19:00, 15.07.3049; Concordance
21:00, 16.07.3049; Concordance
<< Entry 02 | Entry 04 >>
After about a day of riding through the jungle, Croft’s Raven has shown us to a cave hidden in the back of a ravine. Croft’s secret base. Pretty trusting of them… but I guess blowing up Ito’s outpost earned up some brownie points.
They’ve got quite a setup in here. Not much equipment, but enough to service their Battlemechs. Which is saying something. Malache was able to convince them to help us repair “Jayce”, the newest addition to the Rogue’s impromptu tank battalion. While he busied himself with that, the rest of us went to see Croft for some answers.
Around the same time, another tank arrived, carrying Roderick Steiner, the Rogue’s lost XO. He came to join us as we were speaking to Croft. And then, some of the pieces came together.
The Rogues had been hired by Duke (duke name) to aid Baron Hurst in securing his holdings on Concordance. Apparently, the previous Baron had recently died, and the Duke had tapped Hurst to fill the vacant seat. Instead of the Baron’s son, the legitimate heir, Marcus Croft. All perfectly legal under Fed-Com law, if a bit unusual. No reason was given for this snubbing. So, Marcus comes back home, and finds that Baron Hurst has his dirty little fingers in Ito’s dirty little drug selling pies. So he starts stirring the fires of insurrection, and aiding the local rebels in trying to take down Ito. That’s where Rogues come in. We were hired to provide ‘security services’ for Hurst. Which, more than likely, meant defending Hurst from Croft, should he try to take the throne. And, perhaps, even defending Ito.
All things considered, Croft seemed to take all this pretty well. He even let us repair out vehicles and leave freely… which in my mind is a pretty stupid move. Even if we did lack ‘Mechs, we still knew the location of his secret base… but perhaps he was already planning on abandoning it… well… anyway…
After hearing our report, Steiner was a bit distressed. Apparently, most of Ito’s tanks and mechs were waiting to ambush the second dropship when it landed. He and the rest of the Rogues had been captured by Ito. With the mechs powered down and the DS’ weapons fried, they didn’t stand a chance. Steiner was lucky, a tank crew was taking him back to Ito when it was ambushed by Croft’s lance.
There’s still some things that don’t make sense. Who shot us down, and why was Ito trying to kill us if we were here to work on Hurst’s side? Aren’t they allies? Or have they had a falling out?
It makes sense, if you consider that almost all modern mercenary contracts have a clause that gives the outfit an out should their employer seek to engage them in illegal activities. So, the Duke hires to Rogues to help out Hurst secure his new holding on Concordance… not knowing that Hurst has a sideline in selling Red Eye across the border to the Dracs via Ito. If that came to light, he could lose favor, lose his title, even be charged with treason. So, he can’t very well have a couple lances of mercs in the Duke’s pay sniffing about his planet, where the might find his dirty little secret. So, he conspired to shoot us down, and have Ito clean up the mess. This explains why the Jumpship purged the DS so soon after our arrival in system, and how Ito’s men were able to take control of the second Dropship so quickly.
That’s my current theory. After examining the datadump we retrieved from Ito’s computer network at the outpost, Dolby was able to find us a smoking gun… records that Hurst had hired Jumpships to pick up cargo and transport them to a system in Drac Com space. And Ito’s name was all over the cargo manifests. We still don’t know for certain that Ito and Hurst conspired against the Rogues, but it’s the best theory we have for now. In light of this revelation, the Rogues contract may well be voided, leaving them free to act independently against whoever they want. After hearing all this, Croft has offered to help us attempt to rescue our people from the second dropship, which is about a day’s drive away…
21:00, 16.07.3049; Concordance
“Jayce” is back in working order, so we’ve set out for the Dropship. It took us all day to get across the mountains to where it landed, in a shallow pool of water right on the northern coast. It’s only a few feet deep, but enough to make approaching difficult on foot, and bog down the tanks if we aren’t careful.
After some initial recon, it’s clear that most of the Rogue’s gear has been offloaded. No sign of any prisoners, either. Two of Ito’s mechs guard the DS, a Wolverine and a Spider. The spider isn’t much of a threat, but together with that Wolverine, it becomes a close fight, even with Croft’s three mech. Croft’s Vindicator has heavy enough weapons to dent that Wolverine, but it could do some serious damage before our combined firepower took it down. Add to that the Spider hopping around, and we’re all but certain to lose a mech or two… to say nothing of the light tanks.
