IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

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affiliations: Name: Mesha Seville
Callsign: ‘Viper'
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Squadron: Angel
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Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:55 pm

PY-SD-04-07 #08(RW & DSCC)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Witeran District
D’Maigio’s Lounge
November 4th 1730 am local time

Captain Ekon ‘EZ Rider’ Zane was dressed in a short sleeved white shirt and navy blue pants, Ekon waited for Major Cathryn ‘Bulls Eye’ Whitley in the hall of their hotel, a short walk away from the Lyran Embassy. Both MUCO had rented two rooms paid for by the Lyran Alliance for the night.

“Hey, you look sharp,” Cathryn said as she stepped out of the elevator.

“You, on the other hand, you look gorgeous,” Ekon one upmenshipped her.

Cathryn’s V neck black dress flowed down to her knees. A gray cardigan added a casual touch to her look. Her shoes were the essential pumps, with a rounded toe and four inch stiletto heels. She had applied very little makeup, just a light shadow of mascara and pink lip gloss. Her hair was pulled back and arranged in a tight horse’s tail. A black leather purse hung loose around her left shoulder.

“A bit of overkill, you think?” Cathryn pointed to her dress, noticing Ekon’s gaze moving up and down her body.

Ekon hesitated for a second then nodded.

Cathryn shrugged. “I thought so. Oh, well. How often do I get to wear a dress and heels in our line of work?”

“Not very often, but this is a simple business dinner.”

“If you knew how to cook, you’d know there’s nothing simple when preparing a delicious meal.”

Ekon grinned.

“I meant . . .” She waved a hand.

“I know what you meant. We’ll go and enjoy our meal. Let’s just hope nobody is planning to interrupt us like the last time we met.”

“You never know.”

Ekon swung open the doors for Cathryn. “D’Maigio’s is two blocks away and that place has more OffWorlders than locals. Still, one crazy man wearing explosives can blow everything to pieces.”

They walked out in the cool evening air toward D’Maigio’s, an Italian restaurant around the corner. The narrow alley, cordoned off to vehicle traffic, was well lit, with lamp posts at every ten steps. The sidewalk was in a decent shape and a few security guards patrolled the area, offering a visible safety presence. But a dog yelp, followed by a short burst of gunfire, reminded them of the ever present danger.

“Jim doesn’t like it when you come in packing heat,” Cathryn said, pointing to Ekon’s right thigh.

The pistol in his waist band holster was not visible, but she knew it was there. And so did Jim, the restaurant’s head of security. Three months ago, a brawl among a group of drunken Russian military contractors had ended in a ‘free for all’ shootout. The Rabid Wolves Special Ops Team had sent four Russians to the hospital, and D’Maigio’s renovation bill had been over fifty thousand dollars.

“And I don’t like it when they burn my steak.” Ekon nodded at two guards stationed in front of the Lyran Embassy. “Don’t tell me you didn’t bring yours.”

“As a matter of fact, I did.” She glanced at her purse. “But Jim doesn’t seem to mind it.”

Jim . . . the man Ekon had nicknamed ‘Rhino’, not only because of his body size, but also for his unexpected charge toward targets . . . was off duty this evening. Much to the delight of both MUCOs, Wilson, Jim’s underling, threw them a disinterested gaze when they came in. They had no reservations, but it was a slow night at D’Maigio’s. The hostess escorted them to their table, next to a window overlooking the eastern bank of a River Walk. They were the only people sitting in the dimly lit, non-smoking section of the restaurant.

While Cathryn took her time flipping through the menu, Ekon ordered his fare at D’Maigio’s: bruschetta, a 20 ounce ribeye steak, and sparkling lemon water. He tapped his fingers on the black tablecloth and fiddled with the pepper holder, a replica statuette of Lady Liberty, a tribute to D’Maigio’s origins from Terra, New York, NY. The waiter arrived with his drink as Ekon’s holo vid comm unit chirped.

“Is that Sandaker?” Cathryn asked, her eyes still glued to the menu.

Ekon did not reply. He frowned as he glanced at the screen. He pressed the answer button then barked at the phone, “This is Ekon. Who’s dead?”

Cathryn looked up, slowly shaking her head.

Ekon glanced at Cathryn. She stood up and gestured to him she was headed to the washroom.

Seven minutes later he finished up his phone call just as he saw Cathryn out of the corner of his eye. He slowly dropped his hand to his lap, tried to regain his composure, and offered her a big fake smile.

“Don’t use the washroom if you can help it,” Cathryn said while sitting down. She took one of the napkins and scrubbed her hands.

Ekon detected the faint smell of smoke on her as the bathrooms were in the smoking section.

“Do you know what you want to eat?” Ekon asked.

“Yes, I think so.”

The waiter appeared to take her order: a salad of mix greens and a four cheese ravioli alla napoletana. Cathryn stuck to sparkling lemon water like Ekon.

Cathryn shrugged and brought the water glass to her lips. Ekon glanced out the window.

“They’re taking their time with the appetizers.” He turned his head toward the door leading to the kitchen and stared in that direction for a few seconds, hoping the waiter would appear with a tray of food. He did not.

“This place may be called D’Maigio’s, but their service runs on Egyptian time.”

“Did anyone ever teach you, that Patience is a Virtue?”

“Well, I’m starving here.” Ekon rubbed his stomach with his left hand.

Cathryn grinned.

Moments later, the waiter waltzed in with a large tray of food in his hands. Ekon instinctively looked out the window, his hand jerking toward the automatic pistol in his holster.

“Why don’t you just relax.” Cathryn said. “Twice in half a day?”

“It has happened before. It may happen again,” Captain Zane retorted.

“Not here. Not now.”

The aroma of the fresh baked focaccia bread, topped with tomato, garlic, and onions and seasoned in olive oil and herbs, loosened Ekon up. He broke off a piece of the wedged shaped bread and looked at the steam rising up in the air. Devouring the piece in a swift move, he looked over at Cathryn. She was carefully sifting through her green salad, pushing to the edge of the plate every small slice of black olives.

“You know those things are good for your skin,” he said and stuffed another large piece of focaccia in his mouth.

“And you know this is not a race.”

“Hmmm, but it’s so good.”

Cathryn rolled her eyes. She lifted a small portion of shredded carrots and peas to her mouth. She closed her eyes and savored her food.

By the time Cathryn was halfway through her salad, Ekon had cleaned up not only the last crumbs of the bruschetta, but also the sour cream and roasted garlic dips.

“Man, you were hungry,” Cathryn said.

“Starving.” Ekon wiped his lips with his blue napkin.

“Okay, now that that’s taken care of, we can get down to business. Here are my thoughts on deployment of our units' forces:

“My two ‘Mech lances will stay at Rectortown to protect the Dark Sun dropship and the spaceport, and act as a mobile reaction force if needed.”

“My Danai, Tamerlane Strike Sleds, and Tufana will station themselves halfway between Rectortown and Maroo as an interdiction slash fire support unit or FIST for short.”

“My Lancer, Balac, BA squad, and Shun will be stationed at the Maroo Central Airport to assist in the ambassador's travels to the Ruling Council's Tower.”

“Your Fox Cub Mechanized Infantry Company and Falcon Flight will be stationed at the Maroo Central Airport to also assist in the ambassador's travels to the Ruling Council's Tower. I would like to shuttle the ambassador, his entourage, and the Rabid Wolves' Command Squad to Maroo from Rectortown using our combined VTOL assets. The BA squad will provide in-flight security, the Kestrels and Balac providing cover, and Queen Bee Flight providing command and surveillance.”

Cathryn held up a finger while closing her eyes and shaking her head no.

“No, What?” Ekon asked her quizzically.

“It would be more feasible if the Ambassador stayed at a Hotel Airport.”

Ekon’s brow knit up while he ran her thoughts on the matter through his frontal lobe. “You’re right. Since the contract stated the two hour travel time from Rectortown to Maroo, I had assumed the ambassador would be staying in Rectortown. Now to think upon it more, I think it would be more prudent to have him stay at a hotel near the airport; clearer fields of fire, away from civilians in the urban areas. I'll adjust the plans accordingly. We will still need at least a lance of battlemechs to provide security for the DCCC dropship.”

“For the ambassador's trips into the city from the airport, I would suggest using the Fox Cub company, shadowed by Queen Bee flight and my Balac. I can have my BA squad provide overwatch within the city itself, with the Shun attached to them for transport.”

“If I may? I have some thoughts on the Anatomy of a Motorcade, From Sweepers to Rear Guard. The mission of a motorcade is simple: Deliver the package safely and on schedule. That means avoiding everything from rush hour to dirty bombs. And, not surprisingly, there's some science to optimizing the armed caravan, whether it's a 40 vehicle convoy carting the ComStar Primus or a drug lord's four SUV private platoon dodging his Planetary DEA. Here is the feng shui of motorcade layout. We can transport the Ambassador by ground convoy with the Rabid Wolves Caravan Hovertanks. We have two available. They pack enough armor to stop a assault class 208mm AC/20 round as well as they have 'Teeth', 5 Bulldog 50 calibur machine guns, twin Short Range Missile racks, and a pair of 5cm medium lasers.”

For Sweepers we can use a pair of our armed Packrat LRPV 'Gespant i's; loaded with our two ECM equipped Nighthawk PA(L) Armor Squads, the Mk XXI & Mk XXIII. They will act as our pacesetters and guides with three directives: Keep moving, monitor suspicious activity with their Bloodhound Active Probes and jam radio frequencies with their Angel ECM Suites. Excessive? I think not. In 3096, a radio jammer saved IAC Security Chief Cray Milesine's life when it blocked a signal being transmitted to dirty bombs under a bridge. In addition I'll have their CO, Second Lieutenant Matthieu Salta, provide intel when planning the route, in which I'll instruct him to avoid railroad crossings and minimize bridges and overpasses. And he'll need total control over municipal traffic lights. As well he'll be under orders to keep the procession traveling fast.

“Second we will need to establish our Watchtower. For this high profile target, Ambassador Karl Liensdorf, our Queen Bee Flight will be tricked out with sensors and scanners to perform a moving sweep for hazardous substances and to provide us with an aerial reconnaissance of the route and surrounding area with the DSCC Balac flying point since it’s the fastest and packs the biggest punch.”

“And it goes without saying that the Package, Ambassador Liensdorf, will be placed securely in the middle of the fleet, ideally 250 meters behind the lead Packrats. Standard procedure for political leaders is two or three identical vehicles: We can play three card monte along the route to keep would be assassins guessing. For his Ride, In between the two Caravans I will have the Rabid Wolves fifth Packrat deployed, however; it is unarmed but it is armored. The Ambassador and his entourage will share the troop bay with a Squad from Husky Section with full gear. They'll be comfortable enough in the Caravans. It has an 11 ton troop bay. We'll flip a coin each day to determine which Caravan or Packrat he'll travel in so even we won't know until the last minute and this will help to prevent any leaks of intel. “

“Fourth, there is the Armored Division. Immediately behind the VIP, I propose we deploy the Rabid Wolves Lance of Turhan Urban Combat Vehicles, loaded with Close Quarters Combat teams from Fox Cub's Dingo Section with a full military load out. The firepower follows the VIP so it can move forward to surround the Caravans if needed as the Turhans have heavier armor with the orders worldwide: Shoot to kill if they become activated.”

