Battletech Mercs Unleashed

Showdown at High Moon

09/13/3065 23:58 Location – 61km North of Warawi, Astrokaszy

The Mercs Unleashed task force heading out over the windswept wastes from their forward base at As’Sab. Leaving behind Lance Lead Donovan Law and a mech company to guard the base in the event their enemies use this as an opportunity to attack. The trip had taken them three hours of walking under the stars, Astrokaszy’s moon, Ghada, shed pale light that reflected off their Battlemech’s canopies and faintly illuminating the black sand, wisps of it blew off the dunes as they moved in radio silence.

Upon arriving their RADARs detected eleven units near the ruins that were their rendezvous point. The Red Skull’s Atlas reflected his persona, it was definitely not stock, and terrifying to behold, its crimson death’s head illuminated by his running lights. Even the lowly locust looked more terrifying due to armor morphs applied to it. Beside the Atlas was a tank that was little more than a Fafnir’s gun put on a Marsden V’s body. Konstantine came on over the radio, I take it by the welcoming committee that you do not have what I seek.

Vanguard Commander “Tack” Brant responded on the same channel, You’re damn right we would never give Grey up and I promised the Jaguars we would help. Very disappointing commander, I’m afraid I will have to kill you now. With that the LRM Carrier launched red flare rounds into the sky, illuminating the area in a blood red hue over black sand. All radio waves began playing this and all combatants went to full power.

Hotfoot’s sensors picked up two bandits burning in from orbit, the warbook figured them to be Lightning G16Ds arriving in forty seconds. Damn, well let’s get this over with

Merc Forces
Niops Crab and Guillotine, Shugenja, Longbow, Stalker, C3 Phoenix Hawk, Hotfoot’s Phoenix Hawk, Tack’s Guillotine, Penetrator, Defiance, Charger, Blackjack

Hostile Forces
Atlas Custom (cERPPC, LPL, AC20, A4), Locust (5 cHMG, 3 SL), Victor (GR, ERLL, 2 cMPLs), Thunderbolt (cGR, LRM15, MLs), Grim Reaper (cLPL, LRM15, SSRM6), Phoenix Hawk (LPL, 2 cMPL), Wolfhound (ERPPC), “Igor” HGR Siege Gun, Armored LRM Carrier, Hetzer Mark II, Light SRM Carrier Mark II, 2 Lightning G16D (2 RAC/5, 2MPL, 2 ERML)

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The Real Red Menace, part II
Twin Sabers and the Skirmish in Shervanis

09/11/3065 11:42 Location – Cinnabar House, Perfume District, Shervanis, Astrokaszy

Major Felicity Grey had stolen a pair of armored vests one for herself and the other for Chief of Station Nathan Idlewood from his dead mercenaries. The two of them took the lesser hallways and secret passages through Cinnabar House firing on the house guard whenever they were encountered, they didn’t encounter anymore of Loki’s heavily armed and armored Alptraum commandos which was good her pistols couldn’t defeat their armor but she knew they were still in the city. You are not going to escape this one alive Major, Felicity reached into his pockets, You better hope I do because I’m going to kill you first, she found the keys for a Delphi Harp SUV (Porsche Macan Turbo for reference) and the emergency gate release switch.

Felicity mule kicked the door and swung Nathan in front as usual, curiously there were no guards but the technicals had pulled out. The pair walked quickly to Nathan’s Scarlet Harp past several lines of luxury autos and more utilitarian vehicles, tossing him into the passenger seat before entering, you might want to find the seat belt, this could get rough, Felicity gunned it, tires squealed, and engines roared as she exited the garage into a hail of gunfire. The bulletproof glass spider-webbed as multiple rounds impacted restricting visibility but the armor and run flat tires held for now. Felicity triggered the gate release, thermite charges burned white hot melting the armored hinges built into the ferrocrete walls. A pair of machine gun armed Pit-Bull trucks blocked the exit and opened up on her but she veered through the gardens tearing them up in the process and spoiling their aim. Reemerging she pushed one of the lighter trucks into the weakened gate, which fell in with a deafening crash.

The Pit-bull made a full rotation and crashed into a building on the opposite side of the street. Felicity peeled off trying to put distance between her and her current enemies. Three armed and fully loaded Pit-bulls pulled out in hot pursuit, Shit! why did you have to hire good troops Nathan, couldn’t be some random locals, Nathan had in fact found the seat belt and didn’t look at all worried, Like I said Major, you aren’t going to make it out of the city alive, every bounty hunter on the planet knows you are here, Felicity made for the Bazaar drifting around a corner and honking the horn, It feels good to know I have so many people looking out for me

The narrower side streets forced the Pitbulls to come at her in single file, she weaved to and fro to throw off their aim and overturn merchant’s carts forcing the trucks to evade or lose speed. Felicity’s Commpad ringed and she put on her earbud, Could really use some help here Tina, the Harp crashed into a stray cart throwing wooden splinters and merchandise into the air, That was not the rendezvous point! Get your boys over here right now, I won’t be able to bring them to you, Trouble Major?, Major Grey tried to refocus on the chase she was currently in, two of the merc trucks were still on her tail and she was running out of narrow road, Nathan we are going to have major trouble if you keep talking so mind your goddamn business!

