08 November 2915 – 10 December 2915
After a successful departure from Royal space, the Royal Expeditionary Force arrives at the Hadley’s Hope colony to find a mysterious vessel already at the supposedly “lost” colony. When the vessel fails to respond to hails, Captain Buchanan dispatches Kier Tighe and the Corsairs
to investigate. As the fighters close on the enemy vessel, it begins broadcasting a ComStar IFF
code, and the REF
is hailed by a ComStar Demi-Precentor who states they are an Explorer Corps vessel engaged in a routine cataloging expedition to this recently rediscovered world. The Demi-Precentor goes on to warn the RDG
that his mission has been hindered by the presence of another force – possibly armed – on the surface of the colony which the unarmed ComStar expedition is obviously unable to deal with due to ComStar’s noncombatant status. Captain Buchanan explains the REF
arrived at Hadley’s Hope by mistake, and would leave as soon as the K-F drive recharged. In the meantime, he planned on sending a shuttle to the surface of the colony for sightseeing.
The shuttle carries Leftenant DeChevalier, Corporal Eversole and Dragoons BuenDia and Torres-BuenDia to the surface of Hadley’s Hope, where they find a salvage crew has restored some atmosphere to the station and was in the process of claiming the valuables as legal salvage. Establishing communications with the salvors, Leftenant DeChevalier makes an agreement with them to share any information they may find in exchange for permission to explore the ruins. The salvors, knowing they lacked the manpower to case the entire colony, agreed, stating there was a military blast door they were unable to open.
The team splits up to check the colony, with DeChevalier and The Warlord going to the old medical facility and Eversole and Torres-BuenDia headed down to the military complex. TBD
was able to hack the security lock and enter the complex. Inside, they found an intact Star League theatre command center, with working computer systems. A recorded message was inside, from Lieutenant General Kelsey Bateson, SLDF
. The General outlined how he was taking his command and following Kerensky into OPERATION
, and was leaving “breadcrumbs” to allow any force that followed to catch up. They recovered a data disk with a full copy of the purported Exodus map, as well as the discretionary fund for the base, left behind along with a printer-like device in the supply vault.
These items, plus a pair of Mauser-960 rifles and some portable computers were put in TBD’s Swift Wind scout car. The door was then re-sealed and the salvors called. TBD
and DeChevalier convinced the salvors that they had not already removed artifacts from the site. Their technology curator was so excited at the Star League computers he pressured the foreman to accept DeChevalier’s offer to take the REF’s share of the discovery in simple armor plate. This deception convinced the foreman that the REF
were typical MechWarriors, interested only in what they could immediately use for maintain their ’Mechs. Armor plate was less valuable than the Star League computer systems by an order of magnitude, and the salvors felt they were getting an amazing deal. The REF
left the world with 80 tons of armor plate, and their hidden spoils.
Jumping outsystem, the REF
arrived at what was, according to both maps, a colony that had been destroyed during the Amaris Coup. They began receiving old-style radio transmissions from the planet below. Investigating, they began to realize the planetary population was at a state of war with itself, and had apparently lost the ability for space travel. Oddly, a spaceborne force of aerospace fighters began heading around the star from the zenith jump point claiming to be Lyran Commonwealth naval forces and accusing the REF
of an open act of war.
Captain Buchanan attempted to buy time, while Micah Torres-BuenDia made contact with the planet below. It was confirmed that the world was unaware anyone else survived the wars leading up to and following the Fall of Terra. Buchanan and TBD
sent information on the last two centuries of history to the world via radio. The Lyran Naval force eventually accepted that the REF
was suffering a jump malfunction, and held out of weapons range waiting to see if the REF
would jump on schedule – which they did.
Many mysteries remain in from the trip to these two worlds.