SCHATTENJAGERS

Session Nineteen
HEAVY METAL

JUNE 1-8 , 3049
The Schattenjagers are sent to investigate what happened to a one hundred year old covert mission that met with disaster and is still shrouded in mystery.

The team is sent to recover a long lost and forgotten shipment of a valuable and rare element named Unbihexium or simply Element 126 or E126.
Element 126 was found during the time of the Starleague by a mining company and taken to a metallurgical research facility.
This was on the Draconis Planet of Kaesong. E126 has only been found in a natural state on the Planet Kaesong in one mine along the rim of a large crater impact.

The ore it was found in was a copper-sh green color at room temperature and mildly radioactive. It is stable super heavy element. It will show up on a close range radiation scan and also effect radio waves in close proximity. It is safe to handle without protective gear for short periods of time.
If refined, it can create an infinitely sustainable fusion reaction as the element recombines at high temperatures into other fusible elements. It can also be used to create a horrific WMD whereby it fuses in an uncontrolled reaction with oxygen. It is an s-block element.
s-block elements are highly reactive metals due to the ease with which their outer s-orbital electrons interact to form compounds

“We have a few documents still on the incident, though some of the documents seem to have been lost.”

agentbarton.jpgThe team is told about a certain Harold Barton who worked as an agent for Lyran Intelligence during the last war. According to his file, he was known as a jack of all trades type person and that he was known to offer his services and skills when asked to help the Commonwealth. Barton was also known as unorthodox and a bit of an eccentric.
His file shows that he was a skilled negotiator, and a venture business man who dabbled in all sorts of commodities. It also shows that he had smuggler connections inside the Draconis Combine. Lyran authorities mostly turned a blind eye to his actives. He was also a mining expert.

Barton and his men snuck onto Kaesong posing as businessmen. They were able to dig up the ore after locating the old facility underground. According to Barton, half a ton of ore was mined. They were followed by Kurita Agents and engaged in what was essential a running gun battle for three days. They decided to load it on a ship and get it off the planet. All of his men were killed except for a man named Moseby. He radioed with intelligence his intentions to get off planet with the ore, stating that his men were all killed and praising Moseby. Thank goodness for Moesby.

It is believed that they took an indirect route back to Lyran space to throw off the Draconis agents and forces looking for them.

The last known place that Harold Barton was seen was on the Planet Dromini IV. Here records show that he purchased and booked passage on the MV White Swan.
We do not know if the cargo was with him at that point though.
There was a lot of confusion and planets changing hands back in those days.

Monolith.gifThe team learns that the Jumpship MV White Swan was used to transport the cargo containers. The White Swan was a Monolith Class Jumpship; the largest type of Jumpship ever built at 430,000 tons and 750 meters long, painted in a silver-white. It was owned by the Yuland Line.

In going through the few documents on the incident that Lyran Military Intelligence still has, it is discovered that there is an old man still alive that was a witness named Roy Edwards who was a loading dock cargo master named Roy Edwards. He is listed as still living on Dromini IV.

Records show that there is still one man alive that can help with the White Swan. He was one of the last persons to see the jumpship.

ON DROMINI IV
sb_91.jpgA few short inquiries on the port lead to a small house with a garden on the edge of the spaceport town.
Roy Edwards is eighty eight years old but still gets around well for his age and still possesses all of his faculties. He will admit though that he is starting to slow down. He is amiable and very polite and comes across as a nice old grandfather type. He speaks very well for a dock worker; somewhat well-spoken for a cargo handler. He wears a nice long coat and hat. Made of fine cloth, but not flashy. He is fond of company and will answer any questions as best he can. He tells the team a little about him and his background.

“God help a man who can’t live by himself. We all end up in a single bed sooner or later.”

“Back in my younger days I was eager to go places and longed to see other planets. I figured the merchant ships were much safer than the Navy you know, so I signed up with the company first as a deck steward. By the time I was 20 I was an Assistant Purser on the White Swan. She was a beautiful ship to see. We were all so very proud of her. We kept her paint bright white on the outside. A bright white color. It was a matter of pride you know.
The last day I saw her I was taken ill at the last few hours. Now I had supervised the cargo loading on the dropships before they departed to dock with the White Swan. Before the last one departed I remember a feeling of becoming ill.
Being that it was a long trip that was planned, I was ordered to not go on the trip and to see the port medical staff, so I stayed behind here. It was some time later that I learned that the ship had crashed. I worked for the company for some 50 years, I still have my old uniform you know.”

metalcratesamples.jpgWhen asked he does recall the shipment and Harold Barton though he only remembers his last name at first. He recalls the shipment onto the ship because it was very unusual. “Not likely to forget him he had eyes like a fox. Barton seemed to be in a hurry but also seemed very delighted with himself.

“If I recall, it was cargo hold number 9, port side, which the crates were loaded in. Don’t ask me how I remember. Sometimes memories just stick in your head.”
Harold Barton, yes I remember him. He was quite a strange odd fellow. Now I have never been one to take a bribe, but the cargo handlers and customs officers in those days were always keen to put a few C-Bills in their pockets to look the other way. What struck me was that the crates never went through customs properly. The Officials just approved and waved the cargo through without even a once over. There wasn’t even any paperwork for the cargo manifest. Now I know when to not ask questions.
As they were loading the crates on board, he stopped one of the loaders and inspected the crate. Then he patted the crate as if it was a dog and sent it on to be loaded.
He then boarded the ship. I recall that he insisted on staying with the cargo in the cargo hold. that was quite an odd request.

He reaches in his coat pocket and fumbles around for a moment before he pulls out a small encryption passkey. He looks at it for a moment and then offers it. “I have had this with me for all these years. A reminder.”
I would go with you, you know. If I was a bit younger.

TROUBLE AT THE SPACE PORT
While the team’s dropship is at the port, Lyran Navy Officals come to investigate the Team’s Dropship.
Otto Reinier
Naman Laval
Bob Semmes

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Session Eighteen
OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE

MAY 24-30 , 3049

dradis.jpgThe team jumps to the Theta Omicron system. It isn’t in most navigation charts and is a treacherous anchorage. It is an uninhabited system filled with gas giants and asteroids. This system gives up the advantage in that no one jumps there. It is out of the way from the normal shipping lanes.

The XO Lt. Mitch Herschel goes over to the DRADIS terminal to look at the screen and speaks to the navigator. “You said there wouldn’t be anyone here.”
the navigator replies in a somewhat surprised voice. “There shouldn’t be anyone here.”
The XO looks over at the Captain who exchanges looks with his XO. “See you if you can identify that ship. This might simply be a trap for merchant ships that are just passing through, then again they may not be.”

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Captain Niles Harkon speaks: “You are not naval personal but the articles of war allow me to succumb you into service. I would prefer to ask for your assistance though.”



On the side of the darkened warship can be made out the words INVINCIBLE in black letters.
Aegis.gifThe ship is dark, there are no lights and no power detectable from the ship and no one responds to any attempts at communication. There is no signal from the automatic transponder or proximity sensors.
The armored hull is pock market with dents from impacts from micro meteors. How it got here is unknown. The crew is all dead and the jumpdrive is trashed. The batteries are all depleted and dead. The jump batteries are also useless. The maneuvering jets and fusion reactor might be salvageable with time. The log entries of the dropship are damaged and after several hours of going through them do not reveal anything beyond the route and show nothing of note or interest. However the last log entry is from the year 2853

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PC NOTES: The Invincible was successful in breaking the DCMS blockade and ended the battles that became known as the sixth, seventh, and eighth battle of Hesperus II. However, following the battle the Invincible famously disappeared in a misjump halfway back to Tharkad and was thought lost to jump drive failure.