Felicity looked again ‘Wait two trucks, Fuck!’, the missing Pitbull pulled in front of her and its troops disembarked, she was boxed in. The Harp wasn’t going to be able to survive another crash in its current condition. Major Grey accelerated and crashed into the Pit Bull on the Harp’s passenger side, metal crumpled and some of the luxury SUV’s armored panels warped and tore off in the collision’s aftermath. The Harp flipped and rolled onto its wrecked side and the roof crashed into the stuccoed building across the street.

one hour later

Felicity woke up strapped to a stretcher in the back of a moving vehicle, Good to see you survived your crash Major, let me take a look at your eyes real quick, a Twin Sabers medic shone his light into her eyes, How about Mr Idlewood?, The medic produced a small brown vial with some material in it, We grabbed a sample for analysis but there wasn’t much left of him, Felicity’s bruised faced looked pleased, Good riddance! He shouldn’t have hired such competent troops or he might have lived a slightly longer life. How do I look doc?, The medic produced a small clipboard, Well fortunately you don’t have any neck injuries but your right shoulder was dislocated, might have some nerve damage in that arm, pretty sure you have a concussion, and you are going to be in a lot of pain once the painkillers wear off but not bad for such a severe crash., Yeah well pain means I lived, where is your commander?, The Medic put the chart back at her feet, Commander has us running circles right now while she tries to find the Loki Alptraum, place has gone to hell while you have been out, we had to ditch the marked trucks and go incognito. Your CommPad had to be destroyed, they brought sniffers with them.

three hours later

A sun beaten van pulled into a fenced lot near a plain building in the Old City, sporadic gunfire could be heard nearby, two men in balaclavas and black body armor wielding assault rifles exited the cabin and secured the lot with a chain and padlock before taking up overwatch. Three more men similarly dressed exited the cargo compartment and escorted a hooded woman who moved slowly into the building. The other two men then followed them.

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The Real Red Menace, part I
Something rotten in Shervanis

09/11/3065 08:17 Location – Perfume District, Shervanis, Astrokaszy

Major Felicity Grey left The Zahra, a very expensive, very heavily guarded, and very private hotel typically used by visiting businessmen and well to do people looking for bottom-feeders while on Astrokaszy. Chief Nathan Idlewood sent an armored Delphi Motors Elektra with a driver and armed bodyguard to pick her up for a meeting at the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry’s Cinnabar House. He had been very insistent that she spend the night there but it was soooo boring and she craved excitement. The morning air was crisp, not to hot, and smelled of salt water and exotic fragrances, Felicity breathed it in deep before entering the open car door.

The red sedan wove through narrow streets around colorful jitney’s and drab armed technicals. Small street vendors pouring out of the formal Bazaars selling colorful stones, fragrant oils, and all manner of exotic produce both delicious and odd. Women with brightly colored headscarves followed their dour looking guardians, many of whom had some manner of visible weapon on their person.

The Elektra pulled up to the heavy armored door that warded the Cinnabar House from the streets of Shervanis. Even in the nice districts it was still a lawless and violent place, the estate was girded with grey Ferrocrete walls topped with razor wire, and guards patrolled behind ready to shoot on suspicion. As the door opened Felicity saw the fantastically manicured gardens from which popped a variety of flowers. The House’s bright red stucco contrasted with the grey-blue expanse of the Northern Polar Sea beyond its far gate. As the car pulled into the circle three guards and two servant stepped out of the rotunda, one of whom opened the door for the Major. She stepped out her alabaster skin, bright auburn hair, well-tailored earth tone blouse, blue pants, and grey knee high boots making quite the statement as she handed her hat to the young woman who quickly disappeared. The car drove off toward the underground garage where it would join a fleet of other high priced autos and more utilitarian vehicles.

Chief of Station Nathan Idlewood stepped out after the car departed, his tailored white suit contrasted his heavily tanned skin and brown hair, clearly he was spending to much time on the beach, Bom Dia Major Grey, I hope you enjoyed your hotel. Although it certainly wasn’t as grand as Cinnabar House, you really should stop by more often.

Felicity removed her sunglasses tucking them in the “v” of her blouse, Its too quiet here, I spend most of my time on dropships or in the cities, apologies if you felt offended

Nonsense, we have to much to do to worry about such silly things. Would you like coffee or tea for breakfast?, Nathan opened the door of the rotunda for her and she stepped into a domed reception area were two guards were manning a metal detector.