“And for Extra Support, only if we can get them vetted in time,we'll want Ambulances, reserve SWAT teams, and staffers trailing our Turhans for support.

“Oh yeah, and we can’t forget the Media, the Trivid reporters following newsmakers can be like a high school volleyball team: usually crammed into a white van. It's gotta be ALL white with no other markings on it. After all, if something goes wrong, someone has to be on the scene to report it.”

“And Finally we have the Rear Guard. It will consist of Dobermann's third and fourth Packrat covering the back door of the motorcade to ensure no one launches a sneak attack from behind with their Bloodhounds and Angel Suites. They will be joined in this responsibility by Angry Hornet Flight's two Kestrel VTOLs also armed with Active Probes and ECM Suites. All Rabid Wolves assets are equipped with troop bays in case the Caravans should become immobilized in order to safely extract the Ambassador. The Ambassador's safety WILL take priority over all other members in his entourage. My troops have been warned, if Liensdorf so much as gets a scratch on him within the next 30 days, we don't get paid.”

“Okay, I Like it. It sounds well thought out. As for exfiltration plans, I have thought of the following:

“Way Point Alpha - Maroo Central Airport: As much personnel and equipment boards Falcon Flight, which will rendezvous with the Rabid Wolves dropship in orbit. Remaining assets will rendezvous with the Dark Sun dropship.”

“Way Point Bravo - VTOLs to Rectortown Spaceport: As much personnel board the VTOLs and rendezvous in Rectortown. Remaining personnel will board Falcon Flight and hold in altitude for further instructions, unless instructed to rendezvous with the Rabid Wolves dropship.”

“Way Point Charlie - Land Convoy to Rectortown Spaceport: In the event the ambassador's entourage and security detail is cut off from the airport, they are to take Expressway Beta to Highway 49 to the spaceport. VTOLs will provide fire support out of the city, with FIST providing support when able. One lance of fast ‘Mechs will also rendezvous with the convoy and guide it into the spaceport.”

Since my unit is mainly comprised of former law enforcement officers, they tend to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties and collateral damage. To that end, delaying munitions - smoke, fires caused by Inferno rounds, Thunder/FASCAM, and homing missiles will be deployed.”

“Okay then Captain. It sounds like we at least have got ourselves a plan. I’ll run it through the Think Tank to make sure we’ve touched upon everything, get it polished up and distributed by tomorrow. Just remember that old adage, No plan survives contact with the enemy.”


Joint Post between

Name: Ekon Zane
Callsign: ‘EZ Rider’
Rank: Captain
Military Hardware: Marshal MHL-6MC
Lance: Command
Assignment: Commanding Officer
Unit: Dark Suns Combat Corps


Last edited by Mesha on Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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Posts: 927
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:15 pm
affiliations: Name: Mesha Seville
Callsign: ‘Viper'
Rank: Captain
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Wing: AeroSpace (Command)
Flight: Angel Flight
Squadron: Angel
Assignment: IAC Naval Fleet CO
Unit: Ingersolls Armored Cavalry

Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:42 am

PY-SD-04-07 #09(DSCC)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Rabid Wolves Bivouac
Fox Cub Company Billet
Caerleon Small Craft
Dusky Eagle
Deck 04
November 5th 1130 am local time

The hatch swishing opened behind them drew their attention. Senior Petty Officer, Samra Lone, the Dusky Eagle’s Commanding Officer, stepped through the opening accompanied by Damad Sandaker, their Lyran Alliance Liaison Officer on this contract.

The liaison officer looked far too grave for Major Cathryn ‘Bulls Eye’ Whitley's comfort.

"Major Whitley," the German turned to face the mercenary commander, a concerned look on his striking features. "There's something developing in downtown Maroo. Sirens and gunshots ... a lot of them."

Samra was already in motion, crossing to the communication terminal and bringing it online. Petty Officer 4th Class, Tom Fang, the Dusky Eagle’s Sensor Officer; likewise fired up the sensor station as the Co-Pilot, MidShipmen 1st Class, Levi Rainford crossed to watch over his shoulder.

"Get Hopfer up here," Cathryn said, eliciting a nod from Samra. "Then patch us in and see what we can learn from the Militia."

"Might want Allen up here," Levi suggested. "If anyone can crack the Militia codes, it's him."

Cathryn shot him a look. Did you really just say we have a hacker in the crew in front of the Liaison officer? "Get Allen up here," Cathryn agreed, giving Levi a 'we need to talk later' glare.

Levi clearly understood he was in trouble. It was also just as clear he didn't know why.

"If they've found something, we need to be there," Damad said, joining Samra at the communication console. If he'd recognized Levi's slip up, he didn't show it.

Cathryn nodded, hands dancing over her own station behind Levi's seat. "Is Dr. Shu's team ready?"

Damad nodded. "They're getting their gear together right now," he said. "They should be ready to go in minutes."

Cathryn glanced at the Wolves on the bridge with her.

"Hopfer and Allen are heading up," Samra announced, pressing the headset to one ear. "I've got some chatter on the police bands that's not encrypted. Looks like a shootout going on."

"Levi, take over monitoring," Cathryn ordered. "Samra, get the Militia HQ on the line. Find out what they're willing to tell us."

The doors opened and Petty Office 1st Class, Allen Heerens jogged in, buttoning up his duty uniform tunic. He was the Dusky Eagle’s Communications Officer.

"Is it so hard for a guy to get a shower around here," he asked, slipping into the seat Samra vacated for him.

"Sorry, Allen," Cathryn replied. "We've got something going down and need to find out what. See what you can do."

"Aye, aye, Major." Nodding curtly, rolling up his sleeves, Allen called up some data on two secondary holographic displays. One hand danced across the keyboard, as he settled his headset on with the other. He was all business. "Let's see what we can see," he said.

Lines of code appeared across a display. Humming tunelessly, Allen began rewriting code rapidly. New sections of code appeared in green, his additions in blue. As he worked, he pulled a pack of gum from a chest pocket and popped a pair of sticks in his mouth.

"Militia is saying the police were investigating some protesters who'd been people of interest," Samra said. "Apparently they were very interesting because when the police moved in to search their apartment a firefight broke out. There are reports of local law enforcement officers down and the Police have deployed a tactical team to the area."

"Got it," Allen announced, cracking his gum loudly. "Let's watch the show."

The main screen flashed on. Slightly grainy footage showed an ongoing gunfight with muzzle flashes from the windows of a third floor apartment. A dozen men and women with battle rifles and body armor were ducked behind a five ton M3078 'Shelby' HEV Assault Vehicle.
"Looks like they're getting ready to storm the building," Damad commented, watching with interest. He frowned after a moment. "Where's this feed coming from?"

"Traffic camera," Allen replied with a grin. "You can always count on people's grisly fascination with violence. I just had to hack into the traffic center. Someone there had already turned the camera to watch the show."

"They're the distraction," Cathryn said, watching the screen. "That team is just there to draw fire."

Damad looked to the mercenary.

Cathryn did not notice as she stared at the screen with narrowed eyes.

"Distraction? For who? For what?"

Cathryn glanced to Allen. "Think you can get us a view of the roof?"

"Like you have to ask," Allen grinned and cracked his gum again. He typed and reworked more code. The image on the screen shifted and became a view of a rooftop. Aside from the slowly rotating fans of ventilation units, nothing moved on the screen.

Damad glanced to Cathryn.

"What are we looking for?"

"Hang on," Allen called, typing again. "Wrong roof."

The camera began rotating, showing the next building over. As it focused in, several men and women in tactical gear zip lined into view. Disconnecting from the zip line, they'd anchored in by way of a high powered harpoon, the squad moved to the edge of the roof and attached self adhering grapples to the rooftop.

"Well damn," Damad said, impressed. "How'd you know?"

"Because it's what I'd have done," Cathryn replied as the troopers rappelled down the building with auto relay systems. "This'll be over in seconds."

Allen switched back over to the traffic camera in time to see the Police assault team hurl flash bangs and tear gas through the windows of the apartment.

"Samra, put in a request with Captain Zane for Delta Team to be there to investigate the apartment, as soon as it's clear," Cathryn ordered with a grin. "Request that we be permitted to carry side arms and let them know we already have the address."

Tom frowned.

"That'll tell them there's a hole in their security," he pointed out.

"Yes," Cathryn agreed. "And we'll tell them how we found everything out .... once they've given Delta team an hour on site ..."

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Rabid Wolves Bivouac
Fox Cub Company Billet
Major Whitley Office
November 6th 1845 pm local time

“Me and several other protestors have been told repeatedly to stop demonstrating, or they or their loved ones would be hurt. We’ve referred them to our attorneys, but that didn’t make them stop. We’ve been ignoring them so far and even told your soldiers what’s going on. Last night, one of my boys turned up in the Mercy General Emergency Room, kicked all to hell. When he came to, he said it was the fellas who’d been telling us not to protest. I thought you outta know personally, before it gets out of hand,” Lorenzo Kyle reported.

Cathryn nodded. “Thank you, Mr Kyle. Do you know where we might find these men?”

“Yes, ma’am, they work out of a bar on the edge of the city. Eddie Chang’s Bar n Grille. What should we do for now?”

“You may keep protesting as long as you do it peacefully and are not breaking any laws. If anything happens again, we’ll arrange for security. We’ll take care of these fellows; they won’t bother you or your group again. Let the Dark Suns Combat Corps or the Rabid Wolves know if anything else like this happens, okay?”

“Yes, Major. I appreciate you looking out for us.”

“It is my job, Mr Kyle. You’ve all been staying within the bounds established by the Law. You may keep at it if you like.” With Mr Kyle dismissed, Cathryn called up Junior Lieutenant Amalie Rollin, her Apple Churchill VTOL Commander.

“Lieutenant? Would you contact Marshal Stemmins for me?”

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Rabid Wolves Bivouac
Fox Cub Company Billet
Parade Grounds
November 7th 1300 pm local time

A tap on the shoulder broke her out of her pensive mood. ‘Al’ was at her shoulder.

“Ma’am, Marshal Stemmins is here to see you, as you’d requested.”

“Oh, thank you, Lieutenant,” she nodded, and glanced to First Tech Sergeant Abraham Jaymze, who glanced back at her. She knew not to smile at him; every time she smiled at him while he repaired her Steele Dagger Battle Armored Suit, he lost the track of what he was doing. She followed Lieutenant junior grade Alonso 'Al' Mccall out across the parade grounds to the edge of the camp, where four Riot Control variant, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) M3077s had pulled up, along with a dozen armed men. Her Special Ops Troopers watched over them, their heavy weapons; ultra AC/20s and Arrow IV Field Gun Artillery, slung presentably, to remind the Marshals that they were considerably less armed than the Mercenaries were.