Aegis Class Production information
Manufacturer Di Tron Heavy Industries
Production Year 2372
Use Heavy Cruiser
Cost 14,980,141,000 C-bills

Technical specifications
Mass 745,000 tons
Length 725 m
Sail Diameter 1.308 m
Fuel 1,000 tons
Top Thrust 1.5 g
KF Drive Type K-F Mark X
LF Battery Technicron Manufacturing
Armament 18 x NAC/35s
8 x White Shark tubes
24 x NAC/20s
12 x NL55
4 x Barracuda tubes
4 x NL45s
Armor 597.5 tons of Grumman K5 Ferro-Carbide
DropShip Capacity 4
Small Craft/
AeroSpace Fighters 10/18
Crew 768
Grav Decks 2, both 90 meter diameter
Escape Pods/Life Boats 0/20

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Session Seventeen
THE OBSCURITY FILE, PART THREE - THE COMGUARD

MAY 20-21 , 3049

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THE COMGUARD ATTACKS
The team is attacked by the enemy force. Some of the battlemechs that are attacking the team are unknown and unidentifiable while some of the other battlemechs have configurations that seem unusual. The attacking battlemechs are painted all in white with a blue stripes on the left side of them. There is the familiar ComStar insignia on the mechs.

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The Mongoose is blown to pieces by the combined fire of the Schattenjagers.

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blackknight.jpgHiro Tahiro and the Black Knight close to point blank range firing all of their weapons at each other. They then engage inphysical combat using their hatchet and sword against each other.

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Comstar10tharmy.png

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Lucifer.jpgHeinkel Wolfe in his Phoenix Hawk begins to receive slightly garbled messaged from a squadron of aerospace fighters that are approaching the coordinates given. A few minutes later four Lucifer aerospace fighters arrive and begin to bomb the Comguard battlemechs.

Leutnant Kommandant (Lt. Colonel) Wolfgang Schrepke arrives with his Crusader heavy battlemech to assist the team.

The Schattenjagers capture the following mechs: Black Knight, Crab

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Session Sixteen
THE OBSCURITY FILE, PART TWO - We Dig Alcor III

MAY 19-20, 3049

LEVEL 1
Store Room A
There are various old metal storage crates in this room. Most have been opened and turned over with their packing material exposed or laying on the floor. Searching through the crates the Team will find that one of the crates has a long heavy duty capacity computer cable in it. There are also some various circuit boards and electronic repair parts in another storage crate in the corner. The electronic repair parts are mostly unusable. There is also a metal barrel that is leaking some black-green substance from the bottom. The barrel is rusted and the lettering on it is unreadable. If investigated the black-green substance is sticky like tar and smells faintly of bearing grease.

Main Hallway
bunkerblastdoors.jpgEntering this room it is apparent that it is some kind of hallway. It is very quiet and loud noises and even footsteps echo some. It does not appear that anyone has been here in quite some time. The hallway is four meters wide with metal walls made out of some sort of stainless steel or similar metal. Overhead along the ceiling of this hallway are rows of lamp fixtures intermixed with various pipes alongside electrical conduits, electrical boxes and power junctions. In the hallway are many metal transport crates that are stacked along the corridor walls is disarray. On top of one of the nearby metal boxes is an old coffee mug resting as if someone just left it there and walked off. There is a thick layer of dust on every surface here. An old rusted forklift is seen nearby. It appears some of these crates have been dragged on the metal floor leaving scrapes in the floor. There is evidence that water as seeped into this area in the recent past.

Starleaguelogo.jpgInvestigating the crates closer and dusting them off, it is discovered that they have printed on them in faded black stencil paint ‘SLDF’. Opening the crates is difficult as they are very rusty, using some tools such as a crowbar is helpful giving the Build die roll check a -2 bonus. Inside them are mundane items such as old mostly uniforms, boots, decayed corroded power cells and ration packs.
The date stamped on the ration pacts is 2784.

Store Room B
abandonedmunitions.jpg This room has a locked doorway that will need to be forced open. There is a sign on the door that states ‘No Smoking’ in several languages. Opening the door there is the faint smell of fuel. Inside of this storage room there are various old metal storage crates stacked similar to the ones in the main hallway. Upon entering the room and looking around it is clearly seen that this room is floor to ceiling with missiles in wheeled racks along with autocannon ammo inside the many dust covered sealed metal crates. Investigating the crates it is found that some of the missiles have started to leak fuel but the ammunition contained in the crates is old but possibly usable.

Armory
giantvaltdoor.jpgThe heavy security door to this room is marked ‘Armory – Authorized Personnel Only’. Heinkel Wolfe jokingly remarks upon seeing this “Hey that is us!” The armory door is locked and the door does not want to budge. The hinges are rusty and old and make opening the door difficult taking several of the team members with crowbars to open the door. The old metal hinges grind and creak when forces open. Inside the armory it is apparent that it has been long cleaned out of all equipment and weapons, leaving nothing but empty rows of gun and rifle racks standing.

Commons Area
There are several tables in the center of this room with chairs around them. Along the far wall are several large couches. An old chess board sits on one of the tables with pieces still on it covered in dust. There are pots with soil in them and the decayed dried remains of some plants in them. The Commons Area has nothing of value in it

Galley
galley.jpgThe kitchen is a standard large kitchen for cooking meals for the base personnel. It has several large burners, a chopping table, food line and storage freezer that is cleared out. There are a few old pots, pans and cooking utensils in the drawers and hanging overhead. The Galley has no useful supplies and nothing of value in it.

Personnel Quarters A,
Bunks and quarters for the base personnel with a communal shower and toilet area adjoining. The Personnel Quarters has nothing of real value in them.

Personnel Quarters B,
Bunks and quarters for the base personnel with a communal shower and toilet area adjoining. The Personnel Quarters has nothing of real value in them.

BattleMech Bay Level 1
vaultinterior.jpgThe huge doors are marked “Authorized Personnel Only” and “Danger.” The doors are closed and cannot be opened without power.
Inside is a dust covered but completely intact CP-11-A Cyclops Battlemech. Without power for the repair lifts around the battlemech it will require a successful Climbing skill roll to gain access to the cockpit.
Once up top on the battlemech a successful Perception skill roll will reveal that the huge battlemech that has been left behind in the room is in fact booby-trapped. From observation it appears that the explosive charges on the battlemech were rigged to go off from a remote detonator but somehow failed. The complex wireless circuitry of the detonator that goes to the leads of the antennae receiver has melted. It will take a successful Demolitions skill roll to carefully disarm the explosives.
The Cyclops is not in fully functional order and will require at least an hour and three Technician/Battlemech skill rolls to become operational and 30 minutes of time once brought online to reprogram the neurohelmet of the large battlemech to a new pilot.