Felicity entered giving her eyes a moment to adjust, Tea please. A metal detector?, Nathan stepped forward, Standard Protocol I’m afraid, even I have to go through it, he removed a M3 10mm pistol and keys placing them in a tray then handing it to one of the guards, A pistol, you couldn’t have been out there more than four minutes, Felicity walked forward the heels of her boots clicking across the mosaic tiles that formed a compass on the floor, Well Major, Shervanis is a dangerous city, there is no neutral here, she placed a ring of keys with an even larger ring filled with a constellation of tabs in lurid shades of pink, red, and black representing membership in a variety of “exxxotic” clubs throughout Canopian space the guard looked at her in disbelief, I travel by myself frequently, it gets lonely, she un-tucked her blouse removing her M3 Boa Compact Pistol from its holster which joined the bright red Echo Communications CommPad already in the bin, and pulling her hands through her hair before stepping through the metal detector. Her personal effects were returned to her and she re-holstered the pistol smoothing out her blouse before rejoining Nathan.

Felicity and Nathan walked through the magnificent house, colorful tiles and lush carpets lined the floors and the interior walls were wood harvested from the virgin forests of Vixen that reminded her of her childhood house before she moved to Crimson. It was also different from the last time she visited Astrokaszy three years ago seeking the assassin that got closest to killing her.

You have good taste Nathan, this is perhaps one of the finest houses I’ve visited and I’ve been to the Magestrix’s palace in Delphi., Nathan seemed in good spirits, Thank you, it has been an expansive renovation process, the entire house is soundproof and a white noise generator is always active, I’ve added quite a bit to the basement operations room as well, this planet is of increasing interest to the Magistracy I intend to be the best steward it has ever had. My office is just ahead, please follow me

Nathan’s office was impressive, it overlooked the villa’s central garden and had no windows or doors that left a clean line of sight from the exterior. His desk was a rich dark wood, the chairs and couch had fine upholstery. She could see a shield with crossed swords and several trophy fish on the walls and smelled cigars. There was no computer on his desk Nathan was very old fashioned apparently and liked the tactile feel of pen on paper. He pulled the chair facing him out and offered it to Major Grey who accepted it, Such fine manners. I’m flattered really. Do you treat all the ladies like this?, Well I rarely have such a fine specimen like you Major, he rang a bell and the servant girl from before entered with a teapot, her colorful sari swishing as she expertly served breakfast for the pair.

After finishing the servant girl departed, yes that was quite good, now lets get down to business, he clapped his hands and two large brown-skinned men with turbans and beards emerged from the garden balcony guns in hand. The business of making me a very wealthy man with Katrina’s money, Felicity put down the tea cup she was holding onto the desk, Oh my, three big bad men and me in an office together, it is not even my birthday. What if I resist?, Well Felicity the bounty is one hundred million alive, thirty million dead. Why would you cut yourself short like that? These renovations have been quite expensive after all.

The door behind her opened and she saw another pair of men enter, these ones looked different lighter skinned and with heavy combat armor. The first Turbaned man spoke first, Ms Grey please stand with your hands where we can see them and allow my associates to remove your weapon. Felicity stood hands palm out, Major Grey. we can still be civil about this, the Alptraum commando behind her stepped forward “inadvertently” copping a feel while attempting to un-holster the weapon.

As he removed the holster from her back Felicity wheeled back drawing the commando’s sidearm from his holster, double tapping his companion, and pushing him into the desk in front of her. The men on the other side fired but Grey used the commando, desk, and chair for cover expertly dispatching them before the first man she shot hit the floor. She grabbed her ceramic boot knife and stabbed it into her would be disarmer’s kidneys immediately sending him into shock and near term death. Nathan looked horrified clearly not expecting such a turn for the worse, Felicity grabbed a pair of handcuffs and sidearm from the first man she shot, tossing the handcuffs on the desk. Put these on! You are more useful to me alive but that could change quickly.

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The Challenge
Showdown at the Ruins

09/13/3065 11:43 Location – MULE Command Post, Mercenary Base, As’Sab

Nicolette had been assigned to listen to the Titanfeller’s Propaganda Station for any new intelligence, Cearra take a listen to this. Cearra Heron, Signal Officer for Mercs Unleashed switched her active channels.

Welcome to Red Skull Radio, Konstantine is sending a message out to the weaklings at As’Sab. Bring the Red Headed Witch and Snake who thinks he is Jaguar to me at the Ruins North of Warawi at midnight tonight or I will come to you, take them, and kill you all. Now enjoy twelve hours of my Music to Kill Clanners to (seriously click you know you want to \-/). I see you at Midnight, don’t forget. Red Skull signing off.

What the hell is that guy’s problem, I’ll inform the Strike Commander

PS by Grey: You have the option to engage Red Skull at the Ruins or wait until he attacks and likely brings friends. It could be a feint though but this guy is not one for subtlety he apparently piped Audio from his PA while smashing a Jade Falcon mech with his mech’s fists.

