09/01/3050. Day 47, 04:00
On waking Ruin Dmitar discovered a cryptic hand written not had been slipped under his door during the night. The note, regarding a clandestine meeting, refereed to the ‘forgotten stairway to the heavens’. Using deduction, communications expertise and local knowledge Ruin determined the most likely tower was the abandoned Old Quarter airship docking tower which had doubled as one of Argyre’s early communications towers.
Jacques Dubois went to the rendezvous ‘The Slab’ had organised, where he met up with three other Fight Club regulars and ambushed Kursk’s patrol. After a pitched battle it narrowed down to Kursk and Jacques Dubois, and once he won Jacque recruited the gang (the headband wearing gang) to follow him.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 06:00
Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann decided it was a key priority that they restore power to the hospital of the old quarter. She met Ingrid ‘Mouse’ Marsh who suggested using her Industrial Mech rather than one of the battlemechs. The group set out, led by Samara in a Weta and one cadet in a Commando. They escorted some of the lighter vehicles carrying technicians, Mouse piloting the LoaderMech (and who needed the experience and practice), Ruin Dmitar and a squad of guards.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 09:00
Following the fight Jacques Dubois proceeded with his plan to tame the streets. After getting the local gang on side he began organising repairs of the utilities and infrastructure, and ensuring the people had access to food and water. He began gathering intel on the nearby gangs of Workers Resistance Militia to expand his program to neighbouring regions.
The hospital was a long parked Landtrain that had been parked there at the origins of Argyre and been built around. When the relief mission arrived, the landtrain was dark save for three lit rooms where someone was using lanterns, but the train appeared undamaged.
Ruin Dmitar noted the airship tower, the ‘forgotten stairway to the heavens’, was nearby and would serve as an ideal sniper nest for much of the Old Quarter and the hospital-Landtrain are in particular.
Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann went with the direct approach, and knocked. Dr Parker met them at the Landtrain airlock and explained that the Landtrain’s fusion reactors had been raided for parts and she had sent the rest of the medical staff away for their protection.
Samara sent the rest technical team to help repair the reactors while Ingrid ‘Mouse’ Marsh was running a patch from the LoaderMech to power the Landtrain. Ruin Dmitar noted that when Mouse needed to enter the Landtrain she quickly and expertly bypassed the electronic security system, earning some respect from him. Mouse was able to power the lights, environment control and other similar systems but explained that the Landtrain couldn’t move with this power feed and also its drive train had been gutted for parts long ago. Mouse could only light half the train because the central power linkage was also damaged so she began working on that. It took careful encouragement by Samara to get Mouse to speak up and complete her report.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 10:00
The technical team reported in and explained that they needed control equipment for both reactors (front and rear engine reactors) and that it appeared someone had looted them for parts to try to re-activate reactors (possibly Landtrain reactors) somewhere else in the Old Quarter. Their theory was that once the utilities became erratic, someone was trying to get their reactors operational even at the expense of the medical facility.
Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann put through a call to Mayor Kent McAlester to negotiate for the parts and impressed upon him the importance of restoring medical care to the Old Quarter. He came around quickly and requisitioned replacement parts and a cargo VTOL to deliver them to the newly re-powered VTOL landing pads on the hospital Landtrain.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 11:30
As the VTOL was inbound, the Commando pilot and Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann detected a missile guidance system activate. Using the speed of her Weta and the pinpoint location she had isolated (boxcars on sensor operations) Samara ran her mech around to the far side of the Landtrain, parkour-ed and jumped up onto the rooftop and landed in-front of the man with a surface to air missile (LRM). He fired into the cockpit of the Weta and Samara returned fire.
Samara warned off the VTOL as another missile system (SRM) activated from the Landtrain roof and fired on the Hauptman’s Battlemech, hitting the right leg from behind. Alerted by the noise of heavy weapon fire Ruin Dmitar rushed to the roof of the landtrain where he had been overseeing repairs, and shot the second attacker in the head.
Two more systems activated, Samara spotlighted one and fired on the gunman as he readied his launcher. Scanning the roofline Ruin spotted and shot the fourth.
Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann realised their communications had been intercepted and re-secured the channels. Ruin Dmitar had determined the last gunner had been the leader and went to search his remains first, finding a Field Communicator. He rushed it to Ingrid ‘Mouse’ Marsh who was able to tell it had been part of a network of three such communicators but couldn’t identify the location of the other two.