3025_Cyclops1.jpg.pngPC NOTES: The Cyclops began production in 2710 by Stormvanger Assemblies, Unlimited as a heavy assault BattleMech and headquarters unit for Star League Defense Force field commanders. A decent mix of weapons provided the Cyclops with both long- and short-range firepower and a sizable engine to keep up with mobile operations. The most important feature of the ’Mech though was its advanced electronics, especially the Tacticon B-2000 battle computer, which allows the pilot to effectively command up to brigade-sized units. Other aspects of the ’Mech are less than stellar however. The diverse array of weapons means the ’Mech does suffer somewhat from ammunition issues while meager armoring provides less protection than that found on similar machines, though it is enough to stave off attackers until reinforcements arrive. In particular the armoring on the head section, while as heavily protected as allowed by the internal structure, leaves the pilot and the sophisticated command and control equipment more vulnerable than usual. When operating as the command vehicle at regimental and higher echelons with an ample support apparatus and guarded by a headquarters lance, these deficiencies are far less noticeable and the Cyclops could be kept in reserve until employed to turn the tide of battle or exploit a weakness. BV = 1,547

Repair Shop Level 1
mechrepair.jpgThe repair shop adjoins the Mech bay though two large double doors and also connects to Storage Room B. Inside the repair shop there are various basic battlemech and vehicle repair tools in this room that are in usable shape Some of the tools and equipment are laying about on work benches as as many spare parts. Along the walls are more tools and diagnostic equipment stored in cabinets and shelves. Looking through the storage lockers the team finds a Deluxe Tool Kit worth 500 C-Bills and Battlemech Repair Kit worth 5,000 C-Bills.

Central Junction
bunkerjunction.jpgThe Central Junction leads to the lower level – Level 2. There a large elevator shaft with an elevator car three meters in diameter. There is no power so the elevator will not operate until power is restored. (See Power Generator Room) There is connected to the elevator shaft a metal spiral lattice stairwell running around it that leads down to the second level of the underground base.

LEVEL 2
Main Hallway
corridorlevel2.jpgThe Second Level of the base also has a hallway leading east and west from the central shaft. This lower hallway is in a much better state of repair than the upper levels, having been protected better from the elements. There is also no scrape marks on the floor that can be seen. The Power Generator, and Machine Room are on the east hallway and the Medical Bay, Conference room and Command Center is on the west hallway. Like the upper level hallway, many pipes and power conduits run along the ceiling.

Power Generator Room
bunkercontrolroom.jpgThe base fusion reactor has been powered off. Upon inspection it is unknown what condition the reactor is in or if it will work. There is an auxiliary battery system that still shows to have power stored in it. The team discovers the auxiliary system with a successful Perception skill roll. It is revealed that there is a lone red light on a panel in one of the corner control panels. The dust on it makes it very faint and hard to see from a distance.
reactor.jpgTo repair the battery system successfully will require a Technician/Electronics skill roll and some parts from the Store Room on Level One. Restoring power will allow overhead lights to come on all over the base and well as the base central elevator to operate as well as open the outer doors on level one. When activated the system makes a series of clicking sounds as power is restored to the base. The battery systems make a low humming sound when examined closely. Searching the room the team finds on one of the shelfs on the wall that there is an Electronic Repair Kit worth 2,000 C-Bills.
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Machine Room
abandonedheavymachinery.jpgVarious large pieces of heavy machinery sit on the floor of this large room. The machinery is rusted, corroded and in a poor state making it useless. Environmental Controls are located in this room. On a shelf on the wall is a Mechanic Repair Kit worth 1,000 C-Bills

Medical Bay
medical1.jpgThe medical bay has several beds for the rest and recuperation or patients, a small dispensary, several cabinets and shelves adjacent though a doorway to the east is an operating suite with operating table. The pharmaceutical dispensary is emptied but the medical supply case has a sealed MedKit still mounted on the wall. The shelves have some empty glass beakers and containers. There is nothing here of value except the old MedKit still mounted on the wall worth 10 C-Bills.

Conference Room
controlroom2.jpgA large rectangular table dominates this room covered by a thin layer of white dust. Around the table and along the left and right side walls are chairs. There is a large display screen on the far end of the room flanked by two old flags. A few pages of paper are on the table at the end. When a player attempts to pick up some of the papers to examine them or move any of the papers they crumble into dust. There is nothing readable on them.

Command Center
controlroom3.jpgThis is the central command room of the base. There are several old chairs and workstations in this room. The grey-white dust that covers the long silent terminals and display screens along with the silence of the room make this room seem somewhat eerie. There are no lights anywhere.

holobunkermap.jpgOnce power is restored some of the base systems will start to work at a low power setting. Some of the lights will come on in some of the areas. Using the base command stations and some Computer skills rolls will enable the team to gain access to some of the root systems. One of the work stations is for the base sensors and defenses. Though they cannot get the base remote weapon systems to operate, they will find a command to enable the base remote sensors to come online and operate.

computerdisplay2.jpgOnce completed a Sensors Operation die roll will bring some of sensors online and the sensors will begin operating and sending back sensor information of areas in a perimeter about one kilometer outside of the base. Not all of them will come online though leaving some gaps in the sensor network.
Inside the Command Center there is an endosteel reinforced door at the far west side of the room. It is unusual to see endosteel used for such things as the super strong material is expensive and heavy. This also makes the door very strong and secure. This door leads to the Computer Core. It is closed and sealed. A Demolitions skill roll will reveals that explosives will probably not open the door. Brute strength might.

Computer Data Core
data_core.pngThe Computer Core is only accessible through a reinforced endosteel door from the Command Center. Inside is a terminal for access to the mainframe computer which is stored behind this chamber. The base mainframe has an incredible amount of data stored in it. The mainframe cannot be moved as it is too large and heavy.
The base has an intact Star League era computer Data Core. The data core is packed with technical and scientific information along with engineering schematics. To gain access to the computer a successful Computer and Cryptography skill roll must be made. In addition after gaining access to the mainframe computer another successful Computer die roll will reveal that the massive amount of data and the complexity of the storage algorithms makes it impossible to download the information into a small device such as a noteputer. It will require a large computer capable of handling the database.
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TALIS KROENER ARRIVES
kroener4.pngTalis Kroener arrives with some of his thugs to stop the Schattenjagers.
“I wont let your ‘Operation Flush’ get in the way of my plans or fall victim to it!" He then orders one of his men forward who tosses the severed head of Von Goertz towards the position of the team.

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Session Fifteen
THE OBSCURITY FILE, PART ONE

MAY 15-18, 3049
The Schattenjagers are dispatched to the planet Alcor III to investigate some illegal smuggling.

session15map.pngHauptman Stryker arrives and notifies the team that there is a mission for the Schattenjagers. “We have a situation that is developing on Alcor III. Please follow me and you will be briefed on your new assignment.” The Team is given a briefing for their next assignment. Only the PC players are present for the briefing. In the briefing a female officer named Major Meushke with LCAF Military Intelligence begins giving the Team their next assignment.

“Gentlemen, for the past few months we have been receiving reports and hearing rumors that a man named Talis Kroener has been selling some rather unique items on Alcor III. As a result he has become very wealthy very quickly from this. So much so that his business practices have come to the attention of Lyran Intelligence. Most recently, last month in fact, he sold some complete and fully functional MechWarrior Combat Suits to agents from the Capellan Confederation. Our sources indicate that the Capellan agents paid $40,000 for each. This also got our attention as that is extremely high for even this type of battlemech equipment.”
“From his dossier it is known that he was born on the planet Polsbo near the border with the Circinus Federation and the Free World’s League and had a few arrests in his youth for petty crimes. As he got older his criminal activities became more severe and frequent. For a time he was a gun for hire and dabbled a bit in being a mid-level distributor of an illegal and highly addictive drug called Grit.”

