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Author Topic: Ronin Cat Avengers  (Read 9257 times)

Taharqa

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Ronin Cat Avengers
« on: 28 July 2015, 00:46:40 »
This campaign will follow a group of Nova Cat refugees from Irece in 3142 as they travel across the Inner Sphere to join their brethren in the Clan Protectorate, pursued by dastardly Combine and Black Dragon elements who wish to wipe them out for good. This campaign is being played out in MegaMek and MekHQ with my good friend Kojak. The posts here will combine a variety of narrative styles to hopefully tell the story as it progresses.

Bios

Arjun Nostra-Gardbaum
Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum
Arjun Nostra

Scenarios

Failed Diplomacy

Our Last Hope

Void of Sorrow
« Last Edit: 07 December 2021, 15:49:19 by Taharqa »
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #1 on: 28 July 2015, 00:46:55 »
Reserved for later use
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #2 on: 28 July 2015, 00:47:23 »
New Barcella, Irece
Nova Cat Enclave
31 December 3142


Arjun shifted impatiently from foot to foot as he waited outside the service entry. The other mechwarriors had busied themselves with their machines. He saw Reggie hard at work on the foot of his Lament ‘mech, while Vanja ran diagnostics through her hand computer on a ‘mech that looked to be the mirror image of Reggie’s. The two Knights Errant shared mechs of the same design. Scuttlebut was that they shared other things too. Further away, he could make out Nova Cat techs swarming like bees over his father’s Peacekeeper, although he couldn’t make out what they were doing.  As far as he knew his father’s ‘mech was in perfect condition but he was too frustrated to be even mildly curious.

A scream tore the air above him as a Nova Cat aerospace fighter flew overhead towards the front lines. Aside from the occasional fighter and the irregular thump of heavy weapons in the distance, there was nothing to obviously mark the fierce fighting between Nova Cat and Combine forces not more than 10 klicks from his current position. He glanced up at the towering neo-gothic architecture of the Clan’s genetic repository. Despite still visible damage from the Second Combine-Dominion War nearly a half-century ago, the structure was awe-inspiring. He knew this was the ultimate goal that the Combine was pushing toward. Equally well, he knew that the Nova Cats would defend it to their last breath.

With a whistling noise, the electronic doors in front of him opened and his father stepped out into the light, blinking briefly as his eyes adjusted to the light. Arjun took advantage of this momentary pause to interject himself, stepping directly in front of his father.

“Father, we can’t just walk away,” he pleaded. “These are the people that took us in when we had nowhere else to go. They helped us rebuild.”

He pointed at the Clantech extended range PPCs sported by Reggie’s Lament. “They gave us those! You can’t turn your back on them!”

His father didn’t respond. He just looked at Arjun with a mixture of fatigue and sadness. It was not something Arjun was used to seeing in his robust father. Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum was a Knight of the Republic, made of steel, grit, and determination. The sudden vulnerability was almost enough to stop Arjun from explicating the arguments he had been rehearsing in his head as he waited on the ferrocrete tarmac. Almost.

“These are our kin! Our brothers, sisters, uncles, and cousins. They are all we have left.” He stepped back and crossed his arms. “I won’t leave them, Father.”

“Cut the insubordinate act, kid. And address your commanding officer properly,” growled a deep voice behind Arjun as a firm hand was placed on his shoulder. He turned to see the almost two-meter frame of Reggie Overton directly behind him. He was momentarily stunned. Reggie was normally a laid-back guy, but clearly he felt that Arjun had gone too far.

“Its ok, Reg,” said Gideon, holding his hand up. He turned to Arjun. “Son, I know you don’t understand why I am doing what I am doing. But life must go on, whatever the cost. Please be patient and you will understand in time.”

Gideon turned to Reggie. “Its time to suit up. I want to be back at the spaceport in fifteen minutes or we might get snarled up in this conflict.” He turned back to Arjun. “Arjun, I need to switch ‘mechs with you. I want you in the Peacekeeper. I know you have been training in it, so you should be fine.”

The sudden and odd command threw off Arjun just as he was preparing another counter-attack. “Fathe—you want me to --- what?”

“No time to explain.” Gideon turned toward the field and lifted his voice. “On the double, everyone! We move out in five.”

….

As Arjun stepped into his cockpit from the gantry, sudden movement in the back caught his attention and brought him up short. An elderly man was sitting uncomfortably in the Peacekeeper’s rumble seat, behind the command chair. He was wearing the white coat-like uniform of a clan scientist.

“Scientist Bateson?”

“Arjun, is that you? “ The scientist seemed as surprised as Arjun, as if they had bumped into on another in the New Bacella spice market. “I was expecting your father.”

Arjun noted that this explanation still didn’t explain why a Nova Cat clan scientist was sitting in the cockpit of a Knight of the Republic’s mech moments before that same Knight fled the planet to leave said clan to its doom. Short on time, Arjun simply said “Why are you here?”

Bateson paused thoughtfully before responding, fingering a large box he clutched in his lap.  Then, he smiled jovially. “Ah well, your father really ought to be the one to talk with you about it. Rest assured that all will be answered in due time, my son.”

Given the current circumstances, Arjun might have been offended at Bateson’s patronizing use of “my son.” But Arjun liked Bateson and no matter how much he might like to blow off a little steam, he couldn’t be angry at the scholar. The kindly old man was the Nova Cats’ leading geneticist and had taken a keen interest in Arjun ever since he had arrived with his father and sister five years ago. Bateson had wanted to know as much as possible about Arjun’s family history, tracing all the way back to Arjun’s namesake and great-grandfather, the legendary Arjun Nostra.

So Arjun just shrugged his shoulders and put on his neurohelmet. “Try to make yourself comfortable. This could be a bumpy ride.”
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #3 on: 28 July 2015, 00:50:02 »
New Barcella, Irece
Nova Cat Enclave
31 December 3142

Scenario: Failed Diplomacy


The intercom crackled with Heath’s voice.

“We have incoming. It looks like a Combine scouting unit. First Sworders. Two lances of mechs. Light and medium, mostly.” Heath’s voice was tight and clipped as she reeled off information.

Arjun felt a mixture of anxiety and relief. Maybe they would finally get into the fight after all. His first real fight! His hands were sweaty on the controls as he anticipated his father’s response.

“Heath, pull back. Everyone, hold position. I am opening a channel.” His father’s voice was commanding over the intercom.

“Warriors of the Draconis Combine. This is Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum, Knight of the Republic of the Sphere. I am travelling with two Knights Errant of the Republic of the Sphere and a small contingent of Republican forces. We are refugees and do not wish to involve ourselves in this conflict. Please allow us to pass and we will proceed to the nearest spaceport and leave immediately.” Arjun’s hands tensed on the controls at the implied defeatism in his father’s voice. He longed to teach these Snakes a lesson.

Moments later, a PPC beam narrowly missed the right shoulder of his father’s Vulture IV omnimech. The combine units had answered and it appeared that Arjun’s desires would be requited.

“Republicans, you are free to engage! Arjun, get up on that ridge and stay to the rear. Heath and McQueen get in front and give us some targets to shoot at. Everyone else, advance on my flanks and stay together. Now!” Gideon’s commands were given and obeyed without thought.

Arjun gritted his teeth as he veered off the road and began to lumber the 95-ton mech up the hill. He longed to rush into the fight. However, he knew his responsibility. With its C3 Master computer, his father’s mech was the centerpiece in a powerful network that must be protected. With Heath spotting, he could provide extremely accurate long range fire support. As he reached the ridge and saw the combine mechs stretched out before him, he lowered the Peacekeeper’s arms to deliver a powerful blast.

….

Heath’s voice crackled over the intercom again. “They’re pulling back. Should we follow, sir?”

"That is a negative.” Gideon said. “I am opening a channel to Khan Nostra. Hold your positions.”

Arjun leaned back in his seat and wiped his sweaty brow. He had recorded none of the four kills on the day, but he had landed some well-placed shots from long range. He looked over his shoulder at Bateson. “You doing alright?”

Bateson did not look comfortable and he was drenched in sweat, but he proffered a smile nonetheless. “My posterior doesn’t seem to have the genetic engineering required for this kind of work.”

Arjun smiled in spite of the tense situation and thumped his command chair. “Its not the genes, it’s the padded cus--.”

“Khan Nostra, this is Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum.” His father was broadcasting his message to all members of the unit. “I have in my possession the most important genetic legacies of Clan Nova Cat as well as some of its most important scientists, including Scientist Bateson. My intention is to leave Irece immediately and to safeguard these legacies and scientific knowledge for the future. These legacies are being carried in my Peacekeeper mech. Unfortunately, the Combine has decided to target my unit. I request assistance in evacuating the planet.”

