Ch 7b: Coffee at Quero’s

Location: Solaris VII
Date:          January 6, 3020
After Action Reports: None
Personal Logs:  Still coming…

This is written as a very rough draft very short story based on the meeting at the coffee shop, this will be edited and added to regularly (last updated 6/29/17).

Shaan was awoken slowly from the ringing of his communicator. The soft trilling echoed in his dark room as he forced himself awake. He slowly sat up, confusion spread on his face as he stared around his darkened room. The trilling had stopped, but he saw the small metallic triangle laying on his desk, blinking a soft amber light, indicating a message had been left.

It took Shaan a couple of minutes to push the sleep away when he remembered the only person who knew the number of that communicator was his ex-wife Heidi. Panic and anxiety flooded over him as he scrambled to the desk. His fingers brushing over the unfamiliar communicator until he found the button to replay the message.

“Shaan, this is Heidi, meet me at Quero Coffee at 9am. We need to talk.”, a Germanic female voice whispered from the communicator. The sound of the communication ending with a click was loud in the darkened room.

Shaan sat back on his bed, memories of the dreams from the night before fading.

“Heidi, what are you doing, why are you here?” Shaan whispered hoarsely into the morning.

For the remainder of the morning Shaan prepared to meet Heidi, showering, changing into civilian clothes and affixing his pistol onto his hip, the combat knife onto the other. He made his way out of the base and into the city.

The café itself was quiet, the morning rush had already passed by, leaving the six outside tables only half full. Sitting at the table closest to the door of the café was a tall woman, wearing a long coat, hat and sunglasses. She was sipping on some sort of coffee beverage out of a ceramic cup, but even with the auburn hair that replaced her golden locks, her eyes covered and her quiet demeanor, Shaan would always recognize his ex-wife, and the old love of his life.

The rush he felt was momentarily overwhelming. The hurt, love, and confusion on where she went hit him like a brick. For a moment, all he could hear is his heart beating loudly as she stood up as he walked toward her. She seemed hesitant, unsure of herself as he approached.

As they met up, without thinking, Shaan engulfed her in a hug. He pulled her smaller frame against himself, the years disappeared and Shaan’s mouth found Heidi’s and for a few moments he lost himself in her smell, taste and touch.

After a few moments of kissing, hers as passionate as his, he felt her stiffen. She was recovering sooner to the reality of the day and she lightly pushed him away. Embarrassment and loss hit him as she stepped away.

Her voice husky with emotion croaked “Shaan, we aren’t married anymore.”

Shaan didn’t know what to say, so he blurted out the first thing that came to mind, “We weren’t married the first time we kissed.” His face was stinging and turning his face a darker cast then his normally Punjabi skin tone.

Heidi looked confused as she sat down, seeming unable to respond to the subject of kissing she turned it around and asked Shaan what was he doing here.

Time went slow for Shaan, he explained to a surprised, and sometimes doubting Heidi that his status as a recruiter was only a cover. He worked for a black ops MechWarrior company. They were here looking for signs of the Kabal, an underground independent organization with its claws in most of the Houses.

The doubt on Heidi’s face slipped away. Her Nordic cheeks softened as she listened to her husband’s story. They exchanged words about Luna, their daughter, with Shaan thanking Heidi for staying in contact, even if Shaan was now the guardian. Heidi’s surprise at his knowledge of her contact with their daughter passed quickly also and for a few minutes they were lost in talk.

During this time Heidi was sketching on the napkin she had, it was a set of star systems. As she sketched them she mentioned that the Kabal had been looking at these systems, that she had witnessed them specifically interested. When her sketching was done, she passed them over to Shaan as he asked for more coffee, he placed it in his pocket.

At some point Heidi, had pulled her sunglasses off and Shaan lost himself in the blue ocean of her eyes. She had just started talking about who she was working for when her face went cold.

Her demeanor switched from being comfortable talking with him to a person who was ready to fight. For a moment, he worried if he had said something, but then he realized she was gazing over his shoulder, at someone behind him.

Heidi leaned over and whispered, “We have company, follow me in a moment and we will try and get out of here without them noticing.” With that she stood up and walked back into the café.

