From the personal journal of Burney Nexx

Two weeks of travel to Ype-Jhu and several days in the field have given me a chance to get to know the men under my command a bit better. It’s enough to tell me that they’re a real mixed bag, ranging from the loyal to pirate scum.

 

Bolts is one of the good ones; a native of Santa-Ana who joined the revolution when he was just a kid. He’s a MechWarrior and a technician, which gives him a whole range of useful skills. He’s assigned to my command lance, so I’ll be able to ensure he’s well looked after; that he’s also got the company’s heaviest ‘Mech is useful.

 

McKinnon is an interesting case, being someone from the Inner Sphere. He’s a gambler and boozer, but there’s definitely an air of sophistication to him that is otherwise lacking in this outfit. During the voyage, he had everyone hanging off his every word as he described his various past exploits and some of the worlds he’s seen. It’s amazing the things that they take for granted that would seem like impossible dreams to us.

 

Baden’s one of the ones I could have done without. A former pirate, he joined us only after the alternative was hanging. I don’t trust the man at all, and I’d sooner be without him, even if he is a good pilot. Fortunately, he’s assigned to the recon lance, so he’s Vossler’s concern.

 

While Lancaster’s another pirate, she had the intelligence to turn on her fellows and sell them out to us. She’s definitely made the right decision, and I do respect her for that. She’s a lot smarter than the average pirate and I think that she could go places if she plays her cards right.

 

Back to the subject. After several days of fruitless searching for the Grim Grinner Gang, we finally had contact after a fashion. Vossler’s recon lance was returning from a sweep when they were intercepted by a pirate lance. This setback turned out to be a blessing in disguise; while they did take more damage than hoped for (especially Vossler), in return they were not only able to escape with useful intel but they were able to do a fair amount of damage in return. One of the pirate ‘Mechs, a Cicada, was disabled, and another two were heavily damaged. Not a bad exchange.

 

And with the intel they’ve gathered, I have enough to make a move on the Grim Grinners and end their threat here and now.

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Ype-Jhu

Star Type (Recharge time): K6V (197 hours)

Position in system: 2 (of 8)

Time to jump point: 3.95 days

Number of satellites: 3 (Asuncion, Encarnacion, Cerro Cora)

Surface gravity: 1.09 g

Atmospheric Pressure: Standard (Breathable)

Equatorial temperature: 20 degrees (cool)

Surface Water: 43 percent

Recharging station: None

HPG class: None

Highest native life: Reptile

Population: None

Socio-Industrial levels: None

Landmasses (Capitol city): Paraguay (none)

 

When initially charted in 2619, Ype-Jhu presented something of an oddity. Most of its surface was covered with a single supercontinent, broken up by a pair of otherwise landlocked seas. A cool world, much of its surface was made up of tundra or cool deserts. Conversely, the equatorial band sported thick, tropical forests and abundant native life. Surveys suggested that the world possessed abundant oil reserves, possibly a remnant of an earlier age of larger oceans and warmer climates.

 

Colonisation initially focused on resource extraction, building up cities and towns around the largest oil and mineral reserves. The equatorial areas was left relatively lightly touched, the jungles and their abundant life seen as more of a scientific curiosity then being of commercial value. Like many worlds of the region, Ype-Jhu’s economy was left purposefully skewed and dependant on interstellar trade to survive.

 

The biggest obstacle to colonisation came in the form of the Ype-Jhu Toxic Shock (YTS) Virus, a virulent disease that likely originated in one of the native species and somehow jumped to humans. The disease violently attacked the victim, infecting and shutting down their organs. The first outbreak in 2679 wiped out several equatorial communities before Star League medical corps were able to intervene, containing the disease from the rest of the population. While unable to eradicate the source of the virus, the Star League were able to develop a cure for it. Subsequent outbreaks in 2697 and 2732 were easily contained, with only a relatively low fatality rate among the victims.

 

With the fall of the Star League, the planetary population fell on hard times. Previously existing trade agreements with nearby worlds collapsed overnight due to a lack of transport, cutting them off from key resources needed to survive. Food shortages become common, as local agriculture was underdeveloped and had been left deliberately dependant on imports. Desperate to head of crisis, the planetary government approved crash agriculture programs, intending to quickly convert as much of the equatorial forest to cropland as possible.

 

While few records exist to chronicle the world’s demise, we have been able to uncover a few key facts. A new YTS outbreak in 2803 spread rapidly through Ype-Jhu’s equatorial communities, proving to be more virulent and resistant to treatment than before. The planetary government’s efforts at containment failed, with the virus quickly spreading to major population centres. With the Star League medical corps long gone, local doctors and scientists were unable to keep up with the pace of the spread. Appeals to the Outworlds Alliance proved futile, as the dearth of transport meant that any attempts at rescuing the healthy population was logistically impossible.

 

Unable to fight the disease and with half the population dead or infected, the planetary government collapsed under the strain. The surviving population factionalised, each trying to do what they could to survive and keep themselves ‘clean’, regardless of the cost. These efforts seem to have been in vain, as the disease continued to spread across the planet.

 

A ComStar survey in 2810 found an entirely depopulated world, with the only signs of human life coming from pre-recorded warnings, left behind by the last survivors. Spaceborne surveys found the planet’s cities either abandoned or burnt out, but with no apparent activity. The Order quarantined the world as being hazardous, and struck it off the maps. A subsequent survey in 2850 found no signs of the YTS virus, the disease like having burned itself out due to a lack of hosts. At the same time, with no remaining population and the Outworlds Alliance slowly crumbling, the world remained lost.

 

Sometime in the early 30th century, the planet’s atmosphere began to cool, with the world entering into the early stages of an ice age. Advancing glaciers and thick snowfalls have become a regular part of the planet’s climate, while the equatorial regions have become increasingly arid. Given time, nature will probably erase the last remnants of human civilisation from the planet.

 

(The report tailed off into some suggestions about archaeological missions to collect what they could before the ice got it, but theres not much of interest there. IEs own scientists declared Ype-Jhu safe; whatever YTS was or where it came from, it does seem to be completely gone. What they seem to have missed is that the planet is populated, after a fashion. Its been home to a couple of different pirate bands, who use the ruined cities and thick clouds to hide. Hell, IE could have flown right over a bunch of em and not even noticed. Course, were gonna have to be a bit more thorough)

 

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Silience – Session Two

The party settle down for the night on the edge of the Forest. Madge wanders off to gather herbs while the group is joined by the elf wizard, Nathaniel and the dwarf cleric, Doran. Both are fellow survivors from the coastal shipwrecks.

In the forest, torches can be seen moving, spreading out towards were the party are.

They sneak uphill along the forest’s edge to avoid them.

Nisaria sneaks up on one closest to them, a filthy human warrior in orc styled armour, and captures him with ease & leads him off towards the group. Suitably tied up the party walk further through the forest, uphill until they can no longer see the other torches.

