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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 73 - What Could Go Wrong[]


19 December 3041
Joshua (Former Outworld Alliance System)


After Sergeant Nathan Davis made a suggestion to Master Sergeant Harry Caldwell, half the previous day and all night long, crews moved and shifted vehicles to dig their way to the very back of the Depot itself. Parked in the very back were the 24 Wayland Mobile Base vehicles. Each had a single lift hoist mounted able to lift 75 tons without breaking a sweat. But to cover their bases, Master Sergeant Caldwell had two of the Wayland Mobile Bases hooked to a single THG-11Eb model Thug. The first Waylands had each lifted a WVR-6K Wolverine and another had picked up the downed FS9-A Firestarter and removed them from the Depot, though keeping the Battlemechs correctly positioned to make the trip up the tunnel had been a major pain in the butt.

Over one hundred track APC's had been driven out of the Depot, weaving back and forth thru the debris inside the Depot itself until reaching sunlight for the first time in centuries. The gave the workers inside the Depot the room needed to work safer and quicker than the previous crowded space. With two Waylands lifting, a THG-11EB Thug was lifted from the Depot floor and moved enough to really clear the pathway, both Wayland operators being extremely careful to follow the directions of the ground guides. Two additional Waylands duplicated the lift of the second Thug, only moving it the opposite direction inside the Depot, widening the path to the tunnel.

MiningMech (by Cromwell)

MiningMech

This opened the flood gates as hundreds of vehicles were driven from the Depot and into fresh air. Most driven by infantry personnel, many of whom had never driven before this operation, given a crash (sometimes literally) course on simple maneuvers. The most important were the gas pedal and the brake, which also caused most of the dents and scrapes to vehicles as the drivers got confused which was which. It was estimated that it would take the rest of the day to empty the Depot of all the vehicles. The Battlemechs would be the last to be moved and estimated to take 3-4 days since there were only 6 Mining Mech operators that could actually, sort of, move a Battlemech.


Aboard Intrusive, Intruder Dropship, Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell had decided to question this General Jaws fellow. Of course, he knew much more going into the session, having spoken to the first batch of captured pirates who cooperated, but also with several of the newly captured. One, had been with General Jaws from the very beginning and had been very talkative.

Taking a seat in front of the chained General Jaws he said "General Jaws, or should I say Major, or maybe Sho-sa Hubert Dukey. Former Battalion Commander in the 12th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre. Declared Ronin in 3034 by Theodore Kurita. Went rogue and then turned pirate all the way. Bad enough you lost your honor when you were declared Ronin, but then you went and turned into the absolute worst type of pirate there is, a slaver. I already know your past, so I don't have to choke back my puke or the urge to shoot you where you sit listening to your sob story. I have plenty of volunteers to shoot you as it is.

I know about the base on Onverwacht. I know what forces you have left there. I know that your Lion Dropship and Merchant Jumpship are your only means of interstellar transport operational. You have been sort of a big dog in the area ever since you scored those former SLDF Battlemechs. Come to think of it, I am not sure you have anything to tell me that would be new information at all. There is a 50/50 chance for you to leave this planet alive, not free by any means, but alive. So, can you tell me anything I do not already know?"

While he had spoken, he had watched the man literally deflate in front of him. Where once arrogance had sat, now was a defeated man. "I can tell you what you will face if you move deeper into the Wastes."

"That could be useful information. So, tell me who and what we will face out here." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"The systems a single jump from Onverwacht are all uninhabited, at least we never found any settlements of any size. Four jumps from Onverwacht is a system that is populated. No clue how many people. Bad ass band located there. Much bigger than my band. Call themselves the Waste Raiders. Ran into them about two jumps from Onverwacht a few years ago, they have Aerospace, I did not. Luckily, we were all charged up and ran for home before they could get a hold of us. I learned where they were based by trading for information with slaves to other groups.

How big they are now, I do not now, but a couple years ago, they had a couple Battlemech Battalions, Aerospace Wing, Armor Battalion and several Infantry Battalions. Biggest band I ever heard of, at least operating as a single unit. There are eight Battalion sized bands out here that I know of. Most no more than a Battlemech Company. Several have Aerospace, most do not. Where they are based, I have no idea. There is one that operates I was told closer to the Outworlds Alliance borders. Pure Aerospace, hit Jumpships and Dropships to steal what they want or need. They might have some ground troops, I have no information about that, nor where they might call home. Since I did not have Aerospace, I avoided the area. That is all I really know." General Jaws said

"Well, it was information I did not have before. Your chances of getting off this planet just got better. The guards will be in to escort you back to your holding cell." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said standing up and walking to the door.

General Jaws watched the smug officer leave the room and then smiled thinly, I forgot to tell you about my guests that should arrive in January. I have seen the amount of equipment your people have been taking from that underground cache, no way will you get it all loaded before they arrive. When they finish with you, I will be free and hopefully you will be my slaves.


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