Battletech Mercs Unleashed

Exodus, part 2

05/18/3064 Location – Suk II, Nadir Jump Point, Clan Wolf OZ

The JC Smoke and Mirrors had managed to evade Jade Falcon patrols during its transit to Port Moseby but their luck had run out. The Vincent Mk 42 CWS Trailblazer had been patrolling the System and flagged their transits as unusual due to a change in operating procedure. All hands were on deck as the infantry suited up to repel boarders should it come to that rather than be taken by Vlad’s Wolves. The Trailblazer hailed the Jaguar jump craft.

Unidentified vessel you are to declare everything right now and accept boarders, do not resist or you will be annihilated

Ash was tense but she remembered something, she turned to one of the Jump Technicians

Quick, grab the yellow book from my quarters! (muttering) Those spheroids better not have been lying

He returned with the book

CWS Trailblazer, we are Skulldiggers hunting Viridescent Pheasants

There was a short pause before the Wolf Captain responded

Come Again

CWS Trailblazer, we are Skulldiggers hunting Viridescent Pheasants

Another short pause but it seemed like forever for the Jaguars

Skulldiggers, carry on, silence the screechers, CWS Trailblazer vectoring off

Ash was surprised that worked, everyone was surprised actually. After confirming that the CWS Trailblazer was indeed leaving. A collective sigh of relief was had on the Bridge.

All units stand down, Alert Condition 4, Carry on normal duties

The fact that a Loki code-phrase actually worked to disengage a Clan Wolf Warship was curious, very curious. Perhaps even Vlad’s Wolves had distanced themselves from the clan ways despite his hard-line attitude. Or maybe they just appreciated anyone who was an enemy of the Falcons.

06/10/3064 Location – Morningside Zenith Jump Point, Federated Commonwealth

Watch Captain Ash called another meeting in the Lion JC Vanguard Cargo Bay.

We have cleared most of the Commonwealth’s patrol areas. You have all done an excellent job learning how to be Nova Cats. We will need to put your skills to the test in ten days when we burn toward Port Moseby.

We will have five days there before we have to leave lest we draw suspicion from the Dragon’s Eyes. Quartermaster Norwood has compiled a list of our salable assets. I will require everyone to be a Merchant on this mission, we are too small to specialize and the Watch is adaptable. Leave the signs we have standardized on, if any Jaguars still prowl the space-lanes they will eventually come into Port Moseby. They will need to know that Smoke Jaguars still live.

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Exodus, part 1

04/12/3064 Location – JC Ember MedBay, Derf System

Ash woke with a start, sharp pain and the smell of antiseptic assaulted her senses and she could feel the bandages that covered most of her body. The unit’s Medic Larz pushed her back down,

Watch Captain, please move slowly or you will hurt yourself more.

Larz, what happened?

Jan and his Star picked you up in the mud where you last fought the Titanfeller Captain.

Your wounds were severe, yet you fought the Elementals until they dosed you.

Stravag Mercenary! Any other casualties.

Just the Dark Caste Infantry, the Spheroid’s battle armor killed the whole Star but they blew up a Star of them so they died honorably. Some of your Mechwarriors have minor injuries, nothing out of the ordinary for a pitched battle.

Very well, I am going to speak with Vaska

Please don’t move to much yet Watch Captain, the Med-Gel is still working I will find him

Ash sat impatient, without much to do but examine her injuries. She definitely had a broken rib and tried to keep her breaths shallow. The knife wounds were customary it was not the first time she had fought with a knife and wouldn’t be the last.

Vaska walked in, a surprising old warrior for the Jaguars he was old enough to have graying hair. He had several bruises but seemed none worse for wear.

Yes Watch Captain

Give me a detailed report, I want to know what we have

He explained their current situation the Titanfellers had seriously damaged most of their mechs, there is no way they can win against the Falcons in their damaged state. They could continue and die on the battlefield or run into the Sphere.

