SCHATTENJAGERS

Session Thirteen
The Lyran Black Box Blues

MAY 1-6, 3049

The team is sent to the planet Tamar in the Tamar Pact to rest, repair, refit and train some before their next mission. Jack Deshane is promoted to Corporal and Sgt. Basil L Clumley is promoted to Sergeant Major. First Lieutenant Beck is also promoted to Hauptman (Captain). This causes some consternation with the other members of the Schattenjagers who quietly grumble to themselves.

While on the planet Tamar the team is stationed at one of the many military garrison bases on the planet. The team is assigned to a base not far from the capital city of Tamar. While here the past few weeks the team has been able in their free time to see some of what a major planet has to offer. All around there is rebuilding and construction going on. But the population of the whole planet it seems always has this subtle and rather intangible sense of slight foreboding hovering over it. This comes as no surprise given the number of times that Tamar has been attacked and sacked in its history.

PH-LAM.jpgWhile the Shattenjagers participate daily in urban warfare training Hans Krieger receives extended bonus training in piloting a Land-Air Mech. Recent actions and skill shown in combat as a mech pilot have shown he is capable of piloting this type of battlemech. He is eventually assigned to pilot a Phoenix Hawk LAM which has been transferred to the unit.

As it is each morning, the daily duty schedule is posted outside the team barracks on a monitor along with other updates and mundane information. Looking over you can see it is Salisbury steak night in the main cafeteria. Looking back at the updated duty schedule it lists that the Schattenjagers are to participate in small arms live fire exercises on firing range number six at 14:00 hours today. You roll your eyes. “Not that firing range again, it so far out of the way and dusty.” After lunch the team is loaded up into a military truck and taken out to the firing range. It is a little unusual that LIC agent Schumaker is coming along with the team. He rides shotgun in one of the two trucks and simply stares ahead the whole time.
As the team approaches the briefing room door they note that there are six well-armed guards standing outside the briefing room door and at each end of the corridor watching as the team enters. Schumaker doesn’t seem to be concerned by the heavy security. Entering the briefing room a Lyran Lieutenant motions for the team to follow her and have a seat. As the team enters the room they see that there are many high ranking Lyran officers, a few well-dressed civilians, one plain clothes civilian sitting on the far end and two men that are wearing officer uniforms of the Federated Suns sitting next to him. These people are all seated around a black table at the back side of the briefing room. The flags of both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns stand in each corner. Along the left and right walls of the room are a few other persons seated quietly. Some are lower ranking officers that are looking over notes. The people seated behind the table have cold and lined expressionless faces. You get the feeling you are being sized up as you enter the room. In the center of the room are several nondescript chairs. Once the team is inside one of the officers at the table motions with his hand for the door to be closed. Behind them the door the team came in through is quietly closed. The team is then asked to hand over their ID cards to one of the lower ranked officers in the room and then have a seat. If any of the team hesitates Schumaker can assure them quietly that it is simply standard procedure and they will get them back. The young Lieutenant takes up the ID cards of the team and hands them to the Lyran colonel. He begins to look over the ID cards and compare them with some files on his desk. When he is done he passes them to the man seated next to him. The others pass and so forth. Most of the others look over the cards briefly or not at all. The only other man to look them over carefully is the civilian sitting on the end. As this goes on a man dressed in the uniform of a Lyran colonel stands up and then begins to speak to the team, notifying the team that what they are about to hear is ultra-top secret. The team and everyone in the room is not to discuss with anyone what they are about to be told. Once this is made clear the team is introduced to Edward Drake of the Federated Suns who is identified as a member of MI-7 in the Department of Military Intelligence.

sess11map.pngA Federated Suns Intelligence Officer named Edward Drake is introduced to the team who are assigned to help him find a crashed dropship on the Planet Dalkeith VI in the Tamar Domains. The briefing officer informs the team that this mission is code-named Iceworm. The team then learns that there is a small Lyran scientific research outpost present on the planet sponsored by New Cambridge University. It has twenty five scientific research personnel and supporting staff conducting research into agriculture on cold weather plants. The planet Dalkeith was held by the Draconis Combine until 3025 when Lyran forces took back control of the planet in the fourth Succession War. There is a heavy asteroid ring around the planet. There are seven Kurita planets within close jump range to the planet. The Lyran Commonwealth has lost contact with the research station on the planet. The Team is therefore ordered to help Edward Drake find the dropship before Kurita forces arrive. Lyran military reinforcements are on the way to assist but the Schattenjagers are more easily dispatched in a short amount of time. The briefing officer then hands over the briefing to Edward Drake.

“I have read through all of your personnel files. Your Schattenjagers unit seems to be rather….unorthodox. I am assured however that your unit is qualified for this sort of assignment that requires a certain finesse and mild discretion. To be honest, we wanted some units from the 23rd Lyran Guards for this. But it was recommended that the Schattenjagers undertake this mission.”

“A Mule class dropship ironically named Forlorn Hope carried a military secret that the Lyran military wants back at any cost. It is a Lyran K-series transmitter or ‘Black Box’, one of the Lyran Commonwealths’ most guarded military secrets. This item must not fall into the hands of the Draconis Combine. “As part of our alliance and in the spirit of friendship and cooperation your government was nice enough to lend us one of their black boxes. It was all very hush-hush and called Operation Lamplighter. Only a very few number people knew about this. Our scientists at the NAIS took the black box developed by your scientists and toyed with it some. Eventually we were able to nearly double its range and capacity considerably. We then sent it back to your government on a dropship hidden in with a routine cargo shipment that wouldn’t cause any raised eyebrows or suspicion. In our case it was a regular supply run to the Atria research station. You see, we knew from certain sources and information that the Draconis Combine knew about the research station on the planet and had already on at least two occasions checked it out themselves and decided it was exactly what it was; a benign civilian science outpost and not worth their time. Thus a cargo ship making its regularly scheduled supply run to the science station on the planet would not attract any unwanted attention from our friends in the Combine.

We tucked the item nicely in the cargo hold where it would not be found, off when the dropship on its merry way from Federated Suns space to Dalkeith and then back at home two of our operatives who helped arrange that the item get put quietly onboard the dropship turned up dead floating in a river a two days after the jumpship with the dropship and our item left our space. When we finally identified the two men we realized that they were part of our transport team responsible for keeping the shipment secure while in the Federated Suns. But here is the problem, this happened after the jumpship carrying the cargo left the Federated Suns for Lyran space. We were starting to put the pieces together when we received report that after the jumpship and its cargo dropship arrived at the planet Dalkeith VI that something apparently went wrong on the dropship and instead of landing on the planet it instead went and crashed on the planet, and that is when we started to worry. You see the black box on the drop ship was the only other prototype intended to be given to your government. The research base used its communications equipment to notify the neighboring inhabited planet Dalkeith V. Unfortunately the garrison on Dalkeith V is a mercenary company; the Hsien Hotheads. These mercenaries and the Lyran government have been involved in some sort of contract dispute the past few months over the costs of past transportation that also involves some independent shipping company. Until this is resolved neither side wants to add to or provide more costs to the mercenary unit. In addition, moving parts of a known garrison unit like this will undoubtedly bring unwanted attention and show our hand, not to mention that we are not sure that we would want some mercenaries stomping around looking for our secrets, especially ones that are not happy with their finances. This is another one of the reasons your units is being activated. “

PC NOTES: The ubiquitous Mule Class DropShip is the most commonly encountered merchant craft plying the shipping routes of the Inner Sphere. Developed during the height of the Star League, the Mule has survived due to the combination of its practical and uncomplicated design, affordability, ease of maintenance, and spacious crew accommodations. This makes the Mule highly attractive for independent traders. The Mule is capable of carrying close to 8,500 tons of cargo, split between a single large 3,000 ton capacity bays in the lower portion of ship, from which four large cargo elevators lead to the upper decks which can handle remaining 5,000 or so tons.

“Now here is where it gets interesting. The same day the dropship crashed on Dalkeith VI a man named Dr. Peter J. Crenshaw, PhD and a whole list of other letters applied to go to the research base as an assistant researcher. Crenshaw had impeccable credentials which made Lyran Intelligence suspicious so in turn Lyran Intelligence sent one of their own men to the planet as well going by the name of Lang to keep an eye on this Dr. Crenshaw and eliminate him if need be. Four days after arriving things went wrong at the research station, fire, calls for help then puzzling messages – and that’s where you gentlemen come into the picture. You see it is apparent to us now that the Draconis Combine knows what was on that dropship, or at least that it was carrying something very important and something that might be worth their time and that they might like to possess. That makes the device we are looking for the most sought after item in the inner sphere.”

“The good news is we have a very good jumpship named the Razors Edge quietly parked here at Tamar. The Razors Edge is an Invader class jumpship. Though old, this ship is just what we needed as she is able to recharge her K-F drive very quickly; in about 72 hours and is equipped with two advanced fast charge poly lithium-ion batteries for recharging and re-jumping the K-F drive onboard the ship. In addition, she is also proven to be able to jump reliably past the red line, about 40 light years, though she has gone as far as 50 before I am told. Thus according to our sources, we should have at least 2 or 3 days head start on whatever the Combine decides to do or bring to Dalkeith. This mission is to be code-named Iceworm. Our job is to get in and get out as fast as we can before anyone else arrives. But just in case, there is a battlemech battalion that should be getting (looks at his watch) just about now their order to leave their garrison and load for transport to the planet in order to deter any thoughts that the Draconis Combine may have about a small incursion to the planet. However this battalion of yours is several days away. We tried to have units stationed here on Tamar go with you but the Duke of Tamar personally appealed to the Archon asking that none of the garrison units on Tamar be taken off the planet. After the events on Phalan you must understand many of the good citizens on the planets along the border with the Draconis Combine are fearful and a bit nervous. And that’s about it, if there aren’t any questions your Mule class dropship is already being loaded as we speak with your battlemechs and supplies for the mission. We will take off before sunrise at 0500 hours gentlemen to rendezvous with the waiting jumpship. I don’t think there is anything else at this point.”

3050wolfhound1.jpgBefore the briefing ends the Lyran Colonel in charge of the briefing steps up and gives the team one more mission assignment. “There is one other thing gentlemen which I think will please you. We are loading a new type of battlemech into your dropship. If the opportunity presents itself, we want to you to do some field tests and evaluate the performance in the arctic climate on Dalkeith VI of this new battlemech design from TharHes Industries; the 35 ton WLF-2 Wolfhound. This mech is one of the newest and most advanced designs the Lyran Commonwealth possesses. It is important that it not be damaged but we ask that you put it through the paces and report back on its performance in arctic conditions. Again, I would like to remind everyone here that this briefing is classified.”

