Alisandria Cliffs outside
0010 hours 09 December
Jon advanced the Vulcan forward onto the property of the estate. Kennedy’s gunmen had engaged the platoon of troops initially defending their incursion. As soon as his mech showed itself, additional forces showed themselves in the form of a sniper here and SRM team there. Each time something anti-battlemech showed itself, the snipers of his Allies removed them as a threat. Pretty effective teamwork, when one thinks about it, and that Jon was grateful for.
It was when the two small missile turrets popped up as the Fury dropship closed on the place that shit started getting real. And it got very real when a pair of small Quad mechs rose out of the bottom of the pool.
“What the ever-loving fuck….” He cursed as the two machines crawled from the water and began to engage Kennedy’s men. Dropping the targeting reticle on one machine, he cut loose with his light Armstrong Two. As the slug struck home, he followed it up with a medium laser which scarred the quad machine’s torso. “Kennedy! Go to ground or back off; you don’t have the ass for those!”
Kennedy’s reply was not what he expected. [Nope! But it’s what you’re for,] He said. [We’ll manage- I’ve got Mikey on the way wit’ a trio of MRAPs. He’s a minute out so we’ll manage till he gets here…]
Jon sent another autocannon round at a quad along with all his machine guns. “Dude… don’t be a hero!” The Lancer’s shooting was rewarded with a smoking short range launcher on his target as the internals lay exposed. His own machine rocked with small explosions from the other quad battlemech’s launcher. That machine earned a laser in return, which shredded leg armor but not much else.
[Again, that’s what you are for…] Kennedy joked with him, the sound of gunfire coming through the comms. [Just don’t miss…]
The LRM turrets that sprang into being began to fire at the dropship as it approached, the salvos coming fast and furious from the two positions.
“The Colorado Blues”
Rhiannon had settled into a glide path to the estate when the launchers had appeared. This had elicitied a small curse from the pilot and a squeak of surprise from Caitlyn. “Steady….” Rhi breathed then called out into her microphone, “Gunners… Weapons free, I repeat Weapons Free… Pick your targets kids…”
The wing gunners let their weapons do the talking, returning long-range missiles back at the two firing points along with medium lasers as they came in range. The exchange was a little one sided as the gunnery of the drop ship crew showed- the cascade of explosions striking the weapon towers. Neither fell silent but the damage was not small.
The craft rocked a bit with the damage received but Rhiannon held the ship steady. “Randi… get ready to open the ramp,” she said with a calm she actually felt. Her family was down there doing something crazy; the right thing maybe but crazy… and she was going to get them out.
[On it,] The crew chief replied. [Ramp opening in fifteen seconds… you go this.]
Inside the Underground
Adara’s charge took her into the room at the end of the hall and her hands lashed out with their weapons, blades slashing into anyone within reach. As some of the defenders were attempting to deal with the CS that had been used, the suited Arkanian used their distraction to full advantage. A stab here, a slash there, the close quarter specialist launched into a macabre dance of blood and death.
As her old teacher had stated many years ago, all close quarter combat, be it done with weapon or hands, was a dance and it was a dance that only you knew the steps to. The key was finding that groove and embracing the movement to make it flow. The Flow of the Dance is the key, Lass… without th’grace of ye movement, all ye doing is flailin’ aboot. Find ye flow, find tha’ groove… and th’rest will take care of itself.
Adara remembered these words as she spun through the room, her blades flashing in the weave of flying blood she was creating. Within seconds, the six men that had barred the way were dead or dying as she paused in her dance- in many cases, missing a hand or some sort of piece of their body…
“Darren! Let’s go!” She called as she reset one baton against a floor then stowed it on her suit’s waist. Drawing one of her pistols again as her companion entered the room with the unconscious Amelia over a shoulder, Adara led the way out and into the opening that led outside next to the Manse above. They were close and the two of them could hear the fighting nearby.