Force Estimate
Atlas, Victor, Thunderbolt, Grim Reaper, Phoenix Hawk, Wolfhound, Locust (with 5 HMGs)

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Grey's Return
Roll out the Red Carpet

09/13/3065 05:19 Location – Mercenary Rear Base, Al’Sur, Astrokaszy

Lieutenant Commander, I am picking up a Fury Dropship heading in from Shervanis, no beacon, burning in hot Adrian Post looked out over the sensor feed of his Burke tank with a live copy from the Trojan’s command room. Hold on Watch Officer, I recognize this ship, send them a landing path He keyed over to the other Feed, Squad Leader scramble to escort the Fury to Al’Sur Alina Kunimoto’s Slayer shot off into the rising sun before vectoring to provide cover to the approaching Fury. She got to within visual range before recognizing the Twin Sabers insignia painted across the nose of the Aerodyne dropship. Good to have you back, Major

07:41 Location – Strategic Command Room, Trojan “Raging Bull”

Major Grey, Ebon Magistrate Operative Kell, and Twin Sabers Commander Christina Turner crowded in with Adrian Post and Alina Kunimoto. The three new arrivals had obviously seen a lot of action the past few days, Major Grey was bruised and her right arm was in a sling, Kell was favoring a leg, any other injuries would be concealed, and Turner’s movement’s looked pained.

The comm console flickered to life with the live feed from the MULE Command Post at the Mercs Forward Base, Markus Brant and Joe Leeson standing next to each other, I’m sure there is an interesting story about what happened in Shervanis Major but we currently have a series of escalating problems

Things didn’t go quite as planned in Shervanis, but I made it out alive. Adrian gave me the rundown on what has happened in my absence. You should know the Chief of Station was a mole working for the Lyrans and maybe more. “Was” being the opportune word, I suspected as much but couldn’t plug the leaks without evidence.

Twin Sabers will stick around to give Leon a hand with base security. I heard the Jaguars’ SaKhan and his mechanized infantry surrendered to you. He might be a very important piece of leverage if we get to Ash assuming he survives his injuries.

But we have to deal with Konstantine and Thomas first, I’m eager for that bounty money to remain in its bank on Marik and not in the hands of Katherine’s goons. I’m honored, apparently I must be made of diamonds for that kind of price. While you have been here with any luck Ash has been wearing Thomas out so we can sweep in and finish them both off.

Markus looked through the video feed toward Felicity, That’s not all though, we know Mina was working for you the entire time. We need to talk about that, she’s caused us a great deal of trouble the past few days.

Major Grey seemed unmoved, Yes Adrian mentioned that she was in the brig cooling her heels. I will have you know that she was there for your own security and she has performed admirably in the task. Her rashness is no doubt a side effect of Mr Leeson’s hotheadedness rubbing off on her, you wouldn’t have the information from Ravinia that you could compare against whatever the Jaguars have told you already if she hadn’t acted as she did. The current friction between everyone will eventually smooth over once we are done here. I can serve in whatever roles she occupied so don’t worry we will get back on track.

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The Red Skull of Sudeten

09/13/3065 02:21 Location – Mercenary Outpost, As’Sab, Astrokaszy

Signal Officer Heron watched the RADAR screen, they had to many surprises tonight to let a lapse in attention doom the command. There was another major sandstorm predicted to roll in by morning which would enveloping the unit in grey once more. A major contact appeared on the Trojan’s long range trackers, vectoring toward Tai’iqih, Vanguard Commander, we have a Leopard class dropship heading toward Tai’iqih, stand by for identification

She didn’t have to wait long before the dropship’s transponder identified the bearer, Konstantine Rhein von Hulger, known as the Red Skull of Sudeten, a title he earned fighting Jade Falcons in his private Atlas, notorious mercenary, Baron of Ilzra, and loyal hound to the Archon-Princess. His arrival was most unwelcome on Astrokaszy, like the Titanfellers didn’t already have enough soldiers or weapons.

03:18 Location – FOB:Greenhill, Titanfeller Occupied Territory

Greetings Major Brekard, I find myself in the area hunting pirates and the Director contacts me to check on your progress. He says you should have accomplished your task a long time ago, you had everything you needed Thomas Brekard stared back at the gruesome visage of the speaker, his glasgow smile and dueling scars from his time at Royal New Capetown Military Academy visible through the video call, in fact they were tattooed red to make them “pop”. The last time I trusted someone else’s intelligence I spent a year as a “guest” at a Maskirovka Black Site, put there by the very mercenaries that stand against me now.

Konstantine grinned, I have been informed that COTTONTAIL has escaped Loki’s net once again, apparently her bounty is a tough one to collect on, but I am willing to try. I even kill your pesky mercenaries for you. I get big fish, you get little one. Tom looked curious, How many men does it take to capture that woman? Hyrien had fifty Alptraum commandos there, some in battle armor, plus Chief Idlewood’s private mercenaries. Konstantine stared back at him, Yes well Chief Idlewood’s failure has been dealt with, he died in Shervanis, but I trust you shall not let Ash escape, the consequences would be dire.