The imaginative use of Estelar’s threats and Nathaniel’s Frost spells convince the orcish fluent speaking human to be forthcoming with information; he is a member of the Bloody Handed clan, one of hundreds from the north (although the only one in the area) marching southward to inflict violence & mayhem, servants of the “Red Queen”, who aspire to be like orcs & fully confident a mere dozen of them could take the nearby settlement by force.

A curious thing becomes obvious; the captive has never encountered demi-humans before and doesn’t recognise the orc heritage of the Saul.

Nisaria executes him once the party is satisfied they have gotten as much information out of him as possible (and after an engaged discussion between the players to decide to do it or not. Who said alignment doesn’t work, eh?  )

A full discussion related to their circumstances brings a greater understanding of the Island’s circumstances. The island is quite large, mountainous to the north and temperate forests, hills & plains to the south. The “crusade” was to meet up at the city of Iron Hold to the Islands South East, were the groups of adventurers would aid the rightful rulers as irregular forces, scouts & guerrillas.

The decision is made to engage to the other clan members and an opportunity to ambush them as they return to camp is taken.

Nathaniel, Estelar & Nisaria begin with a flurry of missiles from the front while Tarbin, Dorgan & Saul charge from the rear.

The five clan warriors instantly foam at the mouth & fight back furiously (with great RAGE even) and nearly kill Estelar into the bargain but are overcome despite such fierce opposition.

The battle over, the group consider the issue of the remaining clan members in their camp.

Trending On Jackpoint 16/01/76

Open to see a slightly less fancy picture.

Pawn Takes Knight

In the back of Lorry’s Bulldog, Shadow runs his bug scanner over the brick sized envelope.
“It’s sending some kind of signal,” he announces to the team.
“Give it here.” Without waiting, Sunny takes it from Shadow. It squishes in her hands, a distinct feeling of paper and bubble wrap over something solid. She shakes it next to her ear, then scrutinises it in AR. Her mind sends commands to her deck, telling it to dig deeper into the Matrix code and find the icon. In seconds she’s got it. She narrows her gaze in, and a read out appears before her eyes. “It’s a GPS tracker.”
“Just making sure we do the job,” 2Graves says with a shrug. “Leave it alone. We were told not to tamper with it and if we mess this up, it makes my fixer looks bad, and that makes me look bad.”
Shadow nods. “I don’t think we need to know anymore. If Mr Johnson is going to try and cheat us, we can just blow him up and the Barn Burner with him.”
“What? No!” Sunny protests. “Jeez, Shadow, you haven’t changed since college. This is the dean’s car all over again.”
“He shouldn’t have parked in my spot. I know it had his name on it, but it was my spot.” Before anybody can point out any supposed flaws in that argument – he’s heard them all before and it doesn’t change the truth – he switches topic. “But, you know, we should have said there’s another person in the team. We could have scored a whole extra 10 thousand for this job.” The team stares at him with quiet disapproval. “If we ditch Lorry, we could claim his extra seven thousand and divide it between the four of us.”
“Don’t say that! He’s right there!” Sunny says, a look of horror on her face.
“What? He might not have a problem with it. He’s got three thousand already. Hey, Lorry, how’d you like to call it a night? Three thousand for nothing is good money.”
Lorry grunts and glares at Shadow through the rear vision mirror. “How’d you like to get out and walk? Bastard.”
“My SUV is right behind us,” Elros mutters.
“Lorry’s not going anywhere,” 2Graves says with a tone of finality. “We’re almost on site, so stow the drek and check your gear.” Leading by example, 2Graves checks the magazine of her assault rifle and aligns the sight. Shadow slips into his chameleon suit and loads both predators with stick ‘n shock rounds. He tells the team:
“We should go non-lethal.”
“I’m not bothering to shoot knights with gel rounds,” 2Grave says. “They’ll bounce off their body armour. You go non-lethal, I’ll go as lethal back up.”
Trying not to look flustered, Sunny says: “I’ve only got regular rounds, but if I’m shooting anybody, we’ve got problems and the bullet’s probably for me. Is that as morbid as it sounds? Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so dark. I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
“Stay focused,” 2Graves tells her. She resists the facepalming urges welling inside her.

 

Lorry turns the van onto East Harvard at the arse end of Redmond. The Ares factory matches their expectations: three floors marked by even spaced rows of foot high windows, walls of black brick, secluded behind a concrete fence and a small army of knight errant security. Beside it, a chain link fence bearing SoySpam Inc and Pyramid Construction logos surrounds the steel skeleton of a warehouse. Unlike the Ares factory, busy with patrolling knights and humming with the sounds of industrial machinery, the construction site is dark and abandoned; the perfect place for a silent approach. Lorry parks the van at the far end of the chain fence, as far from the eyes of Knight Errant as they can get. 2Graves and Shadow scale the fence and crouch into the deep shadows. The factory, their target, might be lit up and teaming with life, but the streets of the Barrens are empty. The street lights burned out long ago and were never replaced. The cold January night has driven all the squatters off the sidewalk and onto warmer pastures. As they approach the factory, they are ghosts in an ebony shroud.

 

Meanwhile, Sunny stretches out on the seats of the Bulldog and slips into something more comfortable: Virtual Reality. On the Renraku grid, even the Barrens is place of serene domestic beauty. There are no long shadows, no cement walls, no factories puking smog and noise into the night. An artificial sun shines on artificial lawns behind artificial picket fences decorated with artificial gnomes and artificial flamingos. Sure, every now and then the static of the Barrens forces a gnome to flicker in and out of existence, but it’s better than what she’s left. As she takes in the surroundings and adjusts to this new better reality, she spots Elros’ pulsating persona. She sees his blank stare and knows that even though he’s there, he’s not truly with her, right now. He’s playing with his toys. Good for him. She leaves him and thinks her way over to the factory. There’s business to attend to, after all.

 

“Bug scanner says there’s nothing on the windows. You’re clear to go in,” Shadow says. Elros doesn’t need to be told twice. He sends the two flyspy drones in first, one heading above the factory to give him a wasp-eye view, the other in through a third-floor window. He counts three knights on roof patrol and a dozen or so on the ground. He feeds the image to the rest of the team, then puts his focus on the flyspy inside. It looks like an office, which matches what Mr Johnson said would be on the third floor, but no sign of the target. Elros flies his drone in further, through doors, down a hallway, into a kitchen and finally to a spartan bedroom. A weary Chinese man, probably mid 30s, sits on his bed tapping at his commlink.
“Is he using the touch screen?” Sunny asks, staring at the video feed, jaw agape. “What kind of savage doesn’t use AR? Where’s his datajack? Whatever. How should we go about this?”
“Anyone got a paper and pen?” 2Graves asks in a deadpan tone. She and Shadow put their backs against the fence and slide closer to the ground. Less than a metre away from them, knights stomp by in jackboots at regular intervals. More sneaking comes later; now is brainstorming time.
“Send some kind of message to his commlink,” Elros says. “Something vague enough to get him over to the window and we can send the package in on a rotodrone.”
“His commlink is probably monitored by Ares,” Shadow says. “If they suspect something, the whole run is hosed. Sunny, check out his commlink, first.”
“On it,” Sunny chirps. She adjusts the filters on her deck and scans the local icons again. Eight machines in the factory are running, there’s 25 pans including comms and weapons moving around, a lone commlink, and one cyber-terminal. Nothing running silent, no host. In Sunny’s professional opinion: a load of drek where security should be. Even so, she knows better than to go in overconfident and underprepared. With a quiet whistle, she activates her agent program and the corgi materialises beside her. She marks the lone commlink, then sends a command for it to reveal all secrets to her. She sees her mark on the icon, but no secrets come. Frag.