Shaan’s eyes moved to the glass window he faced, in the reflection he could make out two people approaching. One was a red headed woman, wearing light body armor under a spring jacket, and who was walking directly for the door that Heidi had left. The second was a much taller and broader man, jeans, shirt and leather vest. The stripes of his tattoos across his arms and face gave him the visage of the Maori warriors he had descended from.

Shaan’s closed his eyes for a moment, recognizing Bandu from the tattoos and just his sheer size. Bandu hadn’t seem to have noticed Shaan, instead he was following the redhead, watching where Heidi had gone, laser focused on Shaan’s ex-wife. Shaan’s back was to both of them, neither the redhead or Bandu had made a move or acted as if they noticed him. Shawn focused on the glass, watching the reflection, willing the two to not see him at all.

Shaan waited patiently, counting the steps that the two took. As the redhead came closer, he realized she was going to pursue Heidi into the cafe. He spotted the pistol at the redhead’s side and he knew he couldn’t allow a fight to happen. He double checked Bandu’s reflection and noticed he also had a pistol, and a long knife as well.

His left hand slipped down to his belt, under the long jacket he wore. He felt for his combat blade and slowly slide its black blade out of the sheath. He adjusted his grip and prepared to strike.

Once his blade was held solidly in his left hand, ready to move, his right hand slipped down to his hip. He ran his fingers along the top of the pistol, flipping the safety off. With a deft movement, he unbuttoned the holster, and slid his hand around the handle of the pistol, preparing himself. He knew he only had one chance at this.

Shaan kept his eyes on the reflection of the redhead, he would have to hurt her first and then focus on Bandu. No matter what, he didn’t want to give Bandu the chance to walk away. Without a doubt, Bandu was the most dangerous person there.

Just as the redhead stepped to the left of Shaan he moved. He stood up quickly, the table spilling away from him, the coffee drinks shattering as they hit the sidewalk. He pivoted to his left, spinning into the redhead, who still hadn’t registered what was occurring.

During this pivot, Shaan’s left hand shot out quickly, gaining as much momentum as he could in the three feet of distance he shoved the knife forward. In the same practiced movement he had learned from Gus, the sergeant of the special ops team assigned to Shaan’s company. The blade was faster moving then Shaan expected, not at all like practice. For a moment Shaan almost lost his hold, but was able to recover at some point in the arc of the blade.

The blade hit the redhead in the abdomen. It was a solid connection, making a thunk sound as it connected the carbon fiber weave. The body armor didn’t seem to hold much against the blade, as it split at the weave made to stop bullets. Then there was a satisfying squishing sound and it he found the redhead’s flesh wasn’t nearly as resistance and when it sunk it, it moved easily having missed any major bones.

Shaan knew it wasn’t a killing blow, it probably wasn’t even a disabling blow, but he felt her collapse under his momentum. He towered over her and his unexpected move meant she wasn’t prepared for it at all. The woman crashed to the ground, on top of the neighboring table, as it flipped over under her weight.

As the redhead collapsed, Shaan pulled the heavy Free World’s League auto-pistol from his hip. The heft felt like nothing to Shaan as the pistol came around in an arc, ending its movement pointing at Bandu.

Bandu appeared stunned by the movement of Shaan. He hesitated momentarily, seeming to trying to make sense of what Shaan was doing, until an angry and surprised look crossed his face when he recognized Shaan. It had been years since they were in prison together, but Shaan was sure he remembered the fight in the laundry.

Shaan screamed at Bandu, “Here I am fucker, how is your sister?”, the insult meaningless to those who weren’t in the fight in the laundry room back on the prison planet, but he could see Bandu jerk with the words.

While Bandu hesitated, Shaan took aim with the heavy pistol. The weight of the weapon felt comfortable as he squeezed the trigger. Shaan had never had to fire the auto-pistol on burst fire in anything but target practice conditions. He didn’t have the pistol in full firing stance, so when the recoil kicked the pistol back, it moved too much, meaning only one bullet hit Bandu, in the hip.

The bullet tore into Bandu’s hip, exiting cleanly, with the exploding planter behind him marking where it went. The other two rounds slammed into the tile and cement sidewalk they had been walking across. The impact spun Bandu around though, the heavy caliber unleashing enough kinetic energy that he started losing his balance.

The roar of the pistol had been deafening, most of the people who had not noticed his attack on the red head, screamed in panic as the echo vibrated throughout the street from the shot. A panicked movement had begun in the café and moved outward away from the sound of gunfire.