PC NOTES: A light, rugged, and dependable design, the Wolfhound made its first appearance in 3028. Following the success of the Hatchetman designed in partnership with the Federated Suns, Archon Katrina Steiner ordered TharHes Industries to produce a BattleMech to address a persistent problem of the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces: hunting down and destroying the Panther and Jenner, swift light-weight ‘Mechs of the Draconis Combine which had embarrassed the LCAF one too many times. The final design was a light ’Mech with an all-energy weapons payload effective at a variety of combat ranges, the maximum amount of armor for a ’Mech of its weight class, and the use of mostly standard components to keep costs down
As a “laser boat” the Wolfhound’s very basic weapons array frees it from supply lines and allows for superior endurance during extended campaigns. The primary long-range weapon is a Setanta Large Laser mounted in the right arm, which allows the Wolfhound to strike at ranges of up to seven hundred and fifty meters. As secondary weapons for close combat, the Wolfhound is armed with four Defiance B3M Medium Lasers. Three of these are split between the right, center, and left torso, while the fourth is mounted in the center-rear in case any ’Mech tries to exploit this traditional blind spot.

The Team is told that the planet Dalkeith VI is class P and is the sixth planet in the system of eight planets. The star Dalkeith is a type K5V orange star. The jumpoints are 2 days out. Dalkeith VI is an arctic planet. The gravity is .98 G and the atmospheric pressure is standard composed of nitrogen, oxygen and trace elements. The average temperature at the equator is -10C (14F). The period of rotation is 18 hours and it completes one orbit of the sun every 1.32 years. There is some active volcanic activity deep under the ice sheets that cover the planet. The heating of the water far below the surface by the volcanic forces causes the frozen ice sheets above on the surface to move around causing large cracks, canyons and fissures in the surface. Past surveys have also shown there to be evidence of useful industrial metal deposits which the ice makes difficult to extract.

drake.jpgEdward Drake is about 50 years old. He is of average height and build with greying hair. Physically there is nothing striking about him, he looks and dresses like and average middle class civilian. He is stoic and very matter of fact, coming across as unfriendly and not trusting of others but also very confident in himself. He always seems to be evasive when answering questions and you never feel you get a completely straight answer form him, as if he is always holding something back or deflecting. His conversations even when casual gives you the feeling you are being questioned and probed for information. When sitting in a room he always keeps his back to a wall and facing the doors and exits. His eyes are always watching others.

After the briefing but prior to leaving Tamar, LIC Agent Schumaker privately pulls a few of the Team aside and tells them that for undisclosed reasons he will not be joining them on this mission. He for some reason seems to be a little displeased by this fact. He then warns the Team members to be on their guard while on the mission. “There may be some things this Federated Suns intelligence officer going with them is not telling them or fully disclosing. Be careful out there on this mission. Often in these sorts of missions, there is usually more to them then just what people are told. There is something not quite right about this mission. Davion Intelligence and their operatives are very effective. I doubt this Edward Drake guy is MI-7 as he claims. More like MI6 or even possibly MI4.”
LIC Agent Schumaker also mentions in passing that “both Federated Suns and Lyran intelligence has been involved in something in called ‘Operation Flush’. I can’t tell you much about it, just keep it in the back of your mind. Because of Operation Flush, the Federated Suns intelligence services have been very paranoid lately.”

TAKING OFF, the Jump and Arriving at the Planet:
jumpship2.jpgThe team’s Mule class dropship takes off from Tamar on schedule. There is nothing noteworthy or of interest that happens with in route to the jumpship except that Drake seems to keep to himself in his quarters most of the time. If any of the team wish to speak to him he will, but he will not come and talk to them or fraternize with the team on his own. The notices that their mechs have been painted in arctic camouflage colors and all the units insignias and identifying marks have been removed. After a few days approaches and docks with the jumpship Razor’s Edge. The Razor’s Edge is painted in a cold grey color which makes her look sleek and strangely foreboding. The dropship docks smoothly without incident. As the Team leaves their dropship and boards the jumpship they find that to their surprise that the crew of the Razor’s Edge are not your typical merchant for hire as would be expected but are in fact Lyran Navy.

vlcsnap_2014_04_11_21h59m58s77.pngThe master and commander of the Razor’s Edge is Captain Niles Harkon. Captain Harkon is about 30 and wears very stylish glasses and equally stylish dark hair. His demeanor is proper, to the point and all business but with a smile. Like many Lyran naval officers he wears a smart blue naval uniform. The Executive Officer is LT. Mitch Herschel who is also very professional but also extremely young. He is energetic and seems to be very eager to please the captain and also very loyal to him. If asked about the ship the captain will tell the team that the ship has a crew of 25 personnel and that the ship is about 100 years old and was captured by the Lyran Navy from the Draconis Combine in the Third Succession War. She was captured in Lyran space curing the war empty and without a crew but fully intact. It is suspected she may have misjumped. No one knows for sure though. “You will find that living in such close quarters the crew of this ship tends to be a little informal, going by first names. For example my first name is Captain.”

PC NOTES: Accounting for an estimated 46% of all registered JumpShips in the Inner Sphere (as of 3045), the popular, cost-efficient and widespread Invader class is the archetypical JumpShip. Despite its martial name, it is a civilian design and ill-suited for combat. It does, however, possess sophisticated communications gear and can maintain radio and laser-link feeds with up to ten transmitting stations, making it an ideal vessel to coordinate a task force. 51% of all Invaders are operated by the militaries of the Inner Sphere, 32% are owned by giant corporations and the remaining 17% are owned by Mercenary units or private citizens. The Invader’s most distinctive design feature is a pair of hydroponic garden domes. They produce food and oxygen for the crew, even a small surplus for trade with docking DropShips. Although fully automated, system failures mean that the gardens have to be maintained manually by the crew on every third ship. Many older ships also have a design flaw that could cause the hydroponics booms to lock in the extended position, preventing the vessel from jumping; this flaw was largely rectified following the Fourth Succession War and old ships were refitted accordingly. The original design of the Invader was not armed, but carried two special anti-meteor long range lasers. Maintenance problems saw these replaced with a pair of Large Lasers or PPCs, but even these can barely match the firepower of a single Aerospace Fighter. This, and the thin armor, has led to Invaders being regarded as non-combatants, like all JumpShips in the age of LosTech. The Invader can carry between 522 and 526 tons of cargo in the cargo section, depending on the weapon configuration. It also has two hangar bays for Small Craft. The mass of the Invader is 152,000 tons.

At the jump point the departure is delayed for a few hours. There is another dropship on approach to dock with the jumpship. One this dropship there are two last minute arrivals that come through the docking airlock. One is a man dressed in regular civilian clothes and a Lyran infantry officer named Lt. Albert Krupke. He is an arctic warfare expert with the 23rd Arcturan Guards. He has orders to join the group. Edward Drake seems irritated but the orders check out. A Forgery roll will show the orders are not forged. Lt. Krupke is gruff and not very personable. Like Drake he will mostly keep to himself.

agenttakihashi.jpgThe civilian that comes aboard is an old friend of Edward Drake named Akira ‘Sam’ Takahashi. Takahashi is obviously of Asian descent and still wears his hair in typical Draconis fashion. They shake hands and then briefly embrace as friends. To anyone watching they seem to be good friends and this is the friendliest and open any of the team has seen Drake act thus so far. It is apparent that Drake and Takahashi are friends and that Drake trusts Takahashi. Speaking to Takahashi Drake states “I thought you were on Caph.” To which Takahashi replies excitedly “I was until five days ago! They scooped me up and then…how you say….pony expressed me here on some jumpships as fast as they could! I tell you Edward I never will get accustomed to being cramped up inside small dropships. It makes me feel like a canned ration being trapped inside all that endosteel like that.”
Drake introduces the newcomer to the other team members as Sam Takahashi “He is the most anti Combine Draconian you will ever meet.” And explains that “Takahashi was a Kurita intelligence agent but he switched sides five years ago and now works for the Federated Suns Ministry of Intelligence. Since he came over to our side he has been vetted and proven true by the Federated Suns Ministry of Intelligence, your Lyran Intelligence Corps and by me. “
Edward Drake trusts him will tell the team emphatically stating that Takahashi has saved his live many times to which Takahashi states modestly that Drake has saved his life as well a few times. “And of course don’t forget about that mission on Deneb, you saved me from becoming married!” to which they both share a laugh. In the conversation Drake mentions that the two of them have been on many secretive missions together in the Draconis Combine. Unlike Drake, Takahashi is much more open, talkative and friendly than Drake though like Drake he does not reveal much either.
If asked about his switching sides and his reasons for doing so Takahashi will seem to be slightly insulted and reply firmly that “I was born in the Draconis Combine, but I chose my side out of conviction. Not by accident of birth.”
If Schattenjager Team member Hiro Toshiro who was also from the Draconis Combine asks if he has never heard of Sam Takahashi it will be that he has not nor does he have any idea where he is from. However he will note that if he is indeed a former Kurita agent that switched sides, if he is captured by the Draconis Combine he will most assuredly be executed in a very brutal manner after being tortured for a long time and then interrogated. From his reactions Sam Takahashi does not seem to recognize Hiro Toshiro beyond speaking to him briefly in Japanese with courteous greetings. Takahasi will talk to Hiro Toshiro in Japanese with these simple greetings before turning the conversation back to English.

Once the second dropship has detached and moved off from the port side of Razors Edge, Captain Harkon will then tell the Schattenjagers that the ship is fueled and the batteries for the K-F Drive are charged and ready to execute a jump to the target coordinates. He then turns to the navigator to give commands and give coordinates stating that “XO this will be a full power jump of 41 light years.” This is a very long jump to make and requires perfect calculations and a little bit of luck to pull off successfully. The further the jump the greater the risk of a misjump. The Schattenjager team cannot help but be impressed with the almost cold efficiency the jumpship crew operates. They are like a well-oiled machine in their actions and responses.

jumpshipbridge.jpgWhile the navigator and bridge crew get to work making their calculations, the XO suggests the team members strap themselves in or find something to hold onto and to prepare to jump. As Lt. Herschel states this to the Team, some crewmembers can seen strapping themselves to their chairs. After some busy activity by the crew the XO turns and coming to attention salutes and reports to the captain “Sir, all airlock doors are secure. All compartments report ready. Magnetometer is at 0.262. Engineering reports K-F Drive is at full power. Primary and secondary couplers show ready. Primary and secondary batteries are at 100%, voltage steady. Fusion reactor is at 100%. Navigation computer reports ready. The board is green sir, we are ready to jump.” The captain looks over the bridge panels briefly and then states “Very well XO, execute jump commencing at fifteen seconds from my mark……mark.” The XO then counts out the countdown to jump. The last thing the team hears is “Executing jump.”

All goes white and no more than a fraction of a second later the Razors Edge makes the space fold jump, arriving at the coordinates at Dalkeith seconds later. It was a far jump but it seemed to go very smoothly.