 

Through the flyspy, the team watches Jao Chung scratch his head and stare at the flashing screen of his ‘link. Elros moves the mechanical wasp in closer, buzzes around his face to get his attention, then backs up and buzzes up and down. Realisation dawns on Jao Chung’s face. He turns pale white, eyes widen, he frantically taps at his commlink and suddenly the whole screen is filled by a big exclamation mark and the words PANICBUTTON! ™. It takes less than a second for his finger to hit the screen again. It takes Sunny less than less than a second to send another command to the commlink, shutting down the PANICBUTTON! ™ program. With another thought, she opens up a note file on the commlink and types out COME TO THE WINDOW. No point being subtle, now. Everybody sees further panic take hold of Jao Chung and he shuts the commlink down and throws it across the room. Elros calls his flyspy back. They planned for everything but the target being an idiot.
“Security!” Jao Chung calls out. “Somebody help!”
“I guess it’s my turn,” Shadow mutters mostly to himself.

 

Without hesitation, without waiting for the team’s opinion, he stands, scales the fence, and drops onto the factory side of the wall. He rushes between the patrols, leaps up to grab hold on a window ledge, and scales the building. By the time the next patrol passes beneath him, he’s cut a window open with his monosword and crawled inside. He hustles towards Jao Chung, stops at the bedroom door and listens. He hears Jao Chung babbling in a frenzy:
“There was a wasp attacking me and buzzing around like it was angry, then the commlink started freaking out and telling me to come to the window. It’s got to be snipers. Somebody wants to kill me!”
“Angry wasp. Snipers. Sure.” The other voice, a knight, sounds not-so-much concerned as bored. “Which way did it go?”
“The wasp? That way!”
The knight grunts, then Shadow hears his footsteps as he approaches the door. Shadow backs into the corner of the room, holds his breath, and waits. The knight enters the kitchen, turns left, turns right, looks up, then moves into the corridor. Stealth success. The way clear, he hurries into the bedroom, takes the package out of his belt pouch and says to Jao Chung:
“Delivery for you.” It’s satisfying to say it out loud. They’ve succeded. The job is done. The target has been reached. Everything is going to—

 

Jao Chung screams.

 

Drek. Shadow throws the package at Jao Chung, turns on his heels and bolts back through the door. He takes a sharp breath in, holds it, and presses into the opposite corner of the kitchen. Half a second later, a knight barrels through the kitchen and into the bedroom. Shadow lets out his breath and sprints as quiet as he can for the exit. He makes it out the window, climbs down the building, and touches the ground just as the third floor of the factory explodes, flames erupt into the night, debris and embers rain down around him. He runs for the fence, leaps up, swings one leg over, but snags the other on the fierce grip of a knight.
“No you don’t!” the knight shouts at him and yanks on his ankle. Shadows holds fast and looks down at 2Graves. This is no problem. The job is done, the team is there to back him up, everything is still—

 

The roar of flames is joined by the screech of a siren and the crunch of metal as a Lone Star cruiser bursts through the chain link fence. In unison, the front doors open and two Lone Star officers step out, aim guns at 2Graves and shout:
“Freeze!”

 

Fragged. Everything is fragged. Shadow draws his predator, puts an electric slug into his would-be captor and drops down into the construction site. 2Graves responds to the Lonestar orders with suppressing fire, forcing them to take cover behind the doors. She keeps them pinned while Shadow rushes back to the Bulldog. She waits for him to get clear, tosses a couple of flashbangs at the cruiser, then bugs out.

 

Sunny thinks herself back to the Bulldog’s icon and spots another cruiser parked in front of it. She orders her corgi to mark it and prepares a dataspike. Elros spots it as his flyspy drones buzz back to him. He commands them to pack themselves way, jumps into the truck and activates the turret. Before the bronze can even open their doors, he sprays them with lead. Lorry has a similar idea, but instead of a corgi or a machine gun, he has a grenade launcher. He loads it up, takes aim at the cruiser trying to block the road, and fires. The insides of the Lone Star cruiser explode. The driver struggles with the slag that used to be his door, desperate to escape the flames. But his charred limbs don’t move fast enough, and Sunny hits the vehicle with her dataspike, destroying the car and its driver once and for all in a spectacular display of smoke, fire and carnage. Lorry climbs back in the van, starts the engine and shouts into the open comm channel:
“Shadow, 2Graves, how far away are you?”
“Take Sunny and go,” 2Graves responds; her military instincts and commanding military voice come back naturally to her in the heat of the moment. “We’ll go with Elros. Split up, lose the bronze, head back to Auburn.”
“Got it,” Lorry says and pulls the van past the wrecked cruiser and far from the scene of the crime. Elros opens the doors of his SUV, waits until 2Grave and Shadow are off the ground and inside, then burns rubber, makes a turn and heads somewhere, anywhere, far away from the chaos.

 

They give it the better part of an hour before they head for the Barn Burner. They’re still on edge, still ready for the worst, and their paranoia pays off. They see the two Lone Star cruises parked beside the restaurant, see the bronze standing by the door, and they drive on. Elros sends in the flyspy to scan around, finds no trace of Mr Johnson, and calls it a night. It was all a set-up. He figured – they’d all figured – the run was a lie, that the package would go boom after they delivered it. But Mr Johnson didn’t just need a wet team, he needed somebody to blame, somebody to capture and pin it on. The money had been too good, the timeframe too urgent, it all stunk from the moment they sat down, he just didn’t know how bad it stunk until it was too late.

 

The team head for their homes or their night haunts of choice to drown their frustrations in a little synthahol. 2Graves places a call to her fixer Carter:
“The job was a set up. Mr Johnson tried to screw us and disappeared before we could collect the rest of the payment.”
“Go figure. I knew there was something wrong with that job when I called you. Gave everybody bad vibes. Leave it with me, I’ll see what I can find on Mr Johnson.”
“Thanks, Carter.”

