25/12/3049. Day 32, 5:00
Lt. Sarah Richter contacted Lt. Samara Hellstrom and informed her that the relief convoy was three hours away, and to ask if she had received any messages from home in the last month. Communications from some Lyran planets seemed to be disrupted.
25/12/3049. Day 32, 08:00
The relief convoy arrived with Lt. Sarah Richter and her lance, and the Hellstrom’s Hellions mechs, plus more infantry forces led by Sergeant Dirk Wolf and Corporal Sarah Langley, and the technical team led by CPO Lionel Barclay. Coincidentally the relief team arrived on Christmas.
25/12/3049. Day 32, 11:00
He was contacted again, from an unknown sender, with a cryptic message that could have been a threat or warning that he was still hunted.
26/12/3049. Day 33, 22:00
Attempting to use cover of night, the Sons of Brion terrorists tried to get the Burro I truck
and its cargo of Agent DC37 biological weapon canisters (salvaged from the ship) into Argyre. The cadet lance sent to replace [[Hellstrom’s Hellions]] in Argyre successfully detected, intercepted and captured the truck and its occupants. One was a Sons of Brion agent, the other one of the Silent Watchers. Both had civilian hazmat gear and admitted to being under the command of the captured Sons of Brion agent Brook Harris, driver of the captures Swift Wind Scout Car.
27/12/3049. Day 34
The commandeered landtrain included proper accommodations for the pilots of Hellstrom’s Hellions and Ganzstahl Diplomatie as well as the three platoons of infantry. The landtrain also included some proper medical facilities, to supplement the portable medical supplies that were delivered by air. The landtrain also included trailers to haul the two lances of battlemechs, portable technical facilities, and space for cargo. In short, a useful mobile base.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 6:00
Layne-Lars Kinnesson had detected some discrepancies and inconsistencies in the received communications, investigated to confirm her findings, and alerted Lt. Samara Hellstrom. Messages had been intercepted, some were prevented from being delivered and others were delivered after being altered. It was unclear which of their outgoing transmissions had been altered or blocked.
Lt. Samara Hellstrom instituted protocols for compromised communictions. Acting on the prior warnings Ruin Dmitar went to the top of the landtrain and searched the area for Com Guard battlemechs. He was horrified to see one, a humanoid light battlemech. Once he determined it wasn’t a hallucination he summoned his lieutenant and showed her the battlemech’s new position, it had redeployed since it was first spotted.
When the Hellstrom’s Hellions scrambled and mounted their battlemechs, the Com Guard mech began powerful (and competent) communications jamming and withdrew at speed. The Hellstrom’s Hellions gave chase, under cover of the ECM of Layne-Lars Kinnesson’s Raven RVN-3XML. This allowed them to close, where the first mech had rendezvoused with another.
During the chase, the gun-cameras on the Hellstrom’s Hellions mechs began failing one by one. Both opposing mechs mounted powerful ECM units as well.
Jacques Dubois got close enough to open fire, and only then did the Com Guard units turn and retaliate. This turned out to be a mistake as it allowed Lt. Samara Hellstrom to flank them and for the slower fire-support battlemechs to catch up.
The fight against the first battlemech was short, the flanking maneuver took the Firestarter pilot by surprise, allowing both Weta to close and burn. Jacques Dubois finished it off by kicking the damaged leg off from under it and sending it falling into the lake. Shorty afterwards, the battlemech exploded. Not before the firestarter had heavily damaged the front torso armour of Jacques Dubois’s Weta with a large laser, which was unexpected on that model of battlemech, as was the ECM suite.
