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Author Topic: Renegades  (Read 20645 times)


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Re: Renegades
« Reply #210 on: 19 March 2023, 02:47:18 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

From the personal journal of Kaitlyn Farris

We made planetfall on Esteros. As I expected, it’s even more of a mess than our employer had lead us to believe.

When the Falcons conquered the world back in 3140, they left most of the local power structures intact, but made sure that there would be people for them to answer to. When they pulled out, they left behind a token solahma garrison and police force. While the former apparently was relocated offworld and the latter was dealt with, the planetary authorities didn’t go back to business as usual.

Instead, a lot of long-simmering issues exploded to the forefront. The Kayserling family had been the planet’s ruling family for centuries, which had created a long-standing rivalry with the Sigonella family, probably the second most powerful nobles on the world. As soon as they’d dealt with the last Falcons, Baroness Giana Sigonella made a play for power, accusing Graf Leonhard Kayserling of being collaborators. This split the planetary assembly, leading to a civil war between the two claimants.

While they are the legitimate rulers, Kayserling’s forces are lacking in their ability to project that authority. So far, the most that they can claim control of is part of one continent. As such, we were hired by them to put an end to things and restore order. While on paper both sides had managed to build up their own not inconsiderable armies, they consisted mostly of light vehicles and regular infantry.

Seems simple, right?

Two weeks ago, another merc unit made planetfall, having been hired by Sigonella for more or less the same reason. That amounted to a significant sudden shift in the balance of power, but it’s also something I had expected would happen. I already have Leon, Iulia and Anton working to find out as much as they can about our enemies.

Unfortunately, we can’t really rely on our employers for any backup. The newly-raised First Kayserling Armoured Guards are little more than reservists lead by noble aspirants who are more concerned with social standing than combat effectiveness. They are armed with whatever militia salvage the Falcons didn’t carry off, and have no real air power or mobility. The only real upside is that Sigonella’s forces aren’t any better off, mercenaries aside.

Even when we do deal with the mercs, that won’t fix everything. Despite the attempts to claim otherwise, the Falcons’ departure created a power vacuum. The nobles are fighting over the Alkahera continent, the other inhabited ones have collapsed into factional fighting and warlords. We have reports of pirates, armed militias and even rumors of Falcon holdouts to deal with.

But right now I need to deal with our first challenge. Kayserling is holding a reception in our honor.

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 #211 on: 19 March 2023, 02:49:06 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Acting the Part

Kaitlyn Farris looked at herself in the dress mirror and sighed. She was wearing a full military dress uniform, one that was mostly mid-grey with some flat red accents; a more muted version of the colors of her unit, who’s badge was on its shoulder. Functional, if a touch generic, it served the purpose of making her seem both professional and presentable. The outfit had been designed for her, and yet she still didn’t feel right in it. Even adding a small scarf, a signature part of her wardrobe, to it didn’t make her feel any better.

She glanced sideways at her friend and second, Iulia Dragan, and gave her a shrug. Unlike Kaitlyn, Iulia had made no effort to dress herself up, instead still wearing he usual rugged leathers. “What is wrong now?” Iulia asked.

“Do I look okay?”

“You look fine,” Iulia offered a resigned reply, knowing full well that she was going to keep repeating this same point. “Stop worrying about it.”

Kait looked at herself again. Her usually scruffy hair had been neatened up and pulled back into a functional, neat bun. A touch of makeup had helped to soften her features and conceal the small scars she’d accumulated over the years. “I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Maybe it’s my ‘middle of nowhere in the Periphery’ upbringing, but I really can’t handle being around nobles.”

“You met my mother,” Iulia pointed out.

“And that was a situation that was super uncomfortable on so many levels,” Kait simply replied.

“Well yes.”

“Also she is insane.”

“Fine, that too,” Iulia admitted.

A knock on the door interrupted the pair of them. “Come in,” Kait managed with a hint of resignation. A moment later, Leon stepped into the room. Like her, he was dressed in a uniform that they had bought especially for the occasion. He’d done a lot to clean himself up, being freshly shaven and his normally scruffy hair having been trimmed and neatened up.

“You look good there, Commander,” Leon admitted. He’d accessorised with a glove over his right hand and lacked the scarf, but otherwise, his uniform matched hers.

Kait blushed just a moment, which was accompanied by a sigh from Iulia. “And you too,” she replied. “Thank you for volunteering to be my plus one here.”