Shaan could hear the redhead getting back up behind him, his eyes glanced towards her, noting she was reaching for a gun. The choice he made was simple, Bandu represented the biggest threat and he needed to put him down.

Realizing that Heidi may decide to return and try to help instead of escaping, Shaan screamed into the air for Heidi to run, run while she could.

As Shaan was yelling, he leveled the pistol and kept walking towards Bandu. In a panicked motion, Bandu had picked up a table and used it as a shield pointed towards his attacker. Shaan shifted the pistol slightly, attempting to get a better bead on Bandu when he felt the business end of a needle pistol burst. It felt like a strong gust of wind across the armored clothing he wore. Shaan immediately knew that the redhead had managed to reach her pistol, and fired a burst of small flechettes.

Shaan caught her expression out of the corner of his eye, and noticed the surprised look on her face as the vast majority of the flechettes slide off his hidden body armor. Shaan knew he didn’t have much time before she adjusted her shot, so he took this advantage, stepped forward and squeezed the trigger, feeling the pistol kick in his hands. This time his grip was ready.

All three bullets hit the table and punched through the wooden surface like it didn’t exist. Splinters of wood exploded out the bottom of the table, while the slugs themselves slammed into Bandu’s chest, puncturing skin, muscle, sinew and bone. The impact threw Bandu onto the ground, knocking tables and chairs aside. His gasping resembled that of a fish out of water, the blood bubbling freely where the rounds had struck him.

The second round of needler shot caught Shaan in the side, hip and leg. He never heard either burst of the red head’s weapon fire. The impact knocked him to the side, into tables. The wound bloomed into fire racing down his side, the blood flowing in rivulets. He sat against the table panting to himself.

Shaan glanced over towards the woman, and saw she started approaching cautiously, not firing at him. Instead she had realized Shaan was looking at her, so she took cover behind a table as she moved forward. Shaan then glanced down at Bandu and knew he wouldn’t have another shot.

“I hope you ran Heidi”, Shaan whispered to himself as he pulled himself up and took aim at Bandu again.

The third burst from his gun caught Bandu in a burst from his right thigh, up the chest and into his right shoulder. The heavy caliber bullets causing massive body damage resulting in Bandu ceasing to move. His breathing was lessening, and Shaan’s hope at Bandu’s dying had increased.

This is when Shaan felt the third needler burst catch him again and he fell slowly to the ground. His body was numb and he couldn’t tell where the third burst had hit him. No matter what he tried his body wouldn’t respond, so all Shaan could do from the cement sidewalk was watch the red head pull Bandu into the crowd. Shaan couldn’t be sure if Bandu would die or not, and idly wondered himself if Luna would miss him, as darkness overtook him.

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Website Update 6/6/17

Updated the Chapter Session section to become Chronicle Summaries so they could be broken down by story then by chapter. Also noted in the Chronicle Summary page that there would be no writeup for Chapter 6 and 7 since as a player I was not there, and therefore Shaan wasn’t active (and what he was active for I am unaware of the situation exactly).

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First Painted Fig – Sins of Kali

The Sins of Kali

Out of Game Post – I haven’t painted a mech in 25 years, so yesterday I painted Shaan’s mech. Not my happiest paint job, part of the problem was I didn’t like the purple. I guess people think it looks fine, but to my color-blindness it looks horrible, so I heavily dry brushed it so it looked good to me.

Because of that I didn’t do a lot of detail, I may go back and change that in the future, but I have several mechs to paint (and they will all be different colors until I find a combination I like).

I took several pics and found what HD really does and how it illustrates what I didn’t like. However, I didn’t want to strip it down so I think it is a decent battle fig. I will start painting the others soon, and yes this will be the fig I use for Shaan until I get another wolverine and try a much different color.

So I introduce to you….. The Sins of Kali, a WVR-6M Wolverine.

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Added Other Sites

I added my other blog sites to the menu on the side. They include the following:

  1. Luckyslife – my personal blog
  2. Accidentally Gay – blog for my experiences (and now hubby’s) with his transition.
  3. The Call of Althara – currently active game, seeking more players.
  4. Strange Journeys – A GURPS version of Call of Cthulhu, solo game for hubby.
  5. A Candle in the Warp – A GURPS space/shadowrun solo game for hubby.
  6. Second String General (SSG) – My video game Let’s Plays.
  7. Things You Should Know (TYSK) – Educational videos I make about accounting, history, etc.

