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|Unit Profile (as of 3056)|
Referred to as the Vost Lance, this was a small mercenary unit assembled by mercenary leader Garber Vost; the name may not be the actual name of the unit, but a description rather than a proper name. A paint scheme, uniforms, a crest or even as much as a common symbol for the unit apparently did not exist.
Vost had commanded another mercenary lance before, but chief Tech Sagiri Johnson who was with Vost for two years (i.e. since 3054) was noted as the only survivor of Vost's previous lance.
- for details, see: Far Country#Summary
The Vost Lance had been hired by the Draconis Combine for a classified mission. Their contract stipulated that the Combine was responsible for safe insertion and extraction of the mercenary unit. For this mission they embarked on Parker Davud's privately owned Leopard-class DropShip together with DEST Team 6654 (the LAM was stored in one of the DropShip's fighter bays in aerospace fighter mode); the Leopard in turn docked with the Telendine, a Scout-class JumpShip, in the Salford system. On 7 November 3056 their jump out of Salford went wrong. From this point onwards, all contact was lost with the Vost Lance, DEST team and starship crews and they were considered killed in a JumpShip accident.
In truth, the misjump had brought them to Kaetetôã, wrecking the JumpShip in the process. Davud managed to crashland the Leopard on Kaetetôã, where the mercenaries of the Vost Lance wound up in a shooting war with the DEST team and broke up into factions that became embroiled in the local wars among the other humans on the planet. Three of their five 'Mechs were destroyed before long.
A ComStar Explorer Corps briefing document from ca. 3059 noted that the DCA (Draconis Combine Admiralty) discontinued their use of commandeered civilian vessels to ship troops on the first leg to the Periphery after the loss of the Telendine along with the DEST team and the Vost Lance.
As of November 3056, the time of their disappearance, the Vost Lance was composed of five MechWarriors and six Techs:
The pompous leader of the Vost Lance. He did not use any military rank, probably on grounds of being the accepted leader in the small group of five MechWarriors. He owned a PNT-9R Panther, but he was also a qualified LAM pilot, and switched 'Mechs with Brian Seagroves during the fighting on Kaetetôã where the LAM ran out of fuel and crashed, presumably killing Garber Vost.
Described as a "walking libido", Vost tended to look down on women yet had special attention from all three female Techs in his unit.
A snobbish person and fond of items signifying wealth and status, including his priceless Phoenix Hawk LAM. He had been a member of the Vost Lance for only six months when they were marooned on Kaetetôã. On the planet, he failed to understand that gold had no value there, yet quickly amassed wealth and status nevertheless, in addition to substantial amounts of (worthless) golden trinkets. He also quietly built up a power base of his own to supplant Garber Vost as overall commander. Eventually, Vost switched 'Mechs with him and was killed in a crash because Seagroves had (by design or by accident) forgotten to reactivate the fuel gauge warning light which he had deactivated earlier. Brian Seagroves returned to the warring cities afterwards with Vost's Panther to continue work as a mercenary.
Described as a little, rat-faced man, Kendall Pesht piloted a standard JVN-10N Javelin. Vost thought of him as a little dog trying to curry favor with everone and being everybody's friend, but apparently underestimated him. Pesht was very perceptive, with a keen sense for manipulation and social undercurrents, and just like Brian Seagroves began to act more and more independently before long to set himself up as an independent mercenary. Like Seagroves, he remained behind on Kaetetôã with his 'Mech to work as a mercenary.
The only woman among the Vost Lance's MechWarriors had only been hired just before the mercenaries embarked on their last mission, to fill the ranks as required by the contract. Garber Vost would not normally have considered hiring a female pilot and treated her with open contempt. She piloted a standard LCT-1V Locust which she kept in pristine condition, and was noted as an excellent scout pilot.
Together with Sagiri Johnson, Holly Goodall warned the DEST team of the mercenaries' plan to attack them in a preemptive strike and switched sides in the first shootout, killing Collis Brank in the process by means of a cockpit hit to his Locust.
Her 'Mech was destroyed in combat with the Vost Lance later, but she ejected safely and was sent back to the DEST team as a messenger.
Considered a devious schemer by Vost, this little man piloted the other one of the unit's two Locusts. He was killed early on by Holly Goodall through a head hit to his 'Mech when the mercenaries first tried to use their 'Mechs against the DEST team. His Locust was subsequently salvaged by the DEST team and their allies, and given to JumpShip engineer Marc Jacobs (who was actually a dispossessed MechWarrior) to pilot. After the destruction of Goodall's 'Mech it was the sole remaining 'Mech of the DEST team and their followers. Its fusion engine and medium laser were eventually removed, to help in the process of reactivating the ancient Vulture-class DropShip Hideyoshi Toyotomi and bring it back to flight status.
The chief Tech of the Vost Lance and longest serving member, having served Vost for two years. He was also noted to be the only survivor of Vost's previous mercenary unit besides Garber Vost himself. As chief Tech, he had selected the other Techs. Within the unit he was assigned to Holly Goodall as her personal Tech, and together with her elected to defect from the Vost Lance rather than commit a sneak attack against the DEST team.
Personal Tech to Brian Seagroves. Although following orders to the point of running a fake systems check in order to allow Seagroves to secretly activate the LAM's weapons, he sided with the DEST team after the first fight.
A Tech with the Vost Lance; no further information.
Initially the current inamorata of Garber Vost and also his personal Tech. Over the course of the events on Kaetetôã she broke up with him and, together with Tami Wilson and JumpShip officer Elizabeth Hoond, later threatened that the Techs of the Vost Lance would go on strike if they did not get a greater share of the pay. Vost gave in to that demand and suggested they should also train assistant Techs; he expected the Techs to pay the AsTechs from their raised pay, and secretly planned to eventually sack the original Techs, once the AsTechs had learned to maintain the 'Mechs.
Fiona Sabine ultimately joined the DEST camp, having remained with the Vost Lance as a Tech for a relatively long time while on Kaetetôã. She was the last to actually turn her back on them, in her case over Garber Vost's behavior towards the female staff. This was one of the reasons for the remaining Techs to confront Vost, threatening to go on strike.
She remained faithful to the Vost Lance, but did threaten to lay down her work together with Michelle Guardin and Elizabeth Hoond to coerce Vost into giving them a greater share of the profits.
- Explorer Corps (sourcebook), p. 24