Grit comes in an inhalant and costs about 30 C-Bills per dose. It is very addictive and makes the user feel very euphoric and wild, feeling nothing but pleasure and not feeling anything else. The downside is it also makes the user very irritable and volatile when coming down from the drugs high.

“Talis Kroener then moved to the more populated planet of Phecda in the Isle of Skye. It is here that Intelligence believes that Kroener may have developed some smuggling connections and is suspected himself of being involved in the smuggling of illegal goods to and from the Free World’s League. He was investigated four years ago for this while he was living on Phecda though there was no hard evidence that the local authorities could pin on him directly. With the authorities closing in on his activities, Talis Kroener left Phecda suddenly. After this he fell off our radar for three years. What he did in that time we do not know. However, about three months ago he resurfaced again, this time on Alcor III.

“The Schattenjagers are to investigate this man. We like to keep tabs on persons that may be a threat to the security of the Commonwealth. Talis Kroener is known to currently reside in the settlement of Monserrat City on the southern continent of Alcor III. Your mission is to pose as some textile merchant traders from the planet Howick and potential smugglers and locate this Talis Kroener and look into his business and connections. We have disguised your dropship as being from the TransLyran Trade Corporation. "
“Once Talis Kroener is found try to get his trust and learn what you can about him from him, specifically is he just a middle man in a bigger operation? Where he is getting his goods from and what else he may have for sale. If you can try to also find out who he is selling them to as well. Don’t kill him unless you have too. If left alive he may lead us to some of the others he has been working with.”
“Your mission code name is ‘Minesweeper’.”

Hauptman Stryker notifies the team that Lawson, Klinger, Ringer and Schumacher will not be going on this mission and will be staying with him. He looks over and states that “Sergeant Major Clumley will be in charge of this mission.”

Major Meushke continues “Make sure to stay undercover as best and as long as you can and keep a low profile. This is a fairly well colonized planet and established planet with an effective local security force. Contact the local civilian or military officials on the planet only if absolutely necessary. Doing so may raise alarm with your target inadvertently. Since the mission is close to the borders with the Free World’s League the team is to take their battlemechs with them just in case. We have loaded your battlemechs into your dropship hidden in the cargo area. To keep any prying eyes out it will be necessary when you arrive on Alcor III to not have the local customs officials look into your dropship. This will require some forged cargo manifests and possibly some bribes to the customs officials. We know that some of them can be persuaded to look the other way when it come to their duties. In addition to your normal military ID, we have prepared some forged civilian IDs for you and planted some false information into some of the databases should anyone look into you. Make sure to keep your military IDs hidden safely just in case you are searched or something goes wrong.” She then hands the new ID cards to the Team members.

“Are there any questions gentlemen?”
“One last thing, to help out, we have detained someone that we have been keeping an eye on that we think might be able to assist you in this matter. He is in a holding cell here for the moment. “

alcor3.jpgPC NOTES: Alcor III – more commonly known simply as Alcor is the third planet in the Alcor system. Alcor III is in the Isle of Skye province of the Federation of Skye near the Free Wolds League. The Alcor system has a variable primary star, making the presence of a habitable world with an atmosphere in the system unusual. The Alcor system was settled during the First Exodus from Terra, subsequently joining the Federation of Skye, and then the Lyran Commonwealth when the Commonwealth formed.
Many mining companies landed on Alcor to exploit the easily-accessible mineral resources stored in the planet’s crust. Although these were productive enterprises, the little arable land on the world lacked specific trace elements that are required for human health. As a result, the Alcorans became reliant on trading ships that brought produce from other worlds. This constant need for trade made Alcor something of a trading hub despite its out-of-the-way location.
Alcor III is class H. Alcor is a spectral class A5V blue-white dwarf star. Average temperature at the equator is 35C (95F).

The team goes to the holding cell and discovers the person detained by Military Intelligence is their old friend Dingus O’Shea. He is chained with his hands behind his back to a simple metal chair in the middle of the sterile and brightly lit room. He is very obviously irritated and protesting profusely at being picked up and held in the cell against his will. He yells that he wants his cybernetic eye back and yells several boastful threats and expletives at the security personnel holding him. When the team enters he will squint some with his good eye and then recognize the Schattenjagers. “Oh no not YOU guys again!! Now what do you want, I thought we were even! You have no right to do this, I will get a lawyer and have you before the local magistrate for unlawfully arresting me with no evidence against my will! I wasn’t doing anything wrong I swear!” When asked about Talis Kroener the captive Dingus O’Shea will get white in the face and then his voice will drop some and he will quietly state emphatically that he has never heard of the man. He is lying. When pressed he gets very quiet and serious, perhaps the most serious the team has ever seen him. He looks truly scared. “I have never actually met him personally you understand, nor do I ever care to I tell you. All I know is what I have heard from others. From what I have heard that is the kind of man you don’t want to deal with, much less cross. He is very dangerous, a near psychopath I am told but I am also told he plays smart you know? I also know that he knows many smugglers and is able to move things that others sometimes can’t but mostly just works the border areas with the Free World’s League. And it you don’t pay he will whack you but also go after your friends and family, so I am told and that he always gets away with that. Not the kind of guy I deal with, honest. That’s all I know. Now can you please tell these security people to give me my eye back and let me go?”
If the Team doesn’t brutalize Dingus O’Shea and has the security guards let Dingus O’Shea go he will be somewhat grateful to the Team and will tell the team as they leave the holding cell one other bit of information. “One other thing I just thought of, I remember because it seemed an odd way of doing business to me. I has told once by an associate that Kroener only accepts gold or Lyran Bills as payment. He won’t take C-Bills or other house bills at all. I don’t know why, just struck me as odd when I heard that.”

LEAVING FOR ALCOR III
Prior to leaving Tamar, LIC Agent Schumacher appears. The Team has not seen him since arriving back from their previous mission. He privately pulls a few of the Team aside and tells them that “for reasons that cannot be disclosed, I will not be joining you on this mission. There are some things here that still need to be sorted out.” Schumacher seems a little displeased and apprehensive by this fact. He tells the team in a more hushed voice that “if you do get into trouble there is a retired Lyran Intelligence operative who lives on the planet settlement where you are going. Though retired this person does still function as a part time informant on the planet for Lyran Intelligence. He may contact you at some point. The operative’s codename is Chimera“
“This operative has been informed that the Schattenjagers will be arriving and to be on the lookout for the team. If the operative contacts the team they will know by the code word which is ‘cheese and crackers’. The correct reply to identify yourself to the agent is “Only with some Antares red wine.”
Schumacher will also remind the team that discretion and keeping their cover will be very important on this mission. He points out that if Talis Kroener learns that the team members are looking for him that Talis Kroener may flee and disappear again and the mission will be a bust.
.
The team them takes off in their loaded dropship and docks once again with the jumpship Razor’s Edge which has been parked in orbit. After docking Captain Niles Harkon and his XO greet the team again. The XO Lt. Mitch Herschel briefs the team in the course they will take to get to Alcor III.
“We will be jumping to the Corridan system, then we will be using the poly lithium-ion batteries to recharge the K-F drive and jump again to the Glengarry system. As Glengarry is a type B star it should not take too long to recharge the jump system with the solar collector. From there we will jump directly to Alcor. The entire trip should take 3 or four days.”
The team settles in for the trip and the jumpship makes its first jump a few moments later.

