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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 70 - What Could Go Wrong[]

16 December 3041
Uninhabited System

Ship Master Sarah Campbell was already making jump calculations for the jump into Joshua. Having spent so much time in the system recently she had an extremely accurate plot of the Joshua system and its various gravitational effects. She selected a Non-Standard Jump Point that would be just a hair over a day from the planet's surface. She redid her calculations four times, rechecking everything. Interstellar Expeditions, her former employer, conducted lots of jumps using Non-Standard Jump Points after arriving in unknown systems with long travel times from the standard Jump Points.

They had only spent 3 days at Valasha, having paid for a quick recharge from the Olympus Recharge Station there. She gave her jump calculations to her navigator, who gave her his own jump calculations so that each could check the other calculations. A veteran of the AFFS Navy, he had made hundreds of jumps, even using Non-Standard Jump Points during raids against the Combine or Capellans. He was very good and well trained, but Ship Master Campbell, in his opinion was a natural with a very rare gift, she could do the same calculations as he did only twice as fast. He started checking her calculations and was half finished when she said "Your calculations are spot on Jarrod. Excellent work."

A shuttle had brought Ship Master Calvin Newman, Merchant Jumpship and Ship Master Maurice Desmonte, Behemoth Cargo Dropship over for a final briefing. Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell had gathered all the primary people on the Star Lords' grav deck. Everything had been going good until Campbell handed over a small data stick to Newman who asked, "What is this?"

"Navigational calculations for a Non-Standard Jump Point. It will massively cut down our travel time while in system." Ship Master Sarah Campbell said

"You can take this back and shove that idea. My ship goes into normal Jump Points only. No way am I taking any chances with my ship, nor its passengers." Ship Master Calvin Newman replied handing the data stick back. "No damned way."

"I was just in system a month ago, I have excellent in system data to make the needed calculations." Ship Master Campbell said

"I don't care if you live, breathe or can see gravitational effects and pirate points. My ship will not jump outside of a Nadir or Zenith Jump Point. Period." Ship Master Calvin Newman said

"Okay, then that complicates things. We are going to need to shuffle the Aerospace Fighters around. We cannot cover multiple locations and this Star Lord is going into the Non-Standard Jump Point." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Shuffle them all you want." Ship Master Calvin Newman replied

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

Union CV Class Fighter Carrier DropShip

Leftenant Colonel Mitchell looked at Captain Blythe Hudson, Executive Officer SaRI Fighter Wing "Captain Hudson, we will be detaching the Union CV shortly. Transfer two Hellcats to the Merchant Jumpship and two Hellcats to the Behemoth Dropship. Put their shuttles aboard the Union CV for now. Master Sergeant Bateman, can one of your tech teams support two Hellcats?"

"Yes sir, outside of serious battle damage and if we can get an assist from the civilian shuttle tech teams if we need it." Master Sergeant Bateman replied

"Their lives could depend on it, so they will give you all the help you need. I am splitting my defenses to accommodate your demand Newman, your shuttle tech teams do as they are told by my tech teams, is that clear?" Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"We will give them whatever they need. And I appreciate the protection." Ship Master Calvin Newman replied

JumpShip (Leopard DropShip Arriving - HBS Version)

Merchant Class JumpShip

"Very well, Master Sergeant Bateman, transfer a tech team to the Merchant and another to the Behemoth Cargo Ship. Captain Hudson, when we arrive, launch the Union CV and deploy a CAP. I really hate that we are doing this while so shorthanded on any sort of crew to properly utilize our ships." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"We got this, Colonel. They just have to hold it steady, and we will handle the rest." Captain Hudson replied confidently

Joshua (Former Outworld System)

General Jaws studied the entrance into the ground from a safe distance. Whoever was down there had downed one of his Firestarters and butchered his Infantry Platoon, leaving him only 5 not wounded or dead. There had been six, but one was lying at the lip of the packed dirt ramp leading to the entrance, shot from someone inside. He had no clue what was down there, but it was dangerous. A Battlemechs external speaker announced, >>"Incoming from the north!!"<< seconds before a rain of missiles impacted the area. He dove into the dirt and crawled as best he could until he was near the foot of his Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt (Standing - Hard Wired Ep2 - TMC group )

Thunderbolt Heavy 'Mech

Three minutes later the incoming fire stopped. He stood up and checked the area for damage. His own Thunderbolt had taken some damage, but not much, most of the Battlemechs had scattered to avoid the incoming. Moans indicated he was down more of his infantry. One of the Vedettes had lost a track to the incoming fire. He climbed his ladder and got back into his Thunderbolt cockpit. "Jason, take Ingrid and bull your way inside whatever is down there."

Thug (Blender Battletech - Lake Area)

Thug Assault 'Mech

A sloppy hand salute from one of the THG-11Eb Thug Assault 'Mechs acknowledged the order and it started towards the entrance followed by the other Thug. With the heaviest armor, it only made sense for them to lead the way inside. Reaching the bottom of the packed dirt ramp, he saw the tunnel itself, a good 30 meters long. He lifted his right arm and fired a ERPPC bolt into the tunnel. Pushing the throttle he started into the tunnel, slowly picking up speed, he burst into a large chamber and suddenly struggled to keep his Thug upright as a ferocious volley slammed into his Thug, his damage monitor literally lighting up with more red than he had ever seen. His Thug staggered forward haltingly until he finally regained its balance. He turned to face his attackers and fired both ERPPC's and both SRM-6 at the lines of armored vehicles just as they fired another volley. He had a satisfied smile seeing explosions rip across several vehicles as his Thug fell backwards.

Ingrid had followed Jason at a close range and was shocked when the initial massive volley staggered the 80 ton Thug in front of her. But she knew where the danger was and swung towards it, her weapons ready. Getting a lock on the mass of vehicles currently aiming at Jason's damaged Thug. With a clean target lock, she fired both ERPPC and both SRM-6. One of the targeted tanks exploded. She caught sight of Jason's Thug falling and took another step forward towards her attackers, whose turrets were rapidly swinging towards her. The race was a tie as she fired everything she had again, but so did her attackers. Two tanks exploded but her Thug was rocked backwards by the multitude of hits it received in return. Her left arm had been blown clean off, half her center and most of her left and right torso armor was gone and if anyone even touched her right leg, it was coming off her damage monitor told her. She steadied herself and fired another volley, seeing three tanks explode but the return fire blew her right leg off which caused her Thug to slam into the ground hard enough to knock her out.

Wolverine (In Combat)

Wolvervine Medium 'Mech

Smoke was now pouring out of the entrance and echoing explosions announced blood was drawn. General Jaws ordered both of his Wolverines into the tunnel to end the fight. Neither hesitated and rapidly entered the tunnel. The first Wolverine barely had turned to face the enemy tanks than a volley removed its head. The second Wolverine slammed into the suddenly halted, headless Wolverine and pushed it forward with a thunderous crash. He only managed to get off a single large laser shot before a volley ripped into his Wolverine. Staggered but not down, he aimed more carefully and let loose with everything he had, his heat spiked but he was rewarded by a tank exploding as a second volley of return fire managed to detonate his SRM ammo, causing a massive explosion that was contained in the walls of the Depot, destroying another 2 tanks. His auto ejection system worked flawlessly, ejecting him a second before the explosion directly into the ceiling of the Depot.

The massive explosion blew out of the tunnel and rocked General Jaws' Thunderbolt. Surely everything down there was dead by now, he thought. But he did not move his Thunderbolt from where it stood.

Inside the Depot, Captain Gweneth Rolando assisted in helping what wounded they had taken during the attacks. She would have to take a casualty report later, another attack could come at any second.

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