 

Shadow decides to get in front of the damage and confess his sins to Nathan. Nathan’s voice is neutral as always, his tone all business, but Shadow has known him long enough to see, in his mind’s eye, the cool, almost inhuman look in his all natural eyes as he does the math in his mind and calculates what this is going to cost him, cost Ares, and cost Shadow. “So, you’re saying somebody – nobody specifically – but somebody blew up an Ares factory. You happened to be in the area and see the explosion, and you witnessed a quick response by Lone Star, which leads you to believe this was some kind of espionage against Knight Errant by their biggest competitor?”
“Yep.”
“Quite the theory, Lone Star working against Knight Errant. Nobody would suspect it. I’ll look into it and see what I can find.” His sarcasm is as imperceptible as his irritation. “In the meantime, try to avoid any more detonating Ares holdings.”
“Of course. You know I’d never be knowingly involved in destroyed Ares property.”
“Of course.” The line goes dead. Shadow knows Nathan’s not happy, but he’s sure their friendship will endure and Nathan will come up with some way Shadow can make it up to him. He always does.

 

The team takes a few days to rest. No calls come in and no bronze come knocking at their door.  It’s like they say: What doesn’t kill you pays the bills.

 

On Thursday morning, just after 11am, Sunny’s commlink buzzes and a photo of her old friend and Renraku colleague, Sable, pops up in her AR feed. She accepts the call and says, with a grin:
“Hi Sable. How are you?”
“Busy as always. Actually, this is a business call. I need some outside help and I hear you’re running with a team, now.”
“I sure am! None of them are dead, yet, either.”
“That’s wonderful. I knew after what happened and you leaving that you’d find a way to make do, and it looks like everything has worked out for you. Well, as much as it can work out being a shadow runner. But good for you!”
“Thanks, Sable. I think.”
“Do you think your team could meet me at the Seattle Central Stuffer Shack host? Like I said, I need some help from outsiders on a problem at the company.”
“Sure. When?”
“Is now okay? I’m about to take an early lunch, anyway.”
“All right. What should we call you?”
“Since it’s not just you and this is business, Ms Johnson is appropriate.”
“Okay. See you soon.”

Sunny puts out the call to the team, tells them one of her contacts has a job for them (convinces Elros that his Age of Neil: Barbarian Adventures guild can wait and the raid can happen without him) and they assemble at the Stuffer Shack host. The host for Seatle Centre’s Stuffer Shack’s is a unique open-air design, placed at the foot of the space needle. Unlike the real foot of the space needle, the host version is surrounded by a beautiful park with water features, topiaries, and rose gardens. The dining area is reminiscent of a classic Parisian café. Sable, a plain looking dwarven woman in a business suit, sits drinking a coffee. She’s the only customer in this host, this morning. The team joins her, and she says:
“Thank you all for coming. Let me begin by saying I represent Renraku. You’re going to find out as part of this job, anyway, so no sense hiding it. Two days ago, a Renraku truck carrying simsense equipment was attacked on its way through Redmond. The truck went off the grid, and it along with everything inside it has gone missing. The company has tried finding it, but nobody is willing to talk to corporate suits in Redmond, so we need some outsiders to investigate for us.”
“Sounds like a job we can do,” Shadow says. “What does the job pay?”
“I’ll pay you 20 thousand. Half in advance.”
“That’s acceptable to us.”
“Excellent. Is there anything else I can help you with to get you started?”
“What other details do you know about the truck? Can you tell us the route it was taking?”
“Yes, of course. As I said, the truck was carrying simsense equipment, practically an entire studio’s worth. Two days ago, it left a Downtown recording set for the North Seattle Refuse and Reclamation Centre, travelling primarily on the 520 through Bellevue.” As she speaks, she waves a hand and the Matrix responds by bringing up a Seattle map on the table, a red line traces the journey of the truck from the heart of Downtown, direct along the 520 highway through Bellvue and deep into Redmond, then travelling almost as the crow flies along major roads. Suddenly the line makes a sharp turn south. “The driver called in here to say a road was blocked and the detour would delay him. Five minutes after that he hit his PANICBUTTON!(tm) on 190th Avenue – that’s in The Verge – then the truck and his commlink went off the grid. We assume the driver is dead and the truck is probably scrap by now. Our main concern is retrieving the simsense equipment and finishing the delivery. All we need from you is to get eyes on the gear, confirm its ours, and we can send in a security team to collect it and move it on. I’ll send you the serial numbers so you can be sure it’s the right equipment.”

 

Sable finishes her coffee, stands, thanks the team again, and fades away. The team takes another look at the map and begin planning their next move.

New recruits

(Put down a few thoughts on the newest batch of recruits. Hell, you’ll probably never read this, but it can’t hurt. Some of them could be valuable to us)

Jack Tudor
Age:
 30 (Born 3100)
Position/Rank: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

One of the surviving members of your original revolutionary army, Jack Tudor’s one of those odd cases of strange skills and knowledge that can make all the difference. Despite growing up in the middle of nowhere and having a rather minimal education, Tudor has a surprising amount of technological knowledge. Where he really excels is his fascination with both ancient technology and Lostech; while he may not be able to make it work, he at least can recognise it and might be able to decipher the function of some Star League doodad that nobody else would would know spit about. Hell, he was one of the first in the door when you pried open that cache and did a great job what we’d found.

Besides his brains, Tudor’s a good MechWarrior who got most of his learning from fighting alongside you against the Grave Robbers. He rose to lieutenant on merit, and has the skills to back up his position, which is an advantage over your average pirate boss. He’s also a close friend of Captain Nexx, which will be useful in a company made out of pirates, mercs and whatever other scum we could scrape up.

As a reward for his skills (and loyalty), he was given a Koschei we bought from Wilde’s Pack. It’s one of the newest and most sophisticated ‘Mechs we have, and as such is in good condition without any of the chronic problems that affect so many of our other machines.

 

Lilly Lancaster

Age: 28? (Born 3102?)

Position/Rank: MechWarrior, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

Lancaster is pretty typical of life in the wastes. Born on a Wastes world, she was captured and enslaved by the Bonechewer pirate band at a young age. She showed some degree of raw talent, which was enough for her to work her way into an apprenticeship as a MechWarrior. While her training was anything but formal, it was enough to make her competent behind the controls of a BattleMech and win her a place in their ranks.

Where she came to our attention was when the Bonechewers attacked Santa-Ana. Finding themselves in over their heads, they tried to flee the Legion. Lancaster sold them out in exchange for a place in the Legion, allowing us to capture a number of BattleMechs and their pilots intact. While it’s the sort of thing we like, you can imagine it didn’t make her fantastically popular with the other members of her crew. Apparently they call her ‘backstabber’ now.

While she’s not the most skilled MechWarrior ever, Lancaster’s got a lot of raw talent. Given time, she could actually become quite a capable pilot. Well, if she doesn’t have an accident first, as she’s got a bit of a reputation and no doubt the story of what she did is going to spread fast.

