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Author Topic: Renegades  (Read 16320 times)

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2021, 05:08:46 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: 15 March 2021, 03:13:25 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #32 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #33 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.
« Last Edit: 25 March 2021, 03:44:44 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #34 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #35 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #36 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #37 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.
« Last Edit: 30 March 2021, 01:01:54 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #38 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #39 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #40 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #41 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #42 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #43 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #44 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.
« Last Edit: 03 August 2021, 03:20:35 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #45 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?”

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #46 on: 11 May 2021, 22:54:48 »
Ok! This jumped in an interesting direction


"Hold your position, conserve ammo... and wait for the Dragoons to go Feral"
- last words of unknown merc, Harlech, 3067

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #47 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #48 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?


Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

KayEmm

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #49 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
Alaric Ward and WarBear - the ultimate Dark Age OTP

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #50 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.

Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Dragon Cat

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #51 on: 02 June 2021, 02:49:12 »
This is interesting
Below are links to my fan fiction pages.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-(full)/

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-full-part-2/

As always please enjoy and if you have any questions about my AU (or want to chat about ideas I could incorporate into it) feel free to PM me.

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #52 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #53 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.”
« Last Edit: 08 June 2021, 06:00:53 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #54 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.

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #55 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.

« Last Edit: 22 June 2021, 01:10:41 by Deadborder »
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Re: Renegades
« Reply #56 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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Re: Renegades
« Reply #57 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.

« Last Edit: 16 July 2021, 23:54:11 by Deadborder »
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Re: Renegades
« Reply #58 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.
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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

Deadborder

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Re: Renegades
« Reply #59 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.
« Last Edit: 17 August 2021, 05:48:55 by Deadborder »
Author of BattleCorps stories Grand Theft Agro and Zero Signal



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