Battletech Mercs Unleashed

After Action: REDLINE

09/10/3065 05:17 Location – Mercs Unleashed Command Tent, As’Sab, Astrokaszy

Major Grey and the Command Council stood around the map table. A DEXTRAN recovery team rolled back north under guard with Tack’s Guillotine to Al’Sur’s Repair Depot, again, along with the headless Hammerhands. Mechwarrior Green’s Penetrator was returned was ready for action with a new set of leg actuators.

Fine Work Mercs Captain Reyes was going to continue being a problem if he was still alive. The Headhunters have sent a message informing us that they are sitting this one out but will continue to occupy Warawi. I don’t trust them but they are no longer a threat to our continued operations.

Unfortunately we were unable to recover your missing Mechwarrior, he is either dead, picked up by local scavengers, or soon to be dead of exposure. Your Aerospace leader has informed me they are maintaining 24 hour readiness in the Slayer and Stingray because she is concerned Top Shot or the Titanfellers will come back with a vengeance. Both Sabres have been put aside for now unless we need them for a recon overflight.

Commander Arachne please give the mercs your scouting report"

Mercs we have been continually challenged by Titanfellers but while they were away we managed to get a peak at what is going on at Despair and Grimhide. Lieutenant Nyx observed a fight between Jaguar’s Claws and Titanfellers north of the line of control, it was a minor skirmish but the Jaguars have vintage SLDF mechs but Hotfoot knew that already. We don’t know where they got them but it is a concerning development.

Both Despair and Grimhide are forts attacking them will be costly. If we give Despair enough time to become like Grimhide it will be a mess. Prepared lines of fire, earthworks, pre-plotted artillery, minefields, etcetera.

However, according to the locals the winds are only going to pick up before the season is done ruining already unpleasant conditions. This might force the Titanfellers to return to Al’Jafir Station until the weather improves. We don’t know whether they are aware of this but if not it will be an unwelcome surprise.

Thank You Commander, Lieutnenant Ilonka and Liason Officer Karras will keep you abreast of current situations.

Please forward your force tables to me, I have to leave with Chief of Station Idlewood to pursue a lead in Shervanis. Commander Arachne will be your point of contact in my absence.

Till Next time Mercs"

OOC: Post you damage and ammunition consumption so I can adjust the Quartermaster Tab

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REDLINE Battle

Force Assessment

The Headhunters have moved into a blocking position between the Relief Force and As’Sab south of Warawi. The Titanfellers are moving in from the East and South to push the Strike Force into the Headhunters. The As’Sab Guard lance is moving to attack them from the other side.

Major Grey has suggested juking the Strike force toward FOB:Despair to draw the Titanfellers out and give the Relief Force better odds to finish the Headhunters off for good. The Ebon Magistrate Raiders are standing by to attack from the other side.

Relief Force
2 Guillotines, Phoenix Hawk, Stalker, Devastator, Longbow, Dervish, 2 Hunchbacks, Jagemech, Shugenja
2 Ballistas, “Sweeper” Marsden III

Strike Force
Mongoose, Phoenix Hawk, Cronus, Cicada, Locust, 2 Wolf Traps, Hatchetman

Headhunters
2 Schrecks, Behemoth, Ontos, 3 Manticores, Assault Pike
Highlander, Rifleman, Dragon Fire, Tempest, Archer, Defiance, Hollander, Charger
2 Hawk Moths, 2 Warriors H7B, 2 Eagle ASFs

Titanfellers
Anvil, Griffin, Shadow Hawk, Super Wolverine, Cobra, Crossbow, Komodo, Clint, Nightsky, Starslayer
Stuka, Thunderbird, 2 Lucifers, 2 Lightning ASFs

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Sand and Dust, pt 2

09/10/3065 01:52 Location – Southwest Perimeter, Ni’keet Airbase

Jakk and his commando teams had breached the obstacles in their way with plenty of help from Elemental Sam and his suit’s battle claws. Each one of his five man teams had a fully suited Elemental running point while the remaining forces were lightly armored but heavily armed. Once they were clear of the perimeter the Elementals regrouped and went after machine gun nests and caused general mayhem.

Jakk ran from cover to cover hiding behind every little bit of material as the assault teams crossed the open killing fields of the airstrip. Light machine guns and small arms fire impacted around him but his marksmen shot out the search lights degrading the grenadiers fire. The heavy guns remained faced out however rarely firing back toward his teams.

