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Battletech CYOA – Ghostrider Revenants

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Battletech CYOA – Ghostrider Revenants

Based in the Fitzgerald’s CYOA but with some changes.

Hardware selected using Sarna.net and TRO 3028 (yes, I know is not cannon)
This universe also include the locations and actions / history of the HBS game Battletech – Restoration.
Initial locations changed because I get ones already displayed by other CYOA’s.

Awaking with a tremendous headache – is this another infarct? - the look in the mirror is a nightmare – that’s not me!!!
Then the new memories – memories of another life – arrive. I’m a 20 year old male (thank god no sex changed) living in New Vandenberg, recently expelled from the Taurian Defense Forces because a scandal with the daughter of the major, presently unemployed, orphan. And then the fxxxg phone start ringing.

- Yes?
- Mister Jean-Luc? This is deVilliers from the Law Office of deVilliers, Macron and Giraud.
-Yes, it’s me. Great – lawyers in the morning, perfect.
- We are the executors of the will and state of the late Ron Jeremy, from the Jeremy’s Consortium.
-
The Magnate?
-Yes, sir. Because you are included in is will, we hope you visit our office to discuss maters in more detail.

The provided address is in the same city, so after breakfast and changing I go to the location.

Great – now I'm an SI in one of the more crazy universes know. My youngest one knows the date is January 1, 3015. If I'm not wrong I'm in one of the CYOA that are the latest fade in BT fiction – if I get a military unit and a lot of cash I know the type I'm in. Otherwise, I'm screwed – in both universes. Pity my extensive collection of sourcebooks and novels don’t come with me – memory is not so good after all.

The offices of V, M & G compromise an entire building in the richest area of New Vandenberg Capital. Soon I said my name at the reception I'm directed to the personal office of one of the senior partners, in this case deVilliers.
After the initial pleasantries, and a quick DNA test to confirm I'm really me, I'm informed that my late father have an affair with my mother in the past, but because is already married at the time, it doesn’t evolve. Only years later we know of my existence, and my late mother informed him that she doesn’t want nothing with is fortune. After she dies, we can do what we pleases.
A very successful investor, with participation's in all the big Concordat business, is hobby – that very few knew – is searching and restore old 1SW and 2SW military hardware all around the human sphere (not only the Inner Sphere).

My old self is right, my inheritance is the product of that hobby – plus a big amount of cash. But exist problems.
The lawyers informed me that in a matter of weeks, four months at max, the Concordat Government is going to know about it and they are most certainly confiscating it.
The people that worked for my later father on this ‘hobby’ is thankfully available (Vandenberg Research Unlimited), and they include technicians, researchers and a small group of ex-military for security during operations.

After signing a lot of papers to take control of the assets, the money – 280 million in C-Bills in a Comstar bank account – accessible any place in the human universe and buying VRU, I departed the layers office to start my new life.

First stop – VRU, and then the place the hardware is hidden.​
The VRU team is a pleasant surprise – The big group are technicians that normally repair / refit the various finds and also maintain the equipment of the company. Then you get the research team, the ones that follow the clues and get the directions to said finds. In last, a mixed arms force of experienced ex-military, commanded by former TDF Major Rufus Gauchet. They also include enough personnel to crew one jumpship and one dropship

After the death of Ron Jeremy, they are suddenly without a job and very agreeable to accept the younger parent of they former boss as a new master – provided that he pay then well.

Equipment used by VRU teams.:

A Merchant jumpship and one Triumph class dropship, both in perfect condition.

2 heavy VLC-5N Vulcan ASF
4 medium TLS-1B Talos mech’s
6 Tracked APC + 1 Mech Recovery Vehicle
6 VTOL Karnov + 4 Planetlifter
4 Skulker wheeled scout tank

The jumpship and dropship are both part of the inheritance, the rest not so, but with Jean-Luc buying the company they are all theirs.

The problem is – with the Taurian government soon moving to confiscate the inheritance (and probably also the goodies of VRU), they need to move fast to outside Taurian territory. But, while the old me don’t have any problem going to Fed Suns territory, the new me and many of the new employees take exception of that. So, tentatively, Galatea is selected for first destiny, and later deciding about future.
The good services of V, M&G and the contacts of Major Gauchet provide access to enough space jocks to crew the other jumpship, and access to enough parts to do all the fast repairs to put it operational before the deadline.

TO&E - * already reported
Jumpships
1 Merchant *
1 Invader – need some small repairs (estimated 4 million)

Dropships
1 Excalibur
1 Mule
1 Vengeance
1 Triumph *

With the exception of the Triumph, the others need several repairs – estimated 36 million

Mechs

Assault
1 NSR-10C Nightstar
1 AWS-8T Awesome
1 STK-3F Stalker
1 THG-10E Thug

Heavy
4 MAD-3R Marauder
2 WMR-6R Warhammer
3 ARC-2R Archer
3QKD-4G Quickdraw

Medium
6 WVR-6R Wolverine
1 KTO-18 Kintaro
3 GRF-1N Griffin
2 PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk
4 TLS-1B Talos *

Light
2 FS9-H Firestarter
4 UM-R60 UrbanMech
2 JVN-10N Javelin
4 STG-3R Stinger

Total – 44 mechs – a reinforced mech battalion

Aerospace fighters (ASF)

Heavy
2 VLC-5N Vulcan *

Medium
2 HCT 213 Hellcat
2 HCT-213D Hellcat

Light
6 SB-27 Sabre
6 SPR-H5 Sparrowhawk
4 F-10 Cheetah

Total – 22 ASF

AFV

Assault
4 Schrek
4 Ontos
6 Partisan
6 Demolisher

Heavy
8 LRM Carrier
8 SRM Carrier
12 Manticore

Medium
12 Goblin
12 Bulldog

Light
8 Galleon
4 Skulker wheeled scout tank*

Motor Pool

3 Wheeled APC (Heavy)
3 Hoover Heavy APC
4 tracked Heavy APC
1 battalion Jump Infantry gear with SRM manpacks (10 platoons)
1 Field HQ
1 MASH truck
1 Mech Recovery Vehicle
12 engineering Vehicles
40 trucks (10 tons)
6 Tracked APC *
1 Mech Recovery Vehicle *
6 VTOL Karnov *
4 Planetlifter *
6 Towed Long Tom
12 Towed Sniper
10 J-27 Ordnance Transport
6 135-K Coolant Truck


Everything in good condition with decent number of spare parts and ammo, but without people to operate then.
In other words – a small but decent force to equip a combined arms regiment with the means to travels independently.

The people in VRU are all single without family – my father selected then that way – and ready to move in a hurry.

The operation / hobby worked for years because my father is very rich / powerful and sold the bits of lostech that found to the Concordat. With in dead, the sweet deal is dead also and so they need to move in a hurry – plans already exist and the people as been prepared for that.

By the time we arrived to Galatea, I‘ m in full control of my body, the young one presence confined to a small and mostly silent part of my conscience.
Thanks to the research done, we have full sets of SL era star-maps and many data on all the active players.

Unlike many units that arrive to Galatea to rebuild, we are more interested in dispossessed mechwarriors and other type of soldiers – we have already more hardware than can use / deploy – Mule is not exactly a military dropship and much of our hardware is tightly packed on it.

I bought the most complete C* mercenary database – with all the updates and extra services – a thing that normally only Houses or big units can afford – thanks for the money, dad.

One of the things I also bought is three extra simulator pods – VRU already have one – to let my people working / training better. Expensive toys, but indispensable at this time. Also booked as much time in several available as I can.

Myself, I'm partially trained in the Talos mech, never terminated the curse because of been expelled. Right now, I'm also training in the Marauder and Nightstar ones. One good thing, VRU have all the data for program the simulators with the capabilities of our hardware.

Take a lot of effort, but I convince the rest to be open to accept contracts from Davion – if one clause to not be used against the Concordat or placed in the territory near our home nation.

Because I'm not interested in accept contracts from Liao, Kurita or Marik, that let us Davion – with limitations – Steiner and all the periphery realms except the concordat – you can’t go work for the people that want to confiscate your gear.

Been busy writing everything I remember about several ‘interesting’ places and later passing the info to the research team saying that data is part of the package my father send me.

List of places to look

Helm – Memory Core – not enough lift capability nor get the key (need an infiltration team)
New Dallas – Hegemony Core – danger radiation + C* detection system
Karbala – Nighthawks (Kurita until late 3028) very little data
Artru – castle Nautilus / SLDF mechs / SLDF Royal Mechs – danger – automated drones / Locura
Ruins of Gabriel / Odessa – danger C*
Camelot Command / Dark Nebula – danger Automated defense drones
Kwangjong-ni – underwater automated mech factory – hidden in Lost Sea (Steiner)

While contracting infantry and mechanized personnel is relatively easy, mech jocks and fighter pilots are another story – too many have stories that don’t check, are not good enough or have too much ego to be admitted in a brand new unit. Support personnel outside of qualified technicians is also easy – techs, are very expensive, few and also too many are caught lying about they qualifications. My team pass a lot of time checking and re-checking qualifications / stories and many times detecting lies or embellishments.