Arjun’s heart caught in his throat. The entire legacy of the Nova Cat clan was riding in the seat behind him? In a flash, he now understood his father’s purpose. Life must go on, whatever the cost. He also now understood why his father had switched mechs. Some things are more precious to a father than the genetic legacies of his ancestral clan. Tears of love and rage welled up in Arjun’s eyes.

There was no immediate response from the Khan. Then the intercom crackled to life, “How long have you and Bateson being cooking up this scheme? … No matter, you were right and I was wrong, … about everything.”

Khan Nostra’s voice trailed off and then came back strong and authoritative. “Star Colonel Kadir Nostra. You are to bring forward the Ninth Battle Cluster and protect the Republican units at all costs. Gideon’s Peacekeeper must make it to the spaceport. Clear a path at whatever the cost.”

“Quaiff, Khan Nostra” came another gruff voice. Arjun heard the screech of a Combine aerial squadron passing by overhead.

“Take whatever units you have left and evacuate with the Republican units. The legacy must survive. I want you to travel to---“

A brilliant flash of light filled the horizon from end to end. Even with his neurohelmet on, Arjun couldn’t suppress the involuntary movement of his hands as they moved to cover his face. Behind him, he heard Bateson cry out. Then a deep rumbling sound grew behind him. As he turned his head to look into the rear of his 360 degreee vision, the Peacekeeper was struck by hurricane force winds that made it stagger and nearly topple over.

The storm lasted nearly thirty seconds, kicking up dirt and rocks that dinged all around the mech and across it, sounding almost like a rainstorm of the gods. When he finally regained his balance, he was able to look behind him, but he already knew what he would see. A great mushroom cloud was growing from exactly where the clan genetic repository had stood.

Arjun turned to look at Bateson. The old scientist’s cheery disposition had been wiped from his face. His skin was red and puffy from the heat of the cockpit, but his face might as well have been etched from stone. The depth of sorrow in his eyes held Arjun’s gaze.

“Now, … we are the last hope.” He said quietly.
« Last Edit: 28 July 2015, 00:58:34 by Taharqa »
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #4 on: 28 July 2015, 10:32:20 »
Failed Diplomacy Scenario Technical Details

Republican Knight Irregulars

Command Lance, Alpha Company
Lament Knight Reggie, Knight Errant Reggie Overton (2/3)
Lament Knight Reggie, Knight Errant Vanja Nova Cat (2/3)
Peacekeeper Knight Gideon, Sergeant Arjun Nostra-Gardbaum (4/5)
Beowulf Heath, Sergeant Payton Heath (3/4)

Fire Lance, Alpha Company
Vulture Mk IV B, Knight Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum (1/2)
Mad Cat III, Lt SG Morgan Zimmerman (3/4)
Spider SDR-8X, Sergeant Jack McQueen (4/4)
Osprey OSP-26, Sergeant Berk Hurtado

SKirmish Lance, Alpha Company (arrived as reinforcements, but did not take part)
Skadi Swift Attack VTOL, Lt SG Zuria Rivas (2/3)
Skadi Swift Attack VTOL, Sergeant Ailise Park (3/5)
Hawk Moth II Gunship, Sergeant Sharon Domalik (3/4)
Hawk Moth II Gunship, Sergeant Alican Paraskevopoulos (4/4)

1st Sword of Light

Rifleman IIC 8
Rokurokubi RK-4X (killed by Vanja Nova Cat)
2 x Rokurokubi RK-4K  (1 killed by Berk Hurtado)
Hitotsume Kozo HKZ-1F (killed by Vanja Nova Cat)
Morrigan 5
2 x Phoenix Hawk L PXH-11K2 (1 killed by Payton Heath)

Notes: This was mostly a "warm up" narratively focused battle that the Republicans fairly easily won, although Heath and Hurtado both suffered serious damage. The next battle will be much more pitched and massive.

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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #5 on: 28 July 2015, 10:35:21 »
Readouts For Republican Knight Irregulars Command Lance Custom Mechs

Code: [Select]
Peacekeeper Knight Gideon
 Mixed (Base IS)
95 tons 
BV: 3,286
Cost: 34,910,201 C-bills

Movement: 4/6/3
Engine: 380 XL
Heat Sinks: 15 [30]
Gyro: Standard Gyro

Internal: 145 (Endo-Steel)
Armor: 293/293 (Light Ferro-Fibrous)
                     Internal    Armor
--------------------------------------
Center Torso               30       45
Center Torso (rear)                 15
Right Torso                20       30
Right Torso (rear)                  10
Left Torso                 20       30
Left Torso (rear)                   10
Right Arm                  16       32
Left Arm                   16       32
Right Leg                  20       40
Left Leg                   20       40

Weapon                         Loc  Heat
----------------------------------------
ER PPC (Clan)                   LA    15
ER PPC (Clan)                   RA    15
Large VSP Laser                 LT    10
Plasma Rifle                    RT    10
C3 Master Boosted with TAG      RT     0

Ammo                           Loc Shots
----------------------------------------
Plasma Rifle Ammo               RT    10

Equipment                      Loc
----------------------------------
TSM                             RA
TSM                             RA
TSM                             LA
TSM                             LA
TSM                             RL
TSM                             LL

Code: [Select]
Lament Knight Reggie
 Mixed (Base IS)
65 tons 
BV: 2,920
Cost: 16,630,075 C-bills

Movement: 5/8/5
Engine: 325 XL
Heat Sinks: 14 [34]
Gyro: XL Gyro

Internal: 104 (Endo-Steel)
Armor: 211/211 (Light Ferro-Fibrous)
                     Internal    Armor
--------------------------------------
Center Torso               21       33
Center Torso (rear)                  9
Right Torso                15       22
Right Torso (rear)                   8
Left Torso                 15       22
Left Torso (rear)                    8
Right Arm                  10       20
Left Arm                   10       20
Right Leg                  15       30
Left Leg                   15       30

Weapon                         Loc  Heat
----------------------------------------
ER PPC (Clan)                   LA    15
ER PPC (Clan)                   RA    15
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          LT     5
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          RT     5
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          RT     5
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          HD     5

Equipment                      Loc
----------------------------------
C3 Slave Boosted                LT

Code: [Select]
Beowulf Heath
 Mixed (Base IS)
45 tons 
BV: 1,686
Cost: 11,142,090 C-bills

Movement: 6/9/6
Engine: 270 XL
Heat Sinks: 10 [20]
Gyro: Standard Gyro

Internal: 75
Armor: 152/153 (Ferro-Fibrous)
                     Internal    Armor
--------------------------------------
Center Torso               14       21
Center Torso (rear)                  6
Right Torso                11       17
Right Torso (rear)                   5
Left Torso                 11       17
Left Torso (rear)                    5
Right Arm                   7       14
Left Arm                    7       14
Right Leg                  11       22
Left Leg                   11       22

Weapon                         Loc  Heat
----------------------------------------
Medium VSP Laser                LA     7
Medium VSP Laser                LA     7
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          RA     5
ER Medium Laser (Clan)          RA     5

Equipment                      Loc
----------------------------------
Standard                       None
C3 Slave Boosted                RT
Angel ECM Suite                 CT
Light Active Probe (Clan)       HD
TSM                             LA
TSM                             LA
TSM                             LA
TSM                             LA
TSM                             RL
TSM                             LL
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Dragon Cat

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #6 on: 28 July 2015, 11:45:39 »
Nice story
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.

snakespinner

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #7 on: 28 July 2015, 20:36:29 »
My second favourite clan after the Scorpions.
Looking forward to to the scenario. O0
I wish I could get a good grip on reality, then I would choke it.
Growing old is inevitable,
Growing up is optional.
Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Kojak

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #8 on: 29 July 2015, 00:20:29 »
I have built a truly epic pair of combined-arms battalions for the next scenario, one each from the First Genyosha and the First Sword of Light. If Taharqa wants me to, I can append the .muls to this post for perusal.

EDIT: Okay, apparently you can't attach .mul files. so I'll attach it as a document instead.
« Last Edit: 30 July 2015, 18:35:31 by Kojak »


"Deep down, I suspect the eject handle on the Hunchback IIC was never actually connected to anything. The regs just say it has to be there."
- Klarg1

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #9 on: 29 July 2015, 10:56:06 »
Sure, that would be great. Also, to give some sense of the scale of the next battle, I am attaching a picture of the minimap with some of my units deployed.



