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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 110 - What Could Go Wrong[]


1 October 3042
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)


The pre-mission stand down for maintenance was in effect. All of SaRI's equipment and personnel had returned from the local training ground and the unit's technical staff was now in charge of getting everything combat ready. Every member of the unit helped out, even if it was just handing tools to the mechanic or technician when they asked for it. From Mechwarriors to Aerospace Pilots, everyone pitched in, it was part of the unwritten rules of Search and Recovery Inc. Only Company Commanders and above were exempt today, as they would be attending the mission briefing in one of the unit's dining facilities.

Inside the dining facility, Colonel David Mitchell looked out over the assembled officers of the unit. Some he barely knew, though he had met all of them, knowing them was a different thing all together. It was time to get the briefing started, he thought as he walked to the small podium. "Sergeant Major Pullman, seal the doors and post the guards." He paused for about 2 minutes as his orders were carried out, he continued when Sergeant Major Pullman nodded. "We boost for the Jump Point on 13 October. Our target is located on a system named Kent according to our information. This is the second pirate groups base, which we will strike first. Our data indicates that the habitable planet is the 3rd planet, transit time should be 14.94 days, which is longer than Joshua.

There are four continents, but we do not know which one they are based on, so we will be conducting quite a bit of aerial recon when we reach orbit. Our biggest danger is in the form of the planets gravity, which our data shows to be roughly 2G. So let's keep that in our minds at all times. For us grunts that means we cannot carry as much, and we will be miserable. Lieutenant Colonel Woodall tells me that high gravity is hell on Battlemechs, so we will be going directly at them once we locate them. There will be no finesse in this operation. Luckily, we have their Union Dropship still. In case they have some way to identify it, we will be switching back to their identification codes before we arrive. Lieutenant Colonel Campbell assures me that she will be able to calculate an in system jump to a closer location once we get in system and she can get accurate reads on everything. Those of us that were at Joshua know how much we hate 2 weeks traveling to a Jump Point. If we can save a week or more of travel time, that is a plus in my book.

Information we gleaned from the captured pirates indicate we should be facing limited resistance. Last report was a couple Infantry platoons, so we will plan for a full Company with possible surprises. We should be able to handle that with no problems. They hold roughly 350-400 slaves at their base. Other than that, we know nothing else. Questions?"

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Davion stood up "Colonel Mitchell, may I ask how your information on this particular system is so accurate?"

"For those who have not met him, this is Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Davion, our Liaison Officer from the Federated Commonwealth. As for your question Colonel Davion, you may ask, but I am afraid I will not answer it. There are parts of our operational mission and methods that will always remain secret except to a select few of this command." Colonel Mitchell said

As he sat back down, it was obvious Lieutenant Colonel Davion was not at all happy with that answer. Colonel Mitchell knew this was not over, but he put it on the back burner in his brain as he fielded other questions.


New Avalon (Federated Commonwealth, FedSuns State Capital)


"The Arcadians are onboard, but they also do not have any combat Dropships. That poses a serious problem with them conducting any sort of opposed landing." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek said

"What have we got laying around that we can loan them?", First Prince Hanse Davion asked

"I know the Navy has a new Overlord Class Dropship that has not been assigned yet. At least it allows them to land a Battalion and secure a drop zone for their Mule carrying the rest of their command.", Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied

"Get it for them, on loan Ardan, they do not get to keep it. No matter what you tell Quintus, I know your feeding this new unit. At least Colonel Mitchell had the decency to raid those already getting out. Marshal Jimenez and his cohorts are actively recruiting and enticing our troops to leave the AFFS. This is the last special command, I will tell Quintus the same thing. You tell Marshal Jimenez to cool his jets with his recruiting. If he needs bodies, you can ask Quintus how he finds the ones for SaRI. Clear?" First Prince Hanse Davion said

"Clear Hanse, I will pass on the message." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied

"Good. How do we prevent anyone from fleeing this system? I hate the thought that one of those pirates ships get away and word gets out somehow." First Prince Hanse Davion asked

"Short of just going in and blasting every Jumpship on sight, there really is no sure way.", Princes Champion Ardan Sortek replied not realizing that he had confirmed the First Prince's fears.

"Not going to risk it. Time for the Navy to relearn some skills for real. FSS Batavia and FSS Smolensk will accompany the strike force. They will depart immediately and travel to Delos IV via our known uninhabited transit systems. Orders are simple, anything that does not surrender immediately is to be destroyed. I also want the Navy to kick loose more Marines, I want that station secured quickly. Get the Arcadians on station ready to depart as soon as possible. It is time to respond to Colonel Mitchell's message." First Prince Hanse Davion said as he reached for a pen and message slip.


======================================================================================================

To: Colonel Mitchell
From: First Prince Hanse Davion

Per your previous, assistance is on the way. ETA is 1 February 3043. Should be enough to evict the vermin. Also sending two special presents to help out. Link up Delos IV. Good hunting.

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