Six Claws, Five Points.

Round Three, The Quest (South) verses The The Melange (North)

Round Three, The Quest (South) verses The The Melange (North)

Map:  55×55 Dieron Airstrip

  • The flat terrain is ideal for a central airsrip and surrounded by scattered woods including an area of forest and an area of jungle to the south surrounded by some waterways.

Deployment:

The Quest deployed with Nola (in her sniper unit) securing the southern woods, Baine (in his tactical unit) preparing to advance up the west flank, Gil and Wynn (in their missile units) preparing to support each other on the east flank and then Renaria using the difficult jungle terrain as cover while providing sensor support. Renaria having the only jump capable unit gave her an advantage in the difficult jungle terrain.

The Melange debuted their re-arming to a pure Fire Moth star in this engagement, all aiming to exploit open terrain and close quickly to the airfield which they could use for tactical cover. Ironically The Quest chose this terrain thinking it would give advantages against an enemy with three Mist Lynx omnimechs.

 

Engagement Report:

Advancing up the west flank Baine (Adder B) saw Joshi (Fire Moth J-UK) and challenged him.  Baine also reported Corin's location (following and supporting Joshi) to Nola (Adder Prime) who challenged Corin (Fire Moth D).

Baine and Joshi began exchanging fire and Corin began maneuvering towards Nola attempting to close without risking Nola's superious long range firepower.

As Corin closed he caught sight of Renaria.  Anor (Fire Moth Prime) challenged Renaria (Mist Lynx P).  Nola managed to secure a firing solution and eliminated Corin, but not before taking some return fire.  Anor used the buildings as cover and exploited the speed of his Fire Moth to close to optimal range for his ER Medium Lasers and SRM systems, and managed to destroy right arm of Renaria's Mist Lynx and eliminating its ER Large Laser, after which he exploited his range advantage and defeated the newest member of The Quest.

Gil (Adder C) spotted Monterya (Fire Moth J-UK) and challenged.  As the pair maneuvered to engage Wynn (Adder A) spotted Nadira (Fire Moth G-UK) flanking to close to close range and challenged.  Wynn was able to secure cover and bring his weapons to bear, and release a powerful salvo of LRMs on Nadira, after which he was able to use his speed to escape the close range firepower of the now hobbled enemy unit and the eliminate it from a safe distance. 

Monterya and Gil dueled, with Monterya gaining the upper hand and exploiting the slower speed and lack of torso twist of Gil's heavier Adder omnimech, and secure a win.

On the west flank Baine and Joshi continued a cat and mouse engagement, ironically a series of close range passes despite both units having long range weapons.  Bain eventually gained the advantage when he broke cover and pursued Joshi on the second time Joshi withdrew and used a nearby tower as cover.  Catching the Fire Moth in the open Baine disabled its long range gun and then pursued and finished off his opponent.

Wynn challenged Monterya, largely to avenge Gil, and eliminated his opponent honorable at range.  This secured Wynn's second kill for the match.

Anor challenged Nola, and closed to point blank range to reduce her range advantage.  In the first exchange of fire Anor destroyed Nola's gyro, but Nola destroyed one of Anor's legs and arms.  This left a stalemate until Anor was able to rise then pulverise his opponent, securing his second win.

While Anor was struggling to get his 'mech upright, Wynn and Baine maneuvered to position but had no grounds to challenge Anor until Anor had eliminated Nola.  After this Wynn challenged Anor, but in the following exchange of fire Anor eliminated Wynn's 'mech before falling.  This left Baine the last unit standing.

 

 

 

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Session Eight

At the end of the eighth day The Sleuth were considering their options. After lengthy debate, and a failed attempt by Technician Imani and Labourer Leon to offer assistance, Tarna decided to return Labourer (Farmer) Ichika to her home. 

Tarna tasked Daniel and Panin for this task, and Point Commander Ivan who had been semi-officially assigned to them.  They set out at roughly 10pm, none of them having had significant rest since the previous night.  Meanwhile Tarna, Dmitri and Makalu got some rest.

At roughly midnight Ivan swerved off the road to avoid a Snow Raven feasting on carrion on the road.  This cost the group time but not injury, though the Packrat's communication system was smashed during the recovery (by winch).  The group made it to NAT (Northern Agricultural Township) around 6am, got to the farm and dropped off the twice chloroformed and then crashed farm wife, and were passing back through NAT at arounf 8am.  Daniel saw some groups of lower caste people acting oddly but was too tired to stop and check it out.  The trio headed back to LOST-B with an ETA of 4pm (on day nine).

On the morning of the ninth day Tarna checked with Imani about when the 'mechs could be ready and told they needed four hours for a full start-up so could be ready by noon.  Tarna proceeded to find Biancha, whose team was one pilot short, and bid the pre-arranged challenge down to a leaders duel, one on one.  After initially trying to pass this off as a new challenge by Tarna, Biancha then accepted the bid-down as she could spin it as protecting her subordinates from the team that killed cadet Lilly and limiting The Sleuth's possible points gain.

In the duel Tarna secured a good firing position, Biancha maneuvered for position and escaped some fire from Tarna's longer range (and higher damage) weapons.In an exchange of fire Tarna blew a leg out from Biancha's Kit Fox omnimech, and from this point the battle was a foregone conclusion.  Biancha was wounded in the fall, but got her mech to its <s>feet</s> foot and valiantly returned fire.  She was not able to penetrate the armor of Tarna's Adder omnimech, and Biancha's mech was downed.  Biancha suffered more injury in the fall. 

It should be noted that Tarna's team was down two pilots with Daniel and Panin off-base, and bidding down to a one on one match prevented Biancha from exploiting her numerical advantage (only down one pilot).

Meanwhile Makalu and Dmitri went to get The Stick examined.  Makalu knew her Communications Equipment trainer Scientist Bell (Heisenberg) was an expert in high energy systems and generators and might be a good one to contact.  Scientist Bell did a lot of work with KF Drives and HPG communications, and was able to offer multiple but semi-conflicting theories about how the stick could have materialized or coalesced or wave-form collapsed there, plus that the jump capable warship Bear's Den had performed a FTL KF Jump at exactly the time the stick had appeared.  Since onw theory was that a catestrophic jump drive explosion/implosion/singularity might result in a KF-remnant, they were relieved that when they checked the Bear's Den had sucessfully completed its KF jump.

Meanwhile Dmitri was continually feeding on field rations and growing into his borrowed elemental ab/flak clothing at a remarkable rate.  (But he got the all-clear, from the GM no less, that his conversion to elemental phenotype was complete).

Makalu also discovered there were protests in NAT over the death of a labourer and kidnapping of another, but the people were claiming Clan Nova Cat were responsible.

Makalu and Dmitri were shocked to discover Tarna's secret tigress business in the meantime.

After finally returning, Ivan took a nap, Daniel went to turn in early, and Panin who had napped en route went to try to do something nice for Ivan.  He sought out an artist and found Rico who had done the paintings of Renaria and Tarna.  Rico didn't really recognize Panin, and also had no idea who Ivan was so he assumed Panin was trying to get a painting of Wynn from The Quest.  He also thought this was more targeting of The Quest by The Sleuth.  Ultimately he refused to help at that time, given Tarna's tragically terrible reaction to his previous paintings.  Rico seemed unusually calm about Panin's implied threat about how it would be a shame if he fell from such a great height, in fact he was suspiciously calm…

Trying to blow off steam, Panin went to the firing range.  There she met Corin, a crack shot and fast draw specialist.  Corin was of the opinion Panin had had a rough time, being passed up twice by the supervisors, and trying to question why.  But neither one of them could explain the training officers suggestions.

 

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Session Seven
"But this isn't what we trained for..."

At the start of Day 8 Tarna, Dmitri and Daniel were woken by the base's alarm, as the prisoner had escaped.  Over the next hour the team got some details, not least of which that the embassy were ill prepared for an escape because their mindset was that of a military facility expecting external attack not covert infiltration.  Eventually the alert was lifted and Laborer Rico asked if he could leave and go home (and maybe get a lift). 

