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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 142 - What Could Go Wrong[]


16th October, 3043
New Avalon (Federated Commonwealth, FedSuns Capital World)


"So, what do we think?", First Prince Hanse Davion asked the assembled group of advisors.

"Their overall find is chock full of designs we have no records of. Though I compared the TLN-5V Talon Light BattleMech recovered on Thazi to the variant of the same 'Mech, the TLN-5W from Wokha. The only difference is the 5V has a standard PPC and the 5W has an ERPPC. The Crab variants are different, one has Large Pulse Laser, jump jets and XL engine, the other ER Large Lasers but standard engine. But all those and much more is on that recovered design and maintenance database. Professor Igram is convinced that even without working models to examine that every design could be put back into production quickly using it.

Crab (In Snowy Woods - MW5 Nexus Mod version)

Crab Medium 'Mech

The base on Wokha itself is a marvelous design from what I read about it. If we proceed with using Wokha, then it is worth a fair price. Colonel Mitchell's personnel request indicates that they plan to expand to at least a Reinforced Battlemech Regiment, Armor Regiment and at least 2 Infantry Regiments, one actually stressed to be filled with jump qualified people. I am not sure we can provide the number of people without recruiting from the Lyran half more. But I have the perfect senior officer and I am sure he will jump at the offer." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied

"Who do you have in mind, Ardan?" First Prince Hanse Davion asked

"Marshal Herbert Hobaugh." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied

"Are you sure he can handle it? Not worried about his actual abilities, but his mind set." First Prince Hanse Davion asked

"He is much better now. His wounds are healed as best they ever will be. He cannot pilot a Battlemech anymore, but his mind works just fine." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied.

"You know him better than I do, Ardan, go pay him a visit. Maybe take Colonel Mitchell along for the visit, it is his unit after all." First Prince Hanse Davion said


It was early evening when the staff car pulled up outside the neat little cottage. Ardan Sortek and Colonel David Mitchell exited the car and walked up the sidewalk, but Ardan pointed towards the side of the house and Colonel Mitchell followed him into the backyard which overlooked the Albion River. Sitting on a small bench, his back to them both was Marshal Herbert Hobaugh, medically retired from the AFFS in 3040.

"How you feeling today, Herbert?" Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek said out loud.

"I am bored out of my mind, and you know that. But it is nice to get a visit." Marshal Herbert Hobaugh replied as he half turned "And you brought a guest."

"Colonel David Mitchell, meet Marshal Herbert Hobaugh, retired." Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek said

"Good to meet you, Marshal Hobaugh." Colonel Mitchell replied, noting the eye patch over his left eye and the cane.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?" Marshal Hobaugh asked as he braced himself on the cane and stood up.

"You figured out what you want to do?" Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek asked.

"Now that I am released from the looney bin at NAIS? No mercenary command has need of a crippled soldier that can no longer pilot a Battlemech. The AFFC has medically retired me, so I cannot even command a damned militia unit. I am too young at 52 to retire and spend my days fishing. What are you getting at, Ardan?" Marshal Hobaugh said

"Colonel Mitchell here has a job opening that you are perfect for, interested?" Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek replied

"Doing what exactly?" Marshal Hobaugh asked but he was looking at the young Colonel Mitchell and not at Ardan Sortek for his answer.

"I command a mercenary command, Search and Recovery Inc. Currently a combined arms Regiment but we are about to expand to a multi-regiment sized command. Possibly conducting multiple operations at a time. That is beyond my abilities. I need a second-in-command that has experience in controlling that sized of a command. The pay is good, and the bonuses are great." Colonel Mitchell said

"Search and Recovery? Never heard of you. What did you do, win the lottery? Inherit a ton of money like the Kells did?" Marshal Hobaugh replied

"Win the lottery seems to fit what has happened." Colonel Mitchell said

Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek interjected "Look Herbert, they have done some outstanding work so far, even the First Prince is impressed. You fit what they need, you have the skills they need and more important, you have the security clearance that is needed. I can get you a reserve commission to go with whatever rank the Colonel decides to give you, now, are you interested, or shall we leave, and you can return to stewing in your boredom?"

"Yeah, I am interested. Sure as hell beats sitting around here for the next 40 years or so until I drop dead. So, what exactly did I just sign on for?" Marshal Herbert Hobaugh replied

"Your going to love it. Start packing because you will be leaving in a couple days, and we will get you briefed in before you leave.", Sortek told him.


Author Note/Background
Marshal Herbert Hobaugh, former commander 3rd Davion Guards RCT. During the War of 3039 was assumed killed during a DEST raid on Vega. He was badly wounded, losing his left eye and a right knee. He spent over a year at the NAIS undergoing medical treatment and suffered major depression when he was medically retired from the AFFS/AFFC. Not married, the AFFS was his entire life, married to the job. His forced retirement was a crushing event in his life. With no civilian skill set, plus his injuries which prevent any sort of combat role, he mentally considered himself useless.

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