Zulu team, one of the two commando squads assigned to the Port Zimmerman detachment, was assembled and briefed by acting-captain Burt in his improvised office.
The rebels were known to operate the “Marion” as a logistics ship in the river delta, and the captured logbook had given the location of one rendesvouz with it. The mission was to locate the “Marion”, if possible capture it and its cargo and crew, if not then to destroy it or at least disable it in order for other units to arriver and finish the job.
The entire mercenary detachment was to remain on standby to support the commandos, the recon helicopter would provide a radio link and casualty evacuation, the Aerospace fighters from Battalion HQ would be on standby with a 25 minute arrival time and the Battlemech company was to deploy if necessary. The idea was to fool any rebel spies observing the mercenaries that no major operation was ongoing, using only the commandos and a patrol boat on loan from the Kurita garrison, armed with a heavy machinegun and equipped with a pair of rubber dinghies, the mercenaries could locate the target and strike before the rebels realized they were under threat and could change their modus operandi.
Early in the morning Zulu team assembled at the docks and reviewed the intel, the goverment had shared the blueprints of the “Marion” from the maritime department registry, revealing it to be a old 100m long low-draught ship with a intended crew of 30 men. The team sped out into the delta in their patrol boat, avoiding the usual shipping lanes and zigzagging north towards their chosen search area. During the sunset sergeant Callaghan observed a reflection of light on the island to their starboard, and with quick thinking the team used their signal equipment to scan for radio signals, intercepting a coded transmission from the island. The team proceeded on the original course until they passed around the island and out of view of the observer, then quickly swung around and made landfall on the beach. They rushed out of the boat and spread out in a loose search line, carefully sweeping the island. After half an hour they located a small cabin concealed in the woods, and moving slowly to avoid the tripmines set up around it they set up for the assault. Marksman Schwartz was to eliminate the dog sleeping on the porch with his heavy laser rifle, backed up by sergeant Callaghan with another laser rifle, simultaneously corporal Shiv and the rest of the team would quickly move up and perfom an assault breach and capture or kill any enemies inside.
Schwartz killed the dog with a precise shot, but Callaghan messed up and hit the window, while the laser made barely any sound the heat cracked the glass with a loud bang, and the assault team rushed in. When they were 10 paces from the cabin the door opened and a old man in civilian clothes appeared carrying a shotgun in one hand. He appeared rather shocked to find several armed men rushing towards him, but did not get a chance to react as Schwartz fired his laser, cutting of the mans arm and knocking him out. The team secured the cabin, finding military grade binoculars and radio equipment as well as a radio logbook where their patrol boat passing was marked down. They disabled the radio, stabilized the prisoner and tied him down before reporting it in to ISF, the Kurita security police who sent out a collection team by boat, and proceeding with their mission.
Zulu team moved into their search area with caution, hiding amongst the islands at day and moving at night, despite this they stumbled upon a unidentified civilian motorboat while rounding an island, and as it immediatly turned and began to run they gave chase. Their military grade patrol boat easily overtook the other craft and the heavy machinegun and well armed soldiers aboard persuaded the civilians to stop and let themselves be boarded without fuzz. The commandos found some weapons and a large amount of drugs aboard, and Shiv gave the three men aboard a rough interrogation, finding out that they had actually seen the “Marion” a week earlier at one of the larger islands at the edge of Zulu teams search grid. The commandos disabled the smugglers boat and tied up the prisoners, once again contacting ISF and requesting a prisoner pickup before moving on.
A few days of searching ensued, focusing on the area where the smugglers had seen the target, and taking into account the draught of the “Marion” the commandos managed to find a camouflaged supply dump and a wooden jetty. Hiding the patrol boat in the reeds a couple of kilometres away they investigated with the rubber dinghies, finding it to be unguarded but surrounded by some booby traps. As they were moving cautiously they avoided these and established that the supply hut was mostly empty, some fuel barrels and a dozen or so crates with rockets and ammuniton mostly was all it contained. They examined the contents, documenting the findings with cameras as most of the heavy munitions were of Steiner design and thus of special interest. They concealed remote detonated explosives in the crates and set up a hidden observation post on another island, overlooking the building.
The plan was for Zulu team to deploy in two teams, a heavy weapons group on the patrol boat, waiting in reserve, and a assault group at the observation post, with the rubber dinghies and their stockpile of explosives. If the “Marion” arrived, the assault group would sneak in in the cover of darkness, placing exlosives at the rudder in order to prevent any attempt to escape, then board the ship and secure the bridge with as much stealth as possible. After that they would either hold their positions or conduct a sweep of the ship as the situation required, and the heavy weapons group would move in to support. As the mercenaries had prepared for their own communication link via the helicopter relay at predetermined times they had the ability to contact the Battalion HQ and request additional support without having to rely on official Kurita radio channels wich might be compromised and tip their hand.