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Sand and Dust, pt 5
Mina's luck runs out

09/13/3065 01:08 Location – Mule Dropship “Rodeo”, Al’Sur

Samira, Corporal Hermes and his Squad, the three critically injured Jaguars, and Kat were met with a 6×6 utility vehicle at the pad. They loaded the stretchers up and drove them through one of the smaller access ramps where the Drs. Westcastle and their assistants took over. Samira updated them on any change of condition during the short helicopter ride up here and followed behind. As the injured were prepped for surgery Samira grabbed and spun around Hermes, If they lose Jakk, shoot the girl. She is too much a risk, the Corporal looked stunned, this was completely out of character for Sam. He continued on while she excused herself saying she was getting more supplies before heading back to As’Sab.

01:21

Strike Commander Joe Leeson and Vanguard Commander Markus Brant met with the slightly injured but now Senior Point Leader Pike and Mechwarrior Murayama in the Command Post. Where is Mina Joe? she should be here for this. Mina had still been in his bed when he woke up but he hadn’t seen her since, I don’t know maybe she is talking to one of the other point leaders at the Aid Station? Markus didn’t seem convinced, I don’t like this, she keeps going missing, you and her need to have a serious talk about this. Keying his mic, Gatekeeper this is Tack, find Lieutenant Illonka and bring her to the Command Post right away

Sergeant Leon Reinholdt received the message at the forward aid station where his men were standing guard. Pointing to a pair of his squad, You and You with me, we are looking for the Lieutenant, everyone else stay here and keep watch, the camp was not large but it was in a state of disarray and confusion. Most of the Mechwarriors were out on patrol making sure the Jaguars weren’t followed or on show of force patrols to remind the locals to behave. Leon asked around, Mina was good at not being detected, but one of the techs said she had been seen near the Medic’s tent.

The trio approached the tent that Specialist Samira and Chief Medic Holmes shared, it was easy to spot and marked appropriately with Ares Convention Markings. The forward aid station and command post were on the other side of the base where everyone else was. Leon signaled to the others to fan out and search, he walked in without knocking, she was already in Al’Sur so there should be no harm.

However, he saw a shape still in her bed and rushed over placing his rifle on the ground. Rolling her over, it was Sam, he tried to rouse her but was met with groaning instead. Keying the radio on his shoulder, Nest this is Gatekeeper, patch me in to Rodeo right now!

Mule Class “Rodeo” Bridge

Captain/Ops Director Abram Baasch answered the phone Director this is Gatekeeper, lock down the medical section right now, secure Ravinia’s quarters, and detain Samira. We have a security breach. Abram looked over to his Master at Arms beckoning him to come over, Hendrick, I need you to take three men, secure Ravinia, and detain Specialist Samira then escort her to the brig. I am silently locking down frames F-eight through F-Twelve from here. Use the intercom when you get there and I’ll open it. Try not to worry everyone else and don’t tell Corporal Hermes. Hendrick grabbed three of the brawnier DEXTRAN hands and headed downstairs grabbing matte-black impact armor, cuffs, and clubs from the armory putting them over their yellow jumpsuits. Some of the other crew exchanged quick looks and moved on to their regular duties.

Ravinia’s Quarters, eight minutes before

Ravinia woke with a start, hands covered her mouth and wrapped around her neck, she struggled vainly and her eyes snapped into focus. Lieutenant Jasmina Ilonka was on top of her and mouthing “Don’t scream” Ravi tried to fight but found her right hand was zip tied to the bunk’s rail, not tightly but she was outmatched. She went slack and Mina leaned in menacingly close, I have some questions for you and you are going to give me answers, understand?

Ravinia meekly agreed, Good, good, wouldn’t want to have to use these, Mina grabbed a pair of drugs from a belt pouch that were a common method of suicide when mixed and showed them to her before leaning in again, You mentioned to Alina that I move like the Jaguar Watch Captain right?, a peeped yes escaped Ravi’s lips, she was more terrified now then she was in the scavenger base, That was a curious choice of words, almost like you knew the Jaguar’s Watch Captain. Did you know the Jaguar’s Watch Captain?, Mina was almost cheek to cheek, Ravi’s collar was pulled against her neck, yes, I knew him., Mina’s hair fell down grazing across Ravi’s face, how did you know him Ravi, you are going to have to start talking or this will be much more painful, she felt a crushing pain as Mina began squeezing the life out of her, Alright, Alright, he came to me the day the others were killed, Dillon Nova told me that he would spare me if I did something for him., Mina released some of the serpentine pressure on her but not all, What did you do for him?, Ravi inhaled sharply, He told me to link up with the rebels, that he was going to severely injure Rakeem but he needed him to live long enough to pass a message to the Titanfellers, Mina put some of the pressure back on, What was in this message Ravi?, struggling for breath Ravi could barely speak, the plans for the defense of Coolwater, please stop!, Mina continued the pressure, you’re still leaving something out! hurry up while you still have breath, panicked Ravi breathed the words more than spoke them, he wanted me to get inside the Titanfellers and mark their commander with a tracker so they could kill him, Mina released the pressure again and Ravi coughed, yet here you are, why is that? Rakeem and his men have been captured or killed yet you didn’t., Ravi’s face was red, I couldn’t do it… I hid until I was picked up in the morning by the scavengers., Mina’s face was also red but with rage, do you still have the transmitter Ravi! Why did the Watch Captain betray his SaKhan!