After the jump is completed the XO and navigator consult the navigation computer for a moment and then the XO reports to the Captain “Sir, Navigation computer confirms positive celestial lock. We have arrived at the designated coordinates at point 06.” To which the captain replies “Very well XO. Proceed with space keeping maneuver. Orient us at 80 mark 20.” The captain then turns in his command chair and tells the Schattenjager team “We have arrived. As soon as you are ready you may disembark. I wish you good luck.” The XO Lt. Hershel hands the team the frequencies for the research facility automated landing system as the team leaves.

iceplanetspace.jpgThe Mule class dropship detaches and begins the journey to planetary orbit around the planet Dalkeith VI. As the team reaches orbit in their dropship the team picks up an automated emergency signal originating from the base that repeats over and over. As time progresses the signal is growing weaker in strength. In addition there is a low power transmission that is picked up in transit to the base. This signal comes every day at 19:00 hours and lasts for about fifteen minutes. The signal being broadcast is on an open frequency and makes no sense. There is no reply from the Lyran research outpost to any attempts at contact by the team.

snowbase.jpgThe dropship enters the atmosphere and proceeds to the coordinates of the research base. The landing proves to be a little more difficult than normal. On approach to the base the automatic landing system cannot engage and the dropship will need to be landed manually as the automatic instrument landing system for the base landing zone seems to be not functioning or transmitting as it should for some unknown reason. The automatic landing system cannot function and will require a manual landing. This doesn’t pose a problem however and any competent dropship pilot can make the landing even in the poor weather conditions. The team lands their dropship at the research base landing zone. There are clear signs of recent snowfall at the location of the base. Looking out of the dropship or as they exit the dropship there can be seen that there are seven major buildings arranged in a cluster that make up the research base. The air outside is cold and crisp and a little dry.

Leaving the dropship on foot the team can see that many of the buildings have been burned with black scorch marks on them or are destroyed. The aftermath of the fire still leaves a mix of burned fuel and rubber smells that still lingers in the air. The weather outside at the moment is clearing, very still and quiet giving good visibility. The buildings are covered in snow indicating that a snowstorm has passed through recently. The massive greenhouse structure at the center of the base has burned down and the power station is also visibly damaged from fire. The storage building is also partially damaged.

snowcorpse.jpgThere is a dead man lying covered in snow in the open ground outside as the team approaches the base from the landing field. The dead man does not have on very heavy clothes. There is no apparent sign of the cause of death though it can be surmised that he froze to death outside. Searching the body the team will find that he has an ID card of with the name Dr. Henry Thomas, PhD. His name is on the research base personnel list as a botanist. Nothing else is known about the man.

Outside the storage building there are two dead men that appeared to have killed each other in a gun fight. Both have pistols in their frozen hands and gunshot wounds to the chest. Edward Drake identifies one of the dead men as Lang, the Lyran agent that was sent to this planet. A few meters from him is a man who has ID on him stating he is Doctor Peter J. Crenshaw, the suspected Draconis Combine agent.

BASE LAYOUT

Power Generator Plant
powerplant1.jpgRemoved from the other buildings is the power plant for the research base. The power generator plant is a plain square reinforced steel and concrete building with a flat roof. It shows signs of fire damage on the outside walls. Black scorch marks can be seen on the sides of the building. Investigation shows that the burn marks are from a fire and not from any weapons fire. Inside the building the station power generator is in a shambles but repairable. It will take many hours to repair the generator and power grid to get it operational.

Commons and Dormitory Building
This is the second largest building at the base and it is divided into two sub sections; a commons areas and mess hall that is connected by a door and small hallway to the dormitory area. The back of the dormitory area has collapsed and is covered by burn marks. It has been severely burned by fire. Investigation shows that there are four men here that are dead from the fire. Three of them are still in their bunks. Further investigation shows that these three have multiple gunshot wounds to the chest then had blankets put over them to hide the wounds.
In the commons area seven bodies are found huddled together in one corner wearing heavy winter parkas, heavy gloves, snow boots and wrapped with heavy blankets over them. One is clutching a small lighter now empty of fuel with the lid still open. Close by these bodies are the burned out remains of a makeshift fire that these men used to try to keep warm. Several broken chairs, pieces of wood and torn rags can be seen near them that were used to make a fire. All ten men have died from exposure to the subzero temperatures.

Agriculture Dome
thedome.jpgThe Agriculture Dome is the largest structure of the base. This massive greenhouse has nearly burned down to the ground. The agriculture dome was damaged in the fire causing one side of the dome to collapse inward. Snow and ice have covered the inside of the dome. The rows of agricultural experiments and plants between the small trees that were inside have all frozen over solid making the inside of the dome look like an otherworldly white frozen jungle. There are some basic mundane gardening and farm equipment lying about the dome and some display monitors that have frozen over. There is nothing of value here.
undertunnel.jpgThe agriculture dome adjoins the Laboratory building through airlock pressure doors and a connecting tunnel dug into the ice sheet that is two meters wide and two meters tall. The door to the agricultural dome is frozen solid and will need to be forced open. The tunnel is very dark and cold without power for the lights along the ceiling.

Sciences and Laboratory Building
This building is mostly intact. Outside the door to the building is trash strewn about. Some snow and ice has crept in from a broken observation window on the western side of the concrete building. Inside are many pieces of scientific equipment. Several drawers and file cabinets are open with papers strewn about the room. The agriculture dome adjoins the Laboratory building through airlock pressure doors and a connecting tunnel dug into the ice sheet that is two meters wide and two meters tall. The door to the agricultural dome is frozen solid and will need to be forced open.
The tunnel is very dark and cold without power for the lights along the ceiling. There are several notebooks here with notes on scientific experiments. One such is a notebook of a Doctor Emma Foster. It is mostly notes on scientific experiments involving seed hybrids but on one page she does note the arrival of Doctor Crenshaw and Doctor Lang to the base with a date of about two weeks ago. However there is no mention of the crashed dropship in the notebook.

Communications Building
commtower.jpgIn the communications hut the frozen body of a man is seen hunched over a chair wearing radio headphones. He is in a heavy winter parka with heavy boots and a cold winter cap on. His body, like the others has some frost all over it and is very stiff. It appears this person has frozen to death. There are no other injuries that can be found. He has likely been dead for days. The old communications system is still on but is it showing to be in standby mode. It is barely functioning and switched to operate on the emergency batteries. The gauges for the emergency batteries indicate the emergency batteries are now nearly exhausted and there is barely enough power to transmit.
The communications system is tuned to broadcast out in the open on the emergency bands. The tuner is locked in this setting and will need to be unlocked with a Security Systems skill roll. This also means that the emergency calls for help have been broadcast on an open channel that anyone could hear.

Weather Station and Radar
frozenanten2.jpgNext to the communications building is the base weather and radar station. The station radar and weather station are damaged and laying in the snow. On close inspection, it appears the scaffold tower for the radar and the high gain antennae was knocked down at some point in the storm by high winds. It might be repairable given time and manpower, but there is no power source. Around the main tower are several other smaller antennae, spectrometers and a high and low field magnetometer array. The arrangement of the antenna and the magnetometers is unusual. The ferrous metal deposits in the planet crust make this arrangement necessary to get accurate readings. There is a power amplifier for the transmitters that is quite powerful for such a small base and communications tower.
The radar of the base is designed for tracking weather, but can be modified in about three hours to also function as a crude early warning radar.

Storage Building
The storage building is partially damaged from the fire. Inside there is a small workbench and maintenance shop. On the bench is a metal pipe that has had the end cut off inside a vice mounted to the work bench. There is also a multi-meter on the work bench and several small screwdrivers. There are many crates inside with winter clothing and gear, food supplies and spare parts. There are several tools and a welding blowtorch. Inside the team finds a locker has been forced open with a crowbar and some basic demolitions seismic charges have been removed from a locker. There is vehicle bay attached to the building with room for two vehicles. There is only one tracked vehicle secured here in the vehicle bay. It is non-military and capable of carrying five men and suitable for operations in the ice and snow. It has a small flatbed cargo area in the back and is powered by a simple interal combustion engine. the fuel tank for the tractor has been clearly completely drained of its liquid combustible fuel. The snow tractor can be repaired and will require finding the appropriate spare parts in the storage building work area. The snow tractor does have a functioning battery cell that can be used. A hose lays nearby the tractor fuel tank along with an empty fuel container. Several fuel canisters are apparently missing from the fuel storage locker nearby. There is also a pump for the liquid fuel that connects to a large capacity fuel tank under the building. According to the fuel tank gauge there is about 100 gallons of fuel still in the fuel tank.

Crashed Dropship
crasheddropship.jpgThe remains of the crashed Mule dropship are located about half a kilometer south of the research base. The dropship crashed rests at a twenty degree angle leaving a small crater in the ice. There are burn marks all around the area that can still be seen. The hull of the ship is black with burn marks covered with ice and snow over it. Nearby are a dozen metal objects lines up in a row. Moving closer in the snow it is apparent that these are where the crew of the dropship were buried. Investigating the condition of the drop ship it is discovered that it has suffered heavy structural damage from the crash. The decks have buckled and collapsed. This dropship will never fly again. It is good for nothing but scrap salvage. Access to the dropship bridge is difficult when climbing up in it the ship without any power. On the bridge there is no back up power. Using a portable power pack the team is able to bring some of the systems back online. The Navigation system has had its memory completely wiped for some reason. This can only be done on purpose. The log entries of the dropship have also been deliberately erased.
cratesnow.jpgDown below, the cargo bays of the dropship have been severely jarred about, probably from the crash, though it does appear that someone has also gone through the cargo bay as well looking for something.
There are a few overturned crates that have been smashed and opened up and their various cargo contents have been scattered on the decks and on the ground outside.
There are no tracks around the dropship from vehicle or foot that can be seen. Any that might have been here have been erased already by the elements.

Abandoned Snow Crawler
snowtractor1.jpgThe other snow crawler is abandoned outside the base area. It is half covered up in snow. It is difficult to estimate how long it has been this way. The batteries are drained and it will not start. The snow tracks have come off the left side of the snow crawler. A skill roll in Technician/Mechanic will reveal that it looks as if some repairs were attempted but abandoned and it does not appear the snow tractor can be repaired without some heavy equipment to tow it back to a repair facility and put it on a repair lift. It does appear however that some equipment it was carrying in the back cargo area has been removed. There are some tie down straps that have been undone and a few boxes are shifted around. Inside the other boxes in the back are some ice core samples, mundane scientific equipment, a box of 10 flares worth 7 C-Bills each and some shovels. There is nothing else of value or use here that can be found.

whitedeathcommando.jpgReturning to the research base, the Schattenjager Team compares notes as to what they found at the dropship crash site and the abandoned snow crawler. While looking for any more evidence around the research station the team and the research station is attacked by a team of Kurita Death Commandos armed with katanna swords and SMGs.
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While fighting off the Kurita Death Commandos a squad of Draconis infantry enter the research station grounds from the south east and attack the team. The Draconis infantry are armed with pistols, riles, SMGs and a heavy rifle with a grenade launcher.


Near the storage building Edward Drake has discovered that Hauptman Beck and Lt Krupke have both been killed by Akira ‘Sam’ Takahashi. Edward Drake then killed Takahashi in hand to hand combat with a knife. Drake seems to be a little shaken by the whole ideal. Both Beck and Krupke have several gunshot wounds.