My idea is to continue the change the search for more lostech oriented – with a particular interest in above cited places if enough data / means are provided / obtained, and at same time using the mercenary unit that we are busy creating right now to provide the necessary funds to operate.

Unlike many CYOA’s / SI’s we don’t have access to royal players, so we can’t get external help nor influence the story (for now).
The initial group have 5 mech pilots (me and 4 others that operate the VRU Talos) and 2 ASF pilots.
We contracted twelve more mech jocks and ten fighter pilots.
With some difficulty, we also contract enough personnel to operate all of our dropships.
With that, The Ghostrider’s Revenants are born – name that I used in the HBS game and ‘imported’ to this new life.
After that, start looking for contracts that satisfy our needs.

The Ghostrider’s Revenants military forces are by late 3015 composed by

1 Jumpship – Invader
3 dropships – 1 Excalibur, 1 Triumph and 1 Vengeance
17 mechs
12 ASF
1 infantry battalion
2 mechanized battalions

The Merchant jumpship and the Mule dropship transporting the rest of our hardware and personnel are not available for military operations.

Addendum
The jumpships received new names (older ones not provided)
Invader – Ghost of Victory
Merchant – Phantom of Battle

17 mechs
Heavy

2 Marauders – Jean-Luc use one – call-sign Ghostrider
2 Archers

Medium
4 Wolverine
2 Phoenix Hawk

Light
1 Firestarter
2 Javelin
4 Stinger

12 ASF

Heavy
2 Vulcan

Medium
4 Hellcat

Light
6 Sabre

Because they are brand new, without references, no-one propose interesting contracts. At best they receive some for garrison duty or piracy protection (almost the same). And the pay is nothing to talk about.

Because the proposal from House Centrella places then in New Abilene, a world relatively near Artru, they accept it. Because of the region, they also included the clause to not be used aggressively against the Concordat. If a Concordat raid hit the planet they defend it.

The Triumph dropship have been modified long ago. The primary dropship of the go away team of the VRU, as been equipped with high resolution cameras and ground penetrating radar. These are instrumental for they to find they objectives from orbit.

Note..: The Triumph have been heavily modified while still under my father control, and apart the modern military grade search sensor suit, and can carry 2 ASF, 4 mechs and up to 12 vehicles.

By mid 3016, while the rest of the Revenants are busy in Abilene, the Triumph and the research team are occupied mapping / looking in detail at the possible locations for the elusive Nautilus Castle. At this time not loaded with mechs or ASF’s, just the research people and their ‘toys’.

The reason for not using / deploying the assault mechs by this time is because they don’t have any mechwarrior trained / experienced using then. So, for a while, they are using Heavies, mediums and lights. The best mechwarriors – if they want – are going to start training in the assaults, and with luck, in the next expansion they can get some assault jocks.

In September, 7 an unscheduled jumpship appear at a pirate jump point, barely 8 hours from the planet. Moments later, three dropships detach – 1 Leopard-CV and two old Jumbo.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
5. First Blood

In the cockpit of is Marauder, Jean-Luck wait patiently. Soon, very soon, the pirates forces be in range of is well hidden force.
Hours of movement lead to this – at the gates of the capital, the main force of the mercenaries wait in ambush, while the fast recon units have distracted and lead the pirates to the right position.

The initial plan, that included challenge the pirates in space is quickly changed when they see that they only have 5 ASF’s.
With and advantage of 12:5, they only engaged the pirates when they are in low orbit, and with 2 fighters to each enemy and 2 extra to spare, the pirates air support is quickly eliminated without loses – only 7 ASF are moderately damaged. Soon after, the Excalibur move to intercept the jumpship that don’t have enough time to recharge the K_F drive. Loaded with a company of infantry, they orders are to capture the Tramp.

Now, is approaching end-game. The enemy force is composed by 13 mechs, a mix of lights and mediums with a sole heavy – the pirate leader drives a battered Warhammer – and about two dozen vehicles of various types.

- This is Ghostrider Actual to all Ghostrider's – activate and engage. Hammer, fire at will.
Hammer – the 4 LRM carriers that are safely behind, start to fire in salvos.

Moving my mech forward, I set my target in the enemy commander. Carefully targeting is torso, I fire the PC’s in both arms. One shot went wide but the other hit the right torso and remove several layers or armor.
A wave of hot air hit me immediately, but I continue to press on the bandit. The Warhammer return fire, but only with one arm, the other I see now, is in very bad shape – in-operational? One can only ask.
The bastard hit my mech right leg, but the armor held, suddenly my mech shook, someone also hit me – a quick look to the damage display show no penetration, but reduce armor on the right side. Continuing to approach the pirate, I fire again, this time with both lasers and the AC/5. The lasers miss, but the cannon do a lot of damage on the enemy right arm.

The Warhammer is hit by a pair of PPC’s that decapitate it – the other Marauder in my unit just get a lucky shot. Looking for a new target, I see that only two enemy mechs stand and are both already engaged. And a Galleon is just in range… the poor sod. Turning on is direction, I quickly dispatch the light vehicle with a single salvo from the left arm – 1 PPC and 1 ML shot. This time, both hit.

And the fight ended – so fast?
- This is Shadow – objective secured.
Great! The jump-infantry have captured the pirate dropships, with a little help from our ASF’s that discourage then to lift-off.
A few hours later the Excalibur also report success.
Pity the salvage / capture rights are crap, this is almost a perfect operation.

Some days later…
- Colonel? We have the results of the interrogation of the crew of the pirate jumpship. And also the coordinates of they base.
- Nice. I think I can extract a Pirate Hunting contract from our canopian mistress. Where is that base located?
- In a moon called Axylus.
-
Fuck me!!!
- Sir?
-Never mind. I need to ask a new series of questions to the captured pirates, after all.

Some things are different from the HBS game after all – after a very specific interrogation, I know that Grim Sybil is not present (before her time?) and the defense forces only have 3 light mechs in bad condition and 5 vehicles.
The Argo, is in a different condition – While is engines are scrapped, the rest is (more or less) operational and the pirates using it as an advanced repair shop and depot of spares and ammo – not that they have many.
They also don’t have any more jumpships or dropships. Like the game, they have some limited anti-aircraft weapons in use, so is necessary to drop away.

Note – they are pirates, not stupid.

The problem is – without the engines, and with no dedicated tug boat, is impossible to lift the Argo.
Getting the contract to finish the pirates – and one with full salvage rights – is not that difficult. The Magistracy have already get a jumpship and 3 dropships for ‘free’ after all – and soon they depart to Axylus with the Excalibur and the Mule (the Mule as dropped all cargo in the mercenary base).
Dealing with the pirates is easy – no surprises found and they have indeed little and in bad shape forces. Several slaves are also found – the woman's used as sexual toys and the men put to work in the jobs the pirates don’t care to do. All in very bad shape, moral and physically.
Unlike in the game, only after the infantry report the installations (Argo and rest of base) are secure, the technicians advance.
The conclusion of all technicians is unanimous – the Argo never going to lift-off again. Is impossible to repair the engines, and the very few tug ships in existence today – even if they can contract some – can’t move it – is too heavy, the infrastructure / skeleton is too damaged to support the effort.

Note – Sorry, no Argo in this CYOA / SI.

The technicians and an appropriate defense force stay, while the rest return to New Abilene. While the techs are busy dismantling everything useful, as soon as the returning party arrives, start to try to charter enough dropships to load the loot.
The Magestrix is too happy to rent the captured dropships (the two Jumbos) – they are still in New Abilene, after all – more money extracted from that contract.
It took two voyages, but with the three cargo dropships, the Revenants strip clean the pirate base and the Argo.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
The rest of the contract (1 year contract) runs uneventful. From the salvage of various pirate mechs, they build 1 VND-1R Vindicator, 1 COM-2D Commando, and buying one new head from New Vandenberg Mechanized Industries and 1 PPC from Sterope Defense Industries (both in the Taurian Concordat), 1 WHM-6R Warhammer (the mech of the former pirate leader).
The Magestrix also use the Revenants to ‘calm’ some local wealthy landowners that started to come into conflicts over water and grazing rights.

Because they exit the Concordat before the process to confiscate the hardware even turned more than an initial draft, they have normal / neutral relations with the Taurian government, and because of that, they can use they older contacts and are not banned to make business / order hardware with / from Taurian enterprises.

During that time, the military component is training, (Jean-Luc for example, improved a bit is piloting and a lot is shooting).
The technicians are very busy, repairing / rebuilding the military equipment and learning / using the advanced items they get from the Argo.
Mandatory training for all personnel – independent of specialty or ranking – is first-aid, unarmed combat and small-arms. Many grumble, both all obey.
As the end of the contract approaches, negotiations with the Magistracy to renew / expand the actual one start and at same time people is sent to Galatea to look for alternatives (just in case), and to contract new elements. This time is easy because the regiment (the Revenants classify as a combined arms regiment) already have a positive MRB rating.