“Marshal Stemmins?” Cathryn called out. A man with brown, stringy hair, a poor construction of an artificial nose, and a glower on his face stepped forward.

“That would be me.”

“I’m Major Whitley of the Rabid Wolves Mercenary Battalion. It’s good to meet you,” she offered a handshake. He crossed his arms in refusal, and she put her hand into her pockets, “I’ve come to make you an offer.”

“What kind of offer does a Mercenary have for me and my men?”

“Pretty straightforward, I’m looking to subcontract security on behalf of the DSCC/RW Joint Task Force sanctioned by the MRBC. In exchange for you protecting a special group of your local populace, we’ll pay you and your men in cash, guns, and training.”

“Lady, just because you’re a mercenary doesn’t mean the rest of us are. We’ve got other people to take care of and law to bring down. We don’t have time for this. Only reason I came out here is because your DSCC brought enough ‘Mechs to take on the Militia, and I wanted to learn what you two were all about.”

“Let me put it to you this way, Marshal. This planet’s about to see some serious shit, and there’s only a handful of people capable of doing anything about it planetwide. There’s the rebel Consul, who you already have a problem with. There’s the Planetary Governor, who basically isn’t any different. Then there’s the Rim Collection, who’s left your planet to flounder and flop around on its own without any support. Finally, there’s the Free Worlds League, who hasn’t been here in a hundred years. Do you notice anyone missing from that list there, Marshal?”

He threw up his hands, “You didn’t list yourselves.”

“NO! It’s you, Marshal. You drive around the countryside, doing what you can, but at the end of the day, nothing out here matters. Nobody gives a shit about the fact there’s no cops out there. You don’t have the men, the training, or the gear to have anyone care. Now what happens when, suddenly, you do have those things?”

“What kind of phukking game are you playing here, lady?”

“I’m here to make sure that this planet is worth fighting over. Gillfillian’s Gold is sick, and nobody in power cares about that except where this place is on a map. I could take this planet in a couple of days if I wanted to. Part of a healthy government is an effective police department, which you and your Marshals could offer. I’m giving you a chance to finally have a seat at the table when it comes to your own planet, Marshal. All I need you to do is make sure some guys don’t get beaten up by Rim World Consul assholes. Are you interested?”

“I’m not going to betray Gillfillian’s Gold to its enemies.”

“What enemies? The Rim World Consul? They live here, too. You just as soon burn the planet as get rid of them. Aramis burned the planet when he left, and the Collection has let it rot. Think about this for a moment, Stemmins: If I was Gillfillian’s Gold’s enemy, why would I bother building a damn thing? I’d come in, take what I wanted, and be out of here before anyone could say ‘Shit what’s that in the sky?’”

“Then why build these fancy barracks . . .” Stemmins retorted with a sweep of his left arm indicating the Rabid Wolves Billet, “. . . if you’re not working for the Sheikh? What do mercenaries get out of running charity construction jobs?”

“We get to be the people who restore Gillfillian’s Gold. Our next employer will look at what we’ve done here, and realize that we leave planets in better condition than what we arrived to. That when they hire us, they’re getting more for their C-Bills. Plus, it builds trust with locals when they realize we’re coming.”

“You get a reputation as good guys who builds shit and train their cops?”


“Well what kind of equipment do you have for us, then?”

Cathryn gestured to ‘Al’, who arrived a moment later driving a Bulldog medium truck. Stemmins approached the bed of the Bulldog truck, cocking an eyebrow.

“How big are you on irony?” Cathryn asked, pulling off a cloth covering to reveal the bed to be full of shiny new AX-22 Imperator Assault Rifles right off the assembly line from Imperator Automatic Weaponry located in the Free Worlds League.

Stemmins grinned. “I’m very big on irony.”

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Rabid Wolves Bivouac
Fox Cub Company Billet
Major Whitley’s Personal Quarters
November 8th 0100 am local time

She awoke to the sound of her chiming communicator with an irritated grunt. Clambering out of her bunk to go pee, she answered the com. “Yes, what is it?” Cathryn rubbed her eyes, “You have until I finish my business. Go ahead.”

“Those hooligans came back to attack Mr Kyle and his protestors, just like you said,” Marshal Stemmins said without even so much as an introduction.

“Ten seconds, Marshal.”

“We’ve got them locked up, but their buddies are going to be angry. There could be an escalation if we hold them. Their bosses might take it as a slight, too, if we don’t reach out to them, but I get the feeling you . . . “

Cathryn was seated on a stainless steel toilet and released a heavy streamed into the bowl. “Excuse me, Marshal,” Cathryn said, and she turned to switch on the light, “Okay, you have another ten seconds.”

Marshal Stemmins’ eyebrows raised, and instead of continuing, he cringed at the mental picture that formed in his mind of the Major squatting to take a piss, before breaking in and saying, “Do you need a moment, Major?”

“Thank you, Marshal,” Cathryn said, finishing her business, washing her hands and returning to the com, “Sorry about that. You know how bladders can be.”

“No doubt. These punks work for the Chenkov Cartel, and they’ve got some hardware. If they’re pissed off they could do some actual damage. I need to know what to expect to bring to bear for this, and what you’re planning to do to handle them.”

“I’m going to talk to their boss directly. Make it clear that we’re dealing at his level, not their goon’s level. If any more attacks occur, arrest and hold. If it keeps happening before I’ve come to an agreement with Chenkov, we’ll talk about escalation. Do you think you and your men need anything else?”

“We could use more trucks.”

“I think I have an idea of what we can do about that. Talk to our Chief Technician, Tech Sergeant Abraham Jaymze. He may be able to help. Anything else?”

“Good luck, Major.”

“You, too, Marshal.”

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
East Side
Black Light District
Michigan Avenue
Chang’s Bar N Grille
November 9th 2300 pm local time

The radio in the bar was playing the latest hit pop song, a happy, generic tune of a young man celebrating the fact that a girl just said she would go on a date with the singer. Paired against the décor and customers of Eddie Chang’s Bar, a smoky Rim World Consul bar filled with zealots trying to impress each other with violence, boasts, and billiards, and attract someone to sleep with that night, the song was out of place to say the least. Eddie Chang and his staff were constantly busy receiving and distributing bottles of liquor and pitchers of beer and orders of exotic food.

Captain Jonas ‘Hops’ Hopfer was not a very large man, barely scratching the underside 165 cm tall. Compared to Marshal Stemmins, who broke 185 cm, he looked like a child at first glance, though the wear and tear on his face and analytical sweep as he scanned the bar; with the Marshal at his side, would tell anyone paying attention, that he was much older than his size or good looks would suggest.

Their arrival did not go unnoticed by the barflies. The pair had at least two dozen pairs of eyes on them as they strolled in, and approached the nearest zealot.

“We’re looking for Aleksandar Yarmolinsky,” Marshal Stemmins said.

The zealot shrugged and said, “Who’s asking?”

“Joint Task Force SAT Team,” said Hopfer, “We’ve got some questions for him.”

“I don’t think he’s interested in answering them.”

“He will be if he wants to see some of his buddies again,” Marshal Stemmins said, “People from this bar keep going into town and hurting law abiding demonstrators.”

“We’ve tried being polite,” Captain Hopfer said, “Now we’re going to be a bit more firm. Where the phuk is Yarmolinsky?” He slammed his fist down hard on a nearby table causing several of the zealots to jump at his sudden outburst.

“I’m Yarmolinsky,” said a man at the billiards table. He landed a shot, sinking a ball before standing to look at them, “And you two are dumb enough to walk in here, giving me someone to exchange for my friends. So thanks for that.”

“Not quite,” Hopfer said, “You’ve been told not to interfere with the Mercenary Joint Task Force operations before. Now a man is dead. This goes beyond mere assault and racketeering Mr Yarmolinsky.”

“What are you, some sort of cop?” a sneering Yarmolinsky asked.

“As a matter of fact, I am,” Hopfer answered nonchalantly.

Some of the zealots tensed up, reaching for weapons, but Yarmolinsky laughed, “Okay. Right. Here’s the thing, ‘Officer’. You don’t make the rules. I don’t even make the rules. The guy I report to? He does. So you and your friend here are going to go in the back, we’re going to cuff you up, and your bosses are going to let my friends go. Cause any shit, and we return you in pieces, understand?”

“Let me put this in another way, Mr Yarmolinsky: Dead or alive, you’re coming with me,” challenged Captain Hopfer.

Yarmolinsky chalked the end of his stick, “That sounds like causing shit.”

Captain Hopfer grinned, holding up a device with a button and a little red light, and said, “It should.”

The front of the bar exploded as four suits of Trinity Asterion Battle Armor ripped through the front of the establishment, slamming through the wooden walls with no effort, with support PPC stowed in the upright non threatening position however; brandishing anti-‘Mech grade machine guns that were trained on all the Rim World Consul Zealots, who scrambled, falling over one another, as far as they could from the sudden wreckage. Hopfer slid the device back into his pocket, and Stemmins stepped toward Yarmolinsky with a pair of handcuffs.

“Turn around,” ordered the Marshal.

“You son of a bitch! You’re dead, you know that?” Yarmolinsky ranted, spittle flying out of his mouth. “You, your family, and all your friends! They’re all dead! You just signed their death warrants!”

“In a cosmic sense, our lives are short, unnoticeable, and meaningless, so, yeah, I guess, in a way, I am, aren’t I? As are you, and everyone else. Now shut the phuk up and turn around.”

Stemmins forced Yarmolinsky over the billiards table and cuffed him, and dragged him past Master Chief Thomas Magnum, the Battle Armor squad leader, shouting his threats the entire time.

“Hey!” Eddie Chang called out, “What about my bar?”

“You can bill us,” Hopfer said, dropping a business card on the pool table and followed the Marshal out.


Name: Jonas Hopfer
Callsign: ‘Hops’
Rank: Captain
Hardware: Federated-Barrett M42B Rifle System
Company: Fox Cub Mechanized Infantry
Platoon: Demon Pup
Section: Husky
Squad: 1st
Team: Alpha
Assignment: Spec Ops CO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion
Last edited by Mesha on Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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Flight: Angel Flight
Squadron: Angel
Assignment: IAC Naval Fleet CO
Unit: Ingersolls Armored Cavalry

Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:36 pm

PY-SD-04-07 #10(RW)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Rabid Wolves Bivouac
Fox Cub Company Billet
Major Whitley’s Office
November 10th 0730 am local time

Major Cathryn ‘Bulls Eye’ Whitley refilled her coffee mug from the galley sized urn that somebody on her ad hoc staff had set up in the Rabid Wolves’ billet slash headquarters and made a mental note to find out whose idea it had been so that she could officially commend their initiative. As soon as she had the coffee cream and sugared to her taste, she withdrew again to her private office to meet her seven thirty appointment.

A message from Captain Ekon ‘EZ Rider’ Zane had come to her private number late last night . . . early this morning, really . . . asking for a meeting and an exchange of information. She’d thought at first about using her proper office, which was located on the same rarified level of Lyran Embassy as those of the other Officers, but upon reflection had decided against it.

