Crossroads Landing Field
0816 hours 21 April 3080
Colonel Tinney was in the field operations center conference room when the alert sounded. Looking up, he got up from the seat and left the room and entered Operations. “What the hell?” He called out to the operations chief who was fielding reports coming at him from various personnel.
“Sir, there has been an interruption of an attempt on the Ghost Bear officers at the hospital,” He replied. “Dusal Elementals have engaged and are securing the area along with the Reaction Force. Initial reports are two assailants, both in custody, and the rest of the buildings are being secured. A warning was received just before the attempt; neither officer was taken under fire and are secure.”
Tinney walked up to the officer. “Where did the warning come from?” He asked after a few moments of listening to the report flying around the center. He knew better than to press; the answer would come when more data was to be had- the incident was ongoing and initial reports were always…. Suspect.
The operations officer, a Captain by the name of DeMare, fielded more information then looked at het Colonel. “Right now, all I have is the warning came in direct to Krog Dusal and he acted on it right away. According to him the two assailants were moving to a window as the Officers were about to exit the hospital. Working on warning source- Krog and his people are busy securing the area. Reaction Force is moving an APC up to cart the Visitors to the field.”
“Sir- report from site- Dusal confirms only two assailants and area appears secure.” A comms tech called out as he reached up to hold the earpiece against his ear a bit more securely. “He indicates he will call in shortly.”
DeMare acknowledged the information. “Good… Inform Krog to call in when he can…” Looking over to the Colonel, he said, “As soon as I have that answer, I will let you know soonest, Colonel.”
Tinney nodded. “Very good… I will meet the Ghost Bears when they get here.”
Tinney departed Operations; the folks here knew their job and he’d only be in the way… Right now, he’d be a poor commander if he wasn’t on location when the Ghost Bear officers arrived here at the field.
Some ten minutes later, Tinney’s com chimed. “Go ahead,” He answered as he waited by the Clan Shuttle, Colonel Hollister nearby. The Wolverine leader was present to wish his opponents a safe journey.
[Its Krog…] Came the craggy voice over his earpiece. [No body is hurt but some want-to-be hitmen; the residents of the apartment they were in had been tied up and put in a closet. They are alive too.]
A breath of air was let out in relief. “Good work,” The Lancer commander replied. “Who warned you?”
A laugh. [Your mate… direct com-call to my suit. Got Operations to override my order for no outside calls,] The Elemental’s laugh was a deep one. [Thought it was one of my children at first… Caught me by surprise a bit, getting a warning from her; but knowing who she runs with I took it face value. Glad I did- haven’t had that much fun since cleaning out the Jihadists over on Johnson six years ago.]
Tinney blinked. “I’m surprised too- Kris doesn’t normally get involved in McCormack’s Spectre operations… and you have a warped sense of fun, Krog,” He replied, his mind whirring. “Thanks for the call in… Have the Visitors departed yet?”
[They should be arriving at the field in two minutes or so,] Came the response. [Made sure NOTHING else was even in eyesight…]
“Excellent. Thanks again, Krog,” Tinney said.
[No problem. Let me know when you need me again. This was entertaining…] The elemental leader said and hung up.
Tinney looked over to Hollister. “My wife was the one who warned them,” he said. “Peculiar…”
Hollister shrugged. “Perhaps your wife is bored, which would be odd. She still practices veterinary medicine in Landing, yes?”
“Yes… and she has said many times it keeps her from being bored.” Tinney replied as he spotted the trio of APCs coming in their direction. “I’ll have to call her later.”
Lancer Commander’s Residence
Phoenix Lancer Main Compound
Auburn Mountains, Cromwell
1031hrs (GMT+2), 21 April 3080
Entering the residence, Brooke Gregory carried a shopping bag and her comm-unit in her hands as she bumped the door closed. The woman, the daughter of Kris from her prior marriage, had been shopping at the local market for some stuff to surprise her mom with lunch. Knowing Mom had been out with Aunt Leslie at a party, Brooke was pretty sure her mom would want *something* to eat when she got up. It wasn’t often she cooked for her (actually, damn rare) but she figured a surprise was needed. And hopefully a nice one.
