Battletech Mercs Unleashed

Operation:SOUTHPAW

02/12/3062 | Location – Strike Group Echo HQ, Brightstone, Nashuar

Major Allen Ellis is presenting the plan to take the 8th Prefecture; it hinges on capturing Fairkeep and getting rid of 3rd Battalion. Your command staff and Commanders DuChamps and Thoms are in attendence as well as Commander Ilven of Sierra Company located in Sienvel, who will also participate in the attack.

“The attack on Fairkeep will come at three fronts, 7th FEDCOM’s 3rd Battalion is heavily dug in and the geography is difficult. There is also the matter of the many displaced persons fleeing the fighting in the Prefecture. They will be an unfortunate variable and I have requested additional soldiers to deal with them as we tighten the Noose around 3rd Battalion. You will all have a Psy-Ops, Medical, and Genderarme unit attached to evacuate the Nashuari in order to get them out of the Line of Fire, we don’t want to cause undue collateral damage.

The strategy is this,

Commander DuChamps you will take a portion of your Strike Group and attack from the West of Fairkeep over the Chu Lin Gap. Recent reports show that it is well-defended but it should be achievable with your current forces. We have managed to free up some conventional aircraft from the 3rd to assist you in that matter but the terrain is hazardous. New Callsign Haymaker.

Commander Ilven you will take Sierra Company from the North-East along Imperial Ridge and fire down into Fairkeep. That route is currently lightly defended but is close to Fairkeep so we expect that it will be tough to hold. That is why we want to hold your unit at range until Commander DuChamps and the Mercenaries have taken their objectives. New Callsign Backhand.

You Mercenaries will attack Wei Shun Village and then follow the Shu Yen river North pushing any FEDCOM soldiers back to Fairkeep. We haven’t been able to get good situational awareness of that area due to weather. Expect heavy resistance throughout the push towards Fairkeep. Your new Callsign Uppercut.

Commander Thoms you will command the defense of Brightstone and your troops will reinforce any territory taken from FEDCOM from the West and South. We have reports from the 1st McCarron’s Armored Cavalry that they have pushed the Arcadians out of that area so you should only have raids and probes to contend with,

Check your specific briefings for more details, any questions?"

Meanwhile in Fairkeep

Major Moss stands over the map room with his unit commanders and looks over the situation. “Captain Wells your reports state that there are enemies on the move towards Fairkeep give everyone the report”

Captain Wells, MIIO “Sirs, we have reliable reports that the 3rd Fusiliers will soon begin a major offensive on our position. My scouts report that a company of combat vehicles will come from the North and that the MAF units near Brightstone have reorganized and have begun preparations to move out.”

Lieutenant Hesh, “Well that is not good we still don’t have word from Central Command on what to do right now.”

Major Moss, “That is true Lieutenant but we have orders to hold the Canal Zone and until we receive orders to the contrary we will do that.”

Captain Helms, “Major I think that we should activate the 1st St Ives Legionaires, the MAF will probably be forced to allow the refugees to evacuate the Yun Shi Valley and we can sneak them out with the masses.”

Major Moss, "That is a good idea Captain I will think about it, make sure they are on alert to bug out at a moments notice.

Captain Dierson, what is your assessment of our defenses?"

Captain Dierson, "Major I think we are in a good position, over the rainy season our engineers and infantry have completed all the planned fighting positions, including mech blinds, hull down positions, trenches, minefields, and bunkers. We are ready for anything the 3rd Fusiliers can throw at us.

I don’t know about Wei Shun village though we couldn’t deal with that terrain it was to open. The Canal is mined along that stretch but we focused on Fairkeep with our limited time and resources."

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Holding on

10-25-3061, Location – N-09 TV Station, Brightstone, Nashuar

The past few days in Brightstone have been marked with sporadic firefights with the 67th Canopian Infantry Battalion engaging the remnants of the 7th Infantry in the city. That ended yesterday but the air raids and artillery strikes keep coming at irregular intervals.

Everyone is on edge and Commander DuChamps has opted to move the bulk of her forces into the city for protection. The Canopian repair depot has moved to a parking garage and Echo has moved their HQ to the local TV station. All cargo has been unloaded and stores have been moved to a variety of smaller buildings to reduce damage from artillery and air attacks.