The gunners on the dropship returned fire at the missile towers, discovering each one had an anti-missile defense system protecting them. It didn’t matter in the long run as medium lasers from the big craft also stabbed out at each gun tower, slagging armor and inflicting punishment even as the towers dished their own.
A flash of bright blue-purple light was seen as Rhiannon added the particle-cannon she controlled to the exchange and a tower detonated in response. “Gunners… target remaining tower… engage the other quad as opportunity presents,” she called into the ship’s network. “Stand by for retrieval… Open the ramp…”
[Ramp opening…] Randi called back as she lowered the entryway to halfway.
Outside on the grounds
Arione and Caelan exited the underground by the pad, looking around at the insanity that was the surface. In the distance, they could see the Vulcanengaging the second quad battlemech, dancing around the building as each sought to damage the other. The Vulcan was still pretty untouched, a bit of damage to a torso and legs from the handful of successful strikes from the quad. The quad was smoking in spots too as it weathered hits from their ally.
The dropship glided into place, its guns opening up on the towers that were shooting at it, now one less as the dropship destroyed one emplacement. Out front, the ground troops engaging each other were joined by a trio of APC’s, the heavy wheeled vehicles lending their machine guns to the fighting and suppressing the defenders handily.
Speaking of defenders, about a half-dozen engaged both the troops on the ramp of the dropship and the two figures coming from the mansion area. Seeing this, Arione quickly brought his machine pistol into play supporting the advance of his family members.
The defenders, not expecting the two power armored escapees to have managed to get loose, went to ground to avoid being hit. This allowed Darren (who had shifted Amelia to his front to carry her, shielding her with his body) and Adara to hurry towards the pad and waiting dropship.
In his ear, the voice of Aleister sounded once more. [You will regret this, Mister Arkanian… you will regret all of this, I assure you…]
Arione emptied the magazine of his weapon in the direction of the defenders, being rewarded with the dropping of one of them. “I regret a great many things, Aleister… and this won’t be one,” He replied as he quickly reloaded on the move, advancing to a point to better cover Adara and Darren. Caelan mirrored his movement, his submachinegun stuttering as the highlander shot at defenders trying to kill them.
As Adara hurried by Arione, she staggered as a heavy rifle shot boomed. A defender, who had managed to get a heavy rifle into play, clipped her in the back she ran. Caelan ran over to help her up, his weapon firing the occasional burst.
Arione, seeing who had shot at her, poured the remaining shots from his weapon in his direction. When it clicked empty, he attached it to his armor and threw a protesting Adara, who was struggling to stand, over his shoulder. “Shut Up!” He scolded. “I know you are a strong independent woman who doesn’t need the help… but trust me, this time you do!”
“Its not that!” She hollered back. “I dropped my pistol and can’t shoot the fucker who shot me…”
Caelan grabbed the dropped pistol. “Got it,” he called as he fired a few rounds back at the mansion. Running for the ramp behind Arione and the others, he stayed low as other members of AG shot at anything shooting at them.
As soon as he boarded the ship, it began to lift.
Jon kicked the jump jets into action and his battlemech rode the columns of flame upwards and back as he triggered his autocannon once more at the quad. Satisfied with the result of the shot, he landed back towards the road. His headset chirped with an incoming message from Kennedy… “Yo…”
[Looks like the ship is leaving,] the ground commander said, the sounds of weapons fire heard behind his voice.
“Yeah it does…” he replied as his laser flashed once more and was rewarded with a direct hit to the quad’s center, slagging it clean through which seemed to power it down like a bot. “Stand by…” He clicked over to the channel he figured Rhiannon might be monitoring.
“Rescue Two, Rescue One…”
As she lifted from the scene, Rhiannon angled her ship away from the estate and began to gain some speed. Hearing Jon call over the side channel reserved for use, she answered within a few seconds, realizing why he was calling. “Rescue One, Rescue Two… packages recovered. Two going for a new nest…”
[Two, One; Copy… safe flight and stay low. Someone will meet you on location.]