Thats a 150x150 map with a spaceport in the southwest corner. The battle will involve ground and aero units in a classic escape scenario as the Nova Cats try to get to their dropships and lift off.
« Last Edit: 29 July 2015, 10:58:41 by Taharqa »
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #10 on: 14 August 2015, 23:06:12 »
Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum
Knight of the Republic
Birthdate:  November 14, 3088 (54 years old in 3142)
Home Planet: Shitara, Prefecture II
Pilot Rating: (1/2); Maneuvering Ace, Some Like It Hot, Energy Weapon Specialist, Hopping Jack

Gideon Nostra-Gardbaum had much to live up to the day he was born. He is the oldest grandson of Arjun Nostra, the legendary Nova Cat warrior from the mid 31st century. His parents met each other as part of the Terran resistance, where they both played prominent roles during the Blakist Jihad. Although everyone in his family became citizens of the Republic after the Jihad, they still maintained close ties with the Nova Cats and took several trips to Irece in Gideon’s youth. On one of these trips, a twelve year-old Gideon was deeply affected by the devastation wrought to the Nova Cats’ home world during the Second Combine-Dominion war.

Given his family pedigree, Gideon always knew that he was destined for service in the Republican military. It was a proud moment for his entire extended family when he was awarded a spot at the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy on Terra, where both his grandfather and grandmother had been faculty members. He received high marks in academy. His instructors described him as an “absolute professional” and “cool as a cucumber” but also expressed some concern that these same characteristics might not endear him to those whom he was asked to lead. Nonetheless, Gideon earned a billet in the prestigious Stone’s Pride regiment. He barely had time to acclimate to his junior grade lieutenant role before he was thrust into the growing conflict later dubbed the “Capellan Crusades.” He showed quick thinking and tactical ability in the heat of battle, first on Phact and then again on Sarna. Given his impressive performance and the heavy losses inflicted on The Pride during the campaign, he found himself promoted first to company commander by the war’s end and then to battalion commander a few years later. At twenty-eight years of age, he was the youngest battalion commander in the regiment’s history.

The most life-changing event of the war for Gideon however was not his promotion nor his initiation into the carnage of total war. Rather, it was discovering his future wife. Sarina Bashar, a young mechwarrior in The Pride, was the sole survivor of a House Dai Da Chi ambush on Sarna that wiped out the rest of her lance. Wounded badly in the attack and unable to pilot a mech, she became a de facto communications and logistics director after the brigade command staff was decimated by an airstrike. In this role, she and Gideon interacted frequently and despite the tension of the time (or perhaps because of it), they were instantly attracted to one another. Sarina and Gideon were married shortly after the conclusion of the war and their first child came not long after that. Sarina stayed on as a logistics officer for the regiment.

In 3123, Gideon was recruited into the Knights of the Republic by Thaddeus Marik, with whom he had served in The Pride during the Crusades. Sarina retired from service and settled down on Shitara to raise their two children, Tess and Arjun. Gideon was home irregularly during this period as his Knight Errant duties took him all over the Republic and beyond. His promotion to Knight in 3130 meant he spent more time in Prefecture II, but he was still away from home as frequently as he was there.

While Gray Monday and its aftermath were shaking the foundations of the Inner Sphere, the Nostra-Gardbaums were facing a more personal tragedy. Months before the blackout, Sarina was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Gideon took a leave from his duties and rushed home. Within a year, she was gone and Gideon was left with two teenage children who he had barely helped to raise, amid a universe gone mad. Gathering his Knights Errant about him, he set out to right things once again. After helping to fight the Senate rebellion, he was holding back Jade Falcon incursions when the Fortress Republic order was sent out. Gideon refused to abandon the people of his Prefecture and continued to fight. It was only in 3138, after hearing rumors that Nova Cat forces were part of the Combine forces taking over Prefecture worlds, that Gideon decided he had enough. Still mourning his departed wife, with a depleted and damaged force, and with divided loyalties all around, he decided to go to the one place left he could call a home of some kind, the Nova Cat world of Irece. Most of his troops supported his decision, although there was some dissent. The official reason was a rest and refit, but the real reason was that no one quite remembered who or what they were fighting for anymore, except each other. The Nova Cats accepted Gideon and his troops with open arms.  For almost three years, he would have some peace to get to know his children and properly mourn his wife. Then came the Nova Cat rebellion and it all went up in flames once again…
« Last Edit: 16 August 2015, 00:51:02 by Taharqa »
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Kojak

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #11 on: 15 August 2015, 07:24:07 »
An excellent bio that makes me really look forward to what comes next. Where did you get that amazing portrait for Gideon?


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Sir Chaos

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #12 on: 15 August 2015, 08:34:23 »
Quote
(54 years old in 3042)

Time travel?  :D


Other than that, yeah, excellent bio.

Of course, the rules of drama dictate that he should either be killed right at the beginning of the campaign, in order to propel his son into a leadership position he is not prepared for, or die in the climactic battle saving the lives of his children.
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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #13 on: 15 August 2015, 09:46:06 »
Time travel?  :D

Doh! As Kojak noted in a PM, all my dates were off by a century. Still getting used to this whole 32nd century thing.

Quote
Of course, the rules of drama dictate that he should either be killed right at the beginning of the campaign, in order to propel his son into a leadership position he is not prepared for, or die in the climactic battle saving the lives of his children.

No comment.

Where did you get that amazing portrait for Gideon?

I got a bunch of pics from some sci-fi iOS game, all in that style, but I honestly can't remember what game it was. Never actually played it.
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Dragon Cat

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #14 on: 15 August 2015, 14:14:48 »
Like the bio and now the republic unit on Irece at the start makes a lot more sense
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.

snakespinner

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #15 on: 15 August 2015, 18:40:05 »
Excellent bio and introduction to the campaign.
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Watching TrueToaster create evil genius, priceless...everything else is just sub-par.

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #16 on: 15 September 2015, 17:53:36 »
Arjun Nostra-Gardbaum
Mechwarrior in Republican Irregulars
Birthdate:  May 1, 3121 (21 years old in 3142)
Home Planet: Shitara, Prefecture II
Pilot Rating: (4/5); Natural Aptitude, Piloting and Gunnery

Arjun Nostra-Gardbaum has very little in common with his cool and composed father, and instead seems more of a throwback to a young version of his famous great-grandfather. Arjun is a hot-headed and impulsive dreamer with little interest in rules and discipline.

Arjun was raised primarily by his mother, Sarina, on Shitara while his father, Gideon, attended to his duties as a Knight of the Republic. Shitara contains a prominent Nova Cat enclave, and Arjun became enthralled with the clan at an early age. As a young boy, he fantasized about the exploits of his namesake and great grandfather. His mother, despite having no Nova Cat ancestry herself began taking him to the local Rossei cloister for services at age 8. At age 11, when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to undertake his first vision quest and had to be rescued by the local authorities after three drug-ridden malnourished days in the highlands. In truth, he has felt more affinity for the Nova Cats than the Republic to which he rightfully belongs. Although Gideon himself has strong connections to the Nova Cats, he disapproves of what he perceived to be Arjun’s overly fanciful attachments and loyalties.

Arjun saw his father irregularly in his youth and was not particularly close with him. His father ensured that he was trained as a mechwarrior from an early age, a role for which Arjun showed much talent, but a lack of discipline. However, Gideon failed to connect with his son on an emotional level. It was not until Sarina’s death from cancer when Arjun was 13 that father and son began to have a more significant relationship. Given the trying nature of the time, the onset of puberty, and their dispositional differences, the development of this relationship has been awkward for both father and son. Arjun has been given extensive field training but his father has kept him away from the real battlefield, citing his youth and lack of formal training. This has irked Arjun to no end and made him resentful of what he perceives to be his distant and uncaring father.

Arjun, of course, enthusiastically supported the decision to regroup on Irece and has taken the opportunity to absorb as much of Nova Cat culture as possible. In particular, he has developed quite a friendship with leading Nova Cat scientist Bateson who has taught him much about the Nova Cat clan’s history and traditions. As a practicing Zen Buddhist, Bateson has also been teaching Arjun meditation practices. Thus far. it has had little effect on Arjun’s impulsive personality.
« Last Edit: 20 October 2016, 15:03:19 by Taharqa »
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Kojak

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #17 on: 16 September 2015, 21:27:45 »
Another fantastic bio; I like the way you represent him as a "newb but with high potential" by making him 4/5 but giving him Natural Aptitudes in both.


"Deep down, I suspect the eject handle on the Hunchback IIC was never actually connected to anything. The regs just say it has to be there."
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pupecki

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #18 on: 20 October 2015, 14:15:29 »
Just wondering if there are any updates on your unit? I've really enjoyed their story so far and have been checking frequently for some new reports!

Kojak

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #19 on: 20 October 2015, 18:53:24 »
Taharqa and I have been fighting out the Fall of Irece every other Thursday night for the last couple months, but it's a pretty enormous battle, so even though we're about eight or ten turns in, we've still probably got a ways to go.


"Deep down, I suspect the eject handle on the Hunchback IIC was never actually connected to anything. The regs just say it has to be there."
- Klarg1

pupecki

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #20 on: 05 November 2015, 10:18:15 »
That's fine, I'm just happy that this is still being worked on! Cant wait to read about what happens  ;D

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #21 on: 12 February 2016, 01:08:09 »
Arjun Nostra
Nova Cat Mechwarrior
Birthdate:  October 25, 3026 (died in 3107)

Arjun Nostra is one of the most famous mechwarriors in the history of Clan Nova Cat, despite the fact that he spent most of his life and achieved his most noteworthy victories outside the cockpit of a battlemech.