Sam give me a report what are the Grenadiers looking at?

SaKhan, a large hostile force has been spotted approaching the area. We have begun disengaging and called for exfil. The Grenadiers continue to fight our Mechs although Mechwarrior Pris says they should disengage and let the invaders attack one another.

Another attacker? This must be the reason they split the forces up.

Pris you are ordered to disengage, if our enemies wish to fight we should let them

Jakk saw another thing that concerned him, Top Shot’s Karnov VTOLs were spinning up throwing clouds of dust into the darkened sky and the Aerofighters had begun taxiing onto the runway. They were far too aware, the other invaders had spoiled the element of surprise.

The five assault teams ran to their targets advanced carefully, dove into the ditches between the runways as Top Shot powered up and lifted off, the white hot thrusters’ heat dispersed into the cool desert sky. Three teams planted S.P.I.K.E. charges on the large fuel tanks, their cryogenic ammonia would burst and the charges would ensure the tank wouldn’t be repairable. Two teams placed them on mechanical components receiving sporadic small arms fire from the evacuating Top Shot crews. Three minutes

01:55

Jakk was last on board the hover APC, the SPIKE charges detonated as intended and great white clouds of ammonia billowed forth under pressure. The Karnovs now loaded with Top Shot’s ground crew lifted off and powered Northeast toward Ta’iqih. The toxic gas followed the night breeze into the city where the citizens slept unaware they were about to be gassed. Jakk could see through his rangefinders the newest invaders as they approached the airfield only to pause and flee. Top Shot was on the hunt. He sent a tight wave transmission their way.

01:57

Hotfoot: “BLACKBIRD, we have a problem, another force hit Ni’keet at the same time, looks like they destroyed our targets for us. Picking up a Stormcrow, some other mechs, and hover APCs on long range scanners.

Grey: “That doesn’t seem like a problem Hotfoot.

Hotfoot: “I don’t think you grasp the situation, all of Top Shot is in the sky right over us. We are attempting to evade them through the badlands. Additionally I am picking up Grenadier pursuers and clouds of toxic gas drifting into the city of Ni’keet

Lt. Ilonka: “FLASH!, FLASH!, FLASH!, All Callsigns, I am picking up a surge of radio traffic on Grenadier and Titanfeller bands. Looks like their entire force is coming online and on the move. Hostile forces are inbound to intercept the strike force. I am picking up Headhunter traffic from Warawi as well, prepare for immediate action.

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Sand and Dust, pt 1

09/10/3065 00:17 Location – 13km ESE of Ni’keet, Astrokaszy

Jakk and his teams quietly gathered in a copse of Divine Palms, one of the many minor oases and the only source of overhead cover for tens of kilometers. Their Utilitech SandSkimmers had touched down just outside the tree line. Yesterday they received word from their agents that the Titanfellers had split their forces.

This finally gave his 2nd Jaguar Assault Force a window of opportunity, now was time to attack and remove the air superiority that had threatened them for so long. He had brought enough time to restore some of the old mechs they had found underground. A Royal Wolverine and Kintaro and Stormcrow formed his commando team’s diversion unit. Their Mechwarriors were ready for real action after being forced to deal with lesser rebel factions for several months.

01:47 Location – Top Shot’s “Stable”, Ni’keet

Squad Leader Benjamin Cirillo looked over at Flight Officer Amity Solerno taking in her beauty once more, they had spent all day in one another’s company in hot lust. They finished late in the evening showered, ate, and dressed in their off-duty clothes. They exited “The Stable” where all of Top Shot’s people were staying.

Outside was warm but reasonable, a far cry from the horrid heat of the day and the cool night breeze felt great. It was little wonder the people of this planet were nocturnal and lived underground. The camouflage netting and shade cloth did little to alleviate the furnace. Ben looked across the compound at where Gurn’s Grenadiers stayed. Something seemed off, there were a lot of lights moving rapidly in the distance but he hadn’t received a message informing him of any recent developments.

In between them was a sprawling expanse of ammonia tanks, ammo bunkers, and portable hangers where their Aerofighters lived. Astrokaszy’s magnetite sand and extreme temperatures were just as dangerous to the fusion rocket space planes as enemy fire; getting into instruments or simply abrading the heat shielding that protected the vehicle from the hellish temperatures of re-entry. This planet he felt literally conspired to destroy everything that it could, tires burst, tracks were thrown, the ground was unstable, and you couldn’t even orient with a compass if you were lost. It was little wonder this region was called The Desert of Lost Souls.