Makalu meanwhile was in the arms of the swan, Princess.  Dmitri called and woke Makalu and she was easily able to sneak away after leaving a note for Princess.  Between the pair they organized a rendezvous on the main rad well away from The Nest, the Birdbath and the back of the Birdbath.

Ivan the ibis drove the four cadets of The Sleuth and Laborer Rico back to Rico's dairy farm.  On the way there was a communication from the embassy asking about the cadet's locations at some specific times, but Tarna informed them that as far as she knew everyone was asleep before the alarm sounded.

At the farm Daniel and Dmitri went to the grave of Tanaka Hinata while Laborer Tanaka Rico hurried to contact his wife Ichika and to contact Scientist Tanaka Akari.  Makalu monitored the call, which seemed on the level. 

As Daniel and Dmitri exhumed the grave, Daniel found an old land mine and easily deactivated it.  He contacted Tarna who confronted Rico.  She pointed out that Rico had said he had buried his daughter himself.  Seeing that the masquerade was over Rico left his wife in the bedroom and moved past Tarna, but this was an opportunity to palm the medusa whip Tarna was carrying.  It was not Rico's preferred weapon, as it needed to strike unprotected skin (or unarmored clothing), but for his own reasons he was unwilling to use a lethal weapon upon the cadet.  This made their battle a one sided and quick affair, with Tarna using her pulse laser pistol to disarm her opponent.  Once he could no-longer resist, Rico swallowed a poison capsule and died at Tarna's feet.

Rico had been buying time for the prisoner who escaped, and had expected to be found out back at the embassy.  Using the cadets to get into the embassy, free the prisoner, then get himself and the cadets back to the farm was far better than Rico had expected…even relying upon warriors not being trained in counter-espionage.

Ichika had heard the gun fire, came out of the bedroom and saw her husband dead on the floor in a pool of blood, and with Tarna standing over him with her gun drawn.  She panicked, screamed, and ran.

The other three cadets had surrounded the farm house, and when Ichika fled out the back door Makalu held her fire and then followed.  Ichika was hysterical and running blindly (from tears) and fell into a gully.  When Makalu tried to grab Ichika she resisted and Makalu decided it was time to use some of the arsenal of chloroform. 

While Ivan and Makalu got Ichika restrained and loaded into the Packrat transport Tarna Dmitri and Daniel finished checking the grave.  They found the remains of a calf had been buried, and it seemed Tanaka Hinata's death had been faked.

During the return trip to LOST-B Tarna filed a report, and received a return communique with three cadet profiles.  Reynard the fox, Flint the capybara, and Panin the Snow Leopard.  Ruling out Flint (for being a rodent) and Reynard (for being some kind of dandy fop) Tarna decided upon Panin for her replacement teammate.

Panin was one of the next ten cadets, each un-teamed individuals who had not made the top thirty but had been taken to Strana Mechty as reserves for just such a situation.  She had been on routine patrols in her Adder omnimech as a training exercise and was summoned to LOST-B by Nova Captain Acorna Hall.

The meeting of Panin and The Sleuth was odd to say the least as Panin found her new teammates with an unconscious labourer and discussing how to use her as bait for a trap.  Makalu passed this off as a hazing ritual…which answered exactly nothing for Panin.  Seeing Panin carried a vibrokatana Tarna decided to spar with the new teammate and secured a narrow victory (three to two).

During this the rest of The Sleuth decided to send the new girl to get food since they were unwilling to leave their prisoner unsupervised.  On her way through the unfamiliar base Panin's old friend and sparring partner Xavier met up with her and took her to "The Bear Hug" (or was it the Bare Hug?) which is the current name of the unnamed club.  Along the way Panin saw a lot of familiar faces from the sibko.

Back in the hanger Daniel set up a series of concealed paint bombs triggered by trip wires (to render camo-sneak useless) and Makalu sourced and set up sensors.  After this The Sleuth started to wonder what happened to their fifth and to their food.  Tarna contacted Panin and asked her to return, and could only guess the reason Panin was on sub level six was due to being totally lost.

When Panin returned with the food confusion broke out as some noticed the presence of a stick under Ichika's chair.  The stick had a rough cloth wrapping at one end for a handle and seemed the right length to be Ichika's walking stick.  It also was a new element in a sealed room which had been monitored the whole time.  Makalu confirmed no heat signatures active in the room, except Ichika and the stick which was cooling down to room temperature.  The confusion deepend as Dmitri thought he had seen it appear, Tarna was not sure then thought it had newly arrived, Panin insisted the stick had been there the whole time, Makalu only confirmed she saw the stick now, and Daniel thought it had not been there all along but he had to have it.  Tarna called in some of the elemental cadets, who she had had on high security, and they used their Elemental Battle Armor to check for NBC attack and found nothing.  Elemental Cadet Team Leader Hendrick was convinced the stick was new, but his second in command Leon insisted the stick had been there the whole time.  They began arguing, and when Tarna suggest they check the suit gun cam records both insisted their gun cam footage proved their version.  Meanwhile The Sleuth argued, getting more heated until Tarna fired a warning shot to stop Daniel trying to open the door. 

 

GM Note – I did carefully keep track of who was watching the prisoner and at no time was she left unattended, goat damnit…  _

 

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Session Six
Existential Confusion

At the end of Day 5 after welcoming Tarna back with a song and then seeing Tarna's reaction, Renaria decided enough was enough and that The Sleuth was not the place for her.  She packed up her few possessions and left, leaving only the portrait of Tarna, which Makalu snuck into Tarna's quarters.

When Tarna returned she found the portrait and put it in storage, but did not realize until the following morning that Renaria had packed up and left.

On the morning of Day 6 the whole team discovered Renaria's departure.  When Tarna inquired about Renaria's whereabouts she triggered an automated response from Nova Captain Acorna Hall requesting Tarna (and any companions) attend her in her office.  The Nova Captain had clearly not slept, and informed that Renaria had come to her to request exiting The Sleuth (at about 11pm) and later (at about 2am) Nola and Renaria returned and Nola requested Renaria be reassigned to The Quest.  Acorna had decided to grant both requests as (in her opinion) this removed Renaria as a bad influence over Tarna and the other cadets of The Sleuth. 

The Sleuth had time before a scheduled address by Nova Commander Bryce to get the morning meal, where they saw Renaria already ensconsed with The Quest and were shocked by the magnitude of Dmitri's appetite.  They were not shocked by his decision to visit the medical section later.

Bryce's speech at 9am was to inform the cadets that the hectic opening was a shake-down ritual (or hazing) with two battles in three days then a period for teams to retool and in some cases reorganize.  He cited that this had made some teams (specifically The Others), shaken some (carefully not naming names) and that this was a period of healing and recovery.  He also cited the clan values of strength, honor, and family as guiding principles for this time.

As the rest of The Sleuth returned to their hanger and watched as the remains of Renaria's Mist Lynx were loaded to a Battlemech Recovery Vehicle and removed, Dmitri went to see Scientist Oliver.  Oliver's news was that there was hope and that all signs pointed to the process Dmitri was undergoing having a good survival chance.  But Oliver's best advice was to cooperate as best as possible to maximize those chances. 

At about noon Nova Captain Acorna Hall called The Sleuth back to her office and informed them of news about the prisoners taken to the Clan Ghost Bear Enclave in the capitol.  This included her disapproval at being bypassed in the decision of the two prisoners being taken to the enclave directly.  But the siamese cat prisoner had been gene-tested and identified as Scientist Tanaka Akari, however the records showed that Scientist Tanaka Akari had reported for duty since the prisoner was captured.  Suspecting this was lax record keeping on the part of the scientist caste, Acorna had decided to deploy The Sleuth to check.  Partly this was to flex her own authority, and partly it was to get The Sleuth off-base while they came to terms with Renaria's exit.

