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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 182 - What Could Go Wrong[]


Onverwacht (Former Outworld System)
2nd November, 3044


Dropships launched the day before for the Nadir Jump Point and the waiting Star Lord Class Jumpship. All five Lee Dropships and the recently captured Jumbo Cargo Dropship. The SaRI Marines, Two Aerospace squadrons were riding escort for the ships packed with civilians and the new recruits with Staff Sergeant Adolfo, 8,042 in total. The other former pirates would not return to begin their true "testing" until the rest of the unit departed. Major General David Mitchell and Chief Warrant Officer Harry Caldwell were also returning, both needed to prepare to handle the major influx of new residents on Thazi.

On the surface, with not much else to do but wait, Colonel Alfred Dortman and Colonel Gweneth Rolando both agreed that they might as well continue recovering any leftover SLDF equipment. With Cadet Michi Nagomi leading the way, they quickly learned what to look for and engineers brought equipment to the various long dormant battlefields to excavate the downed units for any salvage. Aided by Vector VTOLs they scanned they pushed out further than the pirates had in their hunts for downed equipment.

On his Lee Class Dropship, Major General Mitchell hated leaving his command once again, but he knew it had to be done. He made his way to where Chief Warrant Officer Caldwell was huddled with the Lee's chief engineer. Once he reached them, he took a seat and looked at the various drawings and calculations both were working on. It was all Greek to him, so he asked what they were working on.

"We are running the numbers to figure out a quicker way to get the people moved. The Lees are special, seems the SLDF used the same setup for the Armor/Infantry version as for the Battlemech version. Basically, the three Battlemech versions have extra environmental systems that are not needed. The chief here estimates it would take 3 months to add in full bore infantry bays to the Jumbo and such. Even then, it only allows, if we install the extra environmental systems, about 14,000 people. We then ran the numbers on the Mammoth. If we add in the extra environmental systems, in theory we can lift ALL the remaining civilians in a single lift. It will be a very unpleasant trip that would require a dedicated supply ship for the trip up to the Jump Point and also another one on arrival at Thazi.

But, if we can setup a Command Circuit, we can have that Mammoth to Thazi within a single day. It is the trip to and from the Jump Points that will push the ships systems to the limit. Those 9 days of travel will push the ships systems to the breaking point without some serious external support. But, in theory, it can be done." Chief Warrant Officer Caldwell replied

"Rough odds of a catastrophe happening?" Major General Mitchell asked

"25% is my best guess sir. We will be pushing the systems the very brink of failure. That is a bunch of people making a roughly 10 day trip. But there is precedent, it has been done before in emergency evacuations of planets during the various wars." Chief Engineer John Yancy replied

"I will think it over. Not sure I like those odds of failure. Outside of doing a major overhaul on a valuable cargo ship, start working on some sort of quick install setup. Something we can rapidly install on a cargo Dropship to boost passenger loads in case we ever need it again. I am not keen on leaving people on their own out here and this could happen again." Major General Mitchell said before leaving both to their work.

This is where extra communication would work wonders, but I do not have the means, he thought as he made his way to the ships bridge.


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