Arjun was decanted from a steel womb in 3026, twenty-three years before the beginning of the clan invasion. He performed particularly well in his sibko and completed his Trial of Position with the rank of Star Commander. He also developed a deeply mystical outlook on life in which he relied so heavily on vision quests as a guide to life that even many of his Nova Cat peers found it somewhat off-putting.

Once he earned a place in the Touman with the 44th Nova Cat Cavaliers, Arjun also proved to be an ardent member of the small Crusader faction within the clan. His own unit performed well in the trials to determine the invader Clans and he was able to successfully challenge for a position as a Star Captain.  Arjun was disappointed that the Nova Cats failed to earn a space in the invasion, but held a firm faith that the Nova Cats’ time would come. In the meantime, he kept himself busy by competing for and winning a bloodname.

Ilkhan Kerensky’s decision in 3052 to allow the Nova Cats and other clans to join the invasion had a profound effect on Arjun. Base on a powerful vision quest, he came to believe that he would be the first clansman to set foot on Terra. He began to preach his vision and insist that through him, the Nova Cats would become the ilClan. He attracted a considerable following and generated a great deal of antagonism from more Warden members of the Clan. Arjun successfully trialed the warden Star Colonel of his cluster, and after his ascension to command, the 44th Nova Cat Cavaliers became concentrated with warriors who believed in his visions. With the resumption of the invasion, the 44th performed extremely well, only adding to Arjun’s mystique and the faith of his followers.

This faith would be fatally fractured on Tukayyid. Early in the battle, Arjun’s cluster was devastated by a Comstar ambush as they attempted to assault the city of Tost. Arjun was grievously wounded and captured. He woke up two months later in a Comstar hospital, his dreams of conquest dashed. Arjun was despondent, his faith in himself and his visions shattered. His fierce passion had been extinguished and was replaced by uncertainty, fear, and self-loathing.

Arjun grew familiar with several Comstar staff members, some of whom were intelligence officers who appreciated his frank discussion of Clan life. Once his recovery was complete, he was given an offer to join Comstar’s staff at the Sandhurst Military Academy as a lecturer on Clan behavior and tactics. He was initially resistant to provide such a role, but came to believe that it was his duty as a bondsman. When his dropship landed on Terra, Arjun broke down as he stepped onto the tarmac, realizing that his vision had finally come true, but that his own interpretation of it had been dramatically incorrect. It was a turning point in Arjun’s life. He vowed to never be fooled by faith again. He turned his back on the Crusader cause and became an ardent Warden, determined to teach the Inner Sphere to protect itself.

Arjun committed himself to his work at Sandhurst and became a valued faculty member. He also developed a romantic relationship with fellow lecturer, Sharon Gardbaum. His new life would be torn apart again in 3058 with the Word of Blake invasion of Terra. After the command staff at Sandhurst were killed by Blakist commandoes, Arjun and Gardbaum organized the cadets into a fighting force that held off the Blakists and tried to flee into the wilds. Despite some successful initial encounters, the ad-hoc force was finally stopped in Wales. Gardbaum was captured and Arjun was forced to flee on foot after ejecting from his crippled mech.

Arjun became a de-facto leader in the emerging underground resistance. He traveled the globe organizing cells, all the time on the lookout for Gardbaum. In 3062, he succeeded in pinpointing Sharon’s location in a Cairo prison and was able to organize a night raid that freed her. Less than a year after this rescue, Sharon bore their first of three children.

Arjun and Sharon became two of the most important leaders in the resistance, organizing raids, covert operations, gathering intelligence, and building morale. Their first child would be 16 and an active member of the resistance himself before Terra would be liberated by Devlin Stone’s coalition. Nova Cat warriors with the liberating forces were astounding to find Arjun still alive and he became an instant legend, welcomed back into the Clan. He chose, however, to remain on his adopted homeworld of Terra. He helped to integrate Nova Cat warriors into the new Republic Armed Forces and eventually served as a Senator before retiring from that position to serve once again as a faculty member at Sandhurst. With age and experience, he had developed from a hot-headed Crusader fanatic into a thoughtful and reflective war hero, statesman, and scholar. He passed away peacefully on Terra in 3107.
« Last Edit: 12 February 2016, 01:14:32 by Taharqa »
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Dragon Cat

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #22 on: 12 February 2016, 06:30:00 »
Terrible way for a Clansmen to go but an awesome life
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.

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #23 on: 14 October 2016, 23:15:42 »
New Barcella, Irece
Nova Cat Enclave
31 December 3142


Arjun could feel the sweat slowly trickling off the end of his nose as he and his unit waited in a clearing, surrounded by trees, still holding on to their gold and red leaves in the autumn of Irece’s northern hemisphere. The rest of their small force lay not three clicks away, behind the imposing walls of a military spaceport. Since their previous engagement, the Republican forces had been able to avoid any further entanglements., but that relative calm was likely to end soon. The commtower at the spaceport had just reported that a battalion’s worth of Drac troops had broken off their approach of the spaceport to make an about face and form a defensive line. The Dracs knew they were coming and were waiting for them.

A thought bubbled up from Arjun’s fatigued brain. Well, lets give it to them, then. That thought belonged to the part of him that wanted nothing better than to charge out there, grab a snake mech by the neck, stick his heavy PPC in its face, and pull the trigger. Then keep doing that, again and again, until they were all dead or his mech was nothing but scrap. When he thought of what they had done to the genetic repository, his hands would begin to shake.  The thought of vengeance was overwhelming. Where was the supposed “honor” that the Dracs lived by?

Then another part of this brain (probably inherited from his father) reminded him what he was carrying in the belly of his mech, which was nothing less than the future of the Nova Cat clan. A load of metal silos wrapped in a refrigerated container surrounded by enough harjel to choke a whale – that was all that was left of clan Nova Cat’s genetic legacy. He couldn’t afford to be reckless. He couldn’t afford revenge. 

Arjun slammed his hand against the metal plating of his cockpit hard enough to grimace in pain.  Behind him, he heard Scientist Bateson shift in his seat.

“Arjun, I know it is not easy.” Bateson said, with a soft voice, seeming to read Arjun’s thoughts. “I would like nothing better than to get out there and fight myself, little good that it would do. But we have bigger responsibilities now and must keep our heads clear. What is it they say in the RAF? ‘Stay freezy!’”

Bateson’s attempt at military lingo, combine with the sudden mental image of the dimunitive elderly scientist fending off DEST commandoes with a syringe and a microscope lightened Arjun’s mood a little. He said “You sound like my father, and its ‘frosty’ not --”

“The Ninth Battle Cluster is here, sir.”  Heath’s voice came over the intercom. Arjun snapped his head up and scanned the tree lines. First came the shaking, as those red and gold leaves began to fall to the ground at an accelerated rate. Through this natural confetti, he began to detect the outlines of large shapes moving among the trees.  Soon, they  broke into the open. They were clan machines, painted in camo with the Nova Cat logo.

“Kadir, I am pleased to see you here.” Arjun’s father said over the intercom. Star Colonel Kadir Nostra and his father had become good friends during their stay on Irece. Somewhere in a complicated family tree, they were cousins of a sort.

“And you, Gideon.” Responded Kadir. “I bring unfortunate news. An entire battalion of Genyosha troops are on our heels. We have little time for a proper meeting. I would suggest that we combine our forces and hit the Dracs guarding the spaceport as quickly as possible. We must break through their lines quickly if we are to get to the spaceport before we are caught between the two forces.”

Arjun winced. The Genyosha were elite troops. Kadir was correct that they must move quickly. Given the reported size of the Dracs ahead and behind, the total force would be more than double the size of their own. If they hesitated, they might be caught between them and ripped to shreds. There was the briefest pause as Gideon absorbed the information and agreed with Kadir’s assessment. 

After a brief back and forth on tactics between Gideon and Kadir, the plan was decided and they moved out immediately. Arjun put his mech in motion, his brain still wrestling between his desire for revenge and the knowledge of the importance of what he carried.
« Last Edit: 17 October 2016, 18:52:14 by Taharqa »
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #24 on: 18 October 2016, 11:24:16 »
New Barcella, Irece
Nova Cat Enclave
31 December 3142


Smoke obscured almost the entire battlefield. Arjun could only make visual contact with a few of his comrades out to about twenty yards, as they all trudged hurriedly toward the walls of the spaceport. For the remainder of the units on the field, friend or foe, he had to rely on his sensors. 