The Grenadier garrison had powered up their Battlemechs and tanks and were readying their gun trailers. Reaching for his communicator he got a call from the tower. “Squad Leader Cirillo, we have detected hostile forces nearby and dispatched the garrison to confront them. I have ordered your crews to bring the fighters on-line, we are sending a truck.”

Affirmative, Squad Leader Cirillo and Flight Officer Solarno are located at the west cabin, moving to the south. (keying it in to their internal frequency) Shooter to all call-signs, time to fly, grab gear and make for the pickup.” Klaxons blared waking up the few Top Shot crew and pilots on premises and they assembled

The olive drab Pitbull drove across the tamped ground kicking up little dust in its wake. A squad of Grenadier troopers leaped out when the vehicle stopped. The grim faced sergeant ordered his men to the upper floors. He stood behind to deploy the wire that would block the entrance until all Top Shot’s people were out then ran inside.

Top Shot hopped in then it sped across the airfield to their waiting Aerofighters, the pilots had already started on their breathing mixes as small arms fire opened up across the facility. Tech Dundrel prepared the sub-machine gun across his chest, tension visible in his muscles. There was a first firefight for everyone just like there was a last and the two were not exclusive.

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Briefing: Raid on Ni'keet, Night 2

09/09/3065 20:18 Location – Forward Camp Glory, 52km NNW Divine Palm Oasis, Astrokaszy

The heat of the day had broken reaching 61°C that afternoon. The techs were not even capable of operating outside in that weather and water cans hung off the sides of the transports some of which had “DEXTRAN” still painted on their sides soon to be replaced by “µ” for MU. Several Battlemechs maintained watch having dispersed to keep an eye on hostile forces prowling in the dark.

Inside the MULE Command Post’s attached tent Major Grey, Commander Arachne, Captain Blackwall, and the Mercs Unleashed command staff gathered around a portable table with a collection of material on it. Lieutenant Ilonka and her support team remained in the vehicle keeping a close eye on the remote sensors they deployed earlier via the Marten and long range scanning RADAR feeds from the portable array outside.

“Top Shot is the greatest threat to this operation they heavily outmatch Squad Leader Kunimoto’s Air team so we need to deal with them first. Major Brekard is no fool he knows that as well so it will not be easy to pin them down. The heat and sandstorms fouled any plans they might have for a daytime offense, however that doesn’t rule out a night attack. To that end the following mechs shall stay behind at As’Sab to bolster the force there.

Both Marauders, Hammerhands, and Orion

The Blackjack and Salamander are going back to Al’Sur to shore up Lieutenant Commander Post’s defenses. He makes a good case for it and we cannot afford to lose those dropships or suffer an attack on Kunimoto’s AeroFighters. Chief Tech Dolens will bring the Penetrator back online tomorrow but it can be activated in an emergency.

During the day I got AeroPilot Chandler to do a fast run over Ni’keet and Warawi with an experimental sensor pod. The Niopian techs interpreted the data and provided a snapshot of the layout. They confirmed that Top Shot’s Aerospace is primarily based out of Ni’keet due to the support infrastructure in place. That support infrastructure is more important than the Aerofighters so we are launching an attack against it. Warawi is much the same as it was last night although the dropships have reverted to low power mode rather than ready status.

Commander Arachne please deliver your scouting reports for Despair"

“Thank you Major, Mercenaries we have been keeping a rotating scout in the area of Despair. The Titanfellers have completed initial preparation for a forward operating base they now have a short runway, helipads, basic shelter and fighting positions, and support in place from the Grenadiers mobile units.

We have confirmed that the Headhunters’ vehicles have left the facility presumably for Warawi but were unable to run them down. There are at least two mechs on watch at all hours and they have begun challenging us past sensor range so they have deployed remote sensors and have someone paying attention to them. The previous units we encountered are still based there.

Major Grey has tasked your Boomerangs to wide area recon in order to provide situational awareness if the Titanfellers are on the move."