ARRIVING AT ALCOR III AND THE SETTLEMENT
spaceport.jpgThree days later – A flash of light a split second later the jumpship Razor’s Edge arrives at the Alcor system. There are many jumpships here in this busy system.
The team arrives at Alcor III and lands at the aerodrome for Monserrat City without any incident. A sign above a security gate to the landing field says ‘Welcome to Monserrat City”. A few local security guards holding rifles keep a slightly disinterested watch on people coming and going through the main gate. Up in the landing control tower three figures talking on radios stare up at the sky with binoculars. Everything seems normal and routine. The settlement is in the southern hemisphere where settlements are more sparse compared to the northern hemisphere. The settlement is small compared to many, having a population of about 20,000 but has everything one could want. At the far end of the spaceport are two large hangers. A Lyran flag flutters in the breeze. There are several military vehicles with heavy weapons and a few Manticore heavy tanks parked outside the main hanger doors which are closed. These are probably hangers for a detachment or even squadron of Aerospace fighters though with the hangar doors closed there is no way of knowing what is inside the hanger. Should the players inquire of the locals about the hanger they will be told that there are anywhere between 4 to 8 aerospace fighters inside the aerospace hanger at the end of the field. (Depending on whom they ask in passing) No one will know exactly what type of Aerospace fighters they are only saying they are big and make a lot of noise when the take off and land.

After landing four men in civilian clothes approach on foot with data pads. They have ID badges identifying themselves as being customs officials. The one in charge introduces himself as Walter Fricke, the port inspector. A successful Streetwise skill roll will reveal that he is open to bribery if the price is right but you will have to be delicate and not obvious about it. A successful Negotiation skill roll at +3 and Mister Fricke will state that he could get in trouble and it needs to be worth his time. He will then state that his time is worth $2000.00.
Mister Fricke decide to look the other way by examining the ship manifest then casually stating that “we have a busy day and this all looks in order to me”, and marking it off as ok without entering the ship. He and his team then get back in their vehicle and drive off towards the next ship.

Leaving the secured Aerodrome areas the players encounter a map of the city on a wall of the Spaceport Terminal provided for visitors to the city. The map has the four main sections of the city with ‘The Monserrat City Traders Association Welcomes You!’ in bold letters above the map and ‘Please Enjoy Your Stay with Us.’ Below the map. The map has several key areas of the Settlement noted on it including the Spaceport Terminal, Warehouse District, Trader’s District, Residential District, Financial District, and Comstar Facilities.

When walking about the settlement the team periodically passes teams of the settlement’s armed security and police forces. They have clubs on their belts, helmets, vests and riot gear on. The local security forces are usually seen in pairs walking about. The local citizens do not seem intimidated or scared of the security forces. Some can even be seen chatting with local residents in a friendly manner.

THE SCHWARZE KATZEENCOUNTER WITH CYRANO BORGER
borger.jpgThe Schwartze Katze is off one of the side streets. If it wasn’t for the lit but faint blue neon sign that hangs over the nondescript door, one would not even know it was there. Outside sitting against the wall is a street bum in tattered clothing who looks to be passed out from drinking. There is an empty bottle next to him.
Entering the establishment the team is seated by a hostess. There are several dozen people here drinking talking and listening to the live music playing.
Heinkel Wolfe is surprised to encounter Cyrano Borger here. Heinkel Wolfe has not seen the man in years. He is accompanied by four rather large thuggish looking brutes. They have their hands on their concealed side arms. They do not seem to be making much effort to hide that they have their hands on the weapons. Cyrano Borger’s attitude seems to be a mix of pleased to have encountered Heinkel Wolfe while at the same time also being very upset with him. Borger is a shifty man with a scar on his left cheek and an earring.
Cyrano Borger demands that Wolfe give him a rematch at poker.
“Well if it isn’t my old friend Heinkel Wolfe. I am surprised you had the guts to come back here to this planet. I never thought in all the Inner Sphere I would run into you again. HA! This must be my lucky day! Now I’ll bet you were hoping that you didn’t run into me here huh friend?” Cyrano Borger then halls off and sucker punches Heinkel in the face. “You cheatin sunofabitch! You think you can cheat me and get away with it?? Yell yeah what we are gonna do right here and now. We’re gonna play a little game of cards again and this time friend…..no cheating or I will personally blow your brains clear out of your head friends or not! The stakes are $5,000 C-Bills. Winner takes all! That should more than cover with a little interest what you owe me scumbag!”

Street_Punks.jpgWhen the team leaves the bar, they will note that the drunk bum is now gone and the street is very quiet. Walking outside into the street the Schattenjagers are cornered by a group of street thugs that try to jump the team in the street and fight them. The street punks are poorly armed with pipes and knives, taunting the Team to fight them.
Ten of the local security forces with weapons and stun sticks drawn show up very quickly cutting off any avenue of escape and demand that both sides surrender by getting down on their knees on the pavement. It is noted that the security forces showed up very quickly and in force. While being handcuffed one of the security men shouts at Aebon Tesavir to quit resisting and the entire team is then stunned with stun sticks and black out.

Magistrate Michael McGregor chastises the team for disrupting the peace of the city and order them to be thrown in jail for five days and fined $5,000 C-Bills each.
The judge is old and possibly senile. He repeats the word “outrageous!” a lot. He shuffles a lot of papers ad files around on his desk seemingly confused. He then picks up a file and reads the charges against the Team “So here are the charges against you; Impersonating an officer, resisting arrest, fraud, reckless driving and lying to the sheriff! OUTRAGEOUS!” It may be entirely possible that the docket he is reading is for some other case.
“You Ought To Be Ashamed Of Yourself!" "On your BEST day you’re not as smart as I am on my worst day. If you live to be a hundred you will never be as smart as me.” “I am the decider here!”
“I DO NOT TOLERATE JIBBER-JABBER IN MY COURTROOM!” “And spinach is bad. I’m not going to eat it!”

jailcell.jpgThey team has all of their equipment taken from them. Looking around the jail cell they do not see any way to escape. The locks and the cell are very well made and maintained. After a few hours waiting the security guards bring in four more prisoners. These three men look very inebriated. All three also look quite big and muscular. One of them starts to cause trouble howling and screaming and banging on the bars which brings five armed security guards in. They remove the man from the cell with the Team and he begins to fight the guards, even after being stunned by a stun stick. The unruly man breaks one of the security guards arms while physically resisting the guards. It takes the other four guards to take this man down and subdue him.
After subduing him they drag him out of the jail cell and the door to the far room is closed and locked again. After a moment the three other men stand up looking suddenly very sober and move to one corner of the room. They begin eyeing the Team and pounding their fists as they look menacing at the team. The team then gets into a fist brawl with the thuggish newcomers in the jail cell.session15.jpg

vongoertz.jpgA few hours later after the jail fight an average looking older man with grey and white hair dressed in a very well kept but simple suit and wearing a panama hat enters the jail using a walking cane.
He has been given access to the jail cell where the team is locked up. He is escorted by two very big security guards holding stun sticks.
He speaks to the team with a slight German accent. “Goodness, it doesn’t look like there is room for another soul in there.” He says with a smile. “Gruss Gott, but where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself, my name is von Goertz. I am your lawyer.”
Von Goertz then turns and asks the security guards if he can have some time with his clients. “Would it be alright gentlemen if I have some time alone with my clients?” One of the two guards asks “Are you sure sir? They were quite violent last night.” Von Goertz replies to the guards “It is quite alright corporal, I appreciate your concern for my well being. But I am their legal counsel, and an old man. I am sure they won’t harm me.” The security guard considers this for a moment and then without saying another word he motions his partner to leave the cell block with him.

