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Chapter 51 - What Could Go Wrong[]

27 October 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth, FedSun State)

Sergeant Major Chester Pullman carefully watched his people moving their possessions into their brand new quarters. Construction was still being done on the large dining facility, two large warehouses and their own fuel storage facility, the storage facility had only just been approved after quite a few small "fights" between Sergeant Major Pullman and the Space Ports private fuel provider, who did not want to lose the revenue stream. He turned to look at the Dropship parking pads closest to their compound. Their Monarch Dropship was parked there, having all of its work completed and next to it was the newest arrival, a Union Dropship that had long ago been converted to carry 2 Squadrons of Aerospace fighters. When it arrived, he had Chief Engineer Jones take a look at it, and the report he got back was as bad as all the other ship reports he had seen. Not being an expert, he left it sitting out there. A couple of the fighter jocks had gone aboard and taken a look at it, and also had come back very unimpressed. With only 25 tons worth of supplies and fuel for each fighter, they did not care for it at all.

It had taken Adept Leon Hernandez and several of his strike team over a week to find a good vantage point to watch the newly constructed compound that was now being occupied by their targets. But the new compound still presented problems for them, during construction, their targets had cleared a 300 meter area around their outer fence. Even going so far as to level the ground, making a perfect killing ground. Their outer fence was a double fence of concertina wire, each fence consisting of 6 coils total 2 deep and 3 high. This presented a problem since their Tornado suits did not have jump jets on them. Every morning and every evening a detail of 7 soldiers worked the concertina fence removing any debris that had attached itself to the fence. This kept the barricade clear of obstructions but also told Adept Hernandez that they probably had motion detectors wired into the barricade.

He focused his binoculars on one of the small "storage" buildings set on each corner of the compound with another on each side between the corner sheds. Squat and built of ferro crete, small "windows" that were wider than they were tall. Firing slits, though no weapons were visible in them. He compared what he saw with a set of drawings they had secured from the local building authority. It looked like a classic Federated Suns fire base, the perimeter that is. Except instead of sandbags, they had ferro crete. A jeep pulled up to one of the sheds and two armed soldiers got out and entered the shed, a few minutes later, two soldiers exited the shed and got into the back of the jeep. Changing of the guard. The jeep moved to the next shed and this was repeated. He checked his watch, only three hour shifts, trying to keep the guard's alert. I bet there is a reaction force inside that rotates to the sheds, he thought as he made notes. He knew that half the unit had departed, where to he had no clue, but his primary targets had left with it. They would wait to strike when they returned.

Joshua (Former Outworld System)

After broaching the idea of asking Quintus Allard for assistance, Agent Jessica Hammel had jumped at the idea of going back to Inner End and sending a message. This had caused the Command Group to look at each other with some concern.

"Jessica, sending any message, even coded via HPG might not be the best idea. You know this." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"We have our ways of sending messages securely. Maybe my special equipment request if there waiting for me. You are going to have to trust me on this one." Agent Jessica Hammel replied

Leftenant Colonel Mitchell looked around at each of the Command Group before saying "Alright. I will brief Sarah on what we need, maybe she can help solve this problem we have. I really do not want to be here a year from now still recovering stuff."

Outside, down in the storage depot, the assembled technicians were lighting off the last of the fusion reactors. Sergeant Penelope Rodgers, a Senior Technician, was supervising the work being done. It amazed her that after almost 300 years of being cold, that they had not encountered any issues. The SLDF sure knew how to store equipment long term. While she was a Battlemech technician, her actual specialty was in the Fusion reactors that acted as their beating hearts. She had heard of the Striker Assault Mech, but had never seen or worked on one before, just that they were super rare. Studying the Strikers weapons, she had not been overly impressed. It just could not employ its firepower effectively with its cooling system. Even if the pilot selected to fire just the Large Laser and Medium Lasers in a close in fight, he would find himself building up heat even standing still. She had been to the Recovered Technology course before deciding to leave the AFFS. They had taught her how to service Double Heat Sinks, XL Fusion Engines and the new weapons coming back online, though painfully slow. But also of Endo Steel, which was critical in the manufacture of just about all the new tech now entering service. The loss of Endo Steel production had been what had caused the extinction of so many other technologies. The NAIS instructors had explained that until they could manufacture Endo Steel in the quantity that was needed, it would be slow going. Building the orbital factories was expensive and time consuming, not to mention training a work force how to manufacture something that had not been produced in centuries.