Data Dump
In this universe the number of jumpships is about 30.000 for civilian and another 3.000 for military use (I think is the new cannon / current theory).
The full name of Jean-Luc is Jean-Luc Darlan. Is the orphan of Luise Darlan and Ron Jeremy. No know family (except the one from is father side, but because is a bastard...)
By this time Jean-Luc still have more than 200 million C-Bills in a C* bank account.
Used about 40m to repair the jumpships and dropships, and also needed to buy VRU (Vandenberg Research Unlimited).
The rest are several diverse expenses in contracting personnel, creating the regiment, etc.
While many in the regiment think is a bit strange having a 21 old as the Colonel, because the checks are paid, the first year of work presented good results and the support is very good, they don’t care about that anymore.
The normal uniform of the regiment is something like this https://easterncostume.com/files/NAMUSA002/fullsize/4.jpg (another expense, but a small one).

Because they don’t have yet found Nautilus (searching an entire planet is not easy or fast) – and with the Argo mission, the probability of it be real turned much more serious – they are interested in continuing work for the Magistracy – don’t be vocal about that, negotiations are a thing after all.

Negotiations with Canopus are tricky – in the end, they accord in another 1 year garrison / anti-piracy contract with better salvage but including guarding several factories in other worlds – that force several sub-units to be placed in other planets (with rotation) and ‘gaining’ a liaison officer.
They also get land rights on the base they are building / expanding, better prices and access to the Magistracy market / facilities and possibility of extra piracy hunt sub-contracts. They can also recruit in the Magistracy.

Note – the small defense groups are about a lance of light mechs + some tanks and/or infantry, during some tension moments (for example, providing extra security for MMM installations).
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
From Galatea, arrives 6 new mechwarriors, 2 new ASF pilots and several technicians, infantry and mechanized recruits. One of the mechwarriors come with is mech, a battered PNT-9R Panther – Chu-i Amanda Liu, formerly of the DCMS.
The canopian liaison is a very beautiful woman – Captain Janine Silver – certified mechwarrior, but without a mech assigned.

The SI is a 55 old man that while having many of the BT novels and sourcebooks in is house, and have played almost all of the PC games, don’t have a perfect or encyclopedic memory about it. Yes, know a lot, and from time to time remembers a vital / interesting detail. But is not a past fanatic of the theme. Is also a SB regular user – in other words, a proponent of ‘more dakka’ and ‘if you don’t cheat, you don’t try enough’ way of thinking.
The date of insertion is from 9 August 2018 (OTL) to 1 January 3015 (BT Universe).
Right now, the mind of the SI is in total control – even if maintain almost all of the memories of the ‘original Jean-Luc’. Is a 55 older man in a 21 very fit (young, healthy and military life) body.

MIM provided a sub-contract to catch a pirate group operating in the border of the Magistracy. They have reduced the area of the supposed pirate base to lest than 8 systems. Said pirate group have show about a company of lights and medium mechs, but no ASF.
They are found in the six system visited.
Two jumpships, both Invader class, are parked at zenith jump point when the Ghost of Glory (the Revenants Invader) arrives, carrying the Excalibur and the Vengeance dropships. One is the one used by the pirates on they previous raids, the other is registered by a canopian transport company and not yet reported missing.
Both jumpships are quickly captured – the few pirates inside are no match for the well trained and better equipped strike team.
In the only (barely) inhabitable planet in the system, they found the pirate base and several (two Monarch, 1 Mule, 1 Union and 1 Leopard) dropships grounded.

Not pirate ASF challenge they landing, a few kilometers of said base, and soon the Revenants march in direction of the pirate base, under constant air cover.
The following battle is very one-sided. Without, air or artillery support, the few pirates that challenge the mercenaries are quickly dispatched. The bigger group have run in the jungle trying to escape.
Captain Janine have also dropped, in a borrowed Phoenix Hawk, integrating the command lance.
Between the release hostages / slaves for the surprise of everyone is one minor canopian noble, distant related to the Centrella ruling family.
Two weeks later they lift-off, letting the few pirates that escaped capture to rot in the jungle – without dropships nor jumpships they are effectively ended.

When they arrive to New Abilene, the Triumph is also there, they have finally found the elusive Castle Nautilus.
Contracting again the pair of Jumbos – this time they have to wait for then to arrive, they are operating inside the Magistracy under new management – they depart with a small mech force, but a great part of the technician one and all of the VRU tech unit. To don’t get too much attention to the already suspicious canopian liaison, Jean-Luc need to stay (not like that) and almost all of the military force also.
They depart with the Merchant and original Invader, Triumph, Union, Mule and the two rented Jumbos, left behind the Excalibur and Vengeance and the ex-pirate Invader.
Per indications, they landed near the Castle and use a comm gear (not connected to the dropship systems) equipped with the latest in decrypt / password crack technology they get they hands on – legacy from the times the VRU is controlled by Jean-Luc father.
After several hours of effort – the Castle systems are way more complex / secure than anything they have yet found – they finally get the access code, and the big doors open.

In the game, Dr. Murad is in a very time-restrained mode, and need to improvise, ‘liberating’ the Locura in the process. Now, with more time, better hardware and a team of specialists experienced in breaking codes – and with explicit orders to not ‘play’ with the files inside, it takes a lot more time but they don’t trigger the alert – no attacking drones nor release the Locura virus.

What they found inside surpass even they most crazy dreams / expectations.
About a company of SLDF Royal mechs, with plenty of spares and ammo.
Two dozen each of medium and heavy SLDF drones.
Several of the latest model of Nirasaki mainframes (the most advanced and powerful mainframes ever made during the Star League).
Dozens of memory cores- each with a capacity of three hundred exabytes. Several with many variants of the Locura virus, but most empty.
One semi-portable HPG – the 50 ton, warship variant. With spares, and user and maintenance manuals – digital ones, in two cores, duh.
A bank of four heavy duty, military grade fusion generators, that provide energy to the Castle.

Mechs found in Nautilus
2 Atlas AS7-D-HT
3 Highlander HGN 732b
2 Griffin GRF-2N
2 Spider SDR-5V – not Royal, but they appear in the HBS game images of Nautilus mechs
3 Black Knight BL-6b-KNT

Unfortunately, when they arrive with the loot at New Abilene they found there Ana Maria Centrella that come in for a ‘surprise visit’ - with the 1st Canopian Cuirassiers escorting her.
She clearly knows about the discoveries in Nautilus – or at least have a good idea of it and come to New Abilene to guarantee that the Magistracy get it.
She let it clear that they are open to pay for it and exchange some for equivalent canopian hardware, but in the end of the day, she departs with the loot / salvage– or else. In diplospeak, of course.

Saying that Jean-Luc and is people are not happy with the situation is a major understatement. But they really can’t do nothing, and in the end, is better to be the Magistracy to possibly deal with C* / ROM if / when they found it, that the Revenants.
They settle for the following.
The Revenants get the two Jumbos – full repaired / refurnished. The bill for fully repairing the ex-pirate Invader is paid by the Magistracy. They receive a company of Canopian mechs – brand new, with plenty spares and ammo. 100 million in C-Bills. And never again talk about the incident.

Mechs received
6 Marauder MAD-3R
4 Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
2 Locust LCT-1V

Of-course after the ‘Incident’ the relations between the Revenants and the Magistracy cooled substantially. The best efforts to heal the situation from Captain Janine Silver don’t present results.
From that date, the negotiation team in Galatea – that until now as been busy recruiting people – also start to look for contracts with other nations.
They received a surprise proposal from the Taurian Concordat to garrison Althea’s Choice. Is to defend against possible raids from the Federated Suns and / or pirates from the Tortuga Dominions and Pirate’s Haven.
The pay and salvage and command rights are better than the ones offered by the Magistracy.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Hilton Head, Earth

“Our reports prove that the Magistracy payed a lot of money, services and equipment for undisclosed hardware that these mercenaries found in Artru. What is strange, is that almost immediately the mercenaries start to look for other contracts.”
This values are not for some battlefield salvage. Improve efforts to discover what the canopian have and if necessary send a team to manage a ‘tragic accident’.”
“And the mercenaries?”
Send some agent to infiltrate then. Don’t take other actions for now. Whatever they found, is now in canopian hands, so no need to take action against then.”

Canopus IV, cabinet of the Magestrix
‘So, is confirmed. They are looking for outside contracts.’
Can you blame then? After all you almost point a gun to they heads to ‘obtain’ these things’.
‘No, I don’t blame then for be pissed. But I think is better to maintain a close look on these guys. They are very good at founding lostech. Maybe next time we can get it in better terms.’

Before departing to the Taurian Concordat the Revenants buy several military equipment from the Magistracy.
4 Pike
4 Pike AC/5
4 LRM Carrier
2 MASH Truck
6 Manticore MBT
They also buy several spares and extra ammo.

They arrive on Althea’s Choice in 21 November 2019, with a contract up until end of 2022.

Because they have contracted 12 new ASF pilots – several from Taurian space, others from Outworlds Alliance, they also buy from the Taurus Territorial Industries 4 new TRB-D36 Thunderbird’s pushing they total ASF force to 26, all maned.
They have also contracted enough mechwarriors to deploy two full battalions (72 mechs), having a total of 60.
For that, they need to obtain 12 new mechs, and because no mechwarrior come with is mech this time, they are forced to buy – lights, because price and facility to buy.