At the Embassy, access was restricted, which meant that people’s comings and goings would be both noted and logged. The barracks at the airport base, on the other hand, had a number of different ways leading in and out. If Ekon Zane wanted to arrive discreetly by the building’s service entrance instead of coming through the front door and the main waiting room, he could do it.

Zane arrived on the minute, without fanfare, looking like a man who hadn’t had much sleep in quite a while. Cathryn welcomed him into the windowless cubbyhole that served her for a private office. The room had two chairs and a door, which was more than the rest of her task force possessed; it wasn’t much, but it would do. A small video screen in a corner showed looped footage of the riot in Maroo, which Cathryn had been studying earlier.

“You look like hell, Ekon,” she said.

“It’s not that bad,” he said. “Nobody’s shooting at me, and I actually had time for breakfast.”

“The two signs of a good day,” she agreed. “I got your message . . . woke up from a sound sleep to get it, in fact . . . so here we are. You said something about an exchange?”

“Pooling our information, really.”

“You’ve got something to share?”

If this were Duncan, Cathryn’s aid, talking, Cathryn would be bracing herself for another piece of useless information along the lines of ‘'Gillfillian's Revolutionary Front has decided to have pasta for lunch’, but she knew Ekon Zane wouldn’t personally deliver inconsequential information.

He nodded. “I do. You may have heard that the Dark Suns Combat Corps is no closer to finding Lorenzo Kyle’s missing wife and daughter than we were when they went missing almost a week ago. Poor Bastard.”

“I hadn’t heard anything official about that, no.”

“But unofficially?”

Cathryn looked forlorn. “I’ve heard about it from at least a half dozen sources. I’ll divert some resources to help you out with the search. How’s the rest of the investigation going?”

“Classified,” Zane said sternly.

Cathryn stiffened in reaction to his tone, but then relaxed as Ekon’s face lightened.

“That always sounds better than saying ‘Slowly’.” He added.

“I always tell people I’m just too busy to update them right now,” suggested Cathryn.

“I’ll have to try that one next time.”

“Anyway, the Rabid Wolves investigation has been about the same, however; it hasn’t all been fruitless. I came across some information you’ll find interesting.”

“Whaddya got?” he asked.

“I have a contact who has a man inside a St. Croix warehouse, where he stumbled upon a hidden weapons cache.”

Ekon sat bolt upright in his chair. “You’re joking. Where’s the cache, and what kind of weaponry are we looking at?”

“Pistols . . .lasers, flamers, you name it. . .shotguns, rifles, even an Galleon Light Tank and ammunition, if my informant’s description is to be believed. Here’s the where.” Cathryn passed across a slip of paper with a street address written on it in neat, regular handwriting.

Ekon took the paper and glanced at the address as Cathryn rose from her chair. “Just a minute.”

She went over to the office door and opened it. “Kirby!”

The senior non comm of her three squad mates of the Rabid Wolves Command Squad, Lone Wolf, left his desk and came forward. “Yes, ma’am?”

She thrust a holo disc at Corporal Kian 'Werewolf' Kirby. “Check and see if this warehouse is on that list I had you draw up.”

Kirby’ eyes went bright. “The ‘where would I hide things list’?”

“That’s the one. If it’s on there, give yourself a pat on the back. If it isn’t, start tweaking your criteria until that address does show up, and get me a revised list ASAP. Tentsov!”

The junior member, Private Liina 'Cooper' Tentsov, of Lone Wolf came forward and joined them. “Ma’am?”

“Get together a three person crew and check out all of Kirby’s addresses, starting with this one. Discreetly. We don’t know what’s up yet, and the last thing we want is to spook people into action before we’re ready.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Cathryn stepped back into her private office and closed the door, shutting out the noise of sudden intense activity beyond. She turned again to Ekon Zane.

“That should keep them busy for a while.” She sat back down. “I’m afraid I don’t have anything else quite as high grade as that to offer in exchange. Unless you’re interested in some dossiers on the 'People's Liberation Army' and assorted other fringe political groups?”

“They can’t hurt,” Zane said. “I don’t think that Mr Kyle’s family’s disappearance is faction related though . . . no group with any credibility has claimed credit, for one thing . . . but you never can tell. And the Maroo people certainly weren’t very fond of Kyle. Send the files over. I’m sure you’ve been anxious to spend more time in front of your data screen anyway.”

Cathryn didn’t respond. She didn’t even seem to be looking at him, and her mouth was slightly agape.


She kept staring off to his right, looking like she’d just had a minor stroke.

“Cathryn?” he said again. “What’s the matter?”

Her hand fluttered upward until it pointed at the screen in the corner of her office.

“What is that?”

“A holo vid screen. What’s the matter with you?”

“No, no,” Cathryn said, leaning forward so far that she was no longer sitting. “What’s on?”

“Oh, that. Did you hear about the riot in Maroo the other day? A few places . . . banks and the like . . . you’re watching some pieces of the action on video. I’ve been watching it too, to see if I could pick out any more possible Rim World Consul ‘Observers’.”

“Move it back. A minute ago, I saw something. Move it back.”

Ekon stared at her face. Whatever she had seen, it was more compelling to her than the weapons cache. He picked up a small remote controller, pressed a button, and the images on the screen flew backward. He watched the timer until he had reviewed nearly a minute of footage.

“There!” Cathryn exclaimed. “What was that?”


“No, dammit, he’s gone again. Go back, then play it slow.”

Ekon obeyed. He watched the screen.

The camera was posted over the entrance to Bank du Nord, looking down broad steps to the street below. The woman Marshal Stemmins had called Nadeja was little more than a tall blur in this shot, gesticulating wildly, pushing away someone who came too close. But she wasn’t what Cathryn was watching.

The doors below the camera flew open and two guards ran out. Instead of running straight down the steps, they veered wide to the left, quickly moving out of the camera’s sight. They must have run right at someone on the steps, because he had to jump quickly to the right, into the camera’s range, to avoid them. Just as quickly, he bounced back left, out of sight.

“That man!” Cathryn said, now fully standing. “Get a freeze on that man!”

Ekon fiddled with the buttons until the screen held a reasonably clear image. He zoomed in on his face as much as possible.

Duncan chose that moment to burst through her door with a fistful of notes.

“Not now!” Cathryn barked before Duncan could speak. He meekly backed out of the room.

Ekon turned back to Cathryn, who still stared at the screen. Air escaped her mouth like a leak from a tire.

“That’s Sheikh Andrei Chenkov.”

It was Ekon’s turn to drop his jaw. “That’s Andrei Chenkov?”

Cathryn finally pried her eyes off the screen. “You know who Andrei Chenkov is?”

“From what you’ve recently told me at our briefing, yes. What else have you found out about him?”

Cathryn shook her head and sat back in her chair. “Looks like our meeting isn’t over yet,” she said.

Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:41 pm

PY-SD-04-07 #11(DSCC)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Witeran District
November 12th 0730 am local time

The day of the rioting dawned gray. Major Cathryn ‘Bulls Eye’ Whitley wished she knew what her bug she had placed in the Saint Croix Office Equipment and Consumables Warehouse was picking up that the Sheikh Andrei Chenkov and his companion were saying, but she’d been forced to leave them soon after planting it. Captain Ekon ‘EZ Rider’ Zane promised he’d notify her immediately if anything relevant to her side of the investigation came up, and she returned to her makeshift headquarters.

Duncan MacAulay’s eyes lit up immediately as soon as she entered.

“Major Whitley! Where have you been? I have information on eight groups, all of whose name starts with the word ‘Rebel’, a leadership change in the Rebels of the Blood, rumors of BattleMechs approaching the Rim Collection Ruling Council Towers . . .”

She turned rapidly and was stunned to feel her knees creak beneath her. She was thirty six years old and hadn’t slept in two days . . . she felt like age was asserting itself. “Ours or theirs!?”

“Huh? Oh, Friendlies . . .”

Cathryn mentally sighed. “I have very limited time and even less patience,” she said as kindly as possible. “I only want to hear about things pertaining to the Rim World Consul. Everything else . . . and I mean everything . . . will have to wait.”

“Yes, Major.”

“Do you have anything on the Rim World Consul?”

“Yes, Major.”

“Then let’s have it First Tech Sergeant!”

“We’ve been patched into the Dark Suns Combat Corps’s battlenet by the Event Horizon’ s Captain, Valkyrie Thompson, on orders from Ekon Zane. The Dark Suns Combat Corps have engaged Infantry and armor sporting the Rim World Consul insignia. There is rioting springing up all over the city. Per Ekon, he needs those twelve sites shut down. Rules of Engagement: No Civilian Casualties. Ekon wants only equipment destroyed. I attempt to get more info on which sites and their addresses but Valkyrie indicated that you’d know what she was talking about and if you didn’t, God help us. Valkyrie also transmitted to us a set of IFF codes. She said that it was going to get sticky out here and if we like, we could relocate our base of operations to the Rectortown Spaceport and stage from the Event Horizon from under her guns.”

“Transmit back to Captain Thompson that her message was received and acknowledged. I’ll contact Lieutenant Blethyn and pass the order on to him to get the Falcon Flight airborne and moved over to the Rectortown SpacePort. Pack up the office and be onboard the Dusky Eagle in 15 minutes.”

Duncan was truly flustered. He stood there spinning in circles as he looked back to the office and then turned back around to gap at Cathryn. “Well don’t just stand there! Get a move on son!”

Watching Duncan scurry away was almost as gratifying as having sex. Almost.

Cathryn ran into the conference room, where Corporal Kian ‘Werewolf’ Kirby, her command squad executive officer, held a noteputer in one hand, a vid phone in the other, and was attempting to press a few keys on a desktop computer with his elbow.

“What do you mean there’s a warehouse you didn’t know about? How do you lose track of your own damned warehouses?” He waited for the other party to speak. “I don’t care if you own them or rent them! I don’t care if you’re stealing the space! You should keep track of where you store your goods!”

Cathryn extended her arms, palms down, trying to signal to Kirby to calm down. He noticed her gesture and his voice became a bit less intense.

While he talked, she slipped the noteputer out of his hand and reviewed his notes. Troop availability for this morning. It was sparse, but would have to do. Ninety five percent of the Rabid Wolves on world forces were staging for this morning diplomatic escort. All she had to pick from were the Quick Reaction Forces.

After a few moments, ‘Werewolf’ finished his conversation, disconnected the call and took a deep breath.

“You have no idea how glad I am to see you.”

Looking at his bloodshot eyes and fevered air, she replied “I think I have some idea. How much time do we have?”

“Just over fifteen, maybe seventeen minutes.”

“And how much time do we need?”

“Ten hours, twelve hours maybe.”

“Just the way I like it.”