“Gotcha One. Be safe and see you later” She replied and flipped her attention back to the low level flying she was about to do.
Jon returned to the other channel. “Alright, Jimmy- get everyone out of here… cops will be arriving eventually, and nobody better be here…”
[don’t gotta tell us twice.]
Over the next three minutes, the men who had come with Jimmy Kennedy backed off to the vehicles or MRAPS that had arrived. Retreating, the mafia gunmen were covered by Jon in the Vulcan as they drove away.
Jon, as soon as everyone was clear, broke his machine in to a run. He had a facility to get to where Marone was waiting to collect this prized machine. While it was not the most powerful machine he’s ever used, this Vulcan had done the job well… and he’d managed to face off against a pair of quad battlemechs in it AND keep it mostly intact. Good thing they were kinda crappy- otherwise that might not have been the case.
Galatea City Police Department
Police Captain Lance Katz, a twenty-five-year veteran of the department and a survivor of all the insanity the Jihad had brought to his world, was in Dispatch when the calls came in for the fighting over at Alisandria Cliffs. As the number of notifications increased, he turned towards the Shift Sergeant, Jon DeMare, another veteran of the madness of the past decade. “Jon, think we should send someone that way?” He said with a wink.
DeMare glanced at the wall map, which highlighted the area of the complaints. “Isn’t that where Mister Talamini said there was some sort of crazy party going on? Lots of fireworks and a lightshow?” his question was lighthearted in his asking, a cup of coffee in his hand.
“I do believe that’s what the man said…” Katz replied as a lieutenant looked at the two of them incredulously.
“Sir… there is a report of a battlemech over there too…” The lieutenant, Kiara Carson, stated. Kiara, a fairly recent transfer to the city precinct from one of the outlying departments was both confused and somewhat understanding. She had been here when a most peculiar person had paid a visit to the precinct some six hours ago.
The Don of Galatea City and his chief accountant had come with several boxes of pizza, just as many boxes of donuts, jugs of coffee (with travel mugs!) and a donation to the Galatea Policeman’s Benevolent Association (a large one, too, from what she heard later) to which the two men merely requested a meeting with the chief, the Shift Captain and Shift Sergeant. All that was wanted was that…
She suspected that meeting had something to do with the calls they were getting right now. “Sirs?”
DeMare smiled at the lieutenant. “Lieutenant, have units 31, 33 and 51 head over there, class three. Notify SWAT 5 to also head there, same class. Let them know I’ll be there shortly and not to enter till I get there, if they can help it. Same with EMS…”
Carson nodded. “Sergeant DeMare, why three? The reported gunfire…”
DeMare held up a hand. “Kiara… sometimes one doesn’t want to get too involved in arguments between factions. And this is one of those times…” he said. “Matter of fact, go grab your vest; I’ll explain what the hell is going on while on the way. Trust me, it’s an interesting story…”
175 kilometers west of Galatea City
Rhiannon set the dropship down on the private airstrip west of the city. The location had been given to her about an hour prior to their lifting for the rescue and she had only had time to just program the location into the NavComp and not much else. As such, she didn’t know much about the place, just that no matter what happened she was to land there, and resources would be available.
So, when they landed, she was only partially surprised by the three ambulances and a few private vans that rolled up on them. “No cops at least,” she said to Cait as she powered down the engines. “I guess the Lancer Boy wasn’t kidding he knew someone.”
Caitlyn quickly flipped switches on her side to power down other systems. “I guess that’s good…” She replied. “Go on… I go this. I heard Randi’s report on injuries…”
Rhiannon unbuckled and bolted from her seat. “Thanks kid…” She said as she hurried towards the troop bays. The pilot scurried down the accessway and slid down the ladder to troop bay one. Here, she found a fairly elated group of AG troops and a bunch around Adara. Amelia was being looked after by Darren and he was quietly telling folks to move that patient plus the handful of wounded out of the compartment to the ambulances.