On Rising Tide has been recalled to Ceylion to support the 1st’s campaign to the West and all the dropships have returned to their marshaling fields to protect them. A contingent of troops protects the spaceport but the FEDCOM air raids continue to do major damage to the landing strips. Echo Lead has pleaded with the Coordinator to station more air power in the area to fight back but her pleas have been ignored, “These assets are currently needed elsewhere but will be available once the canal campaign begins”.

11-1-3061 Location – N-09 TV Station, Brightstone, Nashuar

“Commander DuChamps, your strike group is to hold position, we have orders from the Liao Combat Coordinator. They have called for a cease-fire during the Whitting Conference. Your units are to remain in place and await further orders.”

“Major with all do respect you can’t just expect me to wait while the 7th reinforce their positions along the Canal. Positions I will likely have to assault in the near future.”

“Commander you are to do just that. You don’t call the shots here the Cappelans do and they have ordered you to stand by until they say otherwise. Your unit is only to respond in self-defense and are to conduct no offensive operations.”

“Yes sir”

“Damn him this whole campaign is going to be doomed if we have to put everything through six gatekeepers before doing anything.”

“Mercenaries you are to garrison the spaceport and move your support units there, my group will continue to hold the city. I suspect that FEDCOM will honor the cease-fire to take advantage of their superior positioning.”

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The Thin Blue Line

10-23-3061 | 09:27 Local | Location – Fairkeep Operations Base, Nashuar 168km NNE of Brightstone

Fairkeep long a small valley town right off the White Moon Canal, FEDCOM soldiers had evacuated the civilians nearly two weeks ago and made the place a fortress. Units from the West Line (7th FEDCOM, Tango and Juliet Company) have been called back along with their support units to reinforce 2nd Battalion under Major Moss.

A full squadron of conventional aircraft (2 Boomerang Spotters, 2 Dark Crow Fighters, a Vulcan Heavy Bomber, and a Meteor Strike Fighter), an additional reinforced company of combat vehicles and Battlemechs, and a company of infantry have arrived and are currently finishing up repairs. Two Nikos Surface Combatants (N-17 and N-81) are anchored in Lake Fairchild providing a rare naval component and heavy firepower.

Major Moss stands with his command staff looking over smart displays revealing all manner of useful tactical data (current weather, topographical maps, friendly unit locations, and reports of enemy activity) on the table in the middle of the room.

“Gentleman we have managed to contain the 3rd on this front by destroying all the crossings on the canal. The 3rd won’t risk another drop-ship to assault our position directly considering we damaged two Unions and a Gazelle yesterday.

This means they will come at us via more conventional means. That will be complicated by the upcoming rainy season, our defenses, and the fact that we control the canal locks.

I have been briefed by General Williams that we are to hold the Canal Zone and prevent the 3rd from taking control of the Southern Province and threatening The Arcadians as well as our Southern Front, all our defenders are already engaging the Cappelans on at least 2 fronts."

There is a slight pause as Major Moss pulls up data from his battle plans into the display

“Captain Helms what is the status of the defenses between us and Brightstone?”

“The canal is currently being rendered impassable by debris and likely ground approaches to Fairkeep have been mined and are being monitored. The Outer Defensive Ring is not yet complete and we are still establishing Outposts on the other side of the canal. These should be completed by the end of the month..”

“Excellent work Captain

Captain Dierson how goes the battleplan"

“Major we have been continuing the artillery barrage of Brightstone and scouts report that the Spaceport is at least somewhat operational as of last night. Sporadic counter-battery fire is coming from the city but we have just been moving the howitzers to avoid it.

I sent the Maxims in last night to recover the infantry we had in the city but they left plenty of mines and explosive surprises on the streets to keep the Canopians busy for at least a couple of days. They appear to have occupied the Port Facilities but I haven’t been able to get a clear picture from the drones due to AAA.

I think the current plan should work for a while at least until they get a proper runway established at the spaceport but that could take a while. Those cratering charges really did cause a lot of problems."

“Fine work Gentlemen, you are dismissed”

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Operation:FULL DECK

11:08 Local | Location – Narik Industrial Harbor, Brightstone, Nashuar

Several hours after receiving the distress call Strike Group Echo forces their way into the city, Commander DuChamps leads the assault and her unit scatters the light infantry firing on the 67th’s position. With the heavy weapons gone it is finally safe to bring in RED HORSE Team 218 by VTOL from the power station.

On Rising Tide is at the edge of the harbor keeping her sensors active to make sure the 7th doesn’t sneak any aircraft or hovers into the battle and the replacement flight of the 1st Air Wing has finally shown up to make sure the 7th’s Air Wing or artillery cannot make a difference.