Later Scientist Shandra summoned Dmitri to her lab.  Dmitri asked Makalu to follow cloaked.  Shandra loaded Dmitri down with two weeks of medical supplies for his condition and the dosage instructions for his time off base.  Dmitri took these to Oliver who confirmed they were the medications Dmitri would need to conduct the mysterious process uninterrupted.

At the start of Day 7 The Sleuth went to the vehicle bay and found Ivan the Ibis had been assigned as their transportation, and had bought a Packrat long range patrol vehicle for them.  They set out at 6am for Northaven Agricultural Township (often called NAT by the locals).  The highlight of the four hour trip was a run-in with some slack lumberjacks which was nearly mistaken for an ambush, and the main outcome of this was Tarna saw Makalu and Daniel use stealth gear.

After scaring a passing merchant and her labourers, and confusing the receptionist at the Northaven Veterinary Clinic the cadets found their way to Northaven Hospital.  The staff were helpful and directed the cadets to level three and the trauma recovery ward where a receptionist ( a pudgy and balding human man) summoned Scientist Tanaka Akari.  She appeared identical to the siamese cat infiltraitor that Dmitri had incapacitated four days earlier.  This siamese cat however showed no sign of recognizing the cadets or the Tanaka Family Blade, and seemed frustrated at yet another visit by warriors chasing gene test results.  Akari (aged 27) let the team know that this had first happened when she was 12, and had happened six more times since then.  She had had a sister, Hinata, who had died in a tractor accident when they were both 6.   While they were there the cadets checked in with the CGB Enclave and they were still in possession of their prisoner.

Akari's parents were still alive and running the family farm, her father Riku (45) and mother Ichika (48) near the village of SOL.  This was about two hours travel away, so The Sleuth set out for it.  They were met at the dairy farm by Ichika, who quickly descended into tears once Hinata was mentioned, and was led away to be comforted by Makalu.  Riku came shortly after and had had to finish up some chores in the barn.  

Riku was questioned at length by the cadets, revealing that a farmhand had run over Hinata with a tractor when she ran out from behind the house while playing.  He claimed to have seen the body, and that Hinata had died before any medical professional could get to the farm from NAT.  He said that Akari was away being trained for the Scientist Caste at age 12 when she was first approached about a gene test implicating her.  He mentioned that this was Clan Nova Cat.  The cadets saw Hinata's grave (but did not exhume it).

Deciding the best thing to do next was to take Riku to meet the prisoner, the group set off for the CGB Enclave.  Nova Captain Marcus, a kodiak trueborn (in the second line forces) was quick to assure the cadets that he was not involved in the bypassing of Nova Captain Acorna Hall.  Then the cadets were ushered to see the captive.  During the lengthy interrogation of the beaten prisoner Riku said he could not be sure there was a similarity as she had been beaten too severely.  The prisoner claimed to be Akari and knew details of Akari's life but insisted she was estranged from her parents since age 12 when Riku had attempted to dissuade her from the Scientist caste and to take over the farm, which Riku denied.  This Akari recognized the blade as "the blade I had before and will have again", and when Riko saw it he said it was the ornamental but non-functional blade he had given Akari when she graduated as a scientist at 15.  The Akari in Northaven had claimed not to recognize the blade, however.  The prisoner claimed to have been trained by her now deceased grandfather not by her father, and claimed her vendetta was against Clan Nova Cat and combating "the great lie" but refused to mention what it was claiming the Clan Watch would eliminate her and the witnesses if she did.  She then claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, to not know what the great lie was.  

The prisoner also said the Dark Caste (who hired her) were already too late with any rescue and so she gave up the location of their base, the whole (dirty) town of Hartford East, a town of some 4000 people who she claimed were predominantly Dark Caste.

The cadets decided they needed to call in the other Akari and get them both in the same room, so Dmitri put out a call to the people at NAT to organize it.  Tarna contacted Nova Captain Acorna Hall, while Makalu and Daniel contacted the Clan Watch.  The Clan Watch deliberated then said the source (the prisoner) need not be eliminated by Makalu or Daniel.

Needing to unwind a bit the leopard and snow leopard checked the local nigth life then asked Ivan the Ibis, who took them to "The Bird Bath" with advice not to check the other bath house behind the bath house.  While Daniel got a still drink Makalu didn't take Ivan's advice and wound up discovering much more than she wanted to know about bird coupling, but then succumbed to temptation and spent the night with "Princess" the swan.

The following morning Tarna, Daniel and Dmitri were woken by alarms, as the prisoner had escaped and the facility was being searched.  Riko was there and Tarna decided the best way for them to help was to guard the civilian.  And also for Dmitri to return to his room and select some pants.

 

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Session Five
Crescendo

Dmitri woke to some confusion in a medical lab pumping iron in his underwear along with fellow cadet Zane the bull from the Circle and under the watchful eye of Scientist Shandra.  He began asking questions and receiving increasingly unsettling answers from the scientist, who it turns out had been experimenting on Dmitri (and Zane, and others) for his entire life, and that he and Zane were two of the four surviving test subjects from the "E-Series" experiment.  And that Renaria was the last non-failure of the "G-Series" experiment, which had included Technician Imani.

Unbeknownst to Dmitri, Shandra, and definitely to Zane was that Makalu was secretly recording the encounter after following Dmitri from the cadet quarters at their section of the base.  Makalu filmed the entire encounter, including the first twenty or so minutes while Dmitri and Zane were enslaved to their conditioning, and only in the final ten minutes did Dmitri partly come to his senses.

While following his conditioning to return to his quarters, after what turned out to be his monthly experimental session, the conditioning lost hold and Dmitri came to his senses again.  Makalu graciously allowed herself to be spotted and the two cadets had a chance to discuss the odd events while exploiting the preprogrammed security-gap.  Makalu had noticed some rhino disappearances before but never been free to tail the rhino until this semester. 

The pair reviewed the footage, and Makalu returned to seek intel while Dmitri sank into shell shock and existential dread.  She had no trouble sneaking back in the dead of night and found Scientist Shandra hard at work analyzing samples from her two test subjects.  After sabotaging a door as a distraction Makalu doubled back behind the scientist and gained access to her lab, managing to pilfer three data storage media disks, one saying E-Series, one G-Series and one A-Series.  She then faced a tough choice, make an exit or remain and download a copy of the scientists personal noteputer.  Electing the latter Makalu hid while the scientist was thankfully distracted by data analysis, then Makalu was able to make a graceful and more importantly stealthy exit.

Reviewing the looted intel, the cadet pair discovered to rising horror that the E-Series was about incorporating elemental genetics to attempt to reinforce the mechwarrior phenotype but without the dimmed mental capabilities of elementals (compared to mechwarriors not to freebirths).  Worse, some 50 of the starting sibko were part of the E-Series of which only Zane and Dmitri were surviving members on Strana Mechty and two (Bishop and Ursula) were surviving upon planet Bearclaw II, where the top thirty cadets had done most of their training including the final high intensity simulator training semester.  So the E-Series survival rate was a mere 8%.  Worse, the deaths were the result of "Suppression Protocol Failure" and it appeared Shandra was deliberately deactivating this Suppression Protocol in Dmitri and Zane, but at least in a controlled (if accelerated) manner.

The G-Series was far more benign, an attempt to create alternative sourced trueborns, (falseborns?) using non-traditional species including Hippopotamus and resulting in Renaria.  Only eight were originally in the program, and the other seven (including Imani) quickly failed proving genetically unsitable for warrior duties.

The A-Series experiments were less extreme than the E-Series, incorporating some traits from the Aerospace pilot phenotype to attempt to increase the mental capabilities and the reflexes of the Mechwarrior phenotype yet further.  Alize, Whynn, Corin and Joshi being examples of the A-Series.

In the not-so-small hours of the morning Makalu made a third and definitely sleep deprived sneakret snep business mission to sneak the disks back into Shanra's office, but at least this time Shandra was not present as she had headed to bed for a few hours of sleep before the new day got going.