Maroo Warehouse District
Maroo, Witeran District
Saint Croix Office Equipment and Consumables Warehouse #1

The time seemed to move slowly as Cathryn pushed through the weariness, but when the moment came for her to climb into the suit of Steele Dagger Battle Armor she found herself alert, tense and wishing she could have another hour to prepare. Cathryn had pulled vehicles from the DSCC Cavalry Lance and Support Lance much to the chagrin of DSCC Lieutenant junior grade, Rosamund Keli, who had pushed back on the merits of keeping the QRF in tact per Zane’s last orders. Captain Zane was currently out of contact. No doubt, communications were being jammed by Rim World Consul ECM. Cathryn politely reminded the Lieutenant that this was a ‘Joint’ contract and that she was a MRBC Major who was overriding her Captain Zane’s last order . Rank had its privileges.

She powered up the Steele Dagger’s communications links and checked in. Altogether Kirby had come up with two squads of hastily prepared Spec Ops infantry . . . sixteen troopers, not counting herself and her other Battle Armor Pilots, the remaining two of them were offline for maintenance and repair. . . the two squads of troopers, 2nd Squad and 4th Squad were mounted aboard the unarmed Packrat LRPV, loaded out with M42B Federated Barret Assault rifles, plus a single Hover Tamerlane Strike Sled and a single Danai Support Arrow IV Vehicle. Every other police and militia unit was involved with security, crowd control or the pursuit of other rioters.

Cathryn patched in to the Maroo law enforcement net . . . she could eavesdrop, but not talk . . . and flipped down a ‘police - fire - and - emergency’ map of the city on her helmet’s heads-up display. Pinpoints of light on the map showed the location of the Lyran Embassy, the Rim Collection Ruling Council Towers, and the Hotel Romanesque, where everyone who was anyone was staying.

Cathryn and her Spec Ops troopers weren’t the only people up early in Maroo this morning. The map already showed the first spots of ‘political demonstrations’. Pink lines swirled on the map, marking their locations. Back at her headquarters, Duncan was probably going out of his head, but these weren’t her concern, except possibly as obstacles to be avoided.

“Major, we’ve confirmed an arms cache on the northwest side,” came the voice of Sergeant Jonathan Ryce in Tamerlane Strike Sled Bravo. “Rim World Consul hardware.”

“Well, let’s go,” she said. The location of the cache came up on her display as a pulsing red dot. “Follow my lead.”

She set the Steele Dagger Battle Armor into motion, turning from the Battle Armor bay out into the street. The sky outside was already in full light. They made a strange procession, the two, one ton Battle Armor Suits, a Packrat, a wheeled medium Danai Tank behind them and a hover craft darting out ahead.

A hundred tons is a hundred tons, that was their combined mass and the centuries old street vibrated with each heavy footfall of the armored suit. Running Battle Armor Suits in Gillfillian’s Gold’s ancient cities was always a risky business. There was so much buried infrastructure, you never knew when some government’s generations old poor maintenance might result in the pavement caving in beneath you today. Cathryn kept the Steele Dagger Battle Armor’s steps slow, carefully gauging the path ahead, working carefully through streets designed for lighter, narrower vehicles.

Law enforcement woke up to her presence; she heard chatter on the net, then reports of her movement.

Some confusion amid the police, then a voice from higher up: “We received notification that the Rabid Wolves are running with the Dark Suns Combat Corps. Let it go. They’re doing what they do.”

“Five minutes to contact,” DSCC Sergeant Melissa O'Neil said over the command net. “Rules of Engagement?”

“Here are your rules,” Cathryn said. “Pass the word to the Spec Ops: We do not shoot at people, even if they’re shooting at us. We destroy materiel only, and that only if we know it’s Rim World Consul stuff.”

“And how will we know that?” the Sergeant asked.

“If a place is on our list, consider the stuff in it RWC by definition. Anything else . . . we’ll know it belongs to the bad guys when people start shooting at us. And I repeat, no shooting back; I want to see property damage only. Be careful not to start any fires. I don’t want today to be remembered as the day we burned down Maroo.”

“Lousy terrain for us,” piped up Sergeant Ryce, she had appointed him as the this missions XO, who was commanding the Tamerlane Strike Sled. She’d instructed his crew to suit up in spare Hostile Dobermann PA-(L) armor suits for this mission since his vehicle had the least amount of armor . . . . it would do something to protect them, from small arms fire at least, though it wouldn’t help much against the heavy stuff. “We can get ambushed from on top, from below, or on the sides and back . . . and we can’t run or hide.”

“Keep thinking cheerful thoughts,” Cathryn advised. “Foot troops, unass your ride. That’s our target ahead. Ryce and Melissa, take station on the two far corners, keep reinforcements from coming in. Team Bravo and Delta, in the doors ahead. Team Whiskey, cover’em. Team Yankee, you have the back door.”

A chorus of acknowledgements filter into her headset speakers.

“What are the chances that we have surprise?” Melissa asked.

“Depends on whether they’re deaf, blind and stupid, I suppose.”

“You mean, ‘nil.” ’

“That’s about the shape of it,” Cathryn said. “The only question is whether they expected Battle Armor Suits to join the party this early.”

“If they were listening to the police bands earlier,” Melissa said, “then they certainly expect it now.”

“So let’s not wait.” Cathryn scorched a marker on the building with her heavy infantry support laser set to low power. “Let’s go.”

Maroo, Witeran District
Saint Croix Office Equipment and Consumables Warehouse #1

“Squad, by teams, over watch advance!” barked Specialists Maureen ‘Dancer’ Lee.

In response to their squad leader’s orders, Cathryn Whitley’s Spec Ops troopers moved into action. Those on the right and the left advanced, while the ones facing the center of the building remained still, their eyes surveying the facade for movement or any sign of resistance. They saw nothing, and heard no sounds other than the normal ones of a city waking up to chaos. With a rush of booted feet over ancient streets, the flankers reached the walls and stood still, eyes scanning, weapons high.

Then it was the center’s turn to advance, rushing, waiting for the sound of gunfire. Nothing. They reached the doors.

“Screw subtle,” said the Maureen. “Stand Back.”

She moved over to the door and turned with her Steele Dagger Suit’s back up against the steel doors. Raising her armored foot she mule kicked rearward, against the door. The large doors came off their hinges, falling inward. The men of Bravo Team dashed inside, rushing into eerie quiet, followed by Team Delta and Yankee from the front corners. Team Whiskey stopped just inside the entrance and turned to cover their six.

Through it all, Cathryn Whitley watched over the action from the helmet of her Steele Dagger Battle Armor, ready to provide supporting fire if needed. So far, it hadn’t been. For a panicky moment she wondered if perhaps they’d hit the wrong warehouse. She rechecked the coordinates . . . no, this was the one.

Then Ryce in the Tamerlane Strike Sled and Melissa in the Danai reported all secure in the rear of the building. A signal from inside the warehouse, from Specialist Maureen leading the foot infantry: “Ma’am. We have a large amount of military hardware here. Pistols, rifles, vibro mines, gas masks and” . . . she dropped synch, came back a moment later . . . “rocket assisted grenades. In launch racks. Instructions?”

“Destroy it all,” Cathryn said. “Render it inoperable. Speed is important. Make it good.”

She keyed off the circuit. A moment later, the Spec Ops detachment reappeared, trotting out from between the kicked broken doors of the warehouse.

“Fire in the hole!” Specialist Maureen shouted a warning over her suit’s external speakers.

A cloud of dust rolled out of the warehouse doors; up above, a skylight blew out in a rainbow of glass fragments. The shockwave vibrated through the limbs of Cathryn’s Steele Dagger Battle Armor , and the glass in the windows of the building behind her shattered and fell to the street.

“Right,” Cathryn said. “Next on the list.” She read them the coordinates. “Mount up and move out, people.”

“Next one may not be so easy,” Melissa O’Neil commented over the command circuit. “That one wasn’t guarded and we had surprise on our side. Next one, if they aren’t awake by now, they’re dead.”

“We’ll take them. Hopefully without trashing large sections of the city.”

“I won’t if you won’t,” Melissa replied. “But I can’t give any guarantees about the Rim World Consul.”

“How long until contact?” she asked.

“Under three.”

“Hit it. Same plan.”

The Danai Arrow IV and the Tamerlane Strike Sled peeled out ahead of Cathryn’s and Maureen's skittering Battle Armor Suits, the Packrat mounted troopers of the Spec Ops Infantry Teams following at speed.

Enemy Command Center

“They did what?” Andrei Chenkov stared at the foot messenger. The man had found him at his Spartan west side apartment, finishing the last of a hasty breakfast before going to the temporary command center he had established specifically for the day’s activities.

“Destroyed our supply cache at the Grundewald warehouse,” repeated the messenger breathlessly. “And they’re . . . ”

A second foot messenger hurried in.

“Reported attack on our warehouse at Lundquist Street. A few vehicles, at least one Battle Armor Suit. Commander Dragomir believes that it’s Major Whitley’s Rabid Wolves.”

“What are the police and the militia doing about this?” Andrei demanded. He didn’t get an answer; he didn’t expect one. Not from these two. He put down his coffee and said, “I’ll be at the command center. Bring any other messages there. Here are your orders: To all cache commanders. Empty your warehouses. Distribute your arms and armor as best you can. If attacked, resist.”

The two messengers saluted awkwardly. Part of the problem with running the paramilitary wing of a rebellion, Andrei had found, was that the volunteers one got were often more “para” than military as far as their background and training were concerned. But one had to work with the materials at hand. He put the problem out of his mind for the moment and headed for Rim World Consul’s command center . . . in normal life, the back room at the data shop where Nadeja’s current lover had his day job . . . as quickly as a man could go without attracting unwanted attention.

Dragomir and Nadeja were already busy when he arrived. The shop’s owner was a sympathizer with the cause; he’d never asked Nadeja exactly what her “political group” intended to do that required the use of his back room and its data facilities. He was also a prudent man, who had departed yesterday on a visit to his daughter in Nova Scotia without making any awkward inquiries into what might be going on at the shop during his absence.

“Sheikh,” said Dragomir as Andrei entered. “We are under attack.”

“I know,” said Andrei. “What I want to know is who and where?”

“Who is Cathryn Whitley, and where is here.” Dragomir pointed to a map of the city. All of the supply caches for the coming street battles were circled in red. Two of the sites had black X ’s drawn on them in grease pencil.

“That was the first one, at 0708. Then they hit this one at 0722.”

“That would put her about” . . . Andrei traced his finger over the map, drawing a line from the second of the destroyed warehouses to its nearest untouched neighbor . . . “here. Nothing we can do for the next bunch but warn them. You have warned them, haven’t you?”

“I have,” Nadeja said. “At least so far, the police are staying well clear. We’ve been monitoring their frequencies, and they’ve been keeping themselves too busy with the protestors down at the Lyran Embassy. It looks like they’ve been told to back off and let the Dark Suns Combat Corps and the Rabid Wolves handle it.”

“Too bad it isn’t the right Officer,” said Dragomir. “We should have sent the council a memo.”

“Not funny,” Nadeja snapped.

“Calm down,” Andrei said. “These things happen. If the Mercenaries fail, the demand for someone of greater experience will be that much louder.”

He tapped the red circle on the map that marked the location of the next targeted warehouse. “Write that one off. We’ll have lost three supply caches. Not good, but we can live with it.”

