Legends and Myths Nine

Zathras Station
Zathras Holdfast near the Knox Mountains
Continent of Cromwell
2215 hours (GMT) 2 October 3079

 As the train pulled into the station, Trinity was wide awake and quietly observant.  She was certain that someone was aware of problems back in Landing by now, some three hours after she left.  While she felt slightly bad about Jeff, he was a loose end at the wrong time and there was no having him keep quiet about her leaving or where she was going.  After all, he had been a good source of so much classified information over the last three years as he had been easy to turn.  All she had to do was show him some attention…  Nerds… She thought with ha slight smile.  Show them some affection and they will give you anything…

  When the train came to a complete stop, she stood and departed the carriage.  Taking a second to orient herself, she made her way to the station local Storage Block where a series of lockers were.  The Storage Block was a franchise that was primarily set up in areas where folks would vacation for either skiing or other recreational activities.  Within were storage lockers of various sizes where a person could leave bulky items, like rucksacks, skis and other things they didn’t wish to lug home.  Or lug back when they came back to visit.

  As such, it made the perfect place to store a Go Bag and equipment you didn’t want seen at home or caught with.

  Getting to the shop, she was pleased it was still open this late at night- there was afterhours access, but it required a code and the use of her ID card to get in.  And the less she had to use her legitimate ID the better.  Waving to the clerk behind the counter, she made her way to the proper bank of lockers and strode to the appropriate one…  which was not tied to her ID but to a code.

  Standing at the locker door, she looked both ways before entering the code into the keypad.  When it indicated open, she let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding and opened the locker door.  Inside the space was a small duffle bag, a military Hard-Ruck and a medium sized weapon case,  Pulling the duffle out, she opened it to verify its contents.  With a smile, she placed her travel ruck within it, closed it up and set it aside.  Grabbing the Hard-Ruck (a military backpack made with a light ballistic outer shell) and put it on, adjusting the straps as needed.  Pulling the weapon case out, she laid it flat and opened it.

  Within was an AX-22 assault rifle with several loaded magazines and a set of identification cards.  Grabbing the cards, she closed the case back up and after ensuring everything was out of the locker, closed it up.  Lifting the case and slinging the duffle, Trinity departed the facility and headed for the parking garage across the street from the rail station.

  Quickly crossing the road, she thanked the timing of all this madness- Zathras was a popular Summer and Winter destination and in off season, it was not crowded at all.  This meant to her that there would be few folks about and make it easier to spot any pursuit.  Gaining access to the garage using the other ID, she headed down a floor to Long Term Storage and entered yet another code.  The light on a stall down the way blinked Green and she hustled down the way to it.  Tapping in a third command code, the door to the stall opened to reveal a rather rugged SUV.

  Stepping to the door on it, she tried the handle first.  When it opened, she quick looked in the back of the vehicle and after ensuring it was empty, she stowed the gear within quickly.  Getting in, she pressed the starter and the vehicle fired up, the fuel-cell engine being full and apparently maintained.  After a few seconds to familiarize herself with the controls, she drove it out of the stall and to the ramp out.

Exiting the facility, she turned to the road heading out of town and heading north…  There was still at least another two hours of driving to the retreat and the faster she got there, the more secure she’d be for the next phase.  And there should be at least two others waiting there when she arrived.

RDF Section, City of Landing Spaceport
Continent of Cromwell
0049hrs (GMT+2), 3 October 3079

  The four commandos sat in the berthing in the small barracks area in the Spaceport Tower building.  All of them were in various state of relaxation as they awaited an update on their quarry.  None of them expected to be waiting long- the planetary security electronic investigators were pretty good and finding where she might have gone would be important.  Facial recognition software was handy for the various mass transit station cameras, and it was only a matter of time she’d be found if she had taken any.

  The Captain entered the spaces.  “Update,“ He said and the four perked up.  “They think she took the Landing to Zathras to Brookstone line.  Don’t know where along the line she might have gotten off if she did yet- Brookstone Station has been alerted to watch that train when it comes in; if she’s on it, they’re to detain if possible.”

  Cassie spoke up.  “I don’t think she went to Brookstone, Captain…”

 “Why?” He responded.

  “Too many people…. And even though it’s on the coast, there is only so many places to run if caught,” She said. “I mean, getting on a boat to one of the islands would work for a while but if stuck on an island, where you gonna run if found?”