Strike Group Echo regroups at the Harbor victorious but Commander DuChamps receives unpleasant news from 3rd Regimental Command.

On Rising Tide – “Commander this is On Rising Tide, we have a priority message from Command, opening a secure channel to your Thunderbolt”

Colonel Sangrey – “Commander DuChamps congratulations on your successful operation, unfortunately Strike Groups Sierra and Papa were unsuccessful in breaking through the 7th’s lines and they were forced to withdraw. Continue to secure the city and stand by for further orders, Colonel Sangrey Out”

Commander DuChamps – “All Channels this is Echo-Lead, secure the city and set up a perimeter I want roving patrols to keep the FEDCOM rat’s heads down. I want everything set up and squared away before nightfall.”

With that everyone got back to work, the streets of Brightstone were quickly secured by mechs, vehicles, and infantry. By Nightfall RED HORSE team had cleared the harbor, repaired the power station, and made the spaceport operational again (for some things). On Rising Tide docked and unloaded its cargo of materiel before returning to Ceylion.

FEDCOM howitzers made some far shots around dusk and had some spotter plane fly-bys but nothing serious, it did make bringing Echo’s howitzers ashore and deploying them in Ashlow Park a priority for a short time though. Overnight Echo Group received some sporadic missile fire and a brief bombing run but the quick reaction force chased away the enemy before they could cause any real damage.

The remnants of Strike Groups Sierra and Papa showed up at the damaged but serviceable Brightstone Spaceport early in the evening aboard a Buccaneer-class drophip (I.M.V. Hot and Ready) and the Planetlifter M.A.F. D-90709. They were not in great shape; it had taken much longer than anticipated for the 1st and 3rd’s air wings to reduce the pressure on them long enough to safely evacuate. Many needed to go to regimental HQ in Great Bay for medical or technical support, these were the reserve elements that would have supported an initial success.

Among them though were the rest of the 52nd Combat Support Company, RED HORSE Team 578, 67th Canopian Infantry Battalion’s Bravo Company, The 412th Pathfinder Team, 15 medium combat vehicles (P.A.W. series tanks), 8 light combat vehicles (King Scorpions), transports, engineering vehicles, light attack VTOLs, and an additional lance of Battlemechs (very heavily damaged but still mobile). The damaged mechs and vehicles were sent to the repair depot that was being set up by the 52nd at Narik Industrial Harbor. The infantry established a temporary billet at the Spaceport and assisted in unloading the rest of Hot and Ready’s cargo.

On Rising Tide left for Cylion overnight to pick up materiel to supply these additional units for an extended fight. Spiteful Ghost and Starquake both returned to the Starbow Marshaling Yard on schedule to be available should the 1st need them.

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Liberation of Brightstone
"Well thing could get worse"

10-22-3061 | 08:52 Local | Location – Somewhere N of Brightstone, Nashuar

A full battalion of brown-clad Canopian soldiers board landing craft positioned next to N.M.V. On Rising Tide.

Lt. Commander Thoms – “Echo Lead, we are departing for our objectives on schedule, status update”

Commander DuChamps – “Echo-Two, the 7th’s heavy assets are out of the city, report when you have the objective”

09:11 Local | Location – Narik Industrial Harbor, Brightstone, Nashuar

Lt. Commander Thoms leads the charge off the L.C.T.s with light tanks and his infantry. It is eerily silent as the city and this Harbor facility are completely shut down. Huge Cranes and Large Trucks remain motionless against the blue sky.

Lt. Commander Thoms – “All elements get moving we need everything cleared before the boat arrives.”

The soldiers of the 67th Battalion sweep the mostly bare industrial warehouses and wharves of the Narik Industrial Harbor. Their attached light armor and APCs roll off the landing craft and onto the sandy beaches of the Inland Sea they deploy near the entrance and exits out of the port facility.

The scout element deploys small drones to start a grid by grid search of the complex and gets to good observation points. The Infantry personally lead by Thoms move out to clear interior spaces remaining vigilant for ambushes. The combat support team checks to make sure the wharves and infrastructure have not been sabotaged by FEDCOM.

The find no hostiles in the compound a welcome relief until Ensign Riggs checks out the recon reports and is not liking what he is seeing.

Ensign Riggs – “Echo-Two this is Echo-Eight come in, The 7th have put mines in the harbor, I have contacted RED HORSE team and asked that they come here with the explosives they found at the power station to clear them out.”