Picking up the grease pencil, he circled the fourth warehouse in the line. “This is where we’ll fight it out. Everyone else, get the supplies out to the cadres. The timetable just got advanced by a few hours.”

He looked at the map again and rethought his strategy. “Hmm. With a hasty defense of that fourth site, we may well lose it as well. Change of plans . . . how do you feel about an ambush, say, here?”

He indicated a spot halfway between the fourth location and the fifth.

“I feel strongly positive about it, sir,” Dragomir said.

“I was hoping you would,” Andrei told him. “You’re going to lead it. Take what you need, and get going. If this plan is going to work, you have to defeat Whitley.”

Maroo, Witeran District
Saint Croix Office Equipment and Consumables Warehouse #3

I see people in motion up ahead,” Melissa reported to Cathryn Whitley over the command link. “They could be armed.”

“Or they could be civilians,” Cathryn replied. “Remember . . . the rules of engagement are property damage only, do not fire even if fired upon.”

“Roger, understand. No return fire,” Melissa said. “Can’t say that I like it, though.”

“We’re trying to prevent an insurrection here, not make one,” Cathryn told her.

Switching frequency she asked her Demolitions personnel, Private 1st Class Therese 'Terri' Bishop of Spec Ops Team Yankee,“Do we have enough demolition charges for all of the targets?”

“We’ll manage.”

“Right. Looks like thirty seconds to contact.”

The third warehouse of the morning . . . Ryce’s revised list of possibilities had a total of ten . . . was coming up; a turn to the right then a straight run up to the front doors. The streets were narrower in this part of town, and the heavy feet of Cathryn’s and Maureen’s Battle Armor Suits weren’t doing the pavement any good. More property damage . . . but Cathryn was sure the new Government, whosever it turned out to be, would make restitution after the coup or defense.

There were definite signs of movement around the target up ahead. Cathryn wondered exactly how much longer the “don’t shoot” policy was going to work.

She worked her legs rapidly, spinning her Battle Armor Suit around the corner. The Steele Dagger Battle Armor was a speedy machine, not a bruiser like the Kanazuchi or a hulking infighter like the Raiden, but a heavily armed sprinter designed to get in fast, strike a telling blow and get out fast. In Cathryn’s opinion, these qualities made the Steele Dagger Battle Armor an excellent model for command and control, since a properly managed battle plan shouldn’t require the commander’s own muscle in order to be effective.

The Danai Support Arrow IV Vehicle, the Tamerlane Strike Sled, and the Spec Ops squad’s Packrat were all faster than the Steele Dagger Battle Armor in the cramped confines of the city streets. Melissa and Ryce peeled out ahead, and Cathryn scored a laser marker on the front of the building to guide them. The Special Ops troopers stopped in front of the building; Melissa and Ryce, in their vehicles, sped off to take blocking positions.

“Forward by over watch!” Cathryn commanded.

The troops moved out. They were meticulous for ground infantry, disciplined and well trained. She made a mental note to look up their commander, Captain Jonas ‘Hops’ Hopfer, and see that he got properly commended when all this was done.

“Command, Tamarlane Cavalry Bravo,” Ryce said over the command circuit. “Got a problem on the east face. No way around to the rear. There’s a wall.”

“Back out, take the west side.” She checked her heads up display. No wall showed on the large scale map. It looked like Maroo Fire Police and Emergency hadn’t updated their databases recently. That was another thing to bring to somebody’s attention; later, after all of the dust had cleared.

Then the Battle Armor Suit’s exterior mics picked up the sounds of small arms fire, localized on her heads up display to the east side of the building. It wasn’t the Poland Main Model C MagShots of the Danai she was hearing, either . . . it was the heavy crump of armor piercing ordnance, shoulder launched penetrators by the sound of them.

“Ryce!” she snapped over the command circuit. “SitRep!”

“Taking fire from my flank,” her executive officer reported. “Daisy chain vibro mines behind me. I’m in a sticky place. Request permission to return fire.”

“Negative!” Cathryn said. “Permission denied. I’m on my way to your location. ‘Dancer’ its a hit! Cover me!” Then, over the Battle Armor Suit’s external speakers, to the Spec Ops troops, “Entry force, expedite.”

“Roger, understand expedite,” Specialist Maureen, in the other Battle Armor Suit, who was in charge of the two Demon Pup Infantry squads responded as she moved her Steele Dagger Suit to cover her commanding officer. A moment later, the breaching charge put a hole in the warehouse wall. Cathryn saw the Husky and Dingo troops entering through the dust on her side mount screen as she went past at a lope.

Taking advantage of the Steele Dagger Battle Armor ’s speed, she was around the corner in a moment and saw Ryce’s problem. Maureen took up a kneeling position behind a wall and began firing her heavy anti-‘Mech machine gun with the intent to deliberately miss.

The heavy but inaccurate fire coming from the Tamerlane Strike Sled’s right . . . small arms, mostly . . . wouldn’t interfere with the mission too much. What would interfere was a group of Anti-Jump ‘Active’ Mines, tied together to form a long chain.

They’d been hidden in the trash by the side of the road while the Hovercraft passed by, then triggered when someone tugged the cord and pulled the line of mines across the Tamarlane’s only available path of retreat.

Ryce could abandon his vehicle to remove the mines by pulling the rope the other way . . . but even with his PA-(L) armor, the intensity of the small arms fire combined with the shoulder mounted SRMs armed with flechette rounds fired earlier would cut him to ribbons before he’d gone half a dozen steps.

Cathryn, though, wouldn’t have the same problem. Putting her trust in her armor, she lightly depressed her actuators while pushing the right vambrace to extend the Battle Armor Suit’s long arm. The Steele Dagger Battle Armor squatted and its arm grabbed the end of the rope closest to the building. She pulled back on her vambrace, the mines came toward her and the way was clear.

“Back up,” she ordered Ryce. “Rejoin with Melissa.”

The Tamerlane Strike Sled was already accelerating in reverse. Cathryn laid down a spray of Heavy laser fire just over the heads of the insurgents who were shooting at her troops. The line of pulsing light gouged into the brick wall behind the attackers as the water in the mortar flashed to steam. Cathryn hoped that she wasn’t violating the spirit of the no-engagement rules by making the rebels keep their heads down.

“Any casualties?” she asked over the net.

“Negative,” Ryce answered. “Nothing hurt but my pride.”

“You’ll survive. Rejoin, regroup and we’re out of here.”

That was when the rebel on the roof of the warehouse behind her shot straight down with a flamer, not aiming for the carapace of the Steele Dagger Battle Armor , but for the pile of mines that now lay beside Cathryn’s feet. Against a Steele Dagger Battle Armor’s superior heat efficiency, a single flame attack couldn’t do much. Multiple heavy explosions nearby, on the other hand . . . if her Battle Armor Suit was crippled, the mission could be lost.

Cathryn hit her pedals hard, taking the Steele Dagger Battle Armor straight up, using the myomers full power. A ball of flame from exploding ordnance roared after her and propelled her even higher.

The leap brought her level with the roof of the building where the man with the flamer stood. The look on his face, she thought, was priceless. He must have thought that a thousand kilograms of angry Battle Armor Suit was about to land on top of him. He dropped the flamer and ran. Cathryn dropped back down, cushioning her fall with legs, and turned her Battle Armor Suit and sprinted out of the alley.

“Fire in the hole!” she heard as she landed, and brown dust and white smoke erupted from the warehouse as Therese Bishop’s demolition charges did their work.

“All secure, no casualties,” Melissa reported. “Got a little hot on your side of things?”

“You could say that,” Cathryn replied. “Someone in the resistance is thinking. That string of mines wasn’t meant for Ryce on the Tamerlane Strike Sled . . . it was bait for me.”

“It looks like you were a bigger fish than they expected,” Melissa said. “Next on the list?”

“Next on the list,” she confirmed.

“I’ve got the shortest route outlined on the map.”

“I don’t like that route,” Cathryn said. “They know where all the warehouses are as well as we do. Better, probably. And by now they for damn sure know where we are. They can figure out where we’re probably going, and they know our quickest path from one site to the next.”

“So what’s our solution?”

“Bypass this next one, hit number five on the list instead, then backtrack to four. Keep ’em guessing.”

“I’m all in favor of that,” agreed Melissa. “Give me a sec . . . there. I have location five highlighted, and a couple of possible paths illuminated.”

“Take ’em both. Me and you with the Danai and the Husky Squad go up one, and the Tamerlane Strike Sled, Maureen, and the other Dingo Squad up the other one.”

“Splitting your command? That’s what nailed the Terran General Custer at the Little Big Horn.”

“That, and five thousand Sioux,” Cathryn said. “The Rim World Consul doesn’t have any five thousand foot soldiers, and we need to keep them guessing. Let’s go.!"

Enemy Ambush Location

“No sign of the intruders,” Dragomir reported. “They should have been here by now.”

He had Tandem Charge missiles aimed down the street in front of the fourth warehouse, with support lasers hidden in the houses along both sides of the street the Battle Armor Suits would be forced to come down in order to attack this location. He’d catch the enemy Major’s troops in a cross fire and cut them to pieces.

He had to. He’d scrounged pretty much every piece of heavy Tandem Charge ordinance the Rim World Consul possessed in order to concentrate it in this spot. Today’s activities weren’t supposed to have involved Battle Armor Suits or ‘Mechs at all, not until the end, at which point the arrival of a Battle Armor Suit or a BattleMech would mean that they were supposed to retreat.

But so far today, nothing was going according to plan.

Back at the command center, Andrei Chenkov followed reports from other locations.

“We’ve spotted opposition in two locations,” Nadeja said. She indicated them on the map. “It could be they brought in a bigger force than we initially thought.”

“It could be,” he said. “What I want to know is why they’re heading that way at all.”

Nadeja pointed at the location of the fourth warehouse. “Maybe they don’t know about this one?”

“I don’t think so. I think they’re being cagey.”

A fifth cache location lit up on the map. “Ah, here they are.” Andrei called up the scene commander on the radio. “What’s your situation?”

“We’re under attack by about a squad of foot infantry, supported by a Battle Armor Suit and vehicles.”

“Can you hold them?”

“For a few minutes.”

“Hold them as long as you can. I’m bringing up reinforcements.”

Andrei keyed the net to Dragomir, who would be waiting now at his ambush location for an attack that wasn’t going to come. “Go at once to the fifth location, Blitz the area. Leave slow units behind if you must. The enemy is there. Engage them. All units, expedite relocation of supplies. That is all.”

He looked at the clock. The riots hadn’t been supposed to start for hours. Well, he’d just had his morning ruined. Some other people could have their morning ruined, too.

Last edited by Mesha on Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:15 pm
affiliations: Name: Mesha Seville
Callsign: ‘Viper'
Rank: Captain
Hardware: Jagdvogel JGV-1OAi
Wing: AeroSpace (Command)
Flight: Angel Flight
Squadron: Angel
Assignment: IAC Naval Fleet CO
Unit: Ingersolls Armored Cavalry

Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:52 am

PY-SD-04-07 #12(RW)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Witeran District
Saint Croix Office Equipment and Consumables
Warehouse #5
November 12th 0830 am local time

The fifth warehouse cache showed up in the helmet mounted heads up display in Sergeant Major Cathryn ‘Bull’s Eye’ Whitley’s Steele Dagger Battle Armor, as well as on audio for weapons correlated sounds.