What I really need is to convince Master Sergeant Caldwell to let me have access to some of those Double Heat Sinks back at base, straight up swap for the Single Heat Sinks the Striker has now. Plenty of room for the larger heat sinks, the NAIS taught us how to do field refits just for occasions like this., she thought.

Senior Technician Sally McCormick was deeper in the depot, her current task was checking out the various spare weapons in storage. Double checking what showed on the computer versus what was actually here. She slowly walked down rows of shipping crates checking what they contained and making careful marks on her pad. But she had also counted spare parts. So far, she had counted:

36 HellStar PPC (7,200,000)
36 Chalker Model 25 PPC (7,200,000)
36 Holly-10 LRM-10 Launcher (3,600,000)
36 Defiance B3L Large Laser (3,600,000)
108 Hellion-b II Medium Laser (4,320,000)
108 Class-5 Pontiac Autocannon (13,500,000)
216 Amdecker 300 Large Laser (21,600,000)
288 Ramsey-65 Machine Gun (1,440,000)
144 Diverse Optics Type 2 Medium Laser (5,760,000)
72 Bical SRM-2 Launcher (720,000)
36 GM Whirlwind Class 5 Autocannon (4,500,000)
72 Defiance B3M Medium Laser (2,880,000)
72 Holly-15 LRM-15 Launcher (12,600,000)
72 Holly-2 SRM-4 Launcher (4,320,000)
620 SureFire MiniGun (3,100,000)
300 Tons Acbar 55 Ferro-Fibrous (6,000,000)
800 Tons PanzerSlab Standard Armor (8,000,000)
1500 Tons Durallex Standard Armor (15,000,000)
500 Tons BAR 10 Armor (2,500,000)
400 Single Heat Sinks (800,000)
7,000 Tons Assorted Spare Parts (Actuators, Tires, Track Sections, Myomer, Electronics, Cockpit Glass, Pots, Pans, Food Trays, Stoves, Ovens, Utensils)

Total Weight - 15,282 Tons
Total Value - 128,640,000 C-Bills

She whistled slowly, and this only was the total that she knew the cost of off the top of her head, she had no clue what the other 7,000 tons of misc items were worth. Hell, just the spare parts lone more than paid for this single operation in her opinion.

While others were doing their assigned task, Sergeant Nathan Davis had been trying to establish the value of all the large ticket items they had recovered. Since he only had the SLDF assigned value to work off of, he used those figures to do his calculations. He figured he was done, so he sat back and smiled looking at the number he had come up with.

108 Armored Personnel Carrier (MG), Small, Hover (6,949,800)
108 Armored Personnel Carrier (MG), Small, Track (6,949,800)
108 Armored Personnel Carrier (MG), Small, Wheel (6,949,800)
72 Merkava MK VIII, Main Battle Tank, Track (275,616,000)
36 Burke, Fire Support, Tank, Track (110,722,500)
36 LTV-4, Tank, Hover (56,004,000)
72 Condor Cavalry, Tank, Hover (92,808,000)
108 Turhan, Tank, Wheel (132,367,500)
12 Prometheus Combat Support, Tank, Track (18,048,192)
36 Ballista, Artillery, Track (36,535,068)
216 Sherpa, Cargo, Wheel (49,089,024)
108 Sherpa, Fuel, Wheel (33,839,000)
24 Sherpa, Kitchen, Wheel (6,000,000)
24 Sherpa, MASH, Wheel (7,680,000)
24 Sherpa, HQ, Wheel (9,600,000)
36 Striker, Battlemech, Heavy (277,963,000)
72 Wasp, Battlemech, Light (118,558,000)
24 Wayland Mobile Base, Track (74,000,000)
36 Vlar 300 Fusion, Crated, New (64,800,000)
36 GM 180 Fusion, Crated, New (18,000,000)
12 GM 150 Fusion, Crated, New (3,000,000)
12 Pitban 320 Fusion, Crated, New (19,200,000)
24 GM 120 Fusion, Crated, New (6,000,000)
3,000 Automatic Rifle, Crated, New (6,000,000)
18,000 Magazine Rifle, Crated, New (180,000)
9,000 Automatic Pistol, Crated, New (4,500,000)
27,000 Magazine Pistol, Crated, New (135,000)

Total Value - 1,441,495,084 C-Bills

Screw getting a degree in computers. Hell, screw going to college at all!, he thought as his head did the fast math. Everyone was looking at a 1.3 Million bonus from this haul. I would not be surprised if a few just flat out retire after this mission.

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