02/04/3050. Day 130, 22:00
Following the battle, Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom began working on a list of loose ends that required her attention.
First was the interrogation of the captives. The conscious survivors included the Gray Death Legion defector Jonathan Salomon, and three of the Draconis Combine pilots.
Jonathan Salomon was under the impression he was protected by the articles of war, and offered to exchange information (such as the employer of the Scholz Streikende mercenary company) in exchange for various deals.
The three Draconis Combine pilots only gave their ranks in the DCMS and claimed to be “Wu Ming”, meaning ‘nameless’. None broke and offered further information, in particular the location of their dropship or if there were any remaining DCMS forces on Atlantia (such as the ‘missing’ 12th battlemech).
02/04/3050. Day 130, 23:00
Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom went to Ingrid ‘Mouse’ Marsh for an update on her progress decrypting the coded transmissions between the Lyran Alliance and the Scholz Streikende staff, and between the Draconis Combine and the Scholz Streikende.
Finally unravelling the encoding, Mouse determined that Kaptain Franz Berger was behind the hiring of the Scholz Streikende and setting them upon Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom. It appeared his intention was to use a mercenary company (keeping his hands clean-ish) to dent Samara’s reputation, since her success reflected poorly upon his own career-history.
The communications with the Draconis Combine revolved around a bounty placed by the DCMS for information leading to the recovery of the two stolen Raven battlemechs, one of which had been given to the AFFS and Layne-Lars Kinnesson, the other apparently retained by ComStar and integrated into Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander’s lance. The DCMS presence on Atlantia was the direct result of the Scholz Streikende sighting it on Strata while working for Kaptain Franz Berger.
02/04/3050. Day 130, 23:30
Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom called Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander and demanded he return and that he bring all the ComStar personnel back with him. Due to the revelation the DCMS were on-planet to retrieve the Raven battlemechs, and to ensure there was no further funny-buisness, Samara sent Ruin Dmitar and Jacques Dubois to retrieve them.
02/04/3050. Day 130, 23:45
Next Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom contacted the Gray Death Legion dropship to make a deal with Captain Aleksander Hansen. She had him over a barrel and they both knew it. She negotiated a deal in which that branch of the Gray Death Legion would take a long term contract to guard Fort Vigilance in exchange for the return of their captured equipment and some additional funds. This provided a pool of pilots (and some ’mechs) to man the battlemechs that had been captured and allocated to garrison duty.
Captain Aleksander Hansen’s estimate was that the damaged dropship (the Charon) would be sufficiently patched that it could make a low orbital flight in about twelve hours time. Adding an extra 50% for Safety, Samara requested they try to time their arrival for 6pm the following day.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 02:30
As Ruin Dmitar and Jacques Dubois approached the HPG Outpost, Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander and his lancemate came under attack by the ‘missing’ DCMS battlemech, a Grasshopper. The Draconis Combine pilot was forced to act by the approaching reinforcements, and needed to quickly eliminate the Raven since capturing it was now out of the question.
In the short engagement Ruin scored three (for three) long range gauss cannon hits into the rear torso of the battlemech, badly damaging its engine and gyro, and allowing Bryce to use his battlemech’s manoeuvrability and finish off the much larger ’mech. Two medium laser hits completed the destruction of the gyroscope and engine, leaving the battlemech face down in the woods beside the HPG station.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 06:00
Ruin, Jacque and the ComStarr personnel arrived back at Fort Vigilance. Samara was woken and the prisoner was interrogated by Samara and Ruin. Unlike the other DCMS pilots, they got some information from him, including his rank (Tai-i), and his name was Hiroshi Mou. He was an electronic warfare officer specialising as a forward-observer. Mou confirmed they were on-planet to recover the AFFS Raven, having expected it but not expected the ComStar Raven to be present on Atlantia. He would not reveal the location of their dropship, however.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 07:00
Ruin and Samara realized they had all the pieces then needed for a simple ruse to trap the dropship. Ruin impersonated Mou and using one of the captured DCMS battlemechs he reported a victory and ordered the dropship to relocate to the base to retrieve the battlemechs (including damaged battlemechs). Samara had her battlemech pilots take the helm of the operational battlemechs and some of the industrialmech pilots to take over the more damaged units. The Hellstorm equipped troopers secreted themselves about the battlemechs (mostly in the holes blown into the various machines).
This gave some time for Ruin and Jacque to get some rest before the dropship was due to arrive.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 14:00
When the union-class dropship arrived, the ’mechs borded and then released the battle armour troopers and a matching ultimatum.
The dropship crew surrendered and took cover, but a platoon of infantry defending the ship put up a brave but hopeless fight. Unfortunately due to a lapse of discipline one of the Hellstorm operators used excessive force against the defenders, killing five and injuring seven with a blaze of machine gun fire.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 15:30
Professor Anna Morozov sought out Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom for a clanestine meeting. She revealed that
CLASSIFIED and due to that she knew that CLASSIFIED and also CLASSIFIED. She confirmed CLASSIFIED and revealed that the reason the clan invasion was not being reported was an alliance between ComStar and Clan Wolf, and by extension possibly benefitting the Wolf’s Dragoons as well.