The following morning Tarna, Renaria and Daniel rose at six and got ready and it was noted by Tarna that Dmitri and Makalu looked like they hadn't slept.  Despite that the cadets got ready and headed for morning meal.  This was their first real chance to use the common room / mess which was set up with many five-seat round tables.  Cadet Biancha of The Circle tried but failed to engage The Sleuth in social sparring, or swaying their fellow cadets against The Sleuth.  The Sleuth also learned a wake for Cadet Lily was planned for nine o'clock.

Tarna got her group organized and presentable, partly assisted by Makalu headed to Scientist Oliver for some wake-up pills for herself and Dmitri.  At the service Nova Captain Acorna Hall got up to speak, first honoring Cadet Lily then informing the sibko of the deaths of Cadet Bishop and Cadet Ursula on Bearclaw II, deepening Dmitri's existential dread.

Surprising everyone, Cadet Renaria got up onto the stage vacated by Acorna, announced to the stunned crowd she was going to sing to honor Lily, and then respectfully sang a military funeral anthem from the Star League Defence Force which had been made popular (and more mainstream) during the exodus. 

Tarna rushed to Acorna, noting that Acorna was re-holstering her sidearm after Renaria managed (remarkably and unexpectedly) not to make a mockery of the service or disgrace herself.  Tarna made an effective plea / apology on Renaria's behalf, then rushed to Renaria and dragged her by the ear (or 'hippo handle') out of the door of the audience hall for a dressing down.  The diametrically opposed world views of the pair finally coming to a head, and the two went from dressing down to mutual argument.  Tarna left, walked back into the service, and saw all eyes go from the mic to her…because Tarna had distracted Renaria and stopped her noticing her worn microphone had not de-synched from the microphone after she had used it for the performance.

Worse yet, Renaria had some choice parting words about the stick up Tarna's arse which she made after Tarna had left the hallway…and was in the room with the microphone that had broadcast the whole argument.

On the spot Tarna went to Acorna and requested permission to challenge Renaria to a trial of grievance to which Acorna gave immediate approval.  The duel was set for the evening of the day, to give enough time to complete the (defiled) wake and yet not to let the sun set on the grievance.

During the tattered remnants of Lily's wake Dmitri overheard the training officers talking, Bishop and Ursula had both suffered strange and apparently painful physiological changes relating to growth.  He resolved to talk to Scientist Oliver, but wrestled with how much to tell him.

Daniel and Makalu got to work setting up a betting pool and televising the duel to come, before joining as a commentator team to call the match as it went down.  The pre-match interviews didn't quite go to plan though…

Renaria went to make sure her 'mech was equipped with an external sound system, just in case.

Tarna spent the afternoon preparing herself more professionally and centering herself as a warrior before going into battle.  She also received a reply from Loremaster Ursula Jorgenson to her inquiry about the recovered antique vibrokatana, which was identified as the Tanaka Family Blade (or a brilliant replica).

Dmitri visited Oliver who had been pre-alerted for symptoms to look for, leaving Dmitri to wonder was he working with Shandra or had he simply been notified by the training officers.

Tarna had challenged Renaria to a duel augmented in Battlemechs, leaving Renaria to select the battleground.  Renaria selected a battle field with a mix of mountain terrain and an urban area, hoping her superior sensor capabilities and jump capability would let her exploit the terrain to her advantage.

The map selected was 55×55 Rural vs Urban Mountains.

Renaria deployed in the urban area to the north east, Tarna deployed in the south east and quickly closed the distance up to the city.  A lengthy cat and mouse period ensued, with Renaria not gaining reliable sensor contacts and risking a jump onto a high building for an elevated firing position and with an educated guess where Tarna was.  There was an exchange of fire with their long range weapons, with the advantage to Tarna, but neither unit could gain a hit during Renaria's jumping maneuver.  More cat and mouse ensued, moving west through the urban area with Renaria following fleeting sensor returns and Tarna attempting to predict and lure her target. 

The commentators in the Bear Pit kept the crowd fired up for the tense nail-biting match, and for all the combatants calculations and maneuvering they ran across each other by fluke.  In the exchange of fire Renaria thought she had the advantage, peppering Tarna's rear armor with laser fire, before Tarna flipped the arms of her battlemech letting her fire into her rear arc and hit Renaria's omnimech with heavier PPC fire.  This cost Renaria one arm and half her weapons but not her long range large laser.

Tense maneuvering ensued, Renaria jumped to a building again gambling that she could catch Tarna from the side, but instead the two units exchanged long range fire again.  Both units lost a leg, but Renaria's already had lost one arm preventing her from effectively returning fire.  Renaria had also suffered gyro damage and could not get her unit on its feet again.  Tarna was able to return fire, and offered Renaria the chance to surrender, and when she refusedd Tarna proceeded to eliminate the stricken 'mech. 

Tarna was awarded two points for survival and two for the kill, taken from Renaria's total.  Tarna was additionally awarded two style points, for the arm-flip maneuver (and her detailed knowledge of her unit's capabilities), and for efficiently crippling Renaria's 'mech.

The pieces of Renaria's omnimech were air-lifted away by Technician Susan, while she was driven back by Scientist Oliver in a MASH vehicle after field medical checks.  Tarna insisted on shuffling her stricken omnimech back to base under its own power, a short trip of roughly three hours in the damaged unit.

Renaria in the mean time went to the Bear Den, found the celebratory crowd and turned her defeat into a social victory, did a set for the crowd then took choice representatives to welcome Tarna back.  She accepted being the crowd's favourite but encouraged them to cheer on Tarna as the victor.  Laying in wait (and especially waiting for Tarna to power down her war machine) Renaria then sprung a surprise party (and crowd) on Tarna and launched into singing a hearfelt song of appreciation.

Imani had been working to salvage the wreckage of Renaria's mech as the party was being set up, so she made sure to take Dmitri and go somewhere else when it all went down.  Makalu chose to attend in stealth to wait for Tarna's response.  Daniel was there too but carefully showing his non-involvement.

This did not go over well, Tarna robed herself in nearly perceptible armor of dignity and walked through the crowd and left.  Going to the semi-secret gym in the base Tarna encountered one of the selectors, a fellow tiger Xandrum, who understood Tarna's tiger ways and needs and yielded the punching-bag / tiger-prey-bag for her clearly greater stress relief needs.  Xandrum mentioned he had not initially considered Tarna having thought she would want to remain with her cadet star and he didn't have space for a full five…but Xandrum confided he had been reconsidering in light of the trial of grievance, and expressed interest in recruiting Tarna into his forces.

With her world view shaken Tarna returned to her quarters, thankfully the party had been packed up and cleaned away in the meantime. 

View
Session Four
SCRAMBLE!

Tarna had time to check in with Nova Commander Bryce and Technician Alfonzo, and there was some rare secret tigress business.  

After that The Sleuth prepared for their second round of live fire combat against The Quest

 

Simultaneously The Mischief versed The Melange

 

Also The Circle competed against The Others

 

During the battle against The Quest a safety system failure was noted when cadet Dmitri hit the cockpit of Lily's Omnimech.  The match was allowed to continue, because:

  1. Lily was piloting the last remaining 'mech unit in the battle.
  2. It was a live fire exercise and danger to cadets was expected.
  3. It could have been a fluke, and not a failure of the system.  

 

Unfortunately shortly afterwards a second safety system failure resulted in the destruction of Lily's cockpit and the death of the cadet.  This was a different system however, linked to the weapon systems of the elementals and which should have prevented them firing live rounds in the vicinity of the cockpit.  While performing a swarm attack maneuver and attempting to score a simulated kill, the weapons instead fired live rounds resulting in the destruction of the cockpit and death of cadet Lily.

For the record, Lily was second on the leader board at the time of her death.

Following the fatal training accident the training officers decided to suspend combined forces training exercises until the system failures could be explained (and prevented).  The round three matches were scheduled to be Omnimech star veses star matches in any case.