She’s been assigned a Cronus that was originally one of the Grave Robbers’ ‘Mechs. The ‘Mech itself is in fairly good condition, made easier by its design. However, it (like many of our other ‘Mechs) has a shortage of Streak SRM ammo.

 

Vince Baden

Age: 25 (Born 3105)

Position/Rank: MechWarrior, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

Baden is a career pirate, born into the life and never really having too many other options. Coming from Zumbo, he had enough skill, talent, determination and luck to work his way to being a MechWarrior within their ranks. That he’s somewhat smarter and faster on the uptake then the average pirate didn’t hurt any either. Before his run-in with us that got him to his current position, he’d managed to become what passed for an officer in the Bonechewer band.

That’s how he ended up ‘joining’ the Legion. Baden was one of the MechWarriors who was captured when Lancaster sold them out. Given the choice between working for us and swinging form the nearest tree, he took the smart option. As a former pirate, he’s not the most popular of people within the Legion, so he’s going to be fighting uphill all the way.

He’s actually a good MechWarrior with a flair for high-speed manoeuvring and squeezing every last drop of performance out of a ‘Mech. He also seems to have the devil’s own luck, as he’s allready managed to come through a number of scrapes unscathed. How long that keeps him alive is another matter.

Baden has been assigned a Jenner that was basically reconditioned junk. Aside from him basically being the last man standing when it comes to armour, the ‘Mech has a crack in its reactor shielding. While it’s been fixed with jury-rigged parts, there’s no telling if it’s going to be effective in the long term.

 

 

“Bolts” Guthrie

Age: 23 (Born 3107)

Position/Rank: MechWarrior, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

A Santa-Ana native, “Bolts” showed an aptitude for all things technical from a young age. This skill did not go unnoticed, and he wound up being apprenticed to a Grave Robber technician as soon as he was old enough to lift a wrench. A quick learner, he began to pick up a wide variety of technical skills while working on their BattleMechs under the careful eyes of their crews.

Clearly they weren’t careful enough, as Bolts basically bolted as soon as he had a chance, singing up with your revolution. While still an apprentice (and a kid) he did a lot to help keep our forces running. At the end of the day, he was not only continuing his training as a technician, but was now picking up actual MechWarrior skills as well. He even showed enough competency to win a spot in the 1st Legion, performing better than some of our ‘real’ MechWarriors.

I ain’t gonna lie. I don’t like the idea of one of our techs, especially not one this good, as a frontline MechWarrior. On the other hand, he’s still good, and having a MechWarrior who can also help support the unit can’t hurt. Our pool of skilled Techs and MechWarriors is pretty low right now.

Bolts’ Warhammer is a former Grave Robber machine that he helped maintain and then support after it was captured by our forces. It’s on pretty good shape, something that he helps with. Even then, it’s still afflicted by the same chronic lack of streak SRM ammo that we have with so many other ‘Mechs.

 

Cameron McKinnon

Age: 35 (Born 3095)

Position/Rank: MechWarrior, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

Cameron McKinnon’s a real rare find, one that could be very useful to us if this little plan of yours works out. McKinnon was born in the Inner Sphere, a part of a long-lasted mercenary family legacy. Only, that legacy didn’t entirely work out, with the unit being destroyed due to some long-standing vendetta. So he ended up wandering across the Inner Sphere, bouncing form unit to unit and job to job. Eventually he ended up here, basically marooned in the arse-end of the Periphery and out of options.

We offered him a job and he took it. I know that with his level of experience he probably could be an officer, but hell, you look at him. He’s not leadership material by any degree. He’s a drunken rouge with a love of gambling and getting into fights. He’s definitely a good MechWarrior, don’t get me wrong, but he has a whole world of bad habits that make him more akin to a pirate then anything else.

So what is it that I like about him? It’s simple. He knows a lot about the Inner Sphere, its people and the way they live their lives. That’s knowledge that we don’t have; the sort of day-to-day junk of normal society that you don’t get living on the fringes of human space. That gives us insights that we could very well use if things start going the way we hope they do.

McKinnon pilots a Cronus that has been with him for a number of years during his mercenary career. The BattleMech has been modified, removing the Streak SRM in favour of extra armour and heat sinks. The ‘Mech is in fair condition, with its modifications helping to reduce the strain on the Legion’s supplies.

 

Tagged with:

Dinner With The Family

2Graves and Elros know the plan. Sit back, stay alert, provide support when the guns come out. Lorry knows the plan. Wait in the Gopher, be prepared for a getaway. Shadow knows the plan. Talk to Vic, convince him to hand over Moxie, put the hurt on if he refuses. So far, he’s refusing. Sunny knows the plan. But sometimes, plans can be improved on, and sometimes you’ve got to march right up to the manager and demand your money back. Fuelled by the fires in her digestive track and a jilted consumer rage, she marches up to Vic Fratelli and makes her demands:
“I want my 5 nuyen back!”
“All sales are final. Go away.”
“That food is disgusting!”
Vic takes a bite of his burger, chews it vigorously, stares her down with a cold glare.
“I spent good money on that food and I want my money back!”
“No you didn’t. She did.” Vic gestures to 2Graves
“She’s my life partner and her money is my money.” Sunny’s face is tomato sauce red with fury. 2Grave’s face is red with embarrassment. This is not the plan. This is not subtle. This isn’t even sensible. She turns away, gets out her commlink and begins to send messages to the McDonald’s patrons. The innocents need to get out before they become collateral damage.

 

Vic tells Sunny to leave again, calls for the security guard and has both her and 2Graves escorted from the premises. Shadow is quick to resume the discussion.
“Back to business?”
“Whatever,” Vic shrugs.
“This is a nice store you’ve got here.” He says it casually like an observation anybody might make, then flashes a devil’s smile at Vic. “Shame if something were to happen to it.” The plan is in motion. First the threats, then the extortion, then negotiating for the g—
“Get out.” Vic crushes what’s left of his burger in his fist.
“Surely we—“
“Get out now!”
Shadow shrugs and heads for the door. He’s alone now and if Vic has to tell him again, it’s sure to come with a side order of gunfire. He rejoins the others at the van. Time to move the plan into phase two.

 

Meanwhile, Sunny takes a seat in the Gopher to wait. She slips into VR and while she closes her eyes in this world, her persona opens its eyes on the sidewalk of a small town American street, white pickets and American flags to one side, the Gopher’s icon to the other. Soon after, her agent, an orange and white welsh corgi, materialises beside her. On the Renraku grid, the Norman Rockwell suburban utopia extends for a digital eternity, but she doesn’t need to go far. Sunny thinks McDonalds, and at the speed of though, she’s standing beneath the Golden Arches of a familiar Redmond McDonalds. Her next thought reveals the hidden icons of six pistols inside the McDonalds, one for Vic, one for each cook, one on a civilian, and one in a back room. She also spots a deck. The Fratelli’s have themselves some matrix defence as well as the hot lead kind. She lets the team know. They tell her to brick them all. Sunny gets to work.