The smoke came from a combination of artillery shells fired from the spaceport defenders and fires that the Nova Cat and Republican forces had intentionally started after they burst through the Drac lines. That first engagement had been brutal and fierce, but the First Sword of Light battalion they had faced had gotten the worst of it. Concentrated firepower had forced a path through the Dracs’ more stretched defensive line. Now, the First Sword of Light forces had been joined by the Genyosha and they were in hot pursuit. The Nova Cats and Republicans were sprinting through the smoke and fire to the relative safety of the spaceport and their dropships. Arjun could hear over the comm his father and Star Colonel Nostra organizing the rearguard action behind him. He longed to turn around and support them, but had held firm to his responsibility.

The towering walls of the spaceport suddenly loomed out of the smoke. Arjun let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he had been holding. We are almost there! As his mech passed through the gates and out of the haze of smoke, a panorama opened up that took Arjun’s breath away anew and caused him to slow almost to a halt.

The spaceport was crawling with people. They were civilians – men, women, and children. They were packed into trucks, cars, bicycles, scooters, and rickshaws. Some vehicles were so overly full that people hung off of them precariously. Other people were streaming between the vehicles on foot. Slowly, like a human swarm of ants, they were converging on the Republican and Nova Cat dropships parked along the tarmac of the spaceport. In the distance, he could see people surging against the ramps of those dropships as the personnel on board tried to maintain order. Clearly, word had gotten out about how the Dracs were treating Nova Cat civilians. Desperation had overtaken these people.

“By the light of the father,” Bateson whispered behind him.

Steeling himself, Arjun pushed his mech forward again, carefully trying to avoid the fragile human bodies around him. Heads turned as more and more mechs emerged from the smoke. There was frantic movement and the sea of bodies began to part. Arjun tried not to think of how many people must have been trampled by their fellows in the process.

 As Arjun closed on the Fortress-class dropship that had been the home for the Republican forces for these last few years, his mind was focused on how to negotiate the entrance ramp that was now being taken over by the desperate refugees. His first signal of danger was the frantic shouting over the intercom, closely followed by a laser blast over his mech’s shoulder. The laser blast continued on to intersect a large civilian truck, melting it instantly, along with the human bodies it carried. People on the ground screamed and spread away from the melting inferno.

Looking to his right, Arjun saw a lance of heavy and assault mechs in the green colors of the Genyosha breaking through the nearest gates of the spaceport. He began rotating the torso of his Peacekeeper to bring the new targets in line with his massive weaponry.

His father’s calm voice rang out over the intercom. “Joey, Griff, Vibeke, you are with me. We will hold their forces here. Everyone else, get on the dropships, immediately.” Arjun turned and saw his father’s Vulture bringing up the rear of their spread out forces. Star Colonel Nostra’s mech was nowhere in sight.  He keyed up a private line to his father.

“I am not getting on that ship without you!” He yelled.

There was a pause. “Its not an option, Arjun. You know what is at stake. Now go! That is an order.” There was another pause, and then “Arjun, I love you. Now go!” Clouds and fire engulfed his father’s mech, as he launched forty streak LRMs at the onrushing Drac units.

Arjun resisted. Then Reggie’s voice came over his intercom. “Come on kid, don’t let your father down.” With a howl of frustration and anger, Arjun rotated his mech and accelerated onto the ramp, heedless now of those in his way. People dove from the ramp in terror to avoid his mech’s heavy footfalls. As he entered the internal hangar, he roughly pulled the mech into its docking bay and began ripping off his neurohelmet.

 “Arjun—“ began Scientist Bateson behind him.

“No time!” Arjun interrupted. “I need to make sure my father gets on board safely.”

He shoved the hatch open and began to descend the ladder, taking rungs two or three at a time. As he neared the bottom, he leapt off and collided with one of the refugees streaming into the bay, knocking them both to the ground.

As Arjun pushed his way back onto his feet, he realized that the man he had knocked over had been carrying a small child who had fortunately landed on the man’s chest as they fell. The child rolled off the other man and looked up at Arjun. The fear and uncertainty in the boy’s eyes was offset by the tenative smile of recognition on his lips. Even with his mind elsewhere, Arjun was momentarily stunned by recognition of who the child was.

“Dai? What are you—“ His question was stopped by a sound that snapped Arjun back to his original focus. The ramps were being closed. He looked frantically around for his father’s mech. It wasn’t on board. When he looked back around, the man he had knocked over had grabbed the boy again and was merging back into the crowd of people milling about the hangar. 

Warning bells announced the imminent lift off of the dropship. Arjun felt and heard the rumble of the engines as they began to warm up. All around him, people were looking to one another dumbly for guidance. Most had probably never been on a spacecraft before. 

“Get secure! Find something to hold onto and get down!” Arjun yelled at the crowd as he sprinted over to an intercom by one of the maintenance areas. He dialed up the bridge. The response over the comm was clipped and to the point.

“Hangar, this is the bridge. Report.” Arjun recognized the voice of Petty Officer Jack Nan.

“Jack, this is Arjun. Why are we lifting off? My father is still out there. There are people all over the place down here and no on is secure.” He shouted back.

“Arjun?” There was a pause. “I am sorry, kid. The orders came direct from your old man. The Dracs are flooding into the spaceport. There just isn’t time. Everyone down there will have to get as secure as possible. We have to go.”

“No!” Arjun punched the bulkhead in impotent rage.  The immediate pain in his hand was distant, like it belonged to someone else. Nonetheless, it brought him back to his senses.

“Jack, can you send an external feed on my father to maintenance area…” Arjun looked around to try to determine his location. “maintenance area eight.”

Another pause. “Arjun, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Just do it, Jack.”

“Ok, I will make it happen. I have to go. Things are getting hectic up here. Just make sure you are secure, alright.” The comm went dead.

Arjun rushed over to the monitor that was set in the wall of the maintenance area and turned it on. People were moving all around him, looking for safe places to prepare for the launch. In the back of his mind, he heard the rumble of the engine as the dropship prepared for lift off.

The monitor blinked on, showing him a scene of scorched earth. The smoking remains of mechs, the burning wreckage of vehicles, and the indistinct outlines of sprawled human bodies filled the screen. His father’s Vulture was surrounded by the smashed remains of Genyosha, Nova Cat, and Republican mechs, but more Genyosha mechs were surrounding it as it backed slowly away. One arm of the Vulture was gone, and the missile racks appeared to be dry.  Arjun’s throat tightened.

Gideon’s mech took several laser and PPC blasts to its torso, followed by a barrage of LRM missiles. The Vulture stumbled but remained standing. It returned fire with its functioning lasers. The heat in his father’s cockpit must have been extreme.

As if in slow motion, Arjun watched a Maelstrom push forward from the crowd of Genyosha mechs and close the distance with his father’s Vulture. It released a barrage of fire that tore through his father’s remaining armor. Arjun could tell by the way the Vulture locked up that the fusion engine had gone into automatic shutdown. Slowly, the massive metal machine tipped over and fell on its side. Arjun was dimly aware that G-forces were beginning to act on his body. But it wasn’t his body really. It was somebody else’s body, far away. He was on that battlefield, watching helplessly as the Maelstrom approached his father’s stricken mech slowly and deliberately. Automatically, a hand (his hand?) gripped a handrail to for stability. His body sunk to the floor of the hangar, driven by some combination of G-force and despair. He knew what was coming next, but he couldn’t avert his eyes.

The Maelstrom strode up to his father’s Vulture and calmly leveled its PPC at the cockpit. It fired, and in an instant his father’s cockpit was transformed into a smoking crater.

As the Fortress dropship rose in the air on a plume of fire, the cacophony of the unruly passengers in the hangar grew. They screamed and wailed as g-forces they had never known before clawed at their bodies and tossed those of them who were unprepared and unsecured wildly about the chamber. Unknowing and uncaring, Arjun added his own voice to their lament.
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #25 on: 18 October 2016, 12:04:25 »
The evacuation of the Nova Cat and Republican forces from Irece was the largest and most complex battle I have ever been involved with. On my side, it involved:

  • Two Nova Cat frontline trinaries, each made up of two stars and one nova. Mostly mechs, with a few vees.
  • A reinforced company (four lances) of Republican mechs (two lances), vees (one lance) and chopper (one lance).
  • A PGC mixed mech and vee trinary and conventional infantry binary. These were initially guarding the spaceport.
  • A Republican conventional infantry company (four platoons) that were also guarding the spaceport.
  • A binary of clan aerospace fighters (20) and a squadron (6) of Republican aerospace fighters.
  • Six grounded dropships.
  • Artillery and gun emplacements throughout the spaceport.