Mechs bought
1 FS9-H Firestarter
1 JVN-10N Javelin
3 COM-2D Commando
4 LCT-1V Locust
3 WSP-1A Wasp

Mechs – 4 Assault, 19 Heavy, 21 Medium and 28 Light.
ASF – 6 Heavy, 4 Medium, 16 Light.

For that, they need to relax a little the contracting requirements / research – something that bit they in the ass later.
To end the expansion phase, also add a company of infantry (not specialists), mostly for security, several automatic turrets of various types (like the ones see in HBS game) and a boatload of various types of sensors.
What they don’t have is the capability to military deploy that force – even to transport everything the regiment have, they need to do two voyages / lease some cargo dropships.
They can military deploy 2 companies of mechs (Excalibur and Union), and if necessary, an extra lance (Triumph). Thanks to the Vengeance, they can deploy all the ASF, and can even carry 16 more (14 in the Vengeance and 2 in the Union). They can also deploy about two thirds of they mechanized forces (Excalibur and Triumph).
In the end, the Revenants war chest stay at 170 millions, still a very comfortable number.

The new hardware and personnel arrives bit by bit during 3020 and so by mid / late 2020, they are a much bigger and capable mercenary unit. In part this expansion is caused by the humiliation inflicted by the canopian, and also to use hardware that is accumulating dust.
From early 3020 Jean-Luc start to drive the NSR-10C Nightstar assault battlemech.
The Taurian are very happy – they have paid for less than a battalion of mechs and get two with reinforced ASF and mechanized support.
They have stopped salvage operations for a while, until they have confidence in the new security measures and decide where try again.
The few things that are saved from The Incident are – copies of both HPG’s manuals, some variants of the Locura and some small, but very advanced encrypt / decrypt gear.
Only the VRU personnel (the core of the regiment) knows about this.
The long decrypt process of the ex-Argo data-core give some interesting results, including a map of all (well, except the very top secret ones) SLDF Periphery bases and outposts. Right now, they are busy cross-checking with know ones, to get a list of the ones not yet know / ‘visited’.
Meanwhile they are rebuilding / expanding the old base the Taurian government assigned to then – including building a pool. They are also busy training in combined -arms doctrine – something that many mechwarriors have difficulty to accept.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Office of the Concordat Navy Marshall, Taurus

So, what a can do for you Colonel Darlan? Dealing with mercenaries is not my area of expertise, and I only received you because of you reputation in finding ‘interesting things’.”
“Well Marshall, I have found indeed, something very interesting, but sadly, my unit don’t have the resources to deal with it. Only a nation have these, and because I'm now working for the Concordat and I'm also a Taurian, I want to share the information I found with you. What you do with this is not my business.”
Dealing with lostech findings is not the purview of the Navy. Why us?”
“Well, you see, is a SLDF Naval Base, but sadly far away from the Concordat. Not only we don’t have the lift capability, we also don’t have the resources for a voyage so long.”
An until now undiscovered SLDF Naval Base… Must be very distant indeed, I know we do a massive search after the Exodus. Where exactly and what kind of base are you talking about?”
“Epsilon Pegasus – about a year away, in each direction. Is listed as a dropship maintenance/repay facility and also included an orbital dry-dock.”
You don’t joke when you say is distant… Orbital dry-dock? That is very interesting, indeed.”
“Yes, Marshall, I tough so. The bigger problem is that Comstar Explorer Corps started to map that area of space, and probably found if in the next 5 years, by my team estimates.”
Never easy I see. OK, Colonel, give me all you data, and I see if we can mount an operation. That is too big to be decided by us alone, need the approval of the Protector.”
“I though so, but I don’t have access to the protector, the higher one I can reach is you Marshall.”

Note.: Because I can’t find any info about Althea’s Choice (Sarna.net only give us name and location, not biome or population), only info is that is already colonized in 2571, part of Taurian Concordat, and never changed hands, I take some liberties with the world.

Althea’s Choice is a predominantly agricultural world, with a mix of mines and light industries. They suffer from time to time pirate attacks from Pirates Haven and Tortuga Dominions, that most of the time take foodstuff and processed minerals / metals. Some times even young ones are taken to be slaves or worse.
Because is an unimportant Periphery world, Althea’s don’t have a HPG.
Thanks to the Revenants ex-Argo advanced automated machinery, they helped repairing and upgrading several industries – mostly foundries or petrochemical related. This gives then an extra income and a good report with the population.

In 23 February, 3021 a group of jumpships arrives via a pirate jump-point – 1 Scout and 2 Invaders.
They launch 7 dropships – 2 Union, 1 Leopard-CV, 2 Gazelle and 2 Mule. They quickly launched 10 ASF’s for CAP / escort.
The standard Revenants tactic against enemies that have less air power and use pirate jump-points, is to only engage then near the planet, destroy the enemy ASF’s fast, and send a dropship with ASF escort to try to capture some or all of OpFor jumpships while the land forces with the rest of the ASF deal with the main pirate force.

This time, works very well. The enemy landed in only one place – near the sole refinery in the planet, and by luck (luck for the defenders), one company of the Revenants is in the area already, protecting said refinery.
While they maintain the pirates busy with ASF support, reinforcements quickly arrive - 2 extra mech companies and mechanized support in the mercenary Union and Excalibur that land at short distance.
Meanwhile the Revenants Triumph is running for the jumpships, with an escort of 6 Sabre ASF.

Note.: I think that one of the dangers of using pirate jump-points is that you don’t have time to recharge the K-F in time and risk capture. And capturing enemy jumpships is one of the Revenants specialties…
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
When the pirates see both dropships land, they start to withdraw. Unfortunately for then, they have lost ASF support and they dropships are now harassed by mercenary ASF.

While the pirates have information that the planet is defended by a mercenary unit, they data on said unit (Revenants) is fatally outdated – they think they have at best 18 mechs and 12 ASF, and not 72 mechs and 26 ASF.
They also grossly underestimated the number of AFV / MBT’s the defenders have, or they never launched the raid.
And, as soon as they understand they error, they try to retreat – too late, already.
From the Excalibur comes 8 LRM carriers accompanied by 4 Shrek and escorted by 12 Manticore. They soon start to deliver tons of hurt to the pirate lances.
And just behind then, 12 Sniper arty pieces are moving in position to deal with the landed dropships.
The mech company that exit the Excalibur is composed by 4 Marauders, 2 Archers, 2 Griffins, 2 Wolverines, 1 Nightstar and 1 Thug.
The one that come from the Union is composed by 2 Marauders, 2 Warhammers, 2 Quickdraws, 2 Phoenix Hawks, 2 Locusts and 2 Javelins.
Against then, the enemy force is composed mostly of mediums and lights, with only 6 heavies, none in good condition – one of the most recurrent pirate problems. And they are already engaged with the company defending the refinery.

Defending company – 2 Marauders, 2 Phoenix Hawks, 2 Talos, 2 Commandos and 2 Stingers, 1 Locust and 1 Panther.
Of these, the 2 Stingers, 1 Locust and 1 Talos are down, and several others in very bad shape.

Lieutenant Amanda Liu don’t have a good day so far. All other mechs in her lance are down, and two don’t have ejected. Her mech only have a memory of armor, and two enemy mechs are hot in her pursuit. She have killed two enemy Wasps, but these two are not letting her go alive.
“Well, lets see if I can kill another one before reuniting with my ancestors...”
Suddenly a massive LRM salvo hit both enemy mechs and they both go down – the reinforcements arrived in the proverbial last second.

The pirate mechanized forces – that are guarding the dropships – execute a very fast re-embark and said dropships tried to run away, even after receiving orders to surrender.
One of the Gazelles, severely hit by the Snipers, don’t even launch, the other six take-off, but now, they need to run the ASF gauntlet without support.
All achieve orbit, but now, they receive information that they jumpships have been captured – they need several days to recharge the K-F driver anyway. One by one, all surrender, after promises of don’t be killed on spot.

Aftermath

The 2 Stingers and the Locust are complete write-offs, but the Talos can be repaired – if they get the parts. Some are later obtained from Vandenberg Mechanized Industries, the other produced by the ex-Argo advanced machinery.
From the pirates salvage they get (again with help of spare parts, combining several mechs to get enough to one and order some new) 6 new mechs.

‘New’ Mechs
2 VND-1R Vindicator
1 ASN-21 Assassin
1 HBK-4G Hunchback
2 JR7-D Jenner

Two mechwarriors have died, and six more are wounded.

5 ASF are lost – and they pilots are also dead.

Lost ASF
3 Sparrowhawk
2 Cheetah

The pirates mechanized forces don’t entered combat, so they are mostly intact inside both Gazelles (some take damage from the Sniper barrages, but not much). They are mostly technical’s – that the Revenants don’t are interested - several trucks and a few tanks.

Diverse vehicles
10 10 ton trucks
4 Wheeled APC (light)
3 Galleon Light Tanks

They take the two Invader’s, Unions and Mules – the Scout, Leopard CV and two Gazelles are put to sell.
The first bid is offered to the Taurian government. The value (if new) is more than 900 million C-Bills.
The Taurian noted that they are old and in not good shape and offered 350million. Jean-Luc, says that that number is too low, and for that value the Revenants stay with them. They finally accord in 430 million but paid in Bulls (Taurian House Bills, not C-Bills). For the surprise of the Taurian negotiators, Jean-Luc don’t have problems with that, saying that planned to invest it inside the Concordat anyway.