“Thank You Commander, Alright mercenaries here is the operation plan

Hotfoot you will take the Cronus, Cicada, one of the Phoenix Hawks, Locust, Wolf Traps, and Captain Blackwall’s Mongoose and attack Ni’keet. Recon reports show that there is a squad of King Scorpions, some field guns, a Warrior VTOL, and a Clint, Sentry and Commando. You should have no trouble overwhelming their defenses before damaging the infrastructure, that should result in the Aerofighters being forced back to Ta’iqih 80 kilometers away.

Tack you will take the remaining mechs and launch an attack on Warawi then withdraw providing cover for the strike force. Lieutenant Inderpal and I along with Mechwarrior Trust will be with you. The Commander at Despair will no doubt attempt to intercept the strike force so you can kill them in the field, you might even draw the Headhunters out of their hill fort. Squad Leader Kunimoto and Flight Lead Wodan will be overhead to provide fire support and top cover against Top Shot.

Any questions?"

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Remnants of the Past

01/27/3065 Pillars of Heaven “Aemidat Alsama” Mountain Range, Astrokaszy

Fariq and Hakim climbed up a steep incline, their picks and crampons dug deep into the hard grey stone coated with frost. Their packs were heavy with supplies and they sometimes had to winch the packs up sheer cliffs to get them up the mountain. After the climb they found the trail they had been using to provision their new camp and their pace improved.

Their cousins would arrive in two days and the group would only have a a few months to make their year’s income wildcatting in the mountains before it became too hot. They had scouted out a good location to mine last year and established a new camp.

As they neared the camp Hakim stopped to load his rifle; they could never be to careful. The camp was camouflaged but other wildcats wouldn’t hesitate to steal supplies or wait for the owners to return. The Sheikh’s men were well known for that kind of behavior, he sought a cut from everyone and had enough rifles to enforce his will. Anyone who crossed him ended up in a shallow grave with their family after being sentenced to hard labor.

Once they got close by the pair stopped Fariq pulled out his old heavily used binoculars and Hakim set up. They waited for about an hour making sure everything was in order, they had several tells built into the camp that would betray bandits or the Sheikh’s men. Seeing nothing they walked through the scrubby conifers that clung to the mountainside.

The prospecting camp was built on a ridge near a massive rockslide which had exposed rich copper ore. Hakim preferred silver but copper was just as good and had plenty of market potential. Their small furnace wouldn’t have to work as hard either to smelt it into bars.

02/17/3065 Near Angel’s Fire Prospect Camp

Muhsin prepped a round of mining charges to shatter one of the larger boulders that was precariously positioned uphill of the operation. Withdrawing to a safe distance he wired the charges in and pressed the plunder. The blast was loud but controlled, the boulder was blasted apart and exposed metal was visible under the rubble. He radioed Hakim and Fariq and they arrived from downhill.

The cleared the rubble away and attempted to dent the metal, it bent the mattock.

F: What could it be Hakim?

H: Don’t know its not natural though it looks like the landslide may have covered a tunnel.

M: A tunnel to where? No one lives here. There isn’t a proper road in the entire valley, certainly not one large enough to take whatever bored the tunnel up here.

H: Yet here one is Muhsin. We should investigate, might be an even grander find then some copper.

F: I don’t know Hakim, we don’t know what’s down there. You have to think about Omaira, we shouldn’t go inside. We can tell Rakim and he can get the Mountain Rifles up here.

H: Or he turns on us and tells everyone we died in a landslide. I don’t trust Rakim even if he opposes the Sheikh. Fariq we are going to have to do this on our own, go and bring Rashid up here with the tools and lights. I will help set the charges.

The four of them cleared the rubble throughout the day resting at night before coming back in the morning. Hakim led the way looking for traps rifle drawn, the other had tools on their backs and lanterns in their hands. The tunnel went on for 50 meters before ending in a doorway, none of them could read or understand English but they recognized the insignia.

Property of the Star League Defense Force
11th Hussar Regiment, XLVIII Corps, 17th Army
Colonel Heinrich Braumsteed

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Titanfellers on the Rim

05/08/3065 04:58 Location – Zenith Jump Point, Marius’ Tears, Marian Hegemony

The Scout-class LIC Träume der Nacht burst from empty space in a plume of electromagnetic radiation. The Fury-class drop-ship LIC Muninn detached itself and began its trip to Marius’ Tears. Kommandant Edvard Vogt was aboard; unfortunately he was a Raven of the Lyran Intelligence Corps and they never brought good news.