Ruin and Samara determined that one should have been between the ambush site and the New Quarter where the VTOL was coming from, and the other either in a safe location or a position to watch over the ambush site. Ruin realised that the tower was an ideal command post for the attempt to intercept the VTOL and requested permission to scout the tower. Samara granted permission and Ruin proceeded to the tower.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 12:00
Ruin Dmitar reached the tower, having crossed the distance covertly to avoid the attention of a sniper in the tower or warning anyone in the tower. When he entered he alerted someone at the top of the tower, however now the only exit was through Ruin. The person at the top of the tower tried dropping grenades down the stairwell, which safely passed where Ruin was and detonated on the ground floor. Ruin returned fire, killing the man and sending him tumbling to the base of the tower.
When he reached the top, Ruin found airport style lounges and the tower would be a perfect sniper nest. The man had had a set of Rangefinder Binoculars and one of the Field Communicators, and appeared to have been watching Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann’s operations below.
Once verifying no-one else was in the tower Ruin returned to the corpse and found the man was new to the lowlands (based upon his pallor) and had a concealed communications device in a glasses case. The fact he was carrying sunglasses in the lowlands another sign he was new there. But the man was clearly in the Sons of Brion or Silent Watchers. The investigation revealed he was Mr Jenkins and that unlike other operatives, this man was not a combatant.
Realising that he already had one Silent Watchers communicator (the energy holdout pistol) and one Sons of Brion communicator (the concealed communicator and ballistic holdout pistol disguised as a lighter), and now a second Sons of Brion communicator, Ruin contacted ‘Hedley’ on both Sons of Brion communicators and sent the message “Your agents are dead, lets talk.” The response was “Your purpose?”. Ruin responded “Your mandate” to which Hedley responded “Orange Council Meeting”, apparently as the place to meet. This left Imogen Swan’s Silent Watchers communicator un-compromised.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 21:00
Ruin Dmitar remained in the tower awaiting the secret meeting. He heard someone enter and exercising impressive stealth (but not beyond Ruin’s capabilities) and wearing plasteel boots which impaired their stealth performance and also indicated the person was almost certainly either a mechwarrior or a tank crewman.
The newcomer paused to inspect the corpse of Mr Jenkins then proceeded up the stairs. Near the top they paused, knowing to step out onto the final flight of stairs would put them in line of sight (and out of cover) for anyone planning to ambush them at the top of the stairs. Ruin Dmitar spoke up and told the newcomer they could approach, and they identified themself as Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander.
Bryce advanced, keeping his distance so as not to alarm Ruin. He had noted he was armed with a vibroscimitar but Ruin lacked a melee weapon, and so would expectably want a skilled melee combatant to keep some distance. Unfortunately Ruin misinterpreted this as manoeuvring for position to lunge into melee with the element of surprise and so there was added tension.
Ruin directed Bryce to a part of the lounge where they could sit on opposite sides of a sturdy table for their negotiations. Bryce offered answers, and began telling his side of their story from his point of view. He had been a mechwarrior in a lance supporting the covert operations team trying to re-aquire the leaked HPG code, and had long since considered Ruin’s team either an uninvolved operation whom the code-takers had used as a decoy, or knowingly involved in the code-taking operation as support and a decoy. Based on Ruin’s reactions Bryce realised the former was the case and the ‘8th man’ was not a part of Ruin’s operation and vice versa.
Bryce explained that he had been reassigned to Strata once Ruin and the 8th man had travelled separately there at the same time. One Commstar theory was that the 8th didn’t have the code and needed the copy in the chip in Ruin’s head, however Bryce and many others did not follow that theory, for why would the 8th have not made and kept a copy for their own? He went on to explain there were many factions within Commstar regarding how to deal with the threat posed by the code, and that most of these would end poorly for Ruin. He was (or at least said he was) not malevolent towards Ruin.
Since neither fully trusted any of their available meical personnel of their respective factions, Bryce suggested that Samara could probably secure the services of Dr. Jonas Lange as a trustworthy medical professional to inspect the chip.
Ruin Dmitar told Bryce Alexander about Dmitri Radchenko who was once Damyan Radkov. Bryce admitted that some elements in Commstar had begun dealing with ‘unorthodox cybernetics’ and suggested that the cybernetic headware could have been from such a project.
Ruin used that as a opportunity to ask Bryce about his cybernetic right arm, which Bryce explained was not the experimental and frankly unnatural sort of project he had referred to as ‘unorthodox cybernetics’ and merely a conventional cybernetic arm with some added features. And why he had it was simply explained, he was a fencer and duelist and had lost it in a vibroscimitar duel when he was younger and inexperienced. Though plausible, that might not have been how it really happened.
