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Chapter 56 - What Could Go Wrong[]

14 November 3041
Joshua (Former Outworld System)

"I can tell you one thing; my guys are not hand sweeping no damned rock walls anymore. We get back, I am going to search for a go anywhere method. Damned Star League Engineers got nothing better to do that setup dummy sites. Burned up my rock drills, wore out my rock cutters all so I can find a plaque mocking me buried by some smart asses 300 years ago. I am not wasting my time again. We get back, the Colonel better be ready cause I am going to spend a crap ton of money. Next time, I am going to know where to dig and how deep to dig. Plus, I will have whatever is needed to get the job done quickly. Stupid jerks." Master Sergeant Croyle muttered more to himself than anyone else.

"Your just pissed you never did it to some Drac or Cappie but it happened to you. The Colonel is not going to put up any resistance to having what we need to accomplish the mission quickly. You find it, tell him you need it, and he will get it. Easy as that." Captain Gweneth Rolando said

"Look down radar, Infrared imager, Hi Res camera, everything possible. I am not joking, I am setup for simple digging, clearing and building. Not hard-core mining operations looking for some little bitty hidden door. More dump trucks, more of everything." Master Sergeant Croyle muttered

At the Nadir Jump Point, Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell, now aboard their Invader Class Jumpship, SaRI Express and keyed the radio "We will be back as fast as we can Chief. You sure this is a good idea? I just cannot get this bad feeling out of my gut about leaving."

Aboard the Olympus Station, Chief Zuniga replied "Just go already. Faster you leave, faster you get back. I am just going to move all the small items up here, probably one more trip, while your gone. At least then, shuttles can transfer the stuff up here while we load the big stuff down on the ground."

"Okay. Back as fast as I can. Mitchell is out." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said and then he looked at Ship Master Sarah Campbell "Take us home, Sarah, quick as we can get there, please."

15 November 3041

After making sure the unloading of the Mule Cargo Dropship was in good hands, Chief Zuniga suited up in an EVA suit. Once he was fully suited up, he opened an airlock near the docked tug. He wanted to take a better look why it was still here. Carefully he worked his way over the side of the station until he was touching the docking assembly. "Got you. Looks like a weapons hit buggered the latch holding you in place. Did it good too." He muttered to no one.

He shifted position slightly until he could see even better. "You did try to pull yourself loose, bent the crap out of the stations frame. But your locked in tight, exhausted your fuel. Well, some cutting, and I will have you free, your just going to have to wait a bit longer my dear, just a little longer." Chief Zuniga said softly, slowly patting the front of the tug.

Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

Captain Blythe Hudson, Executive Officer SaRI Fighter Wing, did not like the fact that the Titan Fighter Carrier Dropship was basically neutered. Though she had the absolute bare minimum of crew aboard, which Chief Zuniga had managed to accomplish by robbing a few crew from the Invader Jumpship and Intruder Assault Dropship, which had also left the mission ships running on short crews. Plus, there was the fact that she could only launch a pair of Aerospace Fighters, the rest were on the surface, for immediate defense. She had ordered the Titan further away from the Station and the traffic it generated. If trouble came, she planned to run for the planet while the ground fighters came up to help. The ship had weapons galore, but without trained gunners might as well be defenseless.

New Avalon (Federated Commonwealth, FedSuns State Capital)

Quintus Allard might be retired, but he still put in a lot of time with First Prince Hanse Davion and his son Justin Allard, Intelligence Secretary of the Federated Commonwealth. Currently, he was sitting in "his" office 2 doors from First Prince Hanse Davions that he used when on New Avalon. He was scanning the submitted lists from Command Sergeant Majors Grimes and Vanderhoff, who had pulled out all the stops in their "recruitment" drive. He smiles as he slowly counted the numbers, and it looked like Command Sergeant Major Grimes had added Pullman's request to his. That gives them extra people then. Command Sergeant Major Vanderhoff had deviated a little, in some ways a lot. He even liked the neat orderly way they had both submitted the lists.

Command Sergeant Major Vanderhoff (Army)'s Command

36 Battlemech MechWarriors - 13 Former Davion Brigade of Guards (New Avalon), 6 Former First FSAC (Ziliang), 7 Former 1st Argyle Lancers (Unukalhai), 10

Former FedCom Corps (Assorted)

180 Armor Crew - Davion Brigade of Guards (New Avalon)
112 Infantry - Davion Brigade of Guards (New Avalon)
56 Engineers - Assorted Commands and Locations
40 Senior Mechanics - Assorted Commands and Locations
200 Mechanics - Assorted Commands and Locations
36 BM Techs Senior - Assorted Commands and Locations
216 BM Techs - Assorted Commands and Locations

Command Sergeant Major Grimes' Command

36 Aerospace Pilots - Davion Brigade of Guards, FedCom Corps, Crucis Lancers
48 Senior AS Techs - Assorted Commands and Locations
320 AS Techs - Assorted Commands and Locations
13 Jumpship Pilots - Assorted Commands and Locations
6 Jumpship Navigators - Assorted Commands and Locations
8 Jumpship Engineers - Assorted Commands and Locations
63 Jumpship Crew - Assorted Commands and Locations
32 Dropship Pilots - Assorted Commands and Locations
18 Dropship Engineers - Assorted Commands and Locations
180 Dropship Crew - Assorted Commands and Locations
56 Marines - Assorted Commands and Locations

A copy containing all the names had already been sent to MIIO with a personal note asking for these background checks be completed as quick as possible and returned to him soonest. A cough caused him to look up from his small desk, he smiled when he saw First Prince Hanse Davion in the door. "Your retired, but your working as hard as you ever did." First Prince Hanse Davion said

"Old dog doesn't learn new tricks. I only know one way to work, Hanse." Quintus Allard replied

"Well, knock off and join us for dinner." First Prince Hanse Davion said then pointed to the papers Quintus still held "I assume those are for your new pet project?"

"Yes, once I get the ground laid firmly, I can relax more." Quintus Allard replied while slipping the papers into a folder and then the folder into a small safe.

"Uh Huh, should I be concerned about this pet project of yours? I got a call from Ardan, he said the Davion Guards are losing quite a few people to retirement or end of service terms. People who would normally reup. He told me that when asked, they replied they got better offers. Care to explain that coincidence to me , Quintus?" First Prince Hanse Davion said

"Not really. But yes, they are going to Search and Rescue Inc. Tell Ardan that he can be mad all he wants, if this play's out like I hope it will, he will wish I took even more. Besides, all Davion Guards personnel rotate to New Avalon for out processing. Unlike other commands, it just made them very easy to grab." Quintus Allard replied while standing up.

"I assume you are not recruiting them yourself and are letting someone else do all the leg work." First Prince Hanse Davion said

"I have some talented people working on it. I am just playing middleman for a bit, before I let SaRI off the leash to run wild. Would hate for them to get run over by a Mech the moment they get to run." Quintus Allard replied

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