05/13/3065 17:33 Location – Port Atrea, Marius’ Tears

The Titanfellers were still dealing with the aftermath of their failed defense of the mech factory and the death of Legatus McGuire to an apparent Word of Blake attack. They continued their contracted assignment to train iii Legio, not missing a step. Although it wasn’t known off-world yet due to Marius’ Tears not having an HPG or warranting regular jumpship traffic. Long range scanners picked up the Muninn and it’s code words were confirmed so the drop-ship landed in Port Atrea.

Captain Thomas Brekard was on the runway along with his XO Amanda Weaver and the local LIC Chief Stefan Lange. One of the Titanfellers’ light utility vehicles idled nearby waiting to take the group to base. The Fury’s ramp was lowered and the Kommandant walked off, even though they knew it was him all three were still surprised by his ghastly appearance.

A stern man in his early 40s, his dark blue dress uniform was crisp but he walked with an obvious limp. His left eye had been replaced with an obvious cybernetic, and the parts of him that were visible were covered in burn marks and scars or looked obviously reconstructed. He wore gloves but Thomas knew that some of that was cybernetics as well.

Greetings Kommandant’, Thomas was really hoping this was not about him after-all how could they know about the previous months events.

Shut it Mercenary, we have serious business to discuss, get in the car now. This is not for public consumption. I have little time in this part of space and you have less to make things right’ The Captain visibly deflated, this was an unexpected and unwelcome turn of events.

The four got into the utility vehicle and sped off, the Kommandant was briefed on recent events which provoked more probing questions. Top among them was why and how the Loki Mechwarriors lost their prototype mechs.

Upon arriving at Castle Atrea they went to the confidential briefing room inside the insulated main base. The room was made secure and Kommandant Vogt started

Herr Brekard we have a major problem, I know you are aware of Ash Smoke Jaguar. While you have been on this side of space she has been working her way through the Alliance hinterlands raiding worlds along the way. She has apparently overthrown a major warlord on Astrokaszy and based on our reports has begun amassing an army through unknown backers.

This could be a big problem if someone else were to defeat her she might try to use Operation-SHEPHARD as leverage. That can’t be allowed to happen so you have to deal with her and make sure to kill all of her people. If the Inner Sphere knew of the Archon-Princess’ collusion with Khan Ward, particularly their measures against Jade Falcon, Phelan Wolves, and the Kell Hounds…

Such things would be catastrophic. A resurgent “Smoke Jaguar” is unacceptable even if they are pirates.

Additionally, I will be taking your code-books from SHEPHARD and DVERGR both of these programs are now classified at a higher level I trust you will maintain your confidentiality about them. DVERGR was top secret there were only a few Marians that knew of it. I will report this to the Station Chief in Nova Roma, he will certainly deal with such a breach within the Palace.

The Jumpship FCS Pride of Kathil will be here by month’s end. I have prepared a list of mercenary commands for hire nearby we want you on Astrokaszy as quick as possible to check and defeat Ash before she causes more problems.

If you do manage to pull this off there is a Countship and long term assignment in the Outback for you. Loki will consider you fully cashiered. Failure is not an option

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Recon Report Day 1

Mercs Unleashed Scout Report for Warawi, Hardcore Headhunters Strongpoint

Lance Lead Joseph “Hotfoot” Leeson and Fast Lance scouted out Warawi. Report enclosed

All approaches are marked with Minefield warnings, we were ordered to not risk damage so chose not to enter the perimeter but did a through sweep of it. Hostile forces are entrenched in well camouflaged and reinforced fighting positions, IR spotlights are located behind those positions. Large earthworks block LOS to the village from the outside. Wire and other mobility obstacles are located away from and on the base of these earthworks.

Patrols on Horseback, Foot, and Utilitech Sandcats are conducted by apparent indigenous Forces. We were unable to determine whether the heavy vehicle emplacements were in use as their combat vehicles were not at battery and field works and netting made positive Identification impossible.

Dual Medium Autocannon Emplacements are located between 270 and 360m away from one another with a missile trailer between them. These positions are only lightly reinforced with earthworks. We are not sure what variant of Autocannon or Missiles they are due to distance, camouflage, and persistent blowing sand. We observed sentries in mobile watchtowers watching us through binoculars during our maneuver. The emplacements did track our unit while we circled but we were well out of range.

