Encounter at El Giza
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|Encounter at El Giza|
|First published||31 May 2005|
|Era||Civil War era|
|Timeline||4 April—20 May 3067|
|Series||Chaos Irregulars stories|
|Preceded by||Determination at Wallis|
|Followed by||Gambit at Noisiel|
|“||Kevin Killiany brings us to El Giza in the Free Worlds League for a light archeological dig. Easy work, really... really?||”|
Their latest contract has brought the Chaos Irregulars to Mosiro. A local university is executing an archeological dig on the nearby world of El Giza. Although the university purchased the "rights" to the dig (through bribes), the locals on El Giza resent the operation, necessitating military-grade protection from the Chaos Irregulars. There are also hints that pirates or other treasure hunters, such as those operating from Kwamashu, might pose a threat.
The dig site is New Mumbai, a fake city that was used for extensive holovid production during the Star League era. Among numerous others, the Fer de Lance holovids were produced here, Fer de Lance being a holovid heroine and forerunner of the Immortal Warrior series from two-and-a-half centuries earlier. Parts of a real Crockett BattleMech are even found in the ruins that once upon a time were used to make the Fer de Lance holovids. As it turns out, it is a real SLDF trainer 'Mech and the Irregulars discuss if they should request it as part of their payment, as it would be extremely useful for training purposes.
On 17 May, unmarked raiders with stealth armor suddenly attack and overrun the dig site. Irregulars Captain Jacoam tries to rescue two orphan children who were working for the Irregulars, but finds himself captured by them in turn—they are in league with the attackers. Professor Hannan, himself of El Giza origin, had conspired with the attackers who are revealed to be a Capellan Warrior House (confirmed to be House Kamata in a subsequent story).
The Capellans are impressed by the Irregulars' attempts to evacuate the supposed civilians under fire, and due to their strong belief in Karma they offer the Chaos Irregulars their lives if they agree to certain terms—including not mentioning the Warrior House's involvement to anyone, ever. The Irregulars, having suffered heavy losses already, have no other option than to accept (and subsequently refer to House Kamata only as the "pirates of unknown origin"). When pondering their next job offers, they try to stay away from Capellan space as far as possible.
In the aftermath, the Irregulars figure out that the New Mumbai holovids were renowned for their accuracy, and that the original SLDF-supplied trainer 'Mech probably contained an invaluable military database; further, the firm apparently possessed detailed information on real SLDF bases on hundreds of worlds in its time. This was apparently the prize the Capellans were after.