is fair,” Kari said. “He’s clearly running his own agenda that we’re not a part of, and chose Irisz to be a part of it. At the same time, he also allowed her to make a first pick of who would be in it, which tells me a lot.”

“How so?” she asked.

“Irisz has a reputation for being a straight shooter,” Kari explained. “So look at the people she chose to start with. You, me, Isabella, Terry McKinnon and Blackrock. Like her, we’re all on the ethical, honest side of the mercenary trade; fair dealings, being upfront, vetting our recruits to weed out the bad apples and so on.”

“Kari, that’s about the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about me,” Isabella smirked. “And that includes my two exes.”

“You have a point there. I mean, I’m happy with Terry McKinnon being a part of this,”
Lanie continued. “Like you said, he’s a good guy by the standards of our trade.”

“Yeah, he’s a good pick,” Isabella agreed. “Even if Irisz is a little biased there.”

“Are those two ever going to make it official?” Kari asked. “It’s been... a while.”

“Years,” Lanie nodded. “But I’d imagine that it gets complicated when you get to the issue of children and inheritance and all.”

“I suppose so,” Kari nodded. “Irisz has no children as yet and Terry isn’t heir to the Marauders.”

“But it’s a dangerous line of work and all,” Lanie replied. “Damien’s kids are a long way from inheriting command, and if anything happened to him would the unit then go to Terry?”

“Difficult,” Isabella noted. “Not that I’m privy to the McKinnon line of inheritance, but I can see the issue there.”  She paused. “Still, the pair of them can’t keep putting it off forever. And I’m not just saying that because I know I’d be one of her first picks for bridesmaid and that Kari would be another.”

“You think?”

“Really, Kari,” Isabella rolled her eyes. “Though you’d be a super challenge as you’d need a dress that covers all your tats.”

“You’d think that Irisz would be all for it,” Lanie continued. “What with her father being MIA for... how long now?”

“Since just before Fortress Republic, which was...” Isabella paused. “Christ, how long ago?”

“Yeah,” Kari nodded. “That being said, did you see the look she gave Terry when he suggested bringing in Raymond?”

“Ooh, the one-eyed death stare,” Isabella put a hand over one eye, narrowing the other. “Sends shivers up my spine.”

“I’m sure he had a good reason,” Lanie considered. “He’s been in Terry’s lance for what, a year and a half now? Maybe he’s changed a lot since then.”

“It’s a long time in this line of work,” Kari agreed. “During that time he and Terry have had to work together and rely on each other on the battlefield. That can tell you a lot about a person.”

“True, true,” Isabella nodded. “For all we know, Raymond could have changed immensely since then.”

“Not having his mother looming over him would make a world of difference,” Lanie noted. “I don’t want to pass judgement, but after all I heard about Connie Raymond, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Ronnie.”

“Oh yeah, she was nuts,” Isabella agreed. “Like, wow, nuts.”

“Speaking of, how’s Jessie doing?” Kari asked.

“Well, she makes you seem like the most outward person in the universe, Kari,” Isabella shot back. “But seriously, that girl’s doing a lot better for herself now that she’s not in such a batcrap insane environment.”

“Which brings me back to Ronnie,” Lanie noted. “If Jessie can improve then so can he. And maybe that’s why Terry put him forward, a way to help him grow further.”

“Makes sense to me,” Kari nodded.

“Agreed. So then what do you think about Fairchild?" Lanie asked.

“I know what you think about her,” Isabella replied as she took a sip of her drink.

“What do you mean by that?”

“You were so obviously gawping at her,” Isabella explained.

“I was not.”

“You totally were,” Isabella continued. “What would your wife think?”

“I didn’t see the big deal,” Kari offered.

“Yeah, well you’re weird, Kari,” Isabella shot back. “No offence.”

Lanie took a deep breath before continuing, trying to figure ways to steer things back on-track. “I mean, what do you think about her as a member of this group? She was bought in by Ryback and we don’t exactly have a lot to go on.”

“Well, she hates Blakists and Clanners, so that’s a good start,” Isabella noted.

“I have to wonder about that,” Kari admitted. “I mean, as much as we like the idea that she’s been fighting secret Blakists, it does seem to be a bit of a reach. It’s been seventy years since the Jihad, after all.”

“I want to agree,” Lanie nodded. “And yet, we still don’t know who caused the Blackout.”

“Secret Blakists,” Isabella nodded. “Makes perfect sense.”

“She didn’t speak much, though,” Lanie continued. “Mostly she seemed to be sizing us all up, as if she was trying to figure out what was going on with us and what were our stakes in all this.”

“Or she could have just been feeling overwhelmed being a stranger in a room full of strangers,” Kari offered.

“Speaking from experience?” Isabella asked.

“A bit,” Kari admitted. “She’s quiet, she’s pretty intense and she uses her words carefully. I feel that she’s being honest with us though. I mean, really, what would she have to gain from coming to us with such a claim otherwise?”

“This is true,” Lanie nodded. “I suppose ‘fighting secret Blakists’ is a story that’s just so out there that it has to be true. You wouldn’t try to use it as a cover after all.”

“I just want to know what she’s bringing,” Kari continued. “Ryback trusts her and she’s clearly got battlefield experience, but I want to know more about her if I’m going to be working or fighting alongside her.”

“She supposedly commands her own small unit,” Isabella suggested. “I’ll lean on some of my people and see what they come up with.”

“Tell you what though,” Kari added, “even Blackrock seemed to be surprised to see her.”

“Ugh,” Lanie managed. “Speaking of people I have questions about.”

“Lanie King doesn’t like the stodgy infobroker with a questionable past,” Isabella laughed.

“In other breaking news, fire is hot.”

“I mean it, though,” Lanie explained. “Blackrock is not the most... forward of people. You know what I mean.”

“You don’t like her being here,” Kari noted.

“I do not,” Lanie nodded. “I’m not saying that she has her own agenda here, but at the same time, I just don’t like the idea of putting our trust in her.”

“Pfft, everyone in this group has their own agenda,” Isabella replied dismissively.

“Blackrock is just more open about it.”

“She knows things you don’t and wants you to know it,” Kari added.

Lanie sighed. “I just don’t trust her, that’s all,” she admitted. “I see the logic behind bringing her in for her resources and contacts and the like, but that doesn’t mean that I want to work with her any more than we have to.”

“Maybe that’s your job,” Kari offered. “You tell us when we’re doing the wrong thing.”

“Didn’t think of that,” Isabella admitted.

“I... I suppose so,” Lanie considered. “I’ve been trying to rescue the Tigers from the mistakes that my forebears made. I just don’t want to then charge straight back down that path.”

“Which means you’re going to have second thoughts about things that most of us would leap at,” Isabella said.

“And a voice of reason like that would definitely helped me,” Kari added with a warm smile. “So thank you.”

“Thanks,” Lanie sighed.

Isabella leaned back in her seat. “We can work with Blackrock, but don’t trust her one inch. And if she asks us for a favour or the like, then we sure as hell say no to her. Which you know I’ll have no problem with.”

“Speaking of the people who we don’t trust and don’t know about,” Kari continued.
“Ryback. He’s at least half of the reason why this group came together.”

“Obvious spy,” Lanie replied.

“Agreed there,” Isabella nodded. “He’s not even trying to hide it, which then makes me wonder why.”

“I was thinking about that as well,” Kari nodded. “I think he might be working for the Republic.”

“What makes you say that?” Lanie asked.

“It's...” she absent-mindedly drew a circle on the table with her finger. “It’s hard to say, really, but two things come to mind.”

“Shoot,” Isabella nodded.

“First, the timing is right,” she explained. “The walls have come down and everything is up in the air. If he is with the Republic, then this is the time for him to act.”

“This is true,” Lanie agreed.

“And who knows what’s been going on behind the walls for... however long it’s been,” Isabella continued. “He probably has plenty of reasons to be acting now of all times.”

“Which brings me to my second reason,” Kari continued. “Assume he was Republic and was stuck outside the walls for all these years. He’d have been living off whatever assets he could scrounge up or find, and that would include essentially hiring mercs to do his work for him.”

“Point two to Kari,” Isabella agreed.

“If he was LIC or whatever else, he wouldn’t need to be so obvious,” Lanie noted. “He could hide behind fronts or other assets and we'd never need to see him. But like this, at this time? He might be out of options.”

“Which makes me wonder what it took to get Irisz on board,” Kari continued. “She wouldn’t have gone into this lightly.”

“Well, between us...” Isabella leaned in. “Kari might know this but anyway here we go.”

Kari nodded as Lanie glanced between the pair of them. “What are you saying here?”

“Magyari’s unit worked for the Coalition during the Jihad,” Kari explained.

“And some of that is still kind of not in the unit’s records,” Isabella added. “Makes you wonder.”

“Oh, right,” Lanie noted. “I can see why you wouldn’t talk about that.”

“I didn’t want to make it awkward for you,” Kari admitted. “Given your family history and all.”

“It's fine,” Lanie nodded. “I understand fully.”

“So with that being said,” Isabella leaned back, resuming her more casual stance. “I’m not saying anything for certain, but maybe he knows something about what happened back then.”

“It would explain a lot.”

“Besides, it fits with Fairchild, who remember was his pick,” she continued. “After all, killing secret Blakists is what the Republic does.”

“At least he has nice hair,” Kari spoke up.

“Well that’s a weird thing for you to say,” Isabella shook her head. “Then again, it’s you, Kari. I should expect that.”

“It was just something I noticed, that’s all,” she shrugged. “Maybe it’s a point of vanity on his side, but he clearly looks after his hair.”

“I suppose it fits,” Isabella admitted. “Two gorgeous redheads means that our little conspiracy has a high standard for hair care. Three if you count the fake redhead.”

“You’re too kind,” Kari blushed a little.

“You gotta stop selling yourself so short, Kari,” Isabella nagged. “Seriously.”

“Changing the topic, I wonder what ‘Mech Alexis pilots,” Kari considered.

“No, good question,” Isabella nodded. “You can tell a lot about a person by their ‘Mech.”

“What do you mean?” Lanie asked.

“Well, look at Kari,” Isabella noted. “She pilots a Black Knight, which is famous for taking a lot of damage and keeping on going. And Kari, you decided to keep your family unit going after most people would have given up. Determination and not dying and all that.”

“You have me there,” Kari admitted, absent-mindedly rubbing the black sun tattoo on the back of her wrist.

“Now Lanie, you pilot a Cataphract,” Isabella continued. “It gets the job done and is reliable, if unexciting and far from flashy. Which is a good way to describe how you operate.”

“Thanks, I think,” Lanie managed. “So what does your Warhammer mean?”

“I pilot a heavy ‘Mech made in the Inner Sphere,” she shrugged. “Doesn’t work all the time.”

“So how about an Archer?” Kari continued.

“Hm...” Isabella smirked. “You’re reliable but not flashy. You do one thing but you do it well and you’ve been at it forever.”

“An entirely accurate description of Damien, my second,” Kari admitted.

“So what about a Phoenix Hawk?” Lanie continued. “Since Terry pilots one.”

“Flashy, maybe a bit show-offy, good at what you do, probably also stodgy as all hell,” Isabella laughed. “So a fair match for Terry.”

“There’s a P-Hawk pilot in the Suns who matches that description as well,” Kari added.

“See?” She laughed. “I’m always right.”

“What does Leonid pilot?” Kari asked. “Since you wanted him in the team and all.”

Marauder,” she replied. “Which means that not only is he the boss, but he’s either a big hero or the obvious bad guy.”

“Does either fit?”

“Potentially both,” she shrugged.

“And you wanted him in this group,” Lanie noted.

“He’s a character,” Isabella admitted.

“Now I wonder what Ryback pilots,” Kari continued.

“You think he’s a MechWarrior?” Isabella asked.

“He clearly is,” Lanie nodded. “You can tell these things. He was a spook in a room full of MechWarriors, and yet fit in perfectly there. There was a certain ease and comfort to him while he was talking and interacting.”

“That’s because he’s a spy, Lanie,” Isabella noted.

“It felt... natural,” she countered. “Like he was this comfortable with us not because he was pulling some sort of act, but because he was among other MechWarriors. I’m not saying that it’s his primary focus or where he was trained first, but more that it’s a part of his life.”

“I spose that makes sense,” Isabella admitted. “What about Blackrock?”

“No idea,” Lanie shook her head. “If she is a MechWarrior she doesn’t let it show.”

“If she is one, she totally stole her ‘Mech,” Isabella added.

“Agreed there,” Kari nodded.

“You mentioned Leonid being either the hero or the villain,” Lanie interjected. “I don’t know him that well; we’ve really only interacted at that ‘friend of a friend’ level.”

“So you’re asking me to qualify my answer a bit,” Isabella continued.

“Thanks,” Lanie nodded.

“Well this is going to be a total shock coming from me,” Isabella chortled, “but he’s a real character.”

“I’d never have guessed,” Lanie dryly replied.

“I know, right?” Isabella laughed. “Okay, honestly, it’s as I pitched. His family unit and mine have history that goes back as far as the Arano civil war. The first Krymzon Guards and the first Hammers fought alongside each other”

“I sense a ‘but’ coming,” Kari continued.

Isabella took a deep breath, an uncharacteristic hesitation in her voice. “Our family history is… complicated. Call it decades of mutual favours owed and paid, deals done and whatever else. And no, before you ask, I couldn’t tell you where he’s from.” From her tone, it wasn’t clear if that was because of some pact between them, or simply because she didn’t know.

“But despite that you trust him,” Kari finished.

“With my life,” she nodded.

“So then what’s he like as a person?”

Isabella let out an exasperated sigh. “Loud. Boisterous. Speaks big. Acts tough. Maybe brags a bit too much. And then behind that, he’s as sharp as anything. If you buy into what he’s saying, then you’re basically letting him win.”

“I see what you mean about him being either the hero or the villain,” Lanie agreed. “But do you think he can work with our group beyond just you?”

“I think so,” Isabella managed. “And yes, before you ask, a part of the reason why I wanted him in on this was because I knew that it would be better to have him on the inside than out.”

“You sound a touch reluctant there,” Lanie observed.

“Our relationship is complicated,” Isabella admitted.

“All your relationships are complicated,” Kari noted. “That’s why you’ve been divorced twice.”

“Touché, Kari,” she managed. “But yes, I’d trust him with my life.”

“Which we need more of in this,” Lanie agreed. “Open honesty would be nice, but at the very least somebody who you know you can rely on is good.”

“It is an odd balance of things,” Lanie sighed. “Not optimal, but it will do.”

“I’ll take majority that we can trust,” Isabella finished. “So to summarise, Ryback is a spook and a MechWarrior, but he has nice hair. Blackrock shouldn’t be trusted at all but is still super useful. And Fairchild is super-intense, has been killing secret Blakists and has big boobs.”

Lanie sighed. “Thanks for that, Isabella.”

“Anytime,” she nodded. “So are we ordering or what?”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 17 August 2021, 04:48:15
Meanwhile

The instant Alexis was back in her motel room, she audibly sighed, slumping against the closed door. So close, she considered, and yet so very far away. She felt like yelling out in frustration, or at the very least, kicking the rubbish bin across the room in a petty act of release. Instead, she stayed calm, measuring up her options, considering where to go from here. No matter which way I look at it, there is no good solution, she considered. Rather it's a matter of deciding what's the least worst option.

A knock at the door grabbed her attention, Alexis spinning around to peer through the tiny peep-hole at whatever might lie on the other side. What she saw was a tall, almost imposing man in a coat and dark glasses, one that she instantly recognised and knew well, but at the same time, was not going to trust until she was sure all was clear.

“Bad day on the moon?” a voice came from the other side. His voice, the one she knew so clearly.

The passphrase matched to the one she'd arranged in advance. All clear, I've come as you asked. Anything else and she would have been ready for trouble. As it was, this was one of the few people in the galaxy she could actually trust. Stepping back, Alexis opened the door and let him in.

Up close, there was no mistaking the man; short dark hair and a handsome face that had become prematurely lined and worn, clearly accustomed to a permanent scowl. Hands in his pockets at all times, save for the briefest moment to remove his glasses, showing the dark eyes beneath. "So how bad is it, Alexis?" He asked as soon as the door was shut.

This was Nate, her second in command, confident and more than a few other things, and one of the few that she knew she could trust completely. "Well," she offered, “Ryback’s leaning entirely on his allies, which include a dubious broker and a Sea Fox merchant.” There was a clear hint of anger in her voice at that last part. “And his plan amounts to ‘run from the future’.”

“And here’s the ‘but’ coming,” Nate simply stated, his voice calm.

“But he’s right,” she admitted, slumping as she did. “He’s planning for what happens next, and he needs these people to do it. And that’s what we signed on for.”

Nate nodded. “Because he gave us what we needed.”

“He did,” she admitted. “Which allowed us to be here and not still toiling away for the Fat Man, or...”

"It's a poser," Note nodded. "Damned if we do, damned if we don't.”

"I know," she sighed, "But I don't want this to be like Estrella Mortis, where I made what I thought was the right decisions for all the wrong reasons, and ended up doing exactly what he wanted." She looked Nate in the eye. "I want to do this for us, Nate. Not him."

Exasperated, she turned around, trying not to let the conflict show on her face. Instead, she felt Nate's hands on her shoulders. Cold, dead and artificial, they should have been disquieting at least. Instead, she found them warm and supportive, as she had so many times in past.

"I know you made the right decision, Alexis," he simply finished. "And I will support you, no matter what happens."
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 17 August 2021, 04:50:16
From the personal journal of Gillian Blackrock

I should have seen some of this coming. Ryback had been on my radar for some time now, and I had my suspicions about him that did eventually prove to be correct. That being said, I had never been able to pull everything together into one nice, neat package before now.

Even then, I did not see this next step coming. While I know that he had been working with various mercenaries, clearly using them for his own ends, I had not expected him to do something so big as to build an alliance. However, in a strange way, his choice of ally plays well to my own needs.

Irisz Magyari’s men have used my services in past, which has in turn allowed me to gather intel on them. This relationship reached its peak with the Hindmarsh incident. Both Magyari and I had reasons to want Stein’s little plan to come to an end, and so we supported each other to those ends. I provided her with the information she needed to bring down Stein’s forces, and she in turn opened the way for me to take care of him personally. We have a good working relationship; her unit provides me with work and I in turn harvest information, one way or another.

When Magyari invited me to a meeting, I assumed that she was looking for information regarding a forthcoming contract or threat. What I didn’t expect was to walk in on several of her mercenary allies, nor did I expect Ryback to be there. His presence put me in an uncomfortable situation, one that I was not ready for, which is rare enough in and of itself. It was one where I genuinely had no control over the situation and did not know what to expect.

But yet, as the situation unfolded, I could see this turn into an opportunity. This alliance represents the chance to expand my network of allies, proving them with what they need while also gaining what I want from them. I have no illusion that both Ryback and Magyari are fully aware of my, shall I say, less than fully honourable intent and, as such, are going to be careful to limit how much access they give me. This is a limitation I understand and can live with, but at the same time, I know they brought me in for a reason.

Of course, I also have to now wonder how much Ryback knows about my past. While I don’t expect it to be too much of an issue (unless Jacob Bannson suddenly comes back from wherever he’s been hiding for the last decade and a half) I also feel the need for caution around him no less.

The other reactions were as I expected. McKinnon and de Luca were accepting of my presence, even with some apprehension on the former’s part, given that both have used my services in past. King clearly did not like my being there, a bias clearly born of her own desire to keep a clean nose while avoiding the mistakes that her forbears made.

On the other hand, Fairchild annoys me. I know nothing at all about her or her unit, nor do I know the exact nature of her connection to Ryback. The few things she spilled about her past were intriguing in and of themselves, almost as if they were being used as bait. I want to find out more, but at the same time, I’m concerned that doing such might draw unwanted attention from Ryback or whatever assets she might have in play. And being honest here, anyone who goes around hunting secret Blakists clearly has to have some way of locating their hidden prey.

Each of the members of this little group put forward their own suggestions for allies. I’ll have to look into each of them, but I feel that there are a lot of interesting leads in among them, although again I will need to be careful around looking into Cameron Clarke. In his case, the term ‘shark’ is more than just a reference to his Clan’s old name.

Finally, there is the matter of Tony Jaros. I was legitimate in my claim that he could be useful to the group as a whole, but at the same time, having somebody who is loyal to me personally rather than the group as a whole could be very useful. I don’t expect the others to trust him at all, but I do expect that they will find uses for him.

All in all, this is going to be a very interesting and rewarding experience.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 17 August 2021, 04:56:46
Audio Log File #76701-Rho

Irisz Magyari: Well, say it.

Terry McKinnon: Say what?

Magyari: We’ve been together for six or so years now and known each other longer than that. I can tell you want to say something.

McKinnon: Me? What would I have to say about your insane plan?

Magyari: Aha, I knew it.

McKinnon: Let’s see, at the behest of a spook who works for a doomed cause you built an alliance consisting of your boyfriend, your three best friends and an infobroker who nobody trusts or even vaguely likes.

Magyari: Well when you put it like that, it sounds like there’s something about it that bothers you.

McKinnon: Why would you ever think that?

Magyari: [laughs] See, there’s the man I love speaking.

McKinnon: Okay, you have me there.

Magyari: And I appreciate the candor.

McKinnon: I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have my reservations about all of this. But at the same time, I see your reasoning here and why you chose to do what you did. If I was in your place, I probably would have done the same thing as well.

Magyari: We live in uncertain times. I want to be ready for what comes next.

McKinnon: I’ll say now that I kind of knew about Ryback, but I still didn’t know exactly what he was up to.

Magyari: Dare I ask?

McKinnon: Hoo boy, where to start.

Magyari: Try me.

McKinnon: My family’s unit has some suspect holes in its history that I haven’t been made privilege to so far. Perils of being a love-child and all that. But they involve ComStar, so I figure it’s a fair bet that the Republic knows what they are anyway.

Magyari: So you think Damien knows what happened there?

McKinnon: Maybe. Or maybe he’s just in the dark as I am, but won’t admit it. Either way, the family line of mercenary McKinnons goes back to the First Succession War, so there’s bound to be a pile of skeletons in the closet. And I’m far from the first bastard in the line. And a guy like Ryback circling around that is to be expected.

Magyari: Better him then Blackrock, I suppose.

McKinnon: Oh yeah. I mean, I don’t like her, but I understand why you bought her in.

Magyari: Speaking of…

McKinnon: Yeah, I figured you’d be annoyed about me bringing in Ronnie. I had reasons, trust me.

Magyari: Go on.

McKinnon: He’s been my second for two years now. In that time he’s matured and grown a lot as a person. Trust me, he’s not the man you knew before.

Magyari: In short, you want to give him a chance.

McKinnon: And I think you should too. After all, you gave Jessie a shot and that worked out for both of you.

Magyari: Different circumstances and you know it. Jessie made her own choice to leave. Ronnie had to wait until his mother’s insanity up and slapped him in the face.

McKinnon: And trust me, he regrets it.

