Mersey Mekwar (PBP Game - IC) - Episode 1 - Game Started

Void Hawk

You'd had a pretty good run at Hong Kong after your Graduation. 6 Months of Paid Leave until you rotate into Service for Brants First and Finest. As the Brightest Stars of a pretty Elite Mek Academy, you're reputation preceeds you in certain cirles, and even as you touched down at the Airport, you were being courted for future contracts once your initial Year is up with Brants. After that boost came the wave of exhilleration that hit you once you hit the Social Circles in Hong Kong. As a major center for Mercenary Businesses, a lot of High Society in Hong Kong have some connection to the Mek Industry, and New Mek Officers are the newest Fad amongst the Powerfull Elite. And so there was never a dull moment. Life has been a pretty constant Party, as you flit from Opening to Premier to Exclusive Party, Meeting and Greeting.

You'd even forgotten about the clause in your contract saying you could be called up early for service, should the Company need you badly enough. Sure there were Benefits for being called up early (a $100.000 per month of Leave Lost is not to be snubbed) but now, three months Early, you are on a plane, and heading off into Service for the first time. To be more exact, you've been on the Plane for a good 27 hours now, counting stop-overs. Couped up in the back of the C-170, cold, bored and with no information except that you are off to Liverpool, where Brants is serving the last 2 Months of their 6 Month Garrison Duty, you try and keep yourselves in high spirits, but even that subsides. When it does, you sleep, uncomfortably. The next thing you see is the Pilot as he comes back with some coffee to wake you up. With a mute smile he rouses you and forces a cup of steaming Java into your hands before returning to the cockpit. 20 minutes later you have all woken up fully and wondering whats going on. Since you took off the Captain has decided to keep the covers down over the 2 windows in the hold section. Suddenly one cracks open, and bright sunlight pours through casting a multitued of rays of golden light to spear the darkness.

"Welcome to Merseyside Lads" The Captain's voice crackles over the Comms System. "Hope you like what you see....."

As you look out, you see a pretty desolate vista. Industrial Zones choke the South end of the City, and the River that runs North West to South East through the Liverpool-Birkenhead Metroplex is choked with Traffic, transporting goods to and from Liverpool. Most of these Imports and Exports head to the US, but more and more are being exported to the Combine, after the recent Buyout of Royal Ordinence (who have a Factory near Chester) and also because of the presence of the Jaguar Mek Factory (A MAJOR part of the local ecomony, and purveyors of some of the Finest Warmeks in Existance. Indeed, the Jaguar War-Games Mek Team is rated in the Top Three in the World, along with Ipex and Moore Industries, although they are considerably more expensive than either of their competators).

The North of the City has become a shanty town of sorts as it spreads further towards Blackpool, and as you head East towards Manchester you find a mix of Industrial Zones and Homes. This is where the majority of the Employed population Live, and as such, it is quite safe, with good policing and services. The centre of Liverpool has become somewhat of a dead zone with the collapse of the British Stock-Market. The big financial institutions there did not weather the initial stages of the Independance War, and that has left the area to be reclamied as housing by some of the more criminal minded. It is here that the Black Market has its headquarters in the North West. Even though the market would, strictly, be illegal under British Law, the Forces that Be let the criminals alone. From what you could dig up back in Hong Kong about Brants current assignment, it sounded like the Government Forces in the area have some kind of agreement with the Black Market. The Government Forces have been able to get hold of some pretty interesting things lately (stuff like Intel, and some pretty nice Mil Grade Gear for some of the UK-Independants fighting the good fight further north into the Borders Staging Area), and rumours say that they were obtained through "Someone in Liverpool."

As for the Borders Staging Area, that is something of a misnomer. The area just north of the Carslisle/Newcastle Line has become something of a problem to the UK forces recently. With Edinburgh being Pro-European, it has meant that EF forces have been able to land a sizeable force in the North. Enough to mount occasional Harrying Raids into North England at least. Some of these attacks have gotten as far south as Preston, but you haven't heard of anything getting any further.

So, as you glide in to John Lennon Military Airfield, you have your first Glimpse of home for some five and a half years.

"We're Landing in Five Minutes People. Everyone and everything in its Place right now people. JL has been upgraded to Hot status in the last five hours, so things could get a little scary."
"Damn it, I hope we aren't in for a rough ride." Malcolm says, checking his weapon and armour. "I would hate to play Dead Duck with some flak guns!"

Fastening his safety belt, Malcolm turns around.
"Com' on lads, get yourself secured."
"Hey, at least he's not making us jump out of this rust bucket... well, not yet anyway." Joh replies with a light grin as he checks the straps on his gear.

"Anyway," he continues once he's back in his seat, "its kind of fun you being on this end of the triple-A."
Sarah continues to twist a lock of her shoulder length auburn hair around her finger, just like she's been doing for the last several hours, "Are we there yet?"
"Oh, lighten up," is his comeback, "we're not going to get shot down by some second rate Euro jock, or his local lackey."