  The Captain nodded.  “Ok continue…”

  Cass paused.  “If it were me, I’d find somewhere that was out of the way, some place I can pass the time while I wait for extraction.  Or set up a final stand if I was that bloody minded.”

The Captain stepped over to a computer and after entering a few commands, a holo of the rail line popped up.  “Ok, going with this line of thinking, where along this line would you go then, Cass.  Put yourself in the role…”

  She got up from her seat and walked over to the hologram.  Studying it, she pondered what she was asked.  “Well…  there are so many places,” She began.  “Any of these sites along the rail are possible but only if they’re on the schedule of stops…  That late at night, I don’t think so… so that leaves Zathras, Galen and Brookstone.”  Highlighting the three stations, she continued to look at the image.  “I still don’t think Brookstone is an option though.”

  Jake came over and de-highlighted Brookstone.  “Cass… I think you are right- she didn’t go there.  Even if she is a possible Blakist, she’s still family.  I don’t think Mass Casualty is going to be a first thought and any fighting there would have it.  Could be wrong though .”

Cass studied the line, pondering everything she knew about Trin and about what was available along the line.  “Zathras….” She reached out and made a circling motion in the hologram around the location, which picked it up.  “It’s not busy now as its off season, there is plenty of supplies available and there are a ton of cabins and camps up in the mountains.  All within three hours or so… and I bet if it’s here, she has somewhere already set up.  Or someone has something set up for her.”

The Captain watched her think it through.  “Anyone disagree?”

The rest of the team all looked at each other then back at the Captain. “No sir,” Sergeant Sidholm replied.  “It all makes sense to me. Galen is a poor choice as its just a river town. Options but not much different than Brookstone”

 The other two also voiced their agreement and the Captain looked at his watch.  “Ok, everyone go draw their Nighthawk suits; we are wheels up in fifteen…”

The captain departed the room, heading for his office here at the Port. Pulling a com-unit out, he dialed a number from memory.  “Dragon Mom, we think we know about where she is…. Somewhere in Zathras,” He said when the other end of the call picked up.  A pause…  “Of course, I’m going on this.  This team is good… but I think our wayward child was too well prepared to run, which means I think this might be a trap.  Or she has a lot more than herself wherever she is.”

  A second pause as he reached his office.  “I don’t think we will need Mech support; if this is a low-key retrieval op, they are not gonna risk assets.  Not on one agent unless they REALLY think she is that important.”  Entering his office, he walked over to a rather large footlocker.  “Most we might need is a battle armor team- if we need Battlemechs, this has gone stoooopid fast.”  Stopping at the footlocker, he smiled.  “Of course, I will be careful; Have I never not been?  Wait- don’t answer that….”  A laugh.  “Alright.  Let me gear up.  Will update as I know more.”

  With that, he hung up and set his comm on the table next to him.  Kneeling down, he placed his hand on a panel.  “McCoy, Argyle D… 135351,” He spoke aloud.  The panel on the footlocker glowed green around his hand and the locks popped open.  Reaching over, he popped the latches and opened the armored box.  Within was a nearly mint set of Nighthawk Mk XXII Light Power Armor which he began to pull out.

  Donning it quickly, he reached in and drew out the Star League era relic weapon, a Mauser 960 system.  The weapon was one had liberated, so to speak, from its previous owner (a Word of Blake Commando) about six years ago, and after having the gun smiths make sure nothing was screwy with it, it had served as his primary weapon when using this armor.  Setting the weapon aside, he pulled the lone magazine of micro-grenades and attached it to the port to the shoulder launcher.  Grabbing the hip-pack of power packs and magazines for the underslung grenade launcher on the Mauser, he attached that to his leg. He then slung the rifle over a shoulder.

Nodding, he began to whistle to himself as he closed the box back up.  Grabbing the helmet and the large caliber slug thrower from the office weapon safe, he then grabbed a pair of throwing hatchets. Donning the helmet, he stowed all three smaller weapons on his person as he made his way out to the airfield.
  Coming out of the door to the field, he saw the team approaching the custom Planetlifter they used for rapid deployment work, which sat with its engines starting to spool up.  Getting near them, he could see the looks of puzzlement on their faces.

  All of them wore the Mk XXX version of the armor he wore; it was no less capable but did not possess the micro grenade launcher attachment… nor did they have Mausers.

“Captain McCoy?” Jake called out.  “You’re coming tatcial?”