Magyari: Fair. Consider my own personal biases being at play here.

McKinnon: Entirely fair and understandable. I was born in the Combine, after all. That sort of thing is baked into the culture.

Magyari: [laughs] And yet you still haven’t committed ritual suicide even once in your life. You’re the worst Combine citizen ever.

McKinnon: I’ll try harder next time.

Magyari: Fair. But for now, no more business. This is supposed to be a dinner date, after all.

McKinnon: Are you attempting to be romantic or simply dodging the issue?

Magyari: Why not both?
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 August 2021, 03:52:15
From the personal journal of Irisz Magyari

Somebody once told me that the only way to truly know somebody is to fight them. So in order to get to know my newfound legion of renegades, I thought I’d do the next best thing.

The truth is, I don’t know what lot of them are capable of at all. Sure, I know them as friends, or allies and fellow mercenaries, but I haven’t seen a lot of them in action in the field. This is especially true in two cases. Blackrock had only just outed herself as a trained MechWarrior, something that I had no idea about at all, and so I wanted to see what she was capable of. And Fairchild is a complete mystery to me. She’s not been abundantly forthcoming about her past, but then again, Rybak hasn’t exactly been willing to volunteer information about her otherwise.

So I decided to get a slightly more hands-on approach to measuring their skills. You can read all the reports and summaries that you can, but nothing compares to actual battlefield experience for seeing what somebody is truly capable of. With that in mind, I set up a simulator battle with twelve of us acting as a makeshift company. This was both aimed at seeing what each of us could do as well as seeing how we’d gel as a group if needs be. After all, most of us haven’t ever fought alongside each other before.

The OpFor I created was based on Lucius Radick’s Binary that we faced on Keystone and Ashburton. I chose it both because I felt it would provide a challenge, as well as because I figured we might as well practice fighting the Wolves as I suspect that will be happening a lot in our future. This provided me with my first surprise; Fairchild also recognised the force we were up against. Of course, now I need to figure out how.

It went well for us. We won the day, with the Wolf force retreating after half their force were crippled or destroyed. And while we’d had our own losses, if the battle had persisted it would have likely continued to favour us as we had the advantage of numbers. With that being said, there was more than a little bit of luck on our side. In the first exchange of fire, Kari managed to effectively knock ‘Lucius’ out of the battle when she destroyed the Warwolf’s gauss rifle, leaving their leader without his biggest weapon. There were a few other cases of fluke hits that favoured us, something I’d be reluctant to rely on.

So for the sake of completion, here’s my thoughts on how everyone did. I’m just going down the list of how they were ordered in my ad-hoc company here; no favouritism involved.

Me: Well, it’s me. I know how I perform. I used this battle as a trial run for a new loadout for my Mad Cat Mk IV that did pretty well for me on the battlefield. While yes, I took a lot of damage, I also managed to give back far better than I got.

Alexis Fairchild: The biggest unknown in the battle, I put her in my lance as much for complementary BattleMech abilities as to see what she was capable of. The result? I could best describe her as being relentless. She poured fire on her opponents, and didn’t stop until they were wreckage. And while she took plenty of it in return, that didn’t seem to bother her. While her Mad Cat was operational at the end of the battle, it also was badly damaged. Oh, and it jumps. Didn’t see that coming.

Kari Moreno: Clantech energy weapons and a targeting computer are a powerful combination, but Kari is also clearly a skilled marksman in her own right. She laid down a constant barrage of accurate long-range fire at the enemy that whittled them down while seemingly shrugging off whatever she took in return. At the end of the day her Black Knight was badly battered, but was still moving under its own power. I gather that happens to her a lot.

Damien Hawkins: Kari’s second was largely unknown to me; I’d only met him in passing previously. I could best describe Damien’s performance as ‘workmanlike’; a constant barrage of LRMs that relentlessly hammered his targets. While he often focused fire with Kari, he also lay down some very accurate indirect fire that doubtless surprised the enemy. He spent much of the battle in in formation with her, both covering her rear while supporting her attack, something that is apparently SOP for the pair of them.

Lana Kotovski: Lana clearly knew how to pick her fights. Piloting the heaviest ‘Mech on the field, she drew a lot of fire. However, for the most part, she rolled with it, using cover and careful bracket fire to manage her heat and keep going despite all that was thrown at her. She also kept a cool head throughout, even though her ‘Mech suffered several headshots during the battle. Her performance may not have been as spectacular as some, but she also walked away with more of a ‘Mech than a few others.

Isabella de Luca: This simulator battle was a terrible assessment of her skills. Rather than fighting like she realistically would, Isabella chose to deliberately glory-hog and make herself a target so she could score more ‘points’. So when her Warhammer was destroyed, I really wasn’t that surprised. On the other hand, she did a great job of distracting the enemy, so I should give her that, I guess.

Leonid Stanislav: I had no idea what to expect from Leonid, but even then he managed to surprise me. Early in the battle he managed to breach the reactor shielding on an otherwise fresh Lobo with a sliver from his Silver Bullet Gauss. This would set the standard for the rest of the engagement; him standing back, quietly laying down an accurate barrage of murderous long-range fire that seemed to have an uncanny ability to find the weak spots on enemy ‘Mechs. When I asked him about it after the battle he simply laughed it off.

Lanie King: I feel a bit bad for Lanie. Her performance wasn’t bad, just very mediocre compared to everyone else. She did a great job of flanking the enemy, easily cutting through the broken terrain on their side before coming in while they were distracted. And her plasma fire did a great job of worrying an enemy force that were carefully juggling their heat. However, she also was disabled once the enemy got tired of her antics and chose to deal with the annoyance.

Terry McKinnon: Terry decided that he was going to be the world’s most annoying thing. He used his Phoenix Hawk’s jump jets to get into the rear of their formation and break it up early on, causing the OpFor’s advance to fragment as a number of them decided to chase him instead of deal with the threat in front of them. He didn’t do much actual damage, but at the same time was key to our winning the day.

Viggo Ackerstrom: One of my own, so I expected how he would perform. He didn’t disappoint either, helping to support King in her flanking attack and engaging in mobile harassment of the enemy. His golden moment came when he managed to shiv a Blood Reaper that she’d already overheated, cracking open its shielding and forcing a shutdown. Unfortunately, he didn’t last too much longer than King once the Wolves got sick of him.

Ronnie Raymond Jr.: Handing out a ‘most improved’ award almost seems childish, but I feel that Ronnie deserved it. The last two years he’s spent under Terry’s guidance have clearly done him a lot of good in terms of both his piloting skills and his approach. Moving with Lanie and Viggo, he helped them flank the enemy while making sensible use of his Griffin’s mobility and cover. Several Wolf ‘Mechs ended up with backs full of SRMs thanks to him, but he also was careful not to push his luck; when his partners went down, he pulled back and regrouped. And while his ‘Mech was badly damaged, it also was still operational at the end of the battle.

Gillian Blackrock: Early in the battle her Havoc suffered severe reactor shielding damage, forcing her to withdraw. And that’s about it, really. She didn’t contribute much to the battle, so it’s really hard to get a measure on her skill. And while she’d readily admitted that she wasn’t an experienced MechWarrior, I feel like I still expected more from her.

So there you have it. I got a fair assessment of everyone except Isabella and Blackrock. In the former case, I know she can do better, both from first-hand experience and the simple fact that she’s still alive. In the latter, I have to wonder if she was as bad as claimed, was under-representing her abilities or was just unlucky. On a similar note, I’m not sure how I feel about Leonid; were all those hits of his just flukes or are his marksman skills really that good?

I want to do some more cross-training to see how our various units perform, but I also don’t want to push things too far too fast. Regardless, this was a very interesting introduction.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 August 2021, 03:53:08
Pirates Raid Obrenovac

Dateline Obrenovac, INN

Many assumed that the return of Obrenovac to the Magistracy's control after decades of independence would bring peace and stability to the world. In this last month, those assumptions were proven to be dangerously wrong.

The world was targeted by a pirate band identifying themselves as the Steel Tygers. After a daring landing on the 3rd of June, the attackers quickly disembarked from their ships to strike at their objectives. Based on their movements, Planetary Guard Colonel Zlato Hirstov deduced that they were likely headed for Split, a frequent target of prior pirate attacks, and moved his forces to intercept.

Unfortunately for Colonel Hirstov, this proved to be a feint on the part of the Steel Tygers. The band instead bypassed the guard and hit a number of targets in the Sarajevo district. Over the course of their five-day rampage, the Tygers stole vital water purification equipment, mining equipment, processed ore, food and other goods. They then moved to occupy the resort town of Tirana, using the population as human shields while engaging in a looting spree.

While aware of the situation, Hirstov’s ability to respond to the crisis was hampered by the Planetary Guard’s lack of mobility, preventing the rapid redeployment of forces. While several small skirmishes did occur between guard scouts and the attackers, the Steel Tygers were able to retreat off-world without significant losses.

“While regrettable, we must face certain realities,” Colonel Hirstov said in a prepared statement. “The Tygers have proven to be more adaptable than expected, and our own ability to respond is limited by the resources that we have at hand. Their escape is not due to any fault on the part of my men, but rather the lack of mobility that has handicapped our forces for years, a fact that our leaders have been aware of, but refused to address.”

“When we signed away our freedom to the Canopians, we expected to get something in return,” said parliamentary opposition leader Edvard Zock. “They were supposed to protect us from precisely this sort of thing happening. Instead we gave up our independence and got nothing in return.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 August 2021, 03:54:13
From the personal journal of Zaki Toto

Back in the Periphery. I started here, but I’m still not sure how I feel about coming back here after all these years. I really don’t like the reasons why we’re here either. Even without Connie Raymond, our reputation is toxic thanks to her.
I just got the final handover with the employer. These colonists are genuine and certainly mean well enough, and who knows; they might actually be able to make it. Even if they did have to dig deep into their reserves to pay us.

The contract was simple enough. MMM (EDITOR’S NOTE: Majesty Metals and Manufacturing) had jumped their claim and driven them off a very promising site, taking it for their own. The colonists naturally wanted it back as they’d already put a lot of work and their own money into it, which is where we came in. And to be honest, I thought that it would be a good way to test the Bushrangers on a live opponent.

Fortunately, MMM hadn’t hired any mercs of their own to bolster their defences. A lance of Quasits supported by light armour and some infantry wasn’t going to match up to a lance of real ‘Mechs, let alone my mixed company. After taking several losses for no gain, the MMM force quickly decided that they weren’t getting paid enough for this and chose to abandon the site. Their commander negotiated a surrender by communicator and we let them go.

Even allowing for the quality of the opponents we were facing, I feel that the Bushrangers did well. We were coordinated and effective, picking out priority targets and quickly eliminating them with focused fire. No glory hounding, no stepping on each other’s toes or anything like that. Plus I don’t think any of those guys were ready to face Battle Armour; they’re still rare enough out here, which should work well for us. It definitely helps that most of the unit have been working together for years before now. This was our first real outing as a force in this new name and form, and it was definitely successful.

In many ways this contract also dispelled some of my lingering fears. I picked what would become the Bushrangers out of the wreckage of the Roughnecks, taking most of the survivors with me. I wanted to be sure that there would be no lingering loyalty left to Connie Raymond, which was why I left both Big Ron and Ronnie behind. At the time I was surprised when nobody disagreed with me on that call, but the more I think about it, the more sense it made that everyone would be with me. When I look back at it, I can’t help but feel a little blind to just how insane that witch was. Or maybe she just hid it well.

(That being said, it’s been a year and I still don’t know who the father of Gonzalez’s kid is. She won’t say, and I’m worried that my best guess will turn out to be right. In which case, this could all bite me in the arse).

We’ll take a look at how the final balance of things come out, but I think that we could even have an eye to expansion in future. The local market is one where there’s plenty to pick from but the real issue is finding the actual quality hires in among the rest of the mess. The other big issue will be transport, of course; out here it’s even harder to find a ship, which is kind of ironic given that I offloaded one of the ones I inherited. On the other hand, I feel bad for whoever bought that rustbucket, so maybe it all works out.

Regardless, the Bushrangers are back in business. It feels good.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 23 August 2021, 03:55:27
After Action Report: St Robert

To: Tai-sa Godo Suzuhara, 651st New Samarkand Tank Regiment
From: Tai-i Chester Wilton
Subject: Supply Depot A371 Raid

Tai-sa,

As requested, here is my summary of the 16th July raid on Supply Depot A371. I will attempt to describe the events as best I can.

First movement was detected at 0432 hours with the tripping of a perimeter alarm. The attackers had apparently used the Danforth River to shield their movements and avoid most of our sensor network. The spearhead of the assault consisted of a single lance of BattleMechs, a Black Knight, Ostsol, Sun Cobra and a fourth design that we were not able to positively identify. These were supported by a squad of Sea Fox battle Armour, further supporting my theory on their approach.

The attackers wasted no time in closing with the supply depot, doing their best to use the facility itself as cover. While I rallied my men to defend it, I was reluctant to engage as the enemy BattleMechs had taken to shielding themselves with the supplies; as such, I was concerned that not only would a stray shot rob the Dragon’s arm of valuable material, but there was also the risk of triggering an explosion with catastrophic results.

Conversely, the enemy had no such concerns and used their weapons freely to push back against my unit. None the less, they employed precise fire, disabling or eliminating a number of vehicles including my Bulldog. Their initial tactic proved to be more of a delay than anything else, as they were soon joined by conventional hover units, Battle Armour and infantry who assisted them in forcing my unit back. Despite their valiant efforts, especially that of gunsho Kim Hyuang who attempted to ram one of the BattleMechs with their Scimitar Mk II hovertank, we were forced to retreat.

As soon as the attackers had secured the site, they began loading our supplies into a series of hover transports. This was no indiscriminate looting, however; rather they were deliberately targeting certain items. Once they had loaded as much as they could, the enemy put what was left to the torch and retreated.

While I had opportunities to observe them, I regret that I was unable to identify the unit that these raiders had come from. They all wore standard camouflage and carried no markings save for the hated sword and sunburst of the Federated Suns.
In my actions, I have failed you, the regiment and the Dragon. I await your orders and an opportunity to atone for my failures.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 31 August 2021, 04:47:40
Guest character by Zogster

Wynter DeVires

Position/Rank: Kommandant
Affiliation/Unit: Lyran Commonwealth/Twenty-sixth Arcturan Guards
Birth Year: 3108

The DeVires family had long held a position of rank and power in Arcturan society; even as the world’s population and significance had dwindled over time, the simple prestige of a noble family hailing from the Lyran Commonwealth’s original capitol had given them considerable influence. Members of the family had served with the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces across centuries of conflict, usually serving in command positions bought about through their standing. Many of their members had been a part of the Arcturan Guards due to the brigade’s long-standing connection to their homeworld.

Wynter DeVires was no exception to the family’s traditions. The oldest child of their line, it was expected that she would continue their history of service, an ideal that she gladly embraced. While her family’s standing within Lyran society would be enough to ensure her success, she proved to be a capable MechWarrior in her own right during her training at the Nagelring. At the same time, she also fully embraced the more social side of the academy’s culture, building her own network of allies and contacts.

Her first assignment would almost prove to be her last. Her heritage and connections saw her win a place as a junior officer within the Arcturan Guards, stationed on their homeworld. In 3128, she would be thrown into combat when the world was invaded by Clan Wolf. The invaders proved to be too much for the defenders, and Wynter was among those forced to retreat from the world. The loss of both her homeworld, as well as the seeming humiliation of being driven from the Commonwealth’s original capitol, caused her to develop a hatred of all things Clan.

In the aftermath of the defeat, Wynter was reassigned to a billet in the prestigious Twentieth Arcturan Guards on Tharkad. There she immersed herself in the more social side of the LCAF, building up a network of allies among Tharkan society. In among them, Wynter was able to find more than a few nobles and others of power or influence who also stung over the loss of Arcturus, and sought to reclaim the world. Her hatred of the Clans also won her some allies, including more than a few who were wary of the Lyran’s supposed allies, Clan Wolf-in-Exile. Many felt that the Exiles had too much independence, and that the state needed to reign them in.

Wynter would see action during the next decade as the Twentieth was sporadically rotated to the front lines, engaging in border skirmishes and raids against the Jade Falcons. In each case, she demonstrated her abilities, proving to be a capable officer in her own right rather than simply resting on her social standing to get by. However, she was caught short by Archon Melissa Steiner II’s alliance with the Wolf Clan, seeing such as being inviting disaster to the Commonwealth’s door. The successes of operation HAMMERFALL, as well as Arcturus being reclaimed by the Commonwealth did little to ease her concerns.

She would next see action following the Wolves’ betrayal, but not against them. Rather, her unit would face the Jade Falcons following their surge in the early 3140s, taking part in several clashes before withdrawing to Tharkad. Once there, the unit faced the unthinkable, a direct invasion of the capitol by the forces of two Clans. During the battle, Wynter acquitted herself well, scoring several kills against Clan Wolf forces before her own ‘Mech was disabled. At the end of the day, she was one of the few survivors of the Twentieth, and among those that were folded into the Twenty-sixth Arcturan Guards.

Since then she and the rest of her unit have been on station on the Clan frontier, trying to hold back the seeming inevitable tide of the Falcon forces. While she has seen plenty of action in her own regard, she has been pushing for the unit to take a more direct approach to dealing with the Clan ‘problem’. At the same time, she has shown increasing suspicion of the Exiles, despite the losses they have suffered, feeling that there is something amiss with their supposed allies.

DNF-3S Defiance Faust

Mass: 75 tons
Chassis: Defiant V Endo Steel
Powerplant: Edasich 300 Light Fusion Engine
Cruising Speed: 43 kph (54 kph with TSM)
Maximum Speed: 64 kph (86 kph with TSM)
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Durallex Heavy Standard
Armament:
      2 Defiance 1001 Extended Range Particle Projector Cannons
      1 Defiance Disintegrator LB 10-X
      2 Diverse Optics Extended Range Medium Lasers
      2 Diverse Optics Extended Range Small Lasers
      1 Coventry 90mm SRM-6
      1 Trellshire MiniGun
Comm System: Angst Discom
T&T System: Angst Accuracy

Following a protracted development process that fell afoul of politics and civil war, the Defiance emerged as a successful heavy BattleMech that would go on to become a signature of the Lyran Commonwealth. Inspired by the classic Warhammer, the ‘Mech boasts considerable firepower, although at the cost of an aggressive heat curve.

Wynter DeVires was assigned her current Defiance on her reassignment to the Twenty-sixth Arcturan Guards as a replacement for the BattleMech she lost on Tharkad. As befitting both her rank and social standing, she was given a high priority for a replacement, and received the ‘Mech virtually straight from the factory. Theoretically, it was assigned to her as a command platform that would allow her to stay alive in the thick of battle while commanding her forces.

Despite this intent, on the battlefield, Wynter takes a very aggressive approach, seeking to take the battle to the Commonwealth’s enemies. She pushes her ‘Mech hard, riding its heat curve and usually fighting with its triple-strength myomers active. While risky, especially for a ranking officer, so far this approach has been successful for her.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 31 August 2021, 04:52:44
Guest character by KayEmm

Kia Malthus
Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Clan Jade Falcon/Delta Galaxy
Birth Year: 3118

Outwardly, Kia Malthus represents a stereotypical Clan Warrior. Her path was typical; decanted in 3118 to a trueborn sibko, she would be one of the few among them to reach full warrior status. During her training she displayed an exceptional ferocity by Falcon standards, not hesitating to put down any who she saw as a rival by any means needed. Even before her trials, she had faced her fellows in combat, and been responsible for the death of one of them in a duel.

Despite this front, she also developed an oddly close bond with Amera, one of her sibkin. The two were opposites in many ways; Kia being stronger and blunt, while she was small, fast and quick-witted. Outwardly, the pair had each other’s backs and would aid each other against their would-be rivals, ensuring each other’s success. They also would disappear for periods of time, slipping away from their Falconers and not letting anyone in on their secrets.

For Kia, these moments turned into a release valve. Though undiagnosed, she was in the early stages of severe depression. However, showing signs of such in front of her sibkin or trainers would be a weakness that could be used against her. Rather, she chose to hide this side of herself so that she could succeed. Amera was the only person who knew the full story, and acted as a comfort to her sibkin.

The pair of them graduated through their trials as Star Commanders, but would end up being assigned to different units. The early years of their service was in the reconstruction of the Falcons following the Rending, and then the surge into the Lyran Commonwealth. Both Kia and Amera would see actions on numerous worlds, facing opponents from both the LCAF and Clan Wolf-in-Exile. During this stage of her life, she used her aggression and drive as a focus, ensuring that her personal issues did not simply have the opportunity to arise. The peak of this drive came when Delta Galaxy invaded Tharkad; while ultimately unsuccessful in their conquest, Kia scored multiple kills against the Lyran defenders during the battle.

Any feeling of triumph that she might have gained from the battle was cut short with the news that Amera had been killed in action. While as a Clan warrior she was not supposed to mourn and instead celebrate her sibkin’s glory, internally Kia was devastated by what had happened. However, to show her feelings would be seen as a weakness, so instead she kept it buried and feigned the ardent drive shared by her fellows. So convincing was her performance that she was sponsored for a Bloodname, winning it through a series of decisive and one-sided clashes.

The combination of her Bloodname and a promotion ensured that Kia remained at the forefront of the Falcon drive into the Lyran Commonwealth. Her life is one of constant battle, a situation that any Clan warrior would normally revel in, but instead is slowly wearing her down. She maintains a front of the ferocious warrior that she is expected to be no less; if anything, she comes off as arrogant and bragging even by Clan standards, complete with an air of superiority that includes reveling in the failures of others. She has been a strong advocate for direct engagement with the Wolf Empire, even if it is impossible to tell from the outside if that is about her own desire for victory for her Clan, or finding some new enemy to deflect her own issues on to.

As an aside, or possibly even a way to distract herself from her own issues and to give herself a focus, Kia has developed an interest in swordsmanship, both in terms of swordfighting techniques as well as blacksmithing and related areas of forging and crafting a weapon.

Jade Phoenix The Sun Eater

Mass: 85 tons
Chassis: JF 8 Light Endo-Composite
Powerplant: General Systems 340 XL
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: Grandthrust Mk 5 with Partial Wing
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Compound JF Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 Type DDS “Kingston” Extended Range Particle Projector Cannons
      1 Type 0 Hyper-Velocity Assault Gun 30
Comm System: JF Integrated
T&T System: Goshawk E-Series

A new design, the Jade Phoenix is a more traditional OmniMech design, as opposed to the more radical Jade Falcon BattleMechs such as the Shrike. While heavily armoured, its most notable feature is its partial wing design that gives it exceptional mobility for its weight. Combined with its ample pod space, the Jade Phoenix is a potent weapon.

Kia Malthus initially piloted a Night Gyr, preferring the OmniMech’s primary configuration; in her hands, it was a lethal weapon, scoring numerous kills against Lyran and Wolf opponents. After her promotion, she was assigned a new Jade Phoenix, choosing the primary configuration for the similarity to her previous configuration. She chose to title the ‘Mech the Sun Eater, a deliberately overly dramatic name that suited her persona.

