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Battletech: The Ghost Who Walks (Battletech Isekai)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Imperator Pax, Jun 5, 2021.

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  1. Threadmarks: Interstellar Expeditions Part 2
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I IE
    Part 2
    Even if there had been HPGs he wouldn't have used them, and really who would he have called from Skyfog. That being said he was really hoping to get through this without getting stabbed in the back, or less catastrophically face enemy air power. The latter was deemed unlikely because there weren't expected to be any pirates out this way.... discounting the Azami who he admitted had been forced into it, but even so that went back to the first point.

    Or the Kuritans could show up. ... Yeah that would be fun to deal with. Interstellar was up to something... and ... and there wasn't anything he could do about it. It wasn't technically double dealing. He wasn't employed by the Canopians right now, IE was paying the bills... and and it still left him uncomfortable. Whatever was the deal was apparently good enough on the table to overlook some piracy, since he assumed that that hadn't been some kind of false flag or ... whatever. He wasn't getting paid for that, and Abner seemed to busy digging to care.

    They were six jumps out now.... deep deep into the Rimward Periphery chasing treasure. They'd touched down on the planet's surface after some cursory surveys showed some overgrown and damaged structures that didn't match the stone age locals. They had apparently been abandonned for two hundred plus years and been wracked by flood damage as time had gone on, and some of them were buried into the mud from landslides years earlier.

    He glanced up at the orange stained sky through his cockpit. Today was slow going. The dig site people giddily were insisting they had found something, but they had been saying that all fucking week... which he supposed from an archaeological standpoint they probably had found stuff. The planet definitely met criteria for having been explored and abandoned sometime probably twenty sixth through twenty eighth century. There were signs of inhabitation, and 'neo Paleolithic' societies in an equatorial band of grassland herding cattle but little to no sign of significant technology.

    Bahar's voice came over the comm line, "Major Shepherd our credentials are being recognized," The female mechwarrior a few years his senior remarked matter of factly, smug even, but that diminished a few minutes later, "It seems the facility has deemed them insufficient. Doctor Abner wishes to try something."

    'Try something' sounded dangerous, and he sat up a little straighter and tensioned against his harness. "Could you clarify?" He'd been about to continue, when:

    "Bahar, I am reading fusion signatures powering." Hassan's voice cut off over her open channel, but it didn't matter his Star League Dalban was already flagging friendly SLDF Drone Units coming to life and the computer was broadcasting his IFF as friendly.

    He had dismissed the archaeologists 'we found stuff' because no one had said what it was they had found, and they'd been digging in the damn dirt. This was just great. He pushed the mech up to cruise speed and watched as something streaked skyward. Fuck. That wasn't a missile. He keyed the JumpShip in orbit, "You have at least one ASF inbound." One might be enough. He got a response, and then a screech of static as the line went dead... but he hadn't registered weapons fire. There was no explosion ... and there was no way that an ASF could have broken orbit in a handful of minutes and then fired on a JumpShip regardless of how close the system's jump point was.

    He sent a terse interrogative to Bahar on her status, but got no response. He wasn't reading weapons fire, just SLDF drones powering up. It did sort of imply that the Minnesota tribe had never gotten here. He pivoted the mech hard around the dried up river bank and right into the path of some kind of opening into the earth.

    Reflexively Gene triggered his seisomographics only to get overloaded with information as his computer unpacked a navigation package beacon from the SLDF cache. "Ow, fuck." He brought his mech to a slow crawl getting out of the way of the opening.

    "... ah major, yes... Major Shepherd the facility's automatic turrets and computer system... is not very happy with us breaking protocol. I swear this doesn't normally happen. I have very good experience with this particular bypass maneuver most of the time." Abner chuckled weakly, "It believes you are the ranking officer present... "Miss Bahar is apparently risking Court Martial for inappropriate access of SLDF secure facilities... yes."

    "I've got a nav beacon. I will be there in a minute, is anyone hurt?"

    "No, no we're fine." Abner replied absentmindedly presumably the danger, or immediate threat there of must have passed enough he'd switched back to academic mode.

    He hoped the JumpShip was fine... otherwise they were even in more trouble. With no one hurt though he reached over to the sealed thermos and took a swig of the iced tea as he tried to parse the map his Mind Machine Interface had unpacked directly into his brain.

    Even though he wasn't going to say it by the time he got to the dig site, and the uncovered access tunnel he'd digested enough of the map to recognize the similarities. This was a Castle Outpost not completely identical to his but similar enough that he was pretty sure he could find his way around. Aquagea though made sense to have one. The Periphery states on the southern border had been subject to the reunification war, and what not. This was different. They were out in the middle of nowhere, and there had been no satellite returns that they'd observed when they'd jumped in system... unless they had missed them.

    He supposed it was possible even as he guided his mech to the bay door that was sized for them. The drones were ignoring his BattleMech, which ordinarily he would have ascribed to being invisible to hostile sensors... but here it was because of his Mech's broadcast frequency.
    --
    The good news was that the ASF drone thing that had launched had only flown up and broadcast SLDF shutdown codes at their JumpShip. It wasn't damaged, and there was no hurry to get back.

    "This is similar but not identical to the facility on Richmond." Hassan remarked as they looked around, "It certainly looks like a refitting and resupply station," But Richmond had been a Rasalhague world if Gene remembered right, and even if it hadn't it had been apart of the Combine all the same.

    "Did Richmond have drones like this?" He asked. Aquagea's had had similar ones but the layout was different... this was more spartan in a sense, but had more stuff just sitting in storage.

    "Some, yes. Not many," Hassan replied. "The Minnesota tribe we think stripped all that they could fit... one our engineers thinks that the self destruct system on the facility failed to activate, and that was why there was anything left at all."

    Given the Outpost Castle on Aquagea's self destruct system was triggering a multi megaton nuclear detonation... yeah... there wouldn't have been much left usable if it had gone off, which reminded him. He tapped some keys. "Well there are some LB-Xs in the stores. Ammo."

    "In addition to the BattleMechs we had seen in the bay."

    "Yeah, but thats nothing special none of those are Royals." He replied scrolling, "They are SLDF mechs but the latest ones in there were built in the late twenty seventh century according to the files. I expect this wasn't a high priority post." He kept scrolling, "I'd guess that this is one of the units whose parent formations disappeared at the start of the sucession wars. They look like they were assigned to,"

    Abner scrunched him aside, and his voice went an octave closer to squeaky apoplectic "No this doesn't look right at all. We're too far rimward for a unit assigned to the 18th Army of the SLDF."

    He was right, "This is dated before the New Vandenburg uprising though," And this was entirely too far out to have been hit by the rebels even assuming Amaris had known about this facility, which he doubted. Again that ran into the problem of there was no indication of orbital infrastructure in the system. No recharge stations, never mind anything bigger or more complex.

    "Well I admit this is a little disappointing." Abner complained, as if it wasn't an intact SLDF outpost. "I mean certainly it is a discovery, but the Star League built many caches like this I'm sure."

    "This planet is habitable."
    Hassan nodded, "It is," But it wasn't necessarily suitable for resettling the Azami on, and there were other worlds rimward according to the charts. The charts were probably the biggest find really... and probably what Abner and Hassan had really been hoping to find.

    Gene leaned against one of the terminals, and waited. The star map was about what he had expected. The Star League's Department of Mega-Engineering had built a network of facilities for the SLDF as the Star League's version of the Explorer Corps had traipsed through the periphery up until around 2765.