“Looks like we’re going in hot,” Cathryn said to Sergeant Melissa O'Neil over the small units command circuit.

“Roger that,” the junior non comm replied. “They’ve got scouts and skirmishers out, and it looks like they’re bringing into position more of that inventory we’ve been blowing up all morning.”

“Figuring that if they’re going to lose it anyway, they might as well expend it? Probably a good choice,” the Major thought out loud.

“We don’t have time for a siege,” Melissa said, “not if we’re going to hit the other places too. I say we stand back and blow it up from a distance.”

“Long range weapons aren’t going to mesh with the no casualties’ objective in the rules of engagement that Captain Zane has requested.”

“So? Frontal assault’s too messy,” Melissa said.

They had drawn closer to the target building by now, and Cathryn had it on visual from her Armor’s cockpit: a two story warehouse made of poured concrete.

“Frontal assault’s what we’ve got,” she said. “Hit ’em hard; hit ’em fast.”

“We’ll need someone to go in first, to draw fire and break the situation.”

“That’s what I’m built for,” Cathryn said. She increased the loping stride of the Steele Dagger Armor, taking it up past 40 kilometers per hour.

The first of the machine gun bullets took her by surprise from behind, as she sprinted past a barbershop on the road leading up to the warehouse. No problem for her ArcShield Diamond Weave armor; she left the machine gun nest for her Spec Ops troops to deal with and kept on going.

The key to dealing with ambushes is knowing they have narrow kill zones. Once you’re through the zone, you’re safe . . . unless the bad guys have set up multiple kill zones.

For a hasty defense, Cathryn noted, the rebels were doing pretty well. Their commander had taken some time to prepare, and had clearly thought through his defenses in advance. It was enough to make her suspect that he’d had some kind of military training.

“Trouble coming up behind,” Sergeant Jonathan Ryce told her over the command circuit. “Medium force, mixed scout M3077 HMMWVs and civilian pickup trucks with bolted on machine gun pintels with infantry carrying shoulder launched stuff. They’re following us in.”

“Roger that,” Cathryn replied. “Melissa and Ryce, take the Danai and the Tamerlane and peel out. Try to get around behind the pursuers. Failing that, stay out of the way. I can’t afford to lose you.”

She switched to the external speakers and called out to the other Steele Dagger Battle Armor Pilot, Specialist Maureen 'Dancer' Lee. “ ‘Dancer’, you and the foot troops, come to me. Meet me in the building.”

“Roger that ‘Bulls Eye’. Lone Wolf three, Teams Bravo and Delta moving to your location. Over and Out.”

Cathryn throttled forward, moving her Armor into a sprint, and slammed her feet down, bunched up her legs and expanding them rapidly, launching her Steele Dagger Armor into the air from its uber powerful leg myomers. What she was planning was risky . . . but if it worked, and she didn’t break off one of her Armor’s legs in the process, she’d have a strong defensive position.

The Battle Armor lofted up over the street, followed by streams of tracer bullets and the eerie glow of laser light in the smoke trails of missiles. The patter of bullets and shrapnel on the Steele Dagger’s carapace beat a counterpoint to the deep roar of an Arrow IV missile launch from their accompanying Danai.

She sailed up, letting momentum carry her forward, much like the 20th century’s fictitious character, the ‘Incredible Hulk’, until she was over the center of the warehouse. Then she splayed her Armor’s legs and arms, felt the bulk around her slowed by the drag of the air, and dropped down straight legged onto the flat roof.

It didn’t have a chance against her one thousand kilograms of Steele Dagger Battle Armor. She went crashing through the warehouse’s flimsy roof, through the floor of the upper story, and down into the center of the warehouse’s main open space. Open crates and barrels lay scattered all about, and an armored technical with its insignia painted out waited near the still closed warehouse doors.

Insurgent street fighters filled the high ceilinged room. Cathryn’s arrival, in a cloud of rubble and dust, jerked their attention away from the attack that was developing outside. She was limned with the light of energy discharges, deafened by the sound of small and medium arms being fired in an enclosed space.

She reduced the gain on the Armor’s external audio and concentrated on keeping moving, while producing her own light show with her paired lasers. One was her Laser Carbine on her Anti Personnel Weapon Mount the second one was the anti-Infantry Heavy Large Laser (it discharge energy the equivalent of an anti-‘Mech medium laser) attached to her Steele Dagger’s right arm. This much hell in this small a space meant that people were going to get hurt; she spied a couple of nasty casualties. One, her carbine sliced a man half in two. The top half of his body sliding to the right while the bottom half slide to the left. Her anti-Infantry Heavy Large Laser, literally incinerated three rebels, two men and one woman, into piles of smoldering ash. At least she wasn’t violating her own ’personal’ rules of engagement, though she could still see having to explain it all at her trial if things turned bad. At least she’d have the battle rom footage, the visual and audio recording automatically created by every Military Unit in action, to back her up.

The defenders closest to the front of the building were turning away from her Armor, moving outside and firing as they went. Then the doors and windows exploded inward, and her Steele Dagger reinforced Spec Ops squads came leaping in. Like her, they were shooting to miss . . . but the defenders didn’t realize that yet, and made a hasty retreat from the building.

Within minutes, Cathryn was alone with her troops, along with the injured members of the Rebel Faction left behind by their fleeing comrades.

“Orders?” Specialist Maureen 'Dancer' Lee, who was in charge of her Spec Ops detachment, asked.

“Form up on the walls, hold against attack from outside,” she said. “Give them some rounds to let them know we’re here.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Maureen replied, turning to the rest of the squad and placing them into position with her armored hand gestures.

That only left the military hardware, the arms cache that was the purpose of the raid, remaining to be dealt with. She couldn’t use demolition charges on it while her own troops were in the building.

Instead, she walked first to each pile of weapons, and then to the armored Technical, and carefully stepped down on every one of them with the Steele Dagger’s full weight. One full metric ton of Armor was as effective as a pile driver for turning weapons and vehicles into scrap metal.

“Now, we aren’t staying,” Cathryn told Maureen. “But we don’t want them to know we’ve left. Rig collapsing charges against the back wall. When I give the word, blow a breach back there, and everyone pile out.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Specialist Maureen replied, and again instructed the troops of Demon Pups Platoon’s Bravo and Delta Teams, using a series of hand gestures.

Cathryn took her own position by the front, and added her laser power to the armament display outside.

While she was doing so, she radioed Melissa aboard the Danai Arrow IV.

“What’s your situation?”

“Made contact; lobbed a couple of FASCAM missiles into their midst to let ’em know we’re here.”

“Good job. Break contact, but do it without making it obvious you’re running away. Meet me over at Grid Post Golf Two Wun Three Niner Zulu Wun Ot Three Ate.”

“Roger, copy all, out.”

“Specialist,” Cathryn radioed the other suit of Steele Dagger Armor, “how are you doing?”

“About ready, ma’am. On your signal,” replied Maureen.

“Do it Now!” ordered the Major.

An echoing boom, and the rear wall of the building dissolved into dust.

“Everyone out, follow me,” Cathryn said.

The newly breached wall opened into a plaza, and beyond that a set of roads leading away from a fountain and a statue. Cathryn walked to the far side at a speed the infantry could keep up with. They set a perimeter. Minutes later, Ryce and Melissa arrived, weapons ports still smoking and engines venting heat.

“To target four,” she ordered. “My guess is that the guys who hit you from behind are from there . . . the place should be unguarded now.”

She was right, but when they arrived at warehouse four it was empty . . . the cache had already been distributed. The same was true of caches six through ten. Damn It!

She froze in place after the last cache had been inspected. Where to now?

The answer came quickly over the comm. “Major Whitley?” It was Ryce. “The Event Horizon has been tracing signals all morning, signals we think are communications from the insurgents we’ve been fighting. They’ve got something I think you want to see.”

Information flooded Cathryn’s screen. Ryce was quite right . . . this information was definitely worth a look.

Maroo, Witeran District
Teka-Net Data Shop

Sheikh Andrei Chenkov looked at the overhead speaker, hardly able to believe the words from his blocking force: “Under attack, front and rear. Going to defensive perimeter.”

“Press them!” he ordered. “I want blood in the streets, people.”

“I’m on it,” Nadeja said. “We know where one group of enemy infantry is. They seem to have two. Who knows how many more?”

“Looks like their Captain Zane is trying our trick,” Andrei Chenkov said. “He wants his own Man in a Steele Dagger Battle Armor Suit to weed us out, and that bitch of a Steele Dagger pilot out there is the one on tap.”

“Do we call in our man now?” Nadeja asked.

“It’s still too early,” the Sheikh replied dismissively.

“We don’t have a choice. They’ve forced our hand,” his subordinate pleaded.

Andrei scanned the feedback from recent skirmishes, encounters that his people were invariably losing. Nadeja was right. “Okay. Get a message into the Ruling Council Towers . . . use a Ambassador page, one of the sneakier ones . . . that there are riots in the streets, and that there are Mercenaries run amok out there. Then make sure that there are riots in the streets by the time our man gets there.”

“I’m on it,” she said. “And after that?”

“After that it’s mayhem for everyone,” Andrei said. “It’s been years since I’ve thrown a Molotov cocktail through a shop window. I hope I haven’t gotten rusty.”

Nadeja asked, “Do we shut down HQ?”

“Shut it down, burn it down, doesn’t matter. We’re done here. Let’s go while we’re clear.”

“Too late,” she said, and the change in her voice made his blood go cold.

A moment later, and he felt what she had felt: the regular, ponderous vibration of the floor under his feet. A giant’s footsteps, coming down the street and into the square outside the data shop. The unmistakable approach of Battle Armor.

“Go out the back,” he said. “Use the secret exit. They’ll have it covered in another minute, but there’s still time for you to make it past them.”

“What about you?” Nadeja asked incredulously.

“My hand’s played out. But if they have me alive to work with, they may not think you’re important enough to waste resources on. You and Dragomir can keep the organization going.”

“No, Sir,” defied Dragomir. “I can not comply with that order. The Rebellion needs You. I’ll stay. You two go on and get outta here.”

There was a brief nod between brothers of the Rebellion, the locking of eyes, before Andrei turned to leave.

Nadeja bit her lip hard, but said nothing, and left as Dragomir had instructed. He waited alone in the empty headquarters, listening as the Armor’s footsteps drew nearer and halted. If the shop’s proprietor were wise, he thought, the man would see the day’s tri vid news and decide to extend his visit to Nova Scotia indefinitely.

A couple of minutes later, the noise of vehicle engines revved and died outside the building. Then he heard running footsteps, first advancing, then retreating, and was not surprised, a steady ten count later, when the front of the data shop collapsed in a roar of explosives.