Typically, Kia will take full advantage of her ‘Mech’s superb mobility to outmaneuver and flank her opponents, be it to strike at a weakness in their forces or to isolate an opponent. This tactic has worked especially well against slower Lyran opponents, and has seen some success against Wolf opponents as well. However, where possible she will try to fight honourably; preferring one-on-one duels and choosing heavier opponents that are a better match for her own ‘Mech.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 31 August 2021, 04:56:53
Zeke Isaacs

Position/Rank: Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Stanislav’s Hammers
Birth Year: 3105 (presumed)

Like many of the members of Stanislav’s Hammers, Zeke Isaacs is an enigma. His origins are unknown, both in terms of his homeworld as well as his connection to the rest of the unit, or even where he trained as a MechWarrior. To make matters even more confusing, the one thing that has been discovered about his past has only raised more questions.

Zeke Isaacs has a distant relative; an officer in the DCMS’ Tenth Pesht Regulars. What makes this more confusing is that their last common ancestor is a mercenary warrior who served with the Draconis Combine during the Second Succession War. However, while a genetic link has been found between the two, that fails to explain the actual lineage connecting one to the other. While it does not seem that Zeke himself is aware of this link, it is also likely that he would not divulge any information about it even if he did. Rather, like the rest of his unit’s leadership, there seems to be an unspoken pledge never to explain their past.

One of the current generation of Stanislav’s Hammers, Zeke Isaacs was among those that were with the unit when it reemerged in the Periphery in 3132. At that point he was a junior officer that was noted for his consistent, if unspectacular performance, both as a member of staff and on the battlefield. While he had gained a degree of success in combat with Periphery pirates, militias and other local forces, at the time it was hard to say if that was due to his own abilities or the simple lack of technology and organization often found among his opponents.

When the Hammers relocated to Galatea in 3137 he demonstrated that his victories were legitimately earned as the unit faced off with better equipped and trained opponents. Zeke proved that he was a capable commander in his own right, performing well against the opponents the Hammers faced in the former Republic and other growing conflicts of the time. In 3140 he was promoted to second in command of the unit after the death of his predecessor in combat, a position that he has held since. With the expansion of the Hammers in recent years, including the recruitment of new members who have no connection to the unit’s hidden past, Zeke Isaacs has become vital to the integration of those new recruits into their culture.

Compared to the oft bombastic and seemingly unpredictable Leonid Stanislav, Zeke Isaacs is far more levelheaded and calm, seeming to be the voice of reason compared to his commander. Zeke carries himself with a cool demeanor and measured patience that implies a more sophisticated background. However, as with Leonid’s own behavior, it is not clear how much of this is genuine and how much of it is an act that the pair of them have carefully practiced over the years to fool both enemies and potential employers (and, if such is the case, then why they do it).

Outside of his role as a battlefield commander, Zeke serves an administrative role within the unit, and has begun to take over responsibility for training of new recruits. This includes not only new hires, but also the children of existing members; a factor that is considered important given that the unit and its hereditary members cannot apparently return to their point of origin. As such, maintaining a continuity of culture and tradition is clearly important.

Despite clearly being in step with Leonid Stanislav, Zeke has made it clear that he does not like their ally, Isabella de Luca of the Krymzon Guard. While the relationship between the two units is a long-standing one, this is one case where he feels that they should not be bound by tradition or history. This is less about the alliance however and more that he simply does not like her as a person, probably due to her oft-grating personality. For the moment, however, he remains loyal to the Hammers as a whole and defers to Stanislav’s decisions on the matter.

TDR-10SE Thunderbolt Bad Day

Mass: 65 tons
Chassis: Earthworks TDR IIa Endo Steel
Powerplant: 260 Magna
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph (86 kph w/MASC)
Jump Jets: Chilton 466
   Jump Capacity: 120 meters
Armour: StarShield A
Armament:
      1 Fusigon Longtooth Extended Range Particle Projector Cannon
      3 Diverse optics Sunfire Extended Range Medium Lasers
      1 Doombud LRM-10
Comm System: Neil 8000 w/Guardian ECM
T&T System: RCA Instatrac Mark X w/Targeting Computer

Compared to the still unknown origins of Stanislav’s Hammers, the Thunderbolt piloted by Zeke Isaacs has a known, if complicated origin. Built on Tikonov in the last days of the Civil War, it was pressed into service with the CCAF during the Jihad. The ‘Mech would survive that conflict before later falling in battle during the Victoria War. From there, it would pass through several further owners before being salvaged by the Hammers, and given to Isaacs as a part of his promotion.

Zeke quickly took a shine to the new BattleMech and has proven to be adept at its controls. Wherever possible he will take advantage of its surprising mobility for a heavy ‘Mech, such as jumping into an opponent’s flank. Likewise, he is not afraid to push its MASC system to gain an advantage or to throw off an opponent. So far, these tactics have worked well for him, both on his own and at the head of his lance.

For the moment, Zeke seems to be content with his BattleMech. While the Hammers have been able to acquire some newer or more advanced designs, he has shown no interest in upgrading from his Thunderbolt. He has nicknamed the ‘Mech Bad Day for some reason; while his reasoning might seem unclear, compared to the other mysteries circling around him and the rest of his unit, such an oddity is comparatively inconsequential.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 31 August 2021, 04:59:32
Ron McDougall

Position/Rank: Instructor
Affiliation/Unit: Galatean Defense League
Birth Year: 3090

Ron McDougall inherited the shattered remains of his family’s mercenary unit following the death of his father. Realising the realities of the situation, he formed an alliance with Connie Raymond that saw the merger of their two commands, culminating in their marriage and the birth of their son, Ronnie Raymond Jr. For the next two and a half decades, Ron would remain a loyal second to Raymond, never suspecting the depths of her obsessions or the lengths that she would eventually go to in order to settle a long-standing feud.

Their relationship fell apart during the battle of Hindmarsh. Realizing that the Roughnecks’ situation had become untenable, Ron ordered a withdrawal, only to have it countermanded by Connie Raymond. Ron was nearly killed when his tank was disabled on the battlefield, with only the timely intervention of his son saving his life. Ironically, Ronnie’s actions had come at the cost of his choosing to abandon his mother instead. Ron survived the battle, a fate not shared with much of the rest of the unit.

Following the effective destruction of Raymond’s Roughnecks, Ron McDougall was deliberately excluded from Zaki Toto’s reformation of the unit due to his past connections to its former leader. Fully accepting the decision and understanding the reasoning, Ron chose to retire from the mercenary life. This would not be a long break, however, as he was soon recruited by the Galatean Defense League to act as an instructor for teaching vehicle crews. While he enjoys this new job and has been quite successful at it, he also holds no illusions about ever returning to action.

Ron’s relationship with his son has strengthened somewhat since the destruction of the Roughnecks and the realization of Connie Raymond’s toxicity. At the same time, he has somewhat reconciled with Jessie Packard, his stepdaughter; while their relationship is still distant, it is far less strained then it was in past.


Banh Khanh Phi

Position/Rank: Sao-wei
Affiliation/Unit: Capellan Confederation/First Liao Guards
Birth Year: 3120

Born into a working-class family, Banh Khanh Phi joined the CCAF as a way to both serve his nation and improve his circumstances. His background made it easy to ‘lose’ him in the system, while his loyalty was quietly confirmed by the Maskirovka, making him a candidate for the Hidden Lion program. Training as a battle armour trooper, he showed a lot of promise both for his strength and skill, as well as his willingness to accept the risks involved with the role.

While not a part of the initial forces deployed during Operation GREAT FLOOD, he would instead be rotated into the First Liao Guards to make up losses as they stabilized the reclaimed worlds in the former Republic. During Operation CELESTIAL REWARD, he saw action against Federated Suns opponents on a number of worlds. His quick thinking saw him claim several victories against enemy armour and BattleMechs, even though he risked injury or even death along the way.

While a firm believer in the idea that the Confederation should conquer Terra and claim its destiny as the rightful leaders of all humanity, he has expressed reservations about the approach being taken towards that goal. Recently, he has become a vocal opponent of the Unity alliance with the Draconis Combine, feeling that the Confederation does not need their help while also expressing a strong distrust towards their own goals and motives.

While outwardly his loyalty to the Confederation would seem unquestioned, there are a few irregularities in his past that have so far gone seemingly unnoticed. While the most likely answer is that he is in fact a Maskirovka plant intended to keep an eye on the unit, there is also the possibility that he might be working for someone else.


Guest character by Zogster

Deep Zimmerman

Position/Rank: Adept
Affiliation/Unit: ComStar
Birth Year: 3105 (estimated)

Even as ComStar’s light rapidly fades, there are still those that remain loyal to the organization for whatever reason. Many do such because they have nothing else in their lives, while others hold out some hope that a miracle may yet occur that will see the restoration of the HPG network.

Deep Zimmerman seems to fall into none of these categories, despite his apparent background. Like many within the order, his family had served with ComStar for generations, and it was clear that he would follow in their footsteps. While technologically literate, his focus was more on business and administrative matters, which saw him take on an administrative role in one of the Order’s Lyran Commonwealth stations. Never overly ambitious or skilled, he quickly settled into a functional middle management role where his only notable achievement was helping with administrative matters that came from the Lyran Commonwealth’s 3137 bailout of the organization.

It is only at deeper analysis that a number of holes begin to appear in his story. Records about his past were purportedly lost as a result of collateral damage from a core meltdown during Grey Monday; an event that, while entirely plausible, is also very convenient. As a result, everything that is known about his background is, in fact, something that he has said himself and has to be taken at face value. As a result, Deep Zimmerman could very well be an agent for someone else and pushing some unknowable agenda. Or he could simply be exactly what he seems to be; a middling bureaucrat of no consequence.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 21 September 2021, 07:49:22
Guest chapter by Zogster

Pilot Hit

The massive bay doors ground open, exposing the 'Mech bay to the elements beyond. A cold gust of wind blasted into the cavernous interior of Ur, the Star of Sumer’s Union-class DropShip. Almost immediately, the ponderous tread of BattleMechs rang out as a quartet of the massive creations thudded onboard.

Katarina Morrison impatiently pressed herself to the railing of an upper-level catwalk. They had just broken radio silence upon recovering their command lance, and she looked out to confirm what she had heard. There in the lead was Gilgamesh, the commander’s BattleMaster. Its canopy was frosted over from the howling blizzard outside, but that only served to throw the jagged hole at its centre into sharp relief.

“Archon’s beard,” she muttered to herself as her ward joined her.

“Is she…” began Jakub Day at her side, before nervously falling silent.

Katarina shook her head. “No. She’d have to be okay to pilot it in manually, but…” She laid a hand on the young man’s shoulder, before falling silent.

A piercing call of “Medic!” rang out over the hubbub of the ‘Mech bay. The BattleMaster had maneuvered into position, and was now slowly opening its shattered canopy. Katarina surged forward to assess what had happened.

Lana Kotovski sat in the cockpit, shivering despite the ‘Mech’s heated interior. Her face was ashen, but Katarina and Jakub found their eyes drawn to the jagged shard jutting out of her thigh. One of Lana’s hands fell from the controls to clutch at the wound, where her pilot suit was already stained red.

Katarina’s eyes darted from Lana’s face to her wound, silent for long seconds. It was all she could do to blurt out, “What happened?”

The younger woman smiled back at her, seemingly unconcerned by the injury. “We did good. Intercepted the enemy force and drove them back. Sealed the pass, too.” She nodded to Jakub as he joined Katarina at her side. “They’re going to have to loop around the long way. Should give the locals at least a day to evacuate.”
Jakub took her hand gently, as much for his own relief as hers, and softly said “You’re going to be okay.”

Before anyone could respond, there was a loud call of “Coming through!” The pair separated and let their diminutive doctor push past to see Lana. They stepped back onto the catwalk, joining the Star of Sumer’s chief technician by the BattleMaster’s shoulder.

“What happened?” Jakub asked, more than a note of fear in his voice.

“Autocannon shell burst against the cockpit,” he bluntly replied. “Canopy took the brunt of it, should have held.” He shook his head as assessed the damage.

“It’s not supposed to shatter like that,” Jakub stated.

The technician merely shrugged. “Could have been anything. Incomplete repair job, structural defect that went unnoticed…”

Or just that accursed ‘Mech, Katarina thought. Somehow, she imagined the others were echoing her sentiment.

At that point the unit’s chief medical officer stepped out of the cockpit. She wiped her hands on her pant legs, staining them red. “Well, there’s good news and bad news,” she started, looking over the small assembly before her. “Cockpit shard’s punctured through her femoral artery and nailed her right to the command couch. Where it is, it’s keeping her from bleeding out.”

“And that’s the bad news,” Katarina asked hopefully.

“No, that’s the good news. The actual bad news is that we can’t get her out of the ‘Mech without pulling it, and then we’ll lose her before we get her to the med bay.” She chewed on her bottom lip, the worry evident in her voice.

Katarina and Jakub looked at each other nervously. Both of them somehow knew this day would come, but at the same time they were desperately hoping not to see it. Katarina turned to the medic and asked “There must be something you can do.”

“Not in these cramped conditions,” she said. A quick glance up at the towering mechanic’s grim face confirmed her worst fears.

“Take out the command couch,” Jakub said suddenly, drawing everyone’s attention.

Katarina blinked at him in surprise, even as the idea germinated in her head. “Right.” She glanced up at the technician. “Disable the ejection system, remove the canopy and extract the command couch and… and carry her to the med bay on that!”

The technician pondered for an agonising second, before nodding. With a gesture he summoned a couple of assistants and got to work on the towering ‘Mech’s shattered canopy.

“You people are crazy,” the doctor said as they stepped away to let the others work. She turned away and started down a hall, bellowing out, “Clear the med bay!”

Jakub and Katarina stepped back, letting the professionals go to work. Once again, she laid a reassuring hand on the young man’s shoulder, telling him “She’s going to be okay.”

“I know, it’s just…” He halted, looking at the impassive form of the towering BattleMaster. Somewhat quietly, he finished by saying “I lost my dad in that ‘Mech.”

“Me too.” Katarina wrapped him up in a brief, if warm hug, before he went on his way. Lost to her own thoughts, she turned back to the ‘Mech, seemingly staring it down.

“She is the best thing that has happened to this unit,” Katarina said under her breath. “And you are not taking her away from us.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 21 September 2021, 08:07:55
Audio Log #76705-Rho

Terry McKinnon: Hey Ron. Good day out?

Ronnie Raymond: More or less. You know, stuff on my mind and all.

McKinnon: Something bothering you? And don’t pretend there isn’t; if one of my lance has something wrong, I should know about it before we get killed or whatever else.

Raymond: I wanted to thank you again for bringing me on with all this. It took a lot for you to trust me given my past and all.

McKinnon: You’ve earned it, Ron. The last two years you’ve shown me that you’re not only a good MechWarrior but that you’re actually a decent guy.

Raymond: You wouldn’t have said that if you’d known me before.

McKinnon: Hey, I was an obnoxious snot myself when I was younger, so it’s no big deal. We all make mistakes. Besides, I know what it’s like to have an awkward relationship with a half-sibling, so there’s that.

Raymond: Hey, Jessie and I kind of talk these days.

McKinnon: Which means you’ve got one up on me and Damien.

Raymond: Yeah, I guess.

McKinnon: It’s like I said; you’ve done well for yourself so far, and I wouldn’t have bought you in if I didn’t think you could handle it, or that you wouldn’t have anything to bring to the table.

Raymond: Still, I figure Irisz must have loved you over that call.

McKinnon: Let’s just say that I was sleeping on the couch that night and leave it at that. [Laughs]

Raymond: That good, huh?

McKinnon: I’m going to call it a calculated risk on my part and leave it at that.

Raymond: Speaking of, I think I have something that might be of interest to you and the group.

McKinnon: Oh? What’s that?

Raymond: Went to have lunch with dad earlier.

McKinnon: How’s he doing?

Raymond: The GDF gig’s keeping him very busy. His having four decades of experience in a tank has made him a hell of an instructor, which has gotten him a lot of work. And he mentioned something interesting that came up on the job.

McKinnon: So what did he find?

Raymond: It’s the Roughriders. They’ve gone.

McKinnon: Well they could have taken a contract or something.

Raymond: That’s the thing; if they did, they didn’t even tell anyone in the GDF about it. Instead they’ve up and vanished without saying where they were going, who had hired them or anything else. Dad said that they cleaned out a lot of their supply stores and reserves too, and were just leaving the Force with enough to keep operating for the moment.

McKinnon: So a top-tier merc unit up and vanishes while leaving the private army they’d built up behind.

Raymond: Yep. Told you it was interesting.

McKinnon: Thanks for that, Ronnie. I think that there are people who should know about this. [Pause] Oh, and can you do me a favour?

Raymond: What’s up?

McKinnon: Try talking to Jessie every now and then. Probably would do the pair of you a world of good.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 21 September 2021, 08:08:55
Wanted: The Crow Brothers Gang

Greene, Timbuktu

Let it be known that the government of the Timbuktu Collective has placed a reward for the capture or deaths of the notorious Crow Brothers Gang. This band of pirates have been responsible for attacks throughout the Timbuktu Collective, and are guilty of Piracy, Murder, Assault, Theft, Destruction of Property, Kidnapping, Extortion, Arson and numerous other crimes.

The Crow Brothers are known to be armed and dangerous. The gang is in possession of at least one lance of BattleMechs, as well as at least a company of combat vehicles and two aerospace fighters. Furthermore, they are also known to use conscript infantry in their forces. The Crow Brothers possess at least one DropShip and have access to a JumpShip to enable their raids. At present, the Crow Brothers are believed to have a base of operations on Haggard, although this information is unverified and should be taken with some caution.

Bounties will be paid on confirmation of the destruction of the gang or the elimination of their ability to threaten other worlds. Proof of such destruction, including prisoners, bodies or battleROMs should be presented to the nearest convenient office of the Collective Armed Guards. Payment will be presented on verification of evidence.

Furthermore, individual bounties will be paid on the heads of the leaders of the Crow Brothers; Luke Crow, Jimmy Crow, Zebadiah Crow and Daisy Crow. These four are responsible for the gang’s operations and their elimination is considered to be a priority. All four of them are known to be MechWarriors and should be considered to be extremely dangerous.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 21 September 2021, 08:09:55
Guest chapter by Zogster

From the personal journal of Lana Kotovski

When Lanie King approached me with her offer of alliance, I was somewhat dubious regarding the idea. While I do trust her and appreciate her honesty, and the idea of forming an alliance of friendly units had merit, it was the reasoning behind it that bothered me. Working at the behest of an intelligence agent, regardless of his origin, was still a questionable choice. And while I might still believe in the dream of the Republic, there are certain realities that one cannot ignore.

But despite these misgivings, this alliance might work. My first impressions are positive. I’ve seen the mercenary business from both sides, and know enough that not all units or their commanders are the upstanding examples we strive to be. That the people chosen all have positive reputations speak well of the intent behind this idea.

I had been looking into a pirate hunting contract on offer from the Timbuktu Collective. Specifically, they were looking to eliminate the Crow Brothers Gang, a particularly dangerous band that had been menacing their worlds (and the Rim Collection before that) for some years now. By all reports, they are brutal, ruthless and unforgiving, and have gone well beyond the bounds of desperation and necessity that often characterises such groups and are verging into actual cruelty. This I cannot ignore.

While the terms seemed good and I feel that the Star would be capable of handling the pirate force, I still had issues with the contract. The location given for the Crow Brothers was an abandoned system on the fringes of the Collective, but even then that was only a reported location without verification.  What little details I could find on the world were desperately out of date. That could lead to months of searching to find their muster point, which in turn made me dubious as to the offer. As much of a threat as the Crow Brothers represented to the people they targeted, we could end up chasing shadows and accomplishing nothing.

I put this problem to Lanie, and she was understanding of my situation. Clearly she had also passed along my concerns, as I soon was contacted with a resolution to the matter. Antonin Ryback, the instigator of this alliance, provided me with a file loaded with information about the Crow Brothers; their history, their strengths, their tactics and so on. This alone was better than the information that the Collective had offered, but the real prize was in the detail. The file confirmed that they were indeed based on Haggard and came complete with a relatively recent dossier on the world, while also highlighting some likely locations for their base of operations. In short, it was everything I could have asked for.

I do have to wonder just how he came across all this, given just how poorly documented the region is. Certainly, given his past I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the information provided. I earnestly believe that he wants these marauders shut down before they can hurt anyone else. After careful consideration, I returned to the Collective to accept their contract. I even managed to work out a more favourable deal thanks to the intel I had in hand.

I suppose this will be the ultimate test of this alliance. Let us see how this works out.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 October 2021, 02:48:45
Haggard

Star Type (Recharge Time): G2V (183 hours)
Position in system: 2 of 8
Time to Jump Point: 9.12 days
Number of Satellites: 2 (Cissor, de la Abbicia)
Surface Gravity: 1.01 g
Atmospheric Pressure: Standard (Breathable)
Equatorial Temperature: 41 C (Arid)
Surface Water: 43%
Highest Native Life: Insects
Recharge Point: None
HPG Class: None
Population: 1,024,000
Socio-Industrial Levels: F-D-C-F-D
Landmasses (Capitol City): Abbey, Co Carlow, Flan, Leinster

The first surveys of Haggard suggested that the world had very little to offer potential colonists. While it did have a breathable atmosphere, that was about the limit of its desirable traits. Nonetheless, the world would be settled and incorporated into the Rim Worlds Republic, managing to even survive the fall of that nation. And while it is no longer represented on most maps, the system is still inhabited by a tenacious lot who stubbornly cling to life.

Haggard II is an arid world, the result of several factors, not the least of which is a minimal axial tilt that results in very little seasonal variation. Its four major continents are separated by shallow, briny seas, while actual fresh surface water is quite rare. Much of the world’s land area is dominated by dry, semi-arid regions that are punctuated by jagged mountain ranges, a result of the world’s last major spike of geological activity.

The world’s native life proved to be just as unpleasant as its environment. Plant life was limited mostly to grasses and fungi, some of which could reach impressive proportions. The animal life, on the other hand, was chiefly dominated by all manner of insects. While much of that amounted to parallels to native Terran species, there also were a number of impressively sized, hard-shelled creatures filling the spaces in the ecosystems usually dominated by ‘higher’ lifeforms on both land and in the oceans.

As a result of this combination of traits, the Rim Worlds Republic were initially disinterested in Haggard. While the world was surveyed and catalogued, there was no real effort made to actually set up any sort of permanent colony for over a century. The planet had little to offer, and the expense of importing water and food was considered to be too great for such a little reward. There was some discussion of setting up a penal colony on the world, but little came of it. Nonetheless, there were persistent rumours of persons being ‘disappeared’ only to be dumped on the world.