Cadet Tarna went to Nova Captain Acorna Hall for clearance to challenge Cadet Nola to claim Cadet Lily's points as Isorla for The Sleuth on the grounds that Lily had been defeated honourably by her forces.  Nova Captain Acorna Hall formally certified Cadet Tarna's challenge, which Cadet Nola accepted.  

The cadets agreed upon an open field and engaged in equal Adder Prime Omnimechs.  Both approached, in the first exchange of fire Nola fired both ER PPCs and built up heat, Tarna fired one to save heat capacity for a better firing opportunity.  This paid off when she was able to fire both ER PPCs in the next exchange, hitting Nola's Omnimech twice in the center torso and eliminating her opponent for a flawless victory.  Tarna was awarded a style point and two survival points and one kill, (five points for Tarna, four subtracted from Nola's points total), Lily's 21 points were won by The Sleuth with four of Tarna's four team mates and the remaining five points to Tarna.

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Round Two, The Sleuth (South) challenges The Quest (North)
Combined Arms Live Fire Combat Exercise

Round Two, The Sleuth (South) challenges The Quest (North)

 

Map:  55×55 Dieron Factory Site One

  • The map is dominated by a central mountain with a pit sunken into it housing the factory inside a protective wall.  

 

Deployment:

The Sleuth deployed with Renaria positioned to rush to the central factory and provide Active Probe coverage of the map, Daniel deployed to secure the east flank, Dmitri deployed to the south with the factory obscuring his position from The Quest.  Makalu arrived independently from the south west in a new ‘mech, much to Tarna’s (delayed) relief.

The Quest deployed with the two LRM based units (Gill and Wynn) on the west flank, Nola on the East Flank, and the two ‘tactical’ units (Baine and Lily) deploying on the center on the road down to the factory complet.

 

Engagement Report:

Due in part to The Sleuth’s earlier tactic of pre-contact challenges a flurry of challenges were issued at the commencement of the battle.  First Makalu (Adder E-UK) challenged Gill (Adder C). Next Baine (Adder D) challenged Tarna (Adder Prime) much to Tarna and Nola’s annoyance.  Dmitri (Fire Moth Dmitri) challenged Wynn (Adder A). Daniel (Adder D) challenged Lily (Adder B). This left Nola (Adder Prime) to challenge Renaria (Mist Lynx P).

 

Renaria moved under cover and exploiting her jump capability to maneuver into the factory at the center of the map, which was a pit inside a raised area with steep walls.  Nola was forced to choose between the long route to the ramp entrance to the pit / crater or the less long path up the slope to then fire from the rim of the crater. Nola chose to do the latter, making the factory a barrel to shoot down at Renaria, but falling for Renaria’s prepared ambush.  Renaria’s sensor coverage gave her team an invaluable advantage in the early stages of the combat, style point awarded to Renaria. Tactic planned by Cadet Leader Tarna, style point awarded.

 

Baine moved toward the center and circled counter-clockwise to Tarna’s earlier location, while Tarna circled the factory counter clockwise and nearly catching Baine from the rear.  The pair began a pitched battle at the north of the central factory.

 

Makalu closed on Gil, the pair exchanged long range fire before Makalu began to close using terrain for cover and then attempting to duel the target at close range.

 

Daniel and Lily closed and engaged in a long range firefight until Lily deliberately set an intervening wood on fire forcing Daniel to close and allowing both units to bring their back up weapons to bear.  

 

Dmitri used his speed to maintain an ideal range bracket and fire upon Wynn from outside of the LRM range of the heavier Omnimech in a protracted duel.

 

Nola and her elementals crested the lip of the factory wall and fired upon Renaria and her elementals.  During the fierce exchange of fire Renaria’s ‘mech was progressively crippled while Nola suffered heat sink and engine damage and had the armor stripped from her unit’s center torso.  During this engagement Tarna (honorably) challenged Nola, who (honorably) declined in the thick of her own duel. Nola crippled the lighter Mist Lynx P (style point not awarded) and then eliminating it.  (First ‘mech eliminated, Renaria).  Nola’s damaged Adder Prime overheated and shut down, and was eliminated by Renaria’s elementals (Team Kaoru).  (Second ‘mech eliminated, Nola).

 

Tarna outmatched Baine but suffered damage in the process.  (Third ‘mech eliminated – Baine).  Seeing that Makalu had lost her second main gun (and only had the fixed Flamer remaining) and was about to be defeated by Gil, Tarna challenged Gil (specifically to fight a unit with weapons to defend itself), and when Gil accepted Tarna felled his damaged unit with one salvo.  (Fourth ‘mech eliminated, Gil).

 

When Daniel closed upon Lily she gained an advantage when Daniel’s unit suffered weapon losses.  Tarna attempted to intervene by challenging Lily, who accepted. Lily divided her fire between Daniel and Tarna but favouring the more heavily damaged (and closer) target Daniel.  First Lily eliminated Daniel at close range, while under sporadic long range fire from Tarna. (Fifth ‘mech eliminated, Daniel).  Lily then scored a very lucky hit with her LBX-5 Autocannon, with pellets finding the breaches in Tarna’s armour and eliminating her.  (Sixth ‘mech eliminated, Tarna).  

 

Dmitri was finally able to defeat Wynn by deploying his elementals then maneuvering Wynn into their range.  Team Baxter swarmed Wynn’s ‘mech and proceeded to tear it apart despite Wynn’s best efforts to dislodge them.  (Seventh ‘mech eliminated, Wynn).  Wynn had managed to destroy the ER Large Laser on Dmitri’s custom configuration Fire Moth.

 

Team Kaoru (assigned to Renaria) and Team Martin (assigned to Nola) had been fighting in the factory, and eliminated each other as Team Tommy and Team Gina entered the factory to support Team Martin.  

 

To prevent Lily from challenging Makalu, Dmitri challenged her.  He made some daring charges using his remaining ER Small Lasers, launching hit and run attacks using the smoke from Lily’s fire to conceal his damaged fire moth from her.  A chance hit to the head of Lily’s Omnimech concerned the training officers, but they did not halt the match, as they had observed Dmitri’s tactic was again to maneuver the heavier and slower Adder into range of his allied elementals.  This was successful, with Lily’s mech being swarmed. An as-yet unexplained weapons malfunction led to the cockpit of Lily’s Omnimech being targetable by the training elementals weapons during a swarm attack, leading to it being shredded and the pilot within slain.  

 

With the last allied Omnimech eliminated, the remaining elementals of The Quest stood down and allowed the support personnel to enter the trial combat area and see to Lily.  Unfortunately Lily had been slain in the initial attack.



 

After Action Comment:

The Sleuth under command of Tarna were commended for their greater team tactics and individual tactics.  The Quest were noted to have not supported each other well, and appearing to rely upon the relative strength of their Adder Omnimechs and employing more direct tactics.  Tarna is noted for effective and selfless use of secondary challenges to protect her team mates.

 

Surviving Units:

  • Dmiti – Damaged Fire Moth Dmitri.  Kills 2, Survival Points 8+2.
  • Makalu – Heavily Damaged Adder E-UK.  Survival Points 8+2.
  • Elemental Team Hendrick (assigned to Daniel)
  • Elemental Team Baxter (assigned to Dmitri)
  • Elemental Team Bruce (assigned to Tarna)

 

Withdrawing Units:

  • Elemental Team Tommy (assigned to Baine)
  • Elemental Team Gina (assigned to Lily)
  • Elemental Team Shane (assigned to Wynn)

 

Eliminated Mech Units:

  • Renaria – Mist Lynx P.  Style Points 1, Survival Points 0.
  • Nola – Adder Prime.  Kills 1, Survival Points 1.
  • Baine – Adder D.  Survival Points 2.
  • Gil – Adder C.  Survival Points 3.
  • Daniel – Adder D.  Survival Points 4.
  • Tarna – Adder Prime.  Style Points 2, Kills 2, Survival Points 5.
  • Wynn – Adder A.  Style Points 1, Survival Points 6.
  • Lily – Adder B.  Style Points 1, Kills 2, Survival Points 7.  Cadet killed in action.

