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The Other War (Cover)

Chapter 14 - The Other War[]

05/08/3060 Location – Brim Nadir Point

Congress frigate CSV Snake Leader its Carrier strike dropship and Noruff assault dropship plotted an intercept on the Carrack transport SLS Perilous Vision and Lola III destroyer SLS Faithful of Clan Nova Cat. The two Warships were charging at the Cloud Cobra controlled recharge station with a Star of Nova Cat Merchant Jumpships carrying Civilians.

“This is Star Captain Calvin Tamm of the CSV Snake Leader. We issue a Trial of Possession from the forces under protection by the SLS Faithful and bid our attached force of two Binaries of Fighters, the Snake Leader, and Noruff Nome Mercer.”
A Cloud Cobra warship boosted away from the station, its flattened decks heavily laden with Aerospace fighters. “Star Captain Calvin Tamm of CSV Snake Leader, this is the Star Commodore Faith Hobbes of the York CCS The Protector. Cease your aggressive interception of our station immediately."

"Our Rossei brothers and sisters aboard the SLS Faithful and its jumpships are under the protection of Clan Cloud Cobra and you are in violation of the Grand Council's edict. We will launch all fighters if you continue. Do not test us Viper. Our dedication is harder than your Steel."

Calvin Tamm adjusted course coming within close RADAR contact of the York and its Star of readied fighters. “The Khan will hear of this Commodore.”

“As will ours, Captain.”

05/18/3060 Location – Tathis City, Tathis

Seth “Star Killer” Irons walked through the sunken arcology of Tathis City, a city built underground to protect its inhabitants from the bitter cold and gritty snow outside. His new black uniform had three gold bars and red Daggerstar marking him as a Star Adder (Star) Colonel. Diamond Shark Patrol ambled through the walkways looking out at the green space in the city center. Seth stopped for a moment to enjoy a beer watching Shark civilians spend their breaks breathing in warm fresh air rather than refinery soot. “I swore I would never return to this world. Well played Loremaster, a fitting almost poetic punishment. Doomed to be my own tormentor in service of the Clan.”

The alarm on his comm-pad rung and he took one last look at the pleasant surroundings he wasn't likely to see again for a while before picking up his duffel. Within the arcology a series of trams and funiculars transported workers from their residences to the refineries that provided a third of the Diamond Sharks rare earth metals. His Star Adders maintained a smaller one at the Greypeak that provided half of their own supply with the rest coming from the Pentagon Worlds. He caught up with the car and held on to slim moving platform that zoomed through tunnels toward the surface. The formal Adder uniform contrasted with the insulted orange coveralls and helmets of refinery Laborers.

He arrived at Diamond Shark Manufacturing Plant Twelve built underground and taking up a large portion of the Western Section of the arcology with a group of workers. Two armed Diamond Shark Patrol officers stood at the gate scanning the codices of each worker before allowing them entry. He waited his turn and presented his printed orders, “Wait for your escort Star Colonel. He will take you to the receiving center where you can sign for your Desperado.”

Seth waited and watched the workers enter, MP12 was one of the Diamond Sharks best export factories churning out Desperados (Thug IIC) by the Binary each month. His escort, a Laborer Foreman, arrived to walk him through the factory floor where bare endo steel frames constructed in the space station that orbited Tathis' moon Tael were outfitted by hundreds of workers. “You will be very pleased with our product Star Colonel, yours is the first batch with the new Kingston ERPPCs.”

He looked over the catwalk to see Technicians installing the power supplies and cables to a partially assembled unit already outfitted with its dual Pattern J6cs. “Cloud Cobra scientists score another win for your Snake Alliance. It cost the Sharks a great deal to get those plans but it was worth every bit according to our Techs.”

“Yes, they do fine work. I just got reassigned out of a Sidewinder.”
“A fine machine that your Adders beat us to. Khan Sennet is more interested in selling second line units while absorbing the Nova Cat holdings than anything new at the moment. I hear she is making contacts among the SLDF now, you know since they are here already. To bad about Victor he seemed like a good Warrior, not smart but good. I even cried a bit during Vlad's eulogy.”

The walk continued a bit longer until they reached the end of the line where a Desperado stood menacingly. Its hunched shoulders and giant hands with the round directing cones of the Kingston PPCs sprouting from the forearms. Four great steel cylinders marked 'Low Temperature Cooling Oil, 100L' were collected in a cart at its feet. “It uses all that coolant.”

“Aff, Star Colonel. Kingstons run hotter than the normal Kinslaughters. You have twenty freezers aboard. Even if you Alpha the cockpit will only heat up a little bit especially on this cold planet. Well I will leave you to the Mech Techs keep it pointed away from us will ya.”

“No guarantees.” The Foreman whistled as he walked away from the Mechwarrior. Seth was greeted by three Adder Mechtechs and given a brief rundown of the operation of his Battlemech. His new command, The 983rd Adder Sentinels of Omicron Galaxy, were based in the remote and partially abandoned Sibko base where he received his own Mechwarrior training.

This assignment was his exile for the crimes he committed on Sheridan. He had been granted a stay of execution but no more chances for Glory. Khan N'Buta had been impressed enough with his performance at the Great Refusal to assign him a Desperado a second line Battlemech of impressive power but not an Omni of any kind in a formation likely to see battle.

Even as he went through the start-up procedures for the assault mech which stood erect and collected its arms close he knew this would only lead to a long life of future obscurity. He opened the cockpit and yelled down to the Mech Techs,
“There is no ammo in the bins!”

“Neg Star Colonel. Do you feel like you need some because none has been assigned?”

“I am only fighting with two thirds of a mech.”

“You will not be doing any fighting for a while, Star Colonel. You should get moving,” the Tech consulted his noteputer which displayed a RADAR weather map of the planet's North-East, “If you leave now you might miss the Black Blizzard coming our way. Storm Season.”

“I know what the date is! Not the first Black Blizzard I had to walk through.”

“Aff Sir, meet you there next week when we do our regular supply run with the dropshuttle. We will bring ammo.” The Techs saluted and got back to packing up their equipment.

Seth Irons activated the climate controls of his black bodysuit providing heat rather than taking it away. The arcology gate opened, wild wind blew out gray snow mixed with volcanic pumice and factory soot. The outside temperature dropped to -30*C and the Desperado stepped out into the swirling gray mass leaving great tracks that were blown away as swiftly as they formed to leave no trace behind.

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