LYRAN INFANTRY REINFORCMENTS ARRIVE
neilkrause.pngArriving back at the research station, the team observes an incoming spherical dropship approaching the research station landing field. Soon a Union class Lyran dropship can be seen with Lyran markings on the fuselage. The dropship makes a precision landing at the base landing zone. The doors to the dropship open and several infantry begin to deploy from the dropship and begin securing the landing zone. A Lyran infantry officer flanked by a sergeant and a communications specialist carrying a portable radio approaches the team. Hauptman Neil Krause commands an infantry company of the 4th Lyran Regulars introduces himself asking for Kauptman Beck. Captain Krause is dressed like the rest of his unit in arctic warfare clothing and wearing a Commonwealth Medal of Honor on his uniform which impresses Sgt. Basil L Clumley. He brings a company (3 platoons/9 miniatures) of heavy laser infantry along with two Patton heavy tanks. As he converses with the team, while ordering his Lyran infantry to begin deploying and taking up defensive positions in the research station. From the dropship two Patton heavy tanks roll out and move to positions as well within the base. Hauptman Neil Krause seems to be a fairly competent and efficient officer. He informs the team that his unit was stationed on Menkent in the Isle of Skye and was ordered to come to repel an invasion force.
3025pattontank.jpgHauptman Neil Krause reports to the team that the main bulk of the 4th Lyran Regulars RCT dropships were attacked and damaged while entering the atmosphere by aerospace fighters and were forced to land to the south of the research station several kilometers away and regroup. His dropsphip was one of the last ships and was not attacked and thus able to make it to the tarter landing zone safety. He further states that “arctic conditions are not what his men are usually deployed in, but the men are always ready for a fight against the Draconis Combine.”

Lyranregulars04th.pngPC NOTES: The 4th Lyran Regulars are composed primarily of heavy and assault mechs. The 4th Lyran Regulars has always been a front-line BattleMech Regiment in the service of the Lyran Commonwealth. The unit is noted historically for holding grudges with and hating the Draconis Combine. The unit’s insignia is an outline of a palm tree with lightning striking above it. The unit’s nickname is Tropical Lightning. The regiment uses a drab green paint scheme with tan or khaki highlighting on their combat vehicles.

As time goes on the weather conditions are slowly deteriorating in the area as a blizzard begins to set in. The blizzard is coming from the north and will arrive in about an hour.

sholagharaerospacefighter.jpgSEveral specialist in the infantry unit have hooked up portable monitoring and communications equipment to the research station communications array and weather station. They report to Hauptman Krause that their radar is picking up two inbound aerospace fighters approaching from the west at very high speed. There is no automated ID transponder coming from the incoming craft. The incoming craft will arrive over the base in 10 minutes at present speed. The infantry run for cover while the Schattenjagers suit up and get in their battlemechs.
A few minutes’ later two aerospace fighters fly over the base. They are painted blood red and are clearly from visual observation Draconis Combine SL-21 Sholagar class aerospace fighters. The Draconis Combine fighters do not attack and the Schattenjagers or the base, however the take a few shots with their battlemechs but miss the high flying fast moving aerospace fighters.

PC NOTES: The Sholagar is a fast and heavily armed light fighter. With a Hoverteck SRM-4 rack in the nose, and a Diverse Optics Type 20 Medium Laser in each wing, the Sholagar is heavily armed for a light aerospace fighter. With six tons of armor to back up the armament, it has more staying power in a fight than other light fighters.

blackbox.jpgThe team locates a tracking device on the body of Sam Takahashi. Using it the team is able to find where the black box has been deliberately buried in the ice some distance from the base.
After searching for the black box with the tracking device, the team is able to find the location of the black box. It is located about 400 meters from the base. When located the team discovers that it has a complex bomb and detonator attached to it with a red indicator light that is on. This explosive device has been attached externally to the black box by someone. It will be difficult to disarm the device without setting it off. Judging from the size of the bomb attached to the black box, if the bomb went off the explosion would surely kill anyone within ten meters and completely destroy the black box entirely leaving no trace of it.

arcticinfantry.jpgShortly after locating the black box, Draconis Combine ground forces are reported to be approaching the research station on radar. The team hurriedly disarms the bomb attached to the black box and returns to the research station where they begin to plan out their defense of the base.
Hauptman Neil Krause makes an observation to the team: “With this sort of weather and terrain, in order to secure the base and bring in additional reinforcements, capturing the landing field will be their primary target.” During this time the Schattenjager Team observes that the Lyran infantry and their two Patton heavy tanks have deployed in defensive positions around the research station.

KURITA ATTACK FORCE ARRIVES
Sword2.pngColonel (Tai-Sa) Saito arrives with his forces to take the black box by force. This is the same unit that the Schattenjagers encountered on the Planet Phalen a month before. Colonel Saito identifies himself and states he is from the 2nd Sword of Light Regiment. He offers the Schattenjagers to surrender the field. “I am Colonel Saito, Commander of the 2nd Sword of Light Regiment. You are known as the Schattjagers. Your unit is known to us. There is no need for subterfuge. We are here for the same reason as you; to recover the communications device. You are outnumbered and outgunned. Surrender the field and your espionage listening post with honor and your lives shall be spared. This I promise. Resist and we will show you no quarter, this I also promise. As a show of respect, I give you two minutes.”
Sgt Major Clumley replies insultingly that the Schattenjagers will fight the intruders to which Col. Saito replies “I honor you with respect from one warrior to another and this is your reply. I am disappointed. Now I will have to destroy you. That too is honorable.” There is almost a hint of pleasure in his reply.

PC NOTES: The Sword of Light represent the elite of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery’s BattleMech arm. In order to join, one must have five years of flawless service in another regiment and pass a series of mental, physical, spiritual, and political tests. Non-combat staff are tested in the same manner. Sword of Light regiments receive top priority for supplies, and even have their own dedicated JumpShips and DropShips. The Sword of Light regiments are not tied to a specific area of deployment, but travel the realm to assist where needed. Their ’Mech paint scheme is usually flat red, with the Kurita crest on the left shoulder. Numbering twelve regiments until 2740 when the number of regiments in the Sword of Light was reduced to five, with each regiment representing one of the five Pillars of Combine society, to compensate for the smaller brigade the regiments themselves reorganized to consist of four battalions instead of three. Nickname: “The Steel Dragon”.

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Session Twelve
Balance of Terror

APRIL 3049

The Team is ordered to make a retaliatory raid on the planet Aubisson then return to Port Moseby in Lyran Space. The target is a water treatment plant on the planet Aubisson codenamed Aqueduct that we have had our eyes on for since coming to our attention. Aubisson is located in the Algedi Prefecture of the Dieron Military District within the Draconis Combine. The target water treatment plant provides purified pure water via overland transfer pipes for several manufacturing facilities on the planet that produce high end industrial and battelmech coolant. Destroying the water treatment plant will cripple some of the important industrial output of the planet for at least a year, if not more.
“I don’t fully trust the accuracy of our information sources on this. Our information on the planet and layout is based on our occupation of Aubisson during the war of 3039, over ten years ago. Things have probably changed some.”

On Aubisson it is the raining season. The ground is wet and muddy. If a mech does not move in a turn it must make a piloting check to move or lose 1mp of movement. In addition the mud makes standing up from a fall +1 harder to the piloting die roll modifier.

The LIC has a contact on the ground; codename: Spectre
“We have received a report for a reliable operative. The garrison forces on Aubisson were rotated out of the planet. However the relieving garrison force has been delayed due to a fortuitous problem with their dropship. Furthermore our operative on the planet has learned that the relieving garrison will be delayed in arriving to the planet for at least three of four days because of this. This means that there is presently no regular front line battlemech battalion garrisoning on the planet. This gives us a lucky but narrow window of opportunity to insert your team on the planet and cause some havoc for the Draconis Combine. We also have coordinates in the system to jump into a pirate point that will bring you very close to the planet. This will give your force the element of surprise.”
“We believe there is only local planetary militia with some outdated second line battlemachs supported by some armor units.
The Team should knock out the airfield so that there cannot be any aerospace fighter support to interfere with escaping the planet. After the air base is rendered inoperative the team should then knock out the water treatment plant. Once these are confirmed destroyed make your escape from the planet and rendezvous with the jumpship.”

aubissonairfield.jpgApproaching in the evening from the south, the team reaches the outskirts of landing fields. The team is on the edge of a cliff that has cover from bushes and small trees. The landing field is some 200 feet (61 meters) below the team in a small bowl shaped valley. There can clearly be seen roads leading into the landing field to the north. The landing field has several metal buildings and hangars. The only way that can be found down to the bottom is by climbing down the cliff. The team can choose to send a few personnel down or go together. If the team sends a few personnel the others will find an access tunnel covered in the dense foliage when they go to hide. The access tunnel is carefully covered by bushes and foliage at the edge of the cliff. It has a hatch that opens up with a latter going down to the bottom.

On one of the landing zones of the airfield there is a Union class dropship. It has apparently suffered some sort of mechanical failure. It appears that one of its massive landing struts has collapsed and the spherical dropship is listing to one side. Around it are several maintenance vehicle and heavy repair equipment. Several mechanics and technicians can be seen moving about and some welders working with their sparks on the damaged landing strut. As the team observes this a large fuel truck pulls up to the dropship and the crew of the truck begin to hook their truck up to the dropship.

The truck remains hooked up to the dropship as the crew and repairmen stop work for the day. It was very careless to leave the truck hooked up to the dropship. Destroying the fuel truck will cause the fuel to ignite and also destroy the dropship. The resulting explosion should also take out several buildings and create quite a large crater in the landing field. It will also distract the forces here.

One C8 charge is more than enough to take out the fuel truck.
As the blast goes off explosions rock the base and fires rise and sirens can be heard and searchlights can be seen.

waterplant.jpgThe water treatment plant is has four main points on the plant that must be destroyed by the Team (Heavy). The water treatment plant is all considered to be level 4. It cannot be landed on as it is all irregular pipes and metal structure that will get a mech caught up in it. There are also several Pipelines coming out of the plant are level 1 and considered Medium buildings and can be destroyed.
The local militia forces have deployed to protect the area. Outside the treatment plant four light mechs can clearly be seen guarding the entrance to the plant. Painted on the each side of the building, the red flower emblem of the Matabushi Corporation can clearly be seen.

A Manticore heavy tank and two Scorpion light tanks emerge from the main plant building.
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Session Eleven
We're From The Government, And We're Here To Help.

APRIL 3049

After completing their mission on Solaris VII the Schattenjagers are able to relax a few days before LIC Agent Schumaker arrives unannounced and states that he has been on planet for some time and has helped ensure the scientist makes his way to an undisclosed protected location.
The team bids farewell to ‘Bear’ Bromholt who wishes them well and thanks them for their help.

The next morning the team is awoken and receives orders delivered to them by a sleepy eyed corporal arrives with orders that the unit is to be transferred to the Planet Tamar in the Tamar Pact in order to participate in urban warfare training. “I hope you guys had fun here, because it looks like the fun for you is over.” The orders also state that arrangements have been made for several merchants under contract with the government to transport the team to Tamar. In the orders it also states that Lt. Schulemburg has been transferred to the Nagelring Academy on Tharkad to attend the war college there and that a new officer named First Leutnant Eric Beck will be assigned to third lance to assume command on Hesperus II. The corporal delivering the orders to the unit shrugs his shoulders and states rather uninterestedly that Lt Beck “was on hand and the unit needed an officer.” Furthermore the corporal states in passing that “the authorities have decided to cremate the body of Lt Viola Springer, as they are unable to locate and next of kin in her paperwork, something no one noticed until now.”
LIC Agent Schumaker takes the orders and looks them over then excuses himself and disappears.