 

View
Round Two, The Mischief (North) challenges The Melange (South)
Combined Arms Live Fire Combat Exercise

Round Two, The Mischief (North) challenges The Melange (South)

 

Map:  55×55 Dieron Small Town 2

  • The map features a mix of terrain around a loose ring of large and small buildings surrounding an open town center.

 

Deployment:

The Mischief deployed according to their individual strengths.  Roshan deployed with her Adder E-UK on the west flank planning to advance to a line of heavy woods overlooking an open field and at long range a road leading into the town from the west.  Matia deployed her Kit Fox A to secure the high ground to the north north west of the town, despite the lack of cover on the rise (intending to engage targets with her gauss cannon from beyond their effective range).  Necia deployed her Locust IIC to secure and follow the road leading into the town from the east.  Eluna deployed her Horned Owl into the heavy cover to the north of the town, intending to advance using her unit’s jump jets.  Leila deployed her Adder B to the north north west of the town and intended to secure a covering fire position overlooking the town center.

The Melange deployed intending to swarm the city center.  The two Fire Moths (Corin and Nadira) deployed on the west flank planning to rush north and use the road entering the town from the west.  The three Mist Lynx (Monterya, Anor, Joshi) deployed in the heavy woods and jungle to the south of the town planning to use their jump capability to maneuver under cover.

 

Engagement Report:

Necia challenged Corin at the commencement of the battle, continuing their long standing grudge.  The basis of this was past encounters where Corin’s Fire Moth D had the advantage in range and speed verses Necia’s Locust IIC having the advantage in close range firepower and armor.  

 

The two Fire Moths from The Melange charged north to the road then east into the town, while the Locust IIC rushed south then west.  Necia and Corin met in the center, and in the joust-pass style engagement Necia had the advantage (more guns, point blank range, more armor) and was able to cripple Corin’s unit then eliminate it but she had suffered heavy damage in the first pass.  (First ‘mech eliminated – Corin).

 

The Mist Lynx advanced through the heavy woods, watched by Matia in the Kit Fox A  from the high ground and ironically unable to detect any targets using their advanced active probes.  

 

Roshan had seen Nadira pass along the road, and challenged her.  Roshan knew the accurate long range firepower of her ‘mech would be the best option to eliminate the fast moving close range target.  Nadira had to maneuver through the town and out, and chose to circle behind rather than charge at Roshan over the open plain.

 

There was a delay as the Mist Lynx trio advanced, during which Eluna and Leila were able to take up position, and Roshan was able to redeploy to prepare for her challenger while Matia continued to spot from the high ground.

 

Monterya challenged Matia, deciding he could use his Mist Lynx P’s ER Large Laser to engage her Kit Fox A from outside its Gauss Cannon range.  He began maneuvering into position, and after an initial miscalculation (and luckily being missed by the just-in-range gauss shot) he proceeded to snipe at Matia’s heavier unit which was eventually driven from the exposed high ground.  Matia was no longer needed as a spotter at this point as the Mist Lynx were nearing the town.

 

Eluna spotted Anor as approached and challenged him.  He jumped into good cover and deployed his elementals, but she used her accurate pulse laser weaponry to eliminate his lighter unit, but was heavily damaged by his salvo of lasers and SRMs.  (Second ‘mech eliminated – Anor).  

 

Leila had secured an ideal sniping position, challenged Joshi as he approached, and used the Large Pulse Laser and LBX 5 Autocannon to eliminate him.  (Third ‘mech eliminated – Joshi).

 

Nadira finally managed to maneuver to Roshan, who was ready for her.  Despite Nadira managing to get to optimal range, her Fire Moth could not survive (or avoid) the Adder E-UK’s firepower.  Roshan crippled the fire moth by removing a leg (style point awarded) and an arm (style point awarded) leaving the target helpless.  Roshan and her elementals eliminated the Fire Moth G-UK and then its support elementals.  (Fourth ‘mech eliminated – Nadira).  

 

During this Eluna’s Horned Owl was swarmed by Corin’s elementals, who did more damage and drove Eluna to jump her ‘mech into a lake in an attempt to dislodge them.  

 

Nadira’s Locust IIC was swarmed by Anor’s elementals and badly damaged by their swarm attach and Nadira’s attempt to dislodge them.  She attempted to withdraw, but was caught in a crossfire by Anor’s elementals, and others from The Melange, eliminating her heavily damaged Locust IIC and trapping her elementals in the wreckage (Style point not deducted as the elementals had been successfully deployed previously).  (Fifth ‘mech eliminated – Necia).  Note, Monterya’s elemental team eliminated the ‘mech target while Monterya’s ‘mech was active (points for kill awarded to Monterya).

 

With Matia off the high ground and now using the town buildings for over Monterya jumped onto one of the larger buildings.  The two units exchanged fire, heavily damaging each other.  Monterya’s mist lynx was eliminated when Matia shot the leg out from under it and when the unit fell it toppled from the building and taking additional damage to pilot and ‘mech.  (Sixth ‘mech eliminated – Monterya)

 

After having gunned down Nadira’s Locust IIC, Monterya’s elementals (Team Lucias) successfully swarmed Eluna’s Horned Owl.  Eluna attempted to use the water again, but Lucias and his team used this to breach her unit with swarm damage.  (Seventh ‘mech eliminated Eluna)

 

Matia closed to the town, not realizing how badly damaged her Kit Fox A was, and as a result crashed.  The crash destroyed the arm carrying the Gauss Cannon, though she was not intending to use the weapon on elemental cadets as it would be terminal if she scored a hit.  Having just dispatched Eluna, Team Lucias were able to reach the prone Kit Fox A, swarm and eliminate it.  (Eighth ‘mech eliminated, Matia).

 

This left Roshan and Leila, their virtually undamaged Adder units and full elemental teams.  By this point the other Mischief elementals had been eliminated as had the Melange elemental teams other than Team Lucias.  Team Lucias used the terrain to single out Leila and managed to do significant damage and crippling the LXB-5 Autocannon before being eliminated.  

 

After Action Comment:

Members of The Mischief remained too close to the area of engagement to observe and to be in position for secondary duels, which led to them being in range of elemental support forces.  Although the elemental cadets of Folkner-Volk sibko are graded separately to the mechwarrior cadets of Bekker-Winters sibko, special commendation is given to Team Lucias for eliminating three ‘mech targets

 

Surviving Units:

  • Roshan – fully operational Adder E-UK.  Style Points 2, Kills 1, Survival Points 8+2.
  • Leila – damaged Adder B.  Kills 1, Survival Points 8+2.
  • Elemental Team Roland (assigned to Roshan)
  • Elemental Team Clifton (assigned to Leila)

 

Eliminated Mech Units:

  • Corin – Fire Moth D.  Survival Points 0.
  • Anor – Mist Lynx B.  Survival Points 1.
  • Joshi – Mist Lynx C.  Survival Points 2.​​​​​​​
  • Nadira – Fire Moth G-UK.  Survival Points 3.​​​​​​​
  • Necia – Locust IIC.  Style Points 1, Kills 1, Survival Points 4.​​​​​​​
  • Monterya – Mist Lynx P.  Kills 1, Survival Points 5.​​​​​​​
  • Eluna – Horned Owl.  Kills 1, Survival Points 6.​​​​​​​
  • Matia – Kit Fox A.  Style Points 1, Kills 1, Survival Points 7.
View
Round Two, The Circle (South) challenges The Others (North)
Combined Arms Live Fire Combat Exercise

Round Two, The Circle (South) challenges The Others (North)

 

Map:  55×55 Dieron Small Town 1

  • The map features several large buildings in the center, surrounded by plains fields and woodlands.  