Boomerang Recon Pilot Roman’s report below

I have confirmed that the Headhunters’ Fury Dropship has departed Warawi. Long range photos confirm that the Union and Gazelle remain on the ridges east of Warawi and both are warmed up, ready to take off. No Battlemechs or Battle Armor were spotted during my sweep.

Headhunter’s Aerospace was nowhere to be seen; there is evidence of modular structures where they might have been based. An Earthwerks E-600 Engineering Vehicle, Workhorse Tanker, 2 MULE Minelayers, and a MULE Earthworker were located near the Gazelle on a rough airstrip.

The village is silent and dark, the two concentric road rings around the village show a large amount of traffic has recently passed by due to lack of erosion. Several tan colored fabric covers are stretched along the larger internal roads inside the village. No insignia or flags were visible and only a small group of soldiers were conducting patrols.

Human Intelligence Analysis

Warawi consists of sixteen adobe and rock structures most of which are small and like in As’Sur are connected to an underground series of tunnels and storerooms. According to local sources it is only a winter village for the tribes. Most of them leave and reside near Hin’Fadir in the summer working in the mines or on the plantations.

They were unable to make it into the valley before the Jaguar’s Claws took over. As such they are reliant on the Headhunters to provide additional food and conduct trade. Emir Saif El-Baz of As’Sab has authorized his people to supplement the Warawi tribe if necessary to remove Ash despite his kinsmen opposing such an offer to their rivals.

CLO Karras confirmed that the Indigenous Militia’s Heavy Weapons consists of
Four Pugio Rocket Trucks | Three King Scorpions | Detroit "War"Horse, Twin SRM-4s

None of which were visible during the observation period

Ebon Magistrate Recon Report on “FOB:Despair” Titanfellers forward position

Commander Arachne confirmed that Headhunter S&R teams from the Hellspire are utilizing FOB:Despair as a way point. The scouts were assaulted by a pair of Warrior H-7Cs and Hawk Moth attack VTOLs while attempting to double back on the Hellspire battle site forcing them to withdraw into the broken lands west of there.

Long range scanners confirm two Karnovs and several salvage trucks departed from the Hellspire to Warawi. Those that couldn’t make it must have fled to Despair to spend a night while new escorts were rounded up to protect their heavily laden vehicles. Hostile Aerospace strafed any remains they couldn’t salvage denying it to our forces.

Scouts moved within visual range of the Forward Operating Base to confirm Ilonka’s traffic analysis. The base was still under construction but has already developed defensive positions. A company of Titanfeller mechs were joined by a squad of Grenadiers, the VTOL squad that attacked Arachne and Nyx was refueling from a Grenadier tanker during their observation period. Both Magistrate Mechs were forced to outrun the Titanfeller’s quick mechs when they began to pursue.

Titanfellers
Cobra 02 | Komodo 2A | Chimera 1Sm | Clint 3-4LBX | Shadow Hawk 2D?| Wasp 3M?
Anvil 3M|Crossbow 6C|Lancelot 01| Thunder Hawk 7X | Zeus 7S? | Commando 3D

Grenadiers
2 Improved Pikes (3 AC/2, SRM4) | 2 Gauss Von Luckners | 2 Advanced Zhukovs (2 LGR, SRM6) | 4 Heavy Field Gun Trailers (2 UAC/10s) | 3 Warthog Artillery Trucks
Various Logistical Vehicles

Headhunters
2 Hawk Moth Attack VTOLs, 2 Warrior H-7C Attack VTOLs

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Behind the Lines, pt 1

09/08/3065 08:18 Location – “Wadi of Death”, 17 WNW of Coolwater (Alma’Abarid), Jaguar’s Claw Domain

Jakk sat on a rough hewn stool in the darkness, a fan hummed nearby throwing up wisps off the sandy floor. He peered through a spotter’s scope through the narrow fighting slot at the invader’s vehicle. It’s flails ripped up the gray sands kicking up massive clouds of dust, sometimes it hit a mine and a large explosion followed that engulfed the vehicle in smoke and flame. It’s companions traveled behind their diesel engine belched black smoke against the cloudless blue sky.

He rattled off coordinates into the field telephone around his head and minutes later a salvo of heavy artillery impacted and the lead tank threw its tracks. Small explosions followed throwing up dust but barely scratching its thick armor plates but shaking up its crew. It was nothing more than a target now trackless and bogged down in the fine sand.