Aaron Lawson also agrees to join the unit as an associate civilian member of the Team. Schumaker has vetted and checked him out fully over the past few days and made his recommendation to the LCAF to allow Lawson to join the team. He will be travelling with the team back t Hesperus II.

It is a long jumpship journey to Tamar that will involve spending much time packed in dropships. The teams reports to the Lyran hanger areas and where their personal belongings have already been loaded onto their dropship. The dropship takes off from Solaris VII and an uneventful journey begins. The trip is long, and boring. There is not much to do even in the relative comfort and roominess of a Mule class dropship. The merchant jumpship crews are mostly not in the mood for idle talk and are all business, they have schedules to keep. You transfer from one jumpship to another as you travel to Herperus II. Hesperus II is the first planet you have been on since leaving Solaris VII. Changes in gravity always take a few hours to get accustomed to. The factories and technicians on Herperus II have repaired, upgraded and repainted your mechs.

Upon meeting the new officer it is apparent that First Leutnant Eric Beck is the epitome of the typical ‘social’ Lyran officer that the Archon has been trying to slowly purge from the ranks of the LCAF. Coming from privilege he is aloof and uninterested in real military work and in command only because of political and social connections. It is immediately noticed that Beck is a bit lazy and more interested in comfort, looking good and drinking his fancy teas. Beck is rarely seen and has Sgt. Clumley do all the real work and make most of the decisions. He is however very good at brown-nosing and sucking up to his superiors. Beck pilots a standard 55 ton GRF-1N Griffin medium battlemech. From the condition it might be possible this battlemech has never seen any real combat.
Lt. Beck is from the planet Carlisle in the Alarion Province and is somehow connected with high up persons in Bowie Industries, one of the two heavy industries on this planet.

sess11map.pngWhile waiting to jump at the Auldhouse system the team is given some unexpected emergency orders. The orders have come from directly from the high command on Tharkad and are transmitted through the system’s secure Comstar port channel while at the Nadir docking point. The orders resend the previous orders to redeploy to Tamar and orders the Schattenjagers to jump immediately and as possible to the nearby Phalan system and conduct rescue operations. The Phalan system is 19.49 light years from the Auldhouse system. Attached to the new orders is a situation report detailing the mission in more detail.

The attached situation report states that the planet Phalan is in the TrellShire province of the Tamar Pact. The situation report attached to the new orders states that Phalan has been attacked in a raid and that forces from the Draconis Combine as believed to have participated in the attack. The raid took place 12 hours ago. In response to the news of the raid, being the closest unit, the Schattenjagers team is to be sent in as a first responder to the planet Phalan. The team is ordered to do a preliminary investigation and secure any evidence and witnesses of the events until further help arrives. Though near Draconis Combine space, Phalan is a sparsely populated agricultural planet, not an industrial planet and thus not a primary or even important military target. The Lyran Intelligence Corps is unsure what prompted this attack. Furthermore, the Draconis Combine has not answered any demands for answers from official or unofficial channels, nor have they claimed any responsibility. The government is trying to keep what has happened quiet for the moment. It is important that the Schatenjagers investigate the situation because as soon as this story breaks on the Lyran communications channels the Archon will undoubtedly be pressured by the Estates General to do something. Reports from the planet are vague but state that the central communications complex of the planet was hit first, thus the small garrison on the planet was never called out, nor was the local militia. Somehow the planet was attacked without anyone knowing they were being attacked by this raid. The attack targeted once of the smaller settlements on the planet near the equator.

When the Schattenjagers arrive in the system at the nadir point there is another unidentified Invader class jumpship just on the edge or sensor range. This jumpship does not respond to any communications attempts. A few minutes later it jumps and leaves the system. The jumpship is an Invader class jumpship. Arrival time by dropship to the planet is 3 days.

jumpship2.jpgDescription Invader Class Jumpship
Accounting for an estimated 46% of all registered JumpShips in the Inner Sphere the popular, cost-efficient and widespread Invader class is the archetypical JumpShip. Despite its martial name, it is a civilian design and ill-suited for combat. It does, however, possess sophisticated communications gear and can maintain radio and laser-link feeds with up to ten transmitting stations, making it an ideal vessel to coordinate a task force.
51% of all Invaders are operated by the militaries of the Inner Sphere, 32% are owned by giant corporations and the remaining 17% are owned by Mercenary units or private citizens.
The Invader’s most distinctive design feature is a pair of hydroponic garden domes. They produce food and oxygen for the crew, even a small surplus for trade with docking DropShips. Although fully automated, system failures mean that the gardens have to be maintained manually by the crew on every third ship. Many older ships also have a design flaw that could cause the hydroponics booms to lock in the extended position, preventing the vessel from jumping; this flaw was largely rectified following the Fourth Succession War and old ships were refitted accordingly.
The original design of the Invader was not armed, but carried two special anti-meteor long range lasers. Maintenance problems saw these replaced with a pair of Large Lasers or PPCs, but even these can barely match the firepower of a single Aerospace Fighter. This, and the thin armor, has led to Invaders being regarded as non-combatants, like all JumpShips in the age of LosTech.
The Invader class can carry between 522 and 526 tons of cargo in the cargo section, depending on the weapon configuration. It also has two hangar bays for Small Craft.
The mass of the Invader is 152,000 tons.

Village-Destroyed.jpgArriving on the planet the team lands near the settlement and finds that the farming settlement in centrally located like a hub around many agricultural fields. Smoke still rises from some of the fields as well as some of the buildings of the settlement making a striking contrast against the clear blue skies overhead. The farming settlement has been attacked, burned down and reduced to rubble. Entering the settlement it seems strangely quiet. Nothing moves. Following the ruble in the streets the team comes to the center of town.
There there are bodies all over the streets here.
Many of the victims have been executed in groups and left to rot outside in the sun. The scene is nothing more than bloody and horrible. Men, women and children have all been killed. Some have been shot in the back apparently trying to flee the attackers. There are several groups where people have been executed. Some have been decapitated. There are also some that have been tied up with wire and set on fire. There are even a dog tied to a stake near a burned out house that has been shot. The reason for such actions is unknown unless it was to terrorize the people here. The horror around them is like nothing the Team has ever seen before. Even as experienced in combat as the team members are, some can’t help but close their eyes or turn away from what they see. The team cannot help but think of the Kentares IV massacre.

The Kentares Massacre of 2796 was the largest single war crime in human history. Draconis Combine troops wiped out large portions of the population of Kentares IV during the First Succession War as an act of revenge for the death of Coordinator Minoru Kurita.

LIC Agent Schumaker wants to investigate the massacre scene more closely. There is a look of concern on his normally stoic and expressionless face. This is something none of the team has ever seen before. The water treatment facility has been destroyed and there is a strong looking concrete building which has been completely burned out. Looking at the building more closely it is apparent this was the local government building. The large metal doors to the building have been chained and locked. Inside the team finds that there are several dozen bodies all burned to just skeletons here making them unrecognizable. These people were locked in here and then burned alive.
In the initial investigation, while walking around the settlement, the team also finds a Kurtia coin on the ground.

No weapons are found on any of the civilians.

Near the center of the settlement, on a flagpole outside a small collapsed school, a tattered and partially burned Lyran flag hangs limp from one eye hook. It looks sad and pathetic in its condition. There is a noise heard inside the building. Entering the building there can be seen on the broken chalkboard is a Draconis Combine coiled dragon drawn in chalk. There are some Japanese kanji letters next to it. The Japanese word written is Koshinuke which is the word for ‘cowards’.
Digging through the rubble the team does find a young and terrified girl hiding under part of the roof of a collapsed school. She is about 6 years old and in a state of shell shock and is very scared of the team members. She attempts to flee. She doesnot say much at first until one of the team members can get her trust. She tells the team while crying “I was at school and then the big robots painted red came and they had men with guns with them. They had everyone come outside and then they started shooting their guns at everyone and smashing things with their robots. That is when I went and hid in the school. They came in and took my teacher who was hiding there and I heard her screaming and then there were more guns.”

A group of survivors are seen approaching the burned village. They are ragged looking with dirt and sot on their faces, arms and clothes. A few of them have some obvious wounds. These people look upset as they approach and begin to yell at the team shouting, an old man scolds the team and mocks them “Where were they? Where were they?! Where are the rest of you fancy soldiers? Where were you when they killed the rest of us? – What were you doing, boy?” pointing at one of the team members – Tesavir. Then another woman with tears asks of the team “Where were you? You were supposed to protect us! We prayed for you to come but you didn’t!” Another shouts from the back of the crowd “they killed my boy!” And then another shouts “they killed my entire family the butchers!” Several of the people become a little agitated at Hiro being present with the team based on his heritage and looks. When they see him they become even more agitated. A Negotiation skill roll will help calm the people down.
The team can assist some of the wounded people with Medtech skill rolls.
Once calmed down some of the people will tell the team that the attacking battlemechs came from the north, they attacked the communications station first and then the settlement. They didn’t attack the Comstar HPG Generator though and the Comstar representatives would not allow the citizens into their facility when the Draconis Combine forces came. If asked where the communications bunker is, they will tell them that it is on the north end of town.

There can be seen two felled agromechs in a nearby field. One the agromechs is prone face down and the other next to it is hunched over. As the team approaches to investigate it is clear that both of these agromechs have been disabled by headshots. There is no other weapons fire damage on these two agromechs. It appears the damage was done by some sort of energy weapon. With no armor the pilots of these two agromechs were killed instantly. The cockpits of the agromechs are nothing but charred twisted metal now. The mechs were shot by laser fire in the back. Four sets of tracks come up to the agromechs field and then turn. The agromechs tracks show that they were attempting to move away for the other set of tracks. These helpless farming mechs were taken out for no reason. They do not pose much of a threat to armed and armored battlemechs.

Battlemechs are heavy and leave clear footprints in this type of soil. Tesavir puts together the path of the attacking battlemechs and which way they left. Following these tracks the team will find where a dropship had landed in a nearby field. It is not far from the monitoring station. It appears a dropship did land here based on the scorch marks on the ground. The dropship landed in a clearing of a small forest. It looks like this was a precision landing made here by the pilots of the dropship.

A MASH unit arrives later in the day along with a militia military convoy that begins to distribute water, food and blankets and other essentials to the few survivors. Doctors and nurses begin aiding the seriously wounded and take some of the injured off in vehicle to the nearest hospital facility. LIC Agent Schumaker states he will go with some of the survivors to help take statements and make contact with the government with a report of what has happened here. LIC Agent Schumaker tells the team to keep their eyes open and that he will return in a few days.

The team receives a communication from the jumpship that bought the team here that a jumpship entered the system in a very close pirate point. It appeared that a large dropship detached from the jumpship and made a path to the planet. The jumpship then re-jumped away. They are having communications trouble with the dropships but state that it is good that more help is on the way.

