The next 2 weeks, the Boss decided to move us to Mantharaka; contracts on Independence had dried up so we needed to move. Cadre duty, money was good but nothing really to write about. We did managed to get both the Phoenix Hawk and the Panther refitted in transit, so that was good.
Mantharaka though, started a bad trend for us. We were doing an escort mission for the locals, and things were going smooth. The Panther’s snub PPC was quite impressive and TigerTail was getting used to the Phoenix Hawk. The mission went ok, but the Boss took a missile hit to the head that needed more than 2 weeks in the medbay. That meant Beetle finally got time in the Blackjack, with Rebound taking over the Centurion for a bit.
But the next contract, locals tricked us into fighting a Canopus base. That one went, well, not great. A Firestarter flamed TigerTail and that set her off on a rampage. She ended up clubbing a Canopus Jenner to death, and doing unnice things to a Panther. The Firestarter also managed to hit Beetle in the head, so he went out for more than 3 weeks. And Mechs were also down with internal damage to fix.
So we were 2 out of 5 ‘Warriors down.. and Boss made us go do an interdiction contract for the locals with a short Lance. That in my opinion wasn’t a great move. Turned out heavier opposition than expected, so TigerTail, Rebound and Ghoul had a hard time. TigerTail went berzerk again, punching the enemy Firestarter really good. All that action got her focused on, and she ended up out of action for a month. AND her PXH badly bashed up. Yang wasn’t too happy about that one, but at least we pulled a Firestarter off the field.
The Boss looked at all the injured warriors — we’re down to 2 unwounded — and decided to bug out for greener fields. Rockwellawan was next, and we took the transist time to both rest the ‘Warriors and fix the Mechs. We passed the first month as Ghosts in deep space, having survived and even gotten some upgrades done. But we are having way too many wounded ‘Warriors. Beetle surprised us by getting conned into buying a “herbal remedy” for his fractured skull. That didn’t work, but apparently that thick head of his healed faster anyway — he bounced back on duty. At this point, I’d take it.
Once the Boss is up and the Phoenix Hawk is fixed, we took a contract on Rockwellawan to evict some squatters from a base in the Jungles. That one was a hard fight. Beetle proved his worth by taking a risky push and killing a particularly problematic base turret, while the rest of the team took out the Javelin flanking him. We thought we had it in the bag, until more reinforcements showed up.
Boss was really on the fence about taking these out, as we had all taken a beating. But when we figured out it was a pair of Fleas and a Javelin, we decided we can pull through. Took longer than I’d have liked, lots of spore clouds and poor gunnery on our part. Boss finally took two of the mechs out with a single salvo. The last Flea.. well, Rebound took a bad hit somewhere during the fight, and she was pissed. Didn’t work out so well for the Flea. She ended up in the medbay for more than 2 weeks, and that was an unpleasant pattern for the Ghosts to be having.
We sat out the next two weeks to let people recover and for Yang to refit the Centurion. Boss wanted to stay in this system to take up some of the work offers. Honestly I felt it was a tossup since there was no good recruitment here and we might be better off transiting to other systems.
After Rebound and TigerTail got out of medbay, Boss lined up a real doozy for us: Locals want us to disrupt a landing effort by Canopus in the lowlands. We finally got our A-team up and ready to go. I think the Boss is hoping to be able to salvage some heavier chassis, as the other contracts here look to be more battle-focused, and we aren’t set up for that.
As the Lance moved up the hill, Canopus mechs started appearing until we are facing a full lance. Their lead Panther shot first at TigerTail, but mostly missed. The whole mission just got scrappy after this, with the Canopians getting reinforced, and having numbers and missiles and us just having to keep running around to take pot shots. TigerTail got her bloodlust on and that helped. Eventually we were able to take advantage of the enemy Assassin’s tactical error to core it out, and the remaining Javelins quickly fell.
TigerTail got hit again and went back to the medbay for 2 weeks. 3 Mechs were down for repairs, which made things difficult. So our second month ended in rest and refit, and the Boss also ordered refit of the Blackjack — really didn’t like the firepower output during the missions, and could do with a bit of uparmouring.
It was Week 11 Day 6 when we finally went back into action.