“Least I could do,” he admitted. “I have some experience with Lyran nobles, so I thought it would be a good idea to have your back here.”

“Better you then me,” Iulia added.

“Shush you,” Kait joked back to her, before turning to Leon. “I guess serving in the LCAF does that for you.”

“Nothing like being talked down to by your betters and being reminded that you’re too poor to be promoted,” Leon commented, his tone more joking than anything else. “Trust me, as much as they’ll be grateful that you’re here to protect them, they’ll all be muttering about how poor and dirty you are behind your back.”

“Charming people,” Kait sighed.

“So here’s my suggestions,” Leon offered. “Number one, mention how long-lived your family unit is and how there’s been a Farris in it for generations. They’ll respect tradition, and it gives you and air of...” he waved his good hand a moment in thought. “breeding, I guess. Like you’re a noble.”

“Should I not mention that it used to be the Blackstones in charge?”

“Gods no,” Leon shook his head. “None of them will know a thing about your family or unit history anyway, so you can embellish the truth a little to help yourself out there.”

“And what if one of them is a hobby genealogist or military historian?”

“Fake it,” Leon simply replied.

“Thanks,” she nodded. “Next?”

“If any of them offer to introduce you to their son, feign politeness but don’t get too engaged,” he offered. “Odds are they’re trying to buy your loyalty, marry off an otherwise worthless kid or both.”

“Understood,” she nodded. “Last thing I want to do is get tied down to one world or family, especially given how volatile the situation is.”

“You’re dealing with nations that didn’t exist a year ago,” Leon agreed. “And don’t bet on any of them being around a year from now.”

“What next?’

“Be wary around any military commanders, be they militia officers or noble house guards or whatever else,” he suggested. “Many of them are going to have completely jumped-up opinions of themselves and their forces, and very little actual combat experience.”

“So be ready for a lot of ‘advice’ from them,” she considered.

“Exactly,” he confirmed. “Each and every one of them is a self-professed expert who got to their position through wealth or family connections, not actual qualifications.”

“The same applies to me,” she noted. “I’m the commander of the unit because of who my parents were.”

“Yes, but you still work for the position,” Leon countered. “And you listen to your officers and your men. That makes a world of difference.” That bought out a chuckle. “After all, you’re taking my advice here.”

“Well, when you put it like that,” Kait admitted. “Anything else?”

“I think we’re mostly good,” Leon finished. “Just remember to smile and nod at all times and you’ll be fine.”
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 #212 on: 26 March 2023, 02:38:28 »
Noble Goals

[recording begins]

“The contract with our employer had made it clear that we were to liberate Pangkalan and restore the Duke’s rule over the world, while ensuring that they would have his loyalty. The actual situation we found, however, was a lot more complicated.”

“The world had been captured by the Jade Falcons a decade ago. By all reports, they had faced relatively little resistance to their assault, facing only militia units. The intelligence from our employer put the Seventh Mixed Cluster on the world, but noted that information was out of date and that there was every possibility that the Falcons were no longer present.”

“The hope was that we would simply land on the planet, perhaps deal with some remnant paramilitary units and then plant a flag. While not the most glamourous of assignments, fulfilling such a contract would, of course, be richly rewarding.”
“We were correct in that the Jade Falcons had largely departed the world, leaving behind their paramilitary forces. Armed with only light armour and conventional infantry, they were no match whatsoever for my men and their capabilities. They made an ultimately futile last stand in the capitol city before we dispatched them. In retrospect, that proved to be the easy part of the assignment.”

“Note to self, try to make this sound a little more dramatic. Although I’m not sure how much I can do with our dispatching a bunch of poorly-armed rabble.”

“However, that did not fulfil our obligations, which proved to be far harder than anticipated. After we had dispatched the rabble, we discovered that the Duke had died unexpectedly only a week after the Falcons had departed. His two sons, Santoso and Siem Latupapura had both claimed his title, and as yet neither had been ratified by the planetary council. It turned out that the leadership of the Clan administration had simply sidestepped the pair of them in order to keep the planet running, an outcome that was obviously no longer possible.”

“This now made our unit, and myself in particular, the kingmaker.”

“Santoso immediately made his case to me. He hosted a celebration in my honour at the family estate, hailing myself and my men as the heroes of Pangkalan, delivering them from their oppressors. His treatment of us was nothing short of magnanimous, ensuring that we had whatever that we needed within the limits of what he could provide. He knew how to act the part of a true gentleman, one befitting of his station.”