The Spider, which had been the battlemech surveilling the base, proved a more elusive target. While the Hellstrom’s Hellions pinning it down, Layne-Lars Kinnesson detected a third battlemech nearby, which was attempting to break through the communications jamming to order the two embattled Com Guard units to cease fire and withdraw. Ruin Dmitar pursued this unit, but it withdrew and Lt. Samara Hellstrom ordered him to cease pursuit. A crossfire from the fire support units breached the spider’s armour, which was much thicker than expected for that model of battlemech, as was the ECM suite and upgraded lasers. This caused engine damage and reduced the speed of the speed reliant battlemech. Following this, the spider was swarmed by the Hellstrom’s Hellions battlemechs and destroyed, forcing the pilot to eject after which the battlemech exploded.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 9:00
Lt. Samara Hellstrom called in for reinforcements to secure the site and transport the prisoner back to base. A lengthy interrogation followed in which the captured pilot identified himself as Adept IV-Epsilon Danial Saunders, under the command of Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander whose mission was to maintain surveilance on the wanted terrorist and fugitive Ruin Dmitar. He was adamant that Ruin Dmitar was part of an operation that succeeded in stealing some portion of the HPG network source code, vital for the system of interstellar communication to function, and that with it someone could permanently cripple the network. He admitted that Ruin was one of two survivors of the team, and ComStar suspected they both had copies of the source code. The two argued over the number of people in Ruin’s unit, with Adept IV-Epsilon Danial Saunders adamant that it was one higher than Ruin claimed, and acting as if Ruin was making an obvious and ridiculous lie that the other survivor had never existed. He was under direct orders not to give the name of the other survivor, and also was not to give others Ruin’s name, for fear someone could contact one of the pair and also obtain copies of the HPG system source code. Furthermore, the other fugitive had been tracked to Strata at the same time Ruin Dmitar arrived, making ComStar extremely suspicious that they intended to meet and somehow deploy malicious coding to cripple the interstellar communication network.
Danial claimed surveilance had been conducted for four days, however that would have meant the Com Guard had military units on-station since 24/12/3049 which was before the Hellstrom’s Hellions and Ganzstahl Diplomatie battlemechs arrived. If true, that would corroborate the claim they were non-hostile and only watching.
Adept IV-Epsilon Danial Saunders confirmed that surveilance had been carried out on Ares continent as well, but that the Com Guard had nothing to do with the espionage attempt involving the two stealth suited individuals.
Further, he claims ComStar personnel had snuck into the DCS Hi No Kaze and verified its FTL drive was in working order (minus the replaceable solar sail) and that like the HPG network, ComStar was dedicated to preserving mankind’s ability to communicate and travel between the stars.
Layne-Lars Kinnesson questioned the man about why the two Com Guard battlemechs detonated. Predictably, Adept IV-Epsilon Danial Saunders claimed that there were no self-destruct explosives on the two battlemechs and the detonation must have been caused by the high energy weapon fire and barrages of long range missiles.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 11:00
Jacques Dubois was sent to the crash site with a squad of SRM infantry using two of the Hellstrom’s Hellions hover-cars brought by landtrain from Argyre. They searched the battle site and found footprints from the Firestarter pilot who had swum to the shore roughly one hundred meters from where his battlemech fell, and was picked up by a light humanoid battlemech after the battle. He took one fire-team (two men, one with an SRM and the other as loader) and one hover car and set out to track the active battlemech. Lt. Samara Hellstrom gave standing orders for them not to engage, and if they made contact to evade and withdraw.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 12:00
Layne-Lars Kinnesson and CPO Lionel Barclay were sent with a technical team and a squad of SRM infantry as guards using one of the Burro II trucks. They quickly determined that demolitions charges had been placed in the battlemechs, presumably to destroy any advanced technology, including the engines, ECM suites, and also the cockpit computer systems. Despite this, the Firestarter had four salvageable flamers and three salvageable medium lasers, and between them fourteen jump jets. Both battlemechs had been equipped with XL engines, endo steel structure, presumably double heat sinks, and ECM suites. The spider may have had a TAG unit. The primary weapons of the Spider appeared to be a pair of medium pulse lasers, and the Firestarter with a Large Laser or ER Large Laser.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 12:30
In exchange for information about the two stealth-suited spies who infiltrated Fort Enyo, Lt. Samara Hellstrom agreed to release Adept IV Danial Saunders to ComStar. The adept informed her that the two spies had been Silent Watchers, who had hired local criminals to support them during their operation, and they had transmitted the scans of the prototype battlemechs to Tyche continent. ComStar were not aware of who received the transmission.
Following this they contacted the HPG facility Delphi and were answered by a very helpful receptionist who seemed to take the situation in stride and organised the exchange with her superiors.
28/12/3049. Day 35, 12:45
Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander contacted Lt. Samara Hellstrom on her military communicator and informed her that the reply from Delphi had been intercepted by an unknown party, and that they were directed to deliver Adept IV-Epsilon Danial Saunders to Waystation 86 for retrieval. He could offer no information on who had intercepted the transmission nor why.