PC NOTES: It is apparent that Von Goertz plays the old, harmless, slightly feeble man well. It is a convincing act that some might not see through.

Von Goertz waits patiently for the security guards to leave before speaking further. “I was told that you have not eaten since your arrest. Such lack of manners.” Von Goertz reaches in his jacket pocket and pulls out a small handkerchief. “I brought some Cheese and Crackers for you, that is if you are partial to them.” As he says this he looks over the faces of the team. Hearing this ”/characters/heinkel-wolfe" class=“wiki-content-link”>Heinkel Wolfe replies “I only eat cheese and crackers with an Antarian Red Wine.”
Von Goertz considers this reply for a moment and then speaks in a hushed tone. “As I said, you may call me Von Goertz.” He will then begin to chastise the team members some. He then shakes his head. “This is a fine mess you have started to make here. I had to talk to that silly magistrate for hours to convince him to let you go and dismiss all the charges.”
Von Goertz will then tell the team that the Schattenjagers mission on Alcor III is known to him.
“I know that you are here on a mission of some kind. I do not know what those mission orders are though nor do I care to know. I was simply notified by mutual friends of ours that you would be arriving here and asked to keep an eye on you as best I could from a discrete distance and help you if I could without blowing my own cover. I hope you can appreciate the delicate position you have put me in now having to help get you out of this jail. I am hoping my respected status here with the locals as one of them and as a lawyer that often takes up cases of disturbing the peace from time to time by off-world folk and visiting merchant ship crews that let shore leave get to them will also serve as a good cover and not raise any eyebrows for my helping you.”

When asked about Talis Kroener or his whereabouts Von Goertz thinks for a moment as if carefully weighing his answer. “Yes I met him once, collided with him would be the more appropriate description. I bumped into him purely by accident coming out of a restraint one night in the Trader’s District and he took offense at it and threatened me in the street with a large knife. It was quite unsettling I assure you, especially for a man my age. Quite a nasty man too if I recall correctly. I also know that he keeps company with some very shady men that come and go around here. I do not know who they are though.”

schrepke.jpgThe Team decides to make contact with the local military forces on the planet the and the Schattenjagers encounter Sergeant Schultz. He is an older and portly man with grey hair wearing the rank of a Sergeant. He is not very useful or helpful in answering any questions about the planet, the settlement and its goings on, etc. any questions posed to him will have him replying in various ways that he doesn’t know anything. “I know nothing!”
If asked who the commander is here he states “Oh that is Leutnant Kommandant (Lt Colonel) Wolfgang Schrepke.” He then trains off as if he had something else to say.
If asked to meet with the commanding office he will look surprised and unsure what to do. Schultz then states “Well the Colonel does not come out much, and he does not like to be disturbed. You could get me in hot water with him. He is not very pleasant when he is upset.” If pressed he will reluctantly stand up and go to the door behind him stating “if he starts to yell at me I will tell him that you made me do this and I didn’t want to!” Schultz then knocks meekly on the door and then goes in and closes it. The Team can hear talking and somewhat raised voices. Then comes back out of the room visibly looking intimidated announcing “The colonel will see you.” And goes back to his desk and chair.

Leutnant Kommandant (Lt Colonel) Wolfgang Schrepke is the ranking officer in the region. Schrepke is an older man, somewhat portly and out of shape. He stands near a window that has the blinds drawn, peeking out on of the blinds. He stands there with his duty uniform unbuttoned which makes him look dishoveled. He looks unkempt though it seems he was a skilled warrior at one point and very experienced. There are several visible scars on his hands and on the side of his neck. Entering his office, it is dark and poorly lit. It is a little unkempt and dusty. The air is stuffy and slightly musty smelling. About the room are several crumpled unkempt uniforms draped over chairs or on the floor. On the desk are many papers as well as an ash tray with a pipe on it. Next to it is a half-finished bottle of 100 proof whiskey and a plate with the remains of a half-eaten meal. He has many awards, citations and old photos that hang around the walls of his office. It seems he was with the 11th Lyran Guards at some point. He seems depressed and bitter about being on Alcor and laments being sent to this planet “I have been here for six years. If there was a place more removed from anything, this is it. I have been sent to this place like a horse sent out to pasture, to spend my last useful days forgotten and wasting away until there is nothing left that can be used.” “I am 56 years old. I have been in the military my entire life. I got commissioned as a Leutnant at 19 you know, and have been in over two dozen battles.”
If asked about what battlemechs are under his command he seems to get more depressed. “All I have here is a broken down old Crusader that can barely move and should have been sent to the scrap heap long ago, and a few piece of shit Urbanmechs. It’s nearly insulting.” If asked about Talis Kroener, Schrepke pauses as if thinking.
When coming out of the room it is obvious that Schultz has been listening at the door and seems to be a little taken off guard, attempting to look as if he was filing some files in a nearby file cabinet.

canyon1.jpgThe canyon bed runs east-west and is an ancient dried river bed about 200-300 meters wide in various places. Small rocks and sand cover it now. It is hot and dry with little wind. The canyon opens onto an arid plain covered by the short dry grasses and scrub bushes that cover the area. The canyon walls are made of dense hard rock. The canyon has been created by some water erosion from the planets past. The team may surmise that the plain the settle is on was perhaps once an ancient lake or seabed and the now present canyon was a river path that ran into or out of the plain a long time ago in the planets past.

nice021.jpgKroener’s tunnel entrance is a simple trapdoor covered by sand to blend in with the canyon floor. Kroener has dug a hole in the ground downwards and then to the west to connect with the first level of the underground tunnel system of the base where Kroener was able to break though into Store Room A on Level 1 of the abandoned base. Kroener is unaware of the second level of the base or what is inside of the base beyond the Store Room A that he has been able to access. The team easily finds the location of Kroeners entrance to ‘the Dig.’ Using the map and compass they found in Kroener’s apartment or having been lead to the site there by Kroener himself. There are no lights or power inside the lost base and some sort of flashlight will need to be used by those investigating until they can figure out how to get the base power restored.

canyon2.jpgThere is another larger entrance nearby. The entrance has been covered up by a rockslide that has hidden the entrance way from view. Only close with close inspection can the original doorway be seen. There is a metal door covered by stones. The hidden main entrance door is about 20 meters high and 30 meters wide. There is no visible way to open the door and no visible operating mechanism for these large doors. Attempts to blast open the door with their battlemechs or explosives or weapons will only remove the stones and camouflage but not open the doors. A successful Demolitions skill die roll will reveal that these doors are designed to withstand heavy blasts and not worth the time or attention explosions might cause. This will also waste time before the ComGuard force arrives.

