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Charles Maxwell

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Charles Maxwell last won the day on March 3

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  1. I'd seen situations deteriorate quickly over the course of my career; however, this particular situation had gone to shit in record time. Whether it was dumb luck that we'd come across a heavy pirate patrol on their return from a raid, or if the scenario had somehow been timed to coincide with our deployment, I couldn't say, but we were now facing down an eclectic assortment of hardware that was more than a match for our own. And that included a 100-ton walking turret from the distant past of the Inner Sphere. The ANH-2A Annihilator, originally developed by the Star League in Exile in th
  2. "Orpheus-3 to Orpheus-1; ready op," Alyssa Chase's voice crackled, checking in on the heels of Nicholas Schuster. "Roger that, Orpheus Lance ready status confirmed," I acknowledged, glancing at the command console before me as our MechWarriors maneuvered their steeds into a wedge formation alongside my Atlas. "Orpheus-5, at your leisure, we could use that telemetry." "Aye, Captain, coming your way as soon as I can....uh...figure out how to keep enough hands on the wheel that you get more than just first-person video of me crashing," Schuster replied, his tone a mixture of frustration
  3. Three days later... Black Canyon Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation October 7, 3029 ____________________________________ As our chopper thundered inbound, the staging island emerged from the mist like a sprawling, dark shape in the midst of twin waterways, golden sunlight spilling over the horizon and casing long shadows across its surface. Even from our current altitude, I could make out the distinctive shapes of our Atlas, Merlin, Dragon, Shadow Hawk LAM, and Raven BattleMechs aligned in a row on the remote spit of land, like a phalanx of legionnaires preparing to face an invad
  4. Simultaneously... "Alright, if there are no further questions, this briefing is adjourned," Lisa Rensselaer announced, closing her electronic folio. As the cadre rose to their feet, I glanced toward Bishop Weyland, who was in the process of making steely eye contact with the agent. "I think the two of them might have some kind of history," Alyssa remarked, coming to stand alongside me. "What gave you that impression? The fact that their relationship can be described as adversarial at best, or that if Weyland's eyes could shoot lasers, she'd have a smoldering hole in the middle o
  5. "Sir what are our Assignments going to be on this Op?" Steve Jenkins asked, ending his sentence with an extended hybrid of a belch and a gag. "Single lance," I replied. "Nothing fancy. We're going to keep a tight formation, concentrate any fire on hostiles, get to the objective, and get out. Same as previously discussed: Lieutenant Weyland and I will take point in the AS7-D-DC Atlas. Lieutenant Jaeger will be in his MLN-1J Merlin. Warrant Officer Chase will be piloting the RVN-1XL-DC Raven, you'll be driving the DRG-1N Dragon, and Nathan's going to be at the controls of the Phoenix Hawk L
  6. I glanced at Steve, noting that Alyssa's assessment seemed to be more correct than I would've liked to believe. "He does seem a bit more - addled - than is the baseline for him," I nodded, replying in a low voice so that no one else could hear me. "Fortunately, we've got Doc Aldon back at the hotel; he might be able to hit him with some Narcan or what have you to get him through this thing." "Fair enough, but really, at what point are we going to - " Alyssa's sentence was cut off by Lisa, our Interstellar Expeditions contact, clearing her throat. I turned my attention to the des
  7. Shortly thereafter... The low roar of the club's music transitioned into a dull, persistent thumping as the basement door slammed closed behind us and our group wound its way down a stone, spiral staircase into the earth. As we descended below street level, I felt a noticeable drop in temperature. Alyssa shivered, her minimalist attire yielding to the change in atmosphere. At the bottom of the stairs, several storage rooms branched off a small corridor. Lisa led us into the furthest one on the right, a wine cellar, where, upon reaching a rack laden with bottles, she located and tugged on
  8. Meanwhile... The pulsing and thumping of the club music sent rhythmic vibrations through Alyssa and I as we stood in an embrace in the midst of the packed dance floor, moving to the beat of the melodies and trying to look as inconspicuous as possible while surveying the crowd. "See anything?" I asked. "Yeah, you've got a nice ass," Alyssa teased. "I was talking about our contact," I laughed. "You're in rare form. What's the occasion?" "Honestly? This is kinda nice," Chase replied, nuzzling my neck. "I know that we're working, but a long haul on a freighter where I've g
  9. LuxConoTel Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation October 3, 3029 ____________________________________ With a cheery 'ding,' the hotel elevator lurched to a stop, its ancient, heavy doors rumbling aside to reveal the checkered-tile expanse of the lobby. Those members of our crew who were accompanying us to Ner0hack! - Bishop Weyland, Nikki Harlow, Orlex Jaeger, Nathan Schmidt, and Steve Jenkins - stood gathered in a semicircle watching a Solaris VII match on a static-filled holovision. Some poor fool in a Clint was in the process of getting his ass handed to him by an opponent in a Zeus,
  10. A short while later... Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation Port Royal October 3, 3029 - 2235 hours local time ____________________________________ The jet-engine whine of the Hurry Up Bessie's drives winding down punctuated the heavy thunk of the vessel lurching to a stop against the ferrocrete of the Port Royal spaceport. I stood in Cargo Bay One, which had effectively become our mobile base of operations, my rucksack slung over a shoulder, dressed to the nines in an eclectic wardrobe that I'd been assured was "Oberon couture" by our local expert, Nikki Harlow. Alongside me stood
  11. "Nice shooting, Lieutenant! Alright! That's it! Let's go!" I exclaimed, holding the escape pod's hatch open and waving at Steve, Orlex, and Alyssa, who floated across the bridge as quickly as their arms could pull them. Worry was beginning to overtake me as the aperture of the space station drew nearer and nearer. I knew that we had a only few seconds, at best, to board the pod and initiate the ejection sequence before the station's crew would begin locking down the spacelanes. If we ejected outside of the blast doors, our chances of escaping the authorities unnoticed would become slim to none
  12. Simultaneously... With a heavy lurch, the Valhalla pushed away from the pier, its command deck listing noticeably relative to the external view of the dock as Royce attempted to manually maneuver the leviathan vessel from its berth. I instinctively took hold of one of the safety rails fitted to the helm's console, tightening my grip on the bar and transitioning into a seat as I watched the velocimeter displayed on the bridge's sweeping status display. "You want the good news or the bad news first?" Alyssa asked. From some distant part of the vessel, a loud, metal wrenching sound reve
  13. Meanwhile... Malice and I hustled as quickly as we could without risking being noticed, attempting to cross the football field and a half's length that stood between us and the Valhalla. Overhead, a cacophony of bangs, thunks, screams, and the occasional showtune squelched from the public address system. I was growing concerned about Jenkins - whatever was taking place in the control booth sounded as though it was becoming legitimately brutal, although in a darkly comedic sort of way. We were halfway to the slip before we were intercepted by a pair of dockhands that were sprinting away fr
  14. Ozymandias Station Vega System, Draconis Combine May 30, 3029 ____________________________________ "Phantom to Mirage - Ghost and I are inside the perimeter," I whispered into the radio as Malice and I peered out from behind a tall stack of haphazardly-arranged miscellaneous engine components. After traversing a myriad and twisting series of corridors, utility conduits, and access hatches, Malice and I had arrived on the controlled-access side of the impound docks, behind the dockmaster's office and security checkpoints, tantalizingly close to the impounded vessels. From our position,
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