    Ford got back with some of the techs even as Abner continued to play with the Star Map. "According to access it looks like most everyone here last were called up to move to answer the New Vandenburg revolt breaking out," He paused, and looked at the map.

    "I believe, if I'm reading this correctly. That the Star League, or at least a portion of it was looking into the prospect that someone was shipping material into the far rim. It doesn't look like they ever found any proof, but it seems the 18th army had received a report via a Bug Eye surveillance asset of what looked like a colonization fleet heading rimward."

    Those ships were apparently from the Rim World Republic, and apparently further investigation had been quashed from on high and then forgotten about with the outbreak of New Vandenburg... and the Amaris Coup and everything else going to hell. No one had come to this lonely outpost after its detachment had been pulled to the front to replace combat losses and while they probably had intended to return they hadn't. No one had come back apparently until they had arrived, which was why there were supplies here, but there were no great answers. Besides a handful of SLDF regular mechs the motor pool looked as if it had spares of the equipment that would have been attached to HQ and Service for the unit. There were engineering vehicles, a mobile HQ, a gaggle of transport trucks plus others, in addition about a dozen APCs of different models waiting on the racks for mechanics that had never gotten around to it.

    Just more questions, and maybe the princess was in another castle. None of this was what they were looking for. Abner was going to stick a pin in the star map and leave everything here after he took pictures, and made copies of any documents.

    --
    Commentary: First thing is first I'll answer questions in a following post most likely.

    Update schedule for the weekend: Saturday AoE, easy to do, Sunday probably this. Monday will probably be HPGENFANFIC so I'll be caught up to where I'm supposed to be. Ish.
     
  2. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    Will you be putting that LB-X onto your Marauder? Good weapon for those that get too close for the PPCs.
     
  3. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    There is an AI in the CID facility so it has the correct ciphers and encryption to churn out his SLDF ID that would be recognized as valid by any SLDF computer as legitimate,


    as for the clans Gene "The Star League is dead its not coming back" "NOOOOO! KERENSKY SAID..." Is the slightly bigger problem than a fish out of time SLDF officer... among other problems that are sure to crop up down the road... including ones that involve other stasis tubes
    This Marauder, no. A Marauder yes.
     
  4. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    So so when he get an upgrade one then? The Royal version or a more customized one.
     
  5. Peifmaster

    Peifmaster Meister der Pfeifen

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    Probably when he gets a Marauder II. Those lovely bundles of death are my favorite.
     
  6. Laxard

    Laxard Not too sore, are you?

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    Being Wolf Dragoons mech and recent development, it's not easy to acquire one.
     
  7. Peifmaster

    Peifmaster Meister der Pfeifen

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    Which is a shame. Maybe it’s just me, but that one was immediately at the top of my shopping list for my BT CYOA build. I just gotta finagle a way to get one without breaking suspension of disbelief. Maybe rescue the Dragoons during the Liao or Kurita betrayals and ask for the MAD-II as a reward? I’m still working on it.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
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  8. Laxard

    Laxard Not too sore, are you?

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    Well, if we talking about something really heavy then I prefer Atlas as a comand unit (especially AS7-S3) with rest of the lance being Annihilators. Not Gausszilla, 4 PPC ones.
     
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  9. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    And the Bountry Hunter had one too. You can't get more hated by the Wolf Dragoons then him. Just steal one like him.
     
  10. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Yeah the Marauder II only enter production 3012 its even newer than the Merlin is and is subject to commercial restrictions per development. Its gonna be a minute
    I'll tell you what my idea is then. New Valencia is a FedSuns planet, and do a big enough favor House Davion and they might tell Blackwell, "Hey you don't have to sell him one, nudge nudge, gift" or similarly Kurita attacks New Valencia I just happened to fall into this cockpit of this mech

    Annhilators will make an appearance but its important to remember that the Annhilator


    "These yeah they're ANH 1X developed for the campaign on Terra they weren't ready for the Liberation in time, so they got shoved into storage."
    The first Annhilator entered production in 2779 and Operation Exodus probably took most of if not all the tooling with them when they left and was so old by clan standards it was largely out of service by Nicky's death, so yeah they'll show up

    and of course its entirely possible that some might have been taken along with a certain unnamed clan too
     
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  11. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    So the Anime mecha way then.
     
  12. Laxard

    Laxard Not too sore, are you?

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    I hope he will not fall in love with some Mechwarrior girl then or we know how this would end xD
     
  13. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Battletech has been doing this since the eighties, its an established trope in universe
    ... she would settle down to raise a family? /stackpoole.
     
  14. Threadmarks: I IE Part 3
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I IE Part 3
    There would need to be follow up expeditions later, but they had moved on from the Outpost well they had objectives. The Minnesota tribe had apparently never reached the outpost, assuming of course they had even known it had existed. It was entirely possible that given the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the Star League and the fiefdoms within the SLDF that plenty of little outposts had been lost in the dust bunnies and margins. "SO what happens if we stumble on some displaced Rim World Republic planet?"

    Hassan scowled over his tea, "The Satan Amaris is long dead." He growled, "I suppose it would depend on the specifics, unless they were somehow still loyal to Amaris after all of this time they would just be other people. I admit it was not something I had considered."

    "You still haven't said how you found a map to that installation?"

    The Azami intelligence officer? Shook his head. "We have been carefully maintaining our supplies and battlemechs for centuries now. What I mean is that, to the Combine we look as if we are constantly scrounging through scrap, but we painstakingly categorize all of it. Our merchants go through everything in hopes of finding the remains of what we need, and our technicians work to insure that we can restore functionality to machines when most people cannot even recognize what is Star League and what isn't. This 'garbage diving'," He chuckled because that was apparently what some people regarded it as, "turns up pieces of from time to time which lead our seekers to find other troves. There was a destroyed JumpShip that had crashed onto a planet. It could not be made flight worthy again, but we were able to get the databanks running, and inside its navigation partition was a star map that contained among other worlds the one we visited. It included Richmond on the list, and it also had a SLDF quartermaster's inventory of equipment going to the facilities. Nothing, which would have been unusual in the era of the Star League, but it was still a lead."

    "And since Richmond was on there, you figured maybe the 'Tribe' might have known about it as well, and they were going Rimward."

    "Yes, that is the conclusion we had reached."

    Abner didn't seem put out by it. He probably wouldn't have been too put out if they hadn't found anything about the stone age people on the planet, even just the planet was a find. One more world lost to wide man since the fall of the star league and whatever. "Seekers?"

    "Explorers. Our Council of Elders since our flight from the Combine is increasingly worried about our prospects, and there is a movement to find a suitable world soon." They wanted to be far enough away that the Kuritans couldn't just follow the path, but at the same time... it seemed like there were some idealistic sort who hoped that they'd be able to convince more people to make the journey into the rimward periphery, which was was risky because there was a greater chance the Combine would notice.

    Never mind it wasn't just the Combine. "Pirates would be a potential problem."

    "Yes, I have raised such concerns with the elders as well." Hassan complained, "we are hoping being many jumps removed from the main paths we could insulate ourselves. I admit I wish I knew more of this Alexandrian Covenant, doctor Abner has spoken of, the name alone had prompted interest in it... which is no real guarantee but we have copies of a canopian map that seems to agree with the general location in space that they fled.

    The Covenant worlds though had apparently failed, in both respects. To both entice other people to flee the Reunification Wars, and also to make another Magistracy beyond the reach of the Star League... or whatever it was had been their goal in running. "Do you have a copy of IE's Maps?"