Ash strained with the burden over several days of transit till the Ember regrouped with its Jumpship. She certainly didn’t want to die even with Glory against the Falcons and completely destroy the Jaguar’s Legacy but running galled at her Clan Indoctrination. Her unit was loyal to her they felt equally conflicted.

Jump Captain Erin plot a course to Port Moseby include our Cache location en route

Ahy Watch Captain

The_ JC Smoke and Mirror’s_ disappeared into K-F space bound for the Free Planet

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First Encounter
The Dust Settles

09/08/3065 14:19 Location – Crossroads, 5km from Divine Palm Oasis

After a very long localized sandstorm the Assault Force was still standing but several mechs were in bad shape. Both Guillotines had multiple holes in the armor and the Penetrator slowly stood back up; unstable and barely holding together. The Niopian Mongoose returned to the battle group and the Ballistas clustered with the rest of the mechs still wary of the Headhunters’ Aerospace fighters.

Clouds of dust rose up to the Northeast where the Headhunters’ Remnants had evacuated, a Boomerang observation craft lazily flew figure eights. It was too far away to make out a logo but it is clearly watching from afar. The blown out husks of the Dragon Fire, Gallowglas, Bombardier, Black Knight, and Tempest were covered in a fine coating of sand. Their pilots still secure in their cockpits, a mercy considering the harsh sun and cutting sand.

Mikhai Devo’s cockpit on the other hand was completely open to the elements, the only thing that kept him cool was the vest attached to his Orion’s life support. His heart rate was spiked and he had taken some hits but his mech was still hanging on by a thread.

Meanwhile 28km NNW

Lt Cmd. Nyx’s Anubis had come back into LOS Comm she had gotten turned around in the sandstorm.

Major Hostile Forces incoming, target list attached, confirmed recon scans that Captain Reyes is leading the incoming attack force.

Flash Transmission
Banshee, Charger, Flashman, Axeman, Cataphract, Archer
2 Regulators, 2 Maxims, and 2 Condors all of which have Battle Armor on their hulls

All there Nyx, Mercs ready your A-game here they come.

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Dust Devils

09/08/3065 Location – 75km SSE of As’SAb, Sahra’ Dayie’ Jawhar (Lost Souls Desert), Astrokaszy

The harsh sunlight broiled the sand and illuminated everything under it in sharp relief. Mercs Unleashed’s Vanguard marched alongside the road throwing up clouds of grey sand which blew in the fierce winds.

Sandstone promontories jutted out as they approaching the Oasis, a group of Headhunters came out from their positions. A squad of Battlemechs (Black Knight, Defiance, Tempest, Dragon Fire, Bombardier, and Gallowglas) and an equal number of vehicles (Behemoth, Assault Pike, three Manticores, and an Ontos) had positioned themselves to deal with your incoming force. Their support vehicles threw up grey sand as they moved toward Warawi and away from the impending battle.

Vanguard Commander Marcus Brandt called for a pause. The two forces stared down one another while the outside temperature reads 57C. A broadcast came in on an open channel, the broadcaster Identified himself as Captain Julio Reyes, Commander of the Headhunters

Mercs good to see you again, we didn’t think you would show quite so soon. We’ve been catching some of these fierce rays in your absence. Our employers insisted this is where you’d end up however so our vacation as Warlords has been cut short. Well they are paying us a lot of c-bills to kill you so we can continue it on Paradiso.

Not just you though, Major Grey, if you can hear this you killed my pal Sullivan on Hell’s Paradise. You have a bounty on your pretty little head as well so you’re next after I put down your boy-toys. It’s about time someone sent a worthy adversary your way..

The hostile forces powered up all combat systems, thermal spikes were picked up and the two forces moved to engage.

While advancing Lieutenant Nyx put in a recon report from her Anubis,

Major, hostile forces inbound on your position fast movers and a striker lance, they will arrive concurrent with the primary battle.