“Hey, listen… I’ll call you later,” she said into her comm. “I’m at mom’s and I need to make some food. Talk later?” After a reply was heard, she hung up and put her device away. As she walked into the kitchen, Brooke almost tripped over her mom on the floor.
“MOM!!” She exclaimed and dropped the bags she carried. Kneeling next to the unconscious woman, Brooke checked for a pulse as she’d been taught and after finding one, she grabbed her comm. Tapping a contact, she waited for the person called to pick up, the comm unit set to speakerphone. Knowing her Stepdad was going to be busy with the clan visitors, she had called the next best person…. And hoped she would answer.
Calling Emergency Services to Quarters One would cause questions… and as a Professional Influencer, Brooke knew causing that sort of distraction right now was a bad idea. Her stepdad had been working super hard trying to make sure as much as possible went right with the Clan Trial and their visit… and people digging into things none of their business would cause shit no one needed…
Her stepdad was popular with most here on Centaurus… but not everyone. There was always someone who would want to cause problems. He’d always said this- and Brooke had learned how right he was as her Influencer career took off. Some people were just plain jerks…. Among other things.
“Aunt Leslie!! Its Brooke… I need help-“
Crossroads Landing Field
0839 hours 21 April 3080
The two Ghost Bear officers stood outside the shuttle opposite the Lancer and Wolverine commanders. All of them were relaxed as the last checks were performed by Lancer technicians. Glancing at Hollister then to the two Clanners, Tinney spoke. “Star Colonel, Loremaster… I sincerely hope your trip back to the Dominion is far less eventful than your stay here…”
Loremaster Tseng smiled. “I should hope so… it is a long journey back to Alshain and one looked forward to, strangely enough.”
Star Colonel Lebowski echoed his clan-mate. “I agree. I look forward to returning home,” he said. “Despite the results of the Trial and the attempt at the hospital, there is no animosity in our leaving. You have been very accommodating with everything, Colonel… and the reputation of your Phoenix Lancers remains. May we never face each other across a battlefield.” Turning to Hollister, he continued. “Khan Hollister… it was an honor. You and your men fought well, and I commend them.”
Hollister nodded. “My thanks and I will relay the compliment to them. The gifts of equipment and items from the old Home Worlds are gladly accepted; space is being made within the Museum we have been creating will have space for some of them.” He said. “And I have something for you to take with you home.”
Reaching into a pocket, he produced a data drive. “Complete schematic plans for the original Pulverizer and the Stag II. Based on the records the Lancers have, neither design is still in service anywhere within the Clans. Perhaps with this rapprochement, we can return the help given to us with something that can benefit the Ghost Bear military.”
A pause. “Also on there is a full copy of the Wolverine Remembrance, updated as of two days ago. I am fairly certain that none of the Wolverine versions remain within Clan Space so having it there once more… may be something of a full circle.”
Lebowski accepted the drive from the Wolverine Khan and handed it to Tseng. “Khan Hollister, I accept this gift on behalf of Ghost Bear… and may the prospect of rapprochement be realized, and old friendships rekindled.” He spoke. “While I do not think it will come easy, it will happen.”
Tinney chuckled. “Nothing worth the effort is ever easy.”
Hollister agreed. “He is quite correct. This is an important event… and having it accepted will not be easy. I surmise the other Clans may have a thing or two to say about it all as they learn of it.”
Tseng nodded. “I am certain they will. And Khan Kabrinski was looking forward to explaining the error of their thinking on a personal level.”
With that, the two Clan officers came to attention and saluted. The Lancer and Wolverine commanders responded in kind… and with that, the two visitors boarded their shuttle. Tinney and Hollister backed away as the shuttle powered up and began backing away from the hangar.
The shuttle then taxied to a strip and, with a roar of engines, raced down the line and lifted off, Lancer Fighters taking up station around the craft as it burned for space.
Tinney watched it climb as his comm chimed. Glancing to Hollister, he answered the device. “Tinney…”
[Sir, Operations… you are needed back in Landing]
[Colonel McCormack is requesting your presence. Apparently there has been an incident at Quarters One. No details… just that you are needed back there as soon as able. No Alert has been raised.]