Note.: The value is 430 million C-Bills, but paid in Bulls (1 Bull = 0.12 C-Bills), that is easy for the Taurian Exchequer (not foreign currency), and because Jean-Luc want to invest it inside the Concordat, no big deal.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Using the services of V, M & G (Jean-Luc have maintained a retainer, just in case), Jean-Luc buy the base land, and shares in several industries in Althea’s Choice. Also buy shares in Sterope Defense Industries, Pinard Protectorates Limited, Taurus Territorial Industries, Vandenberg Mechanized Industries and Wingman Enterprises Limited (all of the major Taurian defense industries).

Note..: In this version of the BT Universe, Comstar pay little attention to the Periphery – at least compared with the Inner Sphere – and the Taurian Concordat and the Magistracy of Canopus are not so limited than in some variants of the universe. Yes, they are much less capable / small than any Great House, but I subscribe the idea that if they maintain a very good education, they must have also maintained a minimum of infrastructure way superior of some sourcebooks indicate – you simply can’t have one without the other. Yes, they have little military production capabilities and have also lost a lot of knowledge in that area, but they are a minimum. At same level of the IS, if they get the right data-core – can produce less, but understand the same.

By mid 3021, the Phantom of Battle (Revenants Invader) depart from Althea's carrying the Triumph – destiny unknown.

Hilton Head, Earth
“Our best info on the Magistracy say that the mercenaries only get a dozen – or more – of SLDF mechs and several spares. Is inconsistent with the value they pay for it, so I believe the number of mechs obtained is more in the battalion class.”
And our agent inside the mercenaries?
“Don’t get that info yet – they have upgraded they security surprising well after that, and only the core unit know exactly what happened, and they don’t talk about it. So far, they operation inside the Concordat is merely anti-piracy and no sign of another finding exist.”
“Continue the surveillance. We need to know what they really found and if they have more places to look.”

Somewhere in an uninhabited system
One Triumph is been ‘painted’ with black RAM coating materiel while the jumpship wait while recharging the K-F drive.

One of the problems the SI have is that (for now) wants to help the Taurian Concordat. Not only is the Concordat very distant of several ‘good salvage’ systems (Helm, New Dallas, Epsilon Pegasus, etc), the Concordat Navy don’t have the kind of shipping capability that Davion or Steiner have. That turn difficult planning a raid on Helm for example – if you want the goodies, on top of the data-core.

Another problem is that they also don’t have the industrial capability / research infrastructure to exploit the Helm and Dallas data-cores.
And the SI don’t have properly the direct access to the Protector, so is a slow thing.

After creating Darlan Investments & Industries (the company that Jean-Luc used to buy shares in several industries in the Concordat), it also start several new business in Althea's – several mines that while the resources are located long ago, nobody provided the funds to start exploiting then, a new ammo factory, a myomer production line and a small electronics industry.

For this, they use the machinery they have – again the ex-Argo equipment, that is capable of producing an amazing variety of items, if provided with the respective raw materials and blueprints – and not only all the surplus Bull’s cache of money but also about an extra 50 million of C-Bills (reducing they reserves to 120 million C-Bills).

April 3022 – Althea’s Choice – Revenants Base

Edward Calderon arrives to a meeting with Colonel Darlan
Colonel, your info on Epsilon Pegasus in on the spot. We have found and retrieve the orbital dry dock, including the computer databases and auxiliary equipment.”
“I’m glad the Concordat can benefit from that equipment. Is a shame if is found and used by other powers. I hope you maintain the finding a closed secret?”
Indeed – only the people that participated in the expedition and a few others know about it. As soon as is mounted again we are transferring the TCW Vandenberg to it.”
“While I'm glad to hear this, I don’t think the Protector send is oldest son to do a message boy job. So, what I can do for you my Lord?”
Several points in fact. While my father is very pleased and wants to reward you, also wants to know if you get any other piece of lostech location to share and offer a renew of your contract – with a suitable bonus.”
“Well, first thanks for the reward and for the offer of renew contract, second, if you want the info and the associated risk – I can deliver the users and maintenance manuals of the SLDF standard HPG station. Just remember that Comstar if know is sure to rake violent action.”
Noted, and yes I really want then very much. Anything else?”
“If the Concordat can provide a big group of jumpships and large cargo dropships and an elite infiltration unit, I have a target in mind.”
Let me guess – another SLDF base. A bigger one this time? And why the need of an infiltrator team?”
“See – we need to ‘acquire’ a special component from a Marik noble to open said cache and don’t trigger the self-destruct.”
You really get the most strange targets and information. Marik space? Not easy to send a fleet there whiteout detection.”
“Can be done with proper planning and using not inhabited systems – the premium is valuable enough I guarantee you.”
What kind of lostech are we talking about Colonel? I infer that are not only mechs.”
“No – include mechs but the principal is a SLDF memory core with exabytes on everything – from theory to how to create many lost technologies – the ultimate anti-lostech gadget if you want. But is in Marik space, in an inhabited planet and if we are detected everyone come against us – Comstar first.”
Is the second time you say Comstar come against us – what they can do other than an Interdiction?”
“Lets say that they are based on Earth – and remember they used an army to conquer it long ago. The equipment used in that operation – SLDF grade – still exist on they hands.”
Ouch.”
“Indeed.”
Well Colonel – to authorize that, I need to talk to my father – I understand that you think that nothing of this can go via HPG.”
“Remember My Lord – they read all the mails from everyone. And information is ammunition.”

Status Update
At this time – mid 3022 – both the Taurian Concordat and the Magistracy of Canopus have a functional HPG with the user and maintenance manuals and are busy researching / learning how to reproduce it. That is evidently the most secret / secure project in both nations. C* don't know about that and one don't know about the other. The Revenants know about the Canopian one and have suspicions about the Concordat one.
Canopus also has a dozen of the most powerful computers ever built and several SLDF / Royals mechs – mostly disassembled to research the components. The Concordat just gained one operational SLDF dockyard with the database associated (to repair / do maintenance on dropships, jumpships and warships they need to have the blueprints of these).
The New Dallas operation is already running and the first phase of planning the Helm raid just started.
The Revenants have been infiltrated by ROM, MIM and TMI. So far, none in the inner group.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Phantom of the Battle emerges in the New Dallas system from a non standard jump-point. That is an extra precaution to minimize the probabilities of been detected by the C* orbital surveillance system.​
Soon, the stealth-ed Triumph detaches and start the long low burn / ballistic journey to the planet.
Finally arriving to the planet, the dropship start a series of low passes over Caddo City (the former capital), using is ground penetrating radar to map all subterranean areas.
After that, teams using the best NBCR equipment that the Revenants can buy start to survey these locations one by one.
One month later the entry for the HCID bunker is found.
The few military hardware found is old – from before the Star League – and in very bad condition, but the Memory core is still in perfect condition, even if the computer systems are old – Hegemony models, not Star League.

Note..: This part is not Lore – is based (with some modifications done by the author) in a conversation in SB and the data comes from a game run long ago.

Returning to the jumpship, the Triumph made a major discovery. What first they think is a group of asteroids in an unusual orbit, in reality is a group of abandoned SLDF warships.
2 Farragut’s (SLS Armstrong & SLS Ibis), 1 Cameron (SLS Sakhalin), 2 Monsoon (SLS Edith, SLS Ida) and 1 Dreadnought (SLS Lion).
Boarding the old ships, they start a comprehensive – limited by they equipment, knowledge and resources – survey.

Survey Report
All ships don’t have atmosphere, fuel, helium and ammo. All ships have visible battle damage
In all ships many of the sensors and other equipment is missing. No fighters, no shuttles, no spares and no cargo.
Only one dropship is attached – a damaged (and empty) Colossus, attached to a frozen docking collar in the SLS Edith.
SLS Sakhalin (Cameron) – intra system drives blow
SLS Armstrong (Farragut) - some issues with its jump drive, in fact both in the engine room and C3 exist bloody big signs telling people in three different languages that the drive should only be used when no other option is available.
SLS Edith and SLS Ida (Monsoon) re-charging time more than twice the norm.

Taking careful note of the orbit, they resume the journey to the jumpship and soon exit the system.
 

Paulo Brito

Member
Author
Preparing the expedition to Helm is not easy nor fast. The Concordat is much smaller and with less resources than any Major House, and the necessity of doing it under maximum security and secrecy forces then to use a smaller force than desired and in this case they are the ships that just returned from the years long voyage to Epsilon Pegasus. Before embarking in another long journey all jumpships need a comprehensive revision / refit – that takes time. Only at end of 3022 the expedition departs to Helm.

A week later the Phantom of the Battle arrives to Althea's Choice.

Not risking reporting the data until Jean-Luc return, they make a fake report saying that they have raided an old base but only found 2 HOR-1B Hector and 4 Mardsen I MBT.