 

Shadow climbs into the van, reports and announces the next phase of the plan.
“Lorry, move the van closer to the McDonalds. When we get in range, we’re going to use the grenade launchers to bring it down.”
The team replies with a chorus of “What?” and “No!” So begins an age old battle of white hats and black hats.
“That’s insane,” Elros tells him.
“There’s still civilians inside,” 2Graves protests.
“Then I’ll do it myself,” Shadow says without hesitation. The van slows as it reaches the McDonalds. “Sunny,” Shadow asks, “Have you bricked the guns?”
“Any second now.” Between her and her corgi agent, she’s marked them all. The OS score is ticking up, but all that’s left is to hit them with dataspikes. She’s even marked the fire sprinklers in the restaurant for good measure. All that’s left is the deck. If she can hit that, brick it, they won’t be able to stop her. Just a few more seconds.

 

Panic erupts in the restaurant. The icons for five of the six guns disappear. Vic, the security guard, and all the cooks pull pistols. With a frustrated scream, Sunny commands the sprinklers to activate. She can’t brick the guns, but she can at least make them all really really wet. Shadow steps out of the van. It’s too late to go back now. He draws his weapon. The Fratellis see him and open fire. The front windows of the restaurant shatter and three bullets hit Shadow. His armoured greatcoat protects him, but they knock the window out of his lungs. At the rear of the store, an angry dishevelled civilian stands up, takes a deep breath, draws a pistol from his waistband and fires on Vic, missing completely. A tragic and embarrassing end to his untold story.
“What do we do?” Lorry asks, looking rapidly between 2Graves and the spot Elros’ AR manifestation used to reside.
“I’m not going to abandon him,” 2Graves says and leaps out the door. A little quieter she adds “He’s rich.” She raises her assault rifle and lays down suppressing fire. A second later, a rotodrone joins her in spraying the building and everybody in it with bullets. Elros jumps into his Steel Lynx and leaps out of his SUV. Now his friends have his back, a new confidence revitalises Shadow. He opens fire on the security guard, putting a bullet into her leg.

 

Sunny doesn’t know what’s going on in the McDonalds, only that her options have become limited. She can’t brick their guns, she wants to steal the deck, so much anger and nowhere to send it. Nowhere, that is, except a kitchen full of cooking machines. She marks the autogrill and commands the corgi to destroy it. The corgi bears its teeth, scratches at the digital dirt, then charges at the autogrill icon, a storm of vicious destructive data coalescing around it. It collides head first with the icon and the autogill’s digital signature disintergrates.

 

A sudden fiery explosion in the kitchen rocks the McDonalds. Burning meat showers over the cooks cowering for 2Graves’ suppressing fire. Elros moves his lynx into position beside 2Graves and lays down extra support. Between the two drones is enough assault rifle rounds to level the McDonalds and they’ve got the battle locked down. 2Graves take the opportunity to stop, steady her aim, and fire a burst direct at Vic. Three bullets later, Vic Fratelli is no more and a smear of red paste that used to be his head coats the McDonalds floor. Another explosion, this time the fryer, sprays the cooks with burning oil. Their brief screams of agony are barely audible above the assault rifles and the fires.
“Throw down your weapons!” Shadow calls. The security guard, the only staff member alive, tosses her gun out the door. “Now get out of here.” The security guard and the remaining civilians bug out.

 

2Graves, Shadow, and a steel lynx walk into McDonalds that stinks of burning machinery and deep fryer human face. Sunny opens her eyes in the back of the Gopher. Lorry gives her a reassuring nod and impressed grunt.
“Sorry, I lost cool for a second. Did the explosions help? Should I come inside?” she asks her team over her ‘link. “I didn’t hurt anybody too bad, did I?”
2Graves stares at the mangled corpses burning in a grease fire, then says “No. Stay there. We won’t be long.” One day the deck jockey will have to see that kind of horror, but best she doesn’t seem them until she’s a little less green.
“Okay. There’s somebody else in the back room. Be careful.”

 

The team moves up to the door at the back of the restaurant. 2Graves and Shadow flank the door, push it open, hold their guns ready, and Elros sends in his flyspy. In front of large walk in freezers full of something in wrapped in black bags, among steel shelves stacked with cardboard boxes, stands the sole surviving Fratelli. In one hand, he holds a pistol, in his other, he holds a bruised, bleeding, terrified teenage girl. Elros broadcasts the view to the team. Shadow lowers his weapon and steps into the room.
“What do you want?” The nervous Fratelli asks.
“The girl. Let her go, and you leave alive,” Shadow tells him. He holds all the cards this time, but these gangsters are a tough bunch. He’s ready to really put the pressure on for this nego–
“Sounds good. Guarantee I walk out alive and she’s yours.”
Shadow smiles and nods. They have an accord. Wiz. He steps back, giving Mr Fratelli plenty of space. The gangster and his hostage step out of the store room, and back up towards the rear exit of the restaurant. He commands them all to the far side of the store. When they’re there, he lets the girl go, and hurries outside. He doesn’t see the rotodrone hovering above him as he runs towards his car.
“I have a shot,” Elros says. “Do I take it?”
“No witnesses,” is all 2Graves says. The rotodrone aims and fires a single bullet. Mr Fratelli drops to the ground, blood gushing from his chest wound into the gutter, one dead hand still clutching the door of his car. The car will be gone long before the body is cleaned up.

 

The team returns Moxie to her father, collect their pay and ask if he’s made arrangements. George Hampton tells them he’s going to stay with a friend Downtown for a while, then look at either leaving the sprawl or retiring to somewhere in Everett. Wherever he goes, it will be far away from the Fratelli Family. After all, they’re bigger than one McDonalds and one protection racket. Eventually, somebody will have to pay for this.

 

It’s past 4am when the runners finally put their head on pillows and fall asleep. They’ve earned a sleep in. They get it.

 

Except 2Graves. Even in sleep, her memories of an old life chase her and blood streaked ghosts reach up to her from an ocean of scotch and guilt, and 2Graves wants to join them. She deserves to join them. She suffers this way until the ring of her commlink brings her back to the waking world at 7am.
“Hello?” She asks, forcing the words out through a dry mouth.
“Morning, 2Graves!” It’s Carter, friendly local publican and even friendlier local fixer. “Looking for work?”
“Well…” 2Gaves takes a second to consider the month’s budget, then says “Yes. Yes I am.”
“Great. Something’s come through and a few others have passed on it. I need somebody to go down to the Barn Burner at 7 o’clock tonight to meet Mr Johnson. Bring your friends.”
“Sure.” They exchange a few more pleasantries, then say goodbyes. 2Graves sends a message to Lorry, Sunny, Shadow, and Elros to let them know of the meet, then lays back and tries to squeeze a little more rest out of the night.