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Battle of Derf, Part 10
Gift-take

04/11/3064 16:32 Location – White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

Ash was pressing the insolent spheroid hard, her strikes found their marks frequently although he skillfully dodged the worse of it. The Captain scored a few hits but was dealing with a whirlwind of fury from a fierce knife fighter. Too focused on his knife hand; Ash didn’t see the uppercut to her gut and turned into a throw. Instinct took over and she landed in the mud with a splash but rolled back to her feet.

Captain Brekard bled from multiple knife wounds the blood rolled off his limbs and into the grey mud of Derf instantly. This fight was rapidly taxing his stamina he would need to finish this fight soon or she might outlast him. His thick boots got stuck in the mud giving her time to recover and costing him the initiative. She remained crouched where he had thrown her not moving but was holding one of her legs.

Ash feigned injury to conceal one of her hands from her foe, she reached into her pockets till she felt cold steel. There were legitimate injuries of course but she was a Trueborn Smoke Jaguar Warrior; injury and pain were constant companions and of no consequence.

This was Watch Training she figured this man would hesitate to finish off an injured woman, they always did; an unfortunate socialization of Spheroids. She re-gripped her blades, he would hesitate but he was still a mercenary soldier with a mission on his mind.

Thomas paused shifting the grip on his combat knife and catching his breath before pressing the attack again. As he approached Ash wound out of her crouch and he felt needle sharp points hit him in the torso. The flat steel throwing knives were poorly thrown, rain had fortunately slicked her hands during the fight otherwise they would have caused critical injury. Pushing through the pain he slashed, jabbed, and stabbed at her putting her on the defensive with pure adrenaline and brute strength.

Both of them dropped their knives Ash had cut Thomas’ hand and had been forced to drop her knife to protect herself from the hammer of his gauntlet. They were equally worn out Thomas put her into a clinch kneed fiercely causing an injury to her ribs. Ash escaped with a solid kick to his diaphragm but both were slow to rise. Thomas had multiple lacerations and Ash probably had at least one broken rib and an equal number of lacerations.

Tom rose to his feet holding his side and covered in blood, it looked really bad, Ash was still on her back holding her chest equally injured.

Ash, you are defeated don’t make me kill you, call off your force.

Stravag, you had better kill me, this fight is not over yet.

You are a sad and pathetic woman; you don’t even have a clan left to die for; why fight at all. No one will remember your sacrifice. Call off your forces and we’ll do the same. You can die on someone else’s time.

Thomas called in a MedEvac VTOL on himself, it was already in the area, he was transported into it and a replacement took over piloting his Battlemaster.

Ash was left there for long minutes mulling over her situation she could just order her forces to fight to the death. They might win but there would be nothing left and she couldn’t bear the be taken as isorla by the Falcons when they returned. She was infuriated that the Stravag Mercenary had taken her knives before he left. It was like he had chopped off her hands but she didn’t have many options.

Jaguar’s Claws cease fire, release any prisoners, and salvage our fallen. This battle has concluded

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OP:RUMBLE Briefing: Attack on Divine Palm Oasis
It begins

09/08/3065 03:47 Location – As’Sab, Astrokaszy

Task Force:RAMPAGE landed at As’Sab the Mule “Rodeo”, Trojan “Raging Bull”, and Leopard E “Baba Yaga” all touched down on the firm sandstone ridges outside of the As’Sab.

Mercs Unleashed unloaded their battalion sized unit and Dextran got to work setting up the base. The Marsden III’s began preparing a new airfield using their dozer blades to level and compact it. Crews off-loaded the Aerospace fighters from their bays and the techs began setting up support infrastructure.

The Ebon Magistrate mechs stepped off their Leopard-E and the rest of the mechs and vehicles were unloaded and positioned in the staging area awaiting their operators.

09/08/3065 06:15 Location – Command Tent, FOB:ROYALE, outside of As’Sab

Mercs Unleashed’s Command Team, Major Grey, Emir Khaled, Chief of Station Nathan Idlewood HELLCAT’s Commander Aracne, and Captain Kwaku Blackwood and Mechwarrior David Trust all gathered around the map table

MG: This is Chief of Station Idlewood he is our top Case Officer on this planet. Some things have changed since he sent us the last report so pay attention

CoSI: Thank You Major Grey, as I informed you the Jaguar’s Claws have fortified their position since the end of Spring and have been holding the Titanfellers’ contingent at bay.