I always feel cross promotion is a good thing 🙂

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PL: Defiance and Verloren

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.

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Mech: SHW-3S Shadow

My Note: This mech was a design I came up with that would satisfy speed, armor and firepower at the 55 ton range.

SHW-3S Shadow

Production Information

Manufacturer: None at this time
Tech Base: Inner Sphere 3025  (some experimental)
Production Year: 3020
Model: SHW-3S Shadow
Class: Medium Recon
Designer: Shaan Solberg

Technical specifications

Mass: 55 tons
Chassis: Lang T2 (utilizing Endo-steel equivalent experimental infrastructure)
Armor: Maximillian 45
Engine: 275 CoreTek
Communications System: Tansech Omni-7
Targeting Tracking System: Tansech C30-97
Cruising Speed: 54km/h.        (5 hexes)
Maximum Speed: 86.4 km/h (8 hexes)
Jump Jets: Pitban LFT-50
Jump Capacity: 150 meters.   (5 hexes)
Armament:
1x Fusigon Particle Projection Cannon (PPC)
2x Martel Model 5 Medium Lasers
6x Magna 200 Small Laser

Weapon Heat: 22
Heat Dissipation: 14

Total Armor Points: 185
Head:          (09)  Center Torso/Rear  (26/10)
Left Arm    (18)         Left Torso/Rear  (20/6)    Left Leg (26)
Right Arm (18)      Right Torso/Rear  (20/6) Right Leg (26)

Internal Structure Points: 91
Head:          (03)    Center Torso (18)
Left Arm    (09)         Left Torso (13)    Left Leg (13)
Right Arm (09)      Right Torso (13) Right Leg (13)

BV: 1,430
Cost: 5,084982 C-Bills

Link to Mech Record Sheet: Shadow (55ton)

BACKGROUND

This mech was designed to engage in guerrilla warfare. Long periods away from ammunition resupply meant a reliance on the Fusigon Particle Projection Cannon, Martel Model 5 Medium Laser and Magna Small Laser.

The armor was maximized to increase field use, while the internal structure was refit with a new steel composite enabling less material and opening up more weight capability.

VARIANTS

None at this time.

 

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Mech: PRM-3R Preying Mantis

My Note: This mech was a design I came up with that would satisfy speed, armor and firepower at the 35 ton range.

PRM-3M Preying Mantis

Production Information

Manufacturer: None at this time
Tech Base: Inner Sphere 3025  (some experimental)
Production Year: 3020
Model: PRM-3R Preying Mantis
Class: Light
Designer: Shaan Solberg

Technical specifications

Mass: 35 tons
Chassis: Argile H/10 (utilizing Endo-steel equivalent experimental infrastructure)
Armor: Kalidasa Ceramic
Engine: 210 GM
Communications System: Tansech Omni-7
Targeting Tracking System: Tansech C30-97
Cruising Speed: 64.8 km/h.   (6 hexes)
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h (9 hexes)
Jump Jets: Northrup 12000
Jump Capacity: 180 meters.   (6 hexes)
Armament:
1x Magna 200 Small Laser
4x Magna II Medium Lasers
Weapon Heat: 13
Heat Dissipation: 13

Total Armor Points: 119
Head:          (09)  Center Torso/Rear  (17/5)
Left Arm    (12)         Left Torso/Rear  (11/5)    Left Leg (16)
Right Arm (12)      Right Torso/Rear  (11/5) Right Leg (16)

Internal Structure Points: 58
Head:          (03)    Center Torso (11)
Left Arm    (06)         Left Torso (08)    Left Leg (08)
Right Arm (06)      Right Torso (08) Right Leg (08)

BV: 954
Cost: 3,214,148 C-Bills

Link to Mech Record Sheet: Preying Mantis (35ton)

BACKGROUND

This mech was designed to engage in guerrilla warfare. Long periods away from ammunition resupply meant a reliance on Magna MK II Medium Laser and Smalltech Small Laser. The armor was maximized to increase field use, while the internal structure was refit with a new steel composite enabling less material and opening up 2.5 more tons.

VARIANTS

None at this time.

 

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