No serious consideration was given to actual colonisation until the 27th century, when two different factors came together to make the world more attractive to the Rim Worlds Republic. The first was the development of advanced water purification technologies that would enable the world to support a more significant population. The second was the discovery of considerable reserves of rare radioactives in the central Flan continent, which the Republic was eager to exploit.

By the end of the century, the planet’s population was booming as the Republic set up mining colonies across its surface. These were further bolstered by waves of civilian settlers that were ‘encouraged’ to move to the planet to set up supporting industries, such as agriculture. However, much of the colonisation effort was underwritten by Republican mining companies that wanted to keep a stranglehold over the planet’s population and economy. Consequently, most of the industries set up were under their control, resulting in a company-store-based economy.

Mining efforts stepped up after the ascension of Stephan Amaris to the Rim Worlds presidency as the materials being extracted were used to help fuel his private armies. With little oversight and no real need to restrain themselves, the rampant mining operations on Flan contaminated much of the centre of the continent with toxic and even radioactive runoff. Likewise, working conditions deteriorated as miners were essentially forced into working in dangerous conditions to support both Amaris’ needs and their corporate overlords.

This approach would backfire following the Amaris coup and subsequent invasion of the Republic by Kerensky’s loyalists. The planetary garrison had been stripped of much of its manpower and equipment to support APOTHEOSIS and the related build-up, leaving behind only a skeletal force. When the first SLDF forces touched down on Haggard, Amaris loyalists within the garrison urged their massively outnumbered and outmatched forces to engage the invaders. Instead, those forces turned on their own leaders, quickly deposing the planetary government. In the end, most of the shots fired during the invasion were by the local forces at their own former leadership. When the SLDF entered the capitol city of Nenagh, they were greeted as saviours by the people.

The SLDF set up a provisional government with the aid of those factions that had supported them, but then largely left it to its own devices once they departed for the Hegemony. As the Rim Worlds Republic tore itself apart, that leadership did their best to try and hold the planet together, but suffered several setbacks. Key among them was that its economy had been set up to support mining companies that no longer existed through transport infrastructure that was no longer there. This lead to an economic meltdown, resulting in mass unemployment.

To make matters worse, the Lyran invasion of the Rim Worlds Republic served to further destabilise the region. While Haggard was not directly targeted, the LCAF still raided the world on several occasions, pillaging mineral reserves while further weakening the already struggling government. Left orphaned in the wake of the Rim Worlds collapse, it was all that Haggard’s leaders could do to try and simply keep their world alive. However, their problems were only just beginning.

Compared to many other worlds of the region, Haggard was more amenable to human life. Many of those other worlds sought ways to prevent their own demise, and that included turning on their fellows. Haggard would be raided several times by other former Rim Worlds powers, targeting their water purification technologies and food reserves. The anaemic planetary guard could do little to stop these attacks, serving to at best slow them down; rather the policy became to simply try and limit the damage.

Things would change in 2817 with the arrival of Manos Geredies, a mercenary leader who himself was of Rim Worlds descent. His unit had broken contract with the Lyran Commonwealth in the face of Combine forces, and were now on the run. Seeking a haven, Geredies dropped on Haggard with the remnants of his force, effortlessly steamrolling the planetary guard. Rather than simply taking what he wanted, he instead marched on the capitol and declared himself the Emperor of Haggard at gunpoint. The few who complained were quickly cut down by his BattleMechs.

Only two months later, a raiding force made landfall on Haggard. Rather than the weak defences they expected, they instead faced Geredies and his men, who shattered both their forces and their resolve in a single, bloody battle. Their raid quickly turned into a rout, with many of the raiders simply surrendering after their leaders were killed. Enraged at the idea that anyone else would try to intrude on his ‘empire’, Geredies rounded up those captives that he had taken and had them publicly executed.

As a ruler, he was an unrestrained tyrant, ruling through a combination of terror and brute force. Those that opposed him or spoke out in any way would usually be rounded up and subject to public execution. He gladly indulged in his own excesses, taking what he wanted from the planet and its people while rewarding his own henchmen. He turned the planet’s capitol building into a palace filled with his stolen riches, while also converting its stadium into a gladiatorial arena.

On the other side, his presence provided a degree of protection for the world. Those raiders who tried to strike the world faced stiff resistance from his forces; any survivors from such attacks would be rounded up and given the choice of execution or being press-ganged into his army. As his strength grew, he would even launch raids to other worlds for their resources, or out of retaliation.

His reign would come to a sudden end in 2856 when Geredies, who by that point had become morbidly obese, suffered a heart attack during his birthday banquet. With no clear successor, his henchmen began to fight among themselves for his throne. These powerplays quickly escalated into a full-blown civil war between the claimants, which achieved little but to deplete their forces. After two years, the largest of the factions seized control of their DropShips and simply fled the planet, their ultimate destination unknown. Those remaining continued to fight among themselves, with the conflict eventually burning out due to a simple lack of forces to fight with.

An uneasy peace resulted in the rise of a new planetary government in 2867, building itself from all the remaining factions. Their first task was to take stock of what they had to work with and what assets the world still possessed. The combination of neglect, raiding and the damage wrought by the civil war had damaged much of the world’s water purification capabilities, while the first census taken in decades revealed a substantial population decline. Efforts were taken to rationalise what was left and consolidate resources, a move aimed at preserving life as best as possible.

Ultimately, these moves would do little beyond postponing the inevitable. The last of the large-scale water purification facilities failed at the end of the century, a crisis that lead to the collapse of an ever increasingly weak and ineffectual government. As access to clean water dwindled, crops failed and mass starvation took hold over the world. The population collapsed within a generation, leaving little behind. A cursory ComStar survey in 2950 found empty cities and few signs of human activity, leading to their simply marking the world as ‘dead’ and removing it from maps.

Despite this, Haggard remains inhabited. A small population survives, having been mostly reduced to subsistence farming in isolated homesteads scattered across the more temperate regions of three of the world’s four continents. Very little in the way of actual government exists, although there are some regional councils made up of farmer groups that have come together for mutual protection and aid. Technology has regressed to pre-spaceflight levels, and is largely focused on keeping old machinery, chiefly localised water purification, operational.

The collapse of the planet’s population left its cities largely intact but abandoned as they were no longer viable. Occasionally groups of scavengers will move into them to pick over whatever might be left, but they also serve as havens for bandits and drifters. Conversely, much of Flan is no longer inhabitable, having been contaminated by the toxic and radioactive runoff from the mines.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 October 2021, 02:52:53
Maskirovka Recording Log 67435-76

Sang-wei Jie-Le Feng: You requested to see me, Sang-shao?

Sang-shao Elliot Liao-Subramanya: Thank you for reporting so promptly, Sang-wei. Please be seated.

Feng: May I ask what this is about?

Liao-Subramanya: As you are doubtless aware, we are at a critical juncture for the future of the Confederation, and indeed the Inner Sphere as a whole. We are poised on the verge of Terra, and we are one of those units at the tip of that spear.

Feng: We stand ready to do enact the Chancellor’s will.

Liao-Subramanya: As is our duty. And it is not our place to question His Celestial Wisdom, is it, Sang-wei?

Feng: [Pause] Of course not, Sang-Shao.

Liao-Subramanya: Key to that future is the Unity alliance with the Draconis Combine. Their drive into the Republic has aided our own.

Feng: We share a common enemy in the Republic.

Liao-Subramanya: Indeed we do. And yet, Sang-wei, I have heard disquieting reports regarding you.

Feng: I- I have no idea what you are talking about, Sang-shao. I remain a loyal daughter of the Confederation.

Liao-Subramanya: And yet, you have been questioning our alliance with the Combine. You have said that they cannot be trusted, and that they will turn on us when they feel we are no longer useful to their goals, or to claim Terra for their own.

Feng: Sang-shao, if you would let me explain-

Liao-Subramanya: The formation of this Alliance was the Chancellor’s decision, Sang-wei. Are you questioning the Celestial Wisdom’s guidance?

Feng: Of course not, Sang-shao. However, if I could be allowed to explain myself.

Liao-Subramanya: Go on.

Feng: While the Capellan people and the Draconis Combine share common enemies in both the Republic and the Davions, we also must not allow ourselves to be blinded by this fact. While I do not question the Chancellor’s formation of this alliance, I do worry that the Combine will turn on us the moment they feel they can gain any advantage.

Liao-Subramanya: I see, Sang-wei.

Feng: My only concern is for the safety of the Confederation and protecting ourselves against such treachery.

Liao-Subramanya: Of course. Given all of that, I have a special duty for you, Sang-wei.

Feng: What is it, Sang-shao?

Liao-Subramanya: The Chancellor has seen that such a risk is possible, and feels that we should be prepared for such a betrayal.

Feng: Of course the Celestial Wisdom has. I should not have questioned his decisions.

Liao-Subramanya: Since you have shown such... passion for the subject, I want you to put together a series of training exercises for the regiment that will prepare it to face the Combine’s forces. Specifically, I want you to focus on those units that are presently active in the region, operating against the Republic. Ensure that our janshi are ready for their equipment, their tactics and anything else.

Feng: Yes, Sang-shao. I will do so immediately.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 October 2021, 02:54:46
From the personal journal of Zeke Isaacs

It is said that the past is another country. In our case, that is very literal.

Today, my oldest son is now a man. He has lived most of his life away from a home that he only barely remembers, one that his own children will never see. While I have done my best to ensure that he, and my other children, will know our history and our traditions, he will never experience it in person. And as time goes on, the risks of the life we have chosen will ensure that there are less and less of us and more of the alghuraba among our ranks.

When we left our homes nearly twenty years ago, we all accepted that we could not go back. That home, after all, no longer existed, and to return would mean death for all of us. Instead, we put our faith in Leonid Stanislav to ensure our safety. His family have guided ours for generations, both at home and in our interactions with the people of the Inner Sphere. His predecessor opened the way to us, and then others in his family ensured that we would have a way back each time.

The destruction wreaked by the Word and their so-called Jihad was enough to call an end to our experiment. It showed us that further interaction would only invite death. Many feared that sooner or later, somebody would find their way back to our homes, bringing their wars with them. When we took in the almutajawilun a half-decade later, it was a risk, but also a reminder of the threats we faced. And nearly five decades later, that threat would come home to us. And so we left, to live among the people of the Inner Sphere.

I would be lying if I said that I have never once questioned Leonid Stanislav and his decisions, but this most recent incident may have been the worst so far. I know that blood and loyalty are important, and that the relationship between the Stanislav and de Luca families has lasted for generations. I have read the records of the first expedition, and know how Scarlett de Luca and her Krymzon Guards were vital to its success. And I can see how the debt of honour has not only persisted, but also grown over time.

But such a debt should also be measured by one’s worth to honour it, and I would be remiss if I considered Isabella de Luca to be dhu qima by any means. But she is not even remotely worthy of that title. Yes, she has the strength of her predecessors, but that is all. Instead, she is impulsive, hot headed and irresponsible, driven more by her own desires rather than any reason. Leonid seems to have given her his trust, despite the fact that she has not yet done anything to earn it beyond the simple dint of her ancestry. And if that was all, then I would have reason to be upset.

Instead, that relationship has been weaponised by her. She entered into an alliance, one created by an agent of the Republic of the Sphere. Then she chose to bring Leonid into it, a move that he readily accepted. To say that is concerning would be an understatement. We do not know this Republic; it did not exist when we were last in the Inner Sphere, and all we heard from it were second and third hand tales. And by the time we returned, it was gone; hidden behind hisn ghayr maryiyin. Now it seems to be teetering on the edge of collapse. And yet, this is the future that we are being tied to.

Perhaps I am being overly dramatic here, simply seeing the worst possible outcome. I still owe Leonid Stanislav my loyalty, and I do trust him to make the right choices for us; after all, there could simply be something here that I am not seeing.

Regardless, this is meant to be a joyous day. I should focus on that and celebrate the moment rather then dwell on something that might never happen.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 October 2021, 02:56:21
Friendship, Loyalty, Honesty

There were a number of reasons why this particular bar was one of Gillian Blackrock’s favourite places to do business. Its owners had gone heavily on what was colloquially known as an ‘old world’ aesthetic for the interior fit out, with dark hardwood panels and quiet booths along the walls, accompanied by deliberately dim lighting. This meant that as a whole, it was a good place to do business. Discrete, quiet and easy to hide yourself from prying eyes.

Unfortunately, the person who she was meeting today was the opposite of all those things.

While Blackrock sat up straight in her functional dark suit, quietly nursing a coffee, Isabella de Luca was all but slouched opposite her, wearing a bright red jacket and with a large mug of ale in front of her. If she was doing this purely by chance, then it would have annoyed Blackrock. And if de Luca was doing it on purpose, then she was making an excellent show of being as obnoxious as possible.

“I’ll assume that by now you know about where I’m headed,” she commented, only half looking at Blackrock as she spoke.

“I do, yes,” she replied, keeping her tone nicely neutral and discrete. “Tigress; a world right at the convergence point of the Capellan Confederation, Draconis Combine and Federated Suns, with a Sea Fox enclave right next to that. Historically the home of Laurel’s Legion and also, more recently, the capitol of the Steel Wolves during their effort at empire building.” She listed off the facts like she was reading from a tourist brochure.

“And right on the doorstep of your old stomping grounds.”

That resulted in a pause and the very slightest of twitches on her part. “Please, GB, don’t think I don’t know who your ex-employer was,” Isabella continued, an ever-so-slight smirk creeping into her expression. “And that you know all about the former Prefecture, top to bottom.”

Blackrock was about to speak again, but de Luca raised a finger as if to cut her off. “And no, since I know you’re going to ask, Ponytail didn’t give you up. Nor did Irisz. This is something I found out on my own.”

There was a short sigh. “I admit that you’re better at this then I gave you credit for,” Blackrock finally spoke. “So I can presume you’re after information on your target.”
“Whatever you can give me,” she nodded. “For starters, I know that Laurel's Legion is no longer on-world, having been moved deeper towards Terra.” de Luca tilted her head for a moment in thought. “Last I heard was New Home, but with the speed intel moves at these days that could mean anything. That’s not to discount some sort of planetary guard or the like, and I suspect that the Legion helped whip whatever’s there into shape.”

“I’ll assume that this is some sort of focused objective raid,” Blackrock commented, adjusting her glasses. “If you could give me a list of your targets then that would help a lot.”

“Could do, but I’m sure you can do more than that.” Isabella leaned forward, one hand propping up her chin, an almost eager grin on her face. “Given how much you know.”

Her response was an almost visible flinch of distaste, but at the same time, it sparked something else. “I think I can do better than that.”

“Oh?” Isabella raised a curious brow.

“My associate, Tony Jaros, was also active in the region,” she explained, “and has more than just knowledge. In his time, he built a considerable network of contacts across the worlds of the Prefecture.”

“So I should go to him for help?”

“No,” she shook her head. “Bring him with you. Get him on the ground with your force and he will be more than just another MechWarrior. He can use what – and who -  he knows to your advantage.”

“Interesting,” Isabella nodded. “I can see the bennies of that arrangement right now. He knows people, he hates Cappies and he brings another ‘Mech to the party.” She squinted sideways at Blackrock. “Of course, this also wouldn’t just be a way for you to get out of helping me out here.”

“No,” she bluntly responded. “I’m happy to provide whatever information you need for this operation. But Jaros can give you more than just that. He can allow you to use it to your best advantage.”

“Which means that I’m putting my faith in a criminal who was recommended to me by a dodgy infobroker who could be just trying to cover her tracks and offload a problem.” Isabella grinned. “Sounds like my kind of party.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 04 October 2021, 02:58:06
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Don’t Tell Me the Numbers

Galatea City
Galatea
Galatean League
4 July 3150


Kari Moreno looked over the contract, carefully studying each and every word in it. She had seen plenty of them before in the seven years since she had taken control of the Dark Suns - far earlier than she had ever wanted to - and each time she felt the need to be thorough in what she did. But this time was different.

Now this wasn’t just about her unit or her family’s legacy.

When she had agreed to Irisz Magyari’s alliance, it had seemed like a logical suggestion. Share information and resources while preparing for a future that seemed worryingly possible. And while she appreciated the support, there was also a part of her that felt like whatever she was doing would have long-reaching consequences for not just her or her unit, but for that alliance as a whole.

She took a deep breath, and looked at it again.

“So your read on it?” Damien spoke up from his seat next to her. She wanted him to look at this before anyone else did so that he could pick over the fine text in detail. Kari knew that as soon as he did, the gears would be spinning in his head, running numbers, projecting outcomes and looking at how things could work out for them. It was something he had done numerous times before, both for her and then her father before her.

That last thought bought a slight shudder. Unconsciously she rubbed the black sun tattoo on the back of her hand before continuing. “While this is a raid, the generous salvage rights make it clear that this is less about stealing supplies than it is stopping the Dracs from having them,” she assessed. “Given that the depots in question are being used to support top-tier DCMS units who are on the front of the conflict, those are also going to be top-tier, high-priority parts.” She paid a moment before she continued. “Probably including a lot of Clantech.”

Her eyes darted over the rest of the document. “The Second New Samarkand Regulars are known to be on-world. While they are only a regular regiment, they’re also the favorites of the Warlord, and get the best supplies. They took substantial losses when they took Tsamma, but have had some time to rebuild. This does mean that any salvage we take from them will again be heavy on the high-end parts and tech.”

“It’s the employer that bothers me,” she finally admitted.

“The Federated Suns,” Damien confirmed.

“Who have not exactly been on a winning streak of late,” Kari continued. “And have had plenty of problems with mercenaries recently as well.”

“Both valid concerns,” Damien noted.

“And while we worked for the Federated Suns a few years ago, a lot of things have changed since then,” she continued.

“Which does bring me to one point,” Damien offered. “Our liaison.”

She looked down at the page again. “Joseph Pietre,” Kari considered. “Wasn’t he our liaison last time?”

“He was,” Damien confirmed. “And he did an excellent job of looking after our payment, distributing salvage and expediting the process. He has an excellent head for numbers and efficient processes.”

“Which coming from you is one hell of a compliment,” Kari smiled. “Okay, now this is looking a lot better.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 10 October 2021, 05:49:12
Damien McKinnon

Position/Rank: Colonel
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/McKinnon’s Marauders
Birth Year: 3108

The McKinnon family have been mercenaries for generations, serving in various units going back to the dawn of the Succession Wars. McKinnon’s Marauders, the family unit, has existed for over a century, fighting through a variety of conflicts. Despite numerous setbacks, including being nearly destroyed several times, the unit has persisted and continued to fight. Throughout the years, it has been led by members of the McKinnon family, who have typically commanded the unit from the front, be it by choice or necessity.

Thomas McKinnon commanded the unit through the transition from the peace of the Republic era  to the chaos of the Dark Age. Despite the challenges that represented, he proved to be a steady hand and decisive leader, and helped his unit grow over the years. Among his responsibilities was to continue the unit; while there were other members of the McKinnon family, it was expected that his own child would become the unit’s next commander.

His son, Damien, was born in 3108. Even from a young age he not only understood the responsibility that was expected of him, but willingly embraced it. He drove himself hard to become the best that he could be, both as a MechWarrior and an officer, becoming very competitive in his attitude. He wanted to prove that he was worthy of the position not solely because of his birth, but because he was the best leader that the Marauders would have. This attitude served him well during his academy years, where he would consistently be at the top of his classes.

All this experience would become vital when he took to the field as a part of the Marauders. While his training had been undertaken during the pax republica, by the time he had graduated the HPG blackout had already seen that peace evaporate. His early years would be filled with combat as the Marauders availed themselves of the sudden wealth of contracts available to them. He quickly gained considerable experience in the field, proving that he was every bit as capable as expected.

One incident on Nirasaki in 3136 would prove that his family’s faith in him had been justified. The unit had been hired by the now-independent planetary government to help bolster their defenses against the very real threat of the Draconis Combine. A surprise Combine strike hit the world, aimed both at measuring their defenses while also laying the groundwork for a future invasion. Damien’s company were separated during the initial strike, having been on maneuvers at the time. Keeping a cool head, he used this separation to his advantage, flanking the body of the Combine force to harry them and threaten their supplies. With their operations threatened, the DCMS unit chose to withdraw from the world.

While Damien’s actions proved his ability to lead the unit, those plans would still be disrupted by an unexpected development. 3141 saw a newcomer join the unit; Damien’s previously unknown, illegitimate half-brother, Terry. While Thomas made it clear that Damien was still his heir and that Terry would serve on his own merits, Damien came to see his half-sibling as something of a rival. These feelings only increased as Terry proved to be both a capable MechWarrior and junior officer in his own right.

After Thomas McKinnon stepped down as commander in 3148, Damien took the position that he had been training for all his life. Thus far, his command has been marked by a growth in the unit’s size and capabilities as they prepare for a very uncertain future. His relationship with his half-brother remains somewhat tense, however. While Damien is married and has two children of his own, both of them are still only young teenagers. As such, there are some within the unit who have suggested that Terry should be named as an heir as a precaution against disaster, an idea that Damien is so far opposed to.

AS7-D2 Atlas III Demon’s Head

Mass: 100 tons
Chassis: Foundation 12X Endo Steel
Powerplant: Vlar 300
Cruising Speed: 32 kph
Maximum Speed: 54 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Starshield Special Heavy
Armament:
      1 Type 0 HAG/30
      2 Martell-X Medium Pulse Lasers
      1 StarTek 20 Tube Long Range Streak Launcher
      1 Type IV Streak SRM-6 Launcher
Comm System: Rander Comm-Marshal with Angel ECM Suite
T&T System: Dalban HiRez V with Targeting Computer

Traditionally members of the McKinnon family have lead the Marauders from the frontlines, and Damien, like his father is no exception. In 3120, Thomas McKinnon took an Atlas III as a part of payment for a contract with the Federated Suns, choosing it as his new personal BattleMech. The combination of its firepower, rugged design and electronics made it a solid choice for him to use to lead the unit, and he would continue to operate it for the rest of his career. While the ‘Mech was often in the thick of fighting, it never once failed him.

When he inherited command of the unit, Damien also received his father’s BattleMech to use for himself. While the move was based entirely on practicality (after all, Thomas had no use for an assault BattleMech in a non-combatant advisory role), Damien took it as a further sign of his family’s faith in him and his ‘worthiness’ to command. In many ways, this choice became somewhat validating to him, especially as his half-brother Terry showed no interest in heavier BattleMechs.

While Damien is confident in his abilities and his BattleMech, he also is realistic about both the threats that a battlefield represents as well as the need for his own survival. He will usually be found at the center of a formation, supporting the rest of his unit with accurate fire as well as its extensive electronic warfare capabilities. However, he also will not hesitate to mix it up in close combat if needs be, an option supported by the BattleMech’s sheer weight and thick armour.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 10 October 2021, 05:53:17
Guest character by Zogster

Jakub Day

Position/Rank: aga’ush
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Star of Sumer
Birth Year: 3130

The Star of Sumer was born at the end of the Jihad from the merger of three battered mercenary commands. Rather than establishing a traditional mercenary dynasty, the three families that commanded the constituent units chose to create an alliance where they would choose the unit’s leaders from among them. While in theory this allowed for a better sharing of power while avoiding the risk of the sudden loss of an entire family line, it also created a surprisingly complicated political structure within the unit.