THE MONITORING STATION
combunker.JPGThe communications hub is a simple steel reinforced concrete bunker one story tall, built into the earth. There is a heavy door designed to withstand most small arms fire that has been blown off its top hinges. It is apparent that this building was attacked by battlemechs based on the damage that can be seen. The damage appears to be both from weapons and physical attacks. Investigating the communications station the team looking around it can be seen that this is more than just a communications hub. This was an electronic listening and monitoring post. There is a lot of sophisticated electronics, computers and sensor equipment here that has been reduced to scrap metal. There are a few bodies in here, they have obviously been dead for a few days. In the distance are several communications arrays that can be seen. They do not appear to be damaged.

majormcd.jpgInvestigating further inside the team will find next to one of the internal reinforcement pillars that there is one lone survivor inside the monitoring and communications station. The survivor is a Lyran Officer and appears to barely alive and unconscious. He is suffering from trauma and here are two blast marks in his chest. Some attempts at MedTech eventually bring him around. His pockets have been gone through and his tunic is open. After successful treatment he will regain consciousness for a moment to identify himself as Major Bran McDonnell. At first he will moan and softly say that it was is fault. If asked he will say that he is responsible for the facility here. He will not elaborate on this further. Major Bran McDonnell states that he was once a mechwarrior but was not a very good battlemech pilot. He is now an administration officer in charge of the communications facility here.
Searching the facility the team will find that there are several computer terminals that have been removed and the place has been obviously ransacked by someone. Desks are overturned and papers on the floor. Several data storage modules have been removed from the digital archives. There is a duty schedule posted on the wall. The shifts are every three hours and the watches change at 6am, 2pm, 10 pm.
It appears that someone was perhaps looking for something here. McDonnell does not know what anyone could have been looking for. He will states that the facility just passed along information and communications, nothing more. It is apparent though that this was more of a monitoring station for the Kurita border. McDonnell will state that there was no warning about the attack and that it came early in the morning without warning. He will then ask the team to help get him off the planet if possible.

COMSTAR HPG FACILITY
hpg2.jpgThe local Comstar facility is one of the few buildings still standing in the area. This is not too surprising since Comstar is neutral. They didn’t however let anyone know about the attack independently on their own while it was happening nor did they release any information on the attack until the planetary officials sent out their appeal to the Lyran government. The facility is painted bright white, with walls around it. A huge dish dominated the facility.

blood-spatter-wall1.jpgThe white walls on the south side of the facility that face toward the settlement have two black charred blast marks on them. Approaching the facility there can be clearly seen some red marks on the wall near the gated entrance. There are ten bodies covered up with sheets near the wall. It is apparent these people were executed.

Two Comstar guards with riles and heavy armor stand just inside the gate blocking passage. They will not let the team enter but will call on a communicator for a representative to come speak to the team. After a few moments of waiting a man in his mid-thirties dressed in Comstar robes will greet the team, stating that he is Darryl Weaver, an Adept with ComStar and the head of the facility. It is a class III HPG generator. Darryl Weaver meets the team outside the gates of the Comstar complex. He tells the team that Comstar is neutral in the affairs of the Successor States. But then he looks to the walls of the Comstar facility and the two blast marks on the otherwise white walls. Weaver sighs and invites the team to walk with him some for a moment. As they walk away from the Comstar building he begins to tell the team that this is his first assignment as a Comstar station chief. In talking to Weaver it is apparent from is accent that he originally came from the Free World’s League.

“I have only been here for a few months.” He again reiterates that Comstar is neutral. “What I am going to tell you is off the record and did not come from Comstar. However…this…event might look bad to the Percenter. I want to do what I can in my limited capacities to help you.” Weaver then states that “the attack was led by a Draconis Officer named Saito.” He then relates that the “Kurita forces commanded by a man named Colonel Saito landed before the dawn and came into the settlement with battlemechs, vehicles and infantry. The Kurita forces were apparently able to jump into the system and land a force here without anyone raising the alarm. They then proceeded to round up all the citizens and execute them all. There was nothing we could do but watch. No one came to us to issue a warning. Thus by procedure and the act of neutrality…we could do nothing but close the HPG generator complex and wait. It wasn’t until they started killing off the children that someone in our blessed facility sent of a warning message to your leaders. Of course by then it was too late“. It is believed from looking at this expressions that Darryl Weaver was the one who sent the message to Tharkad. If asked by the Team if he sent the message to Tharkad he will deny this. If asked more about Saito, Weaver will hand the team a dossier on a data cube and tell the team “to look at it later on.” adding “I cannot tell you more than what Lyran Intelligence already knows, but I thought you would ask. The primary target was the communications facility. You might want to look there as well.”

The data cube is a small simple data storage device. The data on it is encrypted . There is little useful information provided here on Colonel Saito beyond a typical bio. It is known by Lyran Military Intelligence that he was born around 3009 on the planet Luthien and is a career officer in the Draconis Combine. There is not much known about his service record until the outbreak of the Fourth succession War. He fought with the Fifth Sword of Light Regiment in the Fourth Succession War as a battalion commander against the 1st Deneb Light Calvary and the Kell Hounds on the planet Nusaken and then later against the 10th Lyran Guards in the protracted heavy fighting on the planet Northwind. During the War of 3039, Saito now a full colonel, was engaged on the planet Pike IV in operations against the 17th Syke Rangers. He was personally placed under interdiction by Comstar in 3039 for ordering his unit to fire on a Comstar facility while engaged in close combat with Lyran forces, but the interdiction was lifted by Comstar a year later. After this incident he was passed over for promotion twice, first in 3040 and again in 3042. After 3044 there is no mention of him in any dispatches and it was assumed that he left or retired from the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery.

KURITA FORCES ARRIVE
The next morning an Overlord class dropship lands a few kilometers from the settlement and the Schattenjagers. There is no communication from the dropship if attempted. Major McDonnel is able to move around on his feet now though slowly.
Sensors will show that a company of battlemechs are approaching the position of the Schattenjagers. They team deploys to engage the enemy. The area is flat and covered by wild grasses. As the teams arrives on the field the team will notice that the Kurita forces are deployed in a slightly inward curved formation but not advancing or taking any hostile actions. It is also apparent that the Kurita forces are more powerful than the Schattenjagers force is. In the distance the ominous silhouette of an Overlord class dropship can be seen. The Team realizes that that the Overlord class dropship can carry more battlemechs than are presently accounted for in the Kurita ranks.

overlord.PNGThe Overlord is one of the primary ’Mech transport DropShips in the Inner Sphere. Capable of carrying a full ’Mech battalion and a squadron of ASFs, as well as most of the technical support for both, the nearly-10,000 ton vessel has proven its worth as a dedicated combat transport. Usually kept out of combat to minimize the risk of loss of these expensive vessels, when grounded they often serve as dedicated command stations and resupply bases in longer campaigns. These highly valued ships started to become scarce in the later Succession Wars, but rediscovered technology and refits have continued to keep them in service.
The armament of the Overlord is impressive for a dedicated ’Mech transport, but pales in comparison to most Assault DropShips and newer designs with better technology. Long range fire is covered by six PPCs, six Large Lasers and three LRM-20s. Close in firepower is mostly built around its two AC/20s, with support from six AC/5s and twelve Medium Lasers. It carries sufficient ammo for those weapons that need it, but not enough for a drawn out engagement.

To the Team’s surprise, the Kurita forces are clearly flying a large white flag of truce from the top of the Warhammer battlemech. If contacted they will simply state that want to send representatives to negotiate and to send the team’s representatives to the center of the field on foot to negotiate and they will do the same. If not contacted by the Team the Kurita forces will initiate communications and state the same.
Hiro notes to the Team that this is something a little unusual, but Kurita officers do not normally do anything that can be considered to be dishonorable and violating such a truce would be seen as dishonorable.

Draconis_Combine_Logo.pngThree figures are seen walking out to the center of the field. There is Kurita officer is accompanied by two armed soldiers. The officer is a Tai-I (Captain) and the two soldiers with him seem nervous. Looking over the Kurita representatives it can be seen that the two soldier have the safeties of their rifles and the officer has his holder unhooked. The officer with his prominent katana sword approaches with his hands visible and gives a short bow. He introduces himself as Captain Mitsumoto. He then states in his accented English that “my commander only wants Major McDonnell whom you have with you now. We know this is true. There is no need for conflict here between us. If you will surrender Major McDonnell to us we will peacefully withdraw and leave the planet with no further incident. If you do not surrender Major McDonnel, we will be forced to attack your inferior force. We will then capture or kill Major McDonnell during or after the battle, which is also acceptable to my commander.” The Kurita officer will also states after a short moment that “my commander is very impatient and awaits an answer.” If asked for time to consider the offer the Kurtia officer grants the team ten minutes to make a decision. If not asked he will offer the ten minutes to the team stating that if there is no answer at the end of the ten minutes the Kurita forces will be forced to attack. He then sets his watch accordingly stating that their ten minutes begins now. The Kurita officer does not and will not identify his unit or his commander. If asked about the planet attack on the civilians the Kurita Officer will deny that the Draconis Combine had anything to do with the attack. “We had nothing to do with this and only recently learned as you did about what took place here. There would be no honor in killing unarmed farmers.” If the team persists he will become visibly agitated and demand an immediate answer to their terms. If ask why they want Major McDonnell the Kurita officer will state that he is not told why his government wants the Major, just what it is he is to do and what his mission is to accomplish.”

3025Dragon1.jpg.pngWith little in the way of choice, the team surrenders Major McDonnell to the Kurita forces who take him. Then the entire battlemech force turns and begins an orderly but cautious retreat from the battlefield. As this happens a lone Dragon class battlemech remains in its position as the others march off. Over the communications channel on an open frequency there is a transmission from the Dragon battlemech. “Mata oai shimashō.” Which translates as “I will see you again.” The Dragon battlemech then also turns and begins to leave with the others.

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Session Ten
Are You Not Entertained?

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Session Nine
Vacation on Solaris VII

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Eighth Session
An Underground Conspiracy

Mr. Orhm’s assistant Ms Yora Ragadeux informs the team that she cannot find Mr Orhm or his head of security. She states that neither of them have been seen for a whole day.

lavacaves.jpgThe Schattenjagers decide to explore the third mine shaft more carefully.


agromech.jpgIn the mining area labeled as the true mine shaft three, the team finds several industrial mechs working in the mine.


As a show of gratitude for uncovering the plot and restoring thorium production and output, the damaged battlemechs of the Schattenjagers were repaired by Hesperus Industries. In addition, new XL engines were made available to the team.


Xl_engine.pngThe Extralight Fusion Engine (often shortened to XL Fusion Engine) is mechanically similar to a Fusion Engine but uses much lighter radiation shielding. Replacing the dense tungsten carbide of standard fusion engines with a crystalline polymer similar to that of double heat sinks, the XL fusion engine is half the mass for the same performance.

There is a penalty in bulk, however. The Inner Sphere XL fusion engine is twice as large as the standard fusion engine, while the Clan model is about two-thirds larger. The larger volume of the engines makes them much more likely to end up in the path of penetrating hits. Further, these bulkier engines intrude into the side torso bays of a BattleMech, exposing the ’Mechs to catastrophic engine damage from structural damage that would be otherwise survivable.

There is also a penalty in cost; an XL fusion engine is four times as expensive as a standard, a component that is already usually the largest cost in a BattleMech. Despite this, the allure of huge weight reduction means that the technology sees wide use.