Hendrick and the other three Dextran crew went to Ravinia’s bunk first, Abram had been very explicit about that. It was locked with a master key, one of the others keyed the nearby intercomm, Captain, we need a bridge override for Bunk F-sixteen. The door’s light flashed green and the men charged in to find Samira in full guard position mounting Ravinia with her hands around her throat. Grab her!, Hendrick was first to get in there breaking the choke by striking Sam’s elbows with his club, Ravi coughed and struggled but she was tied up.

Two others grabbed Sam prying her legs off the supine woman. Sam kicked out trying to prevent being taken to ground striking the impact armor hard with her combat boots and unbalancing the attacker but he held firm. The doorman had the cuffs out and shackled her legs, Hendrick rolled her onto her stomach but just dodged taking the back of Sam’s head into his face. Sam/Mina was struggling trying to break the hold but Hendrick grabbed her arms roughly pulling them behind her back eliciting a whine while another cuffed her. They strung a chain between the two sets of cuffs and two men lifted her up. Watch her head, this one’s a fighter. Take her to the brig

Hendrick pulled out his utility knife to cut the wire tie that held Ravinia to the bunk. He handed her off to another to take her to the infirmary to make sure she was alright.

Lieutenant Jasmina Illonka was thoroughly searched and thrown into the Rodeo’s brig, Hendrick locked her cuffs through a ring in the cell sticking her in a tight seiza position to prevent her escaping. She had a lot things to answer too but Hendrick wasn’t going to be the one asking questions his part in this was done.

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Sand and Dust, pt 4

09/13/3065 00:12 Location – Southeast Perimeter, Mercenary Base, As’Sab, Astrokaszy

Vanguard Commander Markus “Tack” Brant’s Guillotine stepped forward to complete the lance of mechs in the area. Reed Drummon’s Charger and his lance were on patrol somewhere south of him, Cheapshot, how did you miss these guys?
Sorry Tack, they blended in with the indigenous troops we didn’t look at the paint color
Be more cautious in the future, this could have been a problem
Affirmative Commander

Markus dismounted his mech and walked next to Sgt Leon Reinholdt, Sarge, what have you seen? Sgt Reinholdt saluted the Vanguard Commander, Sir, there are twelve heavily armed Sand Cats, could be a whole mechanized company out there. There is just one person standing in front with a rifle behind them, they had planted the white flag and Jaguars’ Claw banner halfway out there, and has been waiting. He took a look through Leon’s rangefinder confirming the flag, Do you think this is a trick? Leon was jumpy but it didn’t seem like it was all the Jaguar’s fault, Vanguard Commander I do think this is a trick but they haven’t moved any in ten minutes

I’m going out there, Markus strode forward, Alright Commander, I’ll have sharpshooters covering you As he walked several hundred meters across the sand, he couldn’t help but feel like a dead man walking. He had to consciously not reach for his sidearm despite his training calling him to do it. Nearing the lone figure he couldn’t help but notice that it was a teenage girl, that she was much smaller than him, but was not afraid even though they were massively over-matched. That terrified him more than anything else.

Konbanwa Yohei, Markus looked crestfallen and triggered his mic, Keiko-chan, please dismount your mech and come here, (sigh) I need a translator.

Mechwarrior Muruyama dismounted and joined the pair translating the speaker’s Japanese for Tack. The Jaguar SaKhan Jakk was incapacitated and in dire need of medical attention, his subordinate Kat, a sixteen year old who had already fought against Jaguars and across the Inner Sphere had taken control of the unit. She spoke rapid fire without a lot of flourish and needed an answer now. Either they would take them as allies and help Jakk and the other wounded or there would be conflict, there was no room for interpretation or negotiation.

Markus fretted over this he didn’t want they were already on thin ice with the locals this would put their security situation at risk. At the same time saving the SaKhan and his people would provide valuable intelligence something he found in short supply despite Mina and Cearra’s best efforts. He didn’t know if he could turn away injured people even if they were his enemies. Hell they hadn’t even fought any Jaguars yet, how could they be his enemy?

