09/14/3065 03:28 Location – Mule Dropship “Rodeo”, Al’Sur, Astrokaszy
Strike Commander Joe “Hotfoot” Leeson walked up to the darkened Spheroid drop-ship on the sandstone ridge-line, carefully placed reflective strips marked the path through the rocky outcroppings above Al’Sur.
His combat boots crunched on the black sand of Astrokaszy as he walked alone in silence with a pack across one shoulder on the path between the unit’s dropships. He looked over to the sheltered valley below, Twin Saber’s Fury and the Matte Black MIM Amur dropships were down on the airfield where Squad Leader Kunimoto kept the Aerofighters hot and ready for action at a moment’s notice, Lieutenant Commander Post’s tanks lurked somewhere in the darkness under blackout covers.
Joe thought about everything that had happened recently, it had been nearly a year since he was last on their home base of Dainmar Majoris, a world on the other side of the Magistracy of Canopus, a full year that he had spent with Jasmina Ilonka. A woman whom he loved but just found out was a spy put into the unit by their current employer, the enigmatic cipher and current Queen Bitch Major Grey.
In the distance he saw the headlights of the salvage vehicles heading to his location, carrying their latest haul. This mission had produced a lot of salvage, even with a ten percent cut it could be another five or six mechs for the command; not that it mattered he was done with active duty after this.
He approached the massive Mule drop-ship, walking up a set of corrugated metal stairs installed to allow easier access to the ridge. Not every rock on this miserable world could support 12 kilotons of mass so they had to pick the hardest one, clearly that also meant the hardest one to get to.
The vessel was a massive bulb painted a burnt ochre color with “DEXTRAN” painted in four meter tall Dark Blue block letters across it. Dim lights illuminated a small access staircase and two of Leon’s security team, they seemed tense but he could understand that. They saluted and went back to manning their guard station.
Joe walked up the stairs into one of the smaller cargo holds on this massive ship, it mostly held crates of supplies that would be of interest to the other drop-ship crews and curious locals. One of Dextran’s crew manned a small desk where he was playing some game on his comm-pad.
Joe had never been on this ship before so he needed directions to the infirmary where Jakk, the Jaguars, Ravinia, and Nathan Alphaois, their missing mech-warrior, were and “The Icebox” where Mina was being held for the previous days misbehavior. She had been acting weird for the past couple of weeks but he dismissed it as spending to much time bottled up in a dropship.
The clerk gave him a series of cryptic instructions on a piece of paper he set about trying to figure out where these places were, he really didn’t want to look foolish asking directions, these dropships especially Lyran ones were laid out for maximum efficiency. Joe walked through the hexagonal framed corridor, the walls were meshed steel designed for easy access to the various sub-systems. it was too cold, must be a Lyran thing they sure do like their ice worlds, he liked things a little bit warmer but Astrokaszy was to damn hot.
The infirmary was on the same deck as the lower cargo bay, he did need to figure out the frames but that didn’t take to long, no more so than any other building or space construct he had ever been on. Thank you Star League standardization.
Buzzing the infirmary Joe was greeted by Sergeant Leon Reinholdt, Acting Chief Security Officer. Good to see you again Joe, I trust you didn’t have to much trouble finding your way around, No more so than any other place I suppose, this drop-ship is much larger and nicer than what I’m used to, I suppose I’ll have to spend some more time aboard Joe put down his pack and walked into the office, he could see the whole medical bay through the smart glass currently set to transparent but the panels could become frosty white with the press of a button in case the staff needed some privacy.
Various medical monitors silently kept the Drs Westcastle staff on top of any issue. Jakk, Kat, and the three Jaguars along with five Twin Sabers and Nathan were the patients today, all were stable. Jakk was almost conscious his injuries were dire and Dr Richard Westcastle didn’t want to wake him up sooner despite Major Grey wanting to speak with the Jaguar SaKhan. Leon and Corporal Hermes kept a close eye on his companions and the young man was handcuffed to his hospital bed in case he became violent, everyone’s guns were unloaded as agreed but they still were slung across their chest.
The Jaguar Kat “Dust” hadn’t slept since arriving yesterday and likely the night before. Her hair was a wild, tangled mess, she was dirty, and her eyes were bloodshot, she looked like some half-starved wild animal than a teenage Japanese girl. She was sitting in lotus pose with her rifle cradled against her shoulder, according to Dr Westcastle she wouldn’t leave her vigil despite Squad Leader Kunimoto trying to get her to calm down for the sake of Sandra and Blair. All Kat took was water from her canteens and refused anything from the mercenaries or their staff, she didn’t talk much but was always listening.
Dr Richard Westcastle was on call tonight, his glasses had a small loupe built in and his salt and pepper hair was still cut AFFC regulation short, a testament to his prior service Military Medic before “retiring” to a personal medical mission in the periphery marches with his wife Dr Justine Westcastle.
Doc, is Nathan in good enough shape to get back into the fight?
Dr Westcastle looked over some charts the man had been in bad shape three days ago but there was nothing wrong with him besides concussion related trauma, Yes Strike Commander he’s not one hundred percent but he is all yours if need him
that wasn’t the answer joe was looking for, How much off of one hundred percent is he Doc? I won’t put him out there if he’s going to be a danger to the unit, we’ll make due but we need all the people we can get.
He’s probably ninety percent there is some lingering trauma but there is no medical problem limiting him.
That’s good enough, this pack is for him, get him re-synced to this helmet before 08:00
Joe walked into the medical bay it smelled of antiseptic, soft clicking and buzzing sounds filled the air as various medical gadgets sustained the lives of the ten people within. Nathan looked like hell but he had almost died three days ago but he was still alive, he slept lightly, no doubt used to a normal routine during his hospital stay. Joe tapped him and he sprung awake alert and ready.
Evening Commander, its been a while
It sure has Nathan, you had us all worried we lost Iris and Andre we didn’t want to lose you too. Have you been keeping up with the reports?
Yessir, seems like our options are rapidly narrowing and I’m ready to get back to action.
Good I like your attitude Mechwarrior, we have a slightly used Phoenix Hawk that you’re taking all the way to Neo Szabo. I dropped your new uniform and neurohelmet off with Dr Westcastle. Briefing is at 08:00.
I’ll be there Commander.