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> C.S.V. Half Moon, Union-Class DropShip
Commodore Benjamin Maxwell
post May 12 2006, 10:44 PM
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Weighing in at 3,500 tons, the Union Class DropShip C.S.V. Half Moon belongs to a class which has become the standard medium DropShip throughout the Successor States, small enough to easily transport a 'Mech raiding party and large enough to support part of.a full-scale invasion. The Union can carry a full company of twelve 'Mechs, plus two aerospace fighters. A single Union Class DropShip is often associated with a specific company; for example, the Union DropShip Sweet Chariot is exclusively assigned to transport Sinclair's Company of the St. Ives Armored Cavalry.

The Union's impressive weapons array includes six Class 5 autocannons, twelve medium lasers, and five heavy lasers, along with three PPCs and six 20 rack LRM launchers. Though the ship cannot fire at low altitudes, its assortment of weapons can deliver massive amounts of firepower in space, making the Union a terrifying opponent.

Because so much space is taken up by weapon bays and the like, the crew's quarters are spartan. The fourteen crewmen and twelve to fourteen MechWarriors and fighter pilots must cram themselves into a single, tiny bunkroom with neither viewports nor recreational facilities. The ship's two officers share another microscopic bunkroom, while the captain's private quarters take up an area just large enough to accommodate a single bed and washbasin. Sanitary facilities are extremely limited, and the air recirculation system is as small and unsophisticated as possible. Frequent breakdowns are typical, often creating an atmosphere redolent of sweat and dirty socks. Despite these difficult living conditions, Union crews accomplish their missions ably, defending against aerospace fighter attacks with calm efficiency and delivering their BattleMech cargoes to drop points.

While the spherical shapes of Union and Overlord DropShips make space travel and atmospheric entry easier, the ships are unstable, and are most vulnerable when descending through an atmosphere. A single hit to one of the Union's four attitude jets can make it tumble out of control and crash-land. During a Liao invasion of the Marik-held world of Van Diemen IV, Marik fighter squadrons destroyed several Union Class DropShips in just such a fashion.

The shortage of replacement parts for the Union's complex interplanetary drive system, and the lack of the heavy industry needed to construct them may imperil the future of the Union and the Overlord. Even now they are produced in small numbers, and only a handful of people are familiar with these ships' exotic technology. If the Succession Wars drag on much longer, they may eventually cause this magnificent vehicle and its larger cousin to disappear from Successor State armies altogether.

Union Class DropShips served throughout Star League's stormy later history, moving into battle escorted by the Star League's awesome star cruisers and delivering their armored cargoes. The star cruisers vanished with the Star League Defense Forces, and the Union Class DropShips that remain are often badly in need of maintenance and crippled by the lack of reliable technicians.

Falling between the light Leopard and the superheavy Overlord DropShips, the Union can accompany either one, as a lighter adjunct to the Overlord or as a powerful central coordinator for a raid by Leopards. When fuel is sufficient, the Union may drop its 'Mechs from high altitude at different locations, one lance at a time, and then land at a central rendezvous point. This tactic is especially useful during raids, when speed and surprise are essential. The Union also carries spare parts and ammunition for its 'Mechs, and will occasionally remain on the ground as a support base.

Use of the Union Class dates back well into the Star League era, when the vessel was first built as a replacement for the older Lion Class DropShip. The Union continues in the service of every Successor State military, and well-established pirate bands even own a few. Because Overlord Class DropShips are relatively rare and extremely expensive, Union DropShips often form the bulk of an invasion force.

Maintenance is beginning to cause a real problem for this class of DropShip, however. The difficulties of manufacturing and obtaining parts are beginning to affect the Union's performance; though it remains the standard DropShip in the Successor States thus far, its days may be numbered.


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Director Gen Miyamoto
post May 15 2006, 06:18 PM
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Crayven Securities, Inc. | S.W.O.R.D. Director
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The ground crews were working furiously to ready the Half Moon for lift off. All the needed arms, vehicals, and personel were boarded and it was a matter of safety checks and clearance now. I was anxious about lifting off, and leaving the Equinox facility while it was on high alert. The generals had totally emptied the mech bays to quell the disorder in the streets. Naturally felt conflicted lifting off with two lances of valuable mechs when I just loosed 30 million C-bills worth of untested prototype equipment.

The whole situation in Gallen Hieghts was lost on me. Entire regiments were not in the habit of appearing in undetected in the center of a city. So what the hell was going on? The local media was reporting everything from crime bosses run amok to Blakist insurgency, and none of it added up.

I took a stiff drink and began reviewing the briefing General Maxwell had preparred for me. It looked promising; Col. Reese was out scouting out some huge StarLeague cache in pirate territory when she went missing. OA border patrols located her and a host of pirates interested in having her ship and mechs. She was carrying something shy of a brigade of mechs, a treasure trove among those parts. We were to come in, save the day, and then I was to report to....

My glass fell from hand and shattered.


"He can't be serious."

This post has been edited by Director Gen Miyamoto: May 15 2006, 06:18 PM


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Position : Lt. Colonel, Crayven Securities, Inc.
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Major Richard Stryker
post May 24 2006, 12:17 PM
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Several weeks later...

C.S.V. Half Moon
Dnepier Equatorial Orbit - Pirate Jump Point
Outworlds Alliance
_________________________________________

With a blinding flash, Dnepier rushed into view as our JumpShip executed a highly-illegal entrance into the system, jumping directly into orbit of the small world in order to allow us the quickest approach to the planet's surface. While in transit, we had received a report that the C.S.V. Foundation, acting on a tip that the warship they were looking for was buried in a desert region of the remote world, had landed and had almost-instantly been besieged by pirates who had beaten them to the prize. The local militia couldn't be pursuaded to intervene, and wouldn't stick around to give any further reports as to the condition of the Foundation or her crew, and as such, we had been forced to assume the worst.