“On the other side, Siem tried to impress on us his plans for the world. He sought to rebuild its economy, which had been stagnant before the occupation and the pillaging that the Falcons had subjected it to. Likewise, he sought to reform the leadership to prevent the centralisation of power that had caused this deadlock and that the Falcons had exploited.”

“Hm, I probably should re-word that.”

“Anyway, the issue was resolved for us three weeks after our victory. A rather brutish group of mercenaries, calling themselves Stark’s Sharks, dropped onto the world. They claimed that they were here for the same reason as us; to liberate the world. Unfortunately, they now saw us as an obstacle to that goal, and chose to attack us.”

“Fortunately, for all their ferocity, they were also very much lacking in skill and refinement. We dealt them a savage blow, which was enough to bring their leader to an offer to parlay. As a part of his ransom, he revealed that he had been hired by Siem Latupapura through some rather unsavoury contacts. The simple lag time with no working HPGs meant that by the time they arrived, we were already in place.”

“I took this evidence to the council, who quickly acted on it. Santoso was ratified as the Duke of Pangkalan and assumed his position as its leader. On the other side, Siem was arrested on crimes of treason, although his position ensured that he was exiled rather than being incarcerated or executed like a commoner. As soon as the matter was resolved, with approached Santoso with our message from our employer; given all that had happened, he gladly accepted it and pledged his fealty.”

“And with that, we had fulfilled our contract. I had no doubt that Duke Brewer would be satisfied with the outcome.”

-   Luis Caesar, unpublished notes
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 #213 on: 26 March 2023, 02:40:26 »
Guest Chapter by Zogster

Opportunity Knocks

Galatea City
Galatean League
12 November 3151

As he was lead into the cavernous lobby of the former Bannson Universal office on Galatea, Jakub Day couldn’t help but gawk a little. He had travelled throughout the Inner Sphere with the Star of Sumer and seen all manner of sights, but this one was just a little special.

The fact that it had been abandoned for years might have something to do with it.

Even in its dilapidated state, he could see its former glory. It was definitely built to impress, a use of space that was precious on a planet like Galatea. However, its features were long shut down, with holographic emitters and glittering displays removed long ago. Even the walls showed large discoloured spots, shaped suspiciously like the old Bannson Universal symbol.

“Impressive, huh?” Katarina Morrison asked him.

Jakub just nodded his response. Instead, he fell into step behind Katarina and the unit’s commander, Lana Kotovski. The three of them headed past the dilapidated reception desk and down a corridor lined with long-inactive elevators. At the end, a door led into a conference room where someone was waiting for them.

The room stood in contrast to the rest of the building. While it was only minimally furnished, the lights were on and the faint hum of an air conditioner could be heard. But the room was dominated by a sophisticated meeting table with a glowing holographic emitter embedded under the surface. Jakub, however, was drawn to the man awaiting them. He was handsome, smartly dressed and immaculately groomed, but also somehow immediately forgettable. Jakub had a feeling that he wouldn’t be able to pick the man out in a lineup, which was probably intentional.

The man stepped forward, nodded to the group. “Kotovski, Morrison… Day,” he said, with only the slightest pause conveying his surprise at seeing Jakub here. Jakub nodded and extended his hand, which the man shook in turn.

“Jakub, this is Antonin Ryback. He works with us on gathering information,” Lana said. Jakub nodded, understanding that there was a lot more than was being said. He also figured it was best not to press the matter.

“Good to see you again,” Antonin said to Lana.

“And under better circumstances than last time, I hope,” she replied.
“With better news, definitely. But first…” He glanced over to Jakub, before returning his gaze to Lana, eyebrow cocked questioningly.

Instead, Katarina spoke up. “We thought it best that Jakub be more involved in the unit. At all levels.”

Jakub spoke up at that point. “If it is inconvenient sir, I can leave.”

“No, no.” Antonin raised his hand. “It’s a fair point. And I suppose if he’s to be more involved, then he should get a say in what’s happening here.”

“And I assume that has to do with the recent arrivals?” Lana asked as the quartet took their seats.

Antonin nodded. “The newcomers to Galatea are representatives of a group calling the Alyina Mercantile League. Essentially they’re remnants of the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone that was abandoned during the Clan’s push to Terra.”
Antonin keyed a few commands on the conference table and it projected a holographic star map of the former Occupation Zone. Now it was left an empty grey, bordered by the orange of the Hells Horses and blue of the Lyran Commonwealth, as well as a pair of small patches representing the emergent Tamar Pact and Vesper Marches.