10:48

The intruders had called in one of their recovery vehicles the lumbering beast closed the gap; its own heavy tracks chewed up sands spitting them back into the constant wind. Jakk could hear flak guns from the valley, the intruder’s helicopters sought out the Jaguar’s artillery positions hidden among the rock, sand, and scrubland. His soldiers were experts at camouflage they would find nothing but death in these mountains.

The recovery vehicle arrived and one of the crew from both vehicles disembarked to shackle the tank. As they did five mortar bombs landed around them spraying shrapnel into their lightly armored bodies.

Both men went down, desperately clawing themselves back into the recovery vehicle. The vehicle reversed leaving the still immobile mine clearer behind. In a panic it’s driver attempted to move itself, floundered and powered down, the sand was too soft, the vehicle too heavy, all they did was trap themselves more.

16:47

Jakk handed the telescope to his partner Kat, she watched as the recovery vehicle showed up again with a truck to recover the beleaguered tank. This one would be allowed to pass, she could call down more salvos, but the Jaguars only had so much ammo. Every day they delayed the so called “Titanfellers” was buying more time for their Khan to consolidate her power and purge hostile operatives from her domain.

The Titanfellers would no doubt try to send more scouting parties into the mountains in the evening but they would find no safe places. Behind every rock, under the shrubs, and in the skies Jakk’s hardened Freeborn would harry them until ordered to do otherwise.

For them there was nothing more than fighting

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Homefront, pt 6

07/01/3065 07:25 Location – Dust, Western Expanse, Dainmar Majoris

Anwar woke at the screech of the train slowing down and an announcement over the intercom, “All aboard we are approaching Dust, be prepared to disembark, thank you for riding.” Outside it was much the same as it had been yesterday evening reddish brown sand as far as the eye could see. He has passed through some magnificent landscapes but after Shamrock there was nothing but sand.

He walked out of the train with his bag its lightness a reminder of his poverty, the train station was an assault on his senses. Numerous murals and peculiar art pieces adorned the walls of the station. Exiting the station he found himself in a bazaar where all manner of artisans peddled exotic curios, there were a few that caught his eye but it was morbid curiosity more than genuine interest. The artist colony of Dust climbed the nearby hills like a colorful fungus, however the dyed stucco of the buildings faded fast to white and beige housing units.

Anwar got turned around in the maze of streets and had to ask for directions more than once from the locals that immediately knew he wasn’t from around here. They weren’t rude but they weren’t happy to see him either.

Two hours later he found the transit station he was looking for and met more men under the white canopy. A tan Pit Bull truck with “DEXTRAN” painted on the side arrived shortly afterward. Relieved Anwar relaxed and pulled out his work order. The truck went into idle mode silencing the crank of its diesel engine as a man wearing olive coveralls stepped out adjusted his glasses and walking forward while opening his noteputer. “Alright fellas I’m Bryan Holdt time for roll call, have your IDs ready”

Anwar and the others hopped in the back of the Pit Bull which began to drive along the rough gravel road. It took about an hour before they neared a large fence and the foundations of more substantial fortifications. The truck pulled up to the gate where a group of rifleman dressed as Zouaves were training a light machine gun on the vehicle. Another truck armed with a machine gun passed by on patrol slowing as it neared the checkpoint.

The guard Sergeant ordered everyone out, quickly inspected the worker’s meager baggage and identification papers. Satisfied the six workers re-boarded the truck and entered Camp Rawhide Proper passing under the 2nd Raventhir Cuirassiers’ banner.

A portion of the 2nd Raventhir Infantry Guard was doing drills in the yard as they passed by. Bryan’s Pit Bull had slowed down and was running on paved roads so it was quiet enough to shout out the window. “Most of the good stuff is happening on the training ground, No Mechs or Tanks enter the Camp Proper, tears up the roads. These guys are barely out of Basic, churn is that high even for a front line regiment.”

The truck came to a halt near one of the many Quonset huts along Sierra road. “Alright guys stash this is your new home, stash your stuff and be back in ten minutes. Lots to do not enough time.”

Anwar and the other workers complied stashing their gear in the plain metal lockers that corresponded to the beds in the hut. This one smelled new so they could pick the prime beds.

“Alright enough introductions I’m taking you to the facility super he’ll hand out your assignments based on your pre-assessements. You better not have been lying on that form, bad things happen out here all the time.”

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