After six days of boring waiting they were rewarded for their patience, as the “Marion” appeared in the night, docking to the jetty and beginning to unload supplies. Over thirty men left the ship and began moving crates and barrels to the storage shed, and while they were busy the assault group moved up using their paddles. They placed the explosives without a hitch and boarded using a scaling hook covered in cloth to reduce noise. Still undetected the four men entered the superstructure of the ship, slowly moving up the stairs to the bridge. They encountered a radio operator in a room outside the bridge and cut his throat with a knife as soon as he stopped sending morse code, then they stacked up outside the bridge and stormed it. The bridge crew was totally surprised and were cut down with silenced submachineguns and lasers, one man managed to get off a shot before dying but the battle was over in seconds, six of the seven men on the bridge were dead and the captain injured but alive was secured. The assault group decided that things were going to get ugly as someone aboard was bound to have heard the shot, and while the unloading crew were still unaware most of them carried arms and things could go south in a hurry. They called in the heavy weapons crew and detonated the remote charges in the supply shed. A massive fireball rose into the sky as the night was lit up by the burning debris scattering about, a dozen rebels in the work detail being instantly killed or injured. Schwartz opened fire from the bridge, cutting down several of the men ashore before they realized they were under attack, but the suppressive fire failed when his power pack malfunctioned and his weapon was silenced. The shocked rebels rushed back towards the ship, firing scattered salvoes at the bridge, meanwhile others who were still aboard came to the bridge to investigate. They were welcomed by Shiv popping down the stairs and hosing them down with submachine gun fire before throwing several grenades amongst them. A furious battle ensued, outside the rebels managed to push up to the bridge, throwing grenades inside and killing the captured captain but failing to eliminate the mercenaries. The commandos made a sortie, destroying the grenadiers in close combat, during wich Schwarz was injured by a shotgun blast to the arm and Shiv narrowly avoided being hit by a RPG, escaping with some shrapnel and minor burns. Shiv returned to guarding the stairhouse, ambushing and destroying two assault attempts from the rebels aboard with a hail of grenades.
Now the heavy weapons group had arrived and began hosing down the deck of the “Marion” with machinegun fire, cutting down many of the bunched up rebels who where trying to understand what was going on. Return fire from shore failed to impress the patrol boat, wich went on to eliminate any rebels who dared to show themselves outside. Meanwhile the assault group begain their sweep, clearing corridors and room after room. A noise was heard inside a small storage room and Shiv opened the door enought to roll in a stun grenade before closing it again. After the bang he ripped it open again, finding a unarmed woman in bad shape. As the commandos moved on, they discovered that the rebels had lost their courage, most of the armed ones were already dead and the remainder were mostly noncombatants or unwilling to fight and surrendered. Just as they believed themselves secure however, a new threat appeared. Since the radio operator had been killed before sending a reciept the rebel commander Ross had sent out the same attack helicopter that participated in the ambush when the mercenaries conducted their last delta sweep to investigate. It spotted to huge fire and tried to contact the “Marion”, as the fighting was pretty much over at this point they could not immediatly determine what had happened. Using quick thinking, Callaghan used the rebels radio set to respond, claiming an accidental explosion had caused the devastation and asked for cas evac. The chopper crew bought the story and began to set down, but as the approached the ground hidden rebel survivors, desperate to stop them but unable to communicate fired a few shots at the helicopter to alert them to the danger. This unleashed the commando ambush, Schwartz had managed to repair his laser again and tried to kill the pilot, the heavy cockpit armour save him however, and he only caused minor burns on his legs. At the same time the patrol boat rushed in from its hiding spot, firing a RPG wich hit the helicopted in the armored nose wich destroyed its armament and sensors but failed to bring it down. Finally the heavy machinegun opened fire, with pinpoint accuracy it struck the rotor hub, destroying it and forcing the helicopter to crash land. It was still fairly intact however, but Shiv rushed in and placed explosive on the cockpit window and signalled for the crew to step out, wich they immediatly did and surrendered.
Zulu team began securing the prisoners and the perimeter as they waited for the Kurita helicopters from the garrison to arrive, the total tally was 39 prisoners, 32 dead rebels, the “Marion” captured more or less intact and a treasure trove of documents and equipment seized. The commandos returned to base in triumph and were greeted as heroes by their impressed comrades. Facing 10 to 1 odds and a enemy helicopter they had utterly destoyed the opposition, achieved all objectives and only suffered two minor injuries.