Chapter: CH5: Goblins and Gremlins
Related Logs: None
After what happened last night at the Goblin Market, I thought I should talk a little about my history with Delta Academy and Prison.
I was incredibly fortunate, after 2 years of graduate school at the Delta Academy, I graduated in the Top 5 of my class. I was selected to join Defiance Industries (along with Wulf Brouton and Konrad von Graff). It was a dream job that included a citizenship visa and being able to start working in the Experimental Projects Lab (EPL) in late 3004. The EPL program was headed by Director Erich Kempler, with the majority of funding coming from the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF). I was even approved for clearance since all work was classified Top Secret.
During my five years with Defiance, I worked on numerous projects. I was one of the top of my field, bet even so, other EPL designers seemed to take the lead over me. Perhaps this was discrimination since I was not Lyran by birth, however I couldn’t prove that.
Throughout my time at Defiance, I saw Director Kempler as an ambitious task-master ass who showed little concern for long hours or dangerous experiments taking place under his watch.
After the lab accident with Konrad von Graff, the Director distanced himself from Konrad and eventually replaced him. Konrad received a severance package (and a gag order) but the funds barely covered his continuing medical expenses. This is when I lost track of him, which is my fault.
When Archon Katrina Steiner came to power in 3007, both the EPL team and Delta Academy were under intense scrutiny from Lyran Intelligence. The sharing of military secrets with foreign powers was deemed too dangerous and many talented engineers found themselves out of work. If I was not married to a Lyran citizen, I would likely have been terminated as well.
Erich Kempler continued to work with Defiance, even receiving a promotion and a new crop of young, Lyran engineering students. I was moved to less ‘sensitive’ work but I found it fulfilling none the less. I knew my House of origin was getting in my way, but I had Heida and Luna and that was enough.
A few years later, I crossed paths with Kempler again. This time Kempler was working as an outside consultant for the LCAF, using his connections with Defiance to advise the Defense Department.
By accident I discovered that Kempler was gathering engineering designs (weapons, battlemechs) and smuggling them out of the Defiance plants. These included the original doctoral projects from the Delta Academy. All of my classmates work was being stolen.
Kempler had also been conspiring with agents working for House Davion. Those agents were planning an attack on Kalidasa, my homeworld in the Free Worlds League. The attack would follow movements of Lyran forces that would pull FWL forces away from Kalidasa (though the Lyrans were not participating in the plan).
I had only a few moments to to try and stop this. I used my clearance and extracted the data and contacted Rene Chirac, a jump-ship captain from the FWL. I would say the gods were with me as he was on planet when this happened. I sent the data with Rene while I went back for Heidi and Luna. Rene got away, I however saw Lyran Intelligence waiting for me. I couldn’t put my family through any more hardship then they would go through now, so I surrendered myself to them there.
I was arrested and held in a federal prison on Hesperus II awaiting trial. With my extracted evidence against Kempler now off-world, it was my word against Kempler’s as to who was the conspirator. In a few short weeks, I was found guilty. Honestly I was surprised the trial lasted that long.
Once convicted, I stayed on Hesperus for nearly a year in solitary confinement. Without much warning, I was taken off-world. I will probably talk about my experience there later.
After a month of deep space travel, I and several other prisoners were incarcerated on a small planet named Verloren. The funny thing is in English Verloren means “lost”. The planet had only a few settlements and was more of an outpost.
There were a variety of high-profile, high-risk prisoners here from across the Inner Sphere and the Periphery. There was virtually no communication to the outside world and media coverage was limited at best. I never even heard of the Civil War until I got out.
In time, my good behavior and background caught the attention of his district warden, Heinrich Bohmer. The warden wanted to put my ability with tech repair/design to good use. He had me work on repairs around the facility, and evidently my progress was so well noted that I received special privileges from the warden.
Eventually this is where I met with other ‘favorites’ of the warden:
Stefan Kasperov is a smuggler, thief, and con-artist who was wanted by all five of the Houses. He was well connected within the prison and his natural charm won Shaan over quickly. The litany of charges against him were too long to list, but we bonded over ‘corporate espionage.’
His last ‘job’ involved impersonating corporate officers of Coventry Metal Works and securing millions for fake R&D projects. He provided fake plans to battlemechs supposedly in development at rival Defiance Industries. He peddled the same plans to Trellshire Heavy Industries – pretending to be from Coventry Metal Works. He believes that the Lyrans have only kept him alive because the funds were never recovered.
Izumi Matsumoto is a Draconis Combine mechwarrior that had been held in the prison for nearly two decades. After his lord was slain by a Lyran raid, he took it upon himself to secretly travel into Steiner space to exact revenge. His plan was successful but during his apprehension, he was gravely injured by a grenade blast. In his time at Verloren, he has lost his sight but still seems to navigate the cat-walks and hallways with grace and precision.