Pulling back the tarp and with it the sand covering the tarp, there is revealed underneath a simple wooden trap door in the ground. The ground around it has obviously been disturbed. The trap door on the ground is not locked or trapped should the team investigate. The door swings open easily and flat to the ground. There is a simple metal ladder going five meters down into the hole. It is dark looking into the hole. A flashlight or other similar light source will be needed to see inside fully. Arriving tt the foot of the ladder the ground is sand and small gravel that crunches as the team walks about the small antechamber. Inside Kroener’s hidden entrance there is an antechamber below the ground that is three meters square that has been dug out of the rock. The air inside this small room is stuffy from the heat outside and no ventilation. Inside there are two metal footlockers, one against the north wall and one against the south wall. The south footlocker contains some simple digging and mining equipment including two flashlights, two standard battery packs worth 5 C-Bills each, two pick axes, three shovels, two crowbars and Climbing Gear worth 75 C-Bills at the bottom of this crate is also a fully loaded basic auto pistol worth 50 C-Bills wrapped inside an oiled cloth. The north footlocker has a simple padlock on it and contains a Demolition Kit worth 200 C-Bills and two charges of C8 explosives worth 1,000 C-Bills each.

Store Room A
bunkerupper1.JPGThere are various old metal storage crates in this room. Most have been opened and turned over with their packing material exposed or laying on the floor. Searching through the crates the Team will find that one of the crates has a long heavy duty capacity computer cable in it. There are also some various circuit boards and electronic repair parts in another storage crate in the corner. The electronic repair parts are mostly unusable. There is also a metal barrel that is leaking some black-green substance from the bottom. The barrel is rusted and the lettering on it is unreadable. If investigated the black-green substance is sticky like tar and smells faintly of bearing grease.

Main Hallway
Starleaguelogo.jpgEntering this room it is apparent that it is some kind of hallway. It is very quiet and loud noises and even footsteps echo some. It does not appear that anyone has been here in quite some time. The hallway is four meters wide with metal walls made out of some sort of stainless steel or similar metal. Overhead along the ceiling of this hallway are rows of lamp fixtures intermixed with various pipes alongside electrical conduits, electrical boxes and power junctions. In the hallway are many metal transport crates that are stacked along the corridor walls is disarray. On top of one of the nearby metal boxes is an old coffee mug resting as if someone just left it there and walked off. There is a thick layer of dust on every surface here. An old rusted forklift is seen nearby. It appears some of these crates have been dragged on the metal floor leaving scrapes in the floor. There is evidence that water as seeped into this area in the recent past.
Investigating the crates closer and dusting them off, it is discovered that they have printed on them in faded black stencil paint ‘SLDF’. Opening the crates is difficult as they are very rusty, using some tools such as a crowbar is helpful giving the Build die roll check a -2 bonus. Inside them are mundane items such as old mostly uniforms, boots, decayed corroded power cells and ration packs. The dates stamped on the ration pacts is 2784.

kroener.jpg

Kroener has several unique items of interest for sale: A Bug Scanner Watch (4/B $1800) Ultrasonic Detector (4/B $3000) and a JAF-05 Flash Suppressor (4/C $1400) for sale.

A Bug-Scanner Watch is a smaller version of the standard Bug Scanner which has been enclosed within a fully-functional watch. While these watches can also detect the presence of any active Bugs, they can only do so to a range of ten meters and cannot pinpoint the exact location of the bug(s).

An Ultrasonic Detector is a rare handheld device. Weighing three kilograms the detector sends out a high-frequency pulse of sound which bounces off objects, then detects those echos and translate the ultrasonic vibrations into a rough visual image on the device’s small screen. The effect of this allows the user to know the approximate location of objects and people and, since the vibrations can pass through solid objects, “see” through walls. However the detector has a maximum range of just ten meters, and the image created is of very poor quality

When attached to a slug-thrower the suppressor all but eliminated muzzle flash while a sonic dampener reduced the report associated with firing the weapon. It also eliminated the chromatic burst created when firing a laser rifle, although it could not mask the weapon’s heat signature, allowing anyone with an infrared detector to still see it.

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Session Fourteen
The Lyran Black Box Blues, Part II - Boxed In

MAY 7-8, 3049

krausebattle.jpgThe modified weather radar system at the research station proves useful and alerts the Schattenjagers that there is an approaching force of battlemechs closing in on their position. With the death of Hauptman Beck, as the senior ranking officer Hauptman Krause takes command of the Lyran defenses. Though an infantry officer, Hauptman Krause seems capable of leadin gthe entire Lyran force, though he asks Sergeant Major Clumley for advise in the matters of the battlemechs. Hauptman Krause and his Executive Officer Leutnant Huber coordinate their infantry company deployment and strategy with Sergeant Major Clumley and the battlemechs of the Schattenjagers. Hauptman Krause sets up a command post inside the research station’s ruined sciences lab to coordinate all of the defending Lyran forces.
The Schattenjagers become aware from his actions and conversations that Hauptman Krause seems to be unaware of the true mission of the Schattenjagers or the Black Box that they have recovered. His overall orders are to defend the planet from the Draconis Combine invasion and drive them off the planet while his immediate orders are to hold the research station until Colonel Wyatt Stone arrives with the rest of the 4th Lyran Regulars battalion.
As an act of defiance to the Draconis combine forces and to bolster the morale of the defenders, Hauptman Krause orders his Sergeant Major to hoist the Lyran flag up on one of the weather stations aerial towers. Despite the freezing cold, this causes a cheer to erupt from the Lyran infantry defending the research station who feel their morale increase.
arcticinf4.jpgThe infantry detachment of the 4th Lyran Regulars finalize their entrenchments and preparations to fight the attacking force of Draconis Combine battlemechs while the Schattenjagers deploy their battlemechs around the base and prepare for the inevitable combat. The Lyran defenders have hidden their infantry assets in the buildings and rocky outcrops around the research station. The infantry are confident their entrenchments will help defend them from the attacking enemy battlemechs. The two Patton tanks are covered by snow to hide their positions as well. Each tank is deployed on a flank, ready to reinforce any encroachment by the enemy.

blizzard4.jpgThe enemy forces come into view, revealing a mixed reinforced company of Draconis Combine battlemechs. The Team recognizes some of the enemy mechs from their previous encounter with this unit on the planet Phalan; the command Dragon battlemech of Colonel Saito as well as the Warhammer of Captain Mitsumoto.
As the battle against the attacking Draconis Combine forces begins, so does the incoming blizzard. The snow begins to fall on the battlefield as the temperatures drop and the cold winds begin to pick up. As the battle progresses the weather continues to blow cold and heavy snow hampering both sides of the conflict.

mechinsnow.jpgThe attacking detachment of the Draconis Combine 2nd Sword of Light proceeds to attack the research station defenses in waves. The first wave approaches consisting of two Locust light battlemechs carrying LRM launchers. Aebon Tesavir begins to scan the enemy mechs as they approach noting that some of the enemy mechs have unusual readings and armaments.
While countering the probe by the first wave of light mechs, the Schattenjagers begin to pick up some ECM static from their western flank. Heinkel Wolfe tries to pinpoint the source of the disturbance. The communications equipment the infantry brought with them helps locate the general area the electronic emissions are coming from. It turns out that there is an Oscout nearby that has somehow moved up undetected near the western perimeter of the base defenses. The Ostscout seems to be using its advanced sensors to probe the Lyran positions while the light mech harass the eastern flank. The Schattenjagers move some of their units to engage the Ostscout before it can probe their lines. The Ostscout proves to be a tricky mech to fight as it jumps around the field dodging enemy fire. It eventually takes all of the Lyran battlemechs to take down and incapacitate the enemy scout mech.

coldresponse16.jpgThe two Patton heavy tanks of the 4th Lyran Regulars which their crews have named ‘Mean Green’ and the ‘General Lee’ prove their metal and tenacity while providing fire support in defense of the research station. Both tanks score hits against the attacking battlemechs with their main guns while standing up to the attackers with their thick armor. The Schattenjagers are impressed with the bravery of the two tank crews.