No two ways about it, we need an equalizer if we want to get through this fight without a bloody nose. Thankfully, I’ve still got eight kilos of Pentaglycerine in my pack.
Using the DEST suits built in airsupply, I frogmanned my way to the Dropship. The IR baffling fibers must have been working, because I didn’t get chewed apart by machine gun fire on my approach. After closing with the ‘Mechs, I planted two shaped charges on the Spider… and four on the Wolverine. If I’m lucky, it’ll be enough to knock their legs off. If not, well, it’ll at least removed a bunch of armor, give the ‘Mech and tank jocks a clean shot at the internals.
After securing the charged (which is no easy task in 3 feet of water, with mech’s that won’t stand still), I snuck inside the DS.
No sign of Richter’s Hatchetman, or the Rogue’s Assault Mechs. But there were three Rogue mechs still inside, a Wasp, a Locust, and a Blackjack, all shut down. Techs were working on the Blackjack, looks like it had taken some damage. I’d have liked nothing more than to fire one of them up and sneak attack Ito’s boys from the rear, but they’d have detected the powerup sequence long before I could bring guns on em. So, I headed for the bridge, instead, hoping to bring the DS’s guns online. I took out two techs on the way there, and managed to stay hidden. No luck on the bridge, looks like Ito’s techs had already stripped the control systems off the guns. With nothing else to do to even the odds, I headed back for the DS hanger to watch the fireworks. I just hope I used enough demo. I commed Steiner, and told him to start their advance.
Dolby and Richter took the reins of Shiela, while Malache and Flaxx helmed Jayce. Steiner rode ‘shotgun’ on Jayce… though in this case the shotgun was that anti-material rifle of Flaxx’s. The two tanks were flanking three of Croft’s mechs, two lights and Croft’s Vindicator. Just as the Spider and Wolverine took notice and turned to engage, I hit the detonator switch.
The first, smaller blast, blew off the outer armor of the Spider’s left leg, and damaged an actuator, from the way he limped around. The second, much larger blast, didn’t have as much practical effect. No damage to the leg mechanics itself, but it did turn several tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor into molten slag on the Wolverine’s leg. Hopefully it would make a difference.
The Rogue’s tanks and Crofts mechs closed in. The Spider, all but crippled, wasn’t able to avoid fire, or move into weapons range. It attempted a limping retreat into the cover of the dropship, but Steiner manage to nail it’s bad leg with that rifle. The heavy calibre round was the straw that broke the camel’s back… or the Spider’s leg, as the case may be. It crashed into the shallow water, and the pilot crawled out to attempt to escape.
The Wolverine, now without his partner, didn’t back down. He managed to get a shot off at Jayve, knocking one of it’s wheels off, halting it in it’s tracks. At the same time, Flaxx fired away at with the turret mounted laser, scoring a few hits on the Wolverine, turning metal red and peeling away layers of armor. Richter launched salvos with Sheila’s autocannon, but I’m not sure if any of them hit.
With the tanks harrassing his mech, the Wolverine’s pilot was probably too distracted to notice how fast Croft’s mechs has closed on him. As soon as they were in range, they all unloaded on him, hitting him with everything they had. The Wolverine’s armor held up well, but Croft’s PPC hit it in the bad leg, exposing the internal structure.
Steiner put a round into the Spider’s pilot as he tried to get to the safety of the dropship. Better safe than sorry, I guess. Around the same time, Croft’s men put another salvo into the Wolverine, finally melting enough of it’s damaged leg to put it into the surf, and ending the battle. All that remained were lightly armed techs.
Aside from a couple of broken legs, Ito’s mechs are likely salvageable. The Blackjack is damaged, no idea how bad yet. The Locust and the Wasp are in good repair. The Dropship’s weapons and engines will need fixing before it can fight or fly. We’ve got a lot of work for the techs to do… and Ito’s men might be coming back to grab the last of the mechs and supplies soon. Hopefully, when they arrive, we’ll be ready…
<< Entry 02 | Entry 04 >>