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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 31 - What Could Go Wrong[]


18 June 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)


Captain David Mitchell watched all the newly arriving people file into the large warehouse. Once everyone had taken a seat, he tapped the small microphone causing a screech of protest from the various small speakers. Wincing he said "I guess it really is on. Welcome to Search and Rescue Inc. I am sure you all have a thousand questions, so I will try and hit all the high points. First, your pay and rank will be exactly as it was in the AFFS or AFFC. Regular paychecks but with the addition of 30% of any funds we get selling salvage divided equally among every member of the unit, regardless of rank. Now before anyone asks, we just issued the first bonus checks, and it came to 100,000 per person. For a year's work, some not even a year with the unit. All get paid the same bonus when it comes time to pay.

We have suffered losses already, and if, God forbid, anyone else is lost, their family will receive 1 Million C-Bills. This is paid out directly from the unit, it is not an insurance policy where they have to jump thru a ton of hoops to collect. Our current mission area is the Periphery. We will probably be spending quite a bit of time out there on our own. Currently we are 2 Infantry Company's strong with an engineer Platoon, and with some of you new arrivals, we can add 2 Aerospace squadrons to our roster. Though we are registering as a mercenary command, I really do not plan to actually take us into that line of work at this time. If ever we do, we will NEVER take any sort of contract against the Federated Commonwealth. Currently, all of us came from the Federated Suns or Federated Commonwealth, we will never fight against our friends and family. So, rest easy on that issue.

Sergeant Major Chester Pullman will be remaining on Inner End with a small detail as rear detachment. Says he is too old to go dancing among the stars. He answers to me and me alone. Inner End will be our base of operations for the foreseeable future. Currently our housing is a little cramped, but we just purchased 40 acres of ground on the other side of the Space Port. Our engineers are already working with the local authorities for permits to construct our new permanent home. The housing will have single occupancy suites, no more barracks bays when on the surface. Each will have a bedroom, private kitchen, private bathroom and a small living room. Each building will house 60 suites, 20 to a floor and be 3 stories tall. Each will have a large common room, game room, large work out areas. We will also have a dedicated mess facility for those that don't want to cook for themselves. We got the ground cheap, because noise from the Space Port keeps everyone away. I have given very clear orders that the buildings are to be as sound proofed as we can make them in addition to having window shades dark enough to block out any engine flares. We will also be building our own warehouses and hangers and are working on getting approval from the Space Port authorities for a direct access ramp to the runways. Until these quarters are constructed, we have converted part of this warehouse into platoon sized bays.

Most of you are spacers anyway, so for you all we currently own a Invader Jumpship and Intruder Assault Dropship currently at the Nadir Jump Point. A shuttle will take you all up there to your new playground. We are also expecting a Star Lord Jumpship, two Monarch Passenger Dropships, Union CV Fighter Carrier, and Mule Cargo Dropship. I got word yesterday that all were on the way. With the Union CV being the last to arrive in December of this year. The others should be arriving around August to October with ferry crews aboard them. Once they arrive, we might do some reshuffling of crews, but that is down the road so we will not concern ourselves with that for now. We will not be wasting much time here as I already have a mission planned and we will be leaving within a month. We are awaiting the arrival of a vital piece of our operation, when she arrives, we load up and depart. A more detailed mission plan will be given before actual departure.

For you fly boys, we have some treats for you. We have in our possession 6 RPR-101 Rapier and 6 HCT-213R Hellcat Aerospace fighters for you all to play with. I am not a flyboy, so that is about all I can tell you about them. But those fighters are brand spanking new, right out of a shipping container. We do have some good Aerospace techs, but only 3 of them. We are working on getting more. Until then, Master Sergeant Harry Caldwell, who is in command of our technicians on the ground, Chief Engineer Vincent Zuniga commands the Jumpship and Dropship technical crews, has spent quite a bit of money on beer and food making friends with the local militia Aerospace techs. There is only a single squadron of AFFC fighters assigned to the locals, so maintenance is going to be a bitch, but he thinks they can cover the workload so you folks can get used to your new planes. Hopefully we can get the locals to help us out with that issue, especially since he has spent almost a Million C-Bills on some much-needed spare parts for their planes.

My name is Captain David Mitchell, commanding officer of Search and Recovery Inc. Any questions or issues, my door is always open." As he stepped away from the microphone, Sergeant Major Pullman grabbed the mic.

"About that, sir. We took a vote and Captain is not a rank to be commanding this sized outfit. So, we promoted you. You have earned it, Leftenant Colonel Mitchell." He said


19 June 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)


"Captain Brackus Geovani and A Company will be the first to undergo training from our four specialists Sergeant Major Pullman arranged for us." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said to the gathered personnel of A Company. He pointed to each specialist in turn "This is Master Sergeant Dickens, Sergeant Andrews, Sergeant Bales and Sergeant Estevez. They are Drill Instructors from the AFFC Marines. On loan to us for 3 months. So, I will be taking only Lieutenant Sanders platoon on the next mission, while the rest of you and B Company undergo Zero G combat training along with forced boarding tactics and anti-boarding tactics. Rank will have no privileges during this training. These 4 Marines are in complete command of your training, so do not come crying to me about anything about what they do. Everyone clear on that?"

"YES SIR!!" Came the return shout.

Turning to Master Sergeant Dickens he said "They are all yours, Master Sergeant Dickens." He got a quick salute from Master Sergeant Dickens and then.

"GET YOUR ASSES OUTSIDE FOR PT. WE NEED TO GET YOUR SORRY ASSES IN SHAPE!!!!!! MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!!!!" He watched as all 4 Marines seemed to be everywhere at once yelling at someone. Smiling he thought, sure glad I don't have to go thru that crap.


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