The force that is in transit to Helm is composed by the 1st Battalion of the Revenants (1 Excalibur, 2 Unions) loaded in the Ghost of Victory (Invader). The other 3 Invaders carry the Regiment cargo dropships – 3 Mule and 2 Jumbo – and 4 Mule from the Taurian Navy. Accompanying then are 6 Invader from the Taurian Navy carrying 2 Union and 16 Mule, under the overall command of Edward Calderon with Colonel Darlan as second in command.
For operational security, the Revenants have logged the voyage to be an incursion in pirate territory – and nobody reported that they paired with the Taurian Navy task-force.
During the voyage Edward and Jean-Luc have long conversations about the future of the regiment and the Concordat, what to do with the Lostech and how to improve the Concordat capabilities and relations with the neighbors. And serious discussions about Comstar and how to limit they influence.

Meanwhile in the Revenants base, techs are busy modifying the old Hectors.
Replacing the leg mounted HMG and ammo with a pair of SL and an extra HS, replacing the obsolete electronics with more modern ones and in general replacing every obsolete component with new ones.

Jack Richter – an until now generic as-tech – is caught trying to break inside the restrict area in the Triumph. In the confusion that follows, Richter, a mechanic and two guards are dead and two more guards in severe condition. On is utility belt are found several very high-tech code-breaker / data copy instruments.

Helm, 3 June 3023

After arriving at Helm, instead of having the infiltration unit waiting for then, they found a canopian pleasure circus with none other than the beautiful Major Janine Silver on the designated place.
Long time no see, Jean-Luc. Another Lostech ride, I presume?
“Where is my team, Janine?”
Relax, Colonel, they are in the capable hands of my associates. I assume that you know the location of the legendary SLDF cache?
“What you want canopian?”
The same of everyone – a part of the loot, of course.
“And what you add to the force I have, apart kidnapping my men?”
You see, my people have also take control of the Space Control and Early Warning Center. They don’t report any new jump in system if I don’t want. That way, nobody knows you are here, given us more time.
“And how many dropships you have to carry your part of the loot Janine?”
Two – My Buccaneer and one Jumbo.
At this time Jean-Luc and Edward exchange an amused look.”
What?
“OK, Janine, you get a deal – you can carry your party, provided you help us – and btw, I think is better that the Magestrix initiate talks with the Protector about shared research – including access of these nice computers you get last time.”
Deal. Provided that the Magestrix agree.”
“So, lets proceed then.”

Note..: ITTL / BT AU FWL don’t have any defending forces in Helm except the small, badly equipped local militia. Also, Emilio Rachan has not yet started is mission to destroy the core.

As soon as they entered the cache Janine fully understand why the Taurian looked amused when she say that have two dropships – the facility is HUGE! While they are more interested looking in a computer terminal, the canopian start looking around and soon found room after room fully loaded with war material of various types.

Navigating the computer database, they finally found the inventory. Sending that file to the noteputers of the officers in charge they start to select what to load in the dropships – even a cursory looking shows that they can only take a small part of the hardware. The most capable computer technicians are meanwhile busy making several copies of the memory core.

To the dismay of Jean-Luc, not even a single Royal class mech/ASF is present, all the hardware is ‘standard’ SLDF, with many civilian industrial / engineer mechs added. On the plus side, many advanced parts – like DHS, ERPPC, Pulse Lasers, Gauss Guns or TAG systems, for example – exist in great quantity. Including two complete, even if disassembled, mech repair / assemble units.

The Taurian and canopian are more interested in fully assembled mechs / ASF and are busy loading then. The Revenants under Jean-Luc orders, while also picking some selected mechs and ASF’s are more interested in loading crates of advanced weapons / spares (you can carry many more in dropships – more efficient use of space).

They are also busy taking several guidance systems for Artemis IV, Streak SRM and Arrow IV – need to remove the explosives first, because explosives with hundred of years even well conditioned and from SL quality is a risky choice at best. Of particular interest are hundreds of SL Cooling Suits for mechwarriors and fighter pilots.

In the end, the Revenants loaded enough mechs for a third battalion, ASF to complete the Vengeance and Unions capability and the rest is components, spares, at least one of each civilian models that they can’t get these days, and two tank / vehicle battalions (the Excalibur come with that component / bays empty), Alacorn VI, Marksman, Chaparral, Advanced Mobile HQ, all they can carry are loaded. ASF, they load Stuka’s and Spad’s. Mechs they loaded LongBow, Flashman, Mercury, Black Knight, Highlander, Cyclops and Night Hawk.

The canopian never asked / know about the memory core, so they don’t get any copy – they are very busy loading they dropships to the top with they selected loot and never catch that part.

In total more than 300 mechs and ASF and about 100 vehicles are loaded with the rest composed by parts parts, spares, components, etc. All dropships are loaded to the max, and they loaded less than a quarter of the cache. No advanced super-computers are found – as expected is a military depot, not a research base.

While is very hard, is decided by all parts that because the distance / time required, they can’t risk to let is stay for others to find and they activated the self destruct mechanism with a delay to execute after the last dropship exit orbit.

Inside the Excalibur is not only one copy of the memory core but also the complete computer system – that alone take a lot of time and effort to extract without trigger said self-destruct mechanism.

Revenants share of the Helm Cache

Mechs (40)

6 LGB-7V Longbow (A)
12 FLS-8K Flashman (H)
4 MCY-99 Mercury (L)
6 BL-6-KNT Black Knight (H)
2 HGN-732 Highlander (A)
2 CP-10-Z Cyclops (A)
8 NTK-2Q Night Hawk (L)

ASF (30)

10 STU-K5 Stuka (H)
20 SPD-502 Spad (L)

VTOL

6 Vector (transport)
4 Cobra (transport)

IFV / MBT / Vehicles (90)

60 Alacorn VI (A)
14 Marksman (Arty) – fixed variant
12 Chaparral (arty / Arrow IV)
4 Advanced Mobile HQ

Weapons

150 Gauss Rifle
100 ER PPC
100 ER Large Laser
70 Large Pulse Laser
350 Medium Pulse Laser
120 Small Pulse Laser
50 LBX-10
70 Ultra AC/5
35 AMS

Other

250 Cooling Suits
10 Beagle Active Probe
45 TAG
15 Guardian ECM
1200 DHS (all they can get they hands on)
750 tons of FF armor

Engines

75 Vlar 300
10 GM 210 XL
25 Vox 280
10 Pitban 285 XL
20 GM 270

Industrial mechs

2 Dig King
2 JAW-66B Jabberwocky
1 K-3N-KR4 Kiso
1 SC-V Scavenger

One complete, even if disassembled, mech repair / assemble unit – the other is taken by the taurians.
Also, several thousand tons of electronic components (computers, communications systems, targeting systems, diagnose boards, etc) for diverse mechs / ASF / Vehicles – mostly for ones that the Revenants already have, but other because why not (they can be sell or useful in the future). And dozens of examples of targeting systems / seekers for Arrow IV, LRM and SRM Artemis IV and SRM Streak.

And of-course several copies of the memory-core and the complete computer system.

They are very, very lucky. Because of the MIM help, nobody knows they are present on Helm, and the earthquake / return of Yehudan Sea erased any mark of the dropships / operation, and is attributed to natural disaster.

Meanwhile the years of only reporting routine mercenary operations and / or small obsolete findings followed by the death of they operator lead ROM to terminate the supervision of the Revenants – by this time they need all the available resource in the IS because of the newly alliance of the Davion and Steiner and the creation of the Concord of Kapteyn to counter-balance it.

In the long voyage home, and after processing what the Concordat now have taking possession, a new series of long talks between Edward Calderon and Jean-Luc Darlan occurs.

Discussing everything from the nature of future alliance with the Magistracy to also include the Reach and even probably in a minor part the Outworlds Alliance, to ease the posture and even start commercial relations with the Davions, to what prioritize to help developing the Concordat industry. And the absolutely need to maintain Comstar out of loop.

Jean-Luc even proposed the name Taurian Institute of Technology and Science for the new organization to research the contents of the cache, but, after working the initials, Edward dissolved in laughter and say that is not brave enough to propose that to his father, maybe the Colonel want to try?

Arriving to Taurus, is rapidly apparent that Protector Thomas Calderon is a lost cause. While very happy with the findings of the Revenants – SLDF dockyard, HPG (with manuals), Memory Core and hundreds of SLDF mechs (and ASF and vehicles), is posture is still the same paranoid fear against the Federated Suns and don’t change a bit from that direction.
On the plus side, is well bent in rewarding Jean-Luc and not let any possibility for the Revenants to go seek employment in another House. They get offered very good conditions – including a Baron title to Jean-Luc Darlan and the Althea’s Choice system to manage / control. Also a very big sum (700 billion C-Bills but in Bulls) to help with that.
The good side of Thomas paranoid is that is very easy to convince him implementing very high security protocols / measures in the use of the dockyard (placed in a remote and uninhabited system) and the new organization put in charge of researching the data in the memory core (TEI – Taurian Eureka Institute).

Note..: In the Taurian Concordat, the title and the system are different gifts – a noble don’t get a world / system to ‘play’.

After leaving the capital – and for now on, in political terms, considered firmly in the heir-apparent (Edward Calderon) side – Jean-Luc Darlan returns to Althea’s, as the local ruler. Where the team that as gone to New Dallas is waiting with another memory-core and surprising news about some warships.