Jakub Day is the only child of Gerhardt Day, a former commander of the Star of Sumer. Like the rest of his family, he was essentially born into the unit’s structure, and trained with the aim of one day becoming not only a MechWarrior within its ranks, but also potentially its leader. Unfortunately, Gerhardt would be killed in a catastrophic defeat in 3138 while piloting the unit’s hereditary BattleMaster.

As the unit withdrew into the former Republic to rebuild and reorganize, Jakub would be informally adopted by Katarina Morrison, the daughter of the Star’s new leader. She would help to mentor him, and teach him the skills that he would one day need. As he grew, Jakub’s life would be dominated by change, both internally and externally. Not only did he see the peace of the Republic era vanish into a new age of escalating warfare, but he also watched as the Star of Sumer changed and restructured around him.

The most radical of these changes would come when the unit took in members from the Republican branch of the Kotovski family, the third of its founders. While many were cautious about the presence of newcomers, Jakub was among those who welcomed the new arrivals into the unit. He saw them as a chance for the Star to modernize and reform himself, and soon became a supporter of that group. His support became even more vocal when Lana Kotovski, herself Republican born, became the new commander of the Star of Sumer in 3147 at Katarina’s suggestion.

Due to his being a part of the Day family, Jakub was offered a position as the commander of the Star’s Comet Company, a position that his forefathers had traditionally held. Instead, he turned it down, citing his own lack of experience and a desire to earn his position on his own merits. As a compromise, Jakub was given command of a strike lance within the company, putting him in the decidedly non-traditional position of a MechWarrior answering to a tanker.

While inexperienced, Jakub has so far shown considerable growth in his skills. Quick-witted and tactically minded, he focuses more on supporting his unit as a whole on the field, rather than focusing on personal glory or scoring kills for himself. So far, this approach has served the Star Company, and the unit as a whole, well.

In his very first combat assignment on Romita, Jakub’s strike lance proved to be vital to the Star’s success. The unit was taking part in what was intended to be a routine garrison contract when the world was raided by forces from the Marian Hegemony. Careful maneuvering and quick thinking allowed Jakub’s unit to outflank and outmaneuver a larger Marian force, forcing them to halt their advance to deal with the distraction. This bought time for the rest of the Star to form up and then strike the Marians, inflicting severe losses on their force.

While Jakub knows that he will likely eventually lead the Star of Sumer, he is determined that he will be worthy of the position in his own right. As such, he spends much of his time practicing and learning the skills that he will need for such a position when the day comes. So far, he also has been content to earn that privilege rather than simply accept it as being inevitable.

SHD-7H Shadow Hawk Princess

Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: Earthworks SHD II Endo Steel
Powerplant: Hermes 275 Light
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: Chilton 360
   Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armour: Maximillian 43
Armament:
      1 Imperator Code Red LB 10-X Autocannon
      1 Diverse Optics Extended Range Medium Laser
      1 Holly Enhanced LRM-5 launcher
      1 Holly SRM-2 launcher
Comm System: Neil 9000
T&T System: RCA Instatrac Mark XII

The Shadow Hawk known as Princess has been a part of the Star of Sumer’s roster for as long as anyone can remember. Even the origins of the name are unclear; as near as anyone can tell, the BattleMech has always been called that. While the ‘Mech has passed through a number of different owners and positions within the unit, it has had a constant place. When the unit suffered severe losses in 3138, the ‘Mech was put aside for a major rebuild, which saw it upgraded to the modern 7H standard.

For the next decade, the ‘Mech primarily served in a training role for new members of the unit. Jakub Day was among those that trained on it, and he developed something of a liking for the ‘Mech. On his graduation to full-fledged member of the unit, he was offered a heavier or more advanced BattleMech. Rather, he chose to stay with Princess, as he found that it suited the way he fought and operated.

At present, Jakub commands a medium strike lance in Comet Company. As the company is headed up by a heavy tank lance, he usually acts as a mobile support element, helping to protect the flanks of their advances while screening for enemies. In this role the versatility of his ‘Mech comes into its own, especially with the use of such ordinance as smoke missiles. So far, this approach has worked well for both him and his unit.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 10 October 2021, 05:59:20
Guest character by KayEmm

Kirsten Ravenwater

Position/Rank: Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit: Hell's Horses/Alpha Galaxy
Birth Year: 3125

After long being dismissed as a second-rate power that was largely isolated from the rest of the Inner Sphere, the last decade has seen Clan Hell’s Horses grow in both power and influence. While initially this came through their Golden Ordun alliance with the Jade Falcons, the Clan has since begun to forge its own path. Kirsten Ravenwater is among a new generation of Hell's Horses warriors who will be at the forefront of the Clan’s future, whatever it may be.

While she was decanted in 3125, Kirsten would grow up in the years following the Blackout and the escalating fighting that came along with it. Even in her sibko days, Kirsten was seen as being a ristar by her peers for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was her performance in training exercises, which were not only at the top of her sibko, but also considered to be exceptional overall. Highly competitive and driven, she repeatedly and consistently used her skills to outperform her fellows and earn her Wranglers’ respect during training exercises.

On top of that, Kirsten became something of an outspoken Crusader within her sibko, feeling that for too long the Clan had been isolationist and avoiding conflict. With the Inner Sphere degenerating into war, she felt that the Horses should step forward and claim their destiny. However, her beliefs did not include the Jade Falcons’ perversion of the Mongol doctrine; instead, she felt that such total warfare was abhorrent to the way of the Clans. While still too young to take part in the fighting, she was elated when her Clan surged into the former Wolf Occupation Zone, seeing the move as proof of her convictions.

Her ristar status would be born out following her Trial of Position. Kirsten easily defeated two opponents to reach the rank of Star Commander, and came within a hair’s breadth of taking down a third before her own BattleMech was disabled. None the less, the combination of her performance and her talents had won her no small degree of interest from others within the Clan. She was assigned to a position in the Horses’ prestigious Alpha Galaxy, a clear mark of respect for her abilities.

While she would take part in raids and trials over the next two years, her first major action would come in 3147 when Alpha Galaxy targeted the industrial world of New Oslo. Eager for battle with the Rasalhauge Dominion, Kirsten would acquit herself well on the battlefield. While the warriors of the Fifty-fourth Provisional Garrison Cluster proved to be lacking in skill, their sheer determination made them dangerous. Nonetheless, she was able to destroy or disable a number of enemy ‘Mechs during the battle, while her own came out relatively unscathed. The highlight came in a duel with a Ghost Bear Bruin, where she used a series of carefully-aimed shots to cripple the heavier BattleMech.

In 3148 Kirsten was nominated for the Ravenwater Bloodname, sponsored by a senior member of the Bloodhouse. Despite that backing, every step of the competition was a challenge as she faced older and more experienced opponents. The final round saw her competing against Star Captain Taris, who not only was a veteran of the fighting with the Lyran Commonwealth, but also was far stronger than she was. Taris had fought and won all of his battles unarmed, and won the right to do such in the final round. Reaslising what she was up against, Kirsten chose to fight him in a dense jungle swamp which would limit his mobility and vision. After hours of patiently stalking him, she ambushed him by dropping out of a tree, latching onto him and choking him out while he violently tried to dislodge her. Despite his efforts, she emerged battered, bruised and ultimately victorious.

Now that the Horses have disentangled themselves from their alliance, Kirsten has become among those voices calling for more dramatic action. She still feels that the Horses, as Crusaders, should reach out and strike at Terra and claim their destiny. And if that involves going through their former allies then she welcomes the chance for further combat.

Cauldron Born (Ebon Jaguar) F Firebrand

Mass: 65 tons
Chassis: CSJ Type 65.43 Endo
Powerplant: Consolidated 325 XL Fusion
Cruising Speed: 54 kph
Maximum Speed: 86 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Composite A-4 Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
      2 Type 22 Extended Range PPCs
      2 Type 6 Series Advanced Tactical Missile Systems
Comm System: Hector CC-22E
T&T System: Integrated Bravo-7 with Targeting Computer

Created by the long-extinct Clan Smoke Jaguar, the Ebon Jaguar (known as the Cauldron Born in the Inner Sphere) would long outlive its creators. In the aftermath of the Clan’s destruction, the BattleMech would continue to serve with both Clan and Inner Sphere forces. While rare, it was prized for its combination of mobility, firepower and durability. The recent reintroduction of the OmniMech into production by Clan Sea Fox has helped to further proliferate the design.

While she would pilot a variety of different BattleMechs during her training and trial, Kirsten was assigned a new Ebon Jaguar on her graduation to frontline service. She took an immediate liking to the ‘Mech which suited her overly aggressive approach to combat. It would serve her well, both in trials against her fellow Horses and combat against their enemies.  Taking advantage of its OmniMech capabilities, she prefers to use the F configuration for dueling or when facing BattleMech-focused forces, but will switch to others (such as the multi-role E configuration) as needed.

Kirsten drives her BattleMech (which she has nicknamed Firebrand) hard, often aggressively riding its heat curve or pushing its mobility to its limits. So far, this approach has worked well for her. While her ‘Mech has taken punishing damage in battle due to her naked aggression, so far it has never once failed her so far. Whether this success will continue remains to be seen.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 November 2021, 20:42:09
Tigress Home Guard

Overview
The current Tigress Home Guard is the result of two decades of developments bought on by the HPG Blackout and formation of Fortress Republic. The original Tigress Standing Guard was effectively dismantled when the Steel Wolves took control of the world and made it their capitol in late 3132. The Wolves seized all of the Home Guard’s equipment for their own forces. Those members of the Home Guard that did not support the Wolves (which was the majority of them) were stood down.

When Anastasia Kerensky launched the Steel Wolves campaigns to take Northwind and Terra, she stripped their holdings of almost all their defences to provide troops. Tigress was left effectively undefended, which would be a factor in the world’s choice to be annexed by the Federated Suns in 3135.

In order to protect their holdings, the AFFS attempted to raise a new planetary militia. This force was composed of a mixture of new recruits and members of the Standing Guard who had been effectively dispossessed by the Wolves three years prior. The force was armed with whatever material that could come to hand, leading to an ad-hoc and poorly supported force. Nonetheless, its members remained loyal to their world, with many still hoping for a return of the Republic.

This unit would face its first real challenge in 3145 when the world was invaded by Laurel’s Legion, who were set on reclaiming their ancestral homeworld. Despite the support of Narhal’s Raiders, the planetary militia was defeated by the Capellan force, with the unit suffering substantial losses. The remainder of the force surrendered after their mercenary allies withdrew from the world, unwilling to fight for a lost cause against the energised invaders.

Having reclaimed the world, the Capellan Confederation effectively dismantled the remnants of the planetary militia. The survivors of the force were considered to be politically suspect due to their prior ties to both the Republic and the Federated Suns, and would be detained. Likewise, very little of their remaining equipment was deemed usable, having been built out of whatever was available at the time.

Instead, the Capellans built the new Tigress Home Guard from the ground up. The unit was staffed with citizens of Capellan descent who were deemed to be ‘acceptable’ through Maskirovka screening, and led by an officer corps made up of Capellan officers. The plan was to combine local knowledge and planetary loyalty with experienced officers that would be able to provide direction while also ensuring loyalty to the state. The unit was still forming when Tigress was raided by the Dawn Guard in August of 3146, and as such played very little role in the battle.

Training for the unit was bolstered by the presence of Laurel’s Legion, who would act as both instructors and opposing force for exercises. While beneficial, this cooperation would prove to be a double-edged sword. Laurel’s Legion took to using the Tigress Home Guard as a feeder unit, farming it for replacement personnel and equipment. This would cost the unit several talented officers, hampering its growth.

In 3149, Laurel’s Legion was moved off-world as a part of Operation TIAMAT, leaving the Home Guard as Tigress’ sole defenders. With the world presently at the intersection of the Confederation, the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns, as well as having a Sea Fox enclave nearby, the Home Guard’s leadership have assumed that their would could be attacked at any time, and have moved it up to an advanced stage of readiness.

Organisation and Equipment
Despite having been built from the ground up in the last five years, the Home Guard have been able to form a cohesive force through their aggressive recruitment. At present, the unit consists of one regiment of armour and two of infantry, augmented by additional forces.

The First Tigress Armoured Regiment forms the core of the Home Guards’ forces. The bulk of the unit is made up of older Capellan designs that can be easily maintained and supported by local industry, such as the Po and Sheriff. Artillery support largely comes in the form of battlefield units such as LRM carriers. Due to the simplicity of the designs it employs, the unit has managed to maintain a high degree of readiness.

The two infantry regiments are mostly made up of conventional foot infantry units, mostly armed with locally built small arms. These are augmented by a smattering of specialty units such as recon teams or minesweepers, and a small number of jump infantry platoons. Furthermore, the force has a detachment of battle armour, again mostly made up of older designs such as the Inner Sphere Standard and Theseus. The regiments each possess a small number of APCs to aid in mobility, and a company of field guns.

While the plan for the unit called for a battalion of BattleMechs to work with conventional forces, supply to frontline forces took priority. As a result, the unit has so far received only a company of BattleMechs, mostly Calliopes and Guns. In order to make up for this shortfall, the unit has recently received a company of Firebee MilitiaMechs.

Likewise, the needs of supplying frontline forces has so far prevented the Home Guard from acquiring any aerospace fighters. Rather, it has been equipped with a full wing of conventional fighters. Training for the unit has so far been lacklustre, with many of the pilots having only minimal flight time. What experience they have has been largely focused on supporting ground forces.

Colours and Insignia
The Tigress Home Guard do not have a standard parade scheme and instead use appropriate local camouflage. The unit’s insignia depicts the Tigress Planetary Crest rendered in Liao green and black.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 November 2021, 20:44:12
Audio Log #76709-Rho

Irisz Magyari: You have something for me?

Antonin Rybak: A job, actually.

Magyari: With you employing us directly, I suppose.

Rybak: That would be correct. Consider this our first ‘live’ outing.

Magyari: Interesting. Given that, I would assume that our target is related to the Republic, the Wolves, or both.

Rybak: You would be correct there. There are… assets on Castor that would be useful to us, and we need to extract them. Of course, Castor is right at the point where the Wolf Empire is presently focusing its forces, which makes what we’re planning to do dangerous to say the least.

Magyari: How dangerous are you talking about here?

Rybak: The Wolves hit the world with three clusters from Alpha Galaxy, including the Golden Keshik. And while they have since moved those clusters on, given the world’s location and the force they used to take it, I can only imagine that they are not going to be slack in their defences.

Magyari: The perils of trying to gather intel on a fast-moving situation in an age of no HPGs.

Rybak: Pretty much that. Based on known unit dispositions and recent movements, it’s likely that a Theta Galaxy cluster has been moved to hold the world in the interim while ensuring that their frontline units are still free for whatever they are planning to do next.

Magyari: So Marik-Stewart adoptees equipped with AMSC salvage? That tracks. We’ve faced a Theta Galaxy cluster before.

Rybak: Kalidassa, if I recall; the so-called Ryochicken incident.

Magyari: You’ve done your homework.

Ryback: Let’s just say that one was of particular interest and leave it at that.

Magyari: Fair. So we’d still be looking at a considerable force on-world. Plus we have to consider that the Wolves might be aware of these assets.

Rybak: Which brings me to the plan. We go in with two units; yours and Fairchild’s.

Magyari: Interesting. I’m going to take the worst case scenario and assume that I’m the bait while Fairchild does the dirty work?

Rybak: Well if you want to put it like that…

Magyari: No, I understand fully. My job is to make this look like a spoiling raid or the like to distract from the true objective. I’ve played this game before.

Rybak: If it helps any, I will be there with her force.

Magyari: So clearly this is important enough that you’re willing to stick your own neck out for it. Okay, now I’m convinced.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 November 2021, 20:45:11
Missed Connection I

Irisz,

We just landed a new contract after you departed on yours. Given the lack of HPGs and all the other issues of operational security and such, I figured that the best thing would be to leave you a letter for when you get back here.

I can’t say where we’re going, of course; operational security again. I will say that it is going to be a while, and that it is a high-risk assignment. It's the realities that come with our chosen occupation and all, but even then this is a big risk. You can take what you want from what I said. I can’t make any promises but I will try to bring myself back alive.

And as if that wasn’t enough, apparently Damien negotiated this deal through one of the family’s long list of contacts, so take that how you will. They approached him and he was eager enough to comply, maybe because it was a good deal or simply to show that he’s the boss. I don’t think this is a bad deal, but I also feel a touch concerned that Damien is trying a bit too hard, and could be getting us in over our heads. Or I could be reading too much into all this.

The worst sibling rivalry is when you only just find you have a sibling and they have years of rivalry to catch up on.

(Speaking of, Ronnie’s doing well. Still trying to get him and Jessie to actually talk)

Good news is that our little network was able to cough up some additional intel on who we’re likely to be facing. I would have liked to talk to Kari on the subject, since she’s faced them personally, but what do you know, I missed her too. Timing, right? I shared all that back with Damien, and he took it all on board as well as the intel he got from the employer. I figure that could work out well for us.

I also gathered that you were leaving with Ponytail and friends attached to your force. I’d be very interested to hear how all that goes. Sim battles are one thing, but they are no match for the real thing.

There are a few things I want to tell you, but they are matters best dealt with face to face. So until then, take care of yourself and try to stay alive.

Terry
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 November 2021, 21:05:05
Guest chapter by KayEmm

The People You Meet

Fort Preah
Tsamma, New Samarkand Military District
Draconis Combine
21 September 3150


By design Kari’s Black Knight normally ran hot. Its loadout of entirely Clantech energy weapons created immense amounts of heat when fired, which meant that she had to be very careful when in combat to prevent overheating. At the moment, she was roasting inside the cockpit of her BattleMech as it continued to advance towards the enemy line.

The situation was not helped by the environment around her: Tsamma was a world of humid jungles, which served to further tax her ‘Mech’s cooling system. However, that situation had also been useful to her. She had used the combination of tree cover, humidity and rain to cover the Dark Suns’ approach to their target. The Combine forces hadn’t seen them coming until they were upon them.

That didn’t mean they weren’t going to put up a fight by any means. The Combine forces were well dug-in around their objective, a supply depot that was packed with vital war material, and were not about to give up by any means.

Kari let loose another volley of fire at a Combine Maelstrom, aiming to take out the fast-moving heavy ‘Mech. Two of her lasers clipped its flank, slicing off armor but doing little to actually stop it. As she did, another wave of heat flooded into the cockpit, hitting her with almost physical force.

A moment later, the Maelstrom added to the assault in a more literal sense as it opened up with its own weapons. A PPC smashed into the Black Knight’s flank, while a burst of laser fire seared armor off a leg. Her BattleMech staggered under the sudden loss of two tons of armor, shuddering as she fought it for control. A combination of skill and determination kept the massive machine on its feet, Kari quickly pushing it forward again.

The Maelstrom turned to come around again, clearly intent on bringing down its target. Before it could, the froglike ‘Mech was hammered by two score missiles that sent it sliding across the muddy ground. As it fell, more missiles hammered into it as Damien’s Archer coordinated fire with a pair of Hawk Moth gunships swooping down from above.

Other members of the Dark Suns joined her in her advance, bursting out of the jungle and charging towards the enemy line. On her flank, Komatsu’s Hunchback pushed forwards, the MechWarrior inside barrelling ahead with seemingly little concern for his own safety. “Careful, Sun Three,” she called out. “Stay in formation.”

As if to underscore her point, a laser shot lashed the Hunchback, followed by a flight of missiles that peppered its torso. The source of the assault, a Joust tank, advanced forwards, its treads tearing into the soggy ground. Despite the damage, Komatsu’s BattleMech retained its footing, seemingly unconcerned by the attack.

“I’ve got this, lead,” he called back as he continued his advance. To prove the point, he opened fire with his Hunchback’s autocannon, the weapon unleashing a cloud of shot towards the offending tank. Submunitions peppered its hull with explosions, shaking the vehicle and kicking up a cloud of dirt and debris. The Joust swerved and halted in its advance, if not disabled then clearly wounded in the assault.

Out of the corner of her eye Kari saw the Maelstrom rise again, and quickly spun her Black Knight’s torso to respond. As she did, the Combine ‘Mech spat fire again, but the fall had clearly thrown its aim off. Both of its shots went wide, still searing close enough for Kari to almost feel them.

Her response was a little more blunt, however, with her targeting computer effortlessly compensating for her movement and torso swing. Brilliant laser beams sliced through the rain-filled air before searing armor off the enemy ‘Mech’s torso and side. To the credit of the MechWarrior inside, the Maelstrom managed to remain standing despite the assault that she had unleashed, with nary a shudder in its step. Another pair of missile flights slammed into it, but it continued to advance despite the damage.

A Griffin IIC burst forward to support its ally, launching a pair of missiles back towards Damien’s Archer. The shots struck the blocky BattleMech in the side, rocking it but failing to puncture its thick armour. A moment later, Jack’s Phoenix Hawk leapt overhead, its lasers spitting green darts into the Griffin’s back, causing it to stumble forward. Something inside seemed to have ruptured under the fire, as a cloud of black smoke erupted from its side.

Confident that the situation was under control, Kari turned her attention back to the objective. Before she could go any further, a stream of brilliant blue flames washed over her BattleMech, accompanied by a massive surge of heat. A moment later alarms went off inside the cockpit as the Black Knight’s heat spiked to dangerous levels. Grunting against the oppressive heat, she spun around to face her attacker.

A Rifleman IIC had turned to face her, the ‘Mech’s quartet of weapons levelled at her BattleMech. A quick glance at the range indicator told Kari that she was beyond the effective reach of its heavy lasers, but those weren’t what she was worried about. Its twin plasma weapons could simply disable her ‘Mech by overheating it and forcing it to shut down.

Cursing the heat, Kari stepped backwards while bringing her weapons to bear. Trying to keep her heat under control, she fired only her particle projector cannon, hoping to at least discourage her opponent. The brilliant blue beam leapt out, and slammed straight into the Rifleman’s head. For a moment, the decapitated Kuritan ‘Mech simply stood there before toppling backwards.

Lucky break, she considered. Can’t rely on that going forwards.

As the Rifleman fell, a second heavy ‘Mech stepped forwards. Humanoid in shape, it resembled nothing as much as an outsized suit of samurai armor, complete with massive banners flying from its back and a sword in one hand. She immediately recognised it as a Shiro, an advanced design usually reserved for senior officers. “I think I have eyes on their leader,” she spoke over the command channel.

“I see them,” Komatsu replied as he pushed his Hunchback forwards, stepping over the husk of the wrecked Joust. “I got this.” As he spoke, he opened fire with his autocannon again, the weapon spitting a stream of shells at the Combine BattleMech. The shot hit it square in the side, which should have been a devastating blow.

