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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 233 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Thazi (Independent System)
13th August, 3046

Professor Hiram Ingram was proud of the technical teams that had been working on the recovered Battlemechs from Onverwacht. They had spent the first six months back from Onverwacht just studying the various parts to sort out what was worth working on and then they had finally begun work trying to reassemble them. Even going so far as taking the various salvaged parts to rebuild 9 additional Battlemechs. But they had finally completed the massive task, adding 57 Battlemechs to the SaRI inventory. As the more complicated work had been completed, he had begun looking over what could be done with the Battlemechs of the 199th Light Horse.

It became rapidly apparent that any changes would be fairly simple to make. The TLN-5V Talon was a simple upgrade, just swap the standard PPC for a ER PPC and it was now a TLN-5W. The Crab's CRB-27 was also a pretty simple upgrade, Double Heat Sinks and replace the standard Large Lasers for ER Large Lasers to produce the CRB-27b. They did not have any XL Fusion Engines to turn the Mongoose's MON-66 into a MON-66b, so he started playing with the Merlin, simply drawing up possible upgrades, consulting with the techs until they all agreed with a new variant. He took that to Brigadier General Herbert Horbaugh.

"We can upgrade the Merlin Battlemechs to advanced technology. It will not impact their maintenance needs any, the techs are getting really good at maintaining the systems now. My calculations show that it will take about a month per Merlin, only because we are moving some weapons systems around and adding in others. I propose that we remove the 18 Single Heat Sinks and replace them with 15 Double Heat Sinks. The standard PPC goes away and is replaced with a ER PPC. The right arm Medium Laser is moved to the left arm with the other Medium Laser. We add a Small Pulse Laser to the right arm, remove the machine gun and ammo. Flamer moves from the left torso to the head. We drop the LRM/5 but relocate a SRM/6 in its place to the center torso and the ammo in the left torso. We then max out the armor by boosting it to 12.5 tons of standard plate with the remaining weight saved.

It should have minimal heat buildup on a jumping Alpha, but I honestly doubt that will ever be a real issue in an actual combat situation or at least one that can be easily compensated for by the pilot. It increases the engagement range initially while increasing the close in firepower and staying power. The Small Pulse Laser easily replaces the machine gun and is not limited by ammunition for anti-infantry work. The techs and I agree that this upgrade is the best one possible with what we have on hand and no need for outside support.", Professor Hiram Ingram said

"I am not sure I like taking a full Battalion offline to make these upgrades. But if you agree to cycle them in, say a company at a time, I will agree to the upgrades.", Brigadier General Horbaugh replied

"That is easy to agree to sir. I also want to upgrade the 199th Light Horse Battlemechs, the Talon and Crab's. Those are easy upgrades. Simple Double Heat Sink and weapons upgrades. We can easily complete this while working on the Merlins. We have completed the work on the recovered Battlemechs from Onverwacht and the 199th can swap their CRB-27 for the CRB-27b version. They will only be down their Talons for a couple days." Professor Ingram said

"Make it happen, Professor. Leave me a list of what you plan to do and what is available now." Brigadier General Horbaugh replied.

Refurbished Onverwacht Battlemechs

3x Thunderbolt, TDR-5S
3x Archer, ARC-2R
14x Thug, THG-11Eb
4x Archer, ARC-2Rb
5x Thunderbolt, TDR-5Sb
14x Night Hawk, NTK-2Q
14x Crab, CRB-27b

Proposed Upgrades to 199th Light Horse

Talon, TLN-5V to TLN-5W
Crab, CRB-27 to CRB-27b

Merlin upgrade

Linden (Former Outworlds System)

"Why does this Shipyard look so different than any other I have seen?" Chief Engineer Vincent Zuniga said more to himself than anyone else as he wandered the halls.

Work crews of locals were being ferried over to help bring the station back to life and perform some long overdue maintenance on the machinery. He was used to a more rounded hull shape on the few shipyards he had been on but this one seemed to be squarer. He stopped to study a hull joint which was covered by a thin plastic strip for some reason. He popped the plastic strip off to expose the joint itself. What the hell, he thought as he looked at what was clearly a thick rubber seal between the two hull sections, held together with a row of bolts and nuts. He knew this was not anything he had seen before, normally all hulls were welded and then pressure tested. Why the seal and why bolts?, he thought.

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