 

Deployment:

The Others deployed to use their fast movers to detect the enemy and allow their heavier units to maneuver into position accordingly.  Bryte and Xavier on the west flank to circle behind the enemy using their two fast Fire Moth units.  Grunzen deployed to rush to the town dominating the center of the map where her jump jets and close range brawler weapons would give an advantage.  Inara and Rico in their jump capable Arctic Cheetah Prime and Horned Owl (respectively) used cover north north east of the town planning to advance to support Grunzen and monitor the east flank.

The Circle deployed with three units in the middle and one each per flank.  Biancha secured the far west flank, Alize deployed on the far east, and the remaining three (Jaden, Zane, Auris) advancing up the center to the town.  Zane planning to cover from the woods with his Kit Fox A’s Gauss Cannon, Jaden relying upon the flexibility of his Kit Fox Prime to adapt once they contacted the enemy, and Auris planning to rush the town where her unit’s jump jets and mixed weaponry would give an advantage.

 

Engagement Report:

The Others got sensor contacts on the targets before The Circle, and at this time Grunzen challenged Auris (continuing their grudge).  In response Jaden challenged Bryte (Jaden reasoning that his more accurate long range weapons might help him take out the fast moving but fragile Fire Moth J-UK better than Zane’s Gauss Cannon could, and Zane was Bryte’s likely target).  Using the sensor information Xavier challenged Biancha and began maneuvering to close on her.

 

Grunzen advanced into the town and deployed her elementals but did not have a firing solution on Auris.  Rico advanced to support Grunzen in the town.  Bryte sighted Jaden, maneuvered to a good firing position and deployed his elementals.  Zane moved to support Jaden, not reaching cover but he was un-challenged at the time.  Auris moved up using the buildings as cover and deployed her elementals.

 

Xavier circled behind Biancha and closed to point blank range.  Biancha was able to return fire with the pulse weapons in one arm, destroying one of Xavier’s unit’s arms and reducing the center torso to one point of remaining internal structure.  Xavier’s full firepower eliminated Biancha’s Kit Fox, and Biancha’s elemental team were trapped in the wreckage.  (Biancha was awarded a point penalty for failing to deploy her elementals).  (First ‘mech eliminated – Biancha).

 

On the east flank Alize spotted Inara and challenged.  Both were in areas of mixed light and heavy woods separated by an open area, and both deployed their elementals preparing for the other’s approach.  Zane gleefully challenged Rico at this time as the last remaining target.

 

The initial exchange of fire between Bryte and Jaden was ineffective, Bryte had moved fast and secured good cover but knew he could not rely on cover alone, and so maneuvered around a building then prepared to ambush Jaden should he follow.  When Jaden did follow Bryte used his ER PPC and blew a leg off of the Kit Fox (style point awarded). 

 

Auris jumped her ‘mech onto the north edge of the southernmost building, but had her elementals jump up behind her to cover her rear.  Grunzen jumped behind Auris (as Auris planned) but opened herself up to Auris’s elementals.  The tactic did not pay off, when the two ‘mechs alpha striked each other Grunzen’s unit (minus arms) remained standing but Auris was eliminated.  (Second ‘mech eliminated – Auris).  Following this Grunzen was too heavily damaged to engage another ‘mech target, and was pursued by Auris’s elementals, who were in turn pursued by Grunzen’s elementals.  With the arms crippled on her Adder G-UK Grunzen knew she could not dislodge the pursuing elementals if they swarmed and she would be doomed.

 

Zane maneuvered to a good sniping position to force Rico to advance.  Rico however expertly used the buildings of the town as cover and closed on Zane, getting inside the minimum range of the gauss cannon (style point awarded to Rico).

 

Attempting to show off, Bryte circled the main town building and closed to Jaden’s crippled Kit Fox from the other side, closed to point blank range and was cut down by Jaden who managed to draw a bead on the Fire Moth’s leg with the accurate pulse laser weapons on one of his ‘mechs arms.  Destroying the Fire Moth’s leg rendered the formerly fully operational unit crippled (style point awarded to Jaden).  It was noted by the training officers that this was a bold move but a tactical error, Bryte could have withdrawn outside of Jaden’s field of fire and range of fire then eliminated his target (style point penalty not deducted).   

 

Bryte and Jaden were left adjacent to one another in damaged units with their elementals in support.  Bryte was able to get his unit upright, and eliminate one of Jaden’s unit’s arms, rendering it defenceless.  Subsequently Bryte eliminated Jaden, but Jaden’s elementals swarmed Bryte’s Fire Moth.  They gutted Bryte’s gyro, but ironically were dislodged when the fire moth fell, and were gunned down by Bryte’s elementals who had been watching on helplessly while their assigned ‘mech was being swarmed.  Bryte’s ‘mech was not eliminated, despite being unable to battle effectively.

 

Alize decided she had an advantage at close range and so broke cover to charge Inara and her elementals.  In the first exchange of fire Alize lost one arm (style point awarded to Inara), the two maneuvered in the woods, which gave Inara an advantage in her faster unit.  She was then able to take out one of Alize’s legs (style point awarded to Inara) and then eliminate her target.  (Third ‘mech eliminated – Alize).  Alize had left her elementals in cover when she charged Inara’s position, and was then unsupported by them, but no point penalty was given as mounting the elementals would have restricted Alize’s firepower in the decisive opening round of fire.

 

Zane and Rico engaged at close range in wooded terrain, supported by their elementals, and although Rico was able to stay within Zane’s minimum range Zane managed two lucky gauss cannon hits and eliminated Rico.  (Fourth ‘mech eliminated – Rico)

 

Xavier challenged and charged Zane, eliminating him but being cut down by Zane’s elementals (one of whom made a lucky shot and hit the heavily damaged center torso of the Fire Moth).  (Fifth ‘mech eliminated – Zane).  Note that Cadet Zane was not awarded the kill points as his Kit Fox A was eliminated before his elementals eliminated Xavier’s Fire Moth G-UK.  (Sixth ‘mech eliminated – Xavier).

 

Following this the remaining elementals of The Circle were eliminated.  

 

After Action Comment:

The Circle expected an easy victory over The Others, but were taken by surprise by Inara having stepped up as team leader and the much higher level of cooperation and team work displayed by The Others.

 

Surviving Units:

  • Inara – damaged Arctic Cheetah Prime.  Style Points 2, Kills 1, Survival Points 7+2.
  • Grunzen – damaged Adder G-UK.  Kills 1, Survival Points 7+2.
  • Bryte – disabled Fire Moth J-UK.  Style Points 2, Kills 1, Survival Points 7+2.
  • Elemental Team Lee (assigned to Inara)
  • Elemental Team Casey (assigned to Xavier)

 

Unengaged Units:

Elemental Team Valerie (assigned to Biancha) – Not successfully deployed by Biancha.

 

Eliminated Mech Units:

  • Biancha – Kit Fox.  Style Points -1, Survival Points 0.​​​​​​​
  • Auris – Kit Fox.  Survival Points 1.
  • Jaden – Kit Fox Prime.  Style Points 1, Survival Points 2.​​​​​​​
  • Alize – Kit Fox.  Survival Points 3.
  • Rico – Horned Owl.  Style Points 1, Survival Points 4.
  • Zane – Kit Fox A.  Kills 1, Survival Points 5.
  • Xavier – Fire Moth G-UK.  Kills 2, Survival Points 6.
View
Session Three
Day Three, with Benefits

Following the unexpected praise from Nova Captain Acorna Hall (on the morning of Day 3), Cadet Leader Tarna decided to fall back on what she knew and dragged her cadet team for a quick six hour simulator training session.  Other than Renaria consistently failing to make the critical shots with her unit's Extended Range Large Laser The Sleuth performed well in the virtual combat. 

