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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 59 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]


"...is a lineal descendant of Tranh Truk Ngo, the Elbar Impaler...

...but there is nothing in remnant records of...this." Kael Pershaw laid the intel brief on Elias Crichell's desk. "We have no records of Star League technology performing the way that 'mechwarrior performed in that modified piece of junk."

"Elbar Impaler?" Crichell inquired.

Kael sighed heavily, "The Amaris War, my Khan, the Liberation of the Terran world of Elbar, Tranh Truk Ngo was the commander of an allied unit sent to support the ninetieth heavy assault and the seventh Andurien Volunteers. At the Brian Fortress site of Running Deer Mountain, Colonel Ngo's people found evidence of systematic atrocities by the Rim Worlds sympathizers and military-and reacted in a manner that General DeChevalier notes in his journal as 'extreme'-Colonel Ngo impaled fifty one senior Rim Worlds Officers, and used nearly a thousand POWs as bayonet practice training local levies...while those men were still alive."

Elias shivered, "They were allies?"

Kael sighed patiently, "The Rim Worlds Republican forces on Elbar were using Running Deer mountain as a sort of 'human spare parts factory'-carving up civilian political prisoners and ethnic minorities to provide blood, organs and tissues for both military and civilian transplant purposes. They carved up nearly fourteen million people there, and Colonel Ngo's unit, the 171st Kowloon Volunteers, found it and, according to Aaron DeChevalier, lost their minds over it."

Elias Crichell winced, then, "I would as well...savashri..."

"Two hundred of the 171st were slotted for courts martial for their overreaction." Kael continued, "However, those charges were suspended until the end of hostilities, and then, they were released to return to their homeworld. The Great Father did not even attempt to invite them to participate in Exodus."

"Interesting...why?"

"because, and I had to call in favors with an archivist among the Goliath Scorpions. General Kerensky did not believe the Kowloonese would Join." Kael explained, "They only joined the war against the usurper, because they hated the Rim Worlds Republic slightly more than they hated the Star League that had helped keep a Rim Worlds boot on their necks for two and a half centuries. Colonel Ngo was a rebel, who led a successful rebellion against House Amaris in 2768, and General McEvedy had to rescue surviving rim worlds officials from them when that world was slated to be taken down. The terms were interesting enough to include in my report, my Khan-They negotiated with General DeChevalier. The SLDF would guarantee Kowloon's independence from the Rim Worlds in exchange for that world's support against the Usurper."

"How much hate are we talking about?" Elias asked.

Kael snorted a half-laugh, "Enough that they put Sam Wilson on them to keep them from committing MORE atrocities. These people lost a city when the SLS Belleau Wood fired on it from orbit to suppress an earlier uprising that might've succeeded without SLDF intervention. I do not know for certain, because so much of our information on that world is out of date, but at the time, it was apparently understood that Kowloon sent men to kill Rim Worlders because they wanted them dead...and had no love for House Cameron or the Star League, just a grudging tolerance. DeChevalier's journals from that period spend a lot of time describing a people who have a mastery of holding grudges that would make the Blood Spirits look generously forgiving."

"Will they pose a problem for Operation Revival?" Elias asked.

"We know through our ComStar...'allies' ...that Kowloon has raised the banner of the 171st for the first time since 2820...and that they are experimenting with science and technologies not commonly found in the rest of the Inner Sphere."

"How far off our invasion corridor is this world?" Crichell asked.

"Well outside of it, but reachable." Pershaw stated.

"Get information on them. find out if this was a freak incident, or if it is a picture of what we are going to be facing in the near future."

"Don't just focus on that world. Find out if the Spheroids have some new twist on ECM, some advanced prototype or recovered theoretical equipment that can explain a 'mech that can be seen with the naked eye, but can not be locked with our sensors."

"Of course."


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