A long pause. “Let her know I am on my way… And will call for details once I am in the air.”
[Understood sir. Operations clear.] The call ended.
Tinney cursed and looked at his companion. “John, I have to get back to Landing.”
Hollister looked back at him. “What’s wrong?”
“Something at my home… I’ll find out more as soon as I am in the air.”
“Go. I can finish here and will meet you back in Landing.”
With that, Tinney turned and headed for an aircar to take him to the courier shuttles. Time to see how fast those damn things could fly…
Lancer Commander’s Residence
Phoenix Lancer Main Compound
Auburn Mountains, Cromwell
1231hrs (GMT+2), 21 April 3080
Some ninety minutes after being called, Tinney arrived at his residence to find Leslie’s vehicle parked in the drive as well as her exec’s beater and the stepdaughter’s car. Getting out of the duty aircar, he hurried up the way to the house and entered. “I’m here…”
He had contacted Leslie after some fifteen minutes in the air and got a synopsis. Brooke had found Kris on the floor unconscious and had called Les for help. Les had determined, with the smell of incense in the house, that Kris might have done some digging related to last night’s party… and had likely overdone it. She was ok as near as could be determined… but it was likely a good idea he was on his way, for reasons she would not get into over the comms.
So, finding the Coven here at the house (if Shan was here, Maggie likely was too) told him exactly what sort of digging had been done. John knew of the ritual Kris had… and knew she almost never used it without someone present. That she had…. Well, it ended well this time, as the warning to Krog helped avert an Incident. But if she had hurt herself, the positive ending would be a bit…. Tainted.
From the kitchen came Maggie’s voice. “She’s in the den with the others, John…”
Tinney didn’t answer but simply went to the den where he found Kris, dressed in her sweats, seated in the big chair he usually used for reading in and saw that Shan had the other large chair occupied. Brooke was in here on a folding chair and Leslie stood off to the side, arms folded with her poker face present. “Ok… what happened? And Kris, Krog says thank you- he got ‘em no problem.”
Kris looked at her husband sheepishly. “I had an itch I needed to scratch… and boy did I.” She replied. “Glad he got them…”
A lifted eyebrow. “Spirit Walk?”
A nod. “Yes… In the process I met one of the Loremaster’s ancestors… the First Khan or so she said. Whomever she was, she is the one who clued me into the attempted assassination.”
Les joined in. “The name given to Kris matches the information I have on the tablet I was given last night by Tseng. And if that’s the case… and if the spirit was speaking true… it would seem their founders are judging the actions of Kabrinski as appropriate.”
Kris nodded emphatically. “Yes! They are happy with events… the sense I got was of shame over their role in the original act… and relief over efforts to atone for it. Even if it’s been forever as far as we mortals are concerned.”
John shook his head. “Wild…” He spoke. “If you are right, then the Ancestors who were there support all this. How others from that time view it… well, we may never know. And No- don’t you go looking.” Looking over at Brooke, he commented. “Good to see you, squirt… you alright?”
Brooke made a face at the old nickname but it lasted only a second. “I’m fine… and glad Mom is ok. Sorry I didn’t call you… figured you were busy.”
“I was… but that’s ok. Wasn’t much I could do from where I was,” he answered. “Good thinking, in any event…” A sigh. “So now what?”
Kris answered the question. “What I need is a pint of ice cream… and a cleanup of the ritual room. The incense burned out and I don’t know if I can get more anytime soon.” A frown. “I think it is the last of the stuff I got on New Avalon when we visited your mom.”
“Oh no worries,” Maggie commented as she entered the room with a tray of coffee cups. “I have a cousin who is crew on the jumpship Wyomissing; they go through New Avalon on a regular basis.”
Shan looked at her friend. “Do you have a cousin everywhere?” She asked. “Last week, you mentioned a cousin over on Tharkad who was getting the Lyran tequila I was looking for.”
Maggie smiled sweetly. “Oh you know… I came from a really big family. I got cousins all over… even in the Marik Guards. My family should have been Irish, in how we are everywhere…”