    "Yes we were furnished a copy," Hassan replied. "The truth, as I'm sure you have suspected is that we are far from the only disaffected group within the combine. It is through one our allies that we were put into contact with Interstellar Expeditions in the first place." Rassalhague he assumed from some of the other conversations going around. "Richmond was a gulag." He continued on, "So are interested to know what we can learn of what became of those rescued by the Minnesota tribe."

    "I don't mean to be a buzz kill, but you're unlikely to find a Star League in Exile." and if they were it probably wasn't going to be a nice collection of people. "The Star League is dead, and gone."

    "Then should we not make one?" He hadn't expected that kind of idealism from the MechWarrior but Hassan sounded earnest.

    "One step at time. We'll find a planet your people can settle on, and investigate those star charts, and we'll go from there."

    --
    He supposed when you got right down to it he was doing two jobs. The first was the obvious one he was getting paid for. The first was babysitting Professor Abner and his team as they dug around on periphery worlds far from civilization, and showing pirates didn't show up. The second was well this whole Azami thing. He supposed if the Azami settled far away from wherever they'd stopped being pirates, they'd have to focus on setting up a new country? Whatever long enough to get food and what not set up, but they had enough DropShips where presumably they'd be able to down the road trade normally with the Periphery.

    They were going rimward using the outpost map, but Abner was already talking about some crazy idea to back track the other way and try and find a path to take them Alpheratz in the Outworld Alliance. That would have been beyond the scope of his contract. Beyond that comparatively minor detail, they wouldn't have the Azami JumpShips for that. There was also the expense and time in general that would have required getting Interstellar Expeditions to sign off on it. It was just not to be, not this year, and probably not next. It would take time to organize JumpShips and supplies in order to carry it out.

    "So what will you do after this?"

    He thought about the ur Cruine contract he had had to pass up in order to ride to Luxen's defense... not that Majesty didn't understand... it had been their government that had basically said hey we're doing this its an emergency, but we're doing it. Aquagea came to mind too. For that matter Septim's Merlin was a new design, new production mech that was interesting. He certainly would have been interested to go see the Lyran Commonwealth. "I have to go back to Detroit and hope that the Mercenary Court had arbitrated some kind of solution about the salvage."

    Ford nodded. "Yes you can tell ComStar isn't happy about the Snakes acting like they own , it was all over the news." ComStar ran its own galactic news service because they had a monopoly on the HPG network everyone else had to send messages through them and the neutrality of the form ministry of communications was generally could about being perceived as fair and impartial. "The rimward periphery is another pirate surge as well."

    "I had heard that." He replied. "What about you?"

    Ford was going to be returning to the Fed Suns apparently. There was a rumble as the DropShip finally touched down. "I guess its time to get back to work." The map had earmarked this as a star league research facility, and that ended up being what it turned out to be. Unlike Skyfog which had been studying habitable moons the Star League had basically taken a habitable earth like planet and ... more or less just released a bunch of plants and animals on it to see what would stick. The first date for the experiment was shortly after the reunification war. By 2740 this particular planet had made enough notice that ... well if Gene were being honest they were basically Amish, or Mennonites, or Mormons... or maybe some weird combination fusion melting pot over the following centuries.

    They weren't stone age level society, but they had long since given up fusion power or even powered flight in favor of having turned to wide scale ranching, and dairy farms. It was entirely simple uncomplicated existence and one that had removed itself from the wider human community by choice.

    Another world for Interstellar Expeditions to come in and investigate, but it had no immediate signs of the elusive Minnesota Tribe. "You'll get used to it." Ford remarked lowering his electronic optic as he scanned the canopy of teak trees growing in the humid tropics of the Star League, "Oh look whales!" ... apparently the Star League had taken pork barrel spending pretty far. Ford was right though there was an entire pod breaching the surface of water. They were going to spend a couple of weeks here, particularly to restock on fresh water, but also so the rest of the Azami could catch up. Gene was suspecting they had an HPG or something to communicate, but he couldn't prove it, whatever the case was it would concentrate everyone together.

    --
     
  15. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    So is this arc done or will there be more here?
     
  16. Threadmarks: I IE Part 4
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I Interstellar Expeditions
    Part 4
    He couldn't be sure when the final decision to make for the Alexandrian Covenant. Whenever it had been had had probably been made before the planet with the whales and mormons on it. The announcement had been made after that as the flotilla of JumpShips had converged on schedule at the following rally point.

    They were now two hundred and seventy light years beyond the canopian border... though admittedly at the end of the Star League it would have been more like two hundred light years, maybe less. In the late 26th century well the borders had looked even pretty different.

    The good thing with meeting up with the Azami had been the ability to restore his salvaged mechs... never mind the awkwardness of them being salvaged from the Azami in battle... back to Star League era functionality.

    They'd arrived at the JumpPoint for Sophos and surveyed it from a distance, and it had been a good thing they had. Gene touched the computer. He had no idea why there was no one on this planet, but primitive not the surface to orbit missile battery here would have been hazardous to a DropShip coming in unaware. They probably would have needed several dozen to cover the entire planet, and that wasn't in evidence, but there were enough to cover the major population centers.

    Or what was left of them. "I've got something." One of Hassan's infantry commanders called.

    "What is it Rashid? Where are you?"

    "About thirty klicks from the capital missile battery, the magnemeter we use for prospecting had found a buried DropShip we think. Or rather the remains of it. I suspect it was blown out of the sky Colonel."

    Gene raised an eyebrow. It was the first time he had heard Hassan be given a rank. The Azami had been fastidious about that sort of thing. Hassan shook his head at the oversight, "What do you make of it Rashid?"

    "Pirates I would think, at least on any other world, we are trying to dig it up now. Give us a few hours."

    A few hours later they were poking through what they were pretty sure was a Rim Worlds Republic DropShip, and it was like walking through a tomb. "This is the only one we've found."

    "We are lucky that we managed to find this one." Rashid remarked sweeping his compact assault rifle out in front as if expecting to be attacked by Zombie Amaris supporters at every junction. "They're trying to get the computer on line now, but one of the dates within the missile facility suggests this was lost some time after 2750." Before the New Vandenburg Uprising. "As to where everyone went... I don't know... something is very wrong."

    But not so wrong as that there had been some kind of planet wide war. There were no radiological signatures. The Capital Missiles were pure fusion drive KKVs. Point accelerate slam into target in orbit bang sort of affairs by all appearances. They weren't even particularly smart missiles with their seekers being downright primitive and probably requiring ground control telemetry to hit a DropShip not standing still relatively speaking.

    The problem was that while the network wasn't large enough to cover the entire planet it was numerous enough that the planet's major indicators of infrastructure definitely suggested the locals had been able to build them. As if they'd been expecting an invasion... it would have been easy to just assume that perceived threat could have been from the Rim Worlds Republic, but he had his doubts.

    "I'm surprised its this intact," He muttered swinging a light over the fancy shark embossed emblem, "I don't recognize this model of DropShip, but this armor is ferro-aluminum." Which was probably why it had survived the heat of reentry with such a big chunk of it gone from amidships. "Did they manage to crashland?"

    "I can't be sure." Rashid replied opening a bulkhead. "I want to say no, but I think they were riding the nav beacon from the city in before they were shot down."