Instead the Shiro seemingly shrugged it off as if it was nothing. In reply, it let loose a flight of missiles that slammed hard into the Hunchback, enveloping it in flames and debris. The impacts stopped the ‘Mech in its charge, sending it crashing down hard to the ground. Fortunately it was still moving, showing that Komatsu was still alive and that the ‘Mech was still functional if nothing else.

With her Black Knight’s heat beginning to get back under control, Kari turned her attention towards the heavy Combine ‘Mech. With a squeeze of the trigger she was hammered by another wave of heat as her weapons unleashed a searingly bright wave of energy. Shots sliced into the Shiro’s side and arm, but like the Hunchback’s cannon fire, her attacks had surprisingly little effect.

“New contacts,” Kat Stavia’s voice cut into the command channel. “Four approaching from bearing oh-ninety. No IDs.” There was a note of urgency in her tone. “They’re not ours.”

“Which means they’re probably Combine,” Kari concluded. “See if you can confirm them before we engage.”

“Roger that,” Kat concluded.

Keeping one eye on the Shiro, she switched channels. “All units; new targets inbound from oh-ninety. Pivot west and do not fire on newcomers until we have a positive ID.” At the very least, she was going to put the rest of the Combine force between her and the new arrivals to shield her forces.

She bought around the Black Knight, the huge BattleMech lumbering forward as its torso pivoted to continue tracking her opponent as her weapons recharged. As soon as they were ready, she opened fire again, letting loose another volley of lasers at the Shiro. At the same time, it unleashed its own volley of missiles back at her, with her beams disappearing into the exhaust smoke.

Kari’s ‘Mech was rocked under the hammer blow of multiple impacts as nearly two score missiles slammed into it. Warning lights went off across the board as several made their mark on internal systems. Giving the status board only a cursory glance, she continued to wheel the ‘Mech around.

To her side, she could see Komatsu’s Hunchback make it to its feet, only to be pummelled by missile fire from a Combine Avalanche. This time the shots clearly hit something important as the boxy ‘Mech immediately flopped back down into the mud, this time landing a lot harder. “Sun Three, report!” She called out over the command channel.

“Not good,” Komatsu grunted back. “Looks like actuator damage. Not sure if I can get this thing back on its feet.”

Not good at all, Kari told herself. The Shiro was still standing, its armour savaged but far from defeated. Next to it, the Avalanche turned to track her ‘Mech as it cycled its weapons.

Instead, a pair of brilliant blue waves slammed into the Avalanche’s back, toppling the ‘Mech forward. The Shiro’s pilot fired again, but seemed to have been thrown off by the surprise of what happened. This time less than half its missiles hit home, scattering across the Black Knight’s hull.

Kari’s return fire was somewhat more effective, with her lasers focusing on the side that Komatsu had previously assaulted. This time the Shiro shuddered under the assault as her weapons tore through one of its missile launchers as well as the frame of its flank. The Combine ‘Mech stumbled, an act made even more dramatic by its elaborate, armoured design.

And as it wavered, she could see three more ‘Mechs approaching from the flank. A Sun Cobra led them, followed by an Ostsol and another Black Knight. All three of them were in drab green, but wore no apparent markings.

Somehow, Kari suspected they were on her side.

-----

The arrival of the newcomers had taken the fight out of the Combine forces. Wary of their losses, and aware that they were caught between two forces, they had begun to pull back, firing to cover their own retreat. Kari’s last sight of the Shiro had the wounded ‘Mech retreating, its flank savaged by fire. A couple of other Combine ‘Mechs had moved to shield it, confirming her theory that it was the commander.

The Dark Suns had taken advantage of the situation to push onto the base, securing it for their own. As they had done so, the trio of newcomers had also moved in, but had not made any effort to identify themselves so far. As they approached, they were joined by an assortment of battle-armored troopers and several civilian hovertrucks. The Sun Cobra remained at the head of the force, its weapons levelled in a way that suggested wariness and readiness, but not immediate hostile intent.

As they closed she could make out more details. The ‘Mechs looked worn and beaten; functional, but running under field repairs and whatever supplies they could acquire. And while they all wore the same functional drab green scheme, she could make out a common marking; the Federated Suns’ sword and sunburst, picked out in a flat black on their hulls.

She turned her Black Knight to face them, raising its arms. “I am Kari Moreno, leader of the Dark Suns,” she called out over her ‘Mech’s loudspeakers. “We are here on behalf of the Federated Suns. Whoever you are, we share a common enemy and have no quarrel.” She waited nervously for the response.

“Moreno,” the pilot of the Sun Cobra replied. “Let us talk, face to face.”

The last thing I wanted to hear, she considered before dipping over to the command channel. “Options?”

 “I don’t like it, Major,” Damien immediately replied, the concern evident in his voice. She could understand why. “But it is our only way to find out who they are and what they want.”

“Agreed,” Kari sighed. “Senstrom, Hawkins, cover me. Kaustev, sweep the area to make sure the Combine troops aren’t trying to loop around and come back.”

A chorus of affirmatives reached her ears. Behind her, Damien’s Archer and a squad of battle armor approached her ‘Mech, while overhead, VTOLs fanned out to begin their search. With that in mind, Kari began disconnecting herself from her BattleMech’s systems, grabbing a flak vest and sidearm as she went.

As soon as the cockpit hatch was opened, she was greeted with the warm, humid air outside, something that was still a relief from the slowly cooling sauna that the cockpit had become. Keeping a wary eye on the other group of ‘Mechs, she began the long climb down to the ground. Senstrom’s battle armor squad had already formed up around the feet, while Damien’s Archer was lurking nearby.

Well here we go, she told herself.

She walked towards the Sun Cobra, her pace steady but focused. She could see what she presumed to be her opposite number approaching; a rough-looking man with an expression that wasn’t so much angry as it was just perpetually annoyed. Like her, he had come from his BattleMech’s cockpit, taking the same degree of preparation.
Kari stopped just short of him. “Thank you for your assistance,” she began. “Our briefing said there weren’t any other Federated Suns forces on-world.”

“Officially there aren’t,” he replied, his tone factual. “Think of us as an irregular command.”

She nodded. “None the less, your timing was perfect.” Kari had no illusions that their move had been anything other than opportunistic, but she was determined to stay on their good side.

“We seemed to have the same objective,” he explained. “Only you had the numbers to actually make it happen.”

“Then we share both the same goals and objectives,” she offered, a small smile creeping onto her face. “Maybe we would be better cooperating, mister…”

“Ivar Grodenko,” he simply replied.

“Are you the leader of this group?”

“Just their spokesman,” he shook his head. “But I think I can arrange something that would work for both of us.”

Kari nodded back. “Good. Then let’s talk.”

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 14 November 2021, 05:03:58
Guest character by Zogster

Katarina Morrison
Position/Rank: nu Banda
Affiliation/Unit: Mercenary/Star of Sumer
Birth Year: 3110

The merging of three different units allowed the Star of Sumer to survive the Jihad and the age of peace that came after it. At the same time, it also bought with it a complicated web of family politics that has become a part of the unit’s culture, for good or for ill.

Katarina Morrison is the daughter of Calvin Morrison, the previous commander of the Star of Sumer and heir to one of the three families that have led the unit. Like many in her family before her she was raised with the expectation that she would become a MechWarrior and eventually an officer or even commander of the unit, despite the age of the Pax Republica in which she grew up. She willingly embraced this plan, proving to be a dutiful student and eager learner.

On graduation from their semi-formal training program she was assigned command of a lance in the unit’s Eye company, a role that was seen as a stepping stone to eventual command. With the waning of the Kotovski family, one of the Star’s three founders, it was seen as being more and more likely that she would one day take control of the unit. Those in charge of the unit predicted that they would remain in an age of low-level skirmishes and relative stability, which would give her time to grow into the role.

Instead, the HPG Blackout upended all of those plans. As war quickly spread across the Republic and then the rest of the Inner Sphere, mercenary units were suddenly in demand to a degree not seen in five decades. Katarina’s first practical experiences would come at the side of her father as she took part in numerous battles in this new age of conflict. She quickly learned the realities of battlefield command, and showed an ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations.

These lessons would be invaluable following the Star of Sumer’s catastrophic defeat in 3138. Gerhardt Day, the commander of the unit, was killed in action, along with the last member of the Kotovski family. Calvin stepped up to commander of the unit, a move that also placed Katarina on the path to one day taking his place with her promotion to the commander of Eye company. Despite their losses, her father had promised to rebuild the unit, and she chose to help in her own way.

Her most important move was to take Jakub Day, Gerhardt’s son, under her wing. While still young, she helped both to train him as a MechWarrior and to teach him the skills that he would one day need, both as an officer and eventually as the leader of the unit. In many ways, she would become something of a surrogate parent to him, helping him to cope with the loss of his father. Under her tutelage, he would develop into a capable junior officer in his own right.

At the same time, she helped to integrate the members of the Addicks Planetary Guard that the Star had recruited into the unit. Key among them was Lana Kotovski, who in addition to being related (albeit distantly) to one of the Star’s founding families, was also a capable officer in her own right. The two did a lot to help rebuilt the unit, as well as to streamline its structure and deal with the complex morass of family politics that had dominated the unit.

In 3147, Calvin Morrison was killed in action. Rather than take control of the unit as expected, Katarina instead offered the position to Lana Kotovski, feeling that the unit needed her ideas and direction more. Lana accepted the position, but kept Katarina as her second. Aside from serving as the commander of Eye company, Katarina has continued to work with both Lana and Jakub, helping to bring the three families closer into alignment then they have been for years

WHM-8R Warhammer Enkidu
Mass: 70 tons
Chassis: Kell Reinforced 270 Endo Steel
Powerplant: Magna 280
Cruising Speed: 43 kph
Maximum Speed: 64 kph
Jump Jets: None
   Jump Capacity: None
Armour: Durallex Heavy
Armament:
      2 Fusigon Longtooth Extended Range PPCs
      2 Magna Mk IV Extended Range Medium Lasers
      2 Magna Mk VI Extended Range Small Lasers
      2 LFN Linblad Machine Guns
      1 Shannon SH-67 Streak SRM-6 Launcher
Comm System: Barret Party Line-200
T&T System: Wasat Watchdog W100

Katarina Morrison had piloted heavy BattleMechs for most of her career, moving between several different units based on what the unit had at hand at the time. Her current BattleMech, a WHM-8R Warhammer, was purchased near-new during the reorganisation of the unit. Katarina was immediately impressed by its combination of versatility, firepower and durability, and claimed the ‘Mech as her own.

While a company commander within the Star, Katarina prefers to lead her command from the front lines. On the battlefield, she has been known to take withering amounts of enemy fire and yet seemingly shrug it off and bring her BattleMech (and herself) back intact. While it has been severely damaged several times, so far the Warhammer has served her well and kept her alive on the battlefield, becoming a key part of the Star’s forces.

When she turned down the position of unit commander, Katarina also turned down the opportunity to pilot Gilgamesh, the Star’s hereditary BattleMaster. Instead she chose to keep her Warhammer, which she then named Enkidu as a nod of the head towards the commander’s machine. Some within the unit felt that she was tempting fate with the choice of name. Katarina privately agreed with their assessments, but at the same time, refused to reveal the reason for her choice of name.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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?
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder 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.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 24 February 2022, 23:51:42
Guest character by Zogster

Luke Vasili
Position/Rank:          Knight
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3112

Luke Vasili has had a strange path to Knighthood, especially given that he was functionally cut off from the rest of the Republic for many years. Regardless of circumstances, he is clearly loyal to his nation and a resourceful MechWarrior.

Born in Prefecture VII, Luke came from a Free Worlds League background. During his education, he became acutely aware of the League’s history and how it had been weakened by internal divisions and regional politics, to the point where the Word of Blake were able to effectively take over the nation. This background made him an ardent supporter of the Republic, and the ideals of unity and peace that it stood for.

Luke enlisted with the Republic Armed Forces, a move that was as much out of dedication to the state as it was his desire to earn his citizenship. Qualifying as a MechWarrior, he earned a place in a line unit that was tasked with defending the Republic from external threats.

Instead, the opponents that he wound up facing would come from within. The HPG Blackout led to chaos within the Republic as it erupted into violence. At first, Luke was dealing with pro-League separatists and rebels, but as the Blackout continued those groups became more organised and better equipped. Groups like the Free Eagles and White Hand were one thing, but soon he was fighting the Spirit Cats and members of Bannson’s Raiders, as well as probing attacks from the former Free Worlds states.

However, the greatest challenge would come from the highest reaches of the Republic’s leadership. The Senate Rebellion saw Luke facing off against members of the Republic government, leading Republic troops against their fellows. Despite these threats, he was able to maintain a small, ragtag unit that held their loyalty to the Republic. Rapidly gaining experience on the battlefield, Luke became highly adept at small-unit operations, engaging in skirmishes and hit-and-run operations against larger enemy forces.

Outwardly, Luke and the remnants of his unit were trapped outside of the walls of Fortress Republic when they went up. For the next decade, they would make sporadic appearances across what had formerly been Prefectures VI, VII and VIII, engaged in raids and strikes on a variety of opponents. At first they faced mainly the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth and Spirit Cats, striking both as they fought over several worlds. However, during HAMMERFALL, Luke’s attention switched to Lyran and Wolf forces. In its aftermath, he would again refocus on the Wolf Empire.

Beyond simply attacking what opponents he found, Luke also aided the isolated remnants of Republic forces, or even those who simply still supported the nation. He provided them with weapons, equipment and intelligence, much of which seemed to go well beyond simply what he had come into over the course of his operations. Those forces would in turn engage in actions against the forces occupying their worlds, with Luke often seemingly appearing out of nowhere to support them.

Unfortunately, many of these groups were lost during the disaster of Operation SHOFAR. Luke himself would disappear, only to emerge on Terra where he was promoted to the rank of Knight in recognition of his efforts. However, given some of his past actions, it is entirely possible that this recognition is merely a public face for a completely different position.

Goshawk (Vapor Eagle) 7
Mass:             55 tons
Chassis:          GS-1E Endo Steel
Powerplant:         Fusion 330 Extralight
Cruising Speed:      64 kph
Maximum Speed:    96 kph (130 kph w/MASC, 162 kph w/MASC and Supercharger)
Jump Jets:         None
   Jump Capacity:      None
Armour:         Raven Comp B Ferro-Fiberous
Armament:
      1 Type DDS “Kingston” Extended Range Particle Projector Cannon
      1 Zeta Series-X Plasma Cannon
      10 Series 3c Micro Pulse Lasers
Comm System:         GBX Series Integrated
T&T System:         Type 13e with Targeting Computer

During the course of his RAF service and his later guerilla actions, Luke Vasili piloted a variety of BattleMechs. Initially assigned a Legionnaire, he would later apparently use whatever he had at hand, from a decrepit Wolfhound to a salvaged Wolf Empire Fenris. In each case, he preferred fast-moving BattleMechs that suited his aggressive, hit-and-run combat style.

On several occasions, however, he was sighted piloting a Goshawk 7. An eccentric variant of an already eccentric BattleMech, the origin of the variant is not entirely clear as it matches to no known production model. It was first sighted after the implementation of Fortress Republic, and used in attacks against the various forces occupying that nation’s former worlds, such as those Vasili engaged in.

Following his return to Terra and promotion to Knight, Luke was rewarded with a brand-new Goshawk 7. The BattleMech, which trades its signature jump jets for MASC and a heavier weapons load, suits his aggressive, fast-moving style of combat. While he aggressively pushes the ‘Mech to its limits, it is also clear that he well understands its capabilities and how to best employ them.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 24 February 2022, 23:53:34
Guest character by KayEmm

Jayce Walkinshaw
Position/Rank:          Captain
Affiliation/Unit:      Mercenary/Red Right Hand
Birth Year:         3115

On the outside, the Red Right Hand seem like any other small mercenary unit. Functional if not spectacular, they are mostly notable for keeping their noses clean and maintaining a good reputation, while managing to survive for over a century through the highest and lowest points of the mercenary trade. Otherwise its most notable engagements came during the Jihad, when the unit worked for the Coalition in fighting the Word of Blake. Likewise, in its aftermath, it saw employment by the fledgling Republic of the Sphere.

Under the surface, the truth is that the unit are much more than they seem. They are adept at unconventional warfare, guerrilla actions, ambushes and other dirty tricks, and perhaps most importantly, covering their tracks. Many members of the unit are trained in a variety of disciplines, allowing them to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

Jayce Walkinshaw, the current leader of the unit, reflects its dual nature. Outwardly, he is an almost stereotypical ‘cowboy’ mercenary, a swaggering braggart with little love for authority and a habit of self-promotion. Flamboyant and with a long history of affairs behind him, Jayce seems more concerned with his own luxuries than running the unit.

However, under that is an entirely different story. Jayce has carefully crafted an image to present to the world to ensure that he is underestimated and dismissed. In truth, he is a canny commander with a strong ability to read a situation and adapt appropriately, while best using those assets at his disposal. That is not to say that everything he does is an act; he enjoys his pleasures and takes those opportunities when they present themselves. It is more that he knows when to moderate them and when to focus on the real matters at hand.

His path to this position came about largely by accident. Jayce was a war orphan, picked up by the Red Right Hand during a Periphery contract after he was caught sneaking into their encampment to steal supplies. Impressed by his courage and how far he had managed to get through their defenses before being picked up, the members of the unit took him under their wing. Starting out as more of a mascot than anything else, Jayce quickly showed that he had picked up a broad range of skills, while also proving eager to learn more.

Starting out as a scout, Jayce managed to impress the right people with his tenacity and resourcefulness. Like many members of the unit, he cross-trained in a variety of other skills, and proved to have an aptitude for BattleMech combat. This saw him offered a place as a MechWarrior, an opportunity that he jumped at without a moment’s hesitation. Success on the battlefield saw him promoted and bought him to the eyes of the unit’s leadership. He also demonstrated a willingness to do whatever was needed in order to achieve a desired outcome, an element that was key to the unit’s culture.

In 3144, Jin Matsuraga, the then-leader of the unit, was badly injured in combat, and chose to step down from the position. He nominated Jayce as his replacement, citing his rapid growth and adaptability, as well as his clear commitment to continuing their operations and practices. Jayce accepted the responsibility, and was given the clear support of the unit’s other officers.

Under Jayce’s leadership, the Red Right Hand have accepted numerous contracts that have focused on anti-Clan operations. While they have so far been successful, Jayce has been careful to look into his employers, and has begun to find evidence that not all of them were in fact who they claimed to be. Rather, it was possible that they represented another power operating through proxies.

KSC-5X Koschei The Claw
Mass:             65 tons
Chassis:          Earthworks KSC II Endo Steel
Powerplant:         VOX 325 XL
Cruising Speed:      54 kph
Maximum Speed:    86 kph
Jump Jets:         Swingline X-1200
   Jump Capacity:      150 Meters
Armour:         Maximillian 40
Armament:
      1 Diverse Optics Large Pulse Laser
      1 Diverse Optics Medium Pulse Laser
      2 BlazeFire Longshot Extended Range Medium Lasers
Comm System:         Neil 2000 with Guardian ECM
T&T System:         RCA Instatrac Mark IV

An eccentric variant of an already unusual BattleMech, the KSC-5X Koschei abandons the design’s usual focus on heavy ballistic weaponry. Instead, it is focused on melee combat, being armed with a pair of heavy duty claws. While employing these weapons is risky, due to the necessity of closing in to point-blank range with an opponent to use them, the potential damage from them makes it worth it to an adventurous MechWarrior.

The example piloted by Jayce Walkinshaw was captured from Canopian forces during a contract in the former Free Worlds League. The BattleMech would be passed between several MechWarriors over the years, before Jayce chose to take it for his own. He saw the unusual design as being a potential asset, favoring a style of combat that many opponents would not be ready for.

Where possible, Jayce makes use of the unit’s specialties to choose his battlefield and the likely courses of action that the enemy will take. This enables him to ambush his opponents, striking them at point-blank range when they do not expect it. So far, the tactic has been successful for himself and The Claw, his nickname for the BattleMech.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:22:00
Renegades Chapter II: All Good Things

Tell Me Lies

Identity Withheld: Ultimately, the Wolves were the victors. And as victors are wont to do, they write the history. In the case of the Terran campaign, they have constructed a very specific heroic narrative that doesn’t reflect the actual truth of the situation. Not for the Republic, not for the Falcons and especially not for themselves.

Interviewer: And you dispute that story.

IW: I do. After all, I was there. I fought for the Republic and stayed until the bitter end. I saw things that don’t fit with the nice, neat ‘official’ version of the story.

Interviewer: Could you elaborate on that?

IW: Let me start with one of the stories that the Wolves like to howl about the most. They bring up those RAF soldiers who chose to side with them to fight the Falcons a lot, talking about how they were heroes who fought for Terra, to save innocents and so on.

Interviewer: But you don’t agree with that, do you?

IW: I do not.

Interviewer: And how would you characterise the situation?

IW: The Wolves lionised a handful of traitors, putting them on pedestals and treating them as shining beacons that all should aspire to. At the same time, they’ve also been quietly marginalising and denigrating those that chose to stay loyal to the end, painting them as cowards who gave up the will to fight and were willing to risk letting the Falcons win. And again, they’ve selected a handful of cases to highlight in order to paint a very specific picture.

Interviewer: And you don’t agree with that stance, do you?

IW: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to mythologise some lost cause or the like. We lost and the Republic fell, that much is unquestioned. What I am here to do is tell the truth of that situation, the story that the Wolves have decided they don’t want people to hear.

Interviewer: A truth that is not palatable to the victors.

IW: Exactly. And even then, there were plenty of occasions where the Wolves didn’t take prisoners or deliberately executed those they did. But that doesn’t suit their narrative as much as ‘heroic traitors’ do. I suspect it’s also something that those former Republicans who fought for them are either unaware of or just simply won’t admit to as it would undercut their own self-reassurance that they fought for the ‘good’ cause. Especially given how Damien Redburn died.

Interviewer: I take it that the Wolves’ official story there doesn’t match the reality of the situation.

IW: It does not, like so many other things.

Interviewer: Can you give me any other examples?

IW: Another part of the popular narrative is how the Wolves fought a ‘clean’ and ‘honourable’ campaign when again, the truth was anything but.

Interviewer: Such as?

IW: Saturation artillery bombardment of Hong Kong. Putting hundreds of kilometres of Vietnamese jungle to torch. Poisoning rivers in Mongolia. Or their actions in their invasion of the Republic, like on Shiloh where they left RAF soldiers to die of exposure, or Keid where they deliberately killed the defenders down to the last man. The list goes on. And that doesn’t mention another one of the Wolves’ dirty secrets that they won’t talk about.

Interviewer: Which is?

IW: Do you know why the Wolves never faced any resistance in the areas they took? They used the same method as the Falcons that they claimed to be ‘better’ than and held civilian populations hostage. They wiped out the town of Atitjere in Australia, which was as much an act of retaliation as it was about cowing any possible resistance.

