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Chapter 123 - What Could Go Wrong[]

31 May 3043
Wokha (Former Outworlds System)

Colonel Bradley Andrews dismounted his BLR-1D Battlemaster and walked to where Colonel David Mitchell stood outside of the Intrusive, SaRI's Intruder Class Assault Dropship and mobile headquarters. He stuck out his hand which was shaken by Colonel Mitchell.

"Good to see you, Colonel Andrews, let me guess, Davion went crying to you."

"He did. I don't know what went down between you two, but he is all fire and brimstone about it." Colonel Andrews replied

"What did you tell him?" Colonel Mitchell asked

"I had to think about it. My contract is with Challenge Systems officially, not the Federated Commonwealth itself. Though we are both smart enough to know who is actually paying the bills and that puts me in a difficult spot." Colonel Andrews replied

"Yes, it does, and I am sorry about that. But we have performed to the letter on our contracts with the Federated Commonwealth. There is no way that little worm is forcing me to do anything." Colonel Mitchell said

"Okay, but where does that leave us? I have no desire to pick a fight, but at the same time, he is the duly appointed representative for the Federated Commonwealth. What exactly is so damned important about what your doing over by the mountains? I know you found something, I have heard no fighting over this way, but you built a big, damned cemetery and have been burying a ton of folks." Colonel Andrews replied

"Long dead, Colonel. We are not slaughtering people if that is what your asking. We are just making sure those people have the proper burial that they deserve and rest under the flag that they proudly served." Colonel Mitchell said

"A Star league flag, so you did find a Star League base of some sort. What is in it?" Colonel Andrews asked

"That Colonel, I will not tell you. But I can probably arrange for several hundred tons or more of SLDF combat rations to be delivered to your people if you want them." Colonel Mitchell said

"Your not giving me much information to make a decision on, Colonel." Colonel Andrews replied

"You will just have to make the gut decision, Colonel Andrews. Davion is going to run into a massive ferrocrete wall real soon, one that he might not recover from. I hope you do not make the same mistake as he has made." Colonel Mitchell said

"You are pretty confident that you are on solid ground here, that you can win control of your find, even against the Federated Commonwealth itself." Colonel Andrews replied

"Very confident. As you said earlier, we both know who is paying the bills. The one paying my actual bills has way more horsepower than Lieutenant Colonel Davion has. Now, since you are here, have we located the head honcho of the pirates yet? Because that is a concern, my sources tell me that the ships aboard the Olympus belonged to another pirate band, not the one down here. We know they have another system under their control, just not where it is, not yet anyway." Colonel Mitchell said

"Nothing yet. If we knew where they were, I would be open to taking them out first. But how can we figure that out?" Colonel Andrews asked

"We have gotten really good at studying navigational records. I am trying to get my hands on those from the Merchant Jumpships from Rear Admiral Vickery, but he is being difficult. Seems Davion has been talking to him, but he has not made any hostile moves against my people up at the Jump Point, yet." Colonel Mitchell said

"If he does? I am not keen on being stranded out here. That Monolith and your Jumpships are our only ride out of here. That really puts me in a hard place." Colonel Andrews replied

"I have both my fingers crossed that he will wait for further orders from higher before taking any action." Colonel Mitchell said

"That will be months if not a year for a question and answer. There is not enough food on this place to feed us for a year. I am already getting worried about that problem. The people here say they got food shipments via Dropship. The soil just will not allow any type of crop to grow. Never has, so I am told." Colonel Andrews replied

"Then maybe we use that against Admiral Vickery to give me access to those navigational tapes. We find the pirates other holding, maybe we can feed these people. I don't think the Admiral has the stomach to sentence several hundred thousand people to starvation." Colonel Mitchell said

Down in the SLDF base, First Lieutenant Nathan Davis was at work inside the computer system of the 200th Royal Light Horse, which was also linked to the bases main computer system. A small box sat on the desk next to him and it contained 37 recovered security "keys" from the remains buried. These would be locked aboard Intrusive when he returned for the night after finishing his first task, identifying what they actually had on their hands. He had the current TO&E of the 200th Royal Light Horse displayed on the monitor, and it was not a short list at all.

2765 Inventory 200th Royal Light Horse

Regiment Command Company
(4) Phoenix Hawk, PHX-1b
(6) Padilla Artillery Tanks
(2) Prime Movers
(4) Rifleman II, RFL-3N-2

First Battalion
(12) Mongoose, MON-66b
(12) Hermes, HER-1Sb
(12) Talon, TLN-5W

Second Battalion (24) Crab, CRB-27b
(12) Kyudo, KY2-D-02

Third Battalion
(24) Lynx, LNX-9Q
(12) Dervish, DV-6Md

Regimental Support (12) Battlemech Recovery Vehicle (Hvy)
(12) Coolant Truck (Hover)
(4) Wayland Mobile Base
(4) Scavengermech, SC-V Salvagemech
(12) Powerman Loader Mechs
(24) Prime Mover
(12) BFFL Buffalo
(24) Truck, Cargo

200th Aero Group
(6) Samurai, SL-26
(12) Ironsides, IRN-SD1b

3328th Hover Armor Battalion
(36) Zephry (Royal)

4287th Infantry Regiment (Para)
{8) Vector Gunship VTOL
(4) Vector Scout VTOL
(24) Vector Transport VTOL

2597th Engineer Brigade
(12) Engineering Vehicle
(24) Leesups Dump Trucks
(24) Brunel Dump Trucks
{8) Corx Mobile Tunnel Miner
(4) Dromedary Water Transport
(12) Daedalus, GTX2A
(12) Sherpa Fuel Trucks

200th Royal Light Horse Transport
(3) Lee Dropship (Mech)
(2) Lee Dropship (Arm/Inf)

He saved the list to a disc and then printed a hard copy, he did not bother with printing out the thousands of tons of spare parts, armor, weapons, toilet paper and other items stored inside the base. He had no clue what most of this stuff even was, only that it was worth some money.

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