“What do we know about them?” Katarina asked.

“Not much,” Antonin freely admitted. “As the name suggests, they’re apparently under the control of the former Falcons’ merchant caste.”

“So it’s a… post-Clan society?” Jakub put forward.

“Not quite,” Antonin replied. “We think they still follow a Clan structure, just without a warrior caste in charge.”

“Hardly seems like a Clan structure,” Katarina commented, confusion showing on her face.

“And they need mercenaries,” Lana cut in. “Between the Falcons’ move on Terra and their own structure, I imagine they’re lacking for armed forces.”

“And that’s where you come in,” Antonin said. “They’ve got a lot of contracts going and I want someone in our… group,” he said, briefly eyeing Jakub, “On the ground over there.”

“You have an ulterior motive,” Katarina said. Not asked, Jakub noted. He began to imagine that ulterior motives were commonplace when dealing with Antonin.
For his part, Antonin shrugged. “Simply put, we know nothing about them. Are they throwing of the shackles of Clan occupation, or are they simply seeking to put someone else in charge? We need someone there to answer these questions.”

“And make allies,” Jakub blurted out. The others turned to him, each waiting for him to continue. “Alynia was a Jade Falcon factory world. And if the merchant caste is in charge, they’re surely going to be open to trade. It could be good to make friends there.”

“That too,” Antonin admitted. Katarina turned and nodded to Jakub, pride showing on her face.

“It sounds promising,” Lana admitted. “And if Jakub’s right, it could be a good opportunity to refresh and expand our equipment.” She glanced at Katarina, who gave her a slight nod. “We’ll confer and get back to you, but it’s looking good.”

With that they stood. Antonin shook each of their hands in turn. “Don’t take too long,” he reminded them. “While they are offering a lot of contracts, they will dry up quickly.”

“Rest assured, you’ll know soon enough,” Lana replied. With that, the trio departed.

Back out on the street beyond, Katarina quietly asked Lana, “You’re not going to take it?”

“Oh, I am,” Lana replied. “I just like to see him sweat now and then.” Despite herself, a small smile crept across her face.

“And it’s a great opportunity to learn,” said a voice behind them.

The trio turned as one. Lana started back, her surprise clear. Katarina furrowed her brow and asked “When did you get here?”

Jakub, on the other hand, called out “Deep!” He seized the ComStar adept’s hand, and the two of them conducted an elaborate handshake which ended in them bumping their shoulders against each other.

“Think about it,” Deep Zimmerman said with an eager smile. “You could be on the ground floor to one of the greatest changes in Clan society. The chance to see it happen, or maybe even change the course.” He sighed dramatically. “What I wouldn’t give to come with you. But I’ve got work to do here.”

“Don’t worry, Deep,” Jakub said. “I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.”

They said their goodbyes and the adept departed. Almost immediately, Katarina pulled in close to Jakub and said “You have some explaining to do, young man.”

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 #214 on: 26 March 2023, 02:47:00 »
Guest chapter by Zogster

In Limbo

Limbo Badlands
Jade Falcon Occupation Zone
25 December 3151

It was a hot day in the middle of nowhere, which suited Wynter DeVires just fine. The reorganised Tamar Jaegers had arrived on Pandora to liberate the former Lyran world from its Jade Falcon rulers. In the wake of the Falcons’ evacuation of their former occupation zone, the newly formed Tamar Pact had moved to drive out the remaining garrisons from a number of nearby worlds, bringing them into the fold. As a major factory world, Pandora was an important step.

They had issued a formal challenge to the planet’s occupiers, which they believed to be a disorganised solahma force. The challenge set the site of their battle out in the middle of nowhere, away from settlements and important infrastructure. This suited Wynter perfectly; the further they were from harming civilians, the better.

Her company of BattleMechs from the Third Tamar Jaegers deployed at the edge of the badlands, where grassy plains gave way to broken ground and rocky passages. On her order they advanced, heading to flush out the Jade Falcon forces and hopefully end things swiftly. They had been set upon immediately. The rocky passes disgorged a swarm of light tanks and hovercraft that came barrelling at her company. A smattering of smaller vehicles held back, peppering them with long-range autocannon fire.