He accepted their offer of cooperation on one condition, they would have to unload their weapons when in the camp but didn’t need to surrender them. Kat accepted that offer and yelled something to the others who drove into the perimeter past the confused Mercenaries. Attention all units the Jaguars are going to be here for a little while, I want all Medics and Lifesavers to triage their injured and put any critical cases on the Marten to return to Al’Sur, non-critical cases remain here. Gatekeeper, I want a squad at least of your men to escort them and stand guard to ensure they remain on good behavior. All non-combat personnel report to the armorer to be issued a sidearm in case they don’t.

Tack really hoped he wouldn’t regret that decision.

Elsewhere in the Camp

Samira was woken up by both the commotion and being pushed, she woke with a jolt and saw Jasmina in her tent, Mina what are you doing here? Sam, the Jaguars have arrived and are in the camp, A look of terror passed over her, What happened! are we in danger!?, she felt a small prick as Mina injected her with something, You biiitch, whyyy? Mina caught her head tucking her back in before grabbed the now sedated woman’s uniform and dressing careful to complete the disguise, That is what I’m going to find out

00:31 Helipad, Forward Base

Sergeant Leon Reinholdt, Platoon Medical Specialist Samira Caan, Mechwarrior Keiko Muruyama, and Chief Medic Riley Holmes were working their way through the wounded. The Jaguar troops were quick with details of their injuries, their own people had done an admirable job of initial patching but some wounds can’t be fixed with rags. At least fifty of them had passed during the day but more had lived.

Jakk was in dire condition, he was concussed, ear drums ruptured, high risk of internal injuries, burns over twenty percent of his body, and several jagged shrapnel wounds, Kat maintained a close vigil over him, keeping a close eye on the Merc medics as they worked. He rifle was unloaded as per the terms of the deal but it still worried the medics.

Leon looked over to his platoon medic, Samira I want you to take the Jaguars to Al’Sur, you are the best with Aeromedical operations. Johnny is picking up more supplies right now but he will return shortly with Sandra, Blair, and more supplies to patch up the people here.

Samira nodded, her face covered with a surgical mask and apron stained with blood. She continued her rounds with Riley until Johnny showed up and dropped off more Medics and supplies. The Desert Rats unloaded the supplies and then rapidly loaded the critically injured Jaguars. Kat boarded as well despite Leon attempting to stop her. She gave him a death stare and he stopped dead in his tracks, instead closing the door and slapping the cockpit as the Marten took off banking to the North.

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Calm before the Storm

09/12/3065 14:18 Location – Mule “Rodeo”, Al’Sur

Lieutenant Commander Adrian Post stood outside the guarded access door to the Mule dropship overlooking Al’Sur looking irritated. Something about sitting in one place in the open for too long was getting to him and the events of the day certainly weren’t helping. Liaison Officer Karras continued her effort to assuage any concerns that Mercs Unleashed wasn’t just a hostile force encamped above them, her schedule was busy meeting with the Emirs, Sgt Reinholdt’s ill manners of killing several scavengers didn’t help things. In fact it was playing on that damn propaganda station just what kind of unit this was and it was making him paranoid.

Squad Leader Alina Kunimoto’s flight suit was soaked with sweat after the walk from the flight line where she had been sitting for 12 hours waiting for something to happen. Paula had taken her seat now and she was going back for some rest. Squad Leader wait a moment, the woman from the scavenger camp has still not been debriefed, she refuses to meet with Lieutenant Ilonka or myself. Can you talk to her? she is in the infirmary and refuses to leave.

Well she has been through a lot so I don’t blame her, I’m sure she feels safe with the Westcastles in the infirmary. I will speak to her after I get a shower and bring some food with me, has she eaten? Adrian was surprised as such an easy interaction perhaps he has misjudged the squad leader. I don’t know, you would have to speak with Dextran, thank you Alina

Infirmary ~24 minutes later

Alina walked out of the canteen and through the bowels of the massive Mule dropship. It looked empty now that most of their equipment was unpacked and she could hear her boots echoing off the cavernous metal walls of the cargo bay. Workers in Dextran Yellow continued the upkeep, several tipped their hats to her as she passed. The ship would be ready for action at a moments notice in case things went south.

She arrived at the infirmary, the Drs had actually hung a shingle outside Drs Richard and Justine Westcastle, frontier physicians and a red cross was painted on the door. She kicked her boot against the compartment door. One of the nurses opened the door, Hello Squad Leader, can I help you? Yes Sarah, I would like to speak with Ravinia, can you let me in? She looked off to the side for a moment before opening the door. Certainly

Alina sat eating at a small nook right off the Westcastles’ office, medical scanners and equipment of all types barely visible through the frosted glass walls. Ravinia had joined her and dug into the noodle bowl, apparently she hadn’t eaten all day. She was an emotional mess, most of her possessions had been in the scavenger camp, or had to be discarded due to blood from her leg injury, so she was stuck wearing scrubs for now.