Scouts report that the pass into the Hal’Shiekh Valley has been heavily reinforced with artillery firebases, mines, and infantry particularly around Coolwater. They are surprisingly competent; a credit to Ash but the Titanfellers’ armor contingent has been unable to break through. The have not risked their Battlemech or Aerospace assets yet, I assume to avoid the clanners Mechs. We have been unable to gather more intel on the contents of the valley but there is a lot of Electronic Interference emanating from there unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We presume its some kind of unknown Blakist tech but haven’t gotten a scout through.

The Headhunters arrived shortly before you did but have been relatively inactive. They brought with them a Fury, Gazelle, and Union so expect trouble. They have apparently negotiated a Cease-Fire with the Titanfellers as there have been no reports of conflict between the two units. Emir Khaled please inform the mercenaries of the threat assessment and options

EK: Welcome to Astrokaszy Mercenaries, As you have been informed this is a harsh but beautiful planet. Right now we are in the Summer so inter-tribal conflict is not happening, temperatures reach fifty-two degress Celsius at peak sun so your machines will run warm unless you fight at night.

An Allied tribe of ours is open to assisting your Warband with men and materiel but requires tribute, Emir Saif will likely want some of your technical vehicles for his assistance. Such things are highly prized on this planet.

You may of course remain on the bluffs outside my village during your mission but unless you take the larger towns in the wasteland you will not be able to land your space vessels on the shifting sand. Well you could land but you’d never take off again.

MG: Right now the Headhunters are in our way, the Magistrate Battlemechs under Arachne will watch for flanking attacks and conduct small raids if the opportunity presents itself but you will be the main assault force. We unfortunately have to follow the main road there are no NavSats and the desert is difficult to navigate in the best of times. You’d more likely end up in quicksand or in a sandstone gully than find the enemy.

EK: The desert has already seen six major sandstorms that have prevented our people from leaving their homes. The Desert winds really pick up later in the season

MG: I will ride with Lieutenant Inderpal with your rear echelon to keep you up to date and in communication with the rest of the force. Captain Blackwood and Mechwarrior Trust of the Niops Association Militia will be supporting you to gather valuable combat experience. Try to keep an eye on them but they are the best Mechwarriors the Association has so they can take care of themselves..

Your first objective will be to go after the Divine Palm Oasis, The Headhunters have been occupying that area for about six days but have allowed transit despite exacting a tax on the water for passerbys. Get in there and remove them so we can get to Titanfellers territory and beyond.

Any questions?

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Battle of Derf, Part 9
Bring the Blades

04/11/3064 16:18 Location – White River Pass, Derf, Jade Falcon OZ

Captain Brekard had dismounted his Battlemaster and discarded his cooling vest and neurohelmet. His black shirt was drenched with sweat and the continual drizzle and fog that had enveloped the valley. His grey pants and boots were covered in the slick brown mud that coated the valley floor.

Ash had dismounted her Linebacker discarding her cooling vest and neurohelmet along the way. She wore a red vest and short charcoal pants with black boots that added to her androgynous build and exposed numerous scars she acquired. Captain Brekard had never actually seen a clan mechwarrior up close despite raiding Falcon facilities over the past year, he had certainly never seen a Smoke Jaguar.

The two stood face to face for a short while before Ash broke the silence

Titanfeller, I declare a Trial of Blades for the possession for the Falcon’s cache and the salvage from this battle.

Watch Operative Ash Smoke Jaguar, I will answer your challenge. We shall fight till incapacitated and if either of us dies so be it.

The two dropped into combat stances neither wanted to draw first, to do so would have been seen as weakness despite the fact that this was a Trial of Blades. The pair circled one another for minutes while they felt out the battlefield and their opponent rather than engage in a flurry of blows and lose their footing, there was no margin for error in this fight.