Klaxons blared as the C.S.V. Half Moon disengaged from the JumpShip, and was brought to full combat readiness as it fell toward the surface of Dnepier. We were going in hot - our trajectory would land us within a kilometer of the Foundation's last known location, and if past events had been any indication, we could expect a very violent reception once we hit the ground. Sieging an Overlord-class DropShip was no small feat - tactical analysts had projected that we could expect very heavy enemy assets - likely comprised mostly of assault-class units.


Which is going to make for an interesting fight...

My biggest fear was that the enemy assets, having been significant enough to keep the Foundation trapped planetside, might also be capable of ensnaring our vessel as well. Fortunately, this contingency had been considered, and two Excalibur-class DropShips, courtesy of the Capellan Confederation and some serious negotiating, were sheduled to arrive to reenforce us immediately following our initial assessment of the situation on the ground. I didn't know how that assessment would read.

With a bone-jarring impact, the Half Moon tore into Dnepier's upper atmosphere, and rocketed toward its target. In a few scant minutes, we would find out just how bad the situation really was.


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Position : Major, Crayven Securities, Incorporated
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Director Gen Miyamoto
post May 28 2006, 01:46 AM
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Crayven Securities, Inc. | S.W.O.R.D. Director
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The briefing was short and to the point, which seemed to be a hallmark of the Crayven Tactical Devision personel. Major Stryker was not without his personal side, but this was buisness and the situation seemed to make him uneasy. Perhaps he's never given a briefing where the situation on the ground is a total unknown. Objectives as vague as 'defeat all resistance' and 'protect crayven assets' were just not part of his career.

The pilots were geared up and secured in thier mechs as we made planetfall. I tried to steady my nerves and prepare for the coming battle. Our opponents are nearly totally unknown, except for the fact that they are pirates and there are lots of them.


"Hold it together Gen, these pirates are going to be push overs."


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Position : Lt. Colonel, Crayven Securities, Inc.
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Director Gen Miyamoto
post Jun 1 2006, 01:08 AM
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Crayven Securities, Inc. | S.W.O.R.D. Director
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My inner thoughts were disrupted by an open transmission from the Chief Tactical Officer serving on the Halfmoon, "We've completed our pass over and have uploaded Nav points. Hermes Lance prepare to hot drop in 5...4...3"

The main hatch to the mechbay gaped open and the lesser mechs preparred to fling themsleves out into the rushing air. The dusty desert scrub below looked distant, but was rapidly rising to meet our helpless mechs. One by one the lance hoped out into a controlled decent.

"Here we go"

This post has been edited by Director Gen Miyamoto: Jun 1 2006, 04:40 PM


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Position : Lt. Colonel, Crayven Securities, Inc.
Callsign : Redeemer
Current Battlemech : Atlas
Loadout : 2 MRM-10s, 2 Large X-Pulse Lasers Mk II, SRM 6, Gauss Rifle, C3 Master Computer
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Major Richard Stryker
post Jun 1 2006, 02:00 AM
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As the elements of Ares lance and Hermes lance plunged to the surface of the war-torn desert world, I opened a channel to Gen Miyamoto's Atlas.

"Hermes Lead to Ares Lead - how do you copy?"

"Loud and clear, Hermes Lead," replied Lieutenant Colonel Gen Miyamoto, his voice sounding filtered and tinny through my headset.

"Roger. Sir, if I may - I've been going over our movement plans - and I'm thinking our best bet is going to be a divided approach - if Ares breaks to the northwest once we hit the dirt, and Hermes breaks southwest, we can split the enemy lines, and our support forces can go straight up the middle. I know our original plan called for a head-to-head encounter, but respectfully, I'm starting to believe that large formations might not be the best approach for this one. If you'd like, I can update the mission overview to reflect the new tactics, or we can go as planned. What are your orders, sir?"

This post has been edited by Major Richard Stryker: Jun 1 2006, 02:00 AM


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Position : Major, Crayven Securities, Incorporated
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Director Gen Miyamoto
post Jun 1 2006, 04:56 PM
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Crayven Securities, Inc. | S.W.O.R.D. Director
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Posts: 56
Joined: 22-December 05
From: CSV Half-Moon, Outworlds Alliance
Member No.: 17





That was Stryker for you, always thinking. He was falling from hundreds of meters in the air at break neck speeds and all the while lost in formation deployment and opposition analysis. I was still in the bay and couldn't tell what we were in for but initial spotting indicated at least three seperate bodies of pirates. Bunching up might not be the best move at this time.

"Affirmative, Major. Hermes has free reign on the field, move to where you see fit. I'm going to lead Ares on a beeline for the strongest points of resistance and break them. Tempest will watch your back."


Now switching to Tempest Lance's frequency I ordered, "Tempest Lance, watch over Hermes Lance, they are going to be acting independent of Ares." A pair of confirmations came back over the radio.

It was my turn to drop, I eased my mech out the door and ignited the drop pods. The expansive scrub of Dnieper lay below me, laced with unknown threats.


This post has been edited by Director Gen Miyamoto: Jun 1 2006, 04:59 PM


--------------------
Position : Lt. Colonel, Crayven Securities, Inc.
Callsign : Redeemer
Current Battlemech : Atlas
Loadout : 2 MRM-10s, 2 Large X-Pulse Lasers Mk II, SRM 6, Gauss Rifle, C3 Master Computer
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