The tone of the discussion had changed from tense standoff between two foes meeting for the first time to a pair of unlikely allies caught within a web of conspiracy and deciet. Clearing the air seemed to be cathartic for both. Bryce handed over a civilian communicator (the equivalent of a prepaid mobile phone, disposable and difficult to trace) loaded with one number, to a communicator he had which his Commstar allies were unaware of.
With their discussions concluded, Bryce stood, which threw off the aim of a sniper on another tower. The sniper took the shot-of-opportunity, hitting Bryce in the neck. Ruin caught a glimpse of a familiar coat, like ‘Friend’ wore, darting behind cover before he pulled Bryce out of sight and expertly treated the wound. Bryce was safely stabilised and sedated, and safe for limited movement.
Seeing the first person who had offered him straight answers shot right in-front of him shocked and enraged Ruin.
09/01/3050. Day 47, 21:00
Ruin Dmitar called in Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann for backup and retrieval, and the Hauptman responded by heading out in the cadet groups Packrat APC. Like the Hellstrom’s Hellions company, the cadet lance guarding Argyre had quickly realised the value of such vehicles and acquired one.
Ruin and Bryce were safely retrieved and delivered to the hospital Landtrain, still guarded by at least one cadet and mech and one squad of infantry. Bryce was operated on overnight.
10/01/3050. Day 48, 05:00
10/01/3050. Day 48, 05:00
Jacques Dubois moved into the ‘roapers’ territory, the Workers Resistance Militia group raided previously. They were in disarray after their leaders were captured during the raid on the weapon stash, and were quickly subdued and integrated into Jacques militia forces.
This left Jacque in control of the area around the Argyre military base in the central-south of the Old Quarter, and the area between it and the New Quarter to the east. He reassigned his people, now that they were no-longer two gangs they no-longer needed to patrol the territory border between them. Projects to repair the infrastructure and utilities were expanded into the new zone and using the civilians in the new zone.
10/01/3050. Day 48, 12:00
The seven roapers who had been captured heading to reinforce the weapons stash were quickly cleared, they were foot-soldiers not organisers and were added to Jacques growing militia. The seven headband wearers from Kursk’s crew were also cleared, they knew of the stash from having to trade for weapons with the roapers and were trying to seize it in the confusion caused by the raid. They too were mere foot-soldiers and added to Jacques group.
This left the command staff.
- The prisoner injured while attempting to parkour across Ruin Dmitar’s Jaguar was still in a medically induced coma due to his extensive injuries and medical needs.
- One of the captured stash guards proved to be just a guard and not an organiser. He was given a chance to impress Jacque, and after taking a formidable punch in the face with stoacism Jacqe accepted the man as a recruit for the militia.
- The next of the guards, the fiery punk woman ‘Min’ freely and eagerly threatened Samara and everyone else with death in the name of the Sons of Brion and was dragged off to a cell.
- The leader of the roapers was Bob Carter and he successfully bluffed the interrogators into believing he was just a misguided man who had tried to make the neighbourhood safe and saw his approach was wrong and he saw the error of his ways.
- The contact, Sam Simmons, turned out to be a patsy. Min had put him in contact with Hedley who supplied the weapons. He had been carefully groomed as a patsy and fall-guy by the Sons of Brion and realised this during the interrogation. After that he divulged all he knew about the planned weapons shipent into the New Quarter and that at least twelve launchers rigged to use deadly inferno ammo (10 rounds each) had been distributed around the Old Quarter.
The alarm sounded, and the interrogators rushed to the prison area where Bob Carter had overpowered a guard and attempted to kill Min in her cell. He had gotten too close to the bars however and been gutted but the formidable woman and a shiv she had concealed as a hair pin. When asked, Min freely admitted she had planned to do the same to the guard when her next meal was delivered. While Samara attempted to talk her down she challenged Jacques Dubois and he could not back down from that.
Min fought with skill, ferocity and madness in equal measure, and held her own against Jacque. During the fight Min attempted to pull a sharpened coin to slit Jacques throat and Ruin Dmitar had to intervene to remove the threat, much like a referee. At the climax of the fight Min dislocated her own arm to escape the submission hold Jacque had her in and delivered a fearsome headbutt, which Jacque took then finally pummelled her into unconsciousness.
Sam Simmons was sent to the brig aboard the airships holding position at the crash site of the DCS Hi No Kaze. Min was also sent under extremely heavy security, but Jacques Dubois also contacted Professor Anna Morozov alerting her to the fine specimen.
Samara Hellstrom, Hauptmann scored a jackpot on Gunnery (rank 5 to rank 6), worth 60 EXP.