 

The runners spend the day mostly resting. 2Graves puts a call into her friend and arms dealer Jess. She has some guns, freshly picked from Fratelli corpses, to sell. Jess is an old friend and, after a night like that, 2Graves needs a friend to talk to. Shadow calls Nathan, again, thanks him for his help with the Stuffer Shack bill and asks if he can return the favour. Nathan has nothing just now, but will be in touch. Sunny spends the morning talking Business to her bookie, Bobby Gorem, then swings by the Stuffer Shack at the Auburn Supermall to see if there’s any Amber Gel in stock. There’s one tub left on the shelf.
“Getting anymore in soon?” she asks Victor, the manager and this morning’s cashier.
“It’s been on order for two weeks. I’ve only got this one because I found it under a box out back. Nobody will tell me what the hold-up is, but everybody wants more and they’re not giving it up. Only going to get worse, too.”
“Why’s that?”
“Next week that actress Euphoria is coming to Seattle to do a promotion tour. Once the sprawl sees her eating Amber Gel, there’s going to be riots to get a hold of the stuff.”
“Well at least I’ve got mine. Good luck!” Sunny tears open the Amber Gel tub and digs in before she’s even out the door.

 

When the clock strikes 1900 hours, the team is onsite for their meeting. They step inside the Barn Burner restaurant, ask for Mr Johnson, and are taken to a table with a dark haired, cyber-eyed handsome Japanese man. He’s already eating steak. The real stuff. Real potatoes and corn, too. All of it barbecued. Shortly after the team sits down, they are served a similar meal, even Elros, who sits in AR above the empty seat, staring at the food he cannot eat.
“Thank you for coming,” Mr Johnson says. He reaches into a briefcase beside his seat, takes out an envelope roughly the size of a brick, and places it on the table. “I need you to deliver this to a man named Jao Chung. Jao Chung manages, and lives in, an Ares factory in Redmond. This package must be delivered to him discretely. That means without being checked by security. It’s a certain hobby of Jao Chung’s that he’d rather his employers didn’t know about. It needs to be delivered tonight, intact, and I will pay you 10,000 nuyen for the job.”
“Can we look inside it?” Sunny asks, keeping the conversation going while she checks out Mr Johnson’s credentials in AR. His commlink, an unimpressive Metalink, broadcasts his SIN and name: Mr Johnson.
“No,” he replies.
“Can you tell us anything about the factory?” Elros asks.
“It manufacturers equipment used by Knight Errant. Because of that, it’s important and you can expect it to be well guarded by Knight Errant. Jao Chung makes his home on the top floor of the factory. It’s three floors. You should also know that there’s a construction site beside the factory. SoySpam Inc is building a warehouse there, but it’s closed over-night, and should provide you with a hidden approach to the factory.”
“I think we can complete this job for you. But, Mr Johnson, while we’re happy with what you’re offering, it is standard practice to receive half payment up front.”
“I will pay you 3,000 nuyen in advance. You can collect the rest from me here, tonight, when you’ve completed the job. Because of the strict timeframe, my offer is already generous.”

 

The runners exchange a few looks to silently confer. It is generous, 3k upfront is sufficient, they’re all on board.
Shadow nods at Mr Johnson and says, “Deal.”

Silience on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/apathfindercampaign/

Contains text AND pictures!

 

 

“Anyway, it’s common NOT human, you racist!”

Session One:

The groups finds themselves washed up on the pebbly beached shores of the Island of Parlund, their fleet apparently destroyed in a ferocious overnight storm.

Tarbin takes the lead with searching washed up bodies on the shore while Estelar & Nisaria compete to pick party pockets.

A scramble up the scrubby beach hills reveals a glorious dawn framed between dense evergreen forests stretching north & south.

Between the forests, hard rocky terrain slopes gently towards flat plains and a distant settlement.

The party decides to travel towards the settlement through the forest edges as far as possible avoiding open spaces.

They discover a clearing in the forest. Tied to a central boulder is a human corpse, his body peppered with crude arrows.

Tarbin & Saul fashion a crude stretcher from tree branches and rope to bring the corpse to the distant settlement for burial.

A distraction among the group means the party do not realise the corpse has gotten up and walked away until it’s shuffled off deeper into the forest.

Saul follows the errant dead and chops it in half although it makes no overt aggressive moves toward him.

What rose his form remains unqueried.

The group caustiously continues along the forest edges towards the settlements.

Somewhere in the forest, Tarbin hears a horse Neigh while Madge finds hoof marks leading further in.

In passing, Madge & Nisaria notice a cave in the open space between the forests about two hundred yards away.

Madge has seen this place before in a vision of a shadowy five headed dragon chasing her underground.

Choosing to explore the cave against the group’s wishes they discover the cave is occupied by a pair of unfriendly black bears but Madge’s wild empathy wins them over.

Delving deeper into the cave (the others follow with time) the pair discover a passage written onto the cave walls in glowing mould.

 

“The cloven spear to bring her near /

the Ebon crow to bring her low /

the engine wrack to send her back /

in the vale of frost lest all be lost”

Beneath lairs of animal bones, lies the freshly eaten human warrior stripped to the bone by the bears, his armour and weapons crudely made & of orc design, the breastplate marked with a bloody open handprint.

Pondering the passage’s meaning, the group take their leave and continue through the forest towards the settlement,
choosing to rest for the night at the forest’s closest point to said stockade.

Darkness falls.

Wasteland Legion personalities

Ulysses Coffin
Age: 47 (born 3082)
Position/Rank: Wasteland Legion commander

According to what little information is available, most notably his official biography, Ulysses Coffin is a native of Santa-Ana who’s rise to power largely comes from a desire to end the misrule of his homeworld. Born in the small community of Northlake, he joined the local volunteer militia. Fortunate enough to have survived a massacre at the hands of the Grave Robbers pirate band, he fled to the hinterlands and built his own army aimed at ending their reign of terror.

After a successful campaign to destroy the pirates, Coffin installed himself as the world’s new ruler. Driven by an apparently genuine de site for change, he has spent the last decade budding up his world and its people. At the same time, he has apparently set his sights on other worlds, building an army to obstinate stabilize them so they may be uplifted as he did with Santa-Ana while eliminating the pirates that plague the region.

Despite his apparently noble goals, there is little that is humanitarian about Coffin. He belives in peace and stability, but has little concern for individual rights or freedoms. While he did build a functional government, it is still a heavy handed dictatorship, where authority comes from imposing his will on others. None the less, he is still popular among the people for how much he has improved their lives.

Stern and humourless, Coffin is demanding and has little tolerance for incompetence or sycophants. His few personal relationships, including his own daughter, are cold and more professional than anything else. Formerly a skilled MechWarrior, he now is focused more on his role as a leader and builder then the battlefield.