Ash opened the fight with a fearsome series of strikes aiming at the Thomas’ vitals, she missed but he took a few hits. He answered with a sharp combination of punches and low kicks which Ash parried and rolled with. They continued to feel each other out; expert blows were thrown, dodged,, and parried in rapid succession.

The pair broke for a breather

You’re good, It has been a long time since I’ve had a challenge to test my mettle in personal combat. The last time was when I killed a Saurimat on Hyner, since then its been lowborn mercenaries and pirates.

I am honestly surprised Ash I figured you vatborn preferred to fight it out in Mechs rather than get your hands dirty for real.

Vatborn! I am an operative of the Smoke Jaguar Watch, my hands have been covered in blood my whole life. My first kill was when I was twelve, three more before I was sixteen, dozens since then. I even killed my former Watch Commander for being a fool. You would be wise to still that wretched tongue.

Too close to home then. There is no more Clan Smoke Jaguar Ash, you are delusional to cling to the past. To me you are no better than a pirate, I’ve killed hundreds of them from Antallos to Astrokaszy. You are all the same; parasites.

At that Ash attacked with unbridled fury, Thomas drew his combat knife to parry and dodge the razor sharp blades.

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Battlelines

06/15/3065 Location – Command Deck, FCS Pride of Kathil , Nadir Jump Point Baccalieu

Brevet Major Thomas Brekard (Titanfellers), and Captains Gurn Holfsteed (Gurn’s Grenadiers), and Benjamin Cirillo (Top Shot) stood on the command deck looking over DMI Analyst Harrows latest intelligence on Astrokaszy. With their latest gains there is no doubt that the Word of Blake is somehow behind the rise of the Jaguar’s Claws. This mysterious “Ash” character had showed up with a load of advanced equipment, there was no other explanation. While the Commonwealth was not in trouble the Hegemony was in the midst of throwing off the shackles of the Word of Blake. After the Marius’ Tears Incident they couldn’t afford another front before dealing with the Circinus Federation at the behest of the Archon-Princess.

DMI laid it out; Task Force:DECLAW would land in the village of Ta’iqih, the locals were unusually accommodating; apparently Ash and her Jaguar’s Claws terrified them. From there they would press forward into her territory occupying and pacifying it until they forced her back to the Kasbah of New Szabo and captured or killed her forces. Sounded easy enough but it would take nearly a regiment of mercs to finish the job.

When Agent Harrows left Thomas called his own briefing;

Captains, I have fought this Ash before

What! Why didn’t Harrow’s know? Why bother with the DMI intercepts if you know of her?

Loki was supporting her operations against the Jade Falcons; just as they supported by unit against them. It was a black ops project; I think this is Damage Control for the Secretariat. The Titanfellers defeated her unit in the Occupation Zone.

Well if you defeated her; why is she here; about to start a new Tranquil Incident? We all fought during the invasion, we know what the Jaguars are capable of.

Well there is a story to that, I did defeat her but I think it just made her angry. And I think I gave her the idea.

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Crisis in Crimson, pt 6

06/07/3065 04:12 Location – Noéle Centrella Military Hospital, Outside Crimson City, Canopus IV

Major Felicity Grey came to with a start, someone firmly pressed her back down

Calm down Major you are in the hospital, don’t want you to break those sutures

Grey blinked twice to clear her eyes and saw the various medical devices she was hooked up to. Her ribs pained her and she could feel that her gunshot and other wounds had been patched, that was a feeling she could live without for the rest of her life.

She faced the only other person in the darkened room. André had been discharged for her AWOL adventure but must have still been in her emergency contacts.

What happened?, how did I get here? What day is it?

Don’t worry you’ve only been out for most of a day. The surgeons removed all the bullet fragments and put a mesh on your ribs. As for those other things I don’t know the specifics considering I wasn’t there. But the news said it was New Colony Separatists that attacked the Tower and made an attempt on the Magestrix.