    It still went no where to explain where Sophos's population went. A single Rim World's republic dropship being chanced upon didn't come close to explaining that. Abner and Ford were equally perturbed by the lack of signs of what had happened. "I suspect that they packed up and left," Ford announced.

    "There are no signs of JumpShips, but we have found platinum mines, Germanium mining and industrial systems. All the sort of things needed to make primitive or even early modern JumpShip designs... but it looks like it was dissambled, and taken off. There are huge chunks of machine missing."

    "Which could be scavengers." Rashid pointed out.

    Hassan glanced at the surroundings. "I admit Rashid might have a point, but I don't think any of this was done in a hurry."

    "No this would have been months at least. We have remains buried in graveyards that we're sure are from the 2700s, but no exposed remains, and nothing after 2800s. We're not sure where the cut off is, there is detritus, human artifacts, but there aren't any signs of war."

    Everyone had basically independently verified that, over and over again. They'd found weapons over the following couple of weeks, but all of them were Rifles. Either the infantry small arms sort or the predecessors to modern Mech scale auto cannons. The natives living on Sophos had industry to build combat vehicles.

    "What if they chose to move off world because they were running out of fossil fuels?" Ford suggested next, "The DropShip could be a red herring. Their vehicles, the ones left behind are all ICE powered, and that might explain their armament too. If they thought they were going use up all of the petroleum they might have left."

    "I doubt it, there is corn growing rampant on the continent. That would have been able to be refined into gasoline even with just 20th century chemistry." Gene put in, "Its not impossible but I don't think it fits."

    "Combination of factors?" Another IE grad student put in looking up from his noteputer, "They still had technology to build vehicles, and reach orbit at least with weapons. And if ICE wasn't an option, they could build fusion drives even primitive fusion engines should have been possible if those are primitive DropShip yards. If they were capable of building early JumpShips the same."

    Sophos was one more world with more questions to it than it answered. Naturally of course as they wandered through the deserted city Abner took as a challenge rather than something to be discouraged by. The general conclusions though were not internal or external strife. It took significant effort to unearth the library cache, and star maps from the building they assumed was the planetary capital. Part of the structure had simply given way due to an earthquake probably forty fifty years ago. The computer itself though was even older. "This is Taurian Concordant."

    "So its really weird then that we haven't found signs of nukes." Ford muttered, and Gene laughed, "Can we pull dates from it?"

    "The reader says that this was," The tech adjusted, "2581 is when it was encoded. Its a library core from New Vandenburg. As for how long its been here, it seems like was installed in 2642. It has all the earmarks of the Alexandrian Covenant government, and has a Magisters seal on it,"

    Ford explained that one "the male half of the government, as we understand it," The other issue was Sophos being depopulated wasn't the only 'lost' covenant world, apparently Cyrene had suffered an extinction level event as well... at least in Cyrene's case though it made sense where there wasn't anyone living there any more... not the mass disappearance of Sophos. It had brought up two more theories. The first was the easier one to investigate... go to the largest of the surviving, known, Alexandrian Covenant systems. Pharos. It was possible of course they had gone to another system, but that was where the second theory came in, with one of the IE researchers suggesting that they had fled to a system inside the Perseus Cepherus Cloud Complex.

    Since they had the coordinates for 'Pharos' the system it made more sense to make the jump there... if that turned out to be a bust the Azami elders were content to try and colonize Sophos and make a living there. They were however going to have to start the long trek back towards civilization soon. The expedition could in theory back track the way it came and not explore any new worlds in return for spending more time in Pharos, but they needed to settle on a course home and there were very few direct routes back even with the maps they had. Either way that trip would potentially take them the rest of the year to get back.

    At the end of that discussion things turned back to the Azami situation. There were a lot of questions including whether or not the Combine knew about the dependents. The general thinking was know. The Combine hadn't molested the Azami merchant travel thus far, but there was no telling whether that would hold... of course the main issue was officially they were only hunting a small renegade unit of the Arkab legions who had turned traitor. The official byline would really start running into a problem if the Combine started attacking merchants, and JumpShips outside the Combine borders.

    Of course if ComStar substantiated that JumpShips with merchant credentials were 'casing' ahead of the pirate raids the Azami had committed there was probably going to be hell to pay. Of course if the azami were serious about settling down that was less of a concern about coming back.
     
  17. Kyryst

    Kyryst Lurker Supreme

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    A copy of that library core would be nice to have. Yes, you have the shiny Star League info at home base, but the Star League was big on keeping other planets dependent, and stagnating the development of others. A Taurian library would be Age of War Tech, meaning the ability to build something now, to bootstrap up to star league level, rather then blackbox bullshit.
     
  18. Threadmarks: I IE Part 5
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I Interstellar Expeditions Part 5
    The system they were calling Pharos as it was easier than the alternative. Calling it the 'Alexandrian Covenant' (home) system, was entirely too long a name for non academic usage. The system had two inhabitable planets. Eros was the third planet in the system, and 'Phaeton', the fourth. The issue was confirmation of more of those capital missile launchers on the planet, except these surface to orbit missile platforms were manned and operational. "Definite signs of technological decline though." Ford observed. "The missile batteries are the most advanced tech I'm seeing."

    And they were on both planets, which was interesting considering Eros was abandoned or near enough. Not entirely unexpected but it made sense. "The JumpShip fleet looks like its been mothballed."

    "Sophos?" Someone asked in the crowded bay's throng of people.

    "Maybe." One of the techs replied, "We're cataloging them now, but they're all designs that would have been in service in 2500s. Some of these I don't even recognize." A couple were clearly liberties, but well time had moved on.

    "That looks like a Leviathan, but they've done something to its arms, as well as the fuel bunker." Someone else put out as the astro geeks tried to make heads or tails of flotilla of ships that had been towed into a safe stable space near the jump point. Sophos though had shown signs, and the Taurian data core had the information necessary, of mining for germanium and construction of Jump Cores...

    Eros looked like it had had a bad meteor impact a few centuries previously, but nothing extinction level. Phaeton was a different story. If the natives had noticed their arrival at the Jump Point it hadn't been enough for them to take a break from their usual affairs. They seemed pretty preoccupied by a small case of civil war. The ongoing conflict was going to keep them off the planet's surface for this trip, much to Professor Abner's disappointment.

    There were discussions about habitability, ending with the question of whether or not Eros would work.

    "It will have to." Hassan replied to the question.

    Professor Abner nodded, "We will land our first expedition on the southern continent. Its the oldest site of ruins we've identified. I would like to examine those before any other landings." Estimations from IE analysts put them as early as sometime in the twenty fourth century, much earlier than mainline 'Taurian' settlement ruins on the planet that had been abandoned sometime in the 27th century.

    Personally Gene would have preferred investigating the Taurian settlements first, but he wasn't getting paid for that sort of thing... so watching over Abner's dig site on the southern continent would be what he would end up doing. "We will be bringing our DropShips down hopefully where it will not disturb the remains." Hassan replied, which was the elephant in the room. Even assuming 'Phaeton IV' or 'Pharos' as the natives referred to it now apparently, hadn't noticed the JumpShips arrival... there was a good chance that they would notice dozens of DropShips burning for their system neighbor. That was the sort of thing you might well be able to notice with the naked eye never mind with even primitive telescopes.