“Looks like it, don’t it?” He joked. “And I will be with you when we go to get her,” McCoy motioned for everyone to board.  “I figured I needed to nut up or shut up; so that meant I’m coming.”  On board the aircraft was a smaller VTOL lashed to the deck, a Kestrel.  It was a rare bird to see outside of Wolf’s Dragoons… but the Lancers had a few.  And obviously, it was being issued for this mission.  “I strongly suspect that she won’t be alone… and I might be an edge for this.”

Cass tapped the Mauser.  “Captain, I didn’t know these even existed any more…” She said.  “At least outside of ComStar.”

A laugh.  “Cass… not even Comstar knows this exists outside of their order or the Word, really,” He said as he moved forward in the cargo bay.  “The Blakist I took it from will never miss it, trust me.  Take seats and get your game faces on…  This trip is an hour or so…”

Quickly, the four troopers took up seats and stowed their own weapons- auto-shotguns and larger gyroslug rifles- next to them as the ramp to the aircraft began to close.  The Crew Chief of the plane came over to McCoy and after a very brief conversation, the man headed up to the front of the bird while talking into his headset.  McCoy sat down and leaned back into his seat.

  “I’d sit back and enjoy the ride…” He said to his team.  “We should have some answers from Planetary Security when we get there on if she got off there.”

**

Re-discovered SLDF Company Post C185
Ashton Badlands
2315hrs (GMT), 02 October 3079

  Major Farquharson stood in the post command center as various technicians worked to bring the facility back up and operational.  The discovery of this facility was something of a small windfall for the Lancers, with its supplies in cold storage and the two full lances of League Era battlemechs within.  And the types of machines were some serious heavy metal.  In addition to the four machines they found, a Battlemaster, Thunderbolt, Orion and a Catapult were in a second bay.  None were ready for quick deployment as ammunition bins were empty on every machine.  But they were in here and they were potentially able to be brought online without too much trouble- if their powerplants were able to activate.

 Right now though, the work being done was inventory and bringing as much of the facility to an operational stance before the battlemechs were to be tried.  And that was a huge thing as far as he was concerned.  Made the re-injuring of his ribs worth it.

And it was here in the command center where Major Leslie McCormack found her friend.  She had been on her way here when Argyle had updated her and with the information she got, it was time to let Sean know the bad news.  She was his oldest friend and if anyone was going to tell him about Trinity, it was her.  “Sean…”  She began when she entered the spaces.  “How’s it going?”

He turned to look at her.  “Pretty well…” He said. “Quite a bit here seems usable; the techs are saying the mechs seem to be intact enough but won’t know until a full systems check is run.  Told them to go one machine at a time…  and be certain.”  He set the tablet in his hand down.  “Not like you to come out here to ask that…  What’s wrong?”

  She looked around.  “There somewhere private we can talk?”

  Sean pointed to an office over along one of the walls.  “That there…”

  “Good…”  She said and walked over to the office, pausing to wait for him. “This is important…”

 A sigh.  “It’d have to be to bring you out here…” He said and entered the office.

McCormack closed the door behind them.

Techs in the command center heard him yell in Gaelic about three minutes later… then silence.  They continued to work, all of them knowing it had to be something not good for him to be yelling like that at his counterpart.  A crash shortly followed from behind the door.  Two of the troopers in here, drew side arms and went to the door cautiously, the rest taking up positions off to the side- then the door opened, revealing McCormack.

  “Private, get someone to bring Major Farquharson a first aid kit.  And send for a jeep.” She said quietly.  “Then find me Chief Colt.”

“Yes ma’am” the soldier said and departed to do both….

About two minutes later, a corpsman showed up with his kit and was directed to the office.  A knock and he entered leaving the door partially open.  Some quiet voices within and after three minutes, McCormack walked out with Sean and the corpsman with her.

  Chief Colt arrived and saw both Majors.  “Majors?” He asked, noting the bandaged right hand of Sean.

 “Chief, I’m taking Major Farquharson with me,” She said.  “There is a development involving his family and he’s needed in Landing.  You are in charge until relieved by me or someone from Logistics; likely Chief Spiegel.”

“Yes ma’am,” Colt replied, noting the pained look on his commander’s face.  “Don’t worry Sean, I got this.”

“Aye, lad,” Sean replied tightly.  “I’ve faith in ye…  I’ll be back soon as I can.”

With that, the two majors left the command space with the Corpsman in tow.

Author: John T

Warrior-Sage and full time healer. Gamer and Arm Chair Analyst (who isn't these days?) who isn't afraid to read up on what I don't know.

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