“Form up and spread fire. Break their charge!” Wynter ordered. Her lance clustered by her side, and as one they opened fire on the charging vehicles. She focused on an incoming hovercraft, fouling its lift skirts with her particle cannons. The vehicle ploughed into a rocky outcropping and came to a halt, but kept firing its autocannon at her. She switched her focus to a light tank that was bearing down on her. It was slowed by the broken terrain, making it an easy target. Her autocannon and missiles ripped into the tank’s hull. Even so it pressed on, peppering her 'Mech with its own light autocannons and rapid-fire Gauss weapons.

That’s a Sokar, she thought to herself, recognising the light tank as it continued its charge. The vehicle was designed for softer targets, not the wall of BattleMechs it was coming up against. She strode her Defiance forward to meet it. The tank opened up with its primary weapon, a pair of heavy flamers that licked across her 'Mech’s torso. Wynter smiled to herself as the heat rose in her cockpit. She could feel a surge of power running through the Defiance as its triple-strength myomers kicked into gear. Her 'Mech took a mighty step forward and brought its broad foot down on the Sokar’s front, crushing it utterly and impacting it into the ground.

She paused a moment to take stock of the situation. The Scourge and Götterdämmerung at her flanks were making quick work of the fire-support vehicles, while the four-legged Ursa that completed her lance was in amongst the vehicles, spraying fire left and right. She turned her attention back to the crashed hovercraft and detonated it with a pair of precise particle cannon shots.

“Not the best we’ve fought,” came the Götterdämmerung’s gravelly-voiced pilot.

“They’re desperate,” Wynter replied. She looked over at the array of destroyed vehicles before her. “That makes them dangerous. Be on your guard.”
“Copy that,” came the reply.

To a man, her unit turned back to face the rocky passes ahead of them. “The bulk of their forces should be through there. We press on,” Wynter said. Without waiting for a reply, she accelerated her Defiance forward. Her unit fell in step around her.

A quick report of heightened winds was all the warning she had before the dust storms blew in. They scoured across the dusty badlands, picking up monstrous clouds of dirt and sand. Soon enough they had blown right into the Tamar Jaegers, obscuring the battlefield and fouling sensors and radar alike.

Wynter didn’t like it. She wasn’t fond of surprises, especially on the battlefield, and felt she’d had enough of them for one day. “Keep close, and watch out for ambushes.”

“They’re probably as blind as we are,” the Ursa’s pilot replied.

“Don’t count on it,” came Wynter’s warning.

The minutes dragged on as they picked their way through the broken terrain. Between the unsure footing and the limited visibility, their advance was painfully slow. Wynter remained on edge, trying to pick out any sign of movement from the blowing dust around her, or any sound other than the wind’s incessant howl.
“Contacts!” came the call over the radio mere moments before they were beset with laser fire. Searing bright beams shot out from the darkness, scattering amongst her forces. Few seemed to find their marks, and even fewer inflicted serious damage. Nonetheless, the fire continued to cut through the murk.

They’re firing blind. “Spread out and keep moving. Don’t give them consistent targets.” Wynter watched her board as her troops followed her orders, splitting themselves up to avoid drawing fire. Another spread of laser fire struck out blindly in amongst them. Her lance returned fire as one. Missiles, particle cannons, Gauss and autocannon fire concentrated on the point of origin. They were met with a satisfying series of secondary detonations.

Then the main force came crashing down upon them. A mismatched spread of BattleMechs charged out of the blowing dust, colliding with her forces. They sported a wide variety of designs, both Clan 'Mechs and refitted Inner Sphere models. Already spread out, her men picked their targets and fired.
A pair of deafening reports broke out at her side. Wynter found her 'Mech rocked by a spread of shot from two massive autocannons. The bent form of a Hunchback IIC came at her, firing clusters of shot again and again from its shoulders. She returned fire with her own autocannon and particle cannons, scouring armour off the smaller 'Mech. Seemingly undeterred by her return fire, the Hunchback charged forwards, blazing away relentlessly.

Up close she could make out its shiny, factory fresh finish. It was barely marked, beyond a Jade Falcon symbol emblazoned on its chest. They’re using 'Mechs straight off the assembly line, Wynter thought. How desperate are they? She refocused and fired, her cannons striking low and cutting into the 'Mech’s legs. Shocked by the sudden barrage of fire, the Hunchback tumbled forwards and crashed flat on its face. It would almost be comical if it wasn’t trying to kill me.