3025Stinger.jpg.pngThe hidden infantry of the 4th Lyran Regulars surprise one of the enemy Stinger light battlemechs when it moves too close to their position. Surprising the light mech, the hidden infantry spring into action and manage a crack shot at the head of the mech, blowing it completely off before it can take any action or penetrate the defenses of the base. This greatly raises the morale of the other nearby infantry units that witness this action. The second wave light battlemechs continue their attack but are outmatched by the tactics and fire power of the Schattenjagers. Several hits are scored on the remaining Stinger and two Panther battlemechs who then try to regroup. One of the panthers is crippled slowing it down but the three Kurita mechs continue to try to press on the eastern flank with determination.


The heavy battlemechs consisting of a Warhammer, Dragon and Quickdraw move in to press the eastern flank some more. Despite some damage, the two Patton tanks redeploy to the rear but still within firing range to support the mechs of the Schattenjagers. The heavy enemy mechs press forward and begin to attack the infantry deployed on the eastern flank of the base killing many of the infantry in the process.
veritech.jpgHans Krieger proceeds to harasses and harry the enemy forces in his new Phoenix Hawk LAM. The attackers attempt several times to down the Land-Air Mech but the LAM proves too fast an maneuverable time and time again giving the defenders and edge in the combat. As the battle gets closer to the research station the Schattenjagers stand firm and push back against the attackers. Hiro Tahiro moves to close physical combat using the hatchet of his Hatcheman. He is able to score a few important and heavy hits on the Dragon mech which causes it to fall back. Aebon Tesavir keeps the western side secure in case the enemy tries to shift positions.


snowplanecrash.jpgAs the heavy battlemechs of the attacking enemy continue to try to press forward, a small light fighter is picked up on radar approaching the area from the east . As it comes into visual range it can be seen to be spiraling out of control with thick black smoke pouring out of it. It looses more and more altitude and crashes in the middle of the battle bursting into flames and wreckage.

Lyranregulars04th.pngA few moments after the aerospace fighter crashes the team receives a clear communication from the 4th Lyran Regulars. The message advises that they are approaching and should be arriving shortly to help. The Team knows that the main battlemechs of the 4th Lyran Regulars are not far away now.
Seeing this the attacking Draconis Combine forces make one more big push to get into the base before getting repelled again by the defenders and forced to begin a tactical withdrawal towards the south east.


With the eminent arrival of the long awaited Lyran reinforcements, the remaining Draconis battlemechs along with Colonel Saito withdraw from the battlefield, quietly escaping into the cover of snow that the blizzard provides. Though pursed by elements of the 4th Lyran Regulars, they enemy mechs eventually elude the Lyran forces and eventually escape from the planet. The defenders of the research station are very pleased to see the reinforcements they had been waiting for. Colonel Wyatt Stone personally congratulates the defenders for a job well done. The Schattenjagers take a deserved rest for a few hours before leaving the planet to rendezvous with the Razor’s Edge at the jump point. With them they have the coveted K-4 Series Black Box which they take back to Port Moseby, the nearest heavily fortified planet.


Captain Mitsumoto, the pilot of the Warhammer is knocked unconscious in his damaged mech and captured by the Schattenjagers. The Schattenjagers also recover from the wreckage of the fallen enemy battlemechs a CASE storage, Beagle Active Probe, an Ultra AC/5, three ER PPCs and two Medium Pulse Lasers and 45 double strength heat sinks



Destroyed-salvage parts only:
Warhammer $590,000
Dragon $1,840,100
Stinger $707,000
Ostscout $1,006,800
Panther $1,157,600
Panther $1,172,000
TOTAL: $5,942,500


Captured and repairable:
Quickdraw w/ 17 double heat sinks repair cost: $990,900 (base value repaired: $5,746,550) 15 days to repair
Stinger – no head repair cost: $250,000 (base value repaired: $1,768,440) 7 days to repair

CASE, short for Cellular Ammunition Storage Equipment, was created by the Terran Hegemony in 2476 as a system designed to reduce the hazards of carrying volatile or explosive equipment, usually ammunition. CASE is essentially a specialized container structure for housing the equipment, and redirects explosive force in the event that the equipment explodes. While this makes it invaluable for preventing excessive internal damage, CASE does not actually stop the explosion, it merely contains and redirects the explosive force, so after an explosion units likely will be crippled or nonfunctional, though not destroyed outright.

Inner Sphere CASE weighs half-a-ton per piece. Inner Sphere CASE cost 50,000 C-Bills. CASE mounted on an Inner Sphere ’Mech can only be placed in a torso section, and only protects that torso section. Any other ground, sea, or air vehicle mounting CASE only requires one, which protects the entire vehicle.

The Beagle Active Probe (BAP) is a suite of enhancement technology that, when attached to general electronic sensors, enables the equipped unit to detect and classify other battlefield units whether they are camouflaged or even shut down, with the exception of conventional infantry. The probe was first introduced by the Terran Hegemony in 2576 as a means of combating active camouflage and other electronic jamming systems which had become prolific by the end of the Age of War. The system consisted of not only a separate computer core but an entire second set of sensors, including radar, infrared, visible light and seismic detectors, positioned at strategic points around the operating unit. As the unit’s native sensor array scanned the surrounding area, this data was retrieved by the Beagle’s computer core and cross-referenced with data from its own secondary sensors. If an anomaly was detected the Beagle performed a more detailed sensor sweep of the target area. With this process happening every millisecond, the Beagle was able to verify and even identify threats regardless of local terrain or electronic warfare interference.

One of the drawbacks to the system was the sheer necessary mass of the computer core and secondary sensors, which made it incredibly difficult to retrofit onto an existing unit. Effectively the Beagle was limited to dedicated recon units built from the beginning with the system in mind. Originally limited to Clear Sight Inc., an SLDF think-tank on Luna, production of the Beagle would eventually spread to other manufacturers. The BAP subsequently became extinct in the Inner Sphere in 2835 as a result of the Succession Wars before eventually being recovered in 3045 by the Capellan Confederation.
In addition to the ability to detect and classify targets at longer range, the Beagle includes a memory unit that records the events of a battle and allows for later playback. This includes the ability for the user to “re-fight” the battle by making different tactical decisions, which are then analyzed and implemented by the system, allowing for the resulting consequences to be observed.

The Inner Sphere Beagle Active Probe weighs 1.5 tons and takes up 2 critical spaces. It has a detection range of four hexes.

The Ultra Autocannon is an advanced variation of the standard Autocannon with the ability to fire at twice the normal rate.
Introduced in 2640 by the Terran Hegemony. The Ultra Autocannon/5 is an upgraded version of the standard Autocannon/5. Utilizing a different loading mechanism, the Ultra Autocannons are capable of maintaining a substantially increased rate of fire over traditional or LB-X autocannons at the cost of higher heat and the risk of jamming. Of course, the rapid-fire autocannons require a much larger supply of ammunition to maintain their rate of fire. This high dependence on ammunition limits the effectiveness of the weapon. Being of a lower caliber, the Ultra Autocannon/5 has an increased range at the cost of reduced damage over higher-caliber versions.

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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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