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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 148 - What Could Go Wrong[]


9th November, 3043
Thazi (Former Outworlds System)


Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Dortman rubbed his temples trying to ward off the impending headache from First Lieutenant Nathan Davis constant pestering over exploration of neighboring systems. This was only compounded when Lieutenant Colonel Gweneth Rolando started wondering out loud when they would liberate Onverwacht. This was then picked up by some of the original founding members of SaRI. And then he had Lieutenant Colonel James Woodall that was almost becoming a hermit studying and comparing battle ROM's, recorded brain patterns of various MechWarriors during the fighting on here on Thazi. He wished Colonel Mitchell would hurry up and return.

Movement caused him to open his eyes a little wider "Captain Croyle, what can I do for you?"

"Sorry to bug you, sir, but I went over the few orbital scans the folks did of Pilon, and think I have a way into that base located." Captain Harold Croyle replied

"Have a seat and tell me what you found." Lieutenant Colonel Dortman said

"Thank you, sir. If that base is like the one here and Wokha, which I have no reason to doubt it is not, then the runways should be on either this end or the other one." Captain Croyle said as he pointed to a blown-up photo he had produced and laid on the desk. "Personally, I think it is right here." He tapped an area on the photo that showed large boulders strewn all over the area.

"What leads you to that conclusion?" Lieutenant Colonel Dortman asked, studying the photo trying to pick out what had clued in Captain Croyle, but he saw nothing.

"For one, there are several very faint oval marks, they look like funny craters. I doubt it was nukes, not big enough. The side of the mountain shows signs of a large or massive landslide. I doubt it was an earthquake, because only this immediate area shows debris signs like this. If I had to take a wild ass guess and that is exactly what I am doing, someone tried to force, as in blow the hanger door open. What they used, I cannot say, but they goofed and collapsed part of the mountain over the area. If this base is like the others, the fuel storage tanks run all along this rear area of the base. If they breached the fuel tank, that would cause one hell of an explosion, probably gutted the interior of the base itself. Or the landslide itself could have somehow breached the fuel tanks, that would shut down the base reactor." Captain Harold Croyle explained

"So, we either have a destroyed base or a powerless base. Let me guess, you want to go dig around on Pilon and try to gain access to the base." Lieutenant Colonel Dortman said

"Yes sir, I do. There is no way we are bringing this base back to life, but if that base over there is intact enough, we can damn sure dismantle it, transport it over here and reinstall everything. All we need to do is restore power to the base systems, like the security computer and door motors to open the main door. After that, it is a pure salvage and recovery job until we get it back here and start putting back together." Captain Croyle replied

His head throbbed a little harder. "Go pry Lieutenant Colonel Woodall away from his ghost hunt and tell him to come see me. Gather your people up and I am giving you two weeks on Pilon, not a second more. Five days to the surface, two weeks on the surface, five days back to the Jump Point, so I expect everyone back in 25 days from departure. I do not want to have to come hunting you down. Any sign of hostiles, it is right back here. Take a Star Lord, I want Aerospace cover for that long of a deployment with you." Lieutenant Colonel Dortman said

"Should be plenty of time. But I will need most of my people to accomplish the work in that time frame." Captain Croyle replied

"Fine. Have Lieutenant Colonel Woodall come see me and you might as well come too. We will hash out the details when you return." Lieutenant Colonel Dortman said


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