Lt. Commander Thoms – “Affirmative Echo-Eight I will inform On Rising Tide.”

“On Rising Tide this is Echo-Two, The Harbor has been mined, stay away until you receive an all clear”

Captain Pietre – “Copy that Echo-Eight we will get close enough to provide sensor support and await the all clear”

Lt. Commander Thoms – “All Call-signs I want the support weapons deployed ASAP, we will maintain a perimeter until RED HORSE team arrives”

09:40 Local | 10-22-3061

Ensign Langlais “Echo-Seven to Echo-Two I am reading movement around a nearby office building, Am I clear to engage?”

Lt. Commander Thoms “Weapons Ready Echo-Seven, don’t engage yet, it could be a false positive”

The 67th’s Heavy Weapons Team is returning with their weapons when several mortar bombs strike the center of the facility. They don’t cause any casualties but organized chaos takes hold, the landing craft begin warming up their engines and everyone moves to cover.

Lt. Commander Thoms “All Call-signs weapons hot, engage at will, I want those support weapons in fighting positions ASAP

The Scorpion Light Tanks begin firing off 57mm shells at suspected enemy positions and start moving around to avoid being pinpointed by mortars. The Canopians break down windows and blast walls to get their heavy machine guns ready to fire. FEDCOM units across the divide being opening up with small arms fire and their own light tanks.

Lt. Commander Thoms -“Echo-Lead this is Echo-Two we are under heavy fire and need back-up”

Commander DuChamps – “Copy that Echo-Two we are moving to your position now”

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Aftermath Zhou Hei Industrial Park

09:44 | Location – Zhou Hei Industrial Park, 72km S of Brightstone, Nashuar

Smoke rises from burned out buildings and impact crater as wreckage lingers around the Industrial Park, the North side of the Canal is screened by thick white smoke. The Meteor fighter has long since booked out of the combat zone trailing smoke from the laser hit to its vertical stabilizer. Burned out hulks of mechs and tanks are scattered around the field but have been targeted by FEDCOM artillery and are unsalvagable.

“Strike Group Echo disengage, we can’t do anything more here, move out to link up with the 52nd and 67th in the city. They are encountering heavy resistance from occupying FEDCOM infantry.”

The damaged tanks and mechs are sent off to a “safe” area for eventual repair but that will have to wait a bit longer.

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An Adventure Cruise
The food is terrible but the view is worth it

Aboard NMV On Rising Tide, somewhere on the Inland Sea

06:18 | 10-22-3061 (2h to Target Zone)

The On Rising Tide used to be a fast cargo ferry plying the inland sea but when the 1st McCarron’s Armored Cavalry and 3rd Canopian Fusiliers landed in Starbow near the Inland Sea. The small port town of Cylion was militarized and expanded to support their operations. On Rising Tide was one of the ferries that got militarized and is carrying elements of the 67th Canopian Infantry Battalion and 52nd Support Corps plus your support personnel and spare parts. Its large vehicle deck is currently packed with light armored vehicles and cargo containers all bound for Brightstone.

Your techs have been on high alert since early yesterday to ensure that this operation would go smoothly. They were brought ground-side to get some shut eye in the sleeper cabins while the ship finished prepping. Chief Tech Williams and Astech Turner wake up due to rough seas in time to see the sun rise over Nashuar and get some morning chow at the mess. They overhear the Canopian sub-commander going over battle reports and the details of their attack with Commander Duchamps.

Ashley – “Sounds like we still have employers Chief Williams”

Codie – “Yeah well that is a relief, probably the only one we will get all day”

Sub-Commander – “Commander Duchamps we are two hours at current speed from Brightstone. How long until you launch the main assault?”

Commander Duchamps – “The main assault will commence in an hour, one of Spiteful Ghosts landing ramps failed to engage, it took longer than anticipated to unload. The mercenaries have secured their objectives ahead of schedule though and are en route to our staging area”

Lt. Commander Thoms – “Roger that Commander, inform us if there is any need to change the timetable, Commander Thoms out”

Ashley – “Wait Commander Thoms? that can’t be right I know that name I want to take a look”

Codie – “Why? I’m sure he will stop by later and give us any relevant details, enjoy your coffee and let the man work”

Ashley – “I’m going to say hi and you should come with me”

Codie – “Fine, don’t make a scene though we have to work with these people”

The two walk into the screened off area where there are five ensigns but one has a commander’s insignia attached to his helmet although his cuffs have ensign markings.