Developed by Terran Hegemony scientists, these power plants first saw use by their armed forces in 2579. By the time Kerensky left in 2784, they were already widely deployed; the subsequent chaos of the Succession Wars caused the destruction of the last XL engine manufacturing plants by 2865. The technology wouldn’t resurface in the Inner Sphere until 3035, when it was rediscovered by the Lyran Commonwealth.


The following battlemechs have XL Engines in the 3050 technical readout and are thus eligible for upgrade:

Phoenix Hawk
Rifleman
Centurion
Shadow Hawk

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Seventh Session
The Mines of Kaumburg

After a month long rest and refit the Schattenjagers are given a new assignment by Captain Maximilian Stryker.

Lt Viola Springer takes her First Lance on an extended Zero-G training mission. Second Lance and Third Lance are assigned to work together in the investigation of a mining company on the planet Kaumburg in the Alarion of province of the Protectorate of Denegal

ohrmassistant.jpgLanding at the aerodrome near the mining company headquarters the team exits their dropship and are met by Mr Ohrm the owner of the mining company. Since the Lyran Commonwealth and the LCAF are his biggest clients, Mr Ohrm seems eager enough to cooperate and please the Schattenjagers as military representatives. Mr. Orhm’s assistant Ms Yora Ragadeux is instructed to assist the team and she offers to give the team a guided tour of the mining facilities. After a few minutes the tour starts to feel more and more like she is giving a sales pitch to prospective investors and clients. After walking and listening to the tour for what seems hours and not getting any real relevant information the team begins to ask here some questions about the two men that were killed, any information on the accidents and so forth. She does not know much beyond the official line but promises to find out and let the team know, which frustrates the team. Making excuses that they have to return to their dropship to supervise some important battlemech repairs the team leaves Klinger with the assistant to finishe the tour with orders to report back on anything that might be – however unlikely, be found out from the assistant that is germane to the mission.


geologylab.jpgEscaping from the clutches of the the assistant, the Team comes up with a plan to split up and investigate the two locations where the accidents and deaths took place. Heinkel Wolfe and Aebon Tesavir search through the offices of the safety administrator and the geology lab while Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg keeps an eye on the door and hallways for interlopers.

Meanwhile Sgt. Basil L Clumley, Heinkel Wolfe and Jack Deshane proceed to locate, explore and investigate the location of the mine explosion that killed the safety officer and the location where the geologist was killed.


neocamp.pngRoughly similar to the Pithecanthropus or “Upright Ape-Man” of old Terra, this is a loose grouping of many different species found across human occupied space that have stone age technology or lower. The species first appeared on the world of Stein’s Folly, by an injured Ardan Sortek. Ejected from his Victor while in battle with House Liao forces, he would find himself encountering a tribe of these creatures which he simply referred to as the “Pinks” due to their unusual eyes. Battling with a high fever at the time, he was uncertain if his encounter with them happened at all. Ardan would vaguely remember these pink eyed creatures, which he described as having a small fat body, pale skin, and possessing small fur hides. The tribe took him to a clearing where he would be tied to a tree surrounded by human skeletons


trachazoi.jpgThe Trachazoi are powerful carnivores that prey on large primates, including humans. Commonly known as “brain-eaters”, The trachazoi are small, powerful mammals (no larger that small dogs) that inhabit the woodlands on a variety of planets. Though spread across the Inner Sphere and beyond on a variety of worlds, they are rare. The trachazoi are an ambush predator. They hunt at night by waiting for their prey to pass under the trees where they perch. Once a target has been selected, the trachazoi fall from the trees onto the their prey’s head. Using their powerful fore-claws, they then split the skulls of their prey and consume the brains within. If the trachazoi miss their target, they quickly run away as they are no match in a direct confrontation.

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Sixth Session
Putting the Pieces Together

The Schattenjagers arrive at their jumpship and contact the members of the First Lance on Hesperus II to exchange information on what they have learned about the abduction of Adolphus Brewer. Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg and Lt. Viola Springer have a terse exchange about the mission and mission status with Lt. Springer trying to lecture Lt Schulemburg about the purpose of covert operations and Lt. Schulemburg stating that the First Lance has been wasting time while the Third Lance has been out uncovering much more valuable information than the First Lance has. Sgt. Basil L Clumley comments to Jack Deshane that in his twenty years in the LCAF, one thing has not changed; officers are always playing politics and trying to out do each other. Jack Deshane agrees with the sergeant.

thirdsessionmap.pngAfter making contact with the First Lance, the Schattenjagers decide to investigate their remaining lead and activate the homing device on the data chip they had recovered. They are surprised to find out that the data chip uses some sort of hyperpulse communication technology. No one on the team, even technician Aebon Tesavir quite understands how this works. The team is more surprised when receive a message from ComStar from a person identifying himself as Darryl Weaver, an Adept with ComStar.

The Third Lance jumps to the planet Caledonia in the Rahneshire Province of the Federation of Skye. The team is able to make contact with a retired Colonel named John Nottingham who offers to help the team out.

The teams learns from Colonel Nottingham about a man named Philus B. Werner who has recently moved to the planet and bought some land and a luxury house. It is apparent from his attitude and demeanor that Philus B. Werner has recently come into money. Colonel Nottingham doesn’t approve of newcomers like this and states his wife cares for them even less.

Colonel Nottingham informs the Schattenjagers team that the best way to find out more about Philus B. Werner would be at the upcoming Governor’s Ball that evening. He offers to try to get some invitations to go so that some of the team members can infiltrate the event. After a few hours the wife of Colonel Nottingham is able to get two additional invitations to the Governor’s Ball for Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg and Lt. Viola Springer.

alarmpanel.jpgAebon Tesavir is sent to the Governor’s Mansion pretending to be an electrical repairman in order to hack into the security feeds. Posing as a repairman to fix the floating chandelier he is able to gain access to the interior of the governor’s Mansion. After several attempts and accidentally setting the security alarms systems off on the panel, he is able to hack the security system successfully after fast talking his way out of the situation with some techno babble after attracting the attention of one of the Governor’s security guards.


ball.jpgPosing as a personal security guard Sgt. Basil L Clumley arrives with Colonel Nottingham and his wife at the Governor’s Ball. In an unmarked van nearby Aebon Tesavir and Jack Deshane coordinate and maintain communications with the other team members inside the Mansion while monitoring the live feeds of the building security system that Aebon Tesavir was able to hack into earlier in the day.

Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg works the crowd at the Governor’s Ball trying to find information about Philus B. Werner by talking to the various important and upper class persons there. Aebon Tesavir and Jack Deshane help spot potential targets with their live security camera feeds.


3025Thunderbolt.gifAdolphus Brewer aka Philus B. Werner and his three friends meet with the Schattenjagers at the appointed time and place the next next morning. Brewer is piloting a Thunderbolt Heavy Battlemech. His three friends are piloting a Scorpion, Centurion and Spider battlemech.

While the fight takes place, Heinkel Wolfe and Hans Krieger are able to sneak into the house of Adolphus Brewer aka Philus B. Werner and free Lt Viola Springer who was left tied to a chair and unguarded.


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The Schattenjagers pull the unconscious Adolphus Brewer from the disabled Thunderbolt battlemech and turn him over to the Lyran authorities on Caledonia along with the two data chips they had recovered. In gratitude fore returning the technical schematics, Duke Brewer of Defiance Industries offered the Schattenjagers to be some of the first to use the new Artemis IV Fire Control System on their battlemechs.

artemisIVfcs.jpgThe Artemis IV Fire Control System is a guidance system that utilizes an infrared laser designator and tight-beam microwave transmitter which improves the accuracy of LRMs and SRMs by roughly thirty-five percent. The Artemis IV FCS must be mounted in the same location as the launcher it controls, taking up space and weight on a BattleMech like other components. In order to actually benefit from Artemis IV, the missiles fired must be Artemis compatible, which are more expensive than standard versions, and the firing unit must have line of sight to its target; indirectly fired LRM receives no increase in accuracy. Though extremely useful for improving a missile launcher, there is one major obstacle to their use: if any standard missile launcher is equipped with an Artemis system, every launcher of that type must have its own Artemis IV attached. Therefore a ’Mech mounting an LRM-15 and an LRM-5 would need two Artemis IV systems.

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Fifth Session
Dropship Escape

aurora_dropship.jpgPreviously while they were resting and recuperating from their battle against the Gotterdammerung Society mercenary company, the team is attacked suddenly on two fronts; inside their own dropship and in the field by battlemechs.


3025Dragon1.jpg.pngA House Kurita battlemech lance composing of three Locust light battlemechs and a Dragon class heavy battlemech attacked the team. Sgt. Clumley in his Centurion battlemech and Jake Deshane decided to stand and fight against the approaching House Kurita mechs.
The Phoenix Hawk of Heinkel Wolfe was powered down in the mechbay of the dropship. Not wanting to be caught out in the open with hostile battlemechs approaching, Wolfe began to run as fast as he possibly could towards the open mech bay of the dropship.
Has Krieger had been sitting in the driver seat of the captured Rhino tank inspecting the controls of the vehicle when the attack began. He maneuvered and speed off in the tank as fast as he could to the nearby dropship while avoiding weapons fire from the Kurita battlemechs. Inside the dropship Tesavir was helping rearm and repair the Rifleman battlemech of Jake Deshane. When news of the Draconis attack came, Jake Deshane took his Rifleman battlemech out of the dropship bay and into the combat while Aebon Tesavir climbed down off the repair gangways and began to move to get into his own battlemech.


kuritadeathsquad.jpgMeanwhile as the team members outside the dropship moved to engage the attacking House Kurita battlemechs, the team members what were still inside the dropship come to learn that the Schattenjager’s dropship had been infiltrated by a team of Kurita Death Commandos. Lt. Schulemburg and technician Aebon Tesavir were inside the dropship at the time of the Draconis Combine attack on the team.
Unbeknownst to the Schattenjagers, the Death Commandos had entered the dropship from the outside of the ship by climbing up the side of the dropship and entering the ship from a topside access hatch. The Death Commandos then quietly gained access to the dropship bridge and then sabotaged the navigation and propulsion system of the dropship. Having quietly accomplished this task, the Death Commandos then attempted to locate and kill the Kurita captive the team was treating in the medical bay.


dropshipinterior.jpgLt Schulemburg was in the medical bay keeping a watch on the Kurita captive when the news of the attack came over the radio. Hearing the commotion on the radio he left the medical bay on the second level and walked out to the mech bay of the dropship, making his way to the metal stairway leading down from the second level to the floor of the mech bay. As he began to make his way down the stairs to the lower bay he spied one of the Kurita Death Commandos sneaking around on the second level gangway. Both men spotted each other at the same time. Lt. Schulemburg realized he was exposed and in a bad situation. He pulled his weapon and ducked down on the stairway to give himself a low profile and some cover. The death commando fired his weapon at Lt Schulemburg hitting him in the chest, but his body armor protected him, merely knocking the wind out of him momentarily. Seeing this and not knowing how many death commandos were about, Tesavir ran to his Pather battlemech and climbed up to the cockpit. Jumping into the cockpit he put on his neurohelmet and began the start up sequence of his battlemech. After firing his weapon again towards where Lt. Schulemburg was, the death commando ran into the door and down the hallway towards the medical bay. Seeing this and fearful that their captive would be freed Lt. Schulemburg jumped up and ran after the intruder. Entering the medical bay on the heels of the death commando Lt Schulemburg as surprised by what he saw. Instead of trying to free or rescue the Draconis captive the team was holding in the medical bay, the death commando drew his katana sword and began to move towards the unconscious captive to kill him. Seeing this Lt. Schulemburg pointed his weapon at the death command and pulled the trigger killing the death commando instantly.