Samara requested Morozov attempt to create a hardened armour equivalent for PAL. She also informed Professor Morozov that Ingrid ‘Mouse’ Marsh and Ruin Dmitar both possessed information about HPG technology and HPG operation, and that the Professor should avail herself of their expertise and attempt to study under them. Professor Morozov was understandably eager and excited by the prospect at acquiring forbidden lore.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 17:00
Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander booked an appointment with Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom for 5:00pm. During that meeting he apologised for complicating her command, but revealing he had direct orders to secure the HPG station.
The stance of ComStar was that as part of the HPG network which ComStar own, the HPG station was thus ComStar property. Samara Hellstrom countered that the station was Federated Suns property to which Bryce countered that if the HPG station were isolated from the network (and thus useless) the Federated Suns could own it completely, but for it to be connected and useful it would require a ComStar staff, and dealing with the order would likely require ComStar take ownership of the equipment.
Samara next grilled Bryce about the ComStar and Clan Wolf alliance, of which he knew nothing. He also seemed to know nothing of the media-blackout about the invasion, and in fact was disgusted by the idea that ComStar was concealing information and abusing its monopoly on interstellar communication (other than jumpship traffic). Yhe only news regarding clan movements thus=far being which worlds have gone silent and what reports arrive by jump-ships scouting the Clan Occupation Zone. It appeared that the Com Guard had been kept in the dark about the alliance between ComStar and Clan Wolf.
Adept IX-Epsilon Bryce Alexander agreed on ComStar operation of the Atlantia HPG facility with AFFS security (only) and shared ownership in the short term. This deal was possible due to Bryce’s faith and trust in ComStar having been damaged by the revelation of the secret alliance.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 17:15
Continuing her masquerade as Adept VI-Iota Michelle Abnett, she confessed to her good friend Jacques Dubois how (in her perception) she had nearly compromised Samara’s plan to have Ruin pilot a ’mech that the Scholz Streikende would not be expecting, and to sow confusion in their ranks. She understood the need to not inform her, for operational security and also that the Hellstorm suit she was using would have revealed the location of the Steel Horse stealth ’mech Ruin was using in place of his normal ride the Koter KTR-1G.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 17:50
The Charon touched down at the makeshift landing zone above Fort Vigilance, joining the dropship assigned to the Diplomatic Mission and the captured Draconis Combine battlemechs. The four industrialmechs brought with the Diplomatic Mission to aid in the rebuilding of Fort Vigilance were deployed to assist the repair of the Charon.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 18:00
Hauptmann Samara Hellstrom summoned Michelle to her office. She introduced herself as Point Commander Michelle rather than Adept VI-Iota Michelle Abnett, meaning it as a sign of trust, but Samara advised her not to do so again.
The productive if awkward interview that followed focused upon multiple key problems with Michelle’s conduct and her integration with the [[Hellstrom’s Hellions]]. Michelle took the constructive criticism on board, and mentioned Ruin had voiced many of these issues previously. This developed into a discussion of the organisations Michelle had worked for before and the ways that Clan Wolf, the Wolf’s Dragoons then the Com Guard of ComStar had in no way prepared her for operating within a comparatively ‘normal’ organisation such as the AFFS.
Michelle was further grilled on the topic of the clan genetic engineering, including that Elementals like Michelle were trained (and conditioned) to protect and follow Trueborn Mechwarriors, such as (by default) Ruin. Michelle was an oddity as a sneaky Elemental, and understood Samara’s message that her body-guarding of Ruin was interfering with his sneaky endeavours. Michelle revealed that it was an enormous relief to her that Samara and Ruin were unlike the clan Mechwarriors who rose to command based primarily on gunnery skill.
In general Michelle appeared to agree that the Clan way might work for the Clans isolated in Clan Space but it had no place in the Inner Sphere, and that was the reason the Wolf’s Dragoons did not support the invasion.
One core reason that Samara did not trust Clan Wolf or the Wolf’s Dragoons (or ComStar) was the organisations claimed to have benevolent motives but refused to share their technological secrets. Since it had been revealed that the Clans maintained HPG technology and could manufacture KF-drives, two technologies that were provided solely by ComStar in the inner sphere, Samara asked Michelle to have the Dragoons make those technologies available. The seemed to almost blind-side Point Commander Michelle, as if the idea had never even occurred to her or her peers. She promised to do what she could to set up some information sharing along those lines.
03/04/3050. Day 131, 18:30
03/04/3050. Day 131, 20:00
Samara shared her information, regarding the actions of Kaptain Franz Berger and how he was behind the Scholz Streikende and their betrayal of the Gray Death Legion from within, and also responsible for the Draconis Combine attack on Atlantia. Franz had attempted to have Dieter act against Samara, which he had refused, and tried to pressure Dieter into securing the release of the Scholz Streikende, which he also refused. Franz Berger was one of the many Lyran social generals whom Dieter enjoyed frustrating and sabotaging as best he could.
Samara went on to explain the situation with the clans and the alliance between ComStar and Clan Wolf and the opposition of Clan Wolf to the other invading clans. Hpt. Kommandant Dieter Herrman appeared to know nothing of this, but Lt. General Elisa Hayes seemed to have some knowledge of the situation and of the need to prepare defences against the clan threat. The possibility that presenting groups like the dragoons and the apparently sympathetic Clan Wolf was an attempt to get on the good side of Inner Sphere powers (like the Federated Suns) was discussed at length.