Bvt. Commander Thoms – “Hello, you must be the mercenary techs. I am Brevet Commander Derrence Thoms aka “Blackout”, and he introduces the others (Ensigns “Splitter” Riggs, “Lipstick” Caron, D’Armitz, Langlais)

Pleasure to meet you, we will be seeing a lot of each other I imagine”

Ashley – “ Oh I hope so, are you the same Derrence Thoms that won STARS Man of the Year award two years ago? And I’m Ashley and this is Codie”

Thoms – “The very same I see you are familiar with my work”

he does a quick but impressive modeling pose

“It has been a pleasure to meet you both I have to go and make sure everything is prepped. Commander Duchamps expects this will be a tough fight to remove the 7th from Brightstone”

As he leave he kisses Ashley’s hand “Enchantè, my dear but there is work to be done"

Standing up again and putting on his helmet, "Chief Codie I suspect that your people have work to attend to as well. See you all once we are done with this”

Thoms and his subordinates break to ensure that everyone is briefed on the current plan

Codie – “Is this guy for real?”

Ashely blushes “No he’s dreamy”

Codie – “This is going to be a long day, go wake the others Ashley. We need to make sure we can put everything back together tonight. Right now though I need to finish this coffee, probably with some whiskey.”

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Best laid plans

07:21 10-22-3061 Brightstone Spaceport

Captain Olav – Commander Duchamps we have secured the spaceport, the tower and terminal have been cleared of FEDCOM soldiers. The put a few pistol rounds into the tower console so we will need pathfinders from the regiment until it is repaired once Starquake goes off station in 16 hours.

Loud explosions

Captain Olav – Report! Where did those explosions come from lieutenant?

Lieutenant Horn – Captain it appears like the 7th has planted cratering charges along the runways. They will need to be repaired before we can land any fighters at this position.

Captain Olav – Jumpshot Flight this is Starquake how copy?

Sao-Wei Shun – Starquake, this is Jumpshot Actual we are tracking no targets in your vicinity how goes the spaceport operation?

Captain Olav – We have a problem you will not be able to safely land at the spaceport, the 7th has cratered the runway. What is your remaining station time?

Sao-Wei Shun – Starquake, we have another five minutes before we are bingo fuel. I will inform the 1st that we will be returning to base. Commander Duchamps you will be without air support for the final push into the city, my scopes are currently clear good luck.

Meanwhile at Forward Rally Point Echo-Sixty-Three

Spiteful Ghost Command – Overlord Spiteful Ghost has completed off-loading procedures we will be on station for three hours before returning to regimental command

Ensign Bruno – We are awaiting your final plan before advancing on the city Commander.

Commander Duchamps – The final plan is being sent via datalink to all operating units. We are moving to take Brightstone from the 7th with all due haste. Move out Gentlemen.

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Overload
"Seems a bit much"

Transmission from Star Corporal Leonard Teiner

Commander Duchamps, my platoon has secured the Cold Creek Power Station and sent the mercenaries on their way.

RED HORSE team has broken through the power station and discovered a large quantity of explosives; far more than would be needed to actually blow this place up. They are working to remove them to a safe area for disposal.

The rest of the platoon is clearing the station and shutting the gas valves according to our reach-back contact until it can be evaluated and put back into service safely.

Lastly, we have captured a FEDCOM mechwarrior he identified himself as SGT. Weston Puls, we will hold him until intelligence can interrogate him.

However the vehicle crews that abandoned their AA vehicles are still at large

Corporal Teiner out

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Battle for Brightstone Prelude
Luck isn't always good

From the Journal of Corporal Mark Oldin, 7th FEDCOM RCT

10/17/3061
Location – Brightstone, Nashuar, St Ives Compact
Week 57 of Deployment

Another day of fighting, the lieutenant launched a quick raid with the choppers to the Liao rear again. Fortunately there weren’t as many casualties this time and they managed to raid enough to keep us supplied for a few more weeks. The captain must be preparing a large raid tonight since he pulled Lt. Collin’s mechs off guard duty and replaced them with Foxtrot platoon. Until then we are simply on guard duty making sure the Liao aerospace fighters stay away, the war machines can keep stomping and crushing, and Jojo can keep flying out of the airport.

It is strange really; this city was designed to be a new start for so many people but now it is abandoned, bombed out, and shot up. It’s only going to get worse though; that is what the Major says, I hope he is wrong but I don’t think he is.

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