Altogether, I had 40 mechs, 21 vehicles, 10 battle armor squads, 14 infantry platoons, 26 aerospace fighters, and 6 dropships. Arrayed against me were roughly two DC battalions as well as two squadrons of DC aerospace fighters (12). One battalion was the First Sword of Light and the other the Genyosha. Both battalions had two mech companies and one company of vees and BA. The First Sword of Light began the scenario between the spaceport and most of my forces while the Genyosha entered later in pursuit. My goal was to break through the SOL lines as quickly as possible, get my troops boarded onto dropships and take off. All of my aerospace assets began grounded and had to taxi to the runway and take off. The opposing aerospace assets also entered later.

The attached animated GIF shows the general flow of the battle. Both sides split the initial forces in half, separated by a hilly area in the center. My eastern flank included the Republican forces and so was numerically more balanced with the DC forces. It was very successful at quickly rolling these forces, which included most of the vehicle assets and breaking through the lines, lighting off numerous fires to obscure the battlefield in the process. Casualties were minimal.

The western flank was more difficult. The mechs in this trinary were heavier and slower and they were facing off against similarly heavy and assault units. Thus, they had difficulty breaking through and both sides suffered severe casualties.

Meanwhile, I was able to get my aerospace units into the air and I had a few turns where these units were able to support my ground units unopposed before the DC aerospace units arrived. At this point, a fierce and deadly dogfight occurred in the skies, but with the numerical superiority of my units, I was able to destroy or drive off the DC units while only losing a few units. However, I decided to remove my aerospace units from the scenario after a few turns of support because they needed to "clear" an aerial space for the dropship's eventual liftoff.   

Meanwhile, on the ground, a star of fast moving mechs from the PGC linked up with my units on the eastern flank to support their withdrawal. This group was able to make it to the spaceport with minimal difficulty, although the commander of the Nova Cat forces was caught, surrounded, and destroyed by DC forces. On the western flank, a star of Sekhmet heavy tanks from the PGC were able to support the withdrawal of about a star of heavily damaged units from the original trinary, although most of these tanks would pay with their lives. At this point, the Genyosha were bearing down on the spaceport an the heavily damaged SOL forces held up to let them take the lead. As the units boarded the dropships (slower than I expected because of door limits), Genyosha units started to break through the spaceport defenses and make their way inside. A desperate group of units stayed behind to fight them off while the remainder boarded and the dropships lifted off.



In the end my surviving forces were 22 mechs (out of 40), 12 vehicles (out of 21), 3 battle armor squads (out of 10), 9 infantry platoons (out of 14), 24 aerospace fighters (out of 26), and all 6 dropships.
« Last Edit: 18 October 2016, 12:26:15 by Taharqa »
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The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Dragon Cat

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #26 on: 18 October 2016, 14:34:23 »
That was an awesome final piece I knew it was fan fiction but that was really excellent work kept me going
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.

Sir Chaos

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #27 on: 18 October 2016, 16:13:34 »
Of course, the rules of drama dictate that he should either be killed right at the beginning of the campaign, in order to propel his son into a leadership position he is not prepared for, or die in the climactic battle saving the lives of his children.

Called it.  ^-^


Also, great work on the fiction.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

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- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #28 on: 07 December 2021, 15:33:17 »
Near Orbit, Irece
Nova Cat Enclave
31 December 3142


A gentle hand on the shoulder brought Arjun back to his senses. Turning, he saw the kindly face of Scientist Bateson, who wore a sorrowful gaze.

“I am sorry for your loss, Arjun. Truly it is a loss for all of us.” Bateson paused. “Someday in the future when Clan Nova Cat rises again, your father will be honored among my people as a savior. His memory will not be forgotten.”

A spark of anger flashed through Arjun. He turned and batted Bateson’s hand off his shoulder.
“How long have you been cooking up this plot with my father?” Arjun shouted. “Did the plan always involve getting him killed?”

Bateson bowed his head and let out a deep sigh. “It is true that your father and I have been planning this for some time. We both knew there would be risks, even if we hoped we wouldn’t have to pay them.”

Before Arjun could get a word in, Bateson grabbed him by both shoulders. “But now is not the time for this conversation. There will be time for questions and grief later. Right now, we are still in danger. The Kuritans will not let us get away so easily. Tess is still out there! Come, we need to be on the bridge.”

With these final words, Bateson began scampering across the hangar deck toward the lift. Arjun was momentarily stunned. Tess? Then realization came back to him. The crushing gravity of atmospheric launch was gone, but his body still felt unusually heavy, which meant the ship was accelerating significantly faster than a single G. The Combine forces would have ships in orbit over Irece to prevent escape and the Republican dropships needed to break through to survive. He felt a pit in his stomach at the realization that his sister was still out there, protected from the void only by the thin ferro-aluminum shell of her fighter.

Arjun quickly crossed the deck to catch up with Bateson, who seemed surprisingly light on his feet given the heavy gravity. Looking around, he could see that the hangar was crowded with refugees. Many had suffered injuries during launch and most were now clutching on to whatever they could in fear of the next bout of turbulence. Some were milling about trying to help the others. Gentle moaning from the injured mixed with the sound of air recyclers to create a surreal background noise. Arjun bit his lip. He knew that if forced into evasive maneuvers, a lot of people were going to get hurt, or worse.

Gripping the metal bannister, he shouted “Things are going to get rough very soon. The service cubicles have crash couches. Secure the oldest and youngest and then find someplace you can hold on.” It wasn’t much, but it was all he could do at the moment.

As the lift door closed behind himself and Bateson, Arjun realized that his right hand was throbbing with pain. He vaguely remembered pounding it against the bulkhead. He probably should get it looked at. But, he needed answers first.

“Even if we break whatever blockade is waiting for us, how do we get out of the system? The Kuritans must have either commandeered or destroyed our jumpship fleet at the Z-point.” Arjun queried, while delicately rubbing his hand.

Bateson took Arjun’s hand into his own and gingerly began to examine it. “I have made arrangements for that. Your own Knight’s Pride as well as a Nova Cat Invader-class jumpship await us at a pre-specified location well outside of the system’s gravitational zone.” Arjun winced as Bateson found a sore spot. “Indeed, they have been waiting for us there for the better part of two weeks.”

“I believe your index finger is broken. I think the rest of the damage is superficial, although there will be swelling. Ideally, we would get it iced and your finger braced, but that will have to wait.” Bateson gently released Arjun’s hand as the lift came to a stop at the bridge level.

The bridge crew were all lying in their crash couches. If Arjun didn’t know better, the scene would seem peaceful, like the whole crew had decided to take a nap break.

Jack Nan looked up at Arjun and Bateson from his station near the lift. “You two better get strapped in. Things are about to get dicey.”

As Arjun strapped into one of the spare crash couches, Captain Zaragoza looked briefly over at he and Bateson with a cool unreadable expression. Had she been part of Bateson’s conspiracy or was she just reacting to events like Arjun? Given her professional demeanor, Captain Zaragoza was almost impossible to read.

Glancing at the holomap in the center of the bridge, Arjun could see little green dots showing their forces. The four dropships that the Republican forces had brought to Irece had been joined by two Nova Cat droppers – a Union C class and an Outpost class, if he was reading the display correctly. Running point ahead of the remaining dropships was the RSS Stone’s Courage, an Avenger-class assault dropship. It was the primary source of defense for the remaining transport dropships. Arrayed around it like angry bees, Arjun could see dots representing the various Nova Cat and Republican aerospace fighters. He squinted to try and identify Tess’s Simurgh.

“Captain, we have cleared Earendel’s shadow and should be able to open communications by tightbeam.” Jack Nan’s voice was cool and level.

“Excellent, send the message.” Captain Zaragoza nodded and looked toward Bateson. “Your ships better be there, Bateson, or this mission just got a whole lot more complicated.”

At Arjun’s puzzled expression, Bateson leaned over and winked. “I arranged an escort to help see us through. They have been running cold in the moon’s shadow waiting for our signal.” Bateson gestured toward the holomap. Turning, Arjun could now see two additional green dots slowly converging with their forces.

“Message received. Auxilliary forces moving to intercept point. Estimated time to intercept is 2 minutes and 33 seconds,” Nan’s voice intoned. A brief cheer went up from the bridge crew. Looking at the display, Arjun quickly realized why. The two ships moving to intercept were Nagasawa-class assault dropships. Each one could easily take on three Stone’s Courages. Arjun involuntary exhaled. It should be enough.

Five minutes passed in tense silence. The green dots of the Nagasawa-class ships merged with the mob of their own dots and they pressed on. Arjun found himself grinding his teeth in anticipation and frustration. He tried to avoid clenching his fists as well, because it sent a jolt of pain through his right hand every time he did it. He was trained for ground combat where you could see your enemies with your own eyes and make sense of a battlefield that was a few kilometers wide at most. He felt helpless and blind here. There were no windows on the bridge and they wouldn’t have done him any good if he could see out one anyway. The distances of space combat were measured in tens and hundreds of kilometers. Vision was ensured by sensors and holomaps. With his groundpounder sensibilities, it all seemed like make believe – that is, until the autocannon shells started ripping through your hull.