An attempt on the Magestrix! That is a massive escalation.

She has issued a Decree that the New Colony Region be put under Martial Law; and politely ordered Shraplen to withdraw the TDF peacemakers from the New Colony Region to prevent “incidents”.

Well then it seems settled

You and I both know the New Colony Separatists wouldn’t make an attempt on the Magestrix. Even the Colonial Marshals were only trying to hold her and Thomas as negotiating pieces they didn’t try to kill them.

I know but unfortunately that is going to have to be the story. I just hope some good comes out of it because if not… it’s going to be a long dark struggle for the Magistracy.

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Intel Snapshot: Astrokaszy

EYES ONLY SAP: MIM/ARC Project #18793-AS CODENAMERUMBLE
NOTICE!: Any attempts to copy this document will result in it’s immediate destruction

Prepared for Major Felicity Grey, Brevet Commander of ARC Anti-Spinward Operations by CAC Team BLACKFLAG

Major Grey in relation to your request for intelligence on Astrokaszy we have prepared the follow from intercepts and Chief of Station Nathan Idlewood’s reports.

Current Friendly Forces

CoS Idlewood has persuaded a group of Indigenous Auxiliary Forces (IAF) under the command of Emir Khaled Hamid bin’ Al’Sur to cooperate with your Task Force. Disposition below

50 Mechanized Heavy Weapons | 100 Beast Mounted Riflemen | 250 Foot Riflemen
4 Outriders | 1 Hetzer | Chameleon Spotter Plane

He has informed us that another group of IAF under the command of Emir Saif El-Baz bin As’Sab might be converted to the cause. The Emir has so far been reluctant to risk his soldiers against the Jaguar’s Claws.

Major Grey Insert: I have retained the use of Commander Arachne and Lt. Commanders Forester and Nyx and their Mechs (Beowulf, Raven, Anubis), I will be riding in the Command seat of Lieutenant Inderpal’s Thunderbolt to provide strategic updates.

Current Data on Hostile Forces (dated 06/11/3065)

Major Grey your contacts in the Marian Hegemony have updated us on the condition of the Hegemony. The mercenary unit Titanfellers (Veteran Mixed Battalion, MRBC) arrived on Pompey and linked up with the mercenary units Gurn’s Grenadiers (Regular Conventional Battalion, MRBC) and Top Shot (Veteran Heavy/Assault Aerospace Squadron, MRBC) and departed on the Invader-Class Jumpship FCS Pride of Kathil with an Overlord, Triumph, and Buccaneer.

We were unable to confirm any of your suspicions on their destination but you have good instincts and a better understanding of the unit.

Additionally our contacts and intercepts have informed us that the mercenary unit Hardcore Headhunters (Veteran Mixed Company, MRBC) formerly on contract with the Duchy of Orloff have arrived on Paradiso aboard the Merchant-class Jumpship FWLS Karst. Due to Paradiso’s proximity to Astrokaszy and them bringing an empty Gazelle dropship along with their Union we have to consider they might be a factor. Once more we cannot confirm this to be so as our agents haven’t made contact with the unit, they will maintain vigilance on the group. Their current disposition is unknown the latest MRBC force report is nearly two years old.

Chief of Station Idlewood has prepared his best guess of the disposition of the Jaguar’s Claws from tribal militias that have fought and lost to them. Reports say they have a reinforced company of Mechs, some Omni models are present and they do have some clan tech weapons. They are backed by a Medium Square Armor Company, Regiment of Infantry, two squads of conventional fighters, and a five gun artillery battery. Transports are unknown but Ash must have a jumpship somewhere in-system to make it across the Sphere from Clan space.

Planetary Factors
Your operations will have place during the planet’s summer, this is not normally campaign season on-planet due to heat and dust storms. The shifting sands are treacherous so expect environmental hazards to be ever present. The IAF and your forces will need to maintain control of the various oasis and wellheads in order to maintain tempo.

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