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Chapter 89 - What Could Go Wrong[]

17 March 3042
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)

Adept Leon Hernandez read the small briefing folder before laying it back on the desk. "We will strike when they set down. That very night. They will all be tired from their long mission; they might even do us the favor of getting drunk in celebration. Valkyrie is within a single jump from here waiting for out signal to jump in. They will be capturing the Titan Fighter Carrier Dropship which is currently docked with their Invader Class Jumpship. According to our information, there is only a caretaker crew aboard the Invader Jumpship. Not enough to even jump it, but to just keep it on station so as not to become a traffic hazard."

"There are twelve of us in my strike team. Primary targets are the command group itself. Though we have very little information, we have been able to pull from MRB complete photos and backgrounds on each member. Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell, Master Sergeant Harry Caldwell, Sergeant Major Chester Pullman, Captain Gweneth Rolando, Captain Brackus Geovani, Master Sergeant Harold Croyle and Sergeant Nathan Davis. We know where Sergeant Major Pullman and Captain Geovani are quartered, the rest, they have been gone virtually our entire time here. Secondary targets are anyone and everything. Explosive charges planted on any Dropships."

"The warehouses acting as barracks are also primary targets for demolition charges. Another part of the Kilbourne DMM is also due to arrive about the same time, but they should not be a threat to our mission. The hanger is also a target. It sits between both large warehouses acting as barracks. The new construction activity provides us with an access point into their compound. The fence along that side has been taken down to connect the new area to the existing. Though the poles for a new fence have been set, the fence itself has not been strung. Expect foot patrols in the area, as they have been observed. Usually a squad in strength, light weapons only."

"Anyone have any questions? No, then let's recheck our suits and prepare to move to our new hide locations. We will be roughing it until our mission is complete."

31 March 3042

Overlord Dropship (Take off-landing - Dave School MW)

Overlord Class Mech-Carrier DropShip landing

Three Union Dropships and a single Overlord Dropship settled to the Space Port. The Unions all carried the insignia of the Kilbourne DMM, but the Overlord Mech-Carrier Dropship was different, having landed closer to the isolated compound. It had also not transmitted any sort of identification codes during its system transit. The name could not be easily seen, painted as it was to blend into the Dropships own color scheme, FSS Running Fox, First Prince Hanse Davion's personal flagship. Aboard the Running Fox were First Prince Hanse Davions personal Battlemaster and personal Command Company plus a Battlemech Company from the Davion Heavy Guards RCT. After landing, a small convoy went down the ramp and exited the Space Port itself.

2 April 3042

Multiple Jumpships materialized at the Nadir Jump Point, which caused an alert signal to be sent to the planet, only to followed by a second signal as the Jumpships systems came back online and contact was established identifying the vessels as under SaRI control. Permission for the Behemoth Large Cargo Dropship to take up station in orbit was granted for unloading purposes. The Union CV Fighter Carrier was undocked, and fighters launched, all following a shuttle towards the Invader Jumpship. it then docked with the Star Lord Jumpship again. Leftenant Colonel Mitchell knew they were operating well short of any sort of normal staffing so he had shuttled over enough crew to reactivate the Titan, from which the units Aerospace fighters would escort the Behemoth while in orbit.

Within an hour of arriving, he learned that they were no longer shorthanded and soon a dozen shuttles left the Space Port carrying crew for the multiple Dropships that needed to be crewed and landed. He was also surprised when Customs cleared them directly to the planet without inspection. Contact was made with Space Port maintenance, and they were advised of the Lion Dropships damage. The Space Port would have a special landing gantry ready for their arrival. It would take just over 2 days for the crews to arrive and board the multiple Dropships and then a 2 day trip to the planet's surface. Leftenant Colonel Mitchell made the decision to delay any departure until they could all proceed as a small convoy to the planet.

6 April 3042

On pillars of flame, the expanded Dropship fleet belonging to SaRI descended to the Space Port. The damaged Lion Dropship slowly settled onto its designated landing spot; a landing gantry took the place of the destroyed landing gear. The Mule Cargo Dropship settled to the surface close to the units compound, Intrusive, Intruder Dropship landed nearby. Both Monarch Dropships made their landings and parked in their usual spots. The captured Union and Danais Dropships landed not far away. In orbit, the Behemoth Dropship was on station and ready to discharge cargo, closely escorted by the Titan Dropship and the SaRI Air Wing.

The entire enlarged unit was formed up in formation, broken up into large blocks of uniformed people. Twenty-three Battlemechs were standing in a formation not far away. In the center of the assembled formation was First Prince Hanse Davion, Quintus Allard and Sergeant Major Pullman.

Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell led the mass of shouting and hooting troops of SaRI off the Monarch Passenger Liner Dropships and into the glaring sunlight. When he spotted who was waiting to greet them, he slammed on the brakes, coming to an abrupt stop. This caused quite a scene as the mass of troops ran into the person in front of them, duffle bags were dropped as troops fought to keep their balance, luckily no weapon was dropped nor went off. A multitude of cursing could clearly be heard from the mass of now jammed troops. Until word started filtering down the line what was going on outside.

"Come on, Quintus, I think our being here has scared the shit out of them. Sergeant Major Pullman, you may lead the way if you please." First Prince Hanse Davion said

"YES SIR!" Sergeant Major Chester Pullman said loudly as he started off towards Leftenant Colonel Mitchell two hundred meters away. He was closely followed by First Prince Hanse Davion and Quintus Allard, who was grumbling about youngsters always wanting to walk.

"Sweet Jesus, here they come. Everyone get into some sort of damned formation or something other than a traffic jam." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said just loud enough for his people to hear and for word to be passed back inside. He did not even have time to check his uniform, it was clean, but also fresh from a duffle bag where it had been stowed. Wrinkles and all. His boots were his combat boots, heavily scuffed, had not seen polish in years. He knew all his troops looked the same as he did. he had no choice and marched as smartly as he ever had to greet the First Prince of the Federated Suns.

Meeting them barely halfway, he halted and snapped to attention and saluted. First Prince Hanse Davion returned the salute and then scared him even worse when he offered his hand. He smartly lowered his salute and took the offered hand for a very quick but firm shake. "Leftenant Colonel David Mitchell at your service, Highness."

"At ease, rest easy. Quintus has told me quite a lot about you already. You have been on a long operation, have your people disembark and rest easy. Leftenant Colonel huh, judging by the size of people in your command now, you might want to think about a promotion." First Prince Hanse Davion said, trying to ease the tension he knew everyone was feeling

Barely relaxing his stance, Leftenant Colonel Mitchell did not have a chance to reply before Quintus Allard stuck out his hand for a shake "Welcome, back my boy. I could not resist coming out to see what you recovered for myself. Me and the Prince have a bet, which I am hoping you are going to win for me. Relax, he doesn't bite unless he needs to. Let's all find some damned shade and a chair; you youngsters might like standing all the time, but I don't. Highness, the longer you stand out here the less is going to get done and you know it."

"Alright Quintus. Sergeant Major Pullman, will you please dismiss your people. There is no need for all this parade ground stuff. There is work to do, I assume much unloading to do. Am I right Colonel Mitchell?" First Prince Hanse Davion said

"Yes sir. It is going to take a couple days to get it all unloaded and down to the surface." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied, but he was looking past the First Prince at Sergeant Major Pullman mentally saying, "No warning at all, are you mad?"

The silent response was a shrug meaning "Not my fault" followed by a slight nod towards Quintus Allard "It's his fault you had no warning."

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