12:22, 15.06.3049; Concordance
Now that the tank is ours, I’m set about trying to get some answers out of the two assholes who were driving it. They’ve got uniforms, and slightly better gear than the militia types. They still don’t quite look like planetary militia, but if they’ve got tanks, they might have anti-dropship guns. After a little ‘conversation’, I found out some things. One, there’s a local warlord named Ito. It’s his base that we’ve been heading towards. He makes his money by selling a drug called Red-Eye. Ito has put out orders to round up any and all survivors from the dropships. Ships. Plural. So the second DS did hit dirt. No idea where, still. But Ito seems to want to gather everyone up. Could be he’s the one who hired the Rogues… but his men didn’t seem to mind the idea of taking us in dead, rather than alive. So maybe not. Maybe he just wants hostages. Or Battlemechs. Richter didn’t like that idea.
Flaxx had a chat with that local… the one who needed shards of his gun removed from his hands. That guy was a little more forthcoming than the two I spoke with… and Flaxx didn’t even shoot him. I guess that saying about flies and honey is true after all. Anyway, the guy says that Ito is basically a despot. Makes life for the surrounding villages miserable. The local government is either too scared or too corrupt to do anything about him, ad he’s got his very own army. Manufactures drugs, sells them to the DC Yakuza, and uses the profits to buy weapons. That also explains our mysterious Drac survivor… he’s ‘kuza. Probably here on a buying trip. I’ve got him convinced that working with the Rogues is better for business, but I’m still keeping an eye on him. The second he figures selling us out to Ito is in his best interest, he’ll do it. So would I, for that matter, but having stolen one of his tanks, I’m probably not going to be invited to his birthday party.
Ito’s boys tried to make a break for it. It didn’t go very well for them. Seems they had the bright idea of popping some Red-Eye to kill the pain of their wounds, then flee. I guess Red-Eye makes you stupid, too, cause they weren’t exactly able to outrun bullets. Doc says Red-Eye makes you feel less pain. Probably used as a combat enhancement drug, too.
We payed off the militia boys to keep quiet, and sent them on a long walk home. Didn’t seem right to waste them… they’re just trying to feed their families. And they don’t seem to have any love for Ito. One of them even gave us the comm codes for some sort of rebel faction. Said his son was a member.
“Dolby” took a look at the tank’s computer system. Managed to find us a map of the area. Seems Ito’s got 5 bases in the immediate area, and the one we saw was one of the smaller outposts. Which suits me fine. We still don’t know if Ito is friend or foe, but my money is on foe. Still, it’s bad form for mercs to sneak around an employer’s backyard, killing tank crews, so we’d better figure out who’s side the Rogue’s are on soon. I guess we’ll know more when we reach the base.
13:52, 15.06.3049; Concordance
We decided to go with a Trojan Horse scheme to get into the base. We pretend to be a tank crew from another outpost, drive in with the corpses of two “mercenaries”. Seemed a shame to waste the bodies of those Ito soldiers. Malache and Dolby were going to make like an Ito tank crew, while Flaxx and Richter played local militia. I would be playing the part of the invisible man. I’d find us some intel, and then we’d either join our allies, or shoot our way out of Ito’s base.
We knew from Ito’s boys that there could be as many as four tanks as the Outpost, and maybe 20 men. Not a lot for a base that size, but they still outnumbered us, so we’d have to be clever, or lucky. We were both.
As we got closer, we found out that the base was under attack. Ito’s men had no eyes on the opposition, but the SRM salvos suggested a Battlemech. They were calling for reinforcements, which made it almost painfully easy for us to get into the base.
While I snuck into the base, the Rogues infiltrated the garage. Dolby hacked the base’s computer system, while Malache helped ‘repair’ one of the bases tank’s that had gotten shot up pretty bad. He also added a remote control slave system, while he was at it. We didn’t think Ito would mind. Richter and Doc got up on the roof of the garage, to try to figure out who was shooting at Ito.
I planted some explosives on the huge comm array, then headed for the Officer’s Barracks. I made it inside the base commander’s quarters, plugged a system uplink in for Dolby, and rooted around for any intel I could find. Not much.
I’m pretty sure Ito didn’t hire the Rogues at this point. Beyond that, I’m not sure. Still don’t know who shot us down, or why, or who the Rogues are working for, if not Ito. I do know that Ito was pretty keen on recovering any gear from these dropships that he could, and it looks like his men have already managed to secure the second DS. Richter will not be happy…
While I was rooting through files, Doc finally got a look at the mech that had been pounding the base. A Vulture. He described the insignia on it, and Dolby figured it for being the emblem of Marcus Croft. I’ve heard of Croft. Former Dragoon. Retired here with some of his old Merc buddies… and a lance of ‘mechs. Odd way to retire.
I tried to raise the Vulture on an old Dragoon’s frequency with a Dragoon challenge, and got a reply. He seemed doubtful at first, but when I told him I could take out the comm tower he was aiming at, he seemed to believe me. I had him pull back while Dolby put out a call to any Rogues in the area with the big array. No answer. After that, the Rogues shot their way out of the base. They used “Shiela”, our new tank, to roast one of Ito’s missile tanks from behind, blew a Heavy MG turret to slag, and drove out with yet another tank. That’s two. At this rate, we’ll have a full battalion by the end of the month.
Once they were clear, I hit the detonator, killing the comm tower, the generators, and the command center all at once. Then I hoofed it back to the RV point. Not bad for a day’s work. Now we’ve just go to figure out what the hell Croft is doing here.
Ito’s men have the second DS. Or so the Intel says. But we’ve got two tanks. And maybe some new allies. Croft might back us, if he’s already fighting Ito. And I’m pretty sure we can get the rebels to help us out… if we can get a hold of them. No luck so far.
But for now, we’ve got to head north, see if we can link up with any other Rogue survivors.
14:12, 15.06.3049; Concordance
After taking a look at Ito’s roster, and comparing it to the Rogue’s own forces, it’s seems clear that the mercenaries would have been outmatched. True, Ito’s forces consist mostly of tanks, but he’s got a lot of them. The Rogues would have been outweigh AND outnumbered in a straight up fight. Was the intel bad? Or were they here to fight someone else? Maybe Razak had some plan, or an ally. Too many variables, still can’t paint a clear picture of what’s going on.
I’m hoping the pilot of that Vulture can link us up with Croft, and that Croft can fill in some of the gaps. And, hopefully he hasn’t been keeping up to date on the comings and goings of certain Wolf-Net officers, or this could get very uncomfortable…
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