With an almost angry bleep, the holomap suddenly showed red dots converging on their forces. At the same time, Jack Nan intoned again in his flat voice “We have hostiles incoming, Captain. “I count two Taihous and two Nekos. They are releasing fighter craft.”

Arjun could see the small number of red dots multiply into a cloud as the four enemy droppers released their fighter compliments. He also could hear an audible groan from one of the crewmembers. Arjun wasn’t well versed in ship designs, but he knew that the Taihous packed a punch, and outmassed the Nagasawas by a factor of four.

“Listen up, everyone.” Captain Zaragoza was clearly speaking to the entire flotilla, not just her own bridge crew. “Remember our mission here. We do not need to go toe to toe against the opposing forces. Our goal is to survive and breakthrough, so that we can fight another day. We will accelerate through them. All transports will take evasive actions. All fighters and assault dropships will move to provide cover for the transports. You know your assignments. Good hunting, and see you on the other side.”

Arjun tuned out the bridge chatter as the two sets of dots approached one another on the holomap. Although the progress seemed slow, Arjun knew that both forces were actually moving at rapid speed across the vast void of space. Their forces would try to quickly accelerate past the oncoming Kuritan flotilla. However, they would be exposed briefly as the ships’ weapons came into range and then again, when the opposing forces would swing around on their axis to direct fire at the retreating survivors. It would be minutes of combat at most, but minutes that could dictate their final fate.

“Beginning evasive maneuvers”, Spaceman Zgersky announced. Shortly thereafter Arjun felt his body shift roughly against the straps of his crash couch, as the Fortress dropship began moving evasively. This meant they were within weapons range. He tried to find Tess’s dot again amidst the mass of dots on the holomap.

A cheer went up among the bridge staff. “Cat’s Grace reports direct hit on Taihou A’s avionics system.” That sounded promising to Arjun. Glancing again at the holomap, Arjun could see that the two swarms of fighters had advanced ahead of the dropships and were now about to crash into one another. He could only imagine the intense salvos being exchanged between enemy fighters at the moment. You have to stay alive, Tess!

Suddenly, one of the large green dots disappeared and a groan went up from the bridge crew. “Stone’s Courage has taken a direct hit to the nose and has suffered complete decompression.” Jack paused. “We are not picking up any sign of escape pods.”

Arjun didn’t know the crew of Stone’s Courage that well, but he suddenly remembered one pretty girl on their crew. She had winked at him once when he was doing a tour of the ship. What was her name? Lora? Lona? Arjun wondered if she had time to realize she was going to die before her ship was turned into atoms.

“We have an incoming emergency distress signal, Captain.” Jack Nan’s announcement broke Arjun out of his unpleasant reverie. Had someone survived after all?

“Play it,” came the Captain’s clipped response. A grainy message played over the bridge’s speakers.

“Attention, Nova Cat forces. I am Captain Suyarto. I am in command of two merchant ships full of refugees from Irece. We request your assistance in escaping the Combine blockade. We will not survive without your aid. These are your people, please help us!”

Arjun could see two new dots appear on the map in blue. The holomap identified them as Mule-class dropships. These were civilian dropships with only token armor and defense. They would be eaten alive by the Combine forces. They were also considerably behind the present combat.

“Captain, we have to help them! They are dead without us.” Arjun shouted as he struggled into a sitting position on his crash couch.

Captain Zaragoza seemed to be considering that matter for a moment. “I am sorry, but assisting them would put our forces at more risk, which I cannot accept.”

Arjun felt white hot rage seethe through him. “Unacceptable risk!? This is a genocide, Captain!”

Captain Zarogoza’s eyes narrowed dangerously, but her voice was quiet and gentle. “That is enough, Sergeant.”

Except it wasn’t enough. Given the way his entire world was melting around him, nothing could ever be enough anymore. Before he knew what he was doing, Arjun had unstrapped himself and was leaning over Jack Nan’s console. Jack, uncertain of Arjun’s intent, shifted back.

Arjun hit the button for a wide broadcast and spoke into the communicator. “To all forces. There are two Mule-class dropships carrying refugees at our rear. They are in desperate need of a an escort. Please, someone must help them. All Nova Cat forces, These are your people and they will be slaughtered! Tess, anyone, please help them.”

Arjun would have said more, but at that moment, the ship seemed to dodge underneath him and he was thrown back roughly. His head hit something hard and everything went black.



Arjun was only senseless for about a minute or so, but in the hyperspeed of space combat, that was enough time for the fighting to have come to an end. Bateson had pulled him back to his crash couch, where he explained the situation to Arjun.

Someone had responded to Arjun’s plea but it had not been Tess. Star Commander Benjamin had redirected what remained of his star to intercept the Mules in order to provide cover from adventuresome Kuritan pilots. Both dropships had made it through the blockade, as had the remaining dropships of the joint Nova Cat/Republic flotilla. After briefly going on the float to rotate on their axis and avoid fire to their rear, the ships had now collected the remaining aerospace fighters, and resumed their acceleration. While Arjun held an icepack to his head, Bateson was coordinating with the pilots to plan a route that would keep the Kuritans from guessing at their true destination.

Captain Zaragoza approached. Her face did not belie any emotion as she stopped in front of him. “That was insubordination, plain and simple.”

Arjun looked up but said nothing. He had a feeling she wasn’t done.

“I know what you have been through today, so I will let it go for now.” Zaragoza said evenly. “But if you pull a stunt like that on my bridge again, you will find yourself in the brig for a forced vacation. We don’t abandon our discipline just because things go pear-shaped.”

Arjun nodded weakly and Zaragoza turned to leave, but then turned back and leaned in again.

“You should know that the Nova Cats lost half a star of fighters protecting those Mules. Five pilots whose final graveyard will be the void. Thats the cost and if you are going to make calls like that you should know what they are and carry them with you. I suggest you look up their names.” With that, Captain Zaragoza turned heel and exited to her ready room.

Arjun knew that he would eventually feel the cold heat of Zaragoza’s words. But right now, he was numb to it all. The only guilt he felt was the minor joy that Tess had not been among those to pay the ultimate sacrifice. She had landed aboard the Knight’s Eyrie a little worse for wear, but alive and well. He wouldn’t see her in person until they docked with their jumpship flotilla, but he hoped to speak to her on the tightbeam soon.

Arjun leaned his head back against the bulkhead, not fighting to resist the heavy G of the ship’s acceleration. The weight of his body pulling him down felt like the weight of sorrow that was tugging at his soul. He didn’t even have a clear idea anymore of the source of his pain. Was it his father’s death? The genocide of an entire planet? The atomization of a pretty girl who once winked at him? Or the five deaths that were now his personal responsibility? It all seemed to merge together into a horrid kaleidoscope of tragedy as he wept himself to sleep.

« Last Edit: 07 December 2021, 21:50:50 by Taharqa »
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #29 on: 07 December 2021, 15:34:42 »
I decided to get caught up with this unit after a long break, as I want some more Dark Age action. All of the relevant stuff is here, but you can find out even more about the unit in my signature link.
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Sir Chaos

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #30 on: 07 December 2021, 15:46:06 »
I´m glad to see this is back, and eager for more.
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

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

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #31 on: 07 December 2021, 15:48:30 »
Void of Sorrow Scenario Summary

This was a space scenario. On the Republican/Nova Cat side, I had the following:

  • Nagasawa assault dropship x 2
  • Avenger assault dropship
  • Fortress dropship
  • Condor dropship
  • Union C dropship
  • Fortress dropship
  • Outpost dropship
  • Fortress dropship
  • Mule dropship x 2
  • 24 mixed-tech aerospace fighters

On the Kurita side, we had:

  • Taihou assault dropship x 2
  • Nekohono'o assault dropship x 2
  • 18 aerospace fighters

Although the Republican/Nova Cat forces had more units, the Taihou's alone more than made up for the smaller number of units on the Kurita side. The goal of the Republican/Nova Cats is to break through the Kurita lines with minimal casualties. This is complicated by the arrival of the two Mules part way through the scenario, which must also be escorted through.

The scenario began with both forces moving at high speed toward one another. The Republican/Nova Cat forces continued to accelerate to minimize the time within weapons range. Assault dropships provided cover for the transports which took evasive maneuvers rather than fire for the entire scenario.

A fortuituous critical on the avionics system of the Taihou initially helped the Republican/Nova Cats, but they took a major blow when their Avenger was eviscerated by head on fire from one of the Nekohono'os. The fighters on each side give about as good as they get. A star of Nova Cat fighters breaks off to defend the Mules.