    That kind of 'astrological event' might throw the civil war into a higher gear, which was something Ford brought up, but it would have to be. The good thing though about a southern landing on Eros's southern continent was that it wouldn't have been covered by any missile platforms that they could see... and the Eros missile platforms were noticeably inactive compared to the ones on 'Pharos's surface. Given the warmer nature of Eros they might have long since corroded during the hot summers without maintenance, but who knew. It seemed unlikely that they were automated, or had tripwires, but he would have preferred taking a little more caution on the first trip ground side for this planet.

    It wasn't up to him though, so he packed it into the DropShip, and waited for them to make final checks.

    --
    Gene glanced up into the night sky from his cockpit. A curtain of shooting stars descending en masse covered the horizon. Except they were meteors but the first wave of Azami DropShips and small craft establishing their base camp to the north. He hoped Hassan had been making a bad joke about naming the first city on the new world Alamut. Even though Interstellar Expeditions had first discovered 'Pharos' in 3007, the trip to Eros III 's surface had been the confirmation that the primitive firebases for capital missiles had powerful enough radar arrays to actually track objects in space beyond orbit... of course light speed lag delays being a thing it would have been impossible for ground direction to effectively guide course corrections for a missile as primitive as wait the Covenant was using... still a little concerning though.

    There wasn't anything for him to do really but watch the night's sky though. The Covenant hadn't tried to take a shot at the DropShips, but the active tracking returns definitely suggested that the neighbors were watching. He didn't necessarily consider that to be a good thing. They'd need to be careful when they returned to the JumpShip on their way out, just in case. He keyed his mike, "How often does Interstellar Expeditions come out this way?"

    "Professor Abner was with the original team in 3007, there has only been one another expedition that I know of, and it was only a cursory follow up." Ford answered, "after we leave I expect the commission will take the new charts we have and focus on exploring those worlds. We probably won't chart another expedition to the Covenant worlds until 3020 or 3025. I mean something in the interim could happen to change that, but the new maps will devour any spare jumpships we have available in the rimward periphery."

    ... and really this expedition had really been made possible because of the Azami 'merchant' / colonization fleet coming along, and that was shady backdoor dealing he was trying to avoid... the irony since he had signed onto Abner's exploration thinking he was just going to be able to sidestep running into the Combine. In hindsight signing on to hang out on Luxen probably would have been the better choice even though by contract this was going to pay a lot better.

    "So what are you going to do? When we get back?"

    "Assuming the Canopians need a security contingent, training cadre, I'm going to start looking at hiring pilots. Start a Mech Company and try that." Detroit had had people looking for jobs when he'd arrived, and he wondering who all from the Luxen contract would still be on Luxen when they got back to the Magistracy.

    At about 270 light years from the border though ... really the travel back to civilization would be getting back to Skyfog, and then it would be Itenzoe. "I see. I can write you a letter of recommendation if your looking for work with the Federated Suns."

    ... uh, "Thanks." It almost came out as a question mark on the end.

    "It might mean potentially sitting in the Draconis March, but it would pay better, and be more regular than hunting pirates."

    "I'll take that under advisement."

    "Its only a matter of time before the AFFS launches an offensive against the combine, or that the snakes attack of their own."

    He could have entirely taken that as Ford viewed the succession wars with a degree of cynicism that the war was inevitably going to result in yet another round of pointless bloodshed... but that wasn't what the comment felt like in the slightest. He had no doubt Ford was a patriot, but there was a good chance that Ford was something more than just a patriot. IE supposedly vetted their membership thoroughly, but he suspected that meant academic credentials and not... extracurricular ties or maybe it just meant making sure they weren't thieves looking to do some grave robbing. "So what about this place, its not Taurian."

    "We're still digging, and its twenty fifth century layer but we think they might be originally Capellan. Once we finish the excavation of the sight we will have a better picture," Ford remarked accepting the change in subject. "Initial examination suggested they fled out here in the early years of the Confederation, and as we already knew from orbital mapping and studies predate the covenant settlement by more than a century.

    That was interesting. Weird but interesting, "Is there any sign of a database, like we found on Sophos?"

    "No. Lots of what looks like might be military equipment, stockpiles, caches of arms that sort of thing," The Fed Suns native carried on, "it has preserved fairly well, and small technology in terms of gunpowder hasn't changed terribly much in twelve hundred years really."

    "What are you hoping to find?"

    "Its the oldest sight of habitation that we've identified on the planet, but i'll be honest, the professor will be terribly disappointed that its probably a dead end. It might have been better starting with the Taurian settlements."

    The data core that they had pulled off the abandoned world had dated to the age of war, and had been presumed Taurian in origin. He hadn't gotten a chance to go through it but it was supposedly the sort of thing some one from 2570 or so might have thought necessary to build a colony on if you were from the Concordant. There was a degree of sarcasm to that statement so he wasn't sure exactly what all it had entailed... or even if they'd really had time to go through the whole thing.
    --
    Commentary: I've got some replies in the works, but I consider the conclusion of the following 'chapter' to be stronger than most of this one, as this serves a necessary building role and time mover for later events. That and FtL in BT isn't that great by sci fi standards.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  19. RoyalTwinFangs

    RoyalTwinFangs Bacon is God!

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    How old will Gene be when they get back to IS anyways? Also can't be a good Mech Company without a dropship of their own.
     
  20. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Yeah even 'primitive' modern JumpShip manuals are better than what most of the Inner Sphere does, I mean it says that ComStar thought it was too expensive to go crazy with the Magellan and so forth designs in terms designing new JumpShips, and the Faslane is a new design but its based off of a Hegemony / SLDF design. The Taurian Age of War stuff doesn't give you everything but in terms of industry, well its a good starting point

    We're getting there. To the Inner Sphere proper probably closer to physically sixteen, Elidere is slated for 3017

    The second Luxen Contract is the following section to this and gets us into the beginning of the merc company business which is admittedly a plot point i'm expediting for convenience's sake even if I otherwise have mixed feelings about so much 'time skip' and glossing over the archaeology
     
    Kyryst and RoyalTwinFangs like this.
  21. kioras

    kioras Versed in the lewd.

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    It is a serious Gold mine for many planets in the Inner Sphere, if they have at least a late 20th-century technology level it means they can get the basics of Battletech.

    Dropships, jumpships, and anything else. If you do not have a society collapse you can bootstrap yourself up to self-sufficiency easily enough.

    No doubt it also has a good amount on asteroid mining.

    It should ideally be spread throughout the Inner Sphere and Periphery, however, the various house Intelligence Agencies and Comstar are all stuck in a bucket of crabs mentality and might blow it up if they do not get it.
     
  22. Threadmarks: I IE Part 6
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I IE Part 6
    There were some details that weren't adding up. It wasn't necessarily indicative, and certainly no smoking gun, of malicious events in the past, but something wasn't right. The southern most settlement was definitely anachronistic possibly predating the age of war, and truth be told it wasn't as if the definitively Taurian settlements on the northern continent of Eros III were in much better condition. "What I don't get is that this planet was hit with a pretty substantive meteor shower," And it wasn't the only planet either that had eaten a couple of rocks.... "I thought having a large moon," Well a normal sized Earth type moon, "Was supposed to reduce the risk of catastrophic impact."

    "It does, but sometimes these things happen."

    "We will take appropriate precautions my friend." Hassan replied, "Give us a few months and we should be able to restore the capital missiles and potentially be able to upgrade them to be able to intercept any more errant rocks." The Azami had landed on a massive plateau of ancient and stable geography, which was good because they had landed dozens of dropships. "While that is something indeed, it is not why I called you. We found a Taurian cache."