Fire from above drew her attention. Within the swirling vortex of dust, she could make out a flight of Skadi attack VTOLs joining the battle. The aircraft struggled to maintain position while firing down on the Jaegers with their powerful autocannons. Checking briefly to see that the Hunchback remained still, Wynter backed her Defiance into cover behind a rocky outcropping. Rather than pursue, the Skadi switched targets, angling towards her lancemate’s Ursa. Occupied by an enemy Crossbow, the Ursa was blindsided by the VTOL’s fire, with explosive shells raking across its forelegs.

“Take out their air support,” Wynter commanded. She stepped around the other side of the outcropping and fired up, her autocannon’s pellets raking across the Skadi’s body. A moment later a volley of missiles from the Götterdämmerung struck it as well. Explosions tore across its body, one ripping a section out of its lift fans. The Skadi spiraled out of control, dropping from the sky. At the last moment it seemed to right itself, surging forwards and plunging into the Götterdämmerung’s chest. A massive explosion lit up the dusty sky, enveloping the stocky BattleMech.

“I’m… fine…” grunted the Götterdämmerung’s pilot. It emerged from the blaze, its chest blackened and pitted but still seemingly intact. Wynter turned her attention to her lancemate’s Ursa. The quad 'Mech was struggling, as an intense laser beam from the Crossbow’s barrel arm struck its damaged leg. The leg buckled, sending the Ursa lurching forwards; still upright but crippled. Even as the Crossbow strode forwards, Wynter did likewise, opening up with all her weapons at once and letting the heat flow over her. Lasers, missiles, autocannon and particle fire all cut into the Crossbow. The Ursa raised its body and fired as well, raking the Clan 'Mech with pulse laser fire. Another brilliant explosion lit up the dust clouds as the Crossbow’s heavy laser detonated from within, tearing its barrel-like arm apart.

Before she could press further, a proximity alarm sounded, warning her of as sudden attack from behind. She swiftly turned, her 'Mech’s myomers surging with power, to find the battered form of the Hunchback IIC bearing down on her from above. It fired its autocannons, scouring armour across her 'Mech’s body and sending up warning lights across the board. Rather than retreat, she stepped into its leap, swinging her 'Mech’s bulky right arm up and catching in in the abdomen with an enhanced punch. It hung for a moment, suspended on the end of her arm before she triggered her PPC at point-blank range. Crackling blue lightning cut through the Hunchback’s sensitive internals and shot out the other side. The 'Mech dropped lifeless to the ground once more.

She turned her attention back to the crippled Ursa. Even as it poured fire on the rapidly disintegrating Crossbow, a Point of battle armour closed in on it. Wynter quickly checked her unit’s positions and ordered the Scourge to back him up. Her lancemate complied, closing on the skirmish and tearing into the battle armour with accurate laser fire. Even with the loss of their fellows, two of the remaining point savaged the Ursa’s ankle. The quad ‘Mech lurched forwards once more, its maimed legs collapsing under its weight and sending it crashing to the ground. Wynter and the Götterdämmerung quickly joined the fray, pouring fire onto the Crossbow. Even as it was torn apart, it advanced on the downed Ursa, but its frame gave way and it collapsed before it could capitalise on the ‘Mech’s state. The Scourge, meanwhile, finished off the battle armour Point as they made a beeline for its own legs.

“Those were Constables,” he said, as they paused a moment to take stock of the battlefield.

Wynter nodded her understanding. The Constable battle armour was used by Clan Watch and paramilitary police forces, not on a battlefield. Unless they were this desperate.

“Status,” she barked out, and got a quick round of replied. All were battered, but still functional save for the Ursa. The relentless enemy had taken their toll. At the same time, the chaotic battlefield and driving dust storm had separated out the Tamar Jaegers, leaving nobody in sight beyond the four of them. And for now, the battlefield was quiet. Reports were coming in from other sectors that the enemy was holding fast. Her unit was to regroup and flank the core of their forces. Wynter acknowledged.

It shouldn’t have been this hard, she thought to herself. “They just would not give in,” she mused, as much to herself as anyone else.

“Why would they?” came the reply from the Götterdämmerung’s pilot. “We pushed them into a corner. Where would they go?”

“Fair,” Wynter replied. “Alright, let’s regroup with-“

Her order was cut off by a stream of hypervelocity metal shreds emerging from the billowing darkness. They tore across her Defiance’s side and arm, shredding the damaged limb and ripping it from the torso. Wynter recoiled and surged back, trying to find cover. At the same time her lance spread out, taking positions of their own to bear down on the origin point of their attacker.

