Coordinates: -3.109 : -34.688
World name: Outreach
Affiliation: Federated Commonwealth (Federated Suns)
On the outskirts of the main DropPort were the hangers used to service machinery and vehicles like DropShips and battlemechs. It had taken some doing, but finally the Crimson Company had some semblance of being a real mercenary company and, as requested, all members had gathered in one of these hangers, along with the various vehicles, for one final inspection before leaving.
The distinction between the civilians and the military types was probably most apparent in situations like this, and even then it was partitioned between those of the more relaxed and casual 'mech side of affairs, and the more regimented infantry troopers. Dominating the room were the four battlemechs, spaced evenly around the room, from the medium Clint at 10 meters tall, to the novel looking Dragoon, standing at almost 12 meters high. Most of the mechwarriors, and quite a few of the 'mech technicians had clustered around one of the 'mechs; an ex-Clan Timber Wolf omnimech. For most of them, it was their first chance to see a Clan 'mech out of combat (when they were usually shooting at you), so the attention was warranted. It's pilot, the very young looking MechWarrior called 'Brat' was lapping it up, her usual surly nature melted away in a chance to show off her goodies. She was quite willing to let anyone in earshot know that she'd found it as legitimate salvage from an abandoned Clan store, out in the Periphery. She seemed to also be revelling in the chance to take her pick of technician; quite a few would jump at the chance to work on the omnimech, and she knew it.
Nearby was the dark grey block with wheels that called itself an APC; the infantry scouts gathered around, casually chatting and trying to ignore the 'jocks' and their glamourous positions with the quiet confidence of those who know that whilst they may be lowest on the pecking order of combat casualties, the battlefield was a much more dangerous place without them. Due to stigmas as old as organised armies, they were in two groups; the officers and the conscripts. Each group trying not to let the other affect their behaviour.
The final group was the DropShip crew and an assortment of miscellaneous positions that didn't quite fit anywhere else; pilots, gunners, engineers, cargo handlers and medics. They were the civilians here, and they knew it; they might lack the quiet confidence of the jocks and grunts, but the more casual nature of their employment made for an easier attitude.
Only a few people were lacking from the room and when they arrived the distributed group suddenly turned into a far more organised lot. The door opened at the far end and eyes flicked towards it. Seven figures. Three in fatigues, three in suits, one in a military dress uniform. The tall, gallic doctor; the outspoken businesswoman; the Nordic infantry commander; the charismatic major and his reserved, yet intense assistant; the aristocratic DropShip captain, and a stranger. With efficiency born from practice, the scout group jumped to their feet with a 'ten-hut!' from their leader, organised into neat lines. The techs managed to gather themselves into some semblance of coherence, whilst the mechwarriors and pilots just made sure they were standing (or even sitting) by the feet of their machines.
The civilians barely moved, but then, they were employees, not conscripted machines there to follow orders. Or so they liked to tell themselves.
The seven new arrivals stopped in the middle of the hanger, Duch glancing around at the display with a slight curl to his lips. "Okay everyone, gather 'round," he called out, waving his hands inwards. He waited until the gathered people were all close enough to hear his voice easily.
"I've met most of you already, but for those I've not, welcome to the Crimson Company. I am Major Duch, and I'm your CO. Any orders you get, they come from me. Any responsibility for this little lot, that's me. These two," and he gestured to the tall doctor and the Asian woman, "Are the business side of the company, Dr Rodin and Ms Lang. Although the good doctor also leads medical for us as well. Major Haraldsson," a gesture to the Nordic man, "Is the scout CO and field commander when I'm not available, and looking rather respectable in her uniform is Captain Olave of the Bǎochuán. You should already have met your immediate superiors.
"This is the first time we're all together, so get to know everyone afterwards, but this is your general mission brief for the work we've taken on. It's our first job as a whole, so nothing too exciting. Accompanying us is Acolyte Sharif, a representative of ComStar, who will be our first employers." There was a low mumble from the assembled crowd. "Yes, I understand your concerns, but none of the major Houses will take up a new mercenary company and, due to the issues with the Blakeists and the aftermath of Tukayyid, ComStar is thin on the ground right now. They've offered us a nice job; guaranteed pay, low risk. I'll let Acolyte Sharif explain in a moment.
"You've all signed your contracts, as far as I'm aware, so you know the deal and you know your role. I don't ask much, but do your job right, look out for the person next to you and we'll make this the best damn merc group in the Inner Sphere." he looks at the ComStar man in the light grey suit. "Acolyte, over to you."
The short man nods and steps forwards. "Greetings everybody. Like your Major said, my name is Acolyte Sigma Sharif. As well as your primary contact for this contract, I shall also be your designated ComStar observer, ensuring that the proper procedures are followed and the correct payments made," he pulls a compact noteputer from an inner pocket. "The Crimson Company has been contracted to offer an escort and protection service, should it be needed, for a routine inspection and maintenance visit to Issaba; a border world within the Lyran Alliance, on the edge of the Periphery. With most of the ComGuard on location in other operations, ComStar has authorised the employment of mercenaries for visits to worlds deemed less than satisfactory in terms of security.
"The HPG station on Issaba was, like a lot of stations throughout the Inner Sphere, taken over by House forces in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident with Primus Waterly," Sharif had the good grace to look a little mortified to even be mentioning that. "As such, security for the facility is the responsibility of the House that rules it. Whilst Issaba has, technically, a garrisoning force that includes battlemechs, most of these forces are off-world due to the campaign against the Clans. As it lies so close to the Periphery, and known pirate systems, we require an escort. Just in case.
"For the record; we do not anticipate any trouble whilst on this mission, so have organised some training exercises with the local garrison to be part of your duties whilst on-world for the duration of our time on Issaba, which should total less than three months. Transit time to the system is approximately 160 days, but we are hoping to take advantage of ComStar recharging stations en-route that should cut the time to around 100 days. The total mission duration is set at one year, which includes a return to Outreach, and pay is appropriate for that." A look at Duch indicated he was finished with what he had to say.
"Thank you Acolyte," Duch said. "We depart for Issaba in one week, so get your things together and make sure things are set for transport. It's going to be a bit of a squeeze on the Bǎochuán, but there'll be ample room on the ComStar JumpShip once we're docked with that. Unfortunately, there's no Grav deck," groans from all around, "so it'll be a tough few months. Just take your meds, do your exercises and you'll be fine. Anyone who skimps and ends up spending the first few weeks on-world trying to acclimatise to the gravity will get a cut in their shares.
"Before I release you all then; any questions?"
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