09/11/3065 06:00 Location – Strategic Command Center, Trojan Dropship “Raging Bull”, Al’Sur
The atmosphere was tense as the other command staff issued their reports to the unit commanders. Now the only person left was Jasmina Ilonka, the mole, and their intelligence officer she had been nervous earlier but had gathered confidence as time passed. Joe “Hotshot” Leeson had become increasingly irate however something that Markus “Tack” Brandt had tried to reign in to no avail there was no telling what Joe was going to do so Markus started. “Lieutenant, please deliver your current battlefield report.”
Yes, sir, based on Signal Officer Heron’s traffic analysis and our limited understanding of the Titanfellers disposition I am not sure what they are doing. Top Shot has been heavily loaded with ordnance and repeatedly flirted with the Action Arc around As’Sab. We fully expected a mech or tank counterattack last night, some kind of hostile activity in our direction at either the base or convoys leaving Warawi but there was none. She paused and grabbed her chin, deep in thought, Strange considering how much they hate us for imprisoning Major Brekard at that Black Site, killing several Mechwarriors on multiple occasions, and nuked an objective they were supposed to be guarding. Jasmina gasped at the sudden surprise visible on the rest of the command staff and everyone held their breaths. Well everyone except Thane whose look of disappointment was invisible under his hood.
Markus grabbed Joe by his shoulder preventing him from doing something rash, Joe can I talk to you outside. Like right now! Everyone but Jasmina return to your duty stations The Vanguard Commander opened the door to the Mech Bays and walked out onto the catwalks that overlooked the immense bays. A steady pzom, pzom of pneumatic wrenches, the bright blue-white light of arc welders, and smell of burning metal assailed their senses. Markus closed the door and pushed the slightly smaller man against the bulkhead on the other side, shouting NUKES! Joe, FUCKING! NUKES! WHAT THE HELL! Why wasn’t this in a report? That was it. Joe went red with rage shoving Markus back into the metal fencing that protecting the catwalks from flying debris, the load clang caused some of the tech crews to stop working to observe the scene. WHAT THE FUCK, MARKUS! I didn’t know about Nukes alright back off! This is news to me too, you picked the wrong day for this. First I find out my girlfriend is a spy, almost lose her in combat, then you say its ok, now I hear we used Nukes against our sworn enemies and you think I had something to do with it and didn’t tell you! The two spent several moments staring each other down in silence before the techs started working again.
Markus reopened the door into the now mostly vacant command room, Jasmina, Leon, and Thane were the only people still there. I said everyone out! Leon stood firm, With all due respect Commander I’m not going anywhere while he’s here, nodding toward Thane. Joe followed but vaulted over the map table drawing his pistol and grabbing Thane’s hood to pull it down. Markus was too slow to stop him but Leon had drawn his pistol as well leveling it on Thane.
A horrific cybernetic visage was under the hood one eye and a portion of his mandible were obvious prosthetic. The rest of his fact was heavily scarred and burned with close cut brown hair on his head. Jasmina nearly fainted but caught herself on the map table her other hand covering her mouth clearly not expecting what was under the hood. Joe looked down his pistol’s sight at the monster before him, No more secrets freak, what have you been up to this entire time? Thane’s face looked disappointed but serene even with a pair of pistols aimed at him. Please put your gun down Mr Leeson, the Commander ordered us to be more accommodating but even we have limits. It would be a shame if I had to break pieces of you, like Director Baasch said you need all the Mechwarriors you can get. Joe persisted in ardent rage, Why did you nuke The Titanfellers, Thane? What are you really here for? What happened to you?
Thane looked irritated which Joe perceived as a victory however slight though he still made no moves to remove the pistol from his face which felt weird. Ok, since the Commander insisted we cooperate I will answer your questions, however I will inform her of this little incident. We used nuclear demolition charges against the factory on Marius’ Tears because it was built into a mountain, if you have a more viable replacement I would be interested in hearing it. I am here because I have been ordered to by the Commander if you want truth ask the Major. Car bomb in the New Colony Region, I was rebuilt because I chose to be. The last line puzzled Joe as Markus arrived pressing his hand and the pistol in it out of the way. Chose to be? What were the other options?, Thane looked pleased an unnatural myomer augmented smile crossing his face, There are no other options but the ones you make. Mercenary