Within moments their target appeared. A lone BattleMaster lurched out of the dust, its factory sheen scarred and marked with innumerable weapon impacts. Its right arm was raised as it swept a hyper-assault Gauss rifle across the battlefield, looking for targets. Wynter sent out a call on open channels, saying “You’re outnumbered. Surrender.” The only response was a hail of metal slugs tearing into her cover.

“He wants to die by the sword,” the Scourge pilot said.

“Let him,” came Wynter’s response.

As one, the unit stepped out of cover. The BattleMaster concentrated on Wynter, opening fire with a barrage of lasers. Armour melted off her ‘Mech’s body, sending up more warnings across her board. The return was devastating. Laser fire from the three standing 'Mechs cut into the BattleMaster, searing armour off it. The Scourge’s Gauss rifle punched a hole in its side, while Wynter and the Götterdämmerung rained particle fire across its left arm and leg. Rocked by impacts, it tried to bring its guns to bear on Wynter once more, only to have the Götterdämmerung interpose itself between them and take the brunt of its withering fire.

Wynter stepped from behind her impromptu cover and opened fire, impacting hard on its right torso. The 'Mech’s side collapsed, leaving the arm to drop unceremoniously off its frame. Still it pressed on, firing its few remaining lasers at Wynter. She took the hits, the armour wearing dangerously thin over her 'Mech’s reactor. But before it could capitalise, the BattleMaster was shaken by another devastating volley of fire. Missiles rained across its left side, before a final Gauss slug shattered its structure. The 'Mech’s remaining arm flew off, sliced from it at the shoulder. The towering assault 'Mech finally shut down, collapsing to its knees.

“Is it over?” the Ursa’s pilot asked.

“For now,” Wynter replied, surveying the carnage. Distant sounds of battle echoed throughout the chaotic field, but they were clear for the moment. Her lance picked their way through the badlands, angling to regroup with the rest of her unit. Shattered BattleMechs lay around them, both the unpainted remnants of the solahma forces and the recently rebranded Tamar Jaegers. She could see more of her command, and they were to a man battered and damaged.

“It was always going to end like this,” she mused, looking at the carnage. “They wouldn’t let it happen any other 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 #215 on: 26 March 2023, 02:49:14 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

Screaming Demons

Kait –

I managed to dig up an old MRBC profile on the Screaming Demons, the unit Sigonella hired. While it is five years old at this point, it still has a lot of useful information about them. While they are in theory a bigger unit than we are, I feel that we’ve got the edge in terms of experience, tactics and leadership. And I’m confident that they won’t be ready for some of the tricks we can pull.



The Screaming Demons first appeared on Galatea in 3136 as a hodgepodge mix of BattleMechs, IndustrialMechs, light tanks and conventional infantry. The group was lead by Captain Milo Russel, who used his experience as a RAF officer to help attract new recruits and sell his unit. The fact that he had been dishonorably discharged was conveniently omitted from his recruitment pitches. Regardless of the truth, he was able to take advantage of the growing instability across the Inner Sphere to help build up his unit.

As the Republic of the Sphere continued to crumble, Russel found no shortage of work. The unit saw considerable action over the next three years in the territories of the former Republic, working for everyone from Successor State armies to Republican holdouts and even several short-lived local warlords and minor powers. The unit found enough success to continue to grow during this period, with Russel showing himself to be a competent, if unspectacular leader.

Russel managed to leverage this experience to land a plum contract as a support unit for the LCAF during Operation HAMMERFALL. While not a part of the initial invasion forces, the Screaming Demons were used in mop-up and counterinsurgency operations on former Republic worlds that the Lyrans or their Wolf allies had conquered. At first, this went well for them, with the unit acquiring valuable salvage while suffering very few losses. Even after the reformation of the Free Worlds League as a response, Russel was confident enough to extend his contract with the Commonwealth.

This decision would come back to haunt him when the Wolves turned on their Lyran allies. The Screaming Demons deserted their posts in the face of the Wolf forces, commandeering a JumpShip and fleeing back towards Commonwealth space. Even this proved to be no safe haven, as the unit was again caught out as the Wolves pushed further into the Commonwealth. Managing to reach Galatea, the unit survived, only to end up with a black mark on their career due to their seeming desertion.

After rebuilding, the unit managed to land what was seen as a safe contract in the center of the Commonwealth, away from the Wolf advance. Instead, they found themselves caught in the Falcon surge across the nation. Outnumbered and facing destruction, the Screaming Demons fled again, this time heading towards the anti-spinward reaches of the state.

