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Chapter 65 - What Could Go Wrong[]

23 November 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

The SaRI Express, Search and Rescue Inc's Invader Jumpship, materialized at the Nadir Jump Point and generated a flurry of communication traffic shortly after arrival. Shuttles began ferrying the crew from SaRI Express over to the Star Lord Jumpship. After 4 hours, they began docking the waiting Dropships. The first was the Union CV, followed by the Monarch Passenger Liner Dropship. A shuttle from the Jump Points orbital station flew over to the Star Lord and docked. Leftenant Colonel Mitchell and Agent Hammel met the shuttle passengers when it landed.

Invader Jumpship (The Battletech animation series version)

Invader Class JumpSHip

A group of 7 people emerged from the shuttle. Agent Hammel advised Leftenant Colonel Mitchell to stay back, and she alone met with the small group. Shortly, the leader of the small group was led by Agent Hammel back to Leftenant Colonel Mitchell while the other six people unloaded quite a few sealed cargo containers, refusing any help from the ship's crew.

"Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell, this is Major Toliver Hansen, MI3. His team has been seconded to MIIO and now they have been assigned to us by Quintus Allard.", Agent Jessica Hammel said

"MI3, that is Electronic Information Gathering unless my memory is failing me. What do we need that for?" Leftenant Colonel Mitchell asked

Union CV DropShip (In flight - Fighter launching - FASA 1st edition)

Union CV Class Fighter Carrier DropShip

"Secure communications. Mr. Allard does not want whatever it is your doing transmitted via HPG. We will ensure a secure line of communication to his office if and when you need it.", Major Hansen answered

"Then you should be on the surface, not with us. We expect to be far beyond any sort of communication range or even HPG range." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied, still confused

"We have our methods. We will need an area set aside for our use and our use only. No one will be allowed entry but Agent Hammel. Not even you sir. If you would tell us where we can setup, we can get busy setting up our gear. We need five days to set our equipment up and send out our test messages.", Major Hansen said

"On board the Monarch would be best, they can use the conference room for their equipment, only a single door for access. We can assign them quarters onboard on a temporary basis until we complete our current mission. The we can work out all the permanent stuff when we return.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied to Agent Hammel more than anyone.

"I will show them the way and get them sorted out." Agent Jessica Hammel said, before leading the now gathered team towards the access to the Monarch Passenger Liner Dropship.

30 November 3041

Leftenant Colonel Mitchell, suited up in his Marine Combat Suit, though unsealed, inspected the Union CV for the first time. He felt better with his feet planted with the small magnets than floating around all the time. It was a rundown ship, nothing like their Titan Class Fighter Carrier Dropship, but that could not be helped right now. Once he had boarded the docked Union CV, he had quickly noted all the extra personnel aboard. He waved Captain Blythe Hudson, Executive Officer of the SaRI's Fighter Wing over and asked her about it.

"Captain Hudson, where did all the extra people come from?" Leftenant Colonel Mitchell asked

"Volunteers sir. Those are the Aero Techs from Inner End's militia. They had nothing to do and wanted to come along. Sergeant Major Pullman gave them the blessing but with reservations. Myself, I am happy to have them along. Flying around without proper tech support is scary stuff. I brought along the requested 6 Rapier and 4 Hellcats fighters. Are we expecting action, Sir?", Captain Hudson asked

"Not immediate, but this is quite a collection of ship we are taking with us. It makes me feel better having a way to fight back if we get jumped out there. Volunteers, they could get into some serious trouble doing this. But I am not about to throw them off, I will deal with the issue when we get back somehow.", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Well, we will be ready if trouble appears. Just do not expect any miracles from this Union. We can launch her so that we can safely launch and recover our fighters, but she is so short on crew that I would not want to risk really using her much.", Captain Hudson replied

"We have the Titan locked down and secured?", Leftenant Colonel Mitchell asked

"Captain Geovani put two squads aboard her for security. Sergeant Major Pullman did not want to risk her on the ground. We have her quite a distance out from the Jump Point itself, no traffic even comes remotely close to her, but she is also just inside of radar range of the station over there so they can help watch out for her. Chief Branson figured out how to keep her secure but usable. He stayed aboard her, it is just him and those grunts from Alpha on her. Oh, I was to give you this." Captain Hudson replied while pulling a small drive from her pocket and handing it over.

Leftenant Colonel Mitchell accepted the small drive the size of his thumb and placed it securely in one of his small pockets. Same as used by Sergeant Davis to open the SLDF depot. "Very well then. We will be leaving as soon as we are recharged. First Valasha to pick up a Merchant Jumpship and Behemoth Dropship. From there another couple jumps and we start recovering what we found, which is quite a lot." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

1 December 3041

"That is funny." The watch officer aboard the Star Lord Jumpship said

"What have we got?" Ship Master Sarah Campbell asked

"Sensors detected a jump signature, the smallest I have ever seen, and it was centered on us." The watch officer said

"Centered on us?" Ship Master Campbell asked before making a call "Chief, check out everything in engineering. Full diagnostics, we just registered a tiny jump signature centered on our location. We have never jumped this ship before, and I do not want any surprises."

2 December 3041

"Everything checks perfectly, Ma'am. She may be a dirty ship, but mechanically she is good to go outside the busted collar." Chief Yellen said

3 December 3041

"There is is again, only this time it's a damned emergence signature. Right on top of us." The watch officer said

"Chief, what the hell! We just registered a damned emergence signature right where we are located. Run another damned diagnostic." Ship Master Campbell said

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