Ferox Rangers #7 (Battletech Campaign)
Date: April 27, 3066.
World: Kennard, at the border of the Federated Suns and the Outworlds Alliance.
Good morning Ms. Ferox. It seems that by defeating the pirate Julian Corpuz, you have only aggravated the local band of outlaws. Instead of demoralizing the unwashed masses, you have given them a martyr to rally around. Worse still, they have gathered a ragtag band of battlemechs and are making plans to lay siege to several of the local population centers to send a message to you, specifically.
Now, I cannot conscience violence against civilians, and though this is certainly your fault and therefore your responsibility to deal with, I am, on behalf of ComStar, authorized to extend a contract to you to pay you to clean up your own mess. The terms, I believe, are more than generous. Three million C-Bills, which should cover all of your damages and put your warband back in good standing with any creditors you might have accrued in the past month. There will, of course, be no salvage rights, no support, and no repair coverage. Pay will only be issued if all of the pirate units are destroyed, so ensure, for your own sake, that none escape.
Mission Report, Commander Ellen Ferox
When the contract offer came in, I almost rejected it without reading it. When I read it, I found myself wanting to give Adept Vespasian the finger in a vid call just to show him what I thought of him.
Then I cooled down, had a shot of scotch and decided that giving him the finger was probably a bad idea. There aren't ever any happy endings to stories that start with giving ComStar the finger.
Besides, how bad could a "ragtag band" of mechs be? Gotta be just a mop-up, I figured, and Adept Vespasian was offering a lot of real ComStar cash to see it done. With literally months of silence from Colonel Lindon and Representative Nazir, there was nothing else to go on and no one else hiring in this backwater back end of nowhere. I didn't even bother trying to negotiate with the Adept. I just gave the contract a thumb-press and took another shot of scotch. In that moment, I told myself we'd either break even this run, or we'd go out in a hail of fire. Either way, I'd have a hell of a story to tell.
The instant we got into the operational zone, though, I started having second thoughts again.
From: Colonel Sarah Lindon, Lindon's Battalion
Commander Ferox, Colonel Lindon here. I wish I had some good news to give you, but this operation was a mess. Those mechs we took down? They weren't pirates, but I guess you probably already knew that. They were soldiers, Lyran loyalists just trying to get home. The locust leading them was a Word of Blake sympathizer pretending to be a ComStar unit, but beyond that, I don't know a whole lot more. The Lyran pilots have been cooperative and (mostly) reasonable, but the Wobbie in the Locust? Well, you can't get a lot of information out of a grease stain, unfortunately.
What we do know from the recovered Lyran pilots is that the Wobbie that stirred this up was called Initiate Marius, and he serves directly under Adept Vespasian. Unfortunately, Vespasian has gone silent. My sources are telling me that he's not really ComStar. He's with the Wobbies, and that they're here on Kennard because of a Star League cache of experimental tech left behind when Kerensky pulled out of the Sphere. It looks like this battle was an attempt to put down the Ferox Rangers and seriously hurt the LCAF forces during their withdrawal so that no one is left to come looking into Wobbie affairs here. I can confirm that it's been the Word of Blake who has been blocking comms locally, and the orders have come directly from Vespasian's HQ.
I think it's safe to say that you were never meant to survive this battle, Commander. Your contract was never really with ComStar, so I'd say it's null and void, but I don't want you to have to go away empty handed. Don't worry, the Allied Mercenary Command will back you on this and it won't effect your rating. We've been dealing with the Wobbies, and this is just more of the same underhanded tactics from them.
I'll make you a deal-- I want 50% of the salvage and all of the pilot bounties. Agree, and I'll give you free tech labor, free use of my battalion's repair bays, and any other logistical support you need. Even better, since Lindon's Battalion typically prefers fast, light units over the heavies and assault mechs, I propose that you take the Atlas and the Orion while I take everything else to cover my losses. It's a fair trade, I think. I know you Feroxes like the heavies, so hopefully you'll agree.
After Action Report, Commander Ellen Ferox
I don't feel good about this mission. I feel good about the salvage, the deal I cut with Colonel Lindon, and I'm grateful for the revelations into Adept Vespasian's true nature, but this whole mess was one that didn't need to happen. Those pilots, those Lyran pilots who were just trying to get home, two lances of them bit the dust today. That's a significant loss to Steiner, and with the civil war going on, well, it just makes the whole Inner Sphere weaker. I don't like seeing the FedCom unravelling like this, even if it means more work, and I like it even less that the Wobbies are involved. I'd love to get a shot at Vespasian directly over this, but that might just be a pipe dream. Hell, I'd settle for finding whatever Star League cache is supposedly here somewhere on Kennard, but that might just be a pipe dream as well.
Ferox Rangers: 6,000 BV
Lindon's Company: 4,500 BV
Lyran Revolutionaries: 9,000 BV