When the smoke of the explosion had cleared, Dragomir stood blinking, looking down the muzzles of two squad’s worth of M42B assault rifles. A Steele Dagger Battle Armor stood across the square, its arms folded across its armored chest. Another one stood off behind the first one, heavy large laser at the ready.

“Please come with me, sir,” said a corporal in the uniform of the Rabid Wolves Spec Ops Platoon. Dragomir bowed his head and went.

Detaining an individual without a warrant is not an arrest. It’s kidnapping on any planet in the universe.

Maroo, Witeran District

“Captain Zane, Rabid Wolves Actual. Mission Complete. Only forty percent objective success. We were able to destroyed four caches of weapons and ordinance, however; the remaining stores were either already distributed or relocated. One prisoner in tow. We can be at the Airport in 30 to 40 minutes to provide close order support for your escort. Over.”

Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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Callsign: ‘Viper'
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Flight: Angel Flight
Squadron: Angel
Assignment: IAC Naval Fleet CO
Unit: Ingersolls Armored Cavalry

Re: IC: PY-SD-04-07 - Security Duty on Gillfillian's Gold

Postby Mesha » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:12 pm

PY-SD-04-07 #13(RW)

The Periphery
The Rim Collection
Gillfillian’s Gold
Continent: Lyuben
Country: Trendafil
Witeran District
Business Sector
Gold Market
Ground Zero
November 18th 1800 pm local time

Stoyan, the driver of the suicide truck bomb, turned onto Ar Rashid Street, merging with the warm evening traffic. He rubbed his sweaty palms against his short khaki pants, his gaze glued to the silver Avanti Luxury Sedan in front of him. He heaved a wheezing sigh and tapped on the brake pedal. A red traffic light halted the five vehicle convoy.

A stream of ground cars, very few hover cars, rushed through the intersection leading to the Witeran District the business sector of downtown Maroo. Tall depilated buildings rose over most of the city’s old colonial style buildings. The ivory and and Steiner blue banner of Jacobs Properties, one of the major Lyran real estate developers in the Rim Collection, beamed from atop the glass and steel façade of the newly finished Romanesque Hotel. The same logo had been painted hastily on the left side of the Avanti packed with Semtex explosives. Walid, its driver and a Jacobs’ subcontractor, had exchanged his blue coveralls for a business suit and the promise of martyrdom.

A glance at the dashboard clock told Stoyan the synchronized explosion would take place in ten minutes. The thought of the coming carnage drained the last drop of courage from his heart. He rolled down the window, but the humid air, blended with the aroma of fried falafel, onions, and lamb donairs from a nearby street vendor, made him nauseated. He gasped for air, sticking his head out of the window. He coughed and struggled to catch his breath. Drivers from other vehicles shot him curious glares. Behind the truck, the driver of an old Feicui Aircar honked his horn twice. Stoyan swallowed hard and wiped the sweat off his narrow forehead. He waved at his audience to show them he was doing all right.

“Stoyan, what’s the matter, brother?” the radio set on the dashboard crackled. He recognized Walid’s gruff voice.

Stoyan looked at the Avanti. His watery eyes met the reflection of the driver’s face in the rearview mirror of the sedan. The driver’s usual wicked grin stretched his lips, revealing his large buckteeth. Walid waved his hands wildly. Stoyan could not see behind Walid’s black aviator shades but assumed his eyes were ablaze with rage.

“Nothing’s wrong. Just needed some air,” Stoyan replied over the radio. He rolled up the window before Walid could scold him with another howl.

“Great. Now that you’ve closed the window, open your eyes!” Walid barked. “You’re not a coward like the infidels, are you?”

Stoyan shook his head.

A third voice came on air before he could say anything.

“Cousin, I pledged my honor so you could be a part of this mission. Don’t you back down now!” Stoyan’s cousin said. He was driving the Macadan Groundcar at the head of the convoy.

Stoyan sighed and paused for a couple of seconds. “I’m not backing down. You can trust me. I will not disappoint you or the Consul brotherhood.”

“That’s my flesh and blood who is soon to be a martyr,” said the cousin in a relaxed tone. “Our families will be proud of us, and our reward will be glorious.”

“It’s easy for you to say, since tonight you’ll be welcomed to paradise,” Stoyan said.

He noticed the traffic lights changing and stepped cautiously on the gas pedal. The truck jerked forward a few inches before the ride turned smooth again.

“Won’t take long before you join us there,” Walid said.

“Yes, but not before being dragged through the secret police cells . . .” Stoyan’s voice trailed off.

“The Savior will give you strength, cousin, and soon he’ll take you home.”

“He will, brother, he will.” Walid revved the Avanti’s twelve cylinder ICE engine. “For sure, I’m going to miss this ride.”

“There will be plenty of rides up there to keep you and everyone else busy,” the cousin said with a quiet laugh. “Now may The Savior be with us all. Over and out.”

Walid nodded and turned left toward the Romanesque Hotel.

Stoyan’s destination, the Gold Market, was to the right. He steered in that direction. He zigzagged through a few crooked streets and slowed down when reaching the Old City. The blacktop disappeared, and the uneven gravel crackled under the tires. Old cars, horse carts, and pedestrians came into view, along with whitewashed stores selling gold and jewelry. The streets narrowed into barely a single lane.

Stoyan rolled down the window for sideways glances to avoid brushing against planters, chairs, and vendors selling all kinds of junk. A stomach churning stench from days old fish, fried grease, and sweat overwhelmed him. Stoyan felt his head grow heavy and hit the brakes.

Street vendors lost no time peddling their wares. A crowd of young boys swarmed his truck. He yelled and shoved away a few of the bravest salesmen waving handfuls of souvenirs in his face. He kept pushing them away the hagglers, when suddenly a pointed metal object touched his forearm. Startled, Stoyan withdrew his arm inside the cabin. He glanced at one of the boys holding a string of scimitar replicas, the sword tribesmen in Northern Lyuben carried in ancient times. The curved blade was dull and had a rounded point to prevent accidental stabs. Still, the swift jab at his forearm summoned awful visions of the future.

He saw himself hanging upside down in a dark, grim dungeon, tied to the ceiling beams, while three secret police agents “interrogated” him. They would use various methods to “jog” his memory and break his psyche. Sleep deprivation and intimidation by police dogs were just the welcome package. Other techniques included breaking fingers, simulated suffocation with plastic wraps, and water boarding. I will tell them everything right away before they even touch me. He struggled to wipe the vivid images from his mind.

Stoyan slammed on the truck’s horn to clear a path through the crowd. The blaring horn startled him more than the boys and the occasional onlookers. He glanced at the dashboard, realizing he had less than two minutes to reach the busy marketplace square five blocks away. It will be impossible to make it on time.

He blasted the horn again and stepped on the gas. The truck moved slowly, and Stoyan wrestled to make a left turn. The alley grew wider. The truck sped up, its wheels dipping and climbing in and out of the potholes. He rushed straight ahead, inches away from oncoming taxis, their honks protesting his unsafe speed. A few sidewalk vendors dove out of the way, their overflowing baskets of bananas and grapes spilling all over the place. Tires screeched as he turned right, jumping the curb and narrowly missing a large bronze planter outside a soap store.

The River Walk was now visible to his right, through palm trees, coffee shops, and fruit vendor stands. Stoyan stared ahead at the square, one of the busiest markets in the Old City. The market rumbled with vendors squabbling over a few Kroners with tight fisted tourists. I made it. Yes, I made it. He turned his gaze to the left, toward Maroo’s skyline, and slowed down before parking the truck in front of a small restaurant. He took a deep breath and dabbed at his forehead with the back of his hand, wiping off a sea of sweat.

The dashboard radio crackled and he picked up the receiver.

“Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” The loud voice echoed over the radio. Stoyan recognized Walid’s shouts.


A second later, a loud explosion rocked the entire square. Stoyan’s gaze spun toward the heart of business sector, where a cloud of grayish smoke billowed around the Romanesque Hotel. Chaos erupted among street vendors who scattered and forgot about their produce and the evening’s clients. Patrons of coffee shops rushed to the streets, staring in disbelief at the sight. Cries of hysteria overtook the growing crowd. Elderly women beat their heads and chests with clenched fists. Young men pointed and shouted, their bodies restless. The sharp siren of an ambulance sliced through the cacophony of terror.


With a quick movement of his wrist, Stoyan consulted his watch. Just as the digits registered 6:31, another explosion shocked the crowd. This time, the bomb hit closer, much closer, a few blocks away. From inside his parked truck, Stoyan looked at the bright yellow glow of the blast. High flames leapt at a ten story office building. A thick cloud of black smoke began to swallow up the tower. The crowd broke into smaller groups. People scurried in all directions. Some ran back to their shops and apartments. Others simply circled the area, perhaps unsure of the safe way out.

Stoyan knew his time had come. He revved the engine and stomped on the gas pedal. The truck arrowed toward the vendors’ tables. The market was mostly empty, and the truck crashed into crates of fish, baskets of grapes, and barrels of olive oil. Produce scattered everywhere as the truck rampaged through plastic tables and chairs.

A police truck zipped toward him. Stoyan steered around, not to escape, but to meet the approaching vehicle. The two policemen in the truck ignored Stoyan. They were going to drive past him, but Stoyan swerved hard. The right fender of his truck smashed into the police truck. The police truck jerked to the other side. The driver pulled over and stopped less than thirty feet away. The other policeman rolled down the window. Stoyan stared at the muzzle of a Rorynex RM-3/XXI Sub Machine Gun.

“Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot,” Stoyan shouted and opened his door.

A quick burst of bullets sent him ducking for cover in the front seat. A shower of glass shreds fell over his head.

They’re going to kill me before I even have a chance to open my mouth. Or one of the bullets will blow up the truck. I can’t let that happen.

He looked at the back of the truck. Thirty pounds of Semtex explosives wired into a homemade bomb were stored inside the seat compartments. He noticed the cellphone on the floor mat by his left hand. He reached for the phone. All it would take for him to set off the explosives, and pulverize himself and the policemen, was to tap three preset numbers. His fingers hovered over the phone, but he remembered his family’s honor and the reward waiting for him in paradise. He dropped the phone to the floor, buried his head in the seat, and locked his fingers behind his head.

A minute or so passed before the shooting stopped, but the screaming continued. He heard the distinct thuds of combat boots marching up the street. The police were approaching his truck. He looked up slowly as a policeman pulled open the driver’s door of his truck and aimed an Rorynex at his head

“Don’t move!” the policeman ordered him.

Stoyan nodded.

Without a word, the policeman juggled the weapon in his hands and slammed its buttstock hard against Stoyan’s head.



Name: Stoyan
Rank: Zealot
Military Hardware: Car Bomb
Squad: Suicide Bombers
Company: Command
Battalion: First
Regiment: Infantry
Assignment: Bomber
Name: Cathryn Whitley
Callsign: ‘Bulls Eye'
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Hardware: Steele Dagger Battle Armor
Company: Wolf Pack
Platoon: Brooding Lupus
Squad: Lone Wolf
Assignment: MUCO
Unit: Rabid Wolves Battalion

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