    "Another datacore?" Ford inquired notably perking.

    "Yes, much the same as the one we found on Sophos, but that was not all." Hassan lead them into a hardened structure, and waved a hand.

    "Those are nuke magazines." Gene muttered looking at the warning labels in the imperfect light of the bunker surrounding them.

    "Yes, megaton scale even." Ford stuck his hand out expectantly, even as Hassan fished out his wallet and handed over some money, "I am afraid though that the Taurians probably carried with them other caches with weapons like this." which meant the neighbors probably had nukes tucked away somewhere... the general consensus was that no one on Pharos had actually thrown nukes despite the civil war, which was a good thing, but it wasn't proof that they didn't have them. It seemed as if civil war or no the surface to orbit platforms were safe and neutral to both sides.

    "Are you going to try and move?"

    "No, we are relatively secure here, but it felt like something to mention." Hassan replied, "We have much to do here, and that will mean farming and clean water are our highest priorities," Housing as well no one really wanted to live out of a grounded DropShip unless they had no other choice, and the Azami had their dependents to think about as well. "I am sorry that we were unable to locate the Minnesota tribe, or indications to their trail."

    "We will just keep looking." Ford responded.

    "The answer is out there somewhere. Once my people are settled here, I will rejoin you in the quest." Hassan remarked, "If we are able to get those old JumpShips working," The Azami colonel nodded to the sky. "God willing perhaps we might explore the cloud complex as well."

    "There is no telling what is out there," Ford declared, "Who knows who might have settled there, and we might still find your Alexandria."

    "I would like that." After the surprise we found nukes, and talk about all the stuff that might still be left to find in the rimward periphery... including the slightly turn of what if we turn up Amaris supporting Rimworld Republic colonies that missed the war they went off to lunch. There were still DropShips and Small Craft coming and going bringing people and supplies down, but here two hundred and seventy light years rimward of the modern / official Canopian border the ground work for an Azami settlement free from Luthien's grasping ambitions looked to be starting up. There were only about two thousand families so they wouldn't be doing anything but surviving, but maybe Hassan was right and others would follow them. Once they were sustaining their own population in food and water they'd probably work on fuel, not that fusion engines were hard to feed, and that would let them make the journey back to the Inner Sphere.

    Gene climbed back into the cockpit of his Marauder, and bypassed the seat. The SLDF operations manual stated that in a non permissive, meaning NBC weapons getting thrown around, you shouldn't need to leave the cockpit's safety for anything less than a week. Was it comfortable for that period of time? Hell no, but there was enough room to unfurl a mat and sleep if the situation called for it, and it had enough room for storage and auxiliary equipment. Aquagea's Castle Outpost had easily been able to make a copy of the Volgadon University core. He hadn't brought a 'field library' with him in whole, but he had brought a copy of the Star League era Medical Library of the university... of course he hadn't expected to go to the Magistracy, and Luxen which housed their largest medical university so...

    He picked up the hard bodied polymer safety casing, and deployed the handle. After months of mucking around the deep periphery no one paid him any mind at all despite standing out. Most everyone else were in overalls and work clothes, but there were enough people in jumpsuits or lab coats that his day clothes didn't stand out that much.

    He'd been considering this for a while... since they'd been out here for months now. The truth was the biggest hang up to the datacore... never mind he had not idea what was even in it, but Sophos had been missing tooling, and what pieces had remained had often had parts missing. The most simple answer to the latter was that they'd been scavenged for spare parts for other machines, but there had been no indication of why. The Azami weren't precisely bringing in large volumes of machinery or tooling themselves.

    The raid on Detroit's capital had been partly a bluff. The smaller armed Danais, Trojan blockade runner whatever, had hit the seed banks at Ann Arbor for seed stocks for a future colony. Everything else had been a bonus to that objective, and had been designed to obscure it but taking more impressive things. This planet was far enough out for the Azami's needs, just as it had been for the Canopians and Taurians fleeing the end of the Reunification war, and maybe before them the Tikonov Galactic Rangers.

    The Alexandrians though had for at least a century had been capable of building their own DropShips and even JumpShips until what Interstellar Expeditions labelled the first Upheaval, and probably still had some limited capacity to do so at least as late as the 'Second' one. The Covenant didn't have the specifics any more and Sophos hadn't exactly had that information where it could be easily found... and there were obviously questions missing.

    Something had happened. The rocks falling by themselves could have been natural after all. For a colony world, bolt hole, whatever one wanted to call it, the Taurian original raison d'etre of building a military infrastructure to resist the star league seemed to have fallen flat on its face.
    --
    Commentary: This is more interlude, and was originally going to be paired with the conclusion of the Expedition chapter. Its mostly going up as is. The Alexandrian Covenant and the wider Canopian Ruins will be something we explore later particularly as the colony grows larger, but really this is what sets up for the company's origins.

    That being said... I had meant to include the Azami talking more about the HPG conversation that got them in this shit in the first place, but thats been rescheduled.
     
  23. Threadmarks: I IE Conclusion
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    I IE Conclusion
    He leaned back in the chair and kept reading his noteputer's copy of the Volgadon University general education curriculum. He might have slightly misjudged exactly how valuable Star League memory core copies of anything education related might have been. One of the IE research assistants had described it as 'you could start your own Canopus with blackjack and hookers, err more blackjack and hookers with this'. He played it off as having not been about to leave the core in his loft in Detroit while on contract... and that was true, but he had expected originally to go from Detroit to the Luxen emergency and then come back... he'd kind of jumped on this job to get out of town.... that 'lostech Mongoose' as salvage being part of the reason to book it sooner rather than later.

    "They think that Leviathan will actually work." Ford remarked breaking his concentration, "I still think they're taking a big risk but they've offloaded all nonessential personnel." Unlike the smaller Liberty class ships the Leviathans were supposed to be much easier to repair, and service. The ships had been mothballed by trained crews, and given time the Alexandrian JumpShips might all be eventually returned to service, but the Azami should have been focusing on other priorities, and so that might take a decade to finish.

    "What happens if they can get it to work?"

    "Then we have a little more slack to explore," Ford replied. "That would be good Professor Abner wants to try another of the Star League markers in hopes we can find something."

    'Find something?' He dropped the tablet into his chest, "I was under the impression that this had been a successful venture?"

    "Oh certainly. Interstellar Expeditions HQ will be quite happy that we found anything at all, thats really the ballpark for success. The neo paleolithic society will make some of the fellows positively delighted. A DOME outpost is another outstanding find, stellar mapping is all the rage." Ford continued, "We've done quite well, and it wouldn't have been possible without the Azami's assistance. We will be able to play that off as our usual contracting with itinerant spacer JumpShip clans, mostly."

    The Azami merchants would claim that they had nothing to do with rogues... and since he hoped that all the 'rogue DCMS pilots' were accounted for and would be staying here there would be no further attacks. The Azami raids would hopefully be forgotten about, and that might might be helped by the tide of pirates that had been coming in from spinward anyway. "He's hoping to find the Minnesota tribe at one of the sites we didn't check."

    "Its a long shot, but given how much in the way of resources I can understand taking the long shot."

    One more world, just lets investigate one more world was an expensive vice to indulge in, especially this far out in the deep periphery. They'd be going back to Skyfog with two, and probably a third, JumpShips. Part of it was the Azami were probably backtracing a route, and since the Leviathan was a clean unmarked, but old JumpShip design if it worked it could go back and forth with cargo... or that was what Gene suspected was the plan.