The Avenger is the only dropship casualty of the day. One of the Nagasawa's is seriously damaged by the opposing forces but survives. About half of the Republican/Nova Cat fighters also survive the encounter as do both Mules.
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

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Kojak

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #32 on: 07 December 2021, 18:55:20 »
So thrilled to see you resuming this! Playing that huge DCMS OpFor back in '16 is one of my fondest BattleTech memories.


"Deep down, I suspect the eject handle on the Hunchback IIC was never actually connected to anything. The regs just say it has to be there."
- Klarg1

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #33 on: 07 December 2021, 19:39:11 »
So thrilled to see you resuming this! Playing that huge DCMS OpFor back in '16 is one of my fondest BattleTech memories.

Mine too! You can revisit it with the animated minimap above ^^^^
MegaMek Dev and Bug Creator

The Flaming Devil Monkeys - The adventures of a band of misfit gladiators turned mercenary mechwarriors during the Word of Blake Jihad.
The Free Company of Oriente - No longer bound by the politics of the great houses, the Free Company of Oriente seeks its fate and fortune among the stars.
Ronin Cat Avengers - Fleeing the destruction of their Clan across an Inner Sphere at war, the Ronin Cat Avengers seek a new home ... and vengeance.

Make your own campaign website with the MekHQ Blog

Dragon Cat

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #34 on: 07 December 2021, 20:12:08 »
Nice fiction and space scenario
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.

Taharqa

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Re: Ronin Cat Avengers
« Reply #35 on: 08 December 2021, 01:40:22 »
Somewhere in the Irece System
01 January 3143


It was several hours later when Arjun finally returned to the mech bay. The swelling on his forehead had gone down and he had finally spoken with his sister over tightbeam. It had been good to hear her voice and to have someone to share in his personal grief. As expected, she took the stoic approach, just like their father.

He returned to the mech bay ostensibly to check on the condition of his father’s Peacekeeper mech. However, another issue was tickling the back of his mind, almost forgotten in the recent rush of events. He needed to be sure.

As he looked down on the bay from the gantry, he saw that some minimal form of order had settled over the crowded refugees. Someone had found a variety of tarps and other coverings among the supplies and had fashioned makeshift tents and domiciles to help separate families. He could see that some people had taken leadership positions and were organizing teams to help gather up supplies and help the wounded. He saw others comforting those who had lost or been separated from their families during the chaotic exodus. For all of the tragedy behind it, there was also a resilient spirit about the refugees’ energy that made him smile just a little.

“Do you need me to look at that hand?”

The question was delivered at close range and, surprised, Arjun whirled to see a young, strikingly beautiful, red-haired woman standing on the gantry beside him. Two people stood behind her. She was looking at him quizzically.

“What? My Hand? Uhhh….”

As he turned, her eyes shot up to his forehead where the evidence of his unfortunate run-in with the the ship’s bridge remained. She grimaced a little. “Oooh, looks like some head trauma there.” She called back to her apparent assistants. “We should check him for a possible concussion or contusion.”

“What? Huh? I am not– Wait, who are you?”

She smiled lightly. “Oh sorry, I see now that you are one of the crew. My name is Britta. I appear to be the only doctor among the people brought on board. I have been doing the rounds and addressing people’s injuries as best as I can. But if you prefer the ship’s doctor, I fully understand.”

Arjun seemed to be having trouble pulling his lower jaw up. He should have said that they didn’t have a ship’s doctor, but instead he said “You seem a little young to be a doctor.”

Her smile disappeared and she drew herself up straighter. “Well, sir. Your injuries do not appear to be life threatening so I think we can forego treatment at the moment, but please seek me out if you notice any further problems or symptoms.”

With that, she and her two assistants walked briskly past Arjun, leaving him alone again on the gantry. Rubbing his hand and still trying to make sense of the interaction, he descended the steps and went about his business.

A half hour of questioning led him to a small tent that had been pitched in an out of the way corner of the mech bay. The tent itself was made up of the anti-flammable material that the techs used to deal with job site accidents. It looked like it had come straight out of its factory packaging and was off-gassing a slightly chemical smell. As he approached, he detected movement within the tent.

He stopped. “I am not here for trouble. I know who you have in there and I know why you would rather keep it a secret. I would like to help you with that if I can.”

There was a momentary pause and then a rustling as a small boy about three years old burst out, smiling. Arjun heard a man in the tent give a curse.

“Arjun!!”

The boy ran to Arjun who gathered him up in his arms. Arjun found it impossible not to smile at the boy’s irrepressible spirit. He could only imagine what Dai had been through.

“I am so happy to see you here, Dai.” Arjun said as he put the boy down. “Is your mother with you?”

Dai’s smile disappeared and he looked down. “No, she said we wouldn’t see each other for a long time. She said I had to go with Mr. Kovacs.”

Dai looked over to where an older man was extricating himself from the tent. He had a weathered face and the bearing of a former soldier. He seemed to hold himself tense in anticipation of potential violence. He looked vaguely familiar. Arjun also noticed that his left hand was discreetly tucked behind his back. Arjun became suddenly aware of how few people there were in this corner of the bay.

“Kovacs?” Arjun puzzled. “Lt. Kovacs? I think I remember you from one of our visits to the royal estate. Aren’t you one of Emi Kurita’s personal bodyguards?”

The man nodded slightly but said nothing. Arjun sensed they were at a dangerous moment.

“Dai, Mr. Kovacs and I need to talk for a moment.” Arjun pulled out the paper and pencil he had retrieved from his quarters. “Why don’t you take these and go over there and draw me the biggest, baddest mech you can imagine?”

Dai grabbed the pencil and paper enthusiastically and vanished back into the tent. Arjun turned to Lt. Kovacs.

“There is no need for whatever you have behind your back there. You and I are on the same team. I would never let anyone harm Daitsuke,” Arjun said.

Kovacs nodded, “I know you are familiar with the Coordinator, but you must understand that I have my orders. Anything that threatens his life is to be eliminated.” Kovacs shifted slightly on the balls of his feet.

Arjun held out the keycard to his quarters. “If you stay out here in the hangar, Dai will be recognized sooner or later. Take my key. It will give you access to the lifts and my quarters on the seventh level. Its not perfect, but you will remain far more unnoticed there than here.”

Kovacs looked at the card but made no effort to take it. “The boy is a complication for you. If Yori’s goons find out he still lives, they will come after you. Why would you help us?”

Arjun lowered his voice, “What has become of his mother?”

“Dead by her own hand as is the body double put in place for Dai.” Kovacs responded.

“Then, Dai and I share something. We have both lost a parent today. I know that to you, he is the true Coordinator of the Draconis Combine and the hope for the future of your realm.” Arjun’s voice cracked a little. “ To me, he is just a boy who has suffered too much. I won’t ever willingly add to that suffering.”

Kovacs looked at Arjun as if he wanted to look through him. After a moment of tense anticipation, he reached out and took the keycard. His other hand came out from behind his back and stowed the sai blade it held.

Looking at the dangerous blade, Arjun said “One more thing, Kovacs. If you take this offer - no violence against my people. That is the only thing that will lose you my protection.”



After discreetly escorting Dai and Kovacs to his room, Arjun returned to their tent to settle in. the tent was small and the chemical smell was even worse on the inside. Nonetheless, Arjun found it comforting. The tight quarters helped him block out all of the horrible things that his mind kept trying to resurface. He settled down with some extra bedding from his room as well as a cup of ramen he had grabbed from the ship’s commissary.

He was halfway through his ramen when the tent flap burst open. Crawling into the small space was the girl who had accosted him about his hand earlier. No, not a girl, he reminded himself. She was a doctor. And her name was Britta. She had said her name was Britta. She looked at him with an intense expression that he had difficulty deciphering. Maybe she was still mad at him? Caught in mid-slurp, he choked on his noodles and had a brief coughing spasm.

“I am not a doctor,” she said. “You were right, I am not a doctor. I am a medical student at New Barcella University. I am in my third year.”

She was crying now. “When news of the atrocities got out, people panicked. I ran too. I tried to find my family at the spaceport, but I couldn’t. I don’t know why I got on this ship and no real doctors did. But people were hurting. They weren’t strapped in. There were so many injuries. Somebody needed to…”

She trailed off in sobs at this point. Arjun sat there for a moment, still holding his ramen cup in one hand and his chopsticks in the other, completely unsure of what to do.

“Uhh, Uhm. Look, I, uhh, think what you are doing is, uhh, great. It takes real courage to stand up and be a leader in, uhh, times like these.”

She didn’t seem like she even heard him. Tentatively, he leaned forward to touch her gently on the shoulder. The instant his hand touched her shoulder, she was moving toward him. Their lips were touching. She was kissing him. Wait, what? Now he was kissing her. It was all happening so fast. They were locked together, stripping off clothes. It didn’t make sense, they were strangers to each other. But as they touched, he realized just how badly he needed another human’s touch at this moment. Arjun hesitated, then let go, losing himself, if for a moment, in the embrace of another.
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