AK: I heard you haven’t left the infirmary since you arrived Ms LaCroix. Why?
RL: Well it has only been a few hours since I actually showed up here, why is that so strange
AK: Well you could have gotten something to eat yourself before now, Dr Westcastle told me that your leg injury wasn’t that severe, Director Baasch has a bunk set up for you while you are with us that you could have checked out. Leon has a bruised rib from his armor and he went right back to As’Sab
RL: Leon is a soldier, I’m a medic why would I leave? I want to be helpful.
AK: Why won’t you speak to Adrian or Jasmina, Ravinia?
RL: Look I don’t have anything to tell you, Jasmina scares me I don’t know what she is going to do. She reminds me of the Jaguar’s Watch Captain they move in the same way. Adrian is looking for someone to validate his paranoia.
AK: Why don’t you tell me about how you ended up on this planet? Before Ash arrived, with the Jaguars
RL: I volunteered for the Magistracy Development Corps on Royal Foxx after serving as a paramedic in the MAF. I had no idea that this area of Astrokaszy hosted a large Canopian gem mining operation but they sent me and a five others here to improve the local health situation, which was dire.
AK: I didn’t know about gem mines either but continue on
RL: Well on May Sixteenth the Jaguars’ Claws arrived and proceeded to kill the Sheikh in a gruesome manner and took over. Ash originally allowed us to continue but people started disappearing that were the higher ups in the mining operation or viziers in the palace. We initially thought it was the rebels but then their people started disappearing to… Ravinia started breaking up, eyes getting watery
AK: Calm down girl, I know you have been through a lot but this is good, you don’t want to hold it in
RL: Then they came for us, we had been treating any wounded that came to us and the Jaguar Watch caught us two weeks ago. They killed everyone but I wasn’t there at the time, I was helping deliver a baby. Some of the rebels were warned before their allies died and they helped smuggle me out of Jaguar territory… she was barely holding it together and trembling
AK: Come on… Alina reassuringly grabbed the trembling woman
RL: The rebel leader Rakeem, the Jaguars cut off his legs as a warning after torturing him. He was smuggled out but at great cost, ten of his soldiers died stopping the Jaguars. I helped treat him because I was the only one left…
AK: _How did you end up with the scavengers, were they partners to the rebels?
RL: No two days ago the Grenadiers came and attacked the rebels at the Ghost Town. They killed almost everybody and took Rakeem and the others prisoner before leaving. They almost got me too but I hid in the gap between two buildings.

I grabbed a gun and waited, the scavengers came in the morning and I shot at one of them but then the gun jammed, luckily they didn’t shoot back. They took me prisoner because they thought I was their enemy. One of them checked my bags and saw medical supplies in it.

Then they brought your Mechwarrior in and told me to fix him so they could get the reward, I was afraid they would kill me after they did. I just want to go home!

Alina embraced the woman as she cried into her. ‘Poor girl, me to

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Connecting the Dots, pt 5

09/12/3065 23:17 Location – Mercenary Base, As’Sab, Astrokaszy

Sergeant Leon Reinholdt stood on guard right outside the mercenary tent camp, he put his rifle across his arms before lighting a Timbiqui Black Label cigarette. He put the pack into his armor pocket and heard a feminine voice harshly whisper behind him, Hands on your head Sergeant. Lieutenant Jasmina Ilonka stood behind him. her M3 10mm handgun aimed at his back,
I would salute you Lieutenant, but I don’t want to get shot. Is this going to be my last cigarette?
It depends on how you answer my questions
Do you know what smoking and secrets have in common Lieutenant?
He took a long puff from the cigarette
Once you have your first one you won’t stop until they kill you.
What happened at the scavenger settlement? Nasser told me Corporal Hermes just fired on a man with no provocation.
Just like my report said, one of the scavengers fired at me and I was protecting myself
Bullshit! you can lie to Joe and Markus all you want, they are polite enough to not probe into other people’s business; that’s my job and I can tell something is off with you. What does Ravina have to do with this?
She doesn’t have anything on me, she was imprisoned there, I rescued her.
You didn’t ask why she was imprisoned, maybe the scavengers had good reason to keep her under guard
She is a Magistracy Development Corps medical volunteer she doesn’t pose a threat to anyone
Tell that to the dead scavengers you left in your wake
Leon’s earpiece buzzed, Gatekeeper, this is Nest, we have a dozen small vehicles approaching from the southeast, please respond
Lieutenant if you don’t mind, I have to get to work, you should get back before the Strike Commander wakes up. Don’t want him to get the wrong idea, I don’t know if he could take two betrayals in as many days.
We’ll talk again Sergeant, Jasmina withdrew her pistol and slipped away disappearing between tents and into darkness
Leon removed his hands from his head and keyed his mike, Nest this is Gatekeeper, the rat pack is moving southeast.

The Desert Rats crouched behind sandbags, Bowman’s Locust, Roland’s Cicada_, and Muruyama’s Wolf Trap_ were on site but were holding position and their fire. Leon looked out on the approaching vehicles, Vanguard Commander, we have a dozen Jaguar Claw Sand Cats approaching the base under a white flag. Requesting Guidance.

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