Her poly-wife was on a litter, power-armor top removed and a series of bandages in place. Bjorn and Darren had worked on her after lift-off along with the handful of other injuries as the drop ship made its way to the field, Looking at Adara, Rhiannon noted how pale she looked. Stepping up and kneeling, she reached out with a hand. “Hey sugar… you forgot to zag,”
Adara, who had her eyes closed, opened them up at Rhi’s voice. “I know… and I didn’t see the fucker who got me.”
“That’s what snipers do, honey…” Rhiannon said as she looked up at Bjorn, who nodded. “Bearman says y’all gonna be alright.”
The wounded close quarter specialist chuckled. “Yeah… one more scar to add to the collection. Darren said if I hadn’t been in this armor, be a different story.” A pained shrug. “I’mma be fine, Rhi. You just keep the others in line till I get back.”
Darren showed up at this moment. “Hey, there is a medic truck here… You two-“ he pointed at two of the AG troops. “Get her up and down to them. I’ll be going with…” The two troopers hopped to it and grabbed the stretcher to move out of the bay and towards the ramp. Darren looked over at Rhiannon. “Nice flying, by the way.”
When the stretcher followed by Bjorn left, she looked at Darren. “Truth?”
“Missed her spine by that much,” He held his fingers apart by about five centimeters. “That armor saved her, Period…” He grabbed his bag, closed it quick and continued. “She’s gonna be fine, Rhiannon. If your contact has that good of medical people handy, then definitely…. Go check on Arione- – he’s busy kicking himself.” With that, he departed after Adara.
Rhiannon followed along and found her lover standing on the troop ramp watching the ambulances depart with the injured members of the group. Coming along side of him, she placed an arm around his armored shoulders, noting the areas of damage on it. He’d been hit too, she noted, and was also bleeding a little. He wasn’t complaining right then but she knew it would happen. “Hey…. We lost nobody,” She said to him as another vehicle pulled up, this one an armored limousine.
“No. No we didn’t… but I can’t help but wonder if we didn’t fuck ourselves in the end. Even though we did the right thing,” Arione mused as they watched a well-dressed man in a blazer exit the limo.
“Don’t know till we know,” She replied as the man in the blazer, who now had a briefcase, approached the ramp. Two men remained behind at the vehicle. “Can I help you?” Rhiannon asked in such a way that Randi and the rest of the crew who were nearby took notice, becoming on guard.
“It’s more like I’m here to help you,” He replied as he came to a stop about three feet away. “Name’s Thomas Talamini… I am the personal financial officer for Gotti Holdings and will be handling some financial issues for you as arranged for yesterday afternoon. In addition, there is the question of compensation for your efforts on behalf of my client; I am here to adjudicate this as well.”
Arion looked at Rhiannon with a quizzical expression. “Arranged by who?” He asked the pilot, who merely smiled back at him.
“I told you that the Lancer and I talked… and he told me things were being taken care of, on all fronts as much as possible. I got this,” She replied to her love before turning to Talamini and her charm turned on. “Well come aboard Mistah Talamini… Sorry for the accommodations for discussion but we were a might busy… Rhiannon Arkanian and very pleased to meet you…” She held out a hand.
Talamini didn’t miss the byplay between the two. He had been briefed about the Arkanian Group and its dynamics. He was also warned about the *charms* the pilot was capable of displaying… which is why he chose to do this now instead of later. A flight suit, while it could be flattering, still requires a bit of lead time to make it so and Rhiannon was a very fetching woman. But he didn’t get to be Gotti’s money man by being fooled by cleavage and a pretty smile; taking care of things now meant less chance of a mental faux pau
“Oh I am not concerned about the accommodations, Ms Arkanian; I’ve settled many a deal in some off the wall places… An infantry bay on a dropship won’t be the weirdest or the first time, either.” He shook her hand and followed her into the ship.
Arione followed the two of them and merely listened. Rhiannon had obviously cut some sort of deal- what sort, he didn’t know… but he was about to find out.
And find out he did.