Thursday, February 24, 2011

Timewalking Archive Trap: Gepanzerte Welle (Part 2 of 3)

Battletech is a universe set in the 31st century where giant robots called Battlemechs are kings of the battlefield and feudal realms fight for planets devastated by years of warfare. A few years ago, I tried to convince my friends to participate in a Battletech email-based roleplaying game. It didn't work out, but I am quite proud of much of the work I did on it, even on a peripheral write-up I did for a mercenary unit. It should be noted that as with most Battletech products, it's written from an in-universe perspective; that is, it represents a document published by one of the characters in the setting, which makes it subject to bias and omissions from characters who simply do not have perfect knowledge. This document itself is a compilation of two different sets of documents; a series of personal memoirs and a more standard unit report.

Green Box entry on Battletech is linked here, and Part 1 is here.
"She mentioned Courchevel once. Far less than Ray[mond Starling] and the others did. It was the last battle before I began riding in the Karnov during ops, and it always held the value of something that I had just missed; a mission where a thousand little things happened that seemed to define the company for me in those days. I never noticed all of the events I witnessed that had just as much effect, or the changes that the Armored Wave had undergone between Stemwerde and Ashlain. She glossed over just how her Orion got floored by a Star of Clanners and the fate of the rest of her lance (even now, I remain ignorant of the names of the three mechwarriors who accompanied her to the field that day.), stopping just long enough to establish the character of Star Commander Andery. As she lay there, her Orion with its ammo stores dramatically spent and missing a leg, Andery accuses her of fighting dishonorably, talks about the superiority of the Clans, and generally says all of the half-witted things Clanners in holovids monologue about while the hero prepares his cunning escape. And just as he's talking about how she might make a good bondsman for other purposes--moving ever so closer for the killing shot--she asks him for bondsref; an honorable mercy-killing by the Clans.

He could still kill her of course, no problem. After all, technically, she was never a bondsman, she had no honor, and his starmates probably wouldn't take issue with it. But, somehow, it would have seemed wrong to him. She had requested, illogically, bondsref, and pulling that trigger would only give her an honorable death. Predictably, her fast thinking and knowledge of Clan warfare saves her life and the Karnov picked her up an hour later, in just enough time for her to regroup and stage a fighting withdraw for the unit. Two years later, she was dead and I was an orphan ward of Clan Ghost Bear.

Tavan Londeri, Memoirs of My Mother, unpublished private collection [annotated], c.3083

[While Ashlain is written here, it isn't supported as the world where the GW met its final defeat. No planet does, and it suggests that Tavan Londeri and the Ghost Bears have kept the facts well-obfuscated for a reason.]

Unit History

3058: After a few years and a handful of deployments in support and harassment missions against the Smoke Jaguars and Jade Falcons, Gepanzerte Welle was given the opportunity to have a free hand against a Clan during The Coventry Invasion. During the early stages of the Jade Falcon incursion into Lyran space, they were deployed along the border. Their contract included a rarely-used clause allowing them to raid Clan targets as the opportunity arose. With a bulk of the Jade Falcon touman deployed on Coventry, Blair Londeri and her troops struck lightly defended Jade Falcon targets and scored two nominal victories before being lured into a trap and mauled by Jade Falcon garrison and salhoma troops. Clantech salvage traded to the Lyrans and regular pay helped the unit survive to finish their contract, and even upgrade and replace a handful of units lost.

The unit's first heavy contact with the Clans resulted in the loss of much of their support staff and the acquisition of a handful of upgrade packages. With a proven inimical attitude towards the Clans and decided antipathy towards ComStar, the desperate unit has miraculously found a cadre of technicians recently disaffected by ComStar's decidedly secular bent. Highly-motivated and battle-hardened from Tukayyid, they served to solidify the fanaticism of a unit whose more moderate elements had been chipped away by their first missions.
[We now believe these former ComGuard techs were either Blakist plants, or later became sympathetic towards The Word.]
3060: After Coventry, the unit saw little action, of note. Unsurprisingly, they were hired on by The Star League to fill gaps left by more experienced units due to the success of Operation Bulldog, selected from the lower ranks of mercenaries for their proven (if not spotless) track record against the Clans. Their habitual 'clan-hunting' clause was stricken from their contract and they have thus far participated in a number of raiding actions between The Ghost Bears and The Combine.

3062: According to rumors, Blair Londeri was considering retirement from the unit (perhaps even joining the new Star League Defense Forces). While actions against the Clans had been helpful for the morale of her ever-more-rabidly anti-Clan unit, reports indicate that they had not been as satisfying for her. Whatever the case, little has been said about it since the outbreak of the Combine/Bear War. The Gepanzerte Welle 'exercised' their now non-existent attack clause and has been operating at the edges of the larger conflict. In the span of a few months, their contract has been amenably canceled and they have begun operating somewhere between bounty hunter for the Combine and rogue unit, turning in Clan salvage and intelligence reports on worlds raided in exchange for repairs and munitions. While rumors of rogue actions aren't enough to cause a suspension of their MRBC inclusion, we should be ready to do so at a moment's notice.

3063: At the cessation of the war, the Gepanzerte Welle were nowhere to be found. Possibly destroyed behind Ghost Bear lines.

3064: Unit blacklisted by MRBC due to unhired raids against Draconis Combine, Nova Cat, and Ghost Bear bases. Initial reports indicated two battered lances of battlmechs with an irregular compliment of infantry and vehicle. Intelligence was confirmed during another strike in the Combine when sources also reported that the new Gepanzerte Welle is largely comprised of Combine citizens outraged by the outcome of the war. Early raids on The Combine and Nova Cats have been successful, netting them additional materials and intelligence on Ghost Bear deployments. The survival of Colonel Londeri is still uncertain, though an Orion model identical to hers has been confirmed at the raids.

July 3064: This file has been shared with The Draconis Combine embassy.

December 3064: According to a communique by Clan Ghost Bear, a unit with the insignia of The Gepanzerte Welle struck a Ghost Bear world during the construction of a new factory complex and ore processing center. The unit consisted of a full 'mech company with vehicular and infantry support. Collected intelligence by the Bears indicated that they expected to find a Cluster of Ghost Bear troops they could manipulate using the Bears' honor and conservative leanings. They confirmed Blair Londeri's body was recovered from a battle site.Our intelligence suggests that the Bear's Omega Galaxy might have been recently garrisoned on a construction project. If that information is correct, then Omega Galaxy, as it its practice, wouldn't have held to traditional Clan practices. The Gepanzerte Welle would have been swallowed up by superior tactics, superior warriors, and superior machines.

Part I
Part II
Part III

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