(Editor’s note: there’s a few gaps in his story, most notably the issue of where he got his BattleMech training from. It is also rather convenient that he was the sole survivor of a massacre, which leaves nobody to verify or refute his story)

Ramon Sanz
Age: 50? (born 3080?)
Position/Rank: Colonel, Commander 1st Legion

Hailing from a tribe in the hinterlands of Santa-Ana, Ramon Sanz rose to prominence as Ulysses Coffin’s second during his war against the Grave Robbers. Already the leader of his tribe and having some renown as a skilled hunter and warrior, Sanz adapted his skills to the BattleMech cockpit with surprising ease. His time fighting alongside Coffin also taught him a considerable amount about modern warfare, and the capabilities of the machines he commanded. While a far cry from the simple weapons he was used to, Sanz proved to be a capable tactician and leader.

As their revolution transitioned to a viable, legitimate state, Coffin began to take over the day to day running of the new nation. In his place, Sanz was given more and more authority over the military and its management. Now the effective second of the new nation, he took direct command of their premier formation, the (’Mech regiment). While in theory, the other regimental commanders were equal in rank to him, in practice, he had authority over them.

While a capable commander, even if somewhat unsophisticated, Sanz tends to be more results driven. While he understands the need to conserve their rare BattleMech resources, he is not above using infantry as expendable assists to hold ground or force an outcome. He has an intense dislike of pirates, and does nothing to disguise it. This also includes the former pirates under his command, who he only barely tolerates.

Ramon Sanz is married with six children; at least three of them have positions in the Legion.

(As with Ulysses Coffin, there are a number of unanswered questions here, not the least is how he learned to operate a BattleMech and know so much about modern mechanised warfare. While we can assume that Coffin trained him, that comes back to the question of how he possessed these skills in the first place)

Shelly Mabott
Age: 39 (born 3091)
Position/Rank: Major, 1st Legion

One of the ranking officers in the 1st Legion, Shelly Mabott owes his rank and position as much to necessity as he does to any skill or experience on his part. One of the few surviving Grave Robbers, Mabott defected to Ulysses Coffin’s side during his uprising. This move does not seem to have been born of any loyalty or ideology, however, but rather opportunism. Mabott chose to join what he saw as the winning team, rather than risk being on the losing end of the revolution.

After the war, Mabott’s experience as an officer and a MechWarrior were seen as being essential to Coffin’s long-term plans. Installed as a captain (and then promoted to major as the new army grew), he helped shape the new army as it transitioned from a thrown-together revolution to something resembling a legitimate fighting force. Mabott was also key to the training of new MechWarriors, having been semi-formally educated by the Grave Robbers himself. While this background was dubious, it still was a more extensive degree of training then many of Coffin’s revolution possessed.

Mabott is not well liked, being seen as a greedy opportunist that few under his command actually trust. Many look at his past history of betrayal, and consider that he would not be above doing it again if the need arose. During his time with the Grave Robbers, he earned the nickname ‘Vulture’, a moniker that he personally despises but has been unable to shift. Added to this, he has been keeping a wary eye on Captain Ash Coffin. While nominally his subordinate, he is concerned that her parentage could be used as grounds to promote her to take his place.

Ash Coffin
Age: 25? (born 3105?)
Position/Rank: Captain, 1st Legion

The only known child of Ulysses Coffin, Ash was born to a tribal woman whom he had an affair with over a decade before his exile. However, it was not until he took shelter with that tribe that she entered his life. While she didn’t fight in the revolution (Even though there were child soldiers younger than her on both sides of the conflict), Ash was inducted into the army in its aftermath as it grew from a revolutionary army into a more organised, military force.

Trained as a MechWarrior by veterans of that conflict, she showed considerable skill at the controls of a BattleMech despite her upbringing. Upon ‘graduation’, she was given the rank of lieutenant and command of a rare heavy lance, likely the result of her father’s influence as much as it was her own skill. Two years later, she was promoted again to captain, again likely as a result of her parentage as much as any skill on her part.

Despite this, Ash is a skilled MechWarrior and commander in her own right, and has already proven herself in several skirmishes. And while her father’s position has been advantageous to her, she seems to be determined to prove herself and what she is capable of on her own, rather than having to live in his shadow. However, she has not been entirely above abusing that advantage when it can help her.

Currently, Ash is the commander of the Red Sands company, named for the region that her mother’s tribe hailed from and where her father built his revolution. Something of a prestigious unit, the Red Sands are seen as the spiritual (if not actual) descendants of the original revolutionary force.

(Strangely, we have not been able to find anything on Ash’s mother beyond her point of origin; not even her name. It is possible that she is dead, or the two are estranged)

Burney Nexx
Age: 31? (born 3099?)
Position/Rank: Captain, 1st Legion

Burney Nexx has been one of our best sources of information about the Legion, its past and its current strengths. This has not come through using him as any form of informant or the like, but rather through letting him talk. While a decent MechWarrior and officer, Nexx is also something of a loudmouthed braggart who loves to let the whole world know about his exploits.

Going with what we can verify, Nexx was a member of a small farming community who choose to join Coffin’s uprising, even if it was more for the adventure of it then any loyalty or ideals. However, he seems to have been genuinely swayed to his cause, becoming something of a believer during the course of Coffin’s rebellion. This loyalty was rewarded with promotion as the insurgents transitioned to a standing army.

For all his bragging, Nexx is a capable MechWarrior, although only a middling officer and tactician at the best of times. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and do what needs to be done in order to achieve his objectives, but is also not beyond spinning the outcome to paint him in the best possible light. Having grown up under the rule of the Grave Robbers, he has little respect for the former pirates under his command and treats them with barely concealed disdain. Conversely, those who were born on Santa-Ana are treated far better.

 

Maggie Vossler

Age: 28 (Born 3103)

Position/Rank: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, 1st Wasteland Legion

Almost universally known as “Magpie” to those that work with her, Vossler is a rare outsider to the Wastes region. Vossler was previously a part of the now-defunct Wilde’s Pack mercenary command. Left bankrupt and marooned in the Periphery after a series of disastrous contracts, Major Wilds chose to sell what was left of his command, both men and machines, to us in exchange for passage to somewhere closer to the Inner Sphere. Besides a small supply of BattleMechs and vehicles, we gained the services of several capable individuals from the deal.

Lieutenant Vossler is one such example. While only a mediocre gunner, she is a very skilled pilot, adept at manoeuvring in difficult terrain and avoiding enemy fire. She also has considerable experience as a recon lance commander, and understands the priorities of gathering information over getting bogged down in a fight. On top of that, Vossler has had experiences in the Inner Sphere and so-called ‘near’ Periphery that could prove useful to us; certainly she knows more about life beyond a handful of nearby systems then most of our people.

Vossler pilots the same Cadaver that she operated during her time in the Pack. One of the newer BattleMechs in the legion, it is in decent condition. As one of the few even moderately advanced scout ‘Mechs we have at our disposal, it is potentially a valuable asset.

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