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Chapter 33 - What Could Go Wrong[]

21 June 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

"Sir, I have flown Stukas, Corsairs, and Sparrowhawks. I thought I was a Corsair pilot for life, but you corrupted me with that Rapier. I do not know where the hell you found them, but that is one sweet ride." Commodore Noble said

"Glad you liked her. We found them and some others where we will be heading in about 2 weeks. Another recovery operation. But I was planning on taking 2 Hellcat with me for this mission. I am told they have twice the fuel as your Rapiers and I need the long range they can provide." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

"Well shit, so I get to sit this out huh?" Commodore Noble asked

"Afraid so, but your my Air Wing Commander if that softens the blow any. Take the time, get your people used to working with each other. Soon, the Union CV will be here and the other ships, then everyone starts going ont he missions." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"I need more tech teams. That is top of the list. My own tech teams, not borrowed ones. Maybe an extra team or two in case we need some extra hands. You get me what I need, and I will give you the best Air Wing anyone has ever seen." Commodore Noble replied

"Sergeant Major Pullman is working on that problem along with the extra ship crews. He is already talking about maybe heading to Outreach to see who can be hired there and such." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Honestly, sir, I think hiring from Outreach is the wrong answer. Too much vetting would be needed. The way we arrived and learned about this is the way to go about this. Nothing overt, just pick and choose those already getting out of the AFFS. Quite a few of them are, those that are not keen on working under Lyran social warriors anyway." Commodore Noble replied

"Well, get with Sergeant Major Pullman, maybe between the two of you another miracle will occur." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

Tossing a quick salute, Commodore Noble left the small office to go hunt down Sergeant Major Pullman. Leftenant Colonel Mitchell returned to packing for the upcoming mission. He would be taking a shuttle with the other new people to the Invader Jumpship and Intruder Dropship tonight.

New Avalon (Federated Commonwealth)

"This report from Inner End is interesting don't you think, Dad." Justin Allard, Intelligence Secretary, asked his father sitting in the plus chair.

"Are we sure this is not some false flag? What are the odds that some random group managed to defeat a ROM strike team AND recover 3 of those fancy suits they wore?" Quintus Allard replied

"Agent Jessica Hammel is convinced. She is very good; all her people are loyal to her." Justin Allard said

"But she is also young. Sometimes it takes an old hand to smell out a rat. And this old hand detects and odor, a foul odor." Quintus Allard replied

"Well, the suits are on their way here to the NAIS for study. If your so sure there is an odor, how about you take a little trip and locate it. I can think of no one better." Justin Allard challenged

"Maybe I should. Are you sure you can keep the realm safe without me?" Quintus Allard tossed back.

"Fifty Fifty, place your bets." Justin Allard said with a laugh.

Terra (Comstar)

Precentor ROM Charles Seneca looked at the men across from him for a few minutes before finally speaking. "Go to Inner End and get to the bottom of this mess. I cannot believe that some unknowns eliminated one of our strike teams. It had to be MI6, if so, find out what they are doing on Inner End. There is absolutely nothing out there."

"Yes, Precentor Seneca. If we do find MI6 there?" Adept Leon Hernandez asked

"Eliminate them all. Now leave as soon as possible." Precentor ROM Seneca said with a wave of his hand dismissing the double strike team.

Outreach (Wolfs Dragoons)

Colonel Stanford Blake, Wolfnet Commander, accepted the folder from the young lady "Thank you, Irene." He waited for her to leave before opening the slim folder and began to read. He quickly saw that the folder was from one of his people assigned to watch for anything interesting about new Mercenary applicants. So, someone wanted to register a Mercenary unit currently on Inner End, the location of the unit alone raised an eyebrow. Flipping thru the forms, he saw that everything looked in order. He looked at the name Search and Recovery Inc, not the most fear inducing of names. He scanned the background brief, and it caused a few more tingles to the hairs on the back of his neck.

Two Infantry Companies
Two Aerospace Squadrons
Invader Jumpship
Intruder DropShipship

It was rare that a new command already had a Dropship, much less a Jumpship, yet this unit had both. He pulled up everything they had on Inner End, he spent almost an hour looking before tripping over a news report of a group being convicted for piracy, their ships impounded. Well now, that is quite a coincidence., he thought to himself. But if this group was pirate hunting in the Periphery, in that neck of the woods, that was not good, not good at all.

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