Interviewer: Compliance through terror.

IW: Exactly. It’s easy to claim that there’s no resistance when you’re holding guns to people’s heads. Don’t get me wrong. The Falcons were complete monsters, but the Wolves were no better. They just did a better job of covering their sins.

Interviewer: And you suspect there were other such situations that you never heard about?

IW: Absolutely. Discovering the full truth of what happened on Terra would require a level of investigation comparable to what happened after the fall of the Amaris Empire or the end of the Jihad. But given Terra’s new masters, and what they’ve done since they claimed victory, that’s not going to happen.

Interviewer: What do you mean by that?

IW: Consider this. Both Devlin Stone and Malvina Hazen died of ‘medical complications’ within days of the Wolves’ victory and before the official ceremonies. A mite convenient, wouldn’t you say?
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:23:13
Tripwire

Outside Sydney, Australia
Terra
Republic of the Sphere
1 January 3151


From the cockpit of their Awesome, Jarrie Scire watched as the platoon of Kinnol tanks advanced across the field, their olive-and-red-painted hulls visible in the long grass. The platoon split as they went around a derelict farmhouse before continuing their advance, turrets sweeping left to right as crews watched for any signs of an enemy force.

“OpFor has passed the initial,” they commented over their command channel. “You are clear to engage.”

A quartet of heavy tanks, painted light blue and grey with the horned, fanged skull of Hansen’s Roughriders visible on their hulls, emerged from a nearby stand of trees. The force advanced on their opponents, puffs of blue smoke going off on the hulls of the Kinnols or around them to simulate weapons fire. To their credit, the Kinnol tanks held their ground, grouping up to protect themselves and concentrate fire.

“Good move,” Jarrie muttered. “But not good enough.”

A quartet of Angerona battle armour suits emerged from the farmhouse, ducking to one side of it before opening fire on one of the Kinnols. Several blue splashes decorated its hull before the crew realised what was going on. Once they did, the tank tried backpedalling, while spinning is turret to face the newcomers. In response, the Angeronas moved to keep themselves between the farmhouse and the Kinnol, limiting the amount of fire that could be directed at them.

As the others reacted to the threat, the Roughriders tanks continued to close in. Weapons fire erupted between the two forces, with more red and blue puffs decorating the battlefield. Seeing their situation, the Kinnols were doing their best to regroup and deal with the ambush, while pulling back. None of it was doing anything to slow the Roughriders’ advance.

“Unless...” Jarrie considered, looking over the situation.

As if to confirm their thoughts, a pair of Scapha hovertanks came out of seemingly nowhere, the vehicles moving with blinding speed. They cut around the Roughriders’ advance, simulated weapons fire peppering the rear of the tanks.

Jarrie was about to say something, but they were cut off by a signal from the communications system, one coming in on a priority band. Confident that the battle could handle itself for the moment, they responded to the message. “Captain Scire here.”

“Captain Scire,” the voice came on the other end of the line. A woman’s, its tone was blunt and to the point, one he immediately recognised.

“Knight Messier,” Jarrie replied. “What is it?”

“The tripwire,” she replied. “Hostile vessels have entered the Terran system. We have to assume the worst.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” came the grim-faced reply.

“Recall your units to the Redoubt,” Messier stated. “And be ready to repel invaders.”

“Do we know who it is?”

“Provisional IDs suggest that it is indeed the Wolves.” If she was surprised or disappointed by this turn, she didn’t let it show.

“Thought so,” Scire added. “I want more time with the First NSW, but I suppose that won’t happen now.”

“That is a luxury that none of us have,” Messier finished.

“Understood,” they commented before switching over to the command channel. “All units, this is Hellfire Actual. Exercises are cancelled; repeat, exercises are cancelled. Pull back to Fallback Point PH2756 and await further orders.”

A chorus of affirmatives filled the channel, both from the other Roughriders and the RAF units. “Now’s when we earn our paycheque for real,” Jarrie muttered, shooting a glance at the sky.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:24:23
From the personal journal of Bianka Messier

So it has come to this. We have confirmation of Wolf Empire ships in the Terran system. As yet, there is no clue as to how they have penetrated the Fortress Republic walls, but at this point, it is academic. Our goal is to protect Terra from their predation. We can worry about the hows and whys of what brought us to this later.

I am not so arrogant to believe that we will win this. Yes, we have been preparing for this eventuality for fifteen years now. We have built up the Terran system’s defences. We have built fortifications and redoubts across Terra itself. We have raised new units, and brought in mercenaries to help train and prepare them. We have run simulations and wargames and so much more.

However, these are not the same Wolves that invaded the Inner Sphere a century ago. They’re not even the shriveled husk of a Clan that clutched to their occupation zone before the Blackout. They are aggressive, resourceful and adaptable, willing to change and do what is needed for victory, not what might seem good or honourable. Their success in turning the people they conquered into their willing soldiers demonstrates that.

The failure of Operation SHOFAR proves all of that.

I have made my own preparations, found my own allies. Keyhan and I have worked together in past, and as much of a risk-taker as he seems, there is no denying his skills. Tariku is an expert at anti-Clan tactics and using their strengths against them. Conversely, Erzhan is as Clan as somebody could be while still being a Republic Citizen, and understands them intimately. Tammy is a charismatic leader and is driven; she won’t admit it, but her hatred for the Falcons, and now the Wolves, is a potent weapon. Finally Luke brings a lot of unconventional skills to the table.

There is one other asset I have to play. I pray that I will not have to use it.

I have ensured that Jacques is safe, as are Yvette and Peter. Likewise, Lorand and his family have been moved for their protection. I wish I could have done more for Bors, but doing such would have been a compromise to my own position and authority; the Republic comes before all else. I also feel that he wouldn’t have accepted my help even if it was offered.

I wonder how his daughter is doing. It’s been over twenty years now since I saw her.
For now, all we can do is prepare. Pray for the best, expect the worst.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:26:21
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Focus on the Job

Krakow, Poland
Terra
Republic of the Sphere
3 January 3151


Jayce Walkinshaw took a long drag from his cigarette as he leaned on the rooftop ledge. Exhaling, he looked up at the night sky, as if he was searching for something up there.

“You know those things will kill you,” came a voice from behind him.

Jayce looked back to see his second, Tan Yo-Han approach him. “Right now I think I have bigger concerns then lung cancer,” he smirked. “You know, with a Clan force coming down on us any day now and all that.”

“Is that what’s on your mind,” Yo-Han asked. “You usually only light up like this when something’s bothering you.”

“You’d know,” Jayce chuckled. “Naw, I was thinking about other stuff.”

“Like what?” Tan looked around at their compound. “Our men are about as ready to go as they’ll ever be. We’ve been drilling hard with the locals to train them up so that they’ll have some chance against what’s coming. We’ve done recon of the terrain and know where we’re fighting and all that. Between old-growth forests and dense urban areas we’ll have plenty of opportunities to ensure the battles are on our terms.” He shrugged. “Really, at this point I can’t think of anything we might have missed. So if there’s something up, boss, I need to know.”

“It’s not that,” Jayce shook his head. “Just thinking about a girl I used to know and went out with for a while.”

“You’re hopeless, you know that?” Yo-Han chuckled.

“Seriously,” Jayce grinned. “She was hot as all hell. Covered in tattoos too. Nice girl, though.”

“Sounds too good for a creep like you.”

“Probably,” he chuckled. “Didn’t work out between us, though.”

“Likely because you’re you.”

“Naw, we wanted... different things out of the relationship,” he admitted. “Plus I was terrified that her dad was going to kill me if I even looked at her funny.”

“Bad?”

“He was the leader of their family unit,” Jayce admitted, his lit cigarette hanging from his hand. “You know how much of a mess that can be.”

“So in short,” Yo-Han nodded. “We’re about to be in the fight of our lives and you’re still hung up on a girl.”

“Yeah.”

Yo-han threw his hands up in mock despair. “That’s why we broke up, you know.”

“What, and not the complex politics of two senior officers in the same small unit knocking boots?”

“That’s-“ he paused. “Now you’ve got me doing it too.”

Jayce chuckled. “Maybe that was my point, man. I mean, god alone knows I should be crapping my pants with fear here. But if I think about the good stuff instead, then I’m a lot less afraid.”

“So you think about your exes.”

“Yeah.”

Yo-Han grinned. “Well that’ll keep you busy for days. Weeks even.”

“You ass. I should fire you for that. Or at least demote you.”

“If I’m alive when we get through this, sure,” Yo-Han shook his head. “But right now you know you need me.”

“Probably,” Jayce nodded. “Tell you what though, could you imagine it if this works out?” He grinned. “Jayce Walkinshaw, hero of the Republic.”

“Except we never get in the history books,” Yo-Han reminded him. “Something the Red Right Hand prides itself on.”

“I know,” he nodded. “But consider this. The Republic is going to owe us big time.”

“So we collect our pay and head off into the night as rich men,” Yo-Han finished.

“It’s a plan,” Jayce admitted. “And besides, as you said, it’s what we’ve always done.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that,” Yo-Han came over and leaned on the ledge, joining him. “Did you have any idea what you were getting yourself in for when you signed that deal?”

“I was just honouring past traditions,” Jayce admitted. “The secret journals kept by the previous leaders of the Red Right Hand and all that. We have a long history with the Republic. Hell, we have history with them even before they were the Republic.”

“And now here we are.”

“Yeah,” Jayce nodded. “Strange how life works out. Still, I think I’ve got this figured. One way or another, there’s gonna be a lot of need for our services after this is done.”

“So you got a plan?”

“Hell yeah.”

“Care to let us in on it?”

“Well, for starters, I’m gonna ask that girl for a second chance.”

“You really are stupid, you know that?” Yo-Han sighed.

“I guess that’s why you gave me the job,” he simply grinned back in reply.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:28:39
From the campaign journal of Star Colonel Don Cooper

If you had marched up to my sibko on Czezstreg and told me that one day I would be leading an assault on Terra, I would have likely laughed in your face. While it has always been the dream of every Clan warrior to do such, I do not think anyone ever thought that it would happen. And yet, here we are.

The Thirteenth (EDITOR’S NOTE: Thirteenth Wolf Guards Battle Cluster) made landfall outside of Perth on the Australian continent. As the Galaxy as a whole advanced on the city, we were tasked with securing a number of Republic forward operating bases across the area. These facilities were home to supplies that would be useful to us as well as RAF detachments that would need to be neutralised before our assault could continue.

I assigned Star Captains Lucius Radrick and Leeandra Connors to the task. This was a test of sorts, given their past history of antagonism towards each other to see if the little talking-to that I had given them had sank in. Better that any residual issues surface now than when we are deep into enemy territory and I no longer have the luxury of dealing with the issue.

To make things worse, the force that they faced was one unknown to us; a RAF formation identified as the Redburn Guards. Not only were they one we had no intelligence on, but they were also clearly well-trained, well-equipped and, given the name, well-led.

Apparently, Lucius and Leeandra simply considered this to be an extra challenge, as the pair of them acquitted themselves well. Rather than fighting over objectives, they cooperated to best deal with the situation. The Black Fangs (EDITOR’S NOTE: Trinary Alpha, led by Lucius Radick) led the way, smashing headlong into the Redburn Guards while the Bloodseekers (EDITOR’S NOTE: Trinary Bravo, led by Leeandra Connors) looped around to strike at the enemy flank and cut off their retreat.

The plan worked fantastically. While the Black Fangs dealt with the enemy BattleMech force, the Bloodseekers wreaked havoc on their heavy tanks and other support elements. Leeandra personally accounted for three tank kills and several more immobilised, but the crowning moment had to go to Lucuis who defeated the Republic commander in a duel. While their Trinaries suffered several BattleMechs damaged or disabled, their losses were far less than the RAF units who fell back in disarray. Even then, the Bloodseekers further harried them to wear down their numbers.

So far, it would seem that the pair of them have learned their lesson.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:29:52
The Battle of Windsor

While the Wolves ultimately took Sydney, the outcome of the battle was far less clear than the one for Perth. There were several times when the Wolves were caught on the back foot or even repulsed by the combination of the unexpected defenses of the Redoubt, as well as the forces that were protecting the city itself.

The Battle of Windsor was a good example. A Trinary from the Fourth Wolf Guards Cluster (Alpha Galaxy) sought to capture the town of Windsor as a part of their moves on the city proper. The move was aimed at isolating the forward base at RAF Richmond, while also severing Republic supply lines. Furthermore, there was supposedly a site of historical significance within the town that the Wolves sought to capture.

Led by Star Captain Douglas Carns, the Wolf force, supported by Elementals, made contact with what were believed to be elements from the First New South Wales Militia. Confident in their superiority, the Wolves advanced towards the Redoubt’s fortifications, only to come under heavy fire. Now they were faced with a combined-arms force from Hansens’s Roughriders, led by Captain Jarrie Scire. Combining accurate long-range fire, artillery and the cover afforded to them by the redoubt’s defenses, the Roughriders repulsed the initial Wolf attack.

Pulling back and taking cover in the bushland, Carns attempted to bait the Roughriders out of cover using long-range fire. This only resulted in a heavy artillery barrage, while light BattleMechs and hovercraft harried their flanks with hit-and-run attacks. The body of the Roughriders force held their ground inside the fortifications and continued their fire.

After Star Commander Roberto was killed by an artillery hit to his Stormwolf’s cockpit, Carns completely changed tack. Ignoring the flanking elements, he pushed his forces into a furious, if not completely reckless, head-on charge into the Roughriders’ forces. While the mercenaries were temporarily taken back by the ferocity of the attack, they quickly rallied and held their ground while recalling their strikers for support.

Only a handful of Wolf BattleMechs reached the Roughriders’ lines, with Carns at their head. This did him little good as he was killed in combat with Scire’s Awesome, robbing the Wolves of their leader. Realising the full depth of their situation, Star Commander Kyle Jones ordered a retreat to preserve his remaining forces.

While the Battle of Windsor was a victory for the Republic, it ultimately did little more than slow the Wolves’ advance on the city. However, it also bought the defenders precious time, while helping to secure supply lines that would be useful in the battle ahead.

-   From Untold tales of Terra, Galatea Free Press

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:31:25
From the campaign journal of Star Colonel Don Cooper

Vietnam. Stravag Vietnam and the stravag Republicans.

We had little idea of what to expect, especially given that Ho Chi Minh City had fallen without much of a fight; we had faced little more than light resistance from militia forces that had scattered in the face of Beta Galaxy’s massed forces. When the Thirteenth was given the task of leading the Clan’s advance through Vietnam, it was an honour. I had no idea how it would turn out.

Lucius and Leeandra went in to the situation convinced that the RAF militia they were facing were a bunch of amateurs; they were not going to be able to inflict any significant harm or even be able to do anything. Instead, they looked at the bottom line. They were trueborn warriors, Bloodnamed and each leading a Trinary of the best their Clan had to offer. What were the defenders going to do? They were a bunch of surats trying to find reverse on old Blakist tanks. They were not a worthy adversary.

The instant the first BattleMech hit a mine and took fire from the jungle, they were off. The pair of them led their Trinaries in pursuit of the Republic forces, despite my explicit orders not to. And not one member of their units disagreed; if anything, they seemed to be eager to prove themselves, all but racing each other to get the first kill. And the rest of my stravag Cluster chased after them, caught up in the excitement.

Instead they led their forces into a textbook ambush. The Republicans had littered the area with mines, pitfalls, traps and other such hazards. And as my warriors struggled to extract themselves, the Republicans came at them from all sides, taking them down with dezgra attacks when they could not defend themselves.

In the end, my men had to be rescued by Delta Galaxy’s forces. The best of the tourman bailed out by a bunch of sibkids piloting Lyran castoffs. Humiliating does not begin to cover it.

None of my officers want to talk about what happened; they are stonewalling me with their silence. I should demote the lot of them for their idiocy and letting good warriors die face down in the muck for their glory, but I cannot afford either to lose their experience or the Trials that would inevitably occur. Instead, I have called up reserves from Iota to make up numbers.

This stravag country can go to hell.

Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 08 March 2022, 04:33:15
Rush Hour

Outside Hong Kong, China District, Asia
Terra
Republic of the Sphere
T+8


When he first graduated from his sibko, Jean had been convinced that one day he would fight on Terra for the glory of his Clan. As a ristar assigned to a prestigious unit and a brand new OmniMech, it had seemed inevitable to him that not only would he be a part of the campaign, but that he would lead the charge against the defenders.

And after that had all fallen apart, he had been more focused on surviving then anything else. Simply keeping his head above water had become a challenge. Dreams of conquest were just that.

But yet, here he was, walking on the soil of sacred Terra as the Wolves fought for the future of all mankind. So far, Iota Galaxy had been a reserve unit that had not seen action, but nonetheless, Jean was excited at the prospect of fighting for glory, both his own and for his Clan as a whole. When they had been assigned to the assault of Redoubt Hong Kong, he was thrilled at the prospect of seeing battle at last.

His Tundra Wolf marched at the head of his Star, the five BattleMechs keeping a steady pace as they approached the fortified city. While so far, they had no contact with the Republican forces, there was no doubt that they would be well dug in to the city itself. The fortifications discovered around Sydney and other cities had given the Wolves a good idea of what to expect, but even then, the Wolves were wary for more tricks.

“Status report?” He called out over his command channel as he bought his ‘Mech to a halt at the rally point. A chorus of replies came back, each one professional and calm.
“Good,” he finished, a hint of pride in his tone. This command might not have been the one he had expected when he first entered service with the touman, but they were his nonetheless. Switching over to the command channel, he reported in. “Charlie Battle is in position, Star Captain. Awaiting orders.”

“Understood,” the gravelly voice of Star Captain Pietro replied. “My Star will take the lead. Follow in formation.”

He paused a moment. “Star Captain, should Charlie Scout take the lead? We are headed into unknown hostile territory and-“

“You have your orders, Star Commander,” came the growling reply. “I expect you to follow them.”

“Star Captain, all I am saying is-“

“Know your place, Pudding Wolf,” Pietro snapped. “You have my orders. I expect you to follow them, quiaff?”

“Aff,” he replied with a degree of reluctant acceptance.

“What a tool,” one of his Star quietly muttered. Jean let it stand for the moment, even if he did agree. Pietro had only been promoted to Star Captain to replace another officer who had been transferred to Alpha Galaxy. The knowledge that he was the replacement for somebody better then him had not gone over well, leading to him taking out his frustrations on everyone around him while looking for ways to find his own glory.

Nobody liked Pietro, which was fine because he didn’t like anybody.

The Trinary began their advance, with Pietro’s Night Wolf at the head of the force. Ahead of them, through the hilly terrain, lay a series of bunkers and walls similar to those discovered around Sydney, likely packed full of Republican units.

Conformation came with the first long-range missile fire. Several shots peppered the upper body of Pietro’s Night Wolf, the assault ‘Mech shrugging them off. That was soon joined by heavy cannon fire as the Republican tanks tried to focus on bringing the Wolf attackers down or at least slowing their assault. Pietro’s Star opened up in reply, their shots hitting the enemy tanks as much as they did the fortifications they were using for shelter.

“Maintain formation and mark targets,” Jean called out to his Star. Several missiles hit his ‘Mech, with his sensors quickly identifying the source of the attack. A Marksman tank, most of its body concealed behind a sloped concrete barricade. He replied with his own pulse lasers and missiles, the shots hitting both armour and the fortifications protecting it, doing little actual damage.

Pietro’s BattleMech continued its advance, pushing deeper towards the Republican fortifications. “These freeborn whelps lack the courage for a real fight,” he yelled. “Crush them.”

A gauss rifle hit rocked Jean’s BattleMech, staggering it as it advanced. Keeping his footing, he continued to pour fire on the Marksman tank, his lasers slashing more armour from its turret. The Marksman’s crew simply continued to fire, another volley of missiles arcing out and striking at his ‘Mech.

Despite the fevered exchange of fire, something else caught his eyes. A series of small, fast-moving vehicles, darting out from the Republican defenses and weaving in among the ‘Mechs of Pietro’s Command Star. “Star Captain,” he called out over the command channel. “Hoverbikes in your flanks.”

“Shut up, Pudding Wolf,” Pietro snapped. “I can fight my own battles.” His ‘Mech continued to advance, the Hoverbikes scattering as it did. “See what I mean? These cowards cannot-“

He was cut off as the first artillery missile slammed into his BattleMech, tearing huge chunks out of its torso. A second hit even harder, sending it crashing to the ground. Clearly seeing an opportunity, the Republic tanks focused fire onto the downed BattleMech. Within moments, it had been reduced to smoking wreckage under the concentrated assault.

“Pull back!” Jean ordered, figuring that Pietro was either dead or disabled. He squeezed off another volley of fire, the Marksman tank continuing to soak it up as a sign of its own defiance. Not a good start, Jean admitted to himself as his BattleMech backpedaled, the rest of his Star falling into formation with him.

Victory would come, of that he was certain. It was just going to take a lot more work.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2022, 05:00:31
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Unit Digest: Red Right Hand

Tariku,

I’m attaching the profile for one of the small units we have working for us in the European theatre. They focus on covert actions, targeted strikes and elimination of valuable targets, and have been invaluable in helping to prepare our forces. I feel that they would complement Sunstorm well in the field, especially given the unfolding situation. And despite how their leader may act, I know that we can rely on them.

-   Bianka

History

The Red Right Hand came into existence following the formation of the Chaos March. While their exact origins are unclear (and were likely deliberately obscured up by its founders to cover their tracks) the unit’s founders possibly included members of a FedCom recon team who were abandoned in the region. The unit spend its early years working out of the Fletcher hiring hall (itself notorious for its poor record-keeping) for various powers across the region. Many of their operations focused on precise raiding aimed at extracting or eliminating specific targets, including false-flag operations.

While many of the mercenaries operating in the Chaos March were destroyed or captured by the Word of Blake, or came under their control, the Red Right Hand were able to remain free agents. During the early years of the Jihad, the unit were still focused on small-scale operations, but later came under control of Chandrasekhar Kurita through one of the many StarCorps subsidiaries. During this period, they were redirected towards specific focused targets in the Word of Blake Protectorate, as well as the Word’s allies. Furthermore, the unit were also involved in key intelligence gathering that would be used during Operation SCOUR.

Following the Jihad, the unit were contracted by the Republic and used in a number of discrete actions, including the capture or elimination of wanted war criminals and other Word allies. They also were involved in actions against the Capellan Confederation and former Free Worlds states aimed at slowing their ability to rearm and wage war. While the Republic stopped utilising the Red Right Hand by the end of the century, a discrete understanding was established to ensure that the unit would be available to renew that relationship should it be needed.

Much of that experience would be lost in 3103 when the unit was badly mauled by Jade Falcon forces on Great X (although it has to be said that inept Lyran leadership was ultimately to blame). The Red Right Hand rebuilt as a more conventional force, but would suffer, as many other units did, through the withering of the mercenary trade in the early 32nd century. It was not until after Gray Monday and a change of leadership that it would come to resemble its earlier self.