Having successfully ran on foot to the drivers hatch of the Rhino tank and gotten the tank started up, Hans Krieger was able to drive the Rhino tank at full speed into the rear bay of the dropship while avoiding weapons fire from the Kurita battlemechs. Arriving in the rear bay with a long and loud skid on the dropship bay floor with the tank, Hans jumped out with his weapons ready to help fight against the Kurita Death Commandos. Kreiger went to the nearest doorway to get access to one of the jiffies tubes. Opening the hatch door he came face to face with another Death Commando. Both men reacted quickly and begain to shoot at each other at point blank range.

3025locustyellow.jpgOutside the dropship the three battlemechs of the Schattenjagers battle with the attacking Draconis Combine mechs. Sgt Clumly scores several hits while Heinkel Wolfe snipes at the enemy mechs and Jack DeShane fire provides support. Firing repeatedly, Jack DeShane nearly causes his rifleman battlemech to shutdown from overheating.

Lt. Schulemburg tells Tesavir to get to the bridge and get the dropship ready to take off. Tesavir runs as fast as he can to the bridge of the dropship only to find that a ninja katana sword had been impaled into one of the navigation panels. Tesavir attempted to repair the dropship controls and was able to remove the sword and reroute some of the controls though some of the subsystems to get control of the dropship engines and navigation and start the launch sequence. With the engines started up Sgt Clumly, Heinkel Wolfe and Jack DeShane began to retreat their three battlmechs to the rear of the dropship and move their mechs into the mechbay.


merchantjumpship.jpgWith the help of their Kurita captive, the team was able to lift off the planet successfully before the tactical nuke went off destroying the mercenary compound as well as any evidence of the Kurita involvement and incursion into Lyran Commonwealth Space. Reaching orbit the Schattenjagers leave the planet behind and rendezvous with their jumpship at the nadir jump point. The team decided that they should leave the planet Galatia and perhaps go to Hesperus II to continue their investigation.


kuritaheir.jpgWhile in transit to the jumpship at the jump point the Schattenjagers are able to use the medical bay to heal their various injuries. They also use the time in transit to talk further with their Kurita captive in order to find out more information about him. From talking to their captive, the team learns that he is Hiro Toshiro, the oldest son and heir of Duke Ishi Tohiro, the head of the Matabushi Finance Corporation, and that his father had tried to have him eliminated.

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Fourth Session
Mercenary Complications

The Schattenjagers return to their dropship to rest, regroup and to get their captive Dingus O’Shea to a secure location to interrogate him further about his involvement in the kidnapping of Adolphus Brewer. Hans Krieger, who has been dutifully guarding the dropship while the rest of the team was away, is relieved that the team has returned. finance.pngUsing Dingus O’Shea’s cyber eye that was recovered from the gambling den, Aebon Tesavir is able to access the small backup computer the team found in Dingus O’Sheas safe room. Tesavir is able to crack the protection and access the database files. Realizing he may have uncovered some important information Tesavir shows the information to Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg who recognizes the information as detailed financial records showing payments and transfers to accounts held by Dingus O’Shea that originate from Matabushi Finance Corporation in the Dracnonis Combine. In particular is a payment to a a small group of mercenaries named the Gotterdammerung Society that DIngus O’Shea was the middle man for. Dingus O’Shea also set up a dropship to make the transport from Hesperus II using a dropship named the Blossom captained by a man named McDengus. Payment was made to this mercenary group twice; the first before the abduction and the second payment after the abduction for a total of one million C-Bills with Dingus O’Shea serving as the middleman for the transactions. Tesavir is able to make a back up copy of the information on the computer.


zeusrifle.jpgWhile the team had time, Aebon Tesaviris asked by Sgt. Basil L Clumley to figure out and repair what is wrong with the sight scope on the Zeus heavy rifle the team recovered from the gambling den the night before. Tesavir gladly takes the rifle apart and then proceeds to try to repair the sight scope. While taking the rifle apart and looking it over Tesavir discovers that there is something inside the scope causing the sight to read wrong. He removes from inside the scope a small data chip that has been deliberately embedded in the scope by someone, causing it to not sight correctly.
defiancechip.jpg Curious about the chip he has found, Tesavir is able to rig up a connection to a computer and access the root files showing there is isa vast amount of information on the chip. Digging further he discovers that the data chip contains mountains of data for some sort of schematics and blueprints for some advanced battletech designs and technology belonging to Defiance Industries on Hesperus II. Realizing how important this information is, the team hides the chip so that that it cannot be easily found.


With this new information about the payments and the computer data chip, Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg and Sgt. Basil L Clumley decide to further interrogate Dingus O’Shea for more information. During the questioning, O’Shea repeatedly asks to get his cyber eye back claiming he has no depth perception without it. Dingus is again asked about Adolphus Brewer but as before he repeatedly states that he does not know where Adolphus Brewer is located. The two men ask him about the rifle to which O’Shea replies that it was what he got in payment for arranging the dropship and mercenaries on Hesperus II. He tells them that he had learned a few months back of a locker on Hersperus II that was said to contain a very valuable item in it. Dingus wanted the contents of the locker for his payment for arranging the deal. When the contents were delivered to him here on Galatea, when the locker was opened its only contents were a Zeus heavy rifle that did not have much value. When he did not have the money he wowed ‘Big Katze’ he was in trouble. He also states that he was set up and framed for killing ‘Big Katze’ since everyone knew he had a motive and was angry with the mob boss for taking his cyber eye and . He pleads to be let go by the team, stating that he knows many people and that he would help be willing to help the team out as a contact on Galatea if he is let go. The team decides to let him go as a contact would be useful. The team tells Dingus they will not give him back his eye at this time in order to make sure he stays trustworthy.

The team decides to transmit what they have learned to the First Lance that is investigating leads on Hesperus II alerting them to look into the dropship named Blossom.


mercbase.jpgThe Schattenjagers learn the whereabouts of the mercenary company called the Gotterdammerung Society. This mercenary unit is an armored tank company that has recently acquired a few battlemechs and looking to advance their fortunes. That evening the Schattenjagers recon the mercenary base and map out the facility and the units deployed in defense of the base. The mercenaries have deployed two Packrat scout cars, a Rhino heavy tank as well as two Commando battlemechs and one Urbanmech. The mercenary base is protected by four guard towers each with a small laser on it. The central base structure is heavily reinforced and contains a communications dish on the roof top. There is no sign of infantry present though they may be hidden around the perimeter or inside the reinforced structure of the base itself.


AAVartillery.jpgRecon of the area also shows that the mercenary unit has deployed two rocket assisted artillery pieces a few kilometers to the east of the mercenary base to protect the base from encroachment. As the artillery is already deployed and set up it is surmised to be highly likely that the artillery have each zeroed in on fixed locations for firing purposes. During the planning of the assault it is decided that Hans Krieger is to move his fast Jenner light mech to the location of the unprotected artillery in order to take out the two artillery pieces while the remainder of the team attacks the mercenary base from two flanks.
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Aebon Tesavir Heinkel Wolfe and Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg close in from the east flank using the hills and woods to cover their movements while Jack Deshane in his Rifleman moves into a position on high ground to engage the Rhino heavy tank at long range. Supporting the Rifleman and covering avenues of retreat on the southern flank is Sgt. Basil L Clumley in his Centurion. The Rhino tank is slow moving but presses forward to fire back at the Rifleman mech.
Rhino.gifThe long range missiles of the Rhino heavy tank prove to be a big concern for the Schattenjagers as it fires repeatedly at Jack Deshane in his Rifleman mech who exchanges fire over and over with the heavy tank. Eventually the Rifleman scores a lucky hit on the Rhino tank, killing the entire four man crew of the tank leaving the heavy tank more or less intact.


3025commandoBW.pngMeanwhile the Phoenix Hawk, Panther and Shadow Hawk battlemechs emerge from the wooded hills and engage the two Commando mechs who are supported by the two Packrat scout cars. The Commando battlemechs fire many times at close range.


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helo.JPGWith the two Commando mechs beaten they begin to retreat. Meanwhile a mechanical doorway opens in the roof of the reinforced base. A troop transport helicopter appears on a platform that rises up and the helicopter begins to power up as many personnel jump into the side door of the aircraft. A message comes over an open channel from the mercenaries demanding that they be allowed to leave. They state they have rigged the base power source to detonate in two minutes or if their helicopter is destroyed. If they are allowed to go free when they are clear they will give the Schattenjagers the access code to shut down the overload sequence. Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg demands in reply that the mercenaries surrender. Hans Krieger asks to attack the helicopter and is given permission to kick the helicopter to show that the team means business. Hans Krieger kicks the helicopter with his Jenner causing to skid along the rooftop some. The mercenaries repeat their demand threatening to kill the hostage. Lt. Wilhelm von Schulemburg does not trust mercenaries but realizes that retrieving the hostage is more important and reluctantly agrees to the mercenary’s demands.


mercprisoner.jpgThe mercenaries take off in their helicopter and as they clear the area, uphold their end of the bargain and transmit the codes to the team. Aebon Tesavir quickly uses the code to shut down the base power generator so that it does not overload and explode. The team enters the base with their weapons drawn and the Schattenjagers fan out to quickly search the mercenary base looking for the hostage inside. Eventually the team locates a shut reinforced door with a lock on it. The team bust the door open but in doing so unexpectedly set off a booby-trapped shotgun charge aimed at the hostage in the center of the room that blasts the hostage who is tied to a chair in a room with a hood over his head. Hearing the team trying to break down the door the hostage knocks his own chair over sending him crashing to the floor just as the charge goes off, thereby only seriously wounding him instead of killing him as the trap intended. The team rushes in quickly to render aid to the hostage as he falls unconscious. Removing the hood around his head the team is surprised to find that it is not Adolphus Brewer tied to the chair as they expected but a citizen of the Draconis Combine based on his looks and clothing style.


matabushilogo.pngUntying the unconscious hostage and looking for identification on the man, the team notes that the hostage has tattoos on his arm of the Matabushi Finance Corporation similar to the ones the ninjas had on them that the team encountered in the gambling den the night before. The team moves the wounded man back to their dropship so that they can treat his injuries better, though they are not able to interrogate him or ask him any questions. With the battle over and the mercenary base secured, the team begins to look about the base more carefully for anything of value or any information. Meanwhile Aebon Tesavir is able to do some makeshift repairs on the Rifleman mech piloted by Jack Deshane and is able to repair some of the armor on its badly damaged right arm.


However, a few hours later, the team begins to pick up movement and heat signatures of approaching battlemechs….

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