Note..: OTL Edward Calderon already controlled 5 systems in 3027 – so, in 3022 ITTL is also doing some government stuff. Is just good luck that it was him that went to deal with this mysterious and very successful young colonel.

I don't find any governor for Althea's Choice (ever), so i presume is one of these (many) planets / systems under central government control. For Thomas that guarantee that one of the frontier systems is guarded / protected by a very strong force - by now, the Revenants have 3 mech battalions (one pure SLDF) and plenty of armor, infantry and ASF support. They 'just' need to speed up the contract personnel again - this time is better is done inside the Concordat.
This way Jean-Luc have a 'free' hand improving the industries in Althea's - is already in very good relations with a lot of big Taurian industrial corporations. And also have - finally - some political support (in the figure of the heir apparent).
 

Paulo Brito

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Arriving at Althea's with the expeditionary force and loot, Jean-Luc, while not surprised by the news that the Hegemony core is found, is taken by surprise by the news about the group of warships – in a state that turn possible taken then to the Concordat – because don’t have any hint about these. The news about the failed attempt are also disturbing. Plans to upgrade / refit all the forces with the components obtained are made, while some of the most capable / trusted elements are tested to change for new mechs / ASF / vehicles. By that time, the Advanced mech repair / assemble unit is mounted and put to good use. Is good to see that during the time Jean-Luc is out, they have improved substantially the base including ferrocrete pads for all the regiment dropships and severe underground, secure bunkers.

One thing that Jean-Luc want is to upgrade is Nightstar to the fully 9J version – and thanks to the new assemble unit and all components obtained, that is now possible – including exchanging the engine.
With the new control over the planet ruling body – and the funds provided – several expansions in key industries (many producing electronic components) are planned.
One thing that the Hegemony core have, is full blueprints of the advanced weapons – like the seeker / guidance systems in the Arrow IV, Artemis IV and Streak missiles. Unfortunately, Althea’s – or the Concordat – don’t have (yet) advanced enough factories capable of producing them.
The Hegemony core, unlike the Helm one, is mostly a repository of blueprints – from mechs, to weapons, to warships and even in some cases, complete automated military factories. What don’t have is generic (or specific) science data, nor much useful from a civilian way.
And is now, again, time to return to Taurus and inform the Admiralty of the new toys that they can get if interested…



 

Paulo Brito

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The new visit of Jean-Luc to the Admiralty almost caused a syncope to the Marshall when we take knowledge of several (big) warships that the visitor provided coordinates and a detailed report of condition.​
Moving the appointment – after a series of hurried calls – to the Protector palace and including the Protector, the heir-apparent and others high officials, to the quiet displeasure of Jean-Luc that don’t like so many people – possibilities of leaks – in the know, is decided that an expedition is going to be prepared to try to obtain said ships. Is not easy – for one, is necessary to include several Aqueduct's to transport the necessary fuel and helium, custom build the solar sails for the warships – they are different from any in stock / production in the Concordat, and gather a team of specialists, lots of spares (helium seals for example) and jumpships – all in the utmost secret. Thankfully, thanks to the Hegemony core, Jean-Luc can provide the specs of said solar sails. And stress that at least two of the ships – one Farragut and the Cameron – Farragut have the K-F drive reported in bad shape and Cameron severe damage in the keel- are in ‘iffy’ condition and probably don’t survive the voyage. The fee asked and the Protector easily agreed is that the Revenants take possession of (after repaired) the Colossus dropship.​
A series of other reunions with the leaders of various big industrial groups about providing then with blueprints – for example, the complete series of GM (35 standard and 20 XL) and VOX (13 standard and 7 XL) fusion engines blueprints to Vandenberg Mechanized Industries – with the counterpart that said industries not only give the best preferential client conditions to the Revenants, but also start satellite factories in Althea's.​
Because Althea’s is going to receive several new industries, is decided that Pirates Haven need to be deal once and for all. With the help of very detailed Naval charts, provided by the Admiralty, a raid by the Revenants second battalion is organized, including the regiments Vengeance to provide ASF support.​
One of the problems with Thomas Calderon is that because is paranoia with the Davions, don't deal with the pirate problem - and that is one of the causes of many people / enterprises don't like him in the Concordat.
Because Jean-Luc want to attract said enterprises to Althea's - a planet in the frontier and near Pirates Heaven - the Revenants need to deal with the pirates for the companies to agree to place subsidiaries in Althea's.
In the past the pirates location is part of Taurian territory, so the Navy still have some old charts detailed of the area - ones that go help the Revenants jumpships navigate in that dangerous region.
They send two Invaders - 1 Excalibur, 2 Unions, 1 Vengeance , 1 Triumph and 1 Jumbo. 1 mech battalion, considerable mechanized, ASF, arty and infantry support.
Meanwhile, Jean-Luc is busy contracting personnel to use the equipment obtained in Helm - this time only recruiting inside the Concordat and people vetted by the TMI.


 
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Paulo Brito

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Badlands, Pirate’s Haven Cluster, February 5, 3024​
James Kaiten is on the run, with barely a company of heavily damaged lights and medium mechs, after a week of running battles against the Concordat mercenaries that have landed on the planet.​
The cursed mercs have too much advanced hardware and after quickly dispatching is few ASF’s don’t stop to harass is forces and rain artillery on is forces.​
Right now, with a force of heavies behind him and some tanks on the front, we decided to run the tanks gauntlet and made a dash to the well hidden dropship in a last tentative to escape. Thank gods that the mercs never found the dropship nor the jumpship that is in a pirate point, only know by a very few people.​
‘Small’ problem for the pirates – said tanks are a group of 12 Alacorn VI, in the first use by the Revenants – each tank select is target, and in a single salvo the pirate band is ended.​
The first run of SLDF hardware proved to be very rewarding for the Revenants – the superior range and head dissipation caught the pirates by surprise time and again, and is done in a place without witnesses.​
In the end, they get a few mechs and tanks damaged – all easily reparable at Althea's – captured many tons of salvage – including 4 mechs that maybe can be salvaged and one damaged dropship, an old and in bad shape Union. Unfortunately, the pirates jumpships have escaped with an unknown number of forces inside – at least two dropships are estimated to be docked.​
After the end of the military operations, they are busy destroying the pirates installations and freeing the slaves that they have captured over the years.​
The planet still has several thousand of inhabitants that refuse to be relocated.​


 
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Paulo Brito

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After clean-up in Badlands, they visit Klenkar and Lorkdal. No more pirates are found, but both still have small, primitive colonies. Took advantage of the visits to update the serious obsolete star charts. No further trail of the escaping pirates is found, and so they return via Taurus – reporting to the Admiralty and delivering a copy of the update charts.

Note..: This mission is paid by the Althea’s government discretionary funds – justified to attract new business, with the elimination of near pirates nest. As usual, Thomas Calderon is not focused in anything except perceived Davion menaces.

By now, thanks to DII (Darlan Investments & Industries) efforts, they have a new industrial complex that produce all kinds of exoskeletons and are near completing a small (small by mech factory size) but versatile production line of capable of producing Industrial – AgroMechs, ForestryMechs, LoggerMechs, LoaderMechs, MiningMechs and other mech variants. Not fully automated or high-tech, like the ones of Star League design, but using lower tech and much more labor intensive. All these models are powered by ICE or fuel cells, the ones that need fusion (or fission) reactors are considered too expensive / high-tech for this project.
All the components used in the exoskeletons and industrial mechs are to be ultimately produced in Althea’s – even if in the beginning many of the control boards and some of the more advanced components need to be imported from other places in the Concordat.
In early 3024, also start the secret negotiations between the Concordat and the Magistracy for a possible alliance. For now, the Outworlds Alliance and the Reach are not invited.



 

Paulo Brito

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Unlike the other findings, Jean-Luc never shared / gifted the Hegemony Core with anyone. On the contrary, used the immense list of blueprints to obtain good deals with various factions and enterprises. For example providing various designs / blueprints to several industrial groups with the counterpart they placing subsidiaries or small factories in Althea’s, or extracting better commercial conditions.

From the salvage of the pirates the Revenants tech department rebuild 1 Blackjack, 1 Panther and 2 Wasp. The rest is stored as parts / spares / weapons.
The recruitment inside the Concordat provided 23 new mechwarriors – all without personal mech (still need 28 more) – and a full battalion of infantry. Also enough mechanized troops to equip all the vehicles of the regiment. The usual problem with obtaining ASF pilots continues – the Concordat historically is weak in that department. Jean-Luc turned to the OA, and from there 12 new pilots arrive (still need 20 more), 2 with their fighters – 2 SL-17 Shilone.
By this time, they barely contract anyone from Galatea and the talks in the upper echelons of the Revenants is to close the delegation there – no decision is made yet.
They also contracted several astechs and full technicians from the Concordat Armed Forces it's recently released

For a while Jean-Luc toyed with the idea of contracting the Gray Death while they are still a small force, but in the end decided not – Grayson his too much an idealist for his tastes and probably can’t shut is mouth about the pool of lostech the Revenants have and want that to be shared with the rest of the humanity.