The rebuilt Red Right Hand saw action in the crumbling Republic, which brought it to our attention. Through successful negotiations we were able to resume our alliance with the unit, aided by the promise of advanced technology and intelligence. After the creation of Fortress Republic, the Red Right Hand were employed through our intermediaries. Some of their actions included the elimination of threats and assets within the former Republic’s territories in order to prevent them from being captured or used by other parties. These efforts were later refocused towards our enemies in order to disrupt their activities.

Composition

The paper strength of the Red Right Hand does not appear to be overly impressive at first. The unit boasts two lances of BattleMechs, supported by a lance of light vehicles, a battle armor platoon and several small infantry units. What is more important is the way that they are utilised; rather than direct engagements, the Red Right Hand focus more on targeted attacks and ambushes, preferring to avoid stand-up fights. To aid in this, their conventional infantry forces are usually deployed in special use squads, intended for scouting, infiltration, sabotage and the like. The unit’s strength is rounded out by a pair of light aerospace fighters that are tasked with recon and support operations.

Support

The Red Right Hand’s small size has allowed it to maintain a dedicated technical support corps that more than covers their needs. Their support crews include dedicated salvage experts who are skilled both at recovering materials and, where needs be, ensuring that no evidence is left behind. Over the years, the unit has built up a considerable reserve of parts and equipment, both as insurance against repair needs and to use as currency.

The unit possesses two DropShips; the Union-class Aces High and Gazelle-class Two Pair. Both ships are modern and well-maintained; furthermore, both have several sets of fake transponder codes ready if needed.

Colours and Insignia

The insignia of the Red Right Hand depicts a quartet of playing cards, all Aces. The unit has no standard parade scheme, but will paint the upper arms and lower legs of their ‘Mechs and battle armor in alternating red and black. However, the unit will rarely employ any sort of scheme or insignia in the field, and have also been known to disguise themselves as other units to create confusion and cover their tracks.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2022, 05:02:47
Interlude - From the Operational Journal of Ash Wednesday

January 7 3146

I feel that I have grossly underestimated Connie Raymond.

When I was given this assignment, the brief was simple. We have past connections to Raymond’s Roughnecks, and we can use them to fulfil our needs. On the surface, it was an open and shut case. Connie Raymond seemed easy enough to manipulate to our ends. Angry, bitter and dwelling on a feud that had been going on for over a century, her emotional state was easy to prod and direct as we needed. And in my role as her scout and broker, I was in the perfect position to do such.

Of course, it was not that easy. As a part of my role I was to help train her kids as officers and potential heirs. Anyone who has read my report will know that I instantly didn’t like them, and that position has not changed at all over the twelve years that I have been on this assignment.

Outwardly, the problem came down to one key fact. Neither of them were ever going to be suitable leaders for the unit, albeit for different reasons. Added to that was the fact that they couldn’t stand each other, the result of their mother’s playing favourites and the resulting deeply competitive rift between them, which amounted to a race to the bottom.

Jessie as never going to be any good as a leader. In fact, she was struggling in her position as a junior officer. Shy, socially awkward and anxious, she was utterly lacking in any leadership ability whatsoever. And while she was a skilled enough MechWarrior in her own right, that didn’t translate into any ability to make decisions on the battlefield.

Ronnie was also never going to be any good as a leader, but for completely different reasons. Self-important, whiny and entitled, he expected to have everything handed to him on a silver platter. While again a capable MechWarrior he lacked the charisma to make anyone want to follow him. He might have actually been a better leader then Jessie, but that’s a case of low bars to clear.

And yet, Connie pushed Jessie to the moon. She was named as heir to the family unit before she ever set foot in a BattleMech. She was given a Clantech assault ‘Mech and command of a lance as soon as she was old enough to pilot it. Naturally, Jessie didn’t get a say in any of this – but I suspect that even if she’d been against the idea, she would have been too timid to oppose her mother in any way.

Ronnie, on the other hand, got a light ‘Mech and command of a recon lance, and that was it. The clear unfavourite of the two, Connie Raymond all but spelled it out to him how little regard she had for him. And while Ron McDougall supported Ronnie in every way he could, that really amounted to very little in Ronnie’s eyes.

So Ronnie became entitled and demanded more. He’d treat Jessie like crap, complaining to her at every opportunity about how unfair things were between the pair of them (but never to his mother, of course). Jessie basically used the only defence mechanism she had which was to lord that favouritism over him; after all, their mother picked her for a reason. As can be imagined, that only made things worse between the pair of them.

I often wondered why Connie was so divisive in the treatment of her children. I think anyone could have seen that Jessie was horribly ill-suited to the position and didn’t really want it, but yet Connie pushed her no less. I had my own theories as to why. Jessie was, after all, the first-born child. On top of that, she was (supposedly) the only child Connie had with her dead first husband, Shane Packard. Conversely, Ronnie seemed to largely exist as a part of the alliance made between her an Ron McDougall when they combined their two units to give him a child and heir, with Connie treating him as a mild inconvenience after that.

But now I am not so sure.

When Jessie left the unit, Connie was livid. After all, her daughter and heir had just walked out on her and taken with her an expensive BattleMech. That would have been betrayal enough, but there was more to it than just that. She was angry because Jessie had in leaving the unit thrown some spanner in the works, done something to derail some plan that she had which went well beyond just pushing her daughter to take her place one day.

It became more obvious when she named Ronnie as her new heir. To be fair, the kid hadn’t done himself many favours with his approach; a combination of pandering to her with pledges of loyalty while putting down Jessie at every opportunity. But Connie’s reaction was full of begrudging acceptance. She didn’t want Ronnie as heir because he never was meant to be there, and putting him there went against whatever plans she had.

(Not that Ronnie would have noticed any of this, mind you)

Which got me to thinking what was so important about Jessie in particular. My first thought was that it went back to Shane Packard; presumably the pair had planned to have more kids before fate intervened. But then that made me look at a few other things.

For context, it needs to be said that Ronnie and Jessie don’t look much like each other, even allowing for the half-siblings thing. Ronnie has his mother’s looks; dark hair, dark eyes and some of her features. Jessie, on the other hand, has fairer skin, blue eyes and red hair. Now that doesn’t match at all to Connie or her family history. And, to be blunt, it doesn’t really match to the few pictures there are of Shane Packard either.

I had long had doubts about Jessie’s parentage. I had never voiced them as there was no need for me to do such, and I would have nothing to gain from doing such. But after Connie’s reaction, a lot of things became clear to me.

I already have my suspicions as to the identity of Jessie’s actual father. They have features that would match and a family history that would likely give a child those looks. And most importantly, Connie would have a lot to gain from having a child with them. I need to run a DNA test to be sure, but I feel confident of the result already.

Jessie, without knowing it, had ruined everything her mother had planned for her, down to the very reason why she existed in the first place.

(It also makes Shane Packard’s death very convenient to the point that I have to wonder)
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2022, 05:04:56
Interlude - Fight and Flight

Lanie King couldn’t help but feel a little intimidated, even if she was making sure not to show it. On the surface, there was no reason to feel that way. After all, she was having a private meeting with one of her allies inside the rented office space that was their shared space. There should have been nothing to worry about at all.

On the other side of it, there was the simple fact that Alexis Fairchild was rather intimidating in and of herself. Large and muscular, she simply looked it in her own right. It did not help that she had a certain energy to her, one that suggested she was about to explode at any moment and was only barely holding herself back. Finally there was the fact that, simply put, Lanie knew next to nothing about her. All she had was the unsubstantiated claims that Alexis and Ryback had made.

Claims that were very hard to back up.

“So tell me what happened on Al Jubalyah,” Alexis simply asked. There was no hint of anger or malice, just a simple question.

“A group of pirates landed on the world only about a week out from when my unit was due to depart,” Lanie answered, sitting up straight and keeping her tone clam and level throughout. “We later found out that they called themselves the Steel Tygers.”

“And what did they want?”

“That was the confusing part of it,” Lanie admitted. “They didn’t go after any targets that would have any real value to them at all. Rather, they roamed the countryside, picking on low-key targets like farms and communications relays.”

“What was the government’s response?”

Lanie considered the answer carefully. “The Council of Mullahs wanted them driven off the planet before they did any real damage. The Tigers were sent after them in support of the planetary guard.”

“Did that provoke a response?”

“Yes,” Lanie began, but immediately countered herself. “Sort of.”

“What do you mean?”

She sighed. “The Steel Tygers didn’t stand and fight, but nor did they simply try to escape as you would have expected from pirates. Rather, they spent days stringing out my men in a series of pointless running battles. All this did was cost them a couple of hovertanks and some damaged BattleMechs, while also seeing them burn off a fortune in smoke missiles before they finally retreated off-world.”

Alexis seemed to be considering something for a moment before she spoke again. “Did they hit any targets besides those you mentioned?”

“Only one, and it didn’t really make any sense to me.”

“How so?”

“I only found out about it after they had left the world,” Lanie admitted. “While we were tied up with then, a small pirate infantry force hit an abandoned homestead in the middle of nowhere. They put the place to the torch and then left.”

“Where was that homestead? This is very important.”

Lanie paused as she tried to remember. “Northwest of Medina.” Alexis looked aside for a moment, clearly concerned. “Is something wrong?”

The other woman took a deep breath before she continued. “Tell nobody about what I am about to say. Not in your unit, not any of our allies or anyone else.”

Now Lanie really was concerned. “What is it?”

“That homestead was used as a base of operations for one of the Blakist cells that I destroyed,” she explained. “There should have been nothing left.”

“But?”

“But if the Steel Tygers knew about it and went back to it, that means two things,” Alexis assessed. “The first is that there was something there worth hitting the world and getting in a fight with your unit for. And the second is that they knew it was there.”

“Which means that the Steel Tygers must have a connection to your Blakists.”

“Exactly.”

All of a sudden she could understand Alexis’ concerns.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 11 May 2022, 05:08:40
Interlude - Playdate

A flight of long-range missiles flew past the Shadow Hawk as it advanced, scattering across the landscape. In response, the blocky BattleMech opened up with its autocannon, loosing a stream of shells at the Goblin tank that had been responsible for the attack. Shots chewed through its armour, fouling the tank’s treads.

Seconds later, a Chameleon joined it, opening fire with its rifle-like large laser. The shot seared through the already damaged armour, eating into the tank’s exposed structure. A moment later, its rear erupted into flames as its missile magazine cooked off, before a second, larger explosion tore the tank apart from within.

“Nice shooting there, Blue Two,” Lanie King commented as she watched the battle unfold on a series of displays. A large holographic table was presently zoomed in on the lance of ‘Mechs, while other monitors showed different views around the battlefield. While everything was simulated, Lanie was still impressed with the level of detail in the virtual environment and the combatants in it.

“Angela’s got a good eye there,” Katarina Morrison added, nodding to the image of the Chameleon. “And some good fire discipline as well.”

“It helps that she’s got a good leader. Jakub really seems to have taken well to this,” Lanie observed as the virtual BattleMechs continued their advance. “I heard about what he did on Haggard.”

“Definitely,” Katarina nodded. “He’s showing a lot of skill already, and a great ability to think on the fly. And probably the most-“ she paused. “On your left, Blue Lead.” On the screen, the Shadow Hawk pivoted and broke into a run just as a stream of tracers streaked past it. “As I was saying, he’s good at supporting others and not just looking out for his own glory.”

“Good traits for a leader,” Lanie added as she watched the simulated Chameleon follow the Shadow Hawk’s lead. The dome-headed BattleMech took a shot with its large laser, singeing armour from a Vedette.

“How’s Angela doing?”

“She’s still learning, and definitely at that stage where she’s excited just to be piloting a ‘Mech,” Lanie admitted. “But I think she’s doing well.” The Chameleon fired its jump jets, vaulting over a line of rubble to take cover behind a ridge. “But I can tell this is what she really wants.”

“But?”

“Well you know how it goes,” Lanie admitted as the lance of BattleMechs continued to move across the simulated landscape, maintaining a close formation. “it’s what she wants, and that’s what counts.”

“Miho’s still not happy about Angela’s choice of profession, is she?” Katarina asked.

Lanie nodded, perhaps a bit reluctantly. “She claims that she will support Angela no matter what she does, but I’ve been married to her long enough to read between the lines. She would have much preferred that Angela was a technician like her, or at the very least, in some other non-combatant position.”

“I can understand her reasoning,” Katarina admitted. “What about Keiko?”

“Oh, Keiko wants to be a technician,” Lanie replied. “Or, at least she does today. Yesterday she wanted to be a MechWarror. Tomorrow she’ll probably want to be a ballerina or something.”

Katarina chuckled. “Kids, right?”

“All things being equal, though, Jakub really seems to be happy with the idea,” Lanie noted. “At least of being MechWarrior.”

“MechWarrior and eventual leader,” Katarina agreed. “It’s a lot of weight on his shoulders, but I think he’s behind the idea. And I’m happy to let him lean into it and take things as they come to make sure he’s ready for the role when the day comes.”

“Which hopefully-“ Lanie stopped, “Good work there, two.” On the screen, the Chameleon stepped back, continuing to use the terrain as cover. “You know what? Jakub’s doing a pretty good job on this exercise so far.”

“Thanks,” Katarina nodded, with no small sense of pride. “He’s a smart kid.”

“Must have had a good teacher then.”

Katarina gave a small smile back. “Angela’s not doing too bad either, given that she’s still learning.”

“She has talent,” Lanie agreed. “And while yes, I know she’s one day going to take my place, I want her to be as ready as possible for that moment.”

“Which hopefully will not be for a long time to come.”

“Gods no,” Lanie chuckled.

On screen the simulated lance continued to move, running and jumping through the broken terrain to make the most of the cover available to them. “Of course, there’s other things you need to think about for a potential leader,” Katarina noted. “So far, Jakub seems to be confident in the role, even if inexperienced.”

“The social part of it,” Lanie nodded. “I know exactly what you mean. They need to be confident as a leader, and be able to get others to follow them.”

“Mm-hm,” Katarina agreed. “I’ve been trying to keep Jakub socialised, both with members of the unit and others his age. The hope is that he’ll be the sort of leader that people want to follow, rather than feel they need to.”

“I know that feeling. I’ve been trying to do the same for Angela,” Lanie noted, indicating at the screen. “And I think this is a great idea, getting the pair of them to work together like this.”

“Definitely,” Katarina smiled. “I think we should do it more often.”

“Getting them to train together, of course,” Lanie smirked. “And to know each other better, because it would be good for both of them, of course.”

“Naturally. Get to know other people their ages, work together, build those important friendships and alliances and the like.”

“And you’re thinking of this from a purely professional point of view,” She continued. “Because anyone would think you were trying to set the pair of them up.” On the displays, Jakub’s simulated Shadow Hawk had loosed a flight of smoke missiles to provide cover for the rest of the lance.

“Never,” Katarina chuckled. “But I am saying that I wouldn’t be entirely against the idea either.”

“Well, when you put it like that,” Lanie admitted. “I think it’d be a good idea for the pair of them to spend more time around each other. And not just in training, of course.”

“Thought so,” Katarina smiled.

“Obviously we’d need to work around our unit deployments and the like, but-“ Lanie cut herself off. “On your left, Blue Two!”

On the screen, Angela’s Chameleon turned, but not quickly enough. A pair of brilliant azure lightning bolts struck the ‘Mech, spearing into its chest, tearing through armour before destroying the delicate systems within. The BattleMech crashed to the ground, while its damage display made it clear that it was out of action.

“Ouch,” was all that Katarina could add as the bulky form of a Warhammer IIC stepped forward, approaching the downed BattleMech.

“Nice shooting there, Jessie,” Irisz Magyari added as she watched the display, before turning back to Lanie. “Sorry.”
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 24 June 2022, 05:29:35
Raf Esquarra
Position/Rank:       Captain
Affiliation/Unit:      Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:         3109

A Terran native, Raf Esquarra grew up with every advantage that the Republic’s Golden Age had to offer. Growing up in a well-to-do family, he had an excellent education where he excelled in mathematics and computer sciences. Despite the opportunities available to him, Raf chose to earn his citizenship through military service in the RAF. There he served as a communications technician, operating in both field and rear-echelon roles.

Following his time in service, Raf went to a prestigious Terran university where he put his skills to work. He developed a keen interest in the use of applied mathematics in encryption and coding, publishing several papers on the subject. Following the Blackout and the formation of Fortress Republic, Raf was approached by the Republic government, offering him the opportunity to work on a number of high-level projects. He eagerly agreed, driven as much by curiosity as his own desire to put his skills to work.

Much of his work went into decrypting encoded data recovered from outside the walls of Fortress Republic, helping the RAF to gain key insights into their enemies. He also worked in decoding data recovered from the destruction of the ComGuards, helping to uncover some of the secrets they had been hiding from the Republic. With the threat of invasion of Terra itself becoming a distinct possibility, he has begun his own pet projects to secure his own work and other materials against falling into hostile hands.

While he has had basic field training, Raf is no soldier and he knows it. While he has engaged in field operations in past, they were usually with heavy escorts and away from the actual fighting.

Guest character by KayEmm

Pierce Icaza
Position/Rank:       Star Captain
Affiliation/Unit:      Clan Jade Falcon/Delta Galaxy
Birth Year:         3125

Created from a mix of a long-standing Icaza bloodline and a captured Cobb one, Pierce Icaza lived up to expectations from the moment he was decanted. One of the largest and strongest member of his Sibko, he excelled in his training, proving to be both adept and resilient in the face of his often harsh and demanding training. He graduated through his trial of position as a Star Commander, a position born as much from his capabilities as his careful planning.

Pierce saw his first combat during the Falcons’ surge into the Lyran Commonwealth. Fighting on numerous worlds, he and his Elemental point would be key to a number of victories over their various enemies. Far from being reckless, he specialised in careful attacks on key targets and staging ambushes from cover. One of his preferred tactics was to pick out slow-moving Lyran assault ‘Mechs and target them for anti-‘Mech or swarm attacks to further isolate them.

Due to his successes, he was nominated for his Bloodname, winning it after a series of battles where he was careful not to kill or excessively harm his opponents. While understanding the central place of BattleMechs in the Jade Falcon tourman, Pierce has been a strong advocate for expanding combined-arms tactics and better integration of conventional units. While the alliance with the Hells’ Horses may be over, he feels that there are lessons to be learned from that Clan.

While the leaders of different trinaries, he often works closely with Star Captain Kia Malthus, with the two supporting each other in the field. He also has developed an interest in swordsmanship from working with her, and has become a regular sparring partner.

Griff Heller
Position/Rank:       Star Commander
Affiliation/Unit:      Clan Wolf/Beta Galaxy
Birth Year:         3123

The Heller Bloodhouse is only a minor one, with only a handful of Bloodnamed warriors among the Clans. That it is split between the Wolves and the Hells’ Horses only serves to further diminish its standing and prestige. Despite these setbacks, Griff Heller is determined to not only excel as a warrior, but to expand the influence of his House.

Decanted in the old Wolf Occupation Zone, Griff was too young to see action during the operation HAMMERFALL invasion of the Marik-Stewart commonwealth. Instead, he would be pressed into service during the invasion of the Lyran Commonwealth, following the formation of the Wolf Empire. While still inexperienced, Griff quickly proved himself in battle against the Lyran forces. Not only was he promoted for his actions, he also was transferred into the prestigious Beta Galaxy despite his relative youth.

In 3147, Griff was nominated for the Heller Bloodname. His success in the competition was as much due to his own skills and training as it was the simple lack of opponents. While he was successful, he also was disappointed to see just how diminished the Heller Bloodhouse had become in terms of numbers and influence. That he was then passed over for promotion in favour of a Bloodnamed warrior from a more prominent Bloodhouse only served to underscore the point.

While Griff is fanatically loyal to the Clan, he also feels frustrated by the complex politics of the Bloodnamed around him. He feels that he is unlikely to go any further due to his Bloodname, which has given him the drive to outperform his rivals on the battlefield. While he drives his Elemental star hard, he also has so far achieved excellent results.
Title: Re: Renegades
Post by: Deadborder on 24 June 2022, 05:31:12
Guest character by KayEmm

Tan Yo-Han
Position/Rank:       Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit:      Mercenary/Red Right Hand
Birth Year:         3113

Born in the Capellan Confederation, Tan Yo-Han enlisted in the armed forces out of a sense of patriotic duty. Enrolled in the Sarna Martial Academy just before the Blackout, he was a promising student that had been directed towards Battle Armour training due to both his physical prowess and tactical acumen. Many had expected him to go far, but he was not ready for an unexpected twist.

Tan’s father was arrested for having Republic sympathies, casting suspicion over the rest of his family. Fearing for his life, Tan fled the academy and the Confederation as a whole, using the chaos of the Blackout to cover his escape. Initially having no real plan, he eventually settled on choosing to become a mercenary, feeling that it would be the only good way to employ his skills. Making his way to Galatea, Tan worked for several different units as both a conventional infantryman and then later a Battle Armour trooper before being headhunted by the Red Right Hand.

As a member of the unit, Tan’s role is equal parts scout, infiltrator, ambusher and headhunter. His team are often employed to take out certain objectives in discrete operations, often swaying the course of a battle before it has even started. When employed directly against enemy forces, he will try to locate and eliminate key enemy commanders or other high-value assets.

Tan holds no loyalty to the nation of his birth, and has so far displayed no reluctance to act against Capellan targets. He does, however, find it amusingly ironic that he is using a Battle Armour built in the Federated Suns.

Guest character by KayEmm

Naja Beniko
Position/Rank:    Lieutenant
Affiliation/Unit:   Republic of the Sphere
Birth Year:      3113

With her slight build, Naja Beniko does not fit the image usually associated with Battle Armor troopers; in fact, she only barely reached the minimums for a training program. Despite that, she is a capable and canny warrior who’s determination is only matched by her loyalty to the Republic.

Like many, Naja enlisted in the RAF as a way to earn her citizenship. At first, her plan was to simply serve a single tour of duty before turning her interests elsewhere, but fate had other ideas in store. Naja’s training was interrupted by the HPG Blackout, and the subsequent rise of factionalism and infighting within the Republic. As soon as she had graduated, she was fighting to help preserve her home nation from its enemies, both without and within.

Her unit fought in the first and second Jade Falcon invasions of Skye, facing off against the full force of an invading Clan. Seeing the battle from the ground not only made Naja even more determined in her loyalty to her homeland, but also gave her a deep hatred for the Clans. Not only was this aimed at the Jade Falcons for their merciless assault, but also at the Steel Wolves who, despite their assistance, she saw as little more then opportunists who had turned their back on the Republic.

Naja’s unit was among those that were within the Republic when the Fortress walls went up. Understanding the logic of the move, she instead focused herself on training and preparing for what would come next. Her experience and talent saw her selected by Knight Tariku Noab Adani to be a part of a special unit, codenamed Sunstorm, that was trained in anti-Clan tactics.