He looks over at Sarah, growing a little tired of her asking that, "we'll get there soon."
((O.O.C - :evil: ))

Within a couple of minutes the C-170 has touched down, with all the usuall finess of a couple of hundred tons of bulky metal impacting with the ground at high velocity. The suspencion of the plane can only do so much. Once safely on solid ground, the big cargoplane taxis to a stop near the terminal, and almost at once the rear ramp starts to lower. As soon as it settles on the ground a Humvee wheels right up the ramp and into the back of the Plane. A rather stunted figure gets out of the Drivers side (the right) and points at each of you in turn, waving you over to him. Once within casual shouting distance, he tells you that he's here to collect you and to take you to Colonel Brant immediately. His Nametag reads Sgt(1st) Jones. Jumping straight back into the Hummer, he waits only long enough for you all to shut the doors before he reverses back out of the Plane at worryingly high speed. Doing a pretty good 180 in the big military jeep is no mean feat, and it throws you all over the interior as the Sarge does just that, before racing off towards the center of the City.

The first thing you notice as you leave JL is the Jaguar Factory and Docks right next-door. The close nature of these two assets is good and bad. Although it allows Jag to put finished meks almost straight onto Cargo ships, it also means the Factory is vulnerable to attack from the river. As you head further into the city center, you see the twin towers of the New Cathedral (a large cone-shaped concrete monstrosity) and the Radio Tower. There used to be three tall buildings, but the Old Cathedral (an imposing and regal Red-Sandstone affair) was destroyed in 2050 in a fire, and consequently the land has been taken over by the UK Government Forces in the area as an HQ and Mek Re-Supply Dump.

As you enter the city center you notice that the majority of the dockland further up river is on reclaimed land under the shadow of what looks to be some pretty serios cliffs (50-100m), while out towards the Irish Sea, the land drops to costal level. As you drive through the better residential areas, with their wide treelined boulevards and well looked after houses, it is hard to believe that this is a city in the middle of a War for control of the Nation. However, when you get closer and closer to your destination it becomes apparent that things aren't so good after all. A large swath of destruction has been cut into the city, from the north, from a major raid by EF backed Mercenaries right at the start of the IWar. The areas surrounding this Dead-Zone look rough, and your glad you want be going anywhere near it in anything less than a Mek (hopefully anyway!).
Josh just sits quietly in his back seat, watching the land flit by as the Sargeant drives through it. Already getting himself a little aquainted with the landscape.
"Nah, I used to be a Rally Driver. My talents got me the attention of the Local Brass when I rallied into town a couple of months ago. The damn Frenchies dropped a Mek squad on the beach outside my house near Blackpool. I made it here in time to warn the Garrison Commander. The guy hired me on the spot."

Swerving to avoid a burnt out car at the end of a red brick terrace (a row of small houses dating back to the 1900's) you suddenly open out to a view over the Mersey, one of the best such places in the local area.

"Right in front of you, that mound of red Sand-stone, that used to be the Anglican Cathedral. That area right in front of you, with the hill and the trees? Thats Brants HQ. Wait'll you see the place!"

With that, he drives past the rubble on a small street called Hope Street. At the corner of the Cathedral, he takes a left, and swings down the side of the ruins, turning back on himself, into the cathedral grounds. As soon as he makes the turn you see a black Tunnel entrance. Hitting the tunnel at 50, Jones rails the Hummer up onto two wheels before sliding to a halt in the Man-made Cavern that serves as Brants HQ.

With a cement floor, covered in sand and mud, the HQ is about the size of a Soccer Pitch, but due to the Crevasse like nature of the land, the place is surrounded on three sides by stone walls almost 100m high. The walls have been almost entirely hidden by Porta-Cabins on the West Wall, and Mek Gantries on the East. The South wall IS entirely covered with Ammunition and Spare Parts, both stacked neatly in Crates, and, here and there, in large piles of what looks like assorted Salvage. Over the entire thing, Brants have constructed a solid roof, using large Emegency Bridge sections, coverd with about ten feet of concrete, and further disguised using a fake park. Lit by Hallogen spotlights, the area buzzes with activity. You suspect that there are upwards of 100 people in sight right now, and not one of them is standing still doing nothing.

With a quick smile, Jones tells you to wait in the Hummer, while he disappears into the nearest Porta-Cabin.
Sarah looks out he window at the supplies and the bustle of busy people, "I was worried from the look of the city that things were getting out of control here. Looks like Brant really does know what he's doing."

With a faraway look in her eyes, she continues, "This is just the sort of place we need to build a name for ourselves."

She stop and glances over at Josh just in time to catch his eye rolling. "Oh sure, laugh while you can, monkey boy. I know you want it too."
"Hey, less of the 'Monkey Boy', you're just as much monkey as I am. Anyway, I might as well enjoy this, after having leave cancled like that."

He pauses for a few whilst the hummer's up on two wheels, then adds, "well, I guess this is a good place as any to start." Grining softly he softly adds, "just try not to scream in panic over an open comm channel."
"Don't go there... we don't want another repeat of that, especially not on our first day here. Save it for when we're alone."