 
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Paulo Brito

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One of the things that have always mystified the SI is the inability of any of the Houses to rebuild or build new factories or shipyards. The answer is deep in the Hegemony data-core. The Hegemony have forced a model of super-complex, fully automated and high-tech everything on all Houses, and at same time ruthlessly made disappear any simpler design.

In the files before the Star League, thousands of blueprints of much simpler factories, and even shipyards used by all of the Houses – including the older but very functional ones used by the Concordat are present. Even the Snowdens complete blueprints are in the data-core.

But how to rebuild a space industry without ROM knowing and sabotaging?

The answer is the recently cleaned Badlands Cluster. The three systems can sustain live – if not agreeable – and with a small escort to keep the pirates away the new installations can be created away from prying eyes. Now, if Jean-Luc can convince the Protector to embark on the journey…

Note..: The Hegemony Core is probably the last surviving repository of the older, simpler blueprints – because it received the updates without human supervision, none of the considered obsolete data is purged, and many if not all of HCID bases have been nuked / destroyed during the civil war. Is not probable that the Clans have such type of database.



<< Index





 
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Paulo Brito

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Loads? Only French and English on a proficient level. I kinda read-ish Spanish and understand the cyrrilic alphabet, but that’s as far as I’ll go.
At proficient i need help in English - read i can several. Oh, a new - deceased duck, that one never see before :)
Namely - fixing my many grammatical mistakes in a Battle-tech story.
 

Paulo Brito

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Oh, the universe i know quite well - i'm one that read / play it from the 80's - the very beginning.
Old age has is perks.
 

Paulo Brito

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"Baron Darlan!" I heard my name called from behind.

Turning around in the narrow corridor, I saw Francois coming towards me at a brisk pace, trying to balance his appearance with a visible hurry. That particular display of self-awareness for his posture was still taking me aback, as it did since the very first day of the negotiations. A consummated bureaucrat like he did not really have many opportunities to wear a formal uniform outside official ceremonies and reviews, which, for now-obvious reasons, were not an event in which he would be found. Still, without showing my bemusement, I stopped and let he catch up to me.

"Yes, Francois?"
"Edward wants you to come for the next round of negotiations."
"What."
"My thoughts exactly. Doesn't matter, he's the boss and he said your insight on the political stuff has been pretty good and he wants your input just to be sure the Magistracy doesn't pull a fast one on us. On top of that, you personally know they top negotiator – Anne Marie Centrella."

Oh bloody fucking hell. That's not my job! The only thing I know about negotiations are a couple episodes of West Wing and shitty anime. And I doubt Gendo Ikari's shenanigans are anything to go by when it comes to dealing with big players. And I'll probably have to wear an actual formal attire too.

The Concordat is in a better position because is the more strong military and economic nation and on top of that have the Helm Memory Core.
The Magistracy have a much better Intelligence service (by far the best in the Periphery and one that can cross swords with ROM and win most of the time) – already knows almost everything the Concordat have – get some of the most advanced mainframes – in the last mission of the Revenants for then – an is the only other nation that also have a functional HPG – outside of Comstar.
In the end is decided that both nations need the other to have any chance against the much bigger ones in the Inner Sphere.
In exchange for a copy of the data-core the Magistracy deliver half a dozen of the super-computers and share what have learned in the HPG project. Also a military and economic alliance is put in place with shared intelligence data and common military exercises.
Information exchange about the research is to be done by jumpship or if urgent, by one-pad only messages. Jean-Luc is successful in transmitting is suspicions (not really, but can’t explain why) about Comstar.
The Magistracy also get access to the ex-SLDF dockyard.

About the Reach, the Magistracy favors the exiled Kamea Arano – less aggressive and more easy to control, but for now Thomas is firm supporting Santiago Espinosa, already in power and a small ally of the Concordat. Jean-Luc don’t have enough political coin to change the Concordat Protector opinion. In the end, send a team – the Merchant jumpship Phantom of Battle with a Union and the Vengeance to Perdition to wait and try to neutralize the inevitable (?) terrorist attack launched by House Espinosa and try to capture Victoria. For that, the Union is loaded with 12 SLDF mechs and some of the best mechwarriors the Revenants have.

Note..: The attack is supposed to occurs during 3025, by the SI / Jean-Luc memories from the HBS game.

After the negotiations, Jean-Luc embark in a tour of the Magistracy, to propose – like in the Concordat – delivering blueprints in exchange of commercial concessions / factories in Althea’s.
Like in the Concordat, the voyage is a success.

Taking advantage of the new alliance, Jean-Luc extended is recruiting efforts to the Magistracy, and that way, finally get the full complement of mechwarriors and fighter pilots. also add a second infantry battalion to the TO&E.
The more special requests from Jean-Luc – a spec-ops and a MIM teams need talks at higher level, and after some more horse trading, including a change in the contract to let the Magistracy placing requests on the service of the unit, are accepted.
To Jean-Luc no surprise, the leader of the MIM and spec-ops teams is major Janine Silver.

Even before the alliance is signed, both the MIM and the TMI are engaged in a deadly game with ROM. But, while TMI want to kill any C* agent they found – and the MIIO / DMI are still is first priority, MIM approaches the problem differently – they want to identify, isolate, and / or turn / feed false data to said agents.

In late 3024, the warships found in New Dallas finally arrived at Concordat territory. Some of then, at least – they have lost the SLS Sakhalin (Cameron) when the ship broke in two, and three jumps later the SLS Armstrong (Farragut) when he misjump and is destroyed. Thankfully, the teams have planned for these risks and all ships operated on delay jumps, with all the crew safely inside one of the Concordat jumpships. From this operation they get the following

4 warships – all battleships

1 Farragut (SLS Ibis)
2 Monsoon (SLS Edith, SLS Ida)
1 Dreadnought (SLS Lion)

Note..: The two Monsoon are part of the only 10 that received the last upgrade, and so, they both have Lithium-Fusion Batteries

1 dropship – Colossus class to be delivered to the Revenants after repaired.

All the warships need extensive repair and refit – something that the Concordat Navy can’t do right now, or only at a very slow rate.

In February 5, 3025 Victoria Espinosa launch her chemical weapons attack on Perdition. Like in the game, thousands died. The Revenants forces present don’t detect her arrival, and are out of position to stop the operation, but they caught her just before embarking in her dropship, and capture enough evidence to provide a solid case. She and the survivors of her team are delivered in chains in Taurus.

Saying that Thomas react badly to the news / evidence is a serious case of understatement. After hurried talks with the Magestrix, a combined force is send to remove House Espinosa from power and install Kamea Arano in the Reach Throne.
The forces send are

2 Unions, 1 Fortress, 2 Gazelles, 1 Leopard CV under command of Commodore Samuel Ostergaard (Taurian Guards)
1 Excalibur, 1 Vengeance, 1 Triumph, 3 Unions under command of Colonel Jean-Luc Darlan (Revenants)
3 Unions, 2 Leopards CV, 1 Triumph under command of Colonel Holly Van Dame (Magistracy Royal Guards)

They just made a small detour to take Kamea and some of her supporters – 1 Union, 1 Leopard – and the united force move to Coromodir.

Note - That is not the full Taurian Guards nor the Magistracy Royal Guards - is just a mech battalion with infantry, tanks and ASF support from each.
The Revenants put a bigger force.

Because until just before the discovery of House Espinosa treachery they are allies of the Concordat, the forces attacking Coromodir have a very good idea of the defenses. And they major weakness is the very low number of ASF in the hands of the Reach.
That, and the fact that because they need to use a substantial force dispersed by the planets that support Kamea to maintain then under the thumb of the Espinosas, only let a regiment of mechs – almost all mediums or lights – to defend the capital..
Armed with this information, the force invading have about the same number of mechs – but a much bigger percentage of heavies and some assaults, and a tremendous advantage in ASF’s and artillery.

“So, this is what the Clans feel when they invaded?” - I said quietly to myself, after killing a Griffin and in the process of doing the same to a Shadow Hawk, outside of the range of most of they weapons while the rest of my lance is doing the same. Yep, using advanced weapons in heavier mechs is murder, not battle.

Revenants 1st Battalion Command Lance (3025, after Helm / SLDF tech upgrades)

1 NSR-9J Nightstar – Colonel Jean-Luc Darlan
1 THG-10E Thug – 1st Sgt. Charlie Gordon (Jean-Luc bodyguard)
1 CP-10Z Cyclops (AC/20 replaced by Gauss rifle and DHS) – Lt. Craig Cruz (comms specialist)
1 HGN-732 Highlander – Lt. Hayden Evans

Not only the Revenants landed with heavier mechs than the defenders have, but many have been upgraded with extended ranged weapons and double heat sinks, permitting then to maintain a better rate of fire.

Moving slightly to the left, I put two Gauss shots in the poor Shadow Hawk, ending is misery. Looking around, no surviving Directorate mechs are visible.

“This is Revenants Actual to Guardian (Commodore Ostergaard) – any more targets in my area?”
Negative Colonel – by now, only the Directorate fortress is resisting.”
“That’s a job for the arty”
Wait – I just received a call from Espinosa – he surrenders!”
 

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