Following the training session Dmitri recieved a message from Technician Imani asking him to meet her at the Top Deck of the base, the disused (but maintained) observation deck above the old Air Traffic Control Tower.  On the way Dmitri bumped into (or was bumped into by) a raccoon elemental, a Star Captain from the 304th Assault Cluster of Beta Galaxy.  The raccoon stooped to pick up an item, and handed it to Dmitri and said/demanded "you dropped this, cadet".  Deciding not to argue, Dmitri accepted the device and thanked his superior officer.  The item, a cigarette lighter, turned out to contain a concealed Microcommunicator in the base, but the controls were to fiddly for Dmitri to have time for.  He proceeded to the Top Deck, where Technician Imani was not, however she arrived shortly after he did.  After a chance turn of phrase revealed that neither of them sent the messages that they had both received (apparently from one another) they both got over being spooked and decided to seize the opportunity and enjoy this moment of companionship and respite together.

Renaria headed to the club of many names, currently a low-brow "The Deep Bear Hole", and began work trying to improve the accoustics of the venue before a later performance.

Switching from virtual to real, Tarna checked and discovered the suspect Targeting Computer had been removed and replaced from her Adder Prime Omnimech.  The original was under lock and watch by Nova Commander Bryce and his forces.

Taking Cadet Xavier's warning to heart Daniel used his skills and contacts to source a whole salmon, and presented it to Cadet Imani whom Daniel had challenged and defeated in the last trial.  Imani the grizzly bear was begrudgingly appeased by the offering, with a gruff verdict of "Friends…but after salmon".  After this Daniel headed to the central core of the LOST-B base to practice in the firing range.

After discovering that the Targeting Computer investigation was well under way Tarna decided to seek out Nova Commander Bryce's second in command Star Commander Garvin who was rumored to be somewhere in the cargo loading area at the core of the base.  On the way Tarna discovered a stricken labourer, Labourer Leon the lion, who had been shot in the gut.  Tarna called in her team, and then fireman-carried the wounded lion to the nearest medical bay.  She was met there by cadet Dmitri who was without his own medical gear but easily able to use the medical bay's gear to stabilize the wounded labourer.

Renaria was nearby at The Unnamed Club / The Pleasure Hole / The Deep bear Hole and made her way to the reported location (after calling on her friend Cadet Alize to cover her set for her) where Tarna found the wounded civilian, and was met by Daniel.  Tarna headed to them once relieved by the more competent medic Dmitri, who in turn followed once relieved in the med-bay by Scientist Oliver.

After reporting the shooting and one (or more) gunmen on the loose in the base the alert sounded, however this did not mean aid for the cadets as the standard response to invaders in the base was to deploy all mobile combat units (for fear of them being hijacked).  Rather than summoning assistance, the distress call resulted in the lower decks of LOST-B being quarantined while forces deployed and Tarna and her team being isolated in the danger zone.

Makalu meanwhile had been conducting sneakret snep business and she was caught outside of the quarantine.  She was delayed by the security protocols, faced with doors she could open but which would activate alarms, until she accessed the underground cargo tunnel connecting The Sleuth's battlemech bays to the core base of LOST-B. 

Tarna led Daniel and Renaria (with Dmitri in pursuit) following the blood trail of Labourer Leon and then the sound of gunfire.  Taking one stairwell down, Tarna chose Dmitri to stealthily advance and he discovered Labourer Alan with a holdout pistol firing wildly down a major access corridor.  Dmitri subdued him after a brief struggle, prolonged mainly due to the labourer's CM3 rage/high.  His ballistic hold-out pistol matched the wound suffered by Labourer Leon…as well as the lion's pain induced ramblings.

In a predatory fugue Tarna led her team into a warehouse where two forces of non-warriors were engaged in a firefight.  With proper training and military discipline the cadets were able to close in and begin dispatching the unlawful combatants. 

  • Tarna used tactics and exploited cover to pounce upon and eliminate her targets using her Pulse Laser Pistol.  Ultimately she used her Medusa Whip to subdue the leader of one faction.
  • Daniel circled wide and used his stealth and Sneak Suit to snipe the enemy forces, taking down the leader of one of the forces.
  • Makalu arrived during the combat, using her Sneak Suit and Laser Pistol she supported Tarna's advance (and claimed some scalps for herself).
  • Renaria used her unique talents to divert one force then unwittingly blocked the exfiltration of a stealth ninja and later manipulated then incapacitated two members of one militant faction.  Two of the three that survived (along with their leader, captured alive by Tarna).
  • Dmitri pursued the ninja who was making best spread to Labourer Alan, as soon as she could get around the hippo in her way.  After two near misses Dmitri succeeded in rhino-charging down the ninja, a siamese cat girl. 

During the combat both Daniel then Makalu let slip to Tarna that they were equipped with Sneak Suits (Camo/IR Sneak Suits to be exact).  Dmitri meanwhile noticed but ignored several insistant vibrations from the cigarette lighter.

In the aftermath The Sleuth discovered a tunnel, which both groups used to enter, but which appeared to have been a concealed escape tunnel built into the old base at its very foundation.  But this raised the question how did one or two sets of bandits know about it when the base's rightful owners apparently did not?  The Sleuth also looted the prisoners, adding to the Part Loot to date.

Twelve captives had been taken, including Labourer Alan, the siamese cat ninja apparently set to eliminate Labourer Alan, the leader and two minions of 'the Bootleg Crew' and all but one of the better armed Dark Caste team including their leader.  After a quick call to his mysterious network of contacts about needing Labourer Alan terminated, a Star Captain Jerven answered and after a thump (much like a comatose body being thrown against a wall, followed by the sound of a battle armor scale Micro Pulse Laser) Jerven reported the prisoner had been killed while attempting to escape.  The team of elementals collected the twelve prisoners, but after one prisoner tried to escape only nine prisoners and one corpse were delivered to the brig. 

Eventually Nova Captain Acorna Hall made it to the scene, after having deployed in her 'mech along with the other training officers, the seekers, and the other five teams of cadets.  She was initially extremely pleased to discover her star pupil (and her minions) had single handedly dealt with the base infiltrators.  She was less pleased to discover the discrepancy in prisoner counts though.

Tarna and Dmitri completed a full report on the encounter.  After that the pair headed to the gym, where Cadet Bryce attempted and once again failed to challenge Dmitri, and was baited (easily) into a Medusa Whip deule with Tarna and handily defeated by the more tactical combatant.  Nova Commander Sterling was on hand to watch disapprovingly as Cadet Bryte was laid low with one hit.

Renaria headed to The Party Hole but found the club shut, it seems all the normal patrons had shut up shop and snuck back to their normal lives to lay low.  Alize had never made it to the venue, she had been locked out by the quarantine.

The following morning, which would be the day of the second trial battle, Tarna was invited to assist with the interrogation of the prisoners and Tarna chose Daniel to accompany her.  The two of them were the ones who had observed then subdued the two enemy leaders. 

The first prisoner, Labourer (Farmer) Fedor Egorov, was the leader of 'the Bootleg Crew' and told a sob story of being a family of farmers dating back to Mother Russia (and including tending the oxygen producing arboretums on the flagship of The Exodus.  It seems he catered to the Dark Caste and let them set up a drug lab on one failing farm hoping the revenue might help the failing farming family to salvage the other farms.  Having gotten in over his head, and with But it was not to be, and Tarna executed him mercilessly.

The next prisoner, Ex-Merchant Labourer Alyona Lebedev, was heavily tortured and eventually let slip that "the leader", a horned male who only communicated by video, had sent them to deal with a snitch in LOST-B.  Under torture, after her eye was gouged out by Cadet Daniel (to the great distress of Star Commander Felicia) she revealed "The Den" and gave directions.  Also, a mysterious operative called 'Red' was supposed to take out the target snitch Labourer Alan.  She was summarily executed shortly afterwards, with Cader Daniel using a claw to slit her throat…just as Star Commander Felicia had recovered from the earlier eye gore and was re-entering the room. 

Knowing they faced a battle at 6pm Tarna assembled her team to prepare.

 

 

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