While they survived, the unit was charged with desertion and piracy in absentia. And even with the MRBC being nearly powerless to enforce such charges, the unit’s reputation has suffered no less. For the last three years it has been operating out of the Rim Collective, taking advantage of the relative lack of competition in the market to slowly rebuild.


The Screaming Demons presently stand at a combined-arms battalion in strength. The centrepiece of the unit is Hellfire Company, which is commanded by Major Russel himself, and consists entirely of BattleMechs. Brimstone Company consists of a mixture of light vehicles and VTOLs, and is chiefly tasked with supporting Hellfire. Damnation Company is made up of conventional infantry and are usually relegated to support and security roles; many of its members are DisPossessed MechWarriors looking for a chance to regain their status. Finally, Hellbat Lance consists of a pair of aerospace fighters.

(From what I’ve gathered, they have expanded their numbers since this report. Either that, or they’re good at making themselves seem bigger than they are. Either way, I’d be careful – Leon)

Most of the unit’s strength is made up of older designs, with many dating back to the Jihad or earlier, and it lacks Clan technology. Their infantry forces are particularly poorly equipped, and are lacking in terms of both equipment and effectiveness. Where possible, the unit likes to use flame or heat based weapons, such as flamers, plasma rifles or inferno missiles.


Presently, the Screaming Demons are only just making ends meet with regards to their technical support needs. While adequate in their skills and experience, their technical support teams lack in equipment and do not have deep reserves to draw from. On the other hand, many among their crews are masters of scavenging, jury rigging and acquiring supplies by dubious means, which helps to cover their shortfalls. The current state of the unit’s financials are such that the requests for new equipment are likely to go unanswered for the time being.

(If anything, their financial situation has gotten worse over time. One big loss could be all it takes to knock them out – Leon)

The unit possesses two DropShips. The majority of its assets are handled by the Inferno, a Triumph-class DropShip. While its interior has been rearranged to suit the unit’s needs, this has served to only exacerbate the unloading problems endemic to the class. On the other side, the small BattleMech force is carried onboard the Terror, a Trojan-class DropShip. Both vessels are believed to be in a poor state of repair. The unit does not have access to a JumpShip.

Colours and Insignia

The unit insignia depicts a winged, demonic figure, its mouth open in an angry shout. In theory the unit uses a fiery red, yellow and orange scheme, however many of its 'Mechs and vehicles either sport camouflage patters or patchworks based on whatever is available to them.
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 #216 on: 26 March 2023, 02:49:45 »
Guest chapter by KayEmm

From the personal journal of Lewis Guise

I thought the Esteros contract looked too good to be true. Turns out I was right.
Major Russel saw an opportunity and leapt at it, and I don’t blame him at all. All we had to do was intervene in a local civil war and make sure the ‘right’ side won. It seemed simple enough; stomp on a poorly-armed noble guard and call it a day. Our employer, Baroness Giana Sigonella, was willing to give Major Russel the leeway to do whatever he wanted to win the day, although she was pretty specific in ensuring that we limited collateral damage and didn’t engage in any sort of ‘extracurricular’ activities. Of course, that just meant ‘make sure the old hag doesn’t find out’.

No sooner had we landed then she’d put us on duty. We made great strides in pushing forwards, quickly breaking the stalemate that had been ongoing for the last couple of months while making inroads into the Fulda Badlands. We were right in our estimate of the enemy forces too. Graf Kayserling’s militia were little more than medium tanks and infantry, and didn’t even try to fight us. Instead they ran as soon as they saw us coming,

Old lady Sigonella was concerned that he was stalling for time or the like, but Major Russel simply figured that they were cowards who didn’t want to get into a fight they couldn’t possibly win. Turns out she was right, for once.

Another merc unit, the Iron Knights, just made planetfall five days ago. There’s no question who they’re working for either, as Graf Kayserling hosted them with a parade through the centre of the freaking capitol city to show them off. After that they’ve dropped off the radar, having presumably been sent into the field to hunt us down. It makes sense, since we’re the biggest threat to Kayserling’s forces.

Yes it’s a setback, but its also not the end of the world. We need to hit them hard and inflict a few losses and show them that they don’t stand a chance against us. That way we can bring their leader to the negotiating table and make him realise that he’s better off sitting this one out. Russel’s smart, and he has me at his back. We’ve got this.
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?