    "The thinking that the southern continent site," Ford was talking about Eros now, "Being the Tikonov Rangers who disappeared in the 24th century will certainly attract attention from the foundation, their disappearance from the records after fleeing Liao's purge of private militaries is precisely the sort of thing to attract funding for future missions to explore the base camp."

    "I thought you said that it wouldn't be another few years until another expedition was planned out this way?"

    "Oh probably so, but academic ventures like this normally take ten years to get all the details planned away. It will be a few years until we come back, mark my words. Even with Azami cooperation assuming they start a regular run I don't see us coming back before 3020." If that was the case, he hoped that'd be enough time for the Azami to scrub the last of their impromptu insignia's and markings off in favor of... whatever they ended up deciding to use that wasn't that. "IE will have other operations, Skyfog needs security," Ford continued following his gaze out the window to the repainted gray aerodyne dropship. On the side of the modified Drost IIA style hull was a black bird and the name Sam Houston stenciled.

    Hassan reappeared from the stairwell lugging a case of his own.

    "I thought you were staying here?"

    "I am," He replied to Ford's question. "As you might have taken notice during our travels the Azami JumpShips were able to maintain good coordination."

    "Yeah I was beginning to wonder if you had a mobile HPG?"

    "There is such a thing?" Ford asked.

    "They existed for Warships, and diplomatic carriers." Hassan remarked, "The last of them were destroyed in the second succession war to my knowledge. We do not have those." He set the case on the table.

    "A fax machine?" Ford asked looking at the interior.

    Hassan nodded, "They have limitations, and as a precaution we have always communicated in code using them," he went on to explain the specifics of the Machine designated K-Series Transmitter. There were obvious limitations to the device despite its compact size. It would take ten days for its signal to reach its maximum range. Data limitation was another factor, but if you were communicating between two JumpShips within three jumps of one another while both were charging well it was hard to beat.

    Ford summed it up best, "This is extraordinary." He glanced over to Gene, "Well I can understand him getting one, but why not give the other one to Professor Abner."

    "Come now Mr Ford, I know quite well despite being the Professor's protégé, he is only interested in the academics of his work. You are here as much to keep him from wandering too far into the forest as anything else. That, and we were planning to provide IE with these anyway. You have been of invaluable help to us over the years." There they went, doing the spook behind the scenes shit again. "As well as to our brothers in Rasalhague who should be able to provide you with the instructions as to their manufacture."

    --
    It took a little longer for the Azami techs to be sure that the Leviathan was up to safety standards, but they had decided that it met them. The hardware aboard it was pre Star League, there were no back door codes like the Drone had hit the IE JumpShip with to power it down. As somewhat expected that meant that Professor Abner was positively giddy of the concept of being able to take a little time on the side to explore a few other worlds. That mostly included laying out other potential paths that the Minnesota clan could have taken as they had moved rimward of the Taurian concordant.

    With additional dropship cargo space available going back to that outpost would have been tempting, but he was getting paid by IE and he doubted they'd just let him yoink all of those. As it was the 'Sam Houston' only had a skeleton crew to begin with, and he'd need to hire people first and then look about loading it to the gills with treasure.

    As to the roughly ten jumps it was going to take them to get back to the Magistracy proper? Well Abner wanted to explore some of the other worlds, and was adamant that the Minnesota tribe had swung anti spinward. They couldn't go that far off the path due the way even their expanded maps, which had been something Abner had had to be reminded of in addition to the time table and getting back to 'civilized space' before the year's end.

    Still looking at the map of the path... it didn't make sense. Accepting that it had occurred before the second succession war had kicked off, and thus going directly through the inner sphere might not been the best idea... it still struck him as odd for them to get into it with the Combine, then go through well the peripheral fringes of Davion Space, the Taurian hinterlands, and have objects showing up as far .... Gene shook his head and looked at the map. He had a copy of it, and if the chance came to run things down, well that was fine. I.E. Was going to pull the thread, and maybe he'd get an answer to this, but in the mean time he just needed to keep an eye out, and ride out the rest of the contract until they were back. There just wasn't anything else to do until they got back to things like banking, and stores.

    So much money though, and the benefits besides. Of course Abner's offer had been first but the money hadn't hurt on top of being able to avoid the Combine throwing their weight around... but there was a good chance that he wasn't going to be able to do that forever.
    --
    Commentary: ... and that wraps first Interstellar Expeditions. As I said originally this was going to be coupled together with the previous segment, but they were split up to be a little more manageable for review.


    Okay Scheduling for August, this is tentative. The current plan trying to move back to regular updates on things, will be the usual Wednesday, Friday, Saturday rotation of updates. [That is Jumpchain, the SG1 Jumpchain standalone thread, and Saturday AoE update]. Cognizant that Percy Jackson, and MCU jumps are relatively popular I may attempt to go to a regular Sunday Update for one of those, probably MCU as we move into introducing the Netflix tv series arc.

    For non fixed updates, the Waifu Catalog stuff will probably all get updated in the coming month, that is the 'IN Another World' Sufficiently Advanced Magic, and DxD as well as the HSoD fic. I am aiming to get an update up in the coming month for the Drow CYOA fic as well. Those will probably all drop on separate weeks, likely early in the weeks probably will be monday updates or Tuesday. I say this because with as much content as I have for this fic in particular I would like to slot this into a regular update schedule like I have for AoE (the other fic I have with comparable content available).

    On the BattleTech front I'm considering starting a new campaign in BattleTech the game, which is unlikely to effect this per se, but we will be potentially moving into content related to the video game. I'm not really a big fan of Mechwarrior 5, though IIRC they do name drop Markham's Marauders in its campaign (set in 3015) we're not likely to use much if anything from MW5. However I do have a number of other BattleTech stories (yeah I know catalyst has really dropped the ball with the Kickstarter) which have been in the pipeline for a while, and they may get their own threads, but will not likely get the same volume of updates that this story is prone to.

    I'm aiming to get back to some of those in the Misc thread, along with some other updates over there interspaced through August, but we will see. For the rest of the month, I'm actually still behind on a couple of stories. That was computer problems from some time back, and misplacing an sd card that is still missing. (Again, Out of the Dark the Drow CYOA story won't be updating until next month at least.) For HPGENFANFIC, I know its not everyone's cup of tea, and yes its a little slow right now, but probably two updates for that this week to catch up and get through Summer Year 2. I may push the Percy Jackson update I had planned a while ago to August as I've mentioned, but regular standard updates will still be happening. SG1's Curse Arc probably will continue into August, but we will see if I double update that this week or not.
     
  24. Kamehb

    Kamehb Getting sticky.

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    It's a little unclear in yh chapter, is the Sam Houston a Drost drop ship he managed to claim as salvage??

    If so that's a nice shot in the arm for his Merc company plan.
     
  25. Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Its a DroST IIA custom, but basically the Azami are providing material and some limited staff drawn from people who aren't on the Combine's murder to preserve the honor of the dragon list. Notably it has been stripped of its old markings repainted and detailed. In its previous life it was originally painted yellow.
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Alamut - Interlude
    Imperator Pax

    Imperator Pax Talon Master

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    Alamut
    -
    Interlude
    Interstellar Expeditions had proven to be a useful friend through the years. Many chafed under the treachery and capriciousness of the dragon even while trying to honor their oaths. Chasing the dream of the Minnesota tribe had been a long time dream now. Rasalhague, or at least some of their allies, hoped that the Minnesota tribe might if not actually be some splinter from a long lost colony, might have descendants of those liberated from the gulags on Richmond.

    Was it an idealistic dream? Perhaps so. It was still hope.

    The truth was it had been as much of a dream as the idea of planet beyond the dragon's control, or reach, which was what they had now. Twenty years earlier Interstellar Expeditions had recovered a man marooned on a habitable planet. The last survivor of an accident that had stranded him and his crew.

    Their jumpship had been trying to trace the route that their ancestors had taken centuries previous to return to the Inner Sphere to see what had become of the rest of humanity. IE had been intrigued, and while he came from a largely primitive society it was one that had managed to maintain some degree of the technology that had existed during the great age of colonization when his ancestors had departed North Africa and left Terra behind. The JumpShip had reached their destination, but a battery fire had ensued causing a secondary explosion and imperiling the crew and forcing them to abandon the ship. The survivors had dwindled over two years before IE's explorer vessel in the anti-spinward reaches had noted the JumpShip debris and and detected the ancient Archaic SOS beacon.

    His story, and origins had gradually made its way through the network, the community of explorers, until it had reached a young Azami seeker who had brought it to the elders. A far flung colony mission that had gone from Terra in the golden age of colonization escaping far beyond Terra's reach and who had been separated sense. Fanciful? Perhaps, but to be free of the Dragon entirely that was a dream of many Azami, and some had turned to violence like the Rasalhague had as well. The matter had been left to lie as Alexandria's location was lost without the doomed JumpShips star charts, and the passing of the marooned and then rescued man.

    The truth of the last years of the Star League though had begun as any other mission, any other raid that the Dragon had sent them on. They had certainly not planned to mount an exodus of their own from Combine space before hand.

    They had not been told what they were supposed to recover by the ISF, and if they had never found out it was entirely possible that none of this would have happened. Jerome Blake the founder of ComStar had managed to record a conversation between Minoru Kurita and the Satan Amaris. The coordinator of the time would after the liberation of Terra attempt to lay claim to the position of Star Lord despite having prevented the SLDF to travel through Combine Space, and also betraying their positions to Amaris's forces. It was not the sort of knowledge that even these centuries later could be permitted to be outed in the public domain, and thus the attack had come, but it had failed. The first shots had been sudden and by surprise but poorly placed. A junior officer in his own exuberance had probably gotten ahead of himself instead of waiting for the better moment, and it had been that providence that had saved them.

    They had been able to escape even though it had meant ultimately fighting Azami apart of the Arkab legions who believed that they were fighting rogues who had turned to piracy. Loyal Azami who they had not been able to warn in time, and who they had had to fight through to make good on their escape. They had not mounted that escape with everything they needed to mount a desperate flight from the combine into the periphery, and so had had to supplement using their jumpships as both honest merchants as well as turning to piracy over the last few years. Desperation had excused some of their actions, and it wasn't as if they were friendless either. With ties to the Dragon broken their migrant fleet could provide a useful service in communicating to and fro with groups like Interstellar Expeditions more freely than they had been able to.

    A path that had eventually lead them rimward, and now deep into the Rimward Periphery. They had brought no heavy machinery, where would they have even gotten it in the attempt to flee, but by all indications Eros III would support the seedlings, and bulbs, and other crops that they had brought from Detroit's raid, and of course there were the now wild but still edible crops from the old Taurian settlement. That would not mean agriculture would be easy, but they had clean water, and shelter, and could begin working towards building a proper settlement.

    "You have validated it?"

    The elderly doctor rebuked the man who asked the question, "It is what it was stated to be."

    As crude as Mr Cohen's statement had been, yes they were talking about the kind of information that would in fact let one 'Start your own Canopus with blackjack and hookers... er, more blackjack and hookers.' "I did not think he was a doctor?"

    "He's not. I imagine the SLDF gave him basic field medical training, but that is all." He harrumphed slightly, before continuing on, "But it comes from the Medical College at Volgadon or was there." Lone Star was one of the losses attributable to the Dragon's greed. "It appears to be the master collection of the school, including the instruction material as well as its research." Information on procedure, drugs, cybernetics even, "We don't have all of the equipment, but it is what it is said to be."

    There were nods from the assembled commanders. The plan had of course always been to on the completion of this journey to pass along the Black Boxes that Rasalhague had claimed to have uncovered just before the start of the third succession war. They had carefully guarded their find for decades, and had only become comfortable with sharing the specifications at the start of the century. The Azami were one of a handful of groups who had been entrusted with such notion, and bringing Interstellar Expeditions into the fold had been something long discussed, but not acted on. Talks with Skye had fallen through in 3005 after the disastrous Combine raid on Summer, and that was not the only example Hassan could think of. Rasalhague, and the Azami were far from the only groups which chafed under the rule of a great house, and perhaps Skye might have been a valuable ally, if only...

    One of the commanders stroked his bright orange beard, and the gesture caught the attention of the others even before he motioned directly he wished to have the floor to speak. They had opened this meeting with the admission that it was unfortunate that they didn't have any leads on the Minnesota tribe, a kind of casual admission that there were objectives they hadn't achieved. Perfunctory humility before getting down to other matters. That should have been dominated by the establishment of the settlement, the planting, and things of that nature. All of that had been thrown on its head by the gift with little thought.

    There was no real shortage of volunteers at least among the young, and those who were not hunted by the Dragon's agents. They needed to be able to keep the line of communication open of course so there had been discussions to establish waypoints along the way. They needed to be able to communicate with the other communities after all.

    Then of course there were some who simply wanted to volunteer for the chance of adventure. What better way than to be in on the ground floor a young mercenary company. The JumpShip crews would be able to ply the merchant trade during garrison missions and that would let them ferry messages from courier to courier. Hassan's only real lament was being unable to go himself, but he knew he was needed here, for now.

    He would one day deliver the copy of Jerome Blake's recording of Minoru Kurita and Stephen Amaris to the descendants of those who had fled with General Kerensky, and hopefully one day the truth would be known to all in the Inner Sphere.

    --
    Commentary: This was not originally planned, this is an interlude, and Tuesday, in all likelihood we will start II Luxen. This will regularly update on Sunday for August otherwise.
     
  27. Rodon

    Rodon Not too sore, are you?

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    I take it that he only gave the SL memory core to the Azami, and kept knowledge of it from IE (since they may be part of C*).

    Give the Azami some time to build up and sneak some of there people out of the Combine and they can build up to be quite the powerful little group in the Deep Periphery.
     
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  28. Tamarind

    Tamarind Know what you're doing yet?

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    Would Comstar have people in IE?

    Sarna mentions how IE is basically a giant tour group at this moment, bringing people to retrace the same tracks as the Minnesota tribe. Finding various name tags, scraps of armour, insignia etc. They were doing this for over a century iirc. Just doing the same planets over and over, a bit extra of a lead every now and again but nothing substantial as what we have here.

    It wasn't until the Word of Blake that they had a member embedded in from the Sarna entry that called in several nuclear strikes on their location upon an important discovery.
     
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  29. Rodon

    Rodon Not too sore, are you?

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    Ah, my bad. I was thinking of Interconnectedness Unlimited for some reason.
     
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  30. JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Procrastinates like a Boss

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    Yeah, and if we're to go by MW5... well, they don't seem to get along very well with Comstar in general in